Chancellor's Presentation Fall Convocation 2014

Published: August 28, 2014

[Slide:Real Amazing Banner]

Good morning colleagues. There is no other place I would rather be than with the students, faculty, staff and supporters of the most unique educational experience in our region, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. I hope you had the chance to take a picture earlier as you entered the ballroom with University Marketing and Communications as we begin this "Real. Amazing." academic year.

[Slide: - Current faculty, staff, community]

The photos you took and this event mark a new year. It is often stated that every academic year is a "new beginning." Do we believe it? Do we truly believe in the power of opportunity at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside? I do. I believe in the power of education to transforms lives at UW-Parkside.

As we begin the 46th academic year we reaffirm our collective belief in the one-of-kind educational experiences we live each day at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Yes, welcome to a new academic year. Welcome to new possibilities.

It is a new and exciting time at UW-Parkside and across the UW System. Last week, UW System President Ray Cross' biennial and capital budget requests were approved by the Board of Regents. The budget requests an additional $95.2 million of state support in the 2015-2017 biennial budget and the capital budget provides about $30 million for the Wyllie Renewal project. A great deal of positive effort has gone into this request. UW System President Ray Cross and his team met with representatives from Governor Scott Walker's staff and legislative leaders to ensure close alignment of state goals with planned UW System initiatives.

Most importantly, President Cross outlined a clear and relevant vision of the vital role our premier university system holds in advancing Wisconsin.

[Slide: Ray's Vision]

 "I believe the UW System needs to boldly proclaim that from this day forward, our priority will be to develop the TALENT and IDEAS that raise Wisconsin's prosperity and serve the world."

It is very important that we realize just how well-positioned we are to take action on President's Cross' vision. There are areas of growth and innovation on our campus and within our community that can be fully realized with additional support from a successful budget process. As we move toward support from the state Legislature and ultimate inclusion in the 2015-2017 state budget, we must continue to tell the important story of what UW-Parkside and the UW System mean to the betterment of our region.

The budget process is tremendously important to the future of high education in our region. Yes, we are called to continue our full commitment to the mission and work of accessible, affordable high-quality education in our region as we begin this academic year.

(Slide: Fahrenheit quote]

We all are presented with the opportunity to make a difference on lives each and every day. As the great American author Ray Bradbury states in the book for the UW-Parkside Big Read, "Fahrenheit 451," "Everyone must leave something behind…something your hand touched some way…change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away."

This speaks to each of us as educators and the possibilities we have each and every academic year to make a difference on the lives of others. What opportunities do you see that you can realize this academic year?

[Slide: Blue Ocean picture]

In the book "Blue Ocean Strategy," author W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborge challenge organizations to define themselves not by what others are doing; which they call the red ocean. In red oceans, the boundaries are defined and accepted, and the rules of the game are known. Rather, they assert, real breakthroughs – the Blue Ocean – are realized by new ways of thinking and new ways of serving.


As we set sail on our Blue Ocean, we are guided by our Pillars of Excellence that represent the importance of what we do at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Just one year ago, we introduced five Pillars. The new strategic plan transforms the five pillars of excellence into three strategic pillars of excellence. Our new plan is officially launched today and will guide us to our 50th anniversary in 2018! Thank you to Dr. Kim Kelley, Jordania Leon-Jordan, and the team from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for their leadership in facilitating our integrated planning process.

[Slide:Transforming Lives]

The first pillar is our groundbreaking opportunity, it is our true blue ocean as it states "(we will) become a premier regional university that transforms lives." Transformation is a powerful word. Understanding as well as bringing about a transformative learning community is and will continue to be the true essence of our university.

[Slide: Alumni Awardees]

This is the role UW-Parkside has held in our region since its beginning. We don't have to look far in southeastern Wisconsin to find proud Parkside alumni willing to share their real, amazing stories of transformation and how our university set them on a course for success.

[Slide: Faculty Engagement]

Our faculty also have amazing stories of transformation to tell. In the past few days I have had a few hallway conversations and learned a little about how you spent your summer. Wow, the impact of UW-Parkside has been felt around the world and across the country. I invite you to share the stories and photos of your scholarly work, research, and travels so we can further recognize the "Real.Amazing." UW-Parkside faculty.

Yes, amazing work in transformation is around us each day. Transformation is diverse. Transformation is innovative. Transformation is new scholarship. Transformation, most importantly, is deeply personal and about relationships. Each person we touch as a university is living a one-of-a-kind UW-Parkside experience.

[Slide:Quotes from student]

I have an email from a recent graduate detailing his recent job search. He shares, "I had applied for a job thinking there was no way I would get a job with a Fortune 500 company. I was reviewing current employees on their LinkedIn accounts that held the same job I was interviewing for … (they) had graduated from schools such as Stanford, USC and Colorado State … I thought there was no way I would be able to compete with these students who attended such big schools …. After receiving the job I realized it isn't so much about where you go to get your degree it's about what you make of the school where you get your degree."  

Earning a position at the Hershey Company in Pennsylvania was an important accomplishment. But his driving force … his amazing journey of transformation was revealed at the end of his note.

"I cannot speak enough about how appreciative I am of the faculty, students, and the Advising and Career Center at Parkside for always believing in me. Growing up my single mother always made sure my two sisters and I had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table. I will now be able to return the favor to my mom because of the experience and education I received at The University of Wisconsin-Parkside."

Yes, transformation is around us every day. Let's recognize and believe in the power of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to transform lives.

We have vast opportunities to make this a year one beyond imagination with renewal of curriculum, greater focus on high-impact practices as well as cross-disciplinary thinking that can reveal new ways to deeply engage students.

[Slide: Computer Science – 99% Placement Rate]

[Slide: Hacker Space, App Factory]

Our Computer Science Department, as an example, remains a source of pride and strength in our community. The department continues to grow. Of those graduating with degrees in computer science and seeking employment, 99 percent are employed in less than three months of graduation. Yes, these are in-demand careers. I will also suggest that the level of engagement in deep experiential learning is inspiring our students to new levels of success.

Many may know we have a fully functioning cyber security lab but you may not know that AT&T Corporation has provided funding to establish a "hacker space" within our department to encourage innovation and risk-taking by our students. And through the leadership of computer science faculty and staff we will be starting a new factory. But factories have changed in this age of digital communications. We will have an app factory wherein students will design and build applications for mobile devices for area organizations and businesses.

[Slide:Technology Pathways Partners]

This year we will enter our first full year of new articulation agreements with Gateway Technical College through the Forward Together Partnership as well as our new 2+2 engineering program with our UW System partner UWM. Pictured here are our educational and industry partners as we celebrate the UWM agreement in engineering as well as the teacher licensure program in technology education with Gateway. This event occurred in late May and was hosted by Snap-on Incorporated in its impressive Innovation Works conference space called Idea Forge.

[Slide: Pillar: Achieve sustainable growth]

Our second pillar is to "achieve sustainable growth." Our goals will be realized by the manner in which we, as an educational institution, steward our resources to strategically address the current needs of our students and region while anticipating the future.

[Slide:Academic Plan, Campus Master Plan, Strategic Enrollment Plan and Strategic Plan]

Current faculty, staff, students and administration, together with broad representation from our greater community, have invested time, energy and thought to advance our culture of planning. UW-Parkside's community has provided seminal plans to achieve the pillar of sustainable growth.

We will complete our Master Plan ... the first since 2006 and only the third in our university's history, later this fall. In the 20-year plan we are focused on our most important asset – our students.

[Slide: Renewal of Resources and Spaces – Wyllie Hall]

One example is the Wyllie Hall renewal project that will transform this amazing space into a nucleus of student and faculty engagement. A center that integrates student services with academic and social resources to advance a one-of-a-kind educational support experience. This project was approved by the Board of Regents last week and will now proceed to the state for final consideration.

[Slide: Lab renewal project – success in sciences]

More immediately, we will update our chemistry labs in 2015. The project earned approval from the Board of Regents because our long-time success in preparing students for careers and further study in chemistry, biological sciences, and health care.

[Slide:Attracting Investment in our mission]

To ensure our sustainability, we remain focused on greater investment in the university from new sources.

We know -- and have proven -- that the mission and work of this university is a great investment. In just the past academic year, we have attracted an increased amount of funding from corporations, individuals and foundations to advance the work we do as a premier regional university that transforms lives.

[Slide:Attracting Investment in our mission]

Here you see a listing of key grants … each is a direct response to the strategic position we hold in the lives of students and our communities. I also note that each grant here is HIGHLY aligned with our Strategic Pillars of Excellence.

Congratulations to all those that helped secure these important resources in just one academic year. They total close to $1 million dollars.

[Slide:Technology Partners – Nick Pinchuck, Debbie Ford, Mark Mone]

Others are investing directly into student opportunities. I am pleased to share that we received a commitment from Snap-on Incorporated to advance the "Snap-on Incorporated Engineering Scholarships." This investment will provide up to five students with a $3,000 scholarship as they enter our new 2+2 engineering program. This is an investment in the quality of our faculty, the strength of partnerships, the hopes and dreams of our students, as well as the future of our region.

[Slide:Pillar - Advance Economic Growth]

It is the right time and the right place to be a community-engaged and partnership-focused regional university.

[Slide:Logos of new and current companies]

Southeastern Wisconsin, like the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, is on the move. Civic-lead economic development efforts matched by our high quality of life are attracting more people, more companies and more attention every day.

The talents of our students, as nurtured and developed by our faculty and staff, are vital to the continued growth and strength of southeastern Wisconsin. We are strategically aligning with an array of community partners and companies to provide internships and learning opportunities for our students. In the spring, 50 students were involved with RangerLink, funded by the Mary Frost Ashley Charitable Trust and Kloss Family Foundation. For the upcoming fall semester, Ranger Link is being combined with opportunities available through a Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation grant we received. The combined program will now be called "Intern Connections." It will serve as many as 80 students. We are so pleased with the progress of our intern programs and understand this is a vital contributor to a deeper, more engaged UW-Parkside learning experience.

Earlier this summer, we saw the coming together of enrollment management, admissions, advancement and student services to celebrate a new level of engagement with a valued community partner in the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha County.

[Slide:Boys and Girls Club at Kingfish Game]

We celebrated the "University of Excellence" program, which is designed to nurture and advance young peoples' desire to transform their lives through the power of education. A long-time partner, the Boys and Girls Club, hosts students from our AmeriCorps Vista and RangerLink intern programs. This work will further enhance our partnership and provide clear pathways to attend UW-Parkside for all students.

Partnerships in the community expand across a myriad of academic and educational programs. In fact, we are so excited about our communities we will be setting them on fire this semester!

[Slide:Big Read Logo]

Lead by our amazing library staff and in partnership with library systems in Racine and Kenosha, UW-Parkside is the only academic library in the state of Wisconsin to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host the "Big Read." The book chosen by our team for southeastern Wisconsin's big read is Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," which I quoted from moments ago. Across the first semester there will be dozens of events and activities to celebrate the joy and value of reading and UW-Parkside is leading the effort.

[Slide: Sam Weller photo Fahrenheit 451," the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury and the role of the university in the community. Congratulations to the library staff, university and community partners for setting the community on fire through literacy.

[Slide:Be Real. Amazing – UWP Admissions]

Just as with the Big Read, we are heating up excitement for UW-Parkside in our Admissions Department and across the university. The team in admissions is at the front line of what it means to be "Real. Amazing." Please welcome Troy Moldenhauer our new director of admissions. Troy comes to us from UW-Whitewater after 11 years of service. But, he says he's more comfortable being green.

(Slide:Real. Amazing]

Thank you Troy and team! What energy and excitement we have in our Admissions Department.

As we begin a new academic year, each of you plays a vital role in the continued success of our university. Your enthusiasm, your perspectives and your ambassadorship to one another and in the community will enable us to continue to transform lives. On the screen above me you will see our Flickr site is now sharing with the world your real, amazing energy and commitment to our university. I thank you all for your support now and well into the future.

Have a great day, a great new academic year, and I know you will be "Real. Amazing.
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