|Magazine of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
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Along the South Fork
Since the last issue…
Your university has been one action-packed place so far this academic year. Growing, planning, learning, celebrating—we've done it all. Here are some quick "sound bites" to get you up to speed.
Strategic Planning is going strong. We're thoughtfully shaping a bright future here at UWRF. Since initiating the process last fall, Chancellor Betz has directed the development of strategic goals through an inclusive process involving faculty, staff, administrators and students from across campus. During fall 2006, Strategic Planning Working Groups developed initiatives and tasks for these goals and the Faculty Senate affirmed the work. Living the Promise 2007-2012, was presented at an all-campus meeting in February. You can follow progress as the university begins to implement the plan at www.uwrf.edu/strategy. Watch for the full story on strategic planning in the next issue of Falcon Features.
The campus community is once again undertaking a comprehensive self-examination in preparation for the scheduled visit in spring 2008 of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC/NCA). Accreditation is required for an institution to be qualified to participate in federal student financial aid programs and provides an indication of institutional quality that allows students to transfer and have their credits accepted by other universities and graduate programs. We're reviewing the quality of our programs and making plans for the future. We're identifying strengths and addressing challenges. For more, go to www.uwrf.edu/nca.
The UW-River Falls Campus and Community Cleanup Coalition held a sleep-out Nov. 13 through Nov. 17 to bring awareness to National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Students and staff slept each night on the Student Center lawn to raise $2,000 for the Pierce County Hunger Prevention Council, Minnesota Coalition For The Homeless and the Simpson House in Minneapolis. A food drive and presentation, “Faces of Homelessness” were also held. The Campus and Community Fighting Hunger and Homelessness organization and local businesses including Curves, the Colony Home and Ben Franklin sponsored the program. Each business pledged to donate $1 for every individual who slept outside.
The annual Career Fair, hosted by Career Services, took place on Oct. 18 with 105 organizations attending. Students received information from employers, graduate schools, and professionals to help them choose a career path and learn about potential career opportunities, internships and summer positions.
UW-River Falls’ new Dairy Learning Center is projected for a fall 2007 completion. The center will hold 100 adult cows, compared to 70 now. The new facility is being built on the land east of the Mann Valley Laboratory Farm 2, two miles north of River Falls. The new center will be open to the public and visitors are always welcome.
UW-River Falls, in partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College, is the recipient of a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant. It will be used over the next five years to provide opportunities for adult learners. UWRF and CVTC will train faculty in delivering courses via Web-based education, instructional TV and compact learning; develop and offer courses using the same methods; achieve student retention for alternative delivery programs equal to the retention on campus by providing online and evening access to services, advising and counseling; and explore new bachelor’s degree programs that provide ease of credit transfer.
Two new programs have been added in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. A Sustainable Agriculture option introduces students to the study of production systems that promote land productivity, energy efficiency, environmental stewardship, and rural community viability. An emphasis in Veterinary Technology allows students to study at UWRF for three years and then take vet tech classes at Madison Area Technical College (or another institution) to earn a bachelor of science from UWRF as well as an associate degree from the technical college. Graduates can become veterinary technologists and on average earn $5,000 more than veterinary technicians.
The Wisconsin State Building Commission has approved planning funds to build a new health and human performance center on campus. The $40 million project would replace the aging, cramped space in the Karges Physical Education Center and the Emogene Nelson building. Construction could start as early as 2009 if additional approvals are secured. It also approved construction to double the size of the George R. Field South Fork Suites. The project will add a 32-unit wing to the north and a 28-unit wing to the west that would increase student lodging numbers to 480. At a cost of $14.7 million, paid through student bonding obligations, the projected completion date is October 2009. A couple of land swaps are benefiting the university. The Mann Valley Laboratory Farm 2 gained acreage immediately adjacent to the west and northwest of the farm. K&S Development received acreage south of the county road, directly across from the existing laboratory farm, to develop for rural residential purposes. In another trade, UWRF will get 3.6 acres just west of the Knowles Physical Education Center, and Kwik Trip franchise owners will get 1.8 acres on the east side of the Main-Johnson street intersection. Lost Ramer Field parking will be relocated to the new parcel, which will also accommodate plans for a new health and human performance building. The new Dairy Learning Center is projected for a Fall 2007 completion. The center, currently under construction on the Mann Valley Lab Farm, will provide space for 100 adult cows and two 25-student classrooms, as well as new equipment and research facilities.
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