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UWRF Readies for Active Academic Year

AUG. 27, 2007--Implementing a new strategic plan and visits by the UW System Board of Regents and North Central Association accreditation visit will make the upcoming academic year at UW-River Falls one of the most important in recent memory.

Chancellor Don Betz outlined what he described as a "busy and productive" year in his opening address to 700 faculty and staff that typically signals the start of the school year.

Classes begin on Sept. 5 with a potential enrollment of 6,350 students as registration continues this week. UWRF has been growing by about two percent each year, with record enrollments for nine of the last 10 years. Last year's enrollment stood at 6,229.

Betz said the institution will continue to grow in a purposeful manner to respond to the increasing population growth of the St. Croix Valley. He said the University will add undergraduates, graduate students, and continue to expand its certification programs for professionals.

The Chancellor remarked that the past year was one of numerous successes, which sets the stage for the coming year. These included:

  • Completing the planning phase of "Living the Promise," the Universities strategic plan that sets 10 goals to address the institutional values of sustainability, inclusiveness, globalization and leadership development.
  • Launching the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development to provide assistance to regional communities and nonprofits contending with growth and change, while also addressing campus energy self-sufficiency.
  • Creating the Global Institute to achieve UWRF's objectives in globalizing the campus through travel abroad opportunities and the enrollment of international students.
  • Receiving an historic gift in that is the largest ever to UWRF. Alumna Lucille Spriggs left a $1 million estate to the University, with the gift to fund leadership scholarships.
  • Being named a Top Public Midwestern University by U.S. News & World Report, and a top Midwestern University by the Princeton Review.

"Each of you has individual expectations for this year at UWRF," Betz related. "Some of you are brand new to your current responsibilities, others have served UWRF for many years. There is concern about opportunities, direction, priorities, resources and decisions that may or may not favor a particular project, program or department.

"'Living the Promise' is our individual and collective pledge of responsibility to our students, our communities and to each other.

"The world around us continues to change. UWRF is changing. In dozens of ways, some writ boldly and others almost undetected, UW-River Falls is gaining confidence as it seeks its position in a global knowledge and increasingly interdependent society.

"New initiatives abound. Some of our ideas and initiatives will thrive, while others wither. Some current projects will not succeed while others yet unfathomed will sprout and take root in our revitalized culture of learning."

The major initiatives this year, according to the Chancellor, are:

  • Implementing the strategic plan, "Living the Promise." The campus community will settle on decision-making processes that are deemed to be fair, and then begin to allocate resources to support academic programs or other areas that are to be strengthened in the plan.
  • The Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 4-5. This is the first visit to campus by its governing body in more than six years. Leaders from throughout the UW System, as well as dignitaries and media from across the state, are expected on campus.
  • Betz said it presents an exceptional opportunity to show how the campus is collaborating with community partners to advance education, community outreach, and economic development in the St. Croix Valley.
  • The North Central Association review in April. NCA is the University's major accrediting body, which conducts a site visit every 10 years. UWRF has been continuously accredited since first applying in 1935, and Betz said the visit will provide the setting for the campus to both report its activities over the last decade as well as to identify the opportunities and challenges it will address in the future.



Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:26 Central Daylight Time


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