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What are the challenges and opportunities facing UW-Madison in a time of national economic crisis?

Madison Initiative for Undergraduates promises quality, affordability

by University Communications

The Madison Initiative for Undergraduates, a major effort to preserve the quality of a University of Wisconsin-Madison education and improve its affordability, was announced today (March 25) by Chancellor Biddy Martin.

Chancellor Martin follows up on forums

by University Communications

Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin has provided an update in Wisconsin Week on the suggestions offered during the December and January forums on how the campus can be a more effective and efficient university during a challenging economic climate.

Chancellor’s statement on Gov. Doyle’s state budget

by University Communications

Chancellor Martin has released a statement on Gov. Jim Doyle’s presentation of the 2009-11 state budget.

Related links:

Governor’s Budget Bill, AB-75 (5.4Mb, 1743-page PDF)

Department of Administration budget documents (including the Budget in Brief and individual agencies)

Chronicle of Higher Education features interview with Chancellor Martin

by University Communications

Paul Fain, the college leadership reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, conducted an audio interview with Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin focusing on the university’s unique community-based approach to addressing economic challenges. The interview was posted online today (Feb. 13) in the Chronicle’s multimedia section.

In the news: New UW-Madison leader reaches out to lawmakers

by University Communications

The Chicago Tribune published an Associated Press story late last week about Chancellor Martin’s efforts to reach out to the legislature.

“Since taking over as chancellor last year, Martin has made a determined effort to improve relations between the state’s flagship university and the Legislature.”

Read the full story »

Day four: Idea roll call

by University Communications

As in the three previous sessions, participants fanned out in small groups across the Plenary Room at Grainger Hall to focus on ideas of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness at UW-Madison.

Here are some of their ideas:

  • Do a better job of monitoring heating and cooling in university buildings, so that they aren’t too hot or too cool – saving energy and money.
  • Textbooks should be rented to students, helping to save them money on the cost of education.
  • Set up a resource center on campus to answer research-related questions that can’t be addressed in schools or departments, to help connect researchers and others on campus.
  • Continue with efforts like Administrative Process Redesign (APR) to help make our work more efficient and fix broken administrative processes.
  • Rent any excess space in university buildings to community groups.
  • Make strides to recruit and retain the best graduate students, and value their role on a research campus.
  • Use more technology to teach courses, especially large lecture classes, by offering more courses online or with an online component.
  • Study and work to eliminate redundancies among UW System schools.
  • Find ways to control segregated fees, to help make a university education more affordable.
  • Send tuition bills via email, to cut postage and printing costs.
  • As the campus grows and adds new buildings, make sure there is more common space developed to encourage interaction.
  • Find new opportunities in the new GI Bill and make this a welcoming campus for veterans.
  • Explore areas in which courses could be consolidated.
  • Employ new energy-saving technologies to save on utility costs and reduce the university’s environmental footprint.
  • Especially for students, use more organic and locally grown produce and set up portion sizes and prices that enable students to choose small, medium or large portions.
  • Create incentives for collaborations to take place on campus.
  • Reduce students’ time to degree, and resist an upward creep in credits needed to graduate in certain majors.
  • Establish an entrepreneurial resource center on campus to harness the entrepreneurial energy here.

Peer influence

by University Communications

The university needs to spend more time developing and coordinating peer mentoring programs, especially at the undergraduate level, says Shuhan He, a senior majoring in zoology.

“Peers are a great resource,” He told the group of about 60 people who turned out for the fourth campuswide brainstorming session. “I want the university to understand how important peers are in the educational process. Students should have the opportunity to receive teaching from peers and to teach themselves.”

He told the group that although such programs exist on campus, they are fragmented and could benefit from a coordinated approach. He said more reliance on peer mentors could increase the university’s efficiency.

Chancellor Martin signs letter encouraging federal investment in research

by University Communications

Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin joined nearly 50 other higher education leaders and Nobel laureates earlier this month in a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, arguing that scientific research should be an investment priority in the debate over an economic stimulus package.

The leaders outlined how a major research investment can lead directly to the creation of new jobs and help America solve critical issues facing its future. Read the full letter (PDF).

Fourth brainstorming session set

by University Communications

A fourth campuswide brainstorming session exploring the opportunities and challenges facing the university in a recessionary economy will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22.

The session will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Plenary Room (Room 1310) of Grainger Hall, just off the building’s entrance at the corner of University Avenue and North Park Street.

Read more »

CALS students, faculty and staff urged to attend Jan. 26 budget forum

by University Communications

When it comes to coming up with ideas for addressing the impacts of the state’s large budget deficit, we’re all experts. Each one of us has insights and expertise to contribute as we endeavor to find more efficient ways to operate and identify the activities that are essential to our mission as well as those we can’t afford to continue.

Tapping into that expertise was the idea behind the brainstorming sessions that Chancellor Martin held in December, and it’s the goal of the CALS Budget Forum planned for Monday, Jan. 26, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Ebling Symposium Center, Microbial Sciences Building. Everyone in the CALS community — faculty, staff, students and friends — is strongly encouraged to come.