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Campus News

Catch up on the latest news around campus

Catch up on the latest news from UWL.

Posted 2:01 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Change at the top

James Beeby, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. He will become the 11th leader in school history when he officially assumes the position July 1.

James Beeby

“I am very excited to join UW-La Crosse. I am drawn to this opportunity because of the university’s public mission and fine reputation," Beeby says. "During my visit to this beautiful campus, I was impressed with the dedication of the faculty and staff to student success and transforming lives through excellent academic programs. I was also pleased to see the strong relationship with the city and local community, and I look forward to strengthening those ties as UW-La Crosse continues to serve the needs of the region and the state.”

Beeby was one of three finalists for the permanent role, alongside UWL interim Chancellor Betsy Morgan and Indiana State University Provost Christopher Olsen.

Morgan was named interim chancellor on Dec. 27, 2023, and continues to lead the university during the leadership transition.

"Betsy Morgan deserves our thanks for stepping up at a difficult moment,” says Jay Rothman, president of the Universities of Wisconsin. “The campus community is indebted to her for her leadership. She is a wonderful presence within the university and the broader La Crosse community." 

Morgan says she has enjoyed the opportunity to provide stability as the interim chancellor, and looks forward to working with Beeby in her role as provost.

Enrollment up, once again 

Enrollment is up at UWL on the strength of an improved retention rate and another sizable first-year class.  

UWL’s overall enrollment stood at 10,327 on the 10th day of the 2023 fall semester, eclipsing last year’s mark of 10,302. This year’s total is just 2.4% shy of the university’s record enrollment of 10,580, set in fall 2019.  

UWL also exceeded its target of 2,200 first-year students by 4.3%, with a class of 2,294. Last year, UWL welcomed a record-setting first-year class of 2,308. 

Retention was a key factor in this year’s gains. UWL retained 86.5% of the 2022-23 first-year class — the highest mark in a decade and the fifth-highest mark in the past 50 years. 

Highly rated 

UWL is ranked the No. 2 public college in Wisconsin on Forbes’ 2023 America's Top Colleges list. The annual list showcases 500 of the finest U.S. colleges that have demonstrated impressive graduation rates, high graduate salaries and great outcomes for low-income students. 

UWL continues to remain a top-ranked university on other prominent lists, including being named the top-ranked public university in Wisconsin with fewer than 25,000 students on U.S. News & World Report’s national universities list. 

Nobel Laureate visits campus 

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donna Strickland visited UWL this fall to meet with students and faculty and discuss her groundbreaking work with high-intensity lasers. 

Strickland and her research partner, Gérard Mourou, received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for a discovery they made more than 30 years earlier. 

In 1985, Strickland and Mourou developed a technique called chirped pulse amplification, which increased the intensity of laser light waves by a factor of more than 1,000. This breakthrough led to new machining techniques with a wide variety of applications, including laser eye surgery and cell phone manufacturing.  

Strickland spoke at UWL as part of the university’s Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics. The series underscores UWL’s commitment to high-quality physics programming and connecting students with influential figures in that field. 


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