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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 Science and Health


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. 


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.

College of Liberal Studies

College of Liberal Studies

The College of Liberal Studies had a productive 2014-2015 academic year. Three strategic planning committees completed two years of work addressing Interdisciplinarity, Inclusive Excellence, and the Value of the Liberal Arts. Our faculty remain engaged and productive teacher-scholars: Three current faculty and two emeritus faculty published books in 2014-2015; eight faculty were funded for sabbaticals; and two faculty were selected for the Provost’s Teaching Award (Ariel Beaujot and Marie Moeller). Our Student Affairs Administration program received approval for a collaborative Ed.D. and will take its first cohort in 2016-2017. Twelve CLS faculty were tenured and 13 promoted. We continue to offer programming for the campus and local community: The second annual Creative Imperatives arts and communication festival took place in March; we offered the first Arts & Communication Recruitment Day October 10, 2014; and Dr. Ariel Beaujot’s Hear, Here project was launched in spring 2015—a public history project that brings oral history narratives to life across downtown La Crosse. Our students continue to distinguish themselves through public presentation of their academic work as well as through service to the community: Anica Purath (PoliSci/PubAdmin) was selected as the student representative to the Board of Regents for 2014-2015; Thatcher Rogers (Archaeology) received the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Institute for Field Research Undergraduate Student Paper Award; 12 students from 7 departments presented at the NCUR; and 44 CLS students received undergraduate research and creativity grants. The CLS remains committed to faculty and staff professional development. We sponsored our first new chair boot camp in July 2014 for four new chairs and the second annual boot camp will take place summer 2015. We sent the new chairs to professional development workshops sponsored by the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and provided a workshop on assessment (curriculum mapping) at our January college-wide meeting (Dr. Sharron Ronco from Marquette University). Four department chairs and one Associate Dean also attended a Mediation Skills workshop at the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center in June 2014. Continuing our work to enhance college and department climates, we provided support to departments through consultation with an EAP consultant and through the use of external chairs and co-chairs. There are significant changes on the horizon for the college. Dean Ruthann Benson stepped down as dean on June 30, 2015 and will return as a faculty member and special assistant to the Provost in January 2016. A new dean was hired. Dr. Julia Johnson moved from her role as Associate Dean and Director of the SAC to Dean on July 1, 2015. The Department of Sociology/Archaeology split into two separate departments. There are six new chairs/program directors in the CLS next year in Archaeology, Art, English, Environmental Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Studies, and Psychology. We hired eight new tenure-track faculty and five new full-time IAS. Supervision of the WPR was shifted to Dr. Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance. Budget cuts significantly impacted the college: The CLS Advising Office was not allowed to replace Tim Walls upon his retirement and the Associate Dean/SAC Director position was eliminated. Thus, the college is at a staffing deficit that significantly impacts the workload of our staff. The budget cuts also resulted in the elimination of director stipends, impacting the Institute for Social Justice, International Studies, Institute for Latina/o and Latin American Studies, and the Eagle Mentoring Program. All departments incurred a 7% reduction in S&E. The College continues to evaluate workload in departments with a particular emphasis on evaluating reassign time for non-chair leadership roles.

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.


This has been a productive year for the Art Department. There were two major curricula revisions that we accomplished. We revised the major to streamline course selection by eliminating the foundation course as this tended to delay entrance to the studio courses. We also combined the junior and senior capstone projects into one senior class/show. These changes should facilitate students in the major to complete the program in a timely manner. Second, we revised the minor by reducing the number of credits and opening up the opportunity for students to participate across the studio areas. We anticipate that this change will increase the number of minors that we attract to the department. For the gallery, we are ramping up to increase the gallery shows from 6 shows to 8 shows in the 2016-17 academic year. This has resulted in a lot of planning and re-structuring this year in anticipation of the new schedule. The gallery is being renovated with a new lighting system that will be operational for the new academic year. Recruitment remains an important priority for the department. We have generated a recruitment plan of activities that we will put into place in the 2016-17 academic year. This past year the SAC recruitment day was very popular with the studios and we plan to continue using hands-on activities to attract students to the department and major. We held a successful search for an Art Educator in the spring and we are pleased that we will have a permanent faculty member to focus on and develop the Art Education program.

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 2015-16, three English faculty members were promoted to Associate Professor, one to Full, and one IAS to Senior Lecturer. Twenty-one English instructors were nominated for the Eagle Teaching Award; Dr. Kate Parker won the award. Matt Cashion won the Zona Gale Short Fiction Award and Dr. Lei Zhang won a Scripps Howard Foundation Visiting Professorship in Social Media. The department collaborated with ARC and MLG to successfully propose a Linguistics Minor; English also moved forward in designing a media studies minor with CST and ART. The department’s Visiting Writing Series brought renowned authors Jennifer Morales and Jill Sisson Quinn to campus for readings. Our student-edited literary and arts journal, Steam Ticket: A Third Coast Review, 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, which garnered media interest from WXOW and WKBT. The department began a La Crosse County Jail Reading Program. Dr. Kelly Sultzbach’s environmental literature students collaborated with ART to create an anthology and to lead folks on a literary nature hike. The China 2+2 program graduated 9 students in Spring; 9 students remain in the program in their junior and senior years. The department held its fifth annual College Writing Symposium featuring presentations by ENG 110/112 students. Students in the major capstone courses, and in linguistics courses, also presented their work in public forums, and the department’s colloquium series hosted ten presentations by faculty and IAS during the year. Our faculty and IAS are highly active in teaching development, scholarship, publication, and in university service commitments, as their individual reports show. The year ended with news that we received an NEA grant to host a La Crosse Community Big Read in 2016-17. 

Ethnic & Racial Studies

The Department of Ethnic and Racial Studies Faculty have made great strides, during the 2015-16 academic year, in further solidifying and developing the ERS Program, in reaching out to students, and in making connections to the local community. Notably, for the overall program, the Department finalized and approved a set of by-Laws, developed Program Goals that included concrete student learning outcomes, and completed a curriculum mapping exercise that led a specific plan and multiple instruments to be used for ongoing program assessment.  The Department's outreach to students continued in Fall 2015 with the annual Halloween workshop; this year's event, organized by Dr. Shillinger, was “Celebrating the Dead: U.S. American Indians and the Day of the Dead." Additionally, faculty work with many groups around campus including Dr. Elegbede's work with the Islamaphobia workgroup, Dr. Breaux's work with the Social Justice Institute, and Dr. Villanueva's work with Hispanic Heritage Month events.  For community outreach, ERS faculty consistently accepted invitations to assist, or give presentations at public schools, community events, and local organizations.  Notably, following an invitation from the Gundersen Health System, all of the ERS faculty worked together to create and offer a day long series of workshops for healthcare professionals entitled “Building Better Care Within Multicultural Communities.” ERS students also continue to reach beyond the university, especially through their capstone course research projects. This year, students focused on race and ethnicity within healthcare systems/policy, local business, schools, and within the community at large; including a video, “Patterns: Examining American Indian Imagery in La Crosse” which is widely viewed on YouTube, and was featured in the Chancellor’s All University Spring Address. Finally, and most exciting, the Department of Ethnic and Racial Studies recommended that Dr. Richard Breaux be granted tenure, and this recommendation has been forwarded to the UW-System Board of Regents.

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Program continued to attract large numbers of students, with 93 declared minors at the start of spring 2016 registration and a record 32 students enrolling in the Environmental Studies Capstone. Instructors in the program premiered three new special topics courses: Skills for Eco-Friendly Living, Food Systems and the Environment, and Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management. The Program also added a number of new electives for the Minor, and instructor Alysa Remsburg was approved to offer Introduction to Environmental Studies as part of the UWL Galway Program next year. Instructors continued the Program's tradition of experiential learning, coordinating 95 field trips for students over the course of the year, and inviting 30 community members to act as guest speakers in Environmental Studies classes. We worked with the CLS Dean's Office and University Communications to produce a new brochure to aid in our recruitment activities, and a student began to redesign the Program website. It was also a year of transition as we knew we would lose longtime instructor Buzz Bocher when he retired at the end of the school year. Buzz was instrumental in the development of the Environmental Studies Program at UWL, and we will miss him in the coming years.


The Department of History had an extremely productive 2015-2016 academic year.  During the year we successfully promoted three faculty members (Ariel, Beaujot, Heidi Morrison, Julie Weiskopf) and two of our faculty received tenure (Heidi Morrison, Jennifer Trost). During the year the department also completed a 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. Several faculty from the Department of History were also responsible for hosting multiple campus-wide service activities including a South Asian film festival, a regional Irish history conference, a panel discussion on institutional racism in education, and several presentations on racism, religious intolerance, and the global refugee crisis. The Department of History also hosted the Regional National History Day competition and one of its high school student winners went on to win the national award for best historical documentary film. To fulfill its goals in community engagement, the department worked to expand the Oral History Program and launched the [art]ifact exhibit. 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, six book chapters, and five journal articles. 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. The department looks forward to continuing to continuing its work in 2016-2017.

Military Science

No report submitted.

Modern Language

The Department of Modern Languages faced the perennial problem of needing to hire instructors for Spanish.  The problem was exacerbated by the departure of a non-retained faculty member.  Kevin Leque and Jeannette Fox were hired for a one- semester contracts and Maria Ghiggia took over the upper-level Spanish courses that needed teaching.  We also hired Brian Wopat, French teacher at Onalaska H.S., to teach the methodology course for MLG Education majors.   Jeannette had hoped to be a fall semester teacher for us; unfortunately, she passed away in January from a very quick-growing cancer.

The Department held two retreats – August and January – in order to work on the Academic Program Review Report due June 1, 2016. During these retreats, we rewrote the department’s mission statement and passed a set of SLO that will serve all language sections.  We also developed curricular maps and discussed recruitment plans.

The Department began the year with two Search Committees, but before we advertised the positions, we learned that our vacant GQ&A position was to be cut.  This meant that the committee needed to re-think the position description.  We successfully completed the search for a colleague to teach Spanish and Education, but we have lost our possibility of offering Spanish linguistics.

The Department had a third Annual Festival of Languages.  Guest speaker for the event was Lynn Sessler Neitzel, a graduate of UWL (French) and the recipient of the Wisconsin Distinguished Educator Award.

The Spanish section of the department completed the redesign of its curriculum. It includes new courses and is more student friendly.  Dean Johnson has asked them to complete a 3-4 year cycle of course rotation before forwarding the revised curriculum for approvals.  This will be done in September.

Department members gave 19 professional presentations; published 11 articles/book reviews/book chapters and submitted 5 articles that have are under review; received 9 grants; and attended 18 faculty development events - CATL or other.


The 2015-2016 year was a busy one for the UW-La Crosse Music Department. The Department welcomed Dr. Jonathan Borja as Music History and applied Flute instructor.  Dr. Thomas Seddon was promoted to Associate Professor (pending approval by the Board of Regents).  Signature events for our department include our first annual Music Department Gala featuring Alumni opera singer Franco Pomponi, Marching Band Day, the La Crosse New Music Festival, Swinging Yuletide, and Vocal Jazz Fest.  This year we presented our new Jazz Residency/Jazz Festival format.  Six 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 and performances and/or clinics by guest artists Dan Gaily, Todd Strait, Ben Toth, Craig Hultgren, Channing Philbrick, Libby Larsen, Chuck Owen, Ted Moore and Mi Hee-Lee. The UW-La Crosse Orchestra, directed by Dr. Thomas Seddon performed for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association conference in October, 2015 and the Wind Ensemble under his direction was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association conference in February, 2016.  Scholarship, creative and professional activity from the department includes CD recordings, compositions, residencies, research presentations and grants.  The department hosted the Wisconsin School Music Association’s Honors Auditions and Solo and Ensemble Festival again this year on May 7, 2016.  This event brought music faculty, students and hundreds of high school musicians and family onto the UW-La Crosse campus.


This year has been a productive year for the Philosophy Department. Overall, the department faculty collectively published 5 peer reviewed publications and gave 20 professional presentations. Faculty also were active at university, professional, and community service. Dr. Tim McAndrews served the first of two years as the department’s Co-Chair with Dr. Eric Kraemer. At the beginning of the year, prior to initiating the promotion process, key changes were made to the bylaws regarding the composition of the Promotion Committee to bring the departmental process in line with the rest of the university. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Sheri Tuttle Ross was unanimously supported by the departmental Promotion Committee for promotion to Professor and the Joint Promotion Committee also voted to promote Dr. Tuttle Ross. 

A number of curricular goals were also met. An ad hoc Curriculum Committee was established (Cocks, Kraemer, Krizan, Ross, Scherwitz) to work on the development of an Ethics Minor and proposed new/revised courses associated with the proposed minor. The department also successfully advanced three courses into the General Education Program: PHL 212 Search for Economic Justice (a multi-disciplinary course developed by multiple departments), PHL 120 Introduction to Ethics & Society, and PHL 349 Asian Philosophy.

The department successfully transitioned to Taskstream for both General Education and Program Assessment. In addition, the department has made good progress, overall, in engaging in program assessment and having already transitioned to Taskstream is positioned well to complete its APR 3-year report this summer. This also sets the department up for a successful APR Self Study year in 2016-17.

Finally, the department’s ADA, Janet Abnet, retired on April 1, 2016 and a successful search for her replacement resulted in the hiring of Mandy Wagner who brings great experience and will be a strong departmental colleague moving forward.


The Department of Sociology had a very productive year. Most of our energy was directed at writing the self-study portion of our academic program review, revising curriculum, and making revisions to assessments. In the fall 2015, the department engaged in a search to fill a vacancy created with the retirement of Dr. Bill Zollweg. The department interviewed three candidates for the position. The position was offered to two candidates who declined our offers because of better offers at other universities (available positions for spousal hires, lower teaching load). The third candidate was deemed unsuitable for the position. The decision was made to cancel the search. The position is now on hold for two academic years while UWL/CLS and the department determine if there is sufficient demand for the position and funding available to hire a replacement.

The department completed its self-study and has arranged for an outside reviewer to come to campus in September 2016. All faculty were engaged in the self-study process, writing sections of the report and gathering data.

As part of the Sociology Department's Inclusive Excellence activities, all department members successfully completed the Veteran's awareness online training module and a departmental discussion was held. In addition, all department members completed the F.E.R.P.A. and Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment online training modules.

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.

Theatre Art

This year began with an amazingly successful remount of our SummerStage production of Chicago.  We sold out our run over the summer and had a very successful scholarship remount.

The show was a good test of the new sound system which by and large worked quite well – although there seem to be little glitches that continue to crop up and require additional attention..  To say the system is a vast improvement is a gross understatement.  The theatre was never designed with much consideration to sound production so this was essentially a completely new component being added to the theatre.  Our student run theatre company Happy Rain produced the the show This is our Youth  in our Frederick Theatre space.  This was the sixth year Happy Rain produced a show and the company is largely self-sustaining. The show was well received and sold out. Nearly 180 patrons from the region were able to see this completely student run show in it’s two-day run.   The success of these student shows has established an interest among our students to keep producing when they are able during the summer or early fall. This year we were fortunate to have had a Visiting Artist/Scholar of Color grant funded which allowed us to bring nationally and internationally known choreographer Ted Louis Levy to campus to choreograph our production of Singin’ in the Rain. He was amazing and his work with our performers and production team was simply outstanding – resulting in a hugely successful run of the show.

In addition to our regular season of seven fully-staged productions, we produced 9 senior acting recitals, hosted middle school workshop for Rufus King Middle School, hosted a welcome BBQ for incoming theatre freshmen, participated in the SAC Recruitment Day, faculty and students attended the Wisconsin State High School Theatre Festival for potential recruitment, gave several backstage tours, produced our Theatre Gala Theatre Gala 2016, a collaboration where faculty and students performed on stage to raise money for scholarships and other events, hosted a Master Class with guest artist and professional dancer Ted Levy as part of ¨Creative Imperatives:The intersection of Art and Science, hosted a Master Class with film and television actor Elaine Bromka, collaborated with the Financial Aid Office to create the Money Monologues, an event to promote financial literacy to students and successfully staged the world premier of an original children’s show Horrible Harry in Room 2b written by our “Creating Children’s Theatre” class. The show was received extremely well by the area schools. 

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

WGSS’s focus for the past several years has been on recruiting students into our programs, to increase both our numbers and the diversity of our students, and on students’ career development, given its critical relationship to recruitment and to student success.  To these ends, in 2015-16, we:

•               reorganized our major by reducing the number of categories from 6 to 3, so that students may better design the major to fit their own interests

•               developed a framework for a Social Justice minor

•               brought in an external consultant to help us think differently about recruitment and career development

•               wrote a new mission statement to guide our work and to tell students who we are

•               developed a new set of student learning outcomes that is nearly complete and will guide further revision of our curricula

•               initiated another new method of recruiting students

•               increased our combined numbers of majors and minors from 47 to 90

•               developed an action plan to guide us as we complete a revision of our advising, recruiting, student development, and assessment processes and the information we provide students about us

We also requested and received (from Institutional Research) a detailed Equity Scorecard-style breakdown by grades for students of color in our General Education courses (students earning a D, F, or W vs. higher grades).  Our only sub-equity population was with Latino men (the N was only 5, but we still take that seriously and will continue to monitor). 


Finally, we continued the programming we have provided for UWL and the community, aimed at current issues.  To provide the campus and community with these educational opportunities, we collaborate broadly with colleagues in both academic and student affairs units, and we actively support other diversity-related events and programming on our campus.

Murphy Library

Library department faculty engaged in another active year of contributions to teaching and learning at UWL.  Librarians met with over 9,600 students in over 370 classroom instruction sessions over the year, and we individually assisted students, faculty, staff, and members of the community with their information research efforts more than 5,000 recorded times.  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. A new library assessment coordination committee was launched.  Scholarly contributions included an article in the peer-reviewed IFLA Journal and presentations at national conferences including Lifelong Information Literacy (Los Angeles, CA), Electronic Resources and Libraries (Austin TX), and the American Library Association (San Francisco, CA), along with numerous presentations at local and regional events. Two served as panelists for a UWL event on open access organized by the Faculty Senate Library Committee. Department members also published several book reviews, served as a journal manuscript reviewer, created several exhibits highlighting Murphy Library resources, and produced multiple newsletters.  Grant-writing resulted in nearly $15,000 in awards in support of our scholarly work. In a banner year for personnel changes, the department welcomed Katie Fox (Information Literacy Librarian) and Laura Godden (Special Collections Historian), but we also experienced four resignations over the course of the year: Kate Russell (Systems and Emerging Technologies Librarian), Jen Holman (Electronic Resources/Periodicals Librarian), Heather Jett (Access Services Librarian), and at the end of the spring semester, Fox.  The first of the vacated positions was redefined as a Web and User Experience Librarian and was successfully filled. We will be turning to temporary hires this fall while we engage in further recruitment efforts.  Finally, this was Michael Current’s first year as Library department chairperson.  

College of Business Administration

College of Business Administration

During the 2014-2015 academic year the College of Business Administration conducted a national search for a new dean after Dean Bruce May announced his intent to retire at the end of the Academic year. Dr. Laura Milner was hired with a start date of August 1, 2015. The college also conducted numerous searches for vacant teaching positions and hired ten new instructional personnel. Undergraduate enrolments continued to be strong at approximately 1805 students. The new home for the College, the Wittich Hall renovation, obtained full approval from the Board of Regents and the state approval authorities. Construction is expected to commence in 2017. The Management Department accelerated the development of a healthcare administration program. A healthcare business advisory group was established with representatives from regional and national healthcare organizations. In addition, a student organization, the Healthcare and Lifesciences Student Association, was established. A minor in Health Information Systems Management was also launched by the Information Systems (IS) Department. The IS collaborative online Health Information Management Technology (HIMT) program was accredited by the American Health Information Management Association. The Marketing Department developed and held it first student Sales Competition utilizing alumni to serve as buyers and judges. Marketing students also participated (4th year) in the collegiate Great Northwoods Warm-Up sales competition in Eau Claire, WI. Dr. Kristy McManus received the International American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapter Advisor Award for her successful efforts in growing the student AMA chapter. The Accountancy department awarded over $60,000 in student scholarships. The CPA pass rates of our accounting graduates remain above the national average on all four parts of the exam. The Economics Department continued their seminar series, bringing in nine speakers. The department also initiated a new series for students and the public, entitled "Conversations with Economists" where a panel of department members discuss a current topic. The Department held their second annual scholarship banquet which included some community members/clients. In addition, the Department held its “Celebration of Student Inquiry in Critical Thinking and Communications Emphasis Courses” with over 200 students in attendance. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) underwent a successful review from the Small Business Administration. The SBDC also moved forward with a reorganization and the launch of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Two Economic Indicators Breakfasts were held with over 400 local and regional business leaders in attendance. In addition, the College continued its Distinguished Lecture Series with alumnus Dan Saftig who presented “Standing out in a crowded marketplace, preparing for a successful career.” The College also sponsored a national speaker to campus for both a campus and public event “Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Student Veterans.” Throughout the year the MBA Task Force and the Graduate Curriculum Committee continued its work on revising the MBA curriculum. A graduate faculty retreat was held to make recommendations and act on action items. The college’s Graduate Curriculum Committee proposed new MBA Learning Objectives. The MBA program completed a successful Academic Program Review.


The Accountancy Department ranked 21st in the nation on first time pass rate of the CPA exam, out of 273 “large program” universities based on the number of graduating accounting majors.  UWL had was 1st in the nation as an undergraduate only program in the same category.  The universities that fared better also had a masters or PhD program in accounting.  Several personnel changes occurred during the year, including three new hires and two retirements.  


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. 


The 2015-2016 academic year was very productive for the faculty and students in the Department of Finance.  Drs. Soohyung Kim and Tao Sun, who have specialties in Corporate Finance and Insurance, respectively, joined the faculty in Fall 2015.  This brought the department to six tenured or tenure-track faculty, two full-time instructional academic staff members and one part-time instructional academic staff member.  The department conducted successful searches during the 2015 – 1016 academic year to replace Drs. Shane Van Dalsem, Nordia Thomas and Lise Graham, bringing department staffing to seven tenure track and two instructional staff. Of the seven tenure track faculty, six have less than two 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 119 Finance Degrees were awarded in 2014-2015. This is approximately one-fourth of the degrees granted by the entire college (437) and we are the second smallest department.  Career Services statistics suggest 95% of responding Finance Majors are employed in a finance-related area and 100% 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 2015 -2016 calendar, Principles of Financial Management (FIN 355), Corporate Finance (FIN 370), 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 Investment Committee

University:  It Make$ Cents! financial literacy program, Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS), UWL Online Advisory Board, Joint Promotion Committee,

College: Assurance of Learning Task Force, International Business Advisory Committee, Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity Advisor, 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: Boards 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.


1.  Three faculty members left during the summer of 2015 due to career advancement (theirs or their spouses') reasons.  These faculty members' courses were filled by one year Instructional Academic Staff appointments (Dr. Samantha Samreth & Jose' Iglesias), adjunct hires, and overloads.

2.  We created a search committee and successfully filled three vacancies with tenure-track faculty (to start Fall, 2016): (a) Business Policy & Strategy, (b) Organizational Behavior, and (c) Business Ethics/ Corporate Social Responsibility.

3.  The Dept. participated in the Integrated Core (MGT 308, MKT 309, FIN 355).

4.  The Dept. continued to house the Sustainable Business minor, with 33 declared minors (Fall, 2015). 

5.  Enrollment in courses was up, as were the number of Management majors (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). 117 B.S. degrees in Management were awarded in 2014-15 (the most recent data available), the largest in the CBA.


Number of Majors is Increasing:  The Marketing major is currently the largest in the college with 427 Marketing majors in Fall 2015 and 422 in Spring 2016, up approximately 8% from last year (2014-15) and 38% from five years ago (2010-11). The number of Marketing majors is currently the highest it has been in the past decade!

Staffing: Due to two vacancies this past year, the average student-to-faculty ratio for 2015-16 was approximately 54:1, almost triple the university average.  If fully staffed at 9.5 faculty positions (7 tenure/tenure track and 2.5 IAS), the student-to-faculty ratio would be approximately 45:1. The department had a successful double Assistant Professor search, hiring Marco Vriens and Nese Nasif.

Due to budget constraints, though, the department lost the .50 IAS position for 2016-17, increasing expected student-to-faculty ratios for 2016-17 to about 47:1.

UW-L Sales Competitions:  The Marketing Department hosted its second and third local sales competitions for UWL Marketing students this past year, as the event is transitioned from a fall to  spring semester event. A total of 26 marketing majors competed in the competitions and 17 businesses supported the competition by providing financial support, in-kind gifts, and/or volunteers to be buyers or judges.

Great Northwoods Warm-Up Sales Competition: Marketing students participated in the Great Northwoods Warm-Up sales competition in Eau Claire, WI.  Three UW-L students competed and placed in the top 1/3 of 66 students participating from 22 universities, with one UWL student placing 5th in the competition!

Plans and challenges for next year focus on having a large percent of marketing faculty being relatively new to UW-L, combined with a limited number of senior (tenured) faculty; and, growing number of marketing majors putting pressure on class sizes and advising loads. 

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.

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.