Colleges Reorganization OK'd

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

May 10, 1996

Regents OK Colleges Name Changes, Restructuring

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday (May 10) approved a series of colleges restructurings that will impact all academic offerings at UW-River Falls.

The changes were initiated by the University through its massive "Reach for the Future" strategic plan that will position its academic offerings for the 21st Century. The changes include:

  • Establishing a School of Business & Economics within the College of Arts & Sciences. The new School will emphasize a liberal arts-based academic program and include four departments or units: Accounting, Business Administration, Economics and Computer Information Systems.
  • Expanding the name of the College of Agriculture to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The name expansion more accurately reflects the college's comprehensive offerings in science, business, technology, and communications as applied to the food, agriculture and environmental science fields.
  • Renaming the College of Education to the College of Education and Graduate Studies. The merging of the Graduate School into the College will access savings and increase efficiencies.
  • Renaming the Graduate School to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

  • The structural and funding review exercise was undertaken by the administration, faculty, staff and students last fall to reallocate resources as the institution faces the challenge of an explosion in information and revolutionary changes in instructional technology. Equally significant, according to Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau, is an eroding of the University's traditional funding base, which necessitates greater streamlining of administrative structures and academic services, as well as development of new funding sources.

    "Our vision is the recognition of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as an exceptional undergraduate university with national acknowledgment of, or excellence in, select undergraduate programs while providing outstanding graduate programs in selected professional disciplines. Our ultimate goal is to produce graduates who engage in learning as a lifetime endeavor."

    According to Thibodeau, the "Reach for the Future" plan will nearly double the amount of funding available for classroom support. Presently, about 7 percent of tax dollars are spent for supplies and equipment; the reallocation plan would increase that portion to 12 percent. The funding also will be redirected into services to students, faculty development, and the potential creation of some new positions to assist in information technology improvements.

    The funding shift, which amounts to about $2.5 million, will come from a variety of sources, including retirements, attrition and consolidation of positions, Thibodeau said. Prior to Friday's action by the Board of Regents, the University had already shifted $805,000 toward that goal.

    As Thibodeau told the Regents, "This has been and will continue to be an ongoing process involving faculty, staff and students as the many goals, objectives and actions outlined in the plan are implemented."

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