Academic Affairs

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The Division of Academic Affairs promotes the academic quality of the institution. We invite you to review the summaries from the academic programs within the division from the past year.

College of Business Administration

College of Business Administration

-Accounting program is the Best Undergraduate-only Program in the United States as measured by the 1st Time CPA pass rate.  –Nearly $600,000 bought in through CBA grants and entrepreneurial activity. –Inaugurated Russell G. Cleary Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series. -Numbers of CBA majors have increased 300 between Fall 2012 and Fall 2015. -Over 50% of graduating students indicate they already have a job before graduation in their major or will be pursuing full-time continuing education. -Voted in a new CBA mission statement.-Wittich Remodel is starting. -30% of CBA faculty are new since Fall ’14.  

-9 Searches successfully concluded in FY16 including 7 faculty, 1 Associate Dean, and 1 Marketing Specialist for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. –La Crosse SOUP featured an entire entrepreneurship class with a student group winning $800 and then followed up with a crowdfunding appeal that raised $10,000 for the student projects. -SBDC during calendar year had 341 clients.  Over $4.6 million in loans or equity were reported for business startups or expansions.  257 people were served in programs ranging from basic short or lengthy close programs. Across the last two years, SBDC has worked with faculty to have 24 business projects with over 250 undergraduate students participating.  


Accountancy Department students were again above the national average on first time pass rate of the CPA exam.  Several personnel changes occurred during the year, including an IAS and tenure track leaving prior to the Fall 2017 semester.  A retired faculty member covered two sections of Audit, an adjunct from the community covered Fraud, and existing faculty had overloads to cover course demand.  A new IAS was hired January 2017 and a new tenure track is scheduled to start August 2017, and the department remains in search mode for two tenure track faculty. 

                The 34th Annual Accountancy Banquet was held in April 2017, sponsored by many accounting firms and businesses that recruit UWL accounting majors.  Scholarships provided by individuals, firms, and businesses aggregating over $100,000 were given to students.  202 people attended the banquet.

   The department plans to continue with the department strengths of preparing students for careers in accounting and success on the CPA exam, obtaining internships, and helping students obtain full-time employment upon graduation.  


The economics department engaged in the first major revision to the Major in nearly two decades. The results of the changes are documented in the Final Report of the Curriculum Redesign Grant written by the PIs Lisa Giddings, Betsy Knowles, and John Nunley:
“The Curriculum Redesign Grant (CRG), received for the period of July 1, 2016 to July 1 2017, grew out of our departmental deliberations over the curricular and assessment issues that we acknowledged over the past five years. The CRG team had an extremely productive grant period that resulted in what we hope will be seen in retrospect as the initial steps toward transforming the curriculum and assessment of the Economics Major. The Curriculum Redesign Committee itself, department brainstorming, and evening fall retreat were all firsts for the Department of Economics. The Committee accomplished five major goals over the course of the grant period: (1) the adoption of departmental values for our students; (2) the adoption of a new set of learning outcomes for the major that reflect stakeholder input - including current majors, alumni, and peer institutions; (3) a mapping document that links the new major learning objectives and economics course learning objectives; (4) an additional course requirement for our majors that addresses one of the learning objectives identified in the redesign process; and (5) development of an assessment plan which considers the curriculum revision.”

The Economics department continued with it speaker series bringing the following scholars to campus:

• 10/14/16 Rod Fort University of Michigan "Monetary Cost of Concussion: The Case of Major League Baseball Players."
• 10/27/16 Bryan Caplan George Mason University
• 11/4/16 Tonmoy Islam Elon University
• 2/17/17 Andy Young Texas Tech University
• 3/24/17 Ming Tsang Hamilton College
• 4/28/17 Jari Eloranta, Appalacian State Univ "Did the Rich Countries Win? Correlates of Aggregate Mobilization in the Two World Wars"
• 4/28/2017 Russ Sobel The Citadel
• 5/4/2017 Melissa Thomasson Miami University The Swan Song of the Country Doctor? How Flexner Changed the Practice of Medicine


The economics department continued with the Critical Thinking and Communications (CTC) conferences where upper level undergraduates present their classroom research in a poster styled event. We had one held in the fall and the other in the spring, with the spring event anchored by an Honors Student Presentation. Additionally we held two major conferences with nationally recognized speakers. 

• Symposium on Operations and Economics of Competitive Sports Teams on April 11, 2016
• New Institutional Economics and Economics History Conference on September 25, 2015
Betsy Knowles, Economics, one of six UWL faculty members selected for the 2016 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award and she also helped to lead the first ever assessment commons for the university.
Betsy Knowles, Lisa Giddings and John Nunley received a curricular redesign funds for their proposal entitled “Revisiting and Revising Competency in the Economics Major”.
We had four outside seminar speakers in addition to the conferences:
• Shatanjaya Dasgupta on Friday, April 1 in 203 Wimberly Hall, 3:30-5:00 PM Shatanjaya Dasgupta is from the Department of Economics at Beloit College. She presented "Paying for Violence? Spousal Abuse and Son Preference in India"
• Kristen Monaco on Friday, December 4, 2015 in Wimberly Hall. Kristen Monaco, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor presented “The Requirements of Jobs: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey”
• Josh Hall on October 9, 2015 from West Virginia University presented “Does School District and Municipality Border Congruence Matter? A Spatial Hedonic Approach
• Chris Vickers on Friday, February 5 in 203 Wimberly Hall, 3:30-5:00 PM. Chris is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Auburn University. He presented "Income Inequality in the Great Depression".

We also financially supported several other events on campus with faculty time and or Money. Nabamita Dutta helped facilitate the South Asian Film Festival to which the Economics department also contributed money. We also contributed to the talk on the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S.


Department of Finance:
Annual Report Submission to Digital Measures, 2016 - 2017
The 2016-2017 academic year was very productive for the faculty and students in the Department of Finance. Drs. Yuree Lim, Jared Linna and Adam Stivers, who have specialties in Corporate Finance and Investments, respectively, joined the faculty in Fall 2016. This brought the department to seven tenured or tenure-track faculty, two full-time instructional academic staff members and two part-time instructional academic staff members. Of the seven tenure track faculty, six have less than three years’ experience at UW-L. Finally, Maureen Spencer ably supports the department as our ADA.

The department offers an undergraduate Finance Major and a Risk, Insurance and Financial Planning (RIFP) concentration within the Finance Major. It also supports the local MBA program and the UW Consortium MBA program. There are approximately 400 majors, of which approximately 300 have declared Finance as their first major. Career Services reports 129 Finance Degrees were awarded in 2015-2016. This is approximately one-fourth of the degrees granted by the entire college (477) and we are the second smallest department. Career Services statistics suggest 94% of responding Finance Majors are employed in a finance-related area and 80% of responding Finance with a Concentration in Risk, Insurance and Financial Planning are employed in a related field.

Regarding curriculum, the department continues to expand its offerings of online courses. During the 2016 -2017 calendar, Principles of Financial Management (FIN 355), Principles of Investments (FIN 380, Summer 2017), Money & Capital Markets (FIN 390), and Foundations of Financial Management (FIN 720, MBA Consortium Foundations Course) were all offered online. The finance major case course (FIN 485) is offered fall and spring as a writing emphasis course within the major. Kaplan-Schweser continues to support Advanced Financial Analysis (FIN 447), each spring semester. This is an excellent and nationally unique opportunity for our students as Kaplan-Schweser is the international leader in CFA training and their corporate headquarters is here in La Crosse.

The department continues to be active in service to the UW System, university, college, and community. Following is an abbreviated list:

  • UW System: Tax Sheltered Annuity Review Committee
  • University: It Make$ Cents! financial literacy program, Faculty Development, Instructional Academic Staff, UWL Online Advisory Board, Joint Promotion Committee,
  • College: Assurance of Learning Task Force, International Business Advisory Committee, Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity Advisor, Scholarship Committee, and Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and Graduate Curriculum Committee.
  • Department: Assurance of Learning, Bylaws, Curriculum, Library Liaison, Financial Management - Student Organization, Spellman Fund Oversight, Temte Scholarship, CFA – Advanced Financial Analysis
  • Community: Board of Directors for Marine Credit Union and Marine Credit Union Foundation, President of Viroqua Food Cooperative Board, and Advisory Board for Wisconsin Mutual Insurance Company

Information Systems

On the personnel side, Dr. Hua Dai submitted her resignation on June 20, 2016. Since this event occurred at the very end of the last academic year, how the IS department handles its impact will be reported in next year’s annual report.

As of early February, 2016, The IS department had 77 major students and 25 students in the IS minor program. With an additional 18 students in the Health Information Systems Management (HISM) minor program, the Department had a total of 120 students. While the enrollment in the IS major has been stabilizing around 80 students in the past four years, the size of the HISM minor program has shrunk significantly last year. This has contributed to some required courses having low enrollment levels. Although the average SCH of the department did not suffer from a few low-enrollment courses due to our increase of the size of the IS 220 course sections, we will endeavor to raise the enrollment of the HISM minor next year. The demand for IS 220 has been persistently high, resulting in our offering of two summer online sections again.

For the UW consortium HIMT program, the enrollment had reached 160 in the spring of 2016. With the help of Dean Milner, Dr. Wen cleared the concern of AACSB accreditation on offering the degree within the CBA. Dr. Wen then took the program through UW-L’s approval process and obtained UW System’s approval in June 2016. Once the Provost office brings the program through the HLC this summer, UW-L will officially accept students in the coming fall semester. The program is the first profitable online consortium program in the UW System, the partner institutions will start profit sharing in AY 2017.

During Academic Year 2015-16 the four IS tenure-track faculty have had 3 refereed articles published or accepted by high quality academic journals, and 5 refereed conference proceedings articles published. This record includes one article in “A” category journals in the IS field. Many new research projects are underway as several manuscripts are currently under review or preparation for submission.

Drs. Dai, Haried, Wen and Yang all received the 2016 CBA Summer Research Grant.


General Summary

  1. Enrollment in courses was high: In the Fall Semester of 2016, 1,228 students were served in MGT courses, plus 36 students were taught by MGT faculty in BUS 310 (total: 1,264 students). In the Spring Semester of 2017 1,183 students were taught in MGT courses, plus 25 students were taught by MGT faculty in BUS 450 (total: 1,208 students). The number of Management majors leveled off (Fall, 2016 = 370 1st MGT majors) after several years of increases (e.g., Fall, 2015 = 377 1st MGT majors, up from 364 in Fall, 2014, 343 in Fall of 2012 and 290 in Fall of 2010). 111 B.S. degrees in Management were awarded in 2015-16 (the most recent data available), the second-largest in the CBA.
  2. During the 2016-17 academic year, current faculty and staff had 5 articles published or accepted in Peer-Reviewed Journals (if one includes former dept. faculty with ‘in press’ articles based on work done at UW-L, the number rises to 9 articles). Current dept. faculty also wrote 2 book chapters and had 2 other publications. Faculty members had 12 professional conference presentations and 4 community and UW-L (or other UW-school) presentations. Many of the conference manuscripts are currently under review.
  3. Dr. Christa Kiersch was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, to be effective, July 1, 2017.
  4. Four college-level grants were funded.
  5. Several faculty were nominated to receive a (Provost’s) Eagle Teaching Excellence Award in Spring, 2017.
  6. Dr. Gail Gillis is retiring after eleven years at UW-L, effective May 28, 2017. Chancellor Gow has conferred Emeritus status.

Update on New Programs/ Initiatives

  1. The interdisciplinary Health Analytics Minor (HAM) was approved and will be housed in the Department of Management; Mary Hamman in Economics will be its first director. Several MGT courses will be electives within the major starting Fall, 2017.
  2. Due to software challenges accurately recording student contact hours (SCH) in interdisciplinary BUS (“Business”) courses, the most popular BUS courses were re-labeled with their departmental prefixes. BUS courses commonly taught by Management faculty were re-labeled as MGT courses.
  3. The MGT major will be changed: MGT 328 (a principles and history of management thought course) will become an elective; instead, MGT majors can take either MGT 385 (a survey course in Human Resource Management) or MGT 420 (an Entrepreneurship course).

Existing Programs/Initiatives Requiring Additional Monitoring or Redesign

  1. The Dept. participated in the Integrated Core (MGT 308, MKT 309, FIN 355). The program allows students to provide clients with specific consulting that allows the students to apply knowledge from the three courses – and to see the interrelationships among the different disciplines.
  2. The Dept. continued to house the Sustainable Business minor, with 59 declared minors (Feb., 2017).

Summary of International Activities and Opportunities Offered

  1. The Department participates in the Global Consulting Program in Slovakia each summer, where student teams work on “live” client projects for businesses, nonprofits, or U.S. agencies in that country.
  2. In Summer, 2017, department faculty will participate in a study abroad program in London, England, teaching “Green Operations Management” and MGT 449.

Summary of major plans for upcoming year

  1. Hire a second Business Communications faculty member (a “full-time adjunct”).
  2. Implement the new (required) Business Communications (MGT 301) course for CBA students.
  3. Participate in the College “self-study year” for AACSB re-accreditation.
  4. Encourage faculty to actively engage in research and to publish in high-quality journals.
  5. Participate in CBA efforts to revitalize graduate education programs and to implement the new Health Analytics Minor.


Number of Majors is Increasing: The Marketing major is currently the largest in the college with 485 Marketing majors in Fall 2016 and 464 in Spring 2017, up approximately 10-13% from last year (2015-16) and an increase of 80% from five years ago (2011-12). The number of Marketing majors is currently the highest it has been in the past two decades!

Staffing: The department currently has 9 full-time faculty members and this past year hired an adjunct lecturer at .25 load each semester. The average student-to-faculty ratio for 2016-17 exceeded 50:1, much higher than the 19:1 university average.

UW-L Sales Competitions: The Marketing Department hosted its fourth UW-L sales competition for Marketing students. Eighteen students competed in the competition; 24 business professionals served as judges and buyers and 12 businesses supported the competition by providing financial support and/or judges.

Plans for next year, internally, include reexamining the marketing curriculum and continued work on updating department by-laws. Externally, the department continues to focus on increasing engagement with the business community and advancement initiatives to support student scholarships and development.

Challenges for next year include the department still being relatively young with 4 of 9 faculty entering only their 2nd and 3rd years at UW-L, combined with a limited number of senior (tenured) faculty; and, the growing number of marketing majors putting pressure on class sizes and advising loads. With the upcoming accreditation visit, there is also increased pressure and scrutiny to publish, and to do so in higher level outlets.

College of Liberal Studies

College of Liberal Studies

The 2015-2016 academic year was successful for the College of Liberal Studies (CLS).

Some highlights from this year include:

The CLS New Faculty Mentoring Program celebrated 10 years of assisting faculty in transitioning to life at UWL; two faculty received Fulbright Awards; CLS units sponsored important events such as the first annual Social Justice Week, the South Asian Film Festival, and Creative Imperatives; Military Science received the 3rd RTC Brigade’s “Most Improved Program” award for excellence in programming; Music and Theatre Arts sponsored galas that raised scholarship dollars for students in both programs; and the new Ed.D. in Student Affairs Administration, approved in June 2015 by the Board of Regents, received Higher Learning Commission approval in December 2015.

The Dean’s Office experienced significant staffing changes. A new Dean assumed the role on July 1 and three new Faculty Fellows were selected to help fulfill integral duties resulting from the loss of an Associate Dean position in 2014-2015. A new Budget Officer was hired to replace a retirement and the upper administration approved a new Assistant Dean position effective July 1, 2016.


Some of the most significant work in the College included strategic planning, initiating a rebranding of public materials (brochures, newsletter, web), enhancing fundraising processes, strategically enhancing community partnerships, evaluating international programs such as the 2+2 program, and curricular innovations (including new minors and initiating revision of the College core). All of these accomplishments were done against a backdrop of significant budget cuts that resulting in the loss of seven faculty and staff lines and loss of other budget (S&E, travel) to CLS departments.

The 2015-2016 academic year was successful for the College of Liberal Studies (CLS).
Some highlights from this year include:

The CLS New Faculty Mentoring Program celebrated 10 years of assisting faculty in
transitioning to life at UWL; two faculty received Fulbright Awards; CLS units sponsored
important events such as the first annual Social Justice Week, the South Asian Film Festival, and
Creative Imperatives; Military Science received the 3rd RTC Brigade’s “Most Improved
Program” award for excellence in programming; Music and Theatre Arts sponsored galas that
raised scholarship dollars for students in both programs; and the new Ed.D. in Student Affairs
Administration, approved in June 2015 by the Board of Regents, received Higher Learning
Commission approval in December 2015.

The Dean’s Office experienced significant staffing changes. A new Dean assumed the
role on July 1 and three new Faculty Fellows were selected to help fulfill integral duties resulting
from the loss of an Associate Dean position in 2014-2015. A new Budget Officer was hired to
replace a retirement and the upper administration approved a new Assistant Dean position
effective July 1, 2016.

Some of the most significant work in the College included strategic planning, initiating a
rebranding of public materials (brochures, newsletter, web), enhancing fundraising processes,
strategically enhancing community partnerships, evaluating international programs such as the

2+2 program, and curricular innovations (including new minors and initiating revision of the
College core). All of these accomplishments were done against a backdrop of significant budget cuts that resulting in the loss of seven faculty and staff lines and loss of other budget (S&E, travel) to CLS.

Archaeology & Anthropology

This was the inaugural year of the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, and faculty continued to excel at teaching and remained active in scholarship and service. Dave Anderson served his first year on the American Research Center in Egypt Board of Governors, Tim McAndrews served on the Society for American Archaeology Public Education Committee, and Christine Hippert was elected President of the North Central Council of Latin Americanists and is organizing the 2016 NCCLA Annual Meetings here at UWL next Fall. Liz Peacock presented her most recent research at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies in Ukraine, and Vincent Her presented his recent research on Hmong culture in China at this year’s International Conference on Hmong Studies and has been learning Mandarin Chinese to support this ongoing research. Additionally, two of our faculty were recognized at the 2016 CLS Recognition of Excellence event: Kate Grillo (CLS Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award) and Connie Arzigian (CLS IAS Excellence Award). Finally, Professor Emeritus James Theler’s ongoing contributions to MVAC and the Archaeology Program are highlighted in the Spring 2016 Capstone CLS Newsletter. Overall the department had a strong year for faculty scholarship yielding 6 peer-reviewed publications and 11 international presentations. Our students were also well represented at UWL’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research, at the UW System Symposium and NCUR.

Having had a faculty member recruited from us last spring by Florida State University, we conducted a successful search hiring our top candidate, Dr. Amy Nicodemus, from the University of Michigan. Dr. Nicodemus, an archaeologist and physical anthropologist, has expertise in both faunal analysis and European prehistory (particularly the Bronze Age).

Finally, we completed the Self-Study Report for our upcoming Academic Program Review (2016-17), a very satisfying process that revealed the many significant contributions our new department brings to UWL.


The 2016-2017 academic year in the Department of Art continued to make progress on numerous fronts. With personnel, we successfully hired Ah Ran Koo as the art educator. Ah Ran extended some of the changes we made last year to the Art majors and applied them to the art educators. This will result in a more streamlined program and avoids some of the redundancies in the program. She also completed her doctoral studies at The Ohio University. Jennifer Terpstra successfully completed her post-tenure review. The fruits of the massive curriculum changes to the major and minors are beginning to pay dividends as we have seen an uptick in the number of both majors and minors. We continue to monitor this closely and seek feedback from the students as to how to improve the department programs. Our Gallery hosted eight shows this last year and the restructuring of the leadership of the Gallery has allowed us to do more advanced planning for the 2017-18 academic year.

We have completed significant outreach activities to the community. We participated in the Arts & Communication Day in the fall and continue to be the most popular draw among the students. We hosted the Visual Arts Classic in March and drew the most schools and students to the event in recent years thanks to the efforts of the art teachers in the region. Finally, we hosted in the Gallery the Wisconsin 3rd Congressional District High School Exhibition that attracts talented high school artists and displays the winning art works. We continue to seek ways to form positive connections with the schools and the community. Faculty and students successfully were awarded grants to support their work and research.

Communication Studies

The CST Department is robust with 300+ majors and 150+ minors and we continue to serve over 2000 students a year in CST 110. Dr. Greg Ormes is our first-year faculty member, contributing to both the Org/Prof area and our required research core. We completed another search for a Critical Media position, crossing over into both our Advocacy/Critical and Broadcast/Digital emphasis areas (to begin fall 2016). Dr. Tony Docan-Morgan was promoted to Professor and IAS member Heike Hunter was promoted to Lecturer. We completed a post-tenure review for Dr. Ronda Leahy. Our activity reporting reveals great success in scholarship, with seven publications in journals, three book chapters, the fourth edition of a textbook completed, and three professional video productions.  Our scholarship extended to nearly 30 professional presentations at local, regional and national conferences. In addition to the Fulbright Scholar Grant awarded to Dr. Sara Docan-Morgan, CST faculty members have secured over $20,000 in grants from internal and external sources. CST faculty and staff members report numerous service presentations and committee work on campus and toward the profession, including leadership on Faculty Senate committees and other key committees and initiatives. We continue to excel in undergraduate research, with 14 different students who either received grants, published, presented at conferences, or participated in research programming (McNair and UWL Apprenticeships). Students also contributed to the success of the 17th Annual Human Society Telethon, raising over $5000 for the Coulee Region Humane Society. Departmental business included several bylaw updates, approved SLOs for programmatic and emphasis area assessment, and extensive work on two new interdisciplinary minors to be housed in CST—1) Leadership and 2) Digital Media (title pending). The Digital Media minor reflects an updated approach to what used to be the Journalism minor/task force and includes key coursework from ENG and ART. We will have some changes in leadership next year. Dr. Dena Huisman will serve as the Basic Course Director and Mr. Terry Smith will direct the Public Speaking Center. We will face some challenges with staffing and resources, as the end of the current year brought extensive budget cuts and non-renewable GQA positions, two retirements, a resignation, and a leave of absence. We are confident we will continue to thrive and continue our important work on curriculum, program entry, revised merit policies, and a strategic plan. 


In 2016-17 the English Department coordinated the first annual La Crosse Reads initiative, funded by a $14,000 NEA Big Read grant in addition to $11,780 in matching grants from local sources. La Crosse Reads brought two nationally-recognized speakers to La Crosse—formerly incarcerated poet, memoirist, and activist Dwayne Betts and social justice educator and literacy scholar Dr. Deborah Appleman—in addition to offering other, more intimate local events—a community conversation, a member of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, film screenings and community meet-ups at cafes. Over 1500 people attended these events. In addition, the department expanded the La Crosse County Jail Reading Program. Our Professional Writing Speaker Series continued with a total of nine speakers in 2016-17. We partnered with the History Department’s Hear Here Project to bring Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kim Blaeser to campus to speak about place-based writing and to make a public Call for Poems that will culminate in a public reading and awards ceremony during ArtSpire 2017. Our student-edited literary and arts journal, Steam Ticket, was published this spring, and the student-run English Club continued to produce the University-wide creative works journal, The Catalyst. The department helped to host the area public schools' Battle of the Books event. The China 2+2 program added a new partner: Beijing Information Science and Technology University. The department held its sixth annual College Writing Symposium featuring presentations by ENG 110/112 students. Students in the Literature emphasis capstone course, and in linguistics courses, also presented their work in public forums, and the department’s colloquium series hosted six presentations by faculty and IAS.

Our faculty and IAS are highly active in teaching development, scholarship, publication, and in service commitments, as their individual reports show. In 2016-17, three faculty members were promoted: Drs. Rebekah Fowler and Kate Parker to Associate Professor and Dr. David Hart to Professor. Fourteen English instructors were nominated for the Eagle Teaching Award; Dr. Lindsay Steiner won the award. Dr. Bryan Kopp won the CLS Recognition of Excellence Award for Teaching. One of our recent English Education alumni, Kelly Denk (2015), received the Early Career Educator Award from the School of Education. Curriculum development also continued; the department’s collaboration with ART and CST led to a successful proposal for a new minor in Digital Media Studies and Design; and we approved a new framework for the majors that will structure a number of curriculum revisions in 2017-18.

Ethnic & Racial Studies

he Department of Ethnic and Racial Studies Faculty have made great strides, during the 2016-17 academic year, in further solidifying and developing the ERS Program, in reaching out to students, and in making connections to the local community. Most notably, ERS Faculty assisted faculty from around the College of Liberal Studies in developing and establishing a Hmong/Hmong American Studies Certificate which will be available in Fall 2017. The Department's outreach to students continued in Fall 2016 with the annual Halloween workshop; this year's event, organized by Dr. Breaux, was “Is your costume racist?"

Additionally, faculty worked with many groups around campus including Dr. Elegbede's work with the Islamaphobia workgroup, and Dr. Breaux's work with the Social Justice Institute.  For the overall program, the Department expanded upon key processes and criteria for promotion, retention, tenure and post-tenure for both faculty and IAS in their by-Laws, began the process of fully assessing the ERS Minor. For community outreach, ERS faculty consistently accepted invitations to assist, or give presentations at public schools, community events, and local organizations.  Further, ERS assisted UWL students in gaining valuable training and experiences outside of the classroom including providing monies for ERS minors to attend the Annual American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference, and to present research at the Western States Political Science Associations Meetings in Vancouver.

Finally, and most exciting, the Department of Ethnic and Racial Studies recommended that Dr. Richard Breaux be promoted to Associate Professor, and this recommendation has been forwarded to the UW-System Board of Regents for approval.

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Minor continued to show strong enrollment, with 93 declared minors from across all three colleges. We continued our tradition of experiential learning for students enrolled in our classes, contracting for buses for 84 field trips, the majority of which are conducted during regular class periods. We also hosted guest speakers in a total of 55 class sessions, increasing student engagement with the local community. To improve our communication with students, we made substantial changes to our web page, linking a new ENV calendar feed and the SustainUWL Facebook page, and creating new pages to list information about electives offered each term, environmental studies-related majors on campus, and internship opportunities. To promote our program with UWL instructors, we hosted an Instructors' Networking Event for UWL faculty whose teaching and research intersects with environmental studies. We successfully recruited a new full-time IAS member and a new ADA, and said goodbye to two instructors who decided to leave the University.



The Department of History had an extremely productive 2016-2017 academic year.  During the year we successfully promoted two faculty members (Gita Pai, Kenneth Shonk) and three of our faculty received tenure (Julie Weiskopf, Gita Pai, Tiffany Trimmer). During the year the department also completed a History Minor curriculum restructure as part of its larger Tuning and Mapping program, which is intended to better guide students through their educational experience and better prepare them for their futures.

Members of the department also developed new courses and made foundational changes to the major’s introductory and capstone courses. At the end of both fall and spring semesters, the department organized its senior capstone course symposia. The Department of History hosted the Regional National History Day competition. To fulfill its goals in community engagement, the department worked to expand the Oral History Program. Department members have also kept busy conducting scholarly research. In addition to dozens of conference and service presentations, the department has produced 50 projects published or accepted. Including, but not limited to, two academic books, three book chapters, and four journal articles, one edited volume, two exhibits, and one performance series.

In an effort to continue its contributions to the academic achievements of UWL faculty members of the Department of History have sought and received multiple internal and external travel, research, and development grants this year, including a Fulbright Fellowship (Julie Weiskopf). The Department of History also had a faculty member on a Fulbright Fellowship to India to do scholarly research (Gita Pai). The Department of History also restructured its bylaws. The department looks forward to continuing to continuing its work in 2017-2018.

Military Science

No report submitted.

Global Cultures and Languages

The Modern Language department (now Global Cultures and Languages) had a very eventful year this year—we conducted three national searches and hired four new tenure-track faculty (3 in Spanish—Spanish Generalist, Spanish for the Professions, and Spanish Education—and 1 in French with a specialty in Francophone cinema). These new hires were a result of three faculty retirements (2 in Spanish, 1 in French), and growth in Spanish (350+ minors). Our addition in French widens our global reach with regards to language and culture teaching, with a focus not just in France, but on the larger Francophone world; we anticipate new programming and connections will come as a result of this shift in personnel in upcoming years.

In addition to addressing these particular staffing needs, the department was also able to convert our Chinese instructor from IAS status to TT status as a result of both the international growth area of Chinese language needs as well as the strong numbers being shown in the program here at UWL. Dr. Xu has done an excellent job in recruiting, and has also set up a partnership with an institution in Hangzhou, China (Where Dr. Xu attended university); several of our students received scholarships from the institution in Hangzhou and have been studying there this summer as a result of this partnership. Internationalizstion is clearly a commitment of the department; this spring, the chair and French faculty member Dr. Cassidy—along with IEE Director Emelee Volden—visited several partner schools in France (Caen and Nancy) to solidify exchange programs. We continue to work on ways to promote these programs to students, and it is part of our larger strategic planning process; we also would like to consider potential ways to help fund such locations. This will be of conversation beginning in the fall.

As the promotion and tenure-level, we had one faculty member be promoted and one faculty member receive tenure. Next fall, we will have then 8 pre-tenure faculty members and 4 post-tenure faculty members, as well as 3 IAS (2 in Spanish, 1 in Russian) and the LRC Director as NIAS. The chair has taken on mentoring of new faculty in their first year, and then consults with the new faculty member for departmentally-assigned faculty mentors for their 2nd year and beyond. The chair has also set up a mentoring group for tenure and promotion work, and met individually with all pre-tenure faculty about tenure and promotion, as well as met individually with all post-tenure faculty to ask them to consider promotion. Two of the three senior faculty are interested in promotion to full.

Important to note that as of this summer, we have also selected to change our departmental name from The Department of Modern Languages to The Department of Global Cultures and Languages. This shift reflects the field trends according to ACTFL, and more accurately represents the depth and breadth of our work with regards to cultural competence education as partnered with language acquisition. This dovetails with our efforts to be more forward-thinking, recruitment-driven, and present accurately the diversity of offerings in our department. We will continue to build on programming regarding culture in English as a way to recruit students into our department, and to show the multi-varied way that our discipline and department contribute to the diversity of thought and approaches here on our campus.

Departmentally, our assessment work has been recognized by the institution as being a model program—our assessment committee, which is comprised of persons in each language taught in the department, has worked diligently to increase our performance in this location.

All in all, in this year of transition and political difficulties, the department has performed collaboratively and thoughtfully in ways that have altered the climate and culture of the department. We look forward to upcoming years of working together.


The 2016-2017 year was busy for the UW-La Crosse Music Department and included a number of changes . The Department saw two faculty members retire at the end of the academic year.  Dr. Gary Walth and Ms. Karyn Quinn both devoted over 50 years of combined instruction for our department and their dedication to our students will missed.  We have hired two full time interim Instructional Academic Staff: Jeff Erickson will be teaching applied saxophone and instrumental Jazz and Christopher Hathaway will be director of choirs and teaching Choral music education classes for our department during 2017-18. We are planning on conducting searches for continuing full time positions in the Fall of 2017. Nicole Novak, our new ADA joined our department in August.  

An extensive renovation of Annett Recital Hall began in January which adds new handicapped seating and will update most of the 40+ year old facility.  A feasibility study for a new and appropriate concert venue for our department began in spring 2017. Special signature events for our department included our second annual Music Department Gala, Marching Band Day, the La Crosse New Music Festival, The Jazz Residency, Swinging Yuletide, Big Band Cabaret, Flute Day and our Honors Recital to name few. 14 music majors presented their capstone senior recitals this year.

In addition to the dozens of concerts presented by our ensembles each semester we presented faculty recitals, performances and/or clinics by guest artists, Cole Burger, Ted Moore, Brandon Ridenour, Lindsay Garritson, Dr. William Elliot and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. The UW-La Crosse Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Thomas Seddon, was again selected for a performance at the 2017 College Band Directors National Association.  Scholarship, creative and professional activity from the department includes compositions, residencies, research presentations and grants.


This year has been a productive year for the Philosophy Department. Department faculty had 5 peer reviewed publications and gave 20 professional presentations. The faculty were awarded six faculty development grants for teaching (totaling over $10,000), Krizan was a Co-Principal on an NEA funded grant associated with the NEA Big Read ($14,000), and Ross received a faculty research grant ($8350). Faculty also were active at university, professional, and community service. Dr. Tim McAndrews served the second of two years as the department’s Co-Chair with Dr. Eric Kraemer, both of whom will complete their service as Co-Chairs on June 30. In February, Dr. Sam Cocks was elected next Chair of the department and will take over in that role on July 1, 2017. Additionally, Dr. Mary Krizan was unanimously supported by the departmental for tenure. Drs. Glass and Scherwitz retired and were both granted Emeritus status.

Notable service positions include Chair of UPAC (Cocks), and members of JPB (Kraemer) and GEAC (Krizan). The department also advanced the Ethics Minor proposal and supported the Neuroscience Minor (housed in Psychology) through the CLS Academic Oversight Committee.

In terms of assessment, the department successfully completed their transition to Taskstream for both General Education and Program Assessment and their next three-year program assessment plan (2016-19) was approved by the UPAC. Notably, the department completed its APR 3-year progress report and it was accepted by the APR committee. Moreover, the department, under Dr Sam Cocks’ leadership, completed the seven-year APR Self Study, we selected and have scheduled the external reviewer, and the department is on schedule to complete the APR process by the end of AY 2017-18.

Finally, the department’s ADA, Mandy Wagner, moved to the Biology Department and after a long search was replaced by Mary Conrad who has acclimated quickly to the ADA position.


The Department completed the APR process this year. Dr. Nick Bakken was on sabbatical for the spring 2017. Two faculty members, Drs. Marina and Norris, were successfully promoted to associate professor. One faculty member, Dr. Cooper Stoll, was awarded tenure. The Department focused on developing student major recruitment materials. We are in the process of finalizing a video featuring past graduates and current faculty that will appear on our website and we completed publication of a brochure for the sociology major. The number of Sociology majors increased by 8%, Sociology minors by 22%, and Criminal Justice minors by 7%. One tenure-track faculty member resigned from the department because we were not able to successfully find an academic position for her spouse in the area. The Department was given approval to search for a replacement and will start that search in July 2017.

Faculty published two books, four articles, and presented 19 papers at professional conferences. Faculty supervised approximately 15 individual undergraduate research projects in addition to their regular teaching workload.

Student Affairs Administration

Having completed its fifth year as an academic department, the SAA Department experienced some significant accomplishments during the 2016-17 year. The SAA faculty, a mixture of ranked faculty and student affairs practitioners who hold full-time administrative appointments across campus, have provided high level teaching, scholarship, research mentorship, and service to the SAA community throughout the year. However, it is the faculty’s extensive work on the development of an Ed.D program in Student Affairs Administration and Leadership that will have the most significant impact on the future of the SAA program and represents the top accomplishment of the department for the past year. Launched in May 2017, this applied doctorate program is described below:

  • Approved by the UW System Board of Regents in June 2015, the Student Affairs Administration & Leadership (SAA) Ed.D. received Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approval in December 2015. This applied doctoral degree option will be an online 54-credit program that students will be able to complete in three years.
  • The mission of the SAA Ed.D. program is to prepare student affairs professionals for advanced positions of leadership in diverse institutions of higher education.
  • The program is designed for individuals who are working in student affairs at the post-secondary level while completing this cohort model program on a year-round basis.
  • The SAA Ed.D program will be part of a unique cooperative doctoral partnership with three other UW institutions. Students from the Ed.D programs at UW-Green Bay (First Nations), UW-Oshkosh (Educational Leadership), and UW-Stevens Point (Sustainability Education) will join the SAA students in two 3-credit shared courses and 9 credits of elective courses.

Theatre Art

This year began with a very successful run and remount of our SummerStage production of All Shook Up. We sold the show exceptionally well and had a very successful scholarship remount. The fall semester began with our world premier production of 26 Pebbles, a new show by playwright Eric Ulloa dealing with the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy from 2012. We were doubly fortunate to not only have the opportunity to fully produce this play for the first time ever but we were also able to secure funding to bring the playwright, Eric Ulloa to campus for the week leading up to our opening. Eric was able to work with our students, providing them an opportunity not often afforded to actors (student or professional) – working with the person wrote the piece they were performing. It proved invaluable to our students and an opportunity they were very appreciative of having been given. Eric was wonderful with our students and in fact the publicity of our production (mentioned in the NY Times) resulted in other theatres and universities requesting the rights to produce the show.

26 Pebbles was selected by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival as one of 6 out of 40 college and university productions from the region (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana) to perform at the regional festival in Indianapolis, IN in January of 2017. It was a tremendous honor to be chosen and the cast performed to a standing room only audience of 700 at the University of Indiana. We were proud to represent UWL. That show was followed by Silent Sky and the semester was finished off with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. All were well attended an exposed our audience to an all but forgotten female astronomer and the comic brilliance of Christopher Durang. Second semester began with our production of Company followed by our children’s show We Will Share the Sky and the semester finished up with our production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Again, the second semester productions were well received and attended.

In addition to our regular season of seven fully-staged productions, we produced 10 senior acting recitals, hosted a workshop for Rufus King Middle School, hosted a welcome BBQ for incoming Theatre students, participated in the SAC Recruitment Day, faculty and students attended the WI High School Theatre Festival for potential recruitment, brought Karen Olivo, Broadway actress to campus for Creative Imperatives where she also conducted a master class with our theatre students as well as an evening Q&A session with Ms. Olivo open to the public, faculty also conduced several workshops for the Creative Imperatives Festival and collaborated with the Financial Aid Office to create and produce the Money Monologues, an event to promote financial literacy to students.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

WGSS continued work on revamping our recruitment and advising processes, our major and minor, and our assessment plan. Our goals are to attract an increasingly diverse group of majors and minors, and to develop a coherent process for students to better understand the skills they are developing in college and the many ways they could and will use those skills after college, as citizens, in their webs of relationship, as members of communities, and as productive members of society in whatever way they choose. We want our graduates to leave UWL having had many intentional opportunities over their time with us to consider their options.


To this end, the department finalized new student learning outcomes and sub-outcomes and designed new rubrics for assessing each sub-outcome. Mapping our courses to our new learning outcomes enabled us to identify where gaps between our aspirations and our current realities are likely to appear, and to begin planning for how we will address those weaknesses before students reach the courses in question. We began work on a sophomore seminar and on redesigning our capstone course. Individual instructors began developing new assignments or revising current courses to meet our new student learning goals. And we continued our work to design a new cross-disciplinary social justice minor.


WGSS continues its support of the Self-Sufficiency Program, a free pre-college bridge program designed for low-income parents aspiring to success in college. The director of SSP successfully inspired the community of La Crosse to consider the housing needs of low-income student-parents, serving as a consultant and advisor to the new 3 Rivers Scholar House that will open to residents in fall 2017.

College of Science and Health

College of Science and Health

This year I wish to highlight/point you towards the professional and community engagement activities of SAH faculty and staff that enhance the educational experiences of our students. These activities include: Service learning activities that provide field and research experiences for our students; for example, ESS, HEHP, HP, and RMTR programs include student service/community engagement activities in the areas of fitness, health and wellness, rehabilitation, and recreation in community and business organizations as well as in senior and assisted living facilities. Examples of on-campus service programs include the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program (LEHP) which provides adult fitness and cardiac rehabilitation exercise programs to community members and are medically supervised and staffed by ESS faculty and students; the Exercise Program for Adults with Neurologic Disorders (EXPAND) which is a program that links Physical Therapy Education with a community need to provide adults with neurological disorders a place to learn how to maximize their health and wellness; and the free OT Adult and Pediatric Laboratories in which OT students develop and implement, under faculty supervision, treatment plans for individuals who are not eligible for therapy services by other providers.

SAH faculty obtained more than $2.8 M in new external grant and contract funding to support educational and research projects (that include student researchers). These funds include U.S. Department Education support for ESS’s Adapted Physical Education program, NSF support for an REU in Mathematical Ecology, WiscAMP/NSF support for a summer undergraduate research program intended to increase retention and graduation of under-represented students in STEM fields, a U.S. Department of Interior contract, a Minnesota state contract and a Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute grant for research studies of methylmercury in rivers and wetlands in Minnesota and Wisconsin, WiSys support for a research study of Highland Cranberry anti-viral properties, and a NIH support for research studies on aging, in particular, on how oxidation, part of the aging process, affects the molecular mechanisms that power muscles.


In 2015-2016, three new faculty and instructional academic staff joined the Department:  Drs. James Schanandore (IAS, human anatomy & physiology), Christine Schwartz (tenure track, human anatomy & physiology), and Ryan Stapley (IAS, human anatomy & physiology).  Two other searches for a geneticist and ecologist failed and will be re-initiated in fall 2016.  BIO 100 replaced BIO 103 as the Department’s general education course for non-majors. As the result of the construction of the anatomy & physiology laboratory annex, we were able to enroll all eligible students requesting BIO 312 & BIO 313 for the first time in almost a decade; 680 students registered for the two courses in fall 2015.  A new biology concentration in Plant and Fungal Biology was approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for fall 2016.  We are currently examining the quantitative skills of the undergraduate students and are evaluating ways to improve the student acquisition and retention of these skills.  Faculty and staff maintained their scholarly productivity and active engagement in undergraduate and graduate research education.  They submitted more than 23 educational, research, and service grants during AY 2015-2016; new funding from external grants exceeded $886,000.  Biology faculty authored 24 peer-reviewed publications or book chapters with several publications focused on SOTL.  In addition, faculty and staff, along with undergraduate or graduate co-authors, made more than 75 presentations at regional, national, and international science conferences.  Service to the university, professional societies and the La Crosse community continued as a strong component of Department activities.  For example, aquatic science faculty co-hosted the biennial conference of the International Society for River Science at the La Crosse Center in August 2015. More than 300 national and international scientists attended the conference, which also included a full day of public outreach activities at the La Crosse Center and Riverside Park.

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Several department members received awards this year, mostly for teaching.  Thirteen dept members were nominated for the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award, and one of these, newer faculty member Nick McGrath, was selected.  Three chemists received awards from the Regional ACS section–Sandra Koster for outreach and service, Heather Schenck for dedication to chemistry education, and Nick McGrath for groundbreaking research.  Four faculty members received UWL Faculty Research grants (Gorres, Grilley, May, Weaver) and two received UW-System/ARG-WiTAG research grants (McGaff & Opdahl).  We received a generous endowment from the Chan family to establish two new scholarships and two summer undergraduate research fellowships.  Our ACS-Student Affiliate chapter (“chem club”) advised by Basu Bhattacharyya and Nadia Carmosini, was recognized nationally with an Honorable Mention award for the second year in a row.  An ad hoc departmental committee studied workload in the department all year and make recommendations, and a new strategic planning committee began its efforts that will continue into the next year.

Computer Science

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the department, we continue to be delighted by renewed contacts with some of our earliest graduates. This year Mike Aspenson (Math & CS '73) came to campus and talked to an overflow crowd about his experience in the aerospace industry. These events are extremely valuable to our students as they provide perspective on what a career in Computer Science really means over the long term.

The number of Computer Science majors and minors continues to increase both from entering freshmen and existing students wishing to switch majors. Enrollments in the three course introductory sequence are the highest they have been since 2000. Demand for software engineers remains exceptionally strong with a substantial fraction of our students having paid internships well before graduation.

There are two significant areas of curricular change: the introductory software design sequence (120, 220, 340) and the new computer engineering coursework. First, the department continues to improve the introductory design sequence in terms of topic order and emphasis. To support the growing number of topics required in this sequence the department decided to increase CS 340 to 4 credits, increasing the total for the sequence to 12 credits. Second, the department decided last year to create a three course sequence focusing on the hardware design of small embedded computing devices - the Internet of Things. We have now begun offering this coursework on a regular basis.

The department again this year conducted searches for two tenure track positions. Both searches were successful with one of the candidates having expertise in computer engineering to assist with the department's new coursework. 

Exercise and Sports Science

No report submitted.

Geography & Earth Science

Two new tenure-track faculty joined the Department of Geography and Earth Science this academic year. Dr. John Kelly earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kansas. He is a human geographer focusing on Latin America, territoriality, land ownership, and indigenous peoples. Dr. Niti Mishra earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin.  His research interests lie in cartography, geovisualization and Geographic Information Science (GIS) applications for mapping and management of natural resources. Ms. Karen Ott, the Department ADA, retires July 1 after 27½ years at UWL.

The Department completed its Academic Program Review and  has begun to implement changes in several areas, including programmatic reviews, curriculum revisions and assessment. The Department reviewed its core program goals, Student Learning Outcomes, and assessment process. This was facilitated by the College of SAH and a UWL Program Assessment Initiative Grant. Redesigns of  the Geography Major: GIS and Environmental Science Concentrations were conducted.  A redesign of the GIS Minor should be finalized this summer. The primary goal of the redesigns is to enhance the undergraduate experience by providing flexible programs that meet our students’ needs.

The Department participated in the first Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference held at UWL, May 25-26, 2016, providing presentations, student poster displays and equipment demonstrations. Approximately 300 GIS professionals attended. Faculty published 13 research papers in academic journals and books, and gave 19 conference presentations. This is one of the highest levels of scholarship for the Department.

The Department hosted a visiting scholar, Jahzeel Aguilera Lara, from Mexico for six weeks in spring 2016. She is completing her master’s degree at the Environmental Geography Research Center (CIGA), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Ms. Aguilera is an indigenous Nahua of Mexico. She gave class presentations and a public talk on indigenous peoples of Mexico.

Health Professions

The Health Professions (HP) Department consists of four graduate programs: Medical Dosimetry (Med Dos), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Physician Assistant (PA), and two undergraduate programs: Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) and Radiation Therapy (RT).  The department offers three undergraduate service courses, including one general education course. Student demand for the HP Programs are very strong based on applications received and student credentials of those applying.  Pass rates for all the HP programs remain excellent, well above the national average. Based on students surveyed, all obtained a job within 6 months of graduation.  The UWL OT program received full accreditation this academic year.  The HP department had 2 retirements, 4 searches and still has 2 open positions.  Faculty scholarship has been productive and incorporated student researchers (13 faculty/student publications and 11 faculty/student poster presentations at national and state conferences). The La Crosse Institute for Movement Science (est. 2005 in PT) published its 57th paper.  HP prides itself on faculty/student service and outreach activities.  644 student placements occurred at 234 clinical sites across the US in 2015-2016.  Faculty mentored OT and PT students have served over 100 clients through the OT adult and pediatric clinics and the PT program’s Exercise Program for Program for People with Neurological Disorders (EXPAND).  New interprofessional programs involving Viterbo and the Go Baby Go brought students together for unique learning activities from different HP programs. Faculty/student service learning activities have been influenced over 20 community based organizations and nearly 500 participants.  Faculty were involved in service to the college, university, and their respective professional organizations. 

Mathematics & Statistics

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics had a very successful and productive year.  One major, and noticeable, change was the approval of a new name for the Department which better reflects the current composition of the Department. The number of majors and minors are both up, and the level of scholarly activity in the Department continues to be high. Drs. Kosiak and McCool published two books on problem solving and there were sixteen articles in journals or conference proceedings accepted/published by thirteen different faculty members. Twenty-six additional journal articles were submitted. The grant writing activity of department faculty has brought in nearly $368,000 this year, not counting continuing funding for multi-year grants previously awarded, and multiple presentations were given at state, national and international conferences. The largest single award came with Drs. Bennie and Eager’s 3-year NSF grant for a UW-La Crosse REU in Mathematical Ecology.  The Department also organized and hosted several successful conferences this year, including conferences on Mathematical Biology and Research and Innovation in Teaching Mathematics with Technology. Faculty in the Department are also involved in a wide range of service activities at all levels. Department members chaired two joint committees, one Faculty Senate committee, and five college-level committees.  Building on the student modeling competitions, Drs. Chen and Vidden have built strong connections between the Department and local industries, including Fastenal Corporation, Trane, Logistic Health and Federated Insurance.  These connections have led to student projects for the new Machine Learning Group and multiple student internships.  Once again, the Department had a great crop of graduating seniors.  The top Murphy Award winner, Marissa Eckrote, is a Statistics Major.  The Strzelczyk Award winner, Zackory Erickson, is a Mathematics and Computer Science double major. At least six mathematics or statistics graduates will be attending graduate school in Fall 2016.


The Microbiology Department had an eventful year in 2015-2016.  We hosted the 75th Annual Meeting of the North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology on October 23-24th 2015.  Nearly 140 faculty and students attended from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.  UWL’s Microbiology and Biology Departments were well-represented with five graduate and four undergraduate student presentations.  UWL Microbiology undergraduates Lauren Lipker and Elissa Harter won second and third places in the oral presentation competition.  The Microbiology Department hosted the 3rd Annual Wiscesota Virology Meeting on September 24-25th, which was attended by around 70 faculty and students from UW Madison, University of Minnesota Twin Cities and UWL.  The Microbiology Department’s application for its own Masters entitlement cleared all the UWL administrative hurdles, receiving approval from the UWL Faculty Senate and Chancellor.  It was approved by the UW System Board of Regents on June 10, 2016.  Microbiology Faculty applied for a total of 11 grants for teaching or research in microbiology, including five external grants.  Seven grants were funded for a total of $33,503.  Seven peer-reviewed research articles were published in microbiology journals by microbiology faculty and seven conference presentations were made at international and regional meetings.  Microbiology faculty served as thesis advisors for 23 masters thesis projects in microbiology and collectively served on an additional 34 thesis committees for microbiology and biology graduate students.  Our search for a Clinical Assistant Professor in Clinical Laboratory Science and Microbiology was successful on the second try.  Kari Johnson MS, MBA, MLS (ASCP) will join us in August 2016 to teach CLS courses and our introductory microbiology course for majors, MIC 230.  Sadly our bacterial physiologist, James Parejko resigned in May, so we are searching for a replacement to start preferably in January (or August) 2017.


No report submitted.

Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Department of Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation successfully earned re-accreditation by the National Recreation and Park Association Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions. Every seven years, this re-accreditation is a major task of the department. Along with re-accreditation, our Department faculty and staff led an ecotourism program to Australia and New Zealand in January 2016. The group of 27 students, primarily RM majors and Sustainable Business minors, reported it was one of the most unique and positive learning experiences in their lives. The development of a Tourism Research Institute is near completion. The mission of the Tourism Research Institute is to promote and support research in the areas of travel, tourism, and recreation. The Institute’s focus is on the growth and impact of travel, tourism, and recreation in Wisconsin and the greater Midwest region. The Institute seeks to fulfill its mission by partnering and collaborating with public and private organizations involved in the travel and tourism industry. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approved program and course revisions for both the Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation Programs. The Recreation Management Program will continue with the generalist degree, but will also have outdoor, community, and tourism emphases. The Therapeutic Recreation Program created an admissions process to cap the enrollment into the program and courses. These revisions were a central focus of the faculty and staff in the Department during the 2015-2016 academic year. In addition to excellence in teaching and research, faculty and staff continue to conduct a great deal of service on and off campus at a variety of organizations. This may be through courses, through internship or required field experience, or through research endeavors.

School of Education

School of Education


Department of Education Studies

DES had another productive year with many structural changes. Dr. Adrienne Loh served her 2-year as Interim Chair, and was elected to a 3-year term as Chair to begin July 1, 2016.  Dr. Ann Epstein (Early Childhood Education) was promoted to Associate Professor.  Three tenure track faculty began their first year at UWL (Dr. Alyssa Boardman, Literacy; Dr. Roi Kawai, Foundations; Dr. Heidi Masters, Science Education).  Our new GQA IAS hire (Dr. J. Scott Baker, Foundations) completed his first year, and was hired into a new tenure track position (beginning Fall 2016) as our top choice.  Dr. Joshua Miller (Foundations; Global Education) joined us as an adjunct IAS, and has been hired to fill the tenure track position vacated by Matthew Thomas (beginning Fall 2016) as our top choice.  We also had two resignations - Dr. Elizabeth Bergeron and Dr. Ahmed Ali.  The new Foundations curriculum was offered for the first time, this year serving over 3200 teacher education majors across almost all teacher education programs in EDS 203 and EDS 206.  An additional ~400 General Education students were served in the newly restructured EFN 205. We continue to adjust our curriculum to best prepare students to meet the new DPI requirements for testing and portfolio completion, and to engage students in social justice and inclusive excellence conversations.  Two new Professional Development School relationships were initiated via DES faculty this year.  DES faculty were also very productive in their research, procuring over $212,000 in funding, publishing 11 peer-reviewed papers, and making 63 presentations.  As always, departmental members continue to be heavily involved in service to the college, university, professional organizations and the community (for example, 12 faculty serve on Faculty Senate committees and 7 serve on Consulting Boards of Directors in the community). Ongoing structural revisions include bylaws, admissions/orientation procedures, and advising.

Murphy Library

Murphy Library continued to be an essential part of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse educational mission during the 2015-16 academic year. It welcomed a record number of users and saw an increase of information literacy sessions taught to more students. Research assistance was provided more than 7,000 recorded times, including new services regarding the identification and usage of datasets. Maturation and expansion of Murphy Library’s digital collections accelerated this year, with new collections including the UWL Journal of Undergraduate Research and UWL Theatre posters and playbills.

Murphy Library became the administrative home of the Murphy Learning Center and TEDxUWLaCrosse, which fits well with its informational and educational goals. Their activities dovetail with the Library’s instruction and outreach events. These included events like “Freedom to Read”, “Battle of the Books”, the “STEM Teacher Resource Day”, multiple exhibits around the Library and a brown bag lunch presentation on open access publishing.

Librarians have presented at local, state and national conferences and meetings. Members of the Library Department also were involved with significant service activities including university committees, system-wide Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL) committees, committees within the Library, professional associations and community organizations. Staff members were involved in UWL governance. Grant writing activity has been unprecedented this year for research, collections and outreach activities.

Graduate Studies

Master in Business Administration

Finance faculty have a substantial role in supporting the UWL MBA program as well as the online MBA program through the UWS consortium. The Finance Faculty provide instruction for two of the core MBA courses and one to three electives per year (both on campus and through the consortium). Information Systems Dr. Kuang-Wei Wen taught one section of the BUS 735:Managing in a Changing Technological Environment to the CBA MBA program. With the help of Dr. Peter Haried, Dr. Wen is revising the paper forms for this course. Also in collaboration with Dr. Weina Ran of the Management Department, Dr. Wen is revising the paper forms for the BUS 735: Research Methods course. The Management department actively participated in the MBA program, both in core courses and electives (e.g., MGT 738, MGT 734). The Marketing department actively participates in the UW-L MBA program and the UW Consortium Online MBA Program. Jim (James) Finch returned from a year-long sabbatical and resumed teaching the Introductory UW-L MBA Course (BUS 730 Decision Framing I) and Module 3 of the UW Consortium Online MBA program, which is UW-L’s contribution to the Consortium (BUS 760/UW Consortium 713 Global Management). Gwen Achenreiner taught the UW-L Global Management (BUS 760) in the summer. Elizabeth Crosby became certified to teach in the UW Consortium Online MBA course, with the intent to have her take over teaching the Module 3 course after Jim Finch retires at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

School Psychology

All of the students who completed their residency in 2016 found full time positions for 2016-17 academic year highlighting our continuing streak of 100% placement. Students seem to be receiving multiple offers from districts and the last one was hired in April. All of the students and faculty took a field trip to Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to focus on the role of the school psychologist in a culturally diverse location.  We continued our collaborative relationship with Milwaukee Public Schools this year when three students spending a week during J-Term in MPS schools, which were specifically chosen to represent diversity and low socio-economic status. These students wanted to experience an immersion into this type of learning environment. For Fall 2015 we offered 18 students the opportunity to study at UW-L and 12 accepted. We continue to be challenged to find quality supervisors in districts within a reasonable proximity to La Crosse.  To adjust for this, we had two pairs of students (i.e., a first year and a second year) pair up with the same supervisor. We are looking forward to some potentially strong new supervisors that will be eligible to supervise in the coming year. We continue to examine potential arrangements that can be sustained over the long term to meet our supervision needs. Student highlights include a 100% passage rate on the PRAXIS II exam based on the NASP training standards. For the current second year students, all twelve travelled to the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA and ten presented their research posters (i.e., capstone projects). This continues our active participation in presenting research on the national level. An encore presentation of their research at the state convention. One student, Anna Yeager received the WSPA Research Award for her work. We had three students receive individual honors this year: Jessica Muehlbauer won the School Psychology Leadership Award. Ericka Grimm won the CLS Award of Excellence; and Amanda Yenter received the WSPA Minority Student Scholarship. Jessica also won the Graduate Student Achievement Award for the University. NASP has approved the School Psychology program through 2020. In response to the extreme shortage of school psychologists in the state, the program is exploring an online delivery format and add an additional cohort to the brick and mortar program beginning in 2017.

Student Affairs Administration

The SAA Department has aligned its M.S.Ed. curriculum with the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators.  The 10 professional competencies provide the foundation for SAA curriculum and assessment processes. The Social Justice & Inclusion (SJI) competency is defined as both a process and a goal that includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to create learning environments that foster equitable participation of all groups while seeking to address and acknowledge issues of oppression, privilege, and power.  The SAA Department offers a 3-credit SJI course and integrates SJI throughout the curriculum and its assessment processes.

The SAA Department has identified several initiatives for 2016-17 that will include an SJI/IE emphasis. One goal is to bridge the gap between what takes place in the classroom and the graduate assistantship experience.  On-going meetings with GA supervisors and faculty will generate new ideas and guide this process throughout the year.

A second initiative is the development of an Institute for Student Affairs Research & Development.  This innovative Institute will include partnerships with faculty and student affairs colleagues across campus to focus on research, events, and assessment processes.  This Institute will include future Ed.D. student dissertations and the scholarly work of current faculty all of whom have an SJI/IE focus.

The SAA Department is committed to attracting and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff.  This is evidenced by the promotion of an IAS staff member to an Assistant Professor position and the hire of an additional diverse Assistant Professor for the 2016-17 year.  Although the SAA program enrolls 19 of 88 students of color (22%), this reflects the diversity of the national online and UWRF cohorts and not the on-campus cohort.  The SAA Department is going to put resources toward the recruitment of diverse students for the on-campus cohort in the upcoming year.

Academic Affairs also houses the: 

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Betsy Morgan, PhD serves as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.