UW-Parkside student Tracy Hribar appointed regent
University of Wisconsin-Parkside business student Tracy Hribar has been appointed to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents as the non-traditional student representative. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced the appointment Friday, April 20, 2012.
"I am pleased to appoint Tracy Hribar, an accomplished student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, to the Regents," Walker said. "I am confident that she will use her education and skills to make the best decisions possible for the UW System."
A resident of Raymond Township in Racine County, Ms. Hribar serves as Business Manager of James Hribar Trucking. She received an Associates Degree in Accounting from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1984.
In an email exchange with Ranger Today, Ms. Hribar said she was going to attend UW-Milwaukee when she met with School of Business and Technology Advisor Trudy Biehn and decided to attend UW-Parkside.
"I have been happy with that decision ever since," she said.
The appointment benefits the Board of Regents four times over because in addition to being a current student, Ms. Hribar is the mother of two UW-Platteville graduates and a student currently attending UW-Madison. Here is the entire email exchange with Regent Tracy Hribar.
Ranger Today: What was your reaction when you were informed that you had been appointed the non-tradition student regent? How did your children react? How did your husband react?
Hribar: I was excited about the opportunity to represent my fellow students on the Board of Regents. I felt honored to be chosen. My children are proud of the appointment and hope to contribute their experiences to even further my student perspective. My husband said that he knew I would get it.
RT: Obviously you have a busy schedule with working and going to classes full time; what was your motivation for making the time commitment that being a regent will require? (Note: Regents attend eight regular meetings per year, serve on special committees, serve as liaisons with at least two UW institutions, and perform related duties.)
Hribar: I feel that the experiences I will have as a Regent will be well worth the effort. When I am interested in what I am doing, I enjoy the work.
RT: As a current student and the parent of a current student and the parent of two students who have already graduated from a UW System school, you bring a unique perspective to the board. Are there issues of personal interest that you will work on as a regent?
Hribar: I would like to ensure that UW System schools continue to provide quality, affordable education for the residents of this state.
RT: Did you ever say: "Boy, if I ran the UW System??"
Hribar: I can honestly say I have never thought that.
RT: In this position, you will represent non-trads from all of the UW System campuses; do you think the concerns of non-traditional students are substantially different from traditional students? What are those concerns?
Hribar: Although I am the non-traditional student representative, I feel that I represent all students both traditional and non-traditional. I am a parent of traditional students. I also go to class Monday-Friday during the day and interact with all types of students. That being said, I do think non-trads face unique challenges. It is not easy to juggle family and career responsibilities with school. Many students who return to school after a number of years have to learn how to study again.
RT: Taking a page from Steven Covey, let's start with the end in mind: to make your regent tenure a "success" in your eyes what will you have to accomplish?
Hribar: I would like to be an asset to the UW System. I want to use my common sense small business acumen and first-hand student experience to improve the System. At this point, I am unsure how this will manifest with the issues that will be presented to me as a regent.
RT: As you know, Regent Michael Falbo is a UW-Parkside graduate and one previous tradition student regent came from UW-Parkside. Will it be possible for you to resist the temptation to "represent" UW-Parkside on the board?
Hribar: I am very proud to be a part of UW-Parkside. My children have also had great experiences at UW-Platteville and Madison. I do see myself as being able to balance what is best for the system as a whole with my admiration for the schools I have been more directly involved with. That being said, I would love to be able to help UW- Parkside in any way I can.
RT: Tell me about your UW-Parkside experience so far.
Hribar: I decided to return to school in late 2011. My youngest child received her driver's license, and I was free to pursue my own interests for the first time in 25 years. I originally planned to attend UWM. However, I called UW-Parkside and eventually met with Trudy Biehn. After meeting with her, I changed my course and enrolled at Parkside. I have been happy with that decision ever since. I have been pleased with the teachers I have had and course work I have taken here at Parkside. I have also met some amazing people who are my fellow students. One such student is Gohar Harutyunyan. She is a non-traditional student from Armenia and grew up behind the Iron Curtain. If someone had told me when I was younger that I would be invited to dinner with someone from a communist country, I would have been incredulous to say the least. The students at Parkside whom I have met are for the most part hard working and dedicated individuals. I am really enjoying my time here at Parkside.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is responsible for establishing policies and rules for governing the system, planning to meet future state needs for higher education, setting admission standards and policies, reviewing and approving university budgets, and establishing the regulatory framework within which individual institutions are allowed to operate with as great a degree of autonomy as possible.In the photo, new UW System Regent and UW-Parkside student Tracy Hribar, center, is shown with her daughter Chelsey who is a junior at Waterford Union High School and husband Jim.