Convocation: Creating the 21st Century UW-Parkside
Convocation, the pre-semester gathering of faculty and staff, is always about the future. That was the case Thursday, Jan. 24, when University of Wisconsin-Parkside colleagues came to the Student Center Ballroom for 2013 Spring Convocation.
Chancellor Debbie Ford started by noting the extraordinary success of "Winterim." The nearly 140 percent enrollment increase--from 268 students in 2012 to 640 students in 2013--was what Ford called "a deliberate and coordinated choice" to change the university for the better.
"Winterim of 2013 is about innovation that leads us toward our new future--the University of Wisconsin-Parkside of the 21st century," Ford stated.
The chancellor praised the collaborative effort between Enrollment Services, advisors, and faculty and staff for the "tremendous success" of Winterim. Ford also thanked students who saw the value of Winterim for degree completion.
Ebeid: Create a Globalized Classroom
The future was also on the mind of Interim Provost Fred Ebeid. Referring to an address he gave at a conference in India last week, Ebeid said UW-Parkside and higher education in general must help students embrace a global future.
"When I served as dean of the College of Business, Economics, and Computing, we set out to create the conditions for our students to learn and excel in a global economy," Ebeid said. "To accomplish this goal, we have moved to internationalize our curriculum and provide our students and faculty with international experiences. Our purpose is to create a globalized classroom so as to better prepare our students to compete in the global economy."
While in India, Ebeid signed student and faculty exchange agreements with officials from IndSearch, a business university in Pune.
Along with globalization, Ebeid also spoke about the profound effect technology is having and will continue to have on higher education. "It's imperative to recognize the rapid pace at which higher education is changing today," he said.
Ebeid pointed to the University of Wisconsin System's exploration of an online flex option program for adult degree-seeking students as a glimpse of the future, a future that could come to UW-Parkside in little more than a year.
"Here on campus, under the leadership of professors Suresh Chalasani and Megan Mullen, a new task force?is being created to develop a flex option degree program that we anticipate to be offered as early as the fall of 2014," Ebeid stated.
Preparing for HLC
A much more immediate future was on the minds of Kim Kelley and Rob Barber at Convocation, specifically, the arrival of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Visiting Team in late April. The co-chairs of the HLC self-study gave a timeline leading up to the April 28-May 1 visit.
"We have a lot to be proud of," Kelley said of the self-study findings.
In the self-study, the HLC Visiting Team will read about a list of major successes...improved efficiency, academic program excellence, student learning outcome assessments and others.
With the approval of the self-study taking place earlier this week, the document will be sent to the Higher Learning Commission by Feb. 20.
University Service Honored
Both the past and the future were the topic when university service awards were the subject. Colleagues with 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of service were asked to stand and be recognized. Thirty-year faculty members Michael Gurtman and Jim McKeever and 35-year veterans Dennis Bayuzick and Karen Sorensen received their service pins directly from the chancellor.
Ford closed Convocation by encouraging colleagues to take an active role in creating UW-Parkside's future.
"I invite you to lead and be a part of the changing landscape ahead," Ford said. "Know that we will control our future. I believe the best way to take control is to view change as choices that lead us to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside of the 21st century."
Spring Convocation 2013 was an electronic milestone. It was the first campus function to be offered via live streaming video.
In the photo, Chancellor Ford, center, speaks on the contributions of UW-Parkside 35-year service award recipients Karen Sorensen and Dennis Bayuzick, left, and 30-year service award winners Jim McKeever, second from right, and Michael Gurtman.