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UW System President, UW-RF Chancellor to Address Growth

OCT. 2, 2006— Plans to grow UW-River Falls and the University of Wisconsin System will be the topic of discussion at presentations in the St. Croix Valley on Oct. 25-26.

Speaking will be UW System President Kevin Reilly and UW-River Falls Chancellor Don Betz.

Reilly will address the UW System's current "Growth Agenda for Wisconsin," that has been approved by the Board of Regents, which advanced it to Gov. Jim Doyle and the Wisconsin Legislature for consideration.

They will speak at three sessions:

·Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in the St. Croix Falls Festival Theatre, 210 N. Washington St., St. Croix Falls. The evening presentation is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the City of St. Croix Falls and the Festival Theatre.

·Oct. 26 at 7:30-8:45 a.m., they will speak at a "Business Breakfast" session, sponsored by Associated Bank, at the West Wind Supper Club. Tickets are $15 and can be obtained through the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau by calling 715-425-2533, or visiting . Tickets are available through Oct. 20.

·Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m.- 1p.m. at a luncheon sponsored by the Hudson Rotary chapters. The location is the Hudson Golf Club, and the cost is $12. Tickets may be reserved after Oct. 9 by contacting the Hudson Star-Observer at 715-386-9333.

At the heart of the Growth Agenda initiative, which carries a $27.3 million price tag over the next state two-year budget, is the production of more bachelor's degrees in such critical areas as teacher education in math and science; engineering; nursing and health care professions; nano-technology; sciences, and business.

"The more Wisconsin citizens who hold college degrees, the more we can attract high-paying jobs, bolster the state tax base, and improve our quality of life," Reilly explained. "One of the reasons Wisconsin's economy has not been as robust as it could be is that, when compared to other states, a lower percentage of Wisconsin residents have four-year college degrees - just 25 percent, compared to 27 percent nationally and 33 percent in Minnesota."

U.S. Census Data from the last census shows that about 23 percent of Polk, Pierce and St. Croix residents hold a bachelor's degree. Reilly notes that there is a close correlation between the number of bachelor degree holders and per capita. Wisconsin trails the national average by about $1,200, and Minnesota by about $4,000.

Betz will speak to UW-RF's ongoing extensive strategic planning process that will consider expanding the size of the student body. UW-RF currently enrolls 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students. This year is the eighth time in the last decade that the campus has set an enrollment record.

"As UW-RF's strategic planning process unfolds this fall, we'll consider expanding our enrollment to meet the increasing educational demands of the dynamic St. Croix Valley. We'll explore a range of initiatives: distance-learning classes; teaching at other locations; admitting more transfer students; adding undergraduates; and launching new graduate and certificate programs for adult learners. We'll be asking future Legislatures to help with those funding needs," Betz said.

University records show nearly 6,800 UW-RF alumni reside in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. A total of 1,655 students are enrolled from those counties this year in undergraduate or graduate programs. The University also has been active in providing expertise to many communities across the three-county area as they address issues of growth and change.

For more information, call 715-425-3771.



Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:37 Central Daylight Time


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