UW-Extension public forums on the budget

Posted on behalf of UW-Extension Provost Aaron Brower

The next series of UW-Extension public forums on the budget will begin next week (the week of July 6). This series of forums will focus on updates in divisional and central administration plans based on the final state budget, as it is known. All UW-Extension employees will have the opportunity to provide additional reactions and comments for the final budget at this time.

Each division’s director will lead a session for their staff, but all Extension employees are invited to attend any of the forums that are offered.

Here are the dates and Madison locations for each divisional forum on the budget:

If you are participating remotely, here is the link to participate via the web: http://www.uwex.edu/ics/stream/event.cfm?eid=85960

In addition to watching the live webcast, you will be able to ask questions by sending an email to the forum panel. A link to the email is included on the web page above or send your question to townhall@ics.uwex.edu with the subject line “Budget Forum Question” for this meeting.

Cooperative Extension will be holding monthly future planning updates for the next several months to continue its organizational conversations about its future. With this process, a date for a public forum will be announced in the near future.

If you did not have an opportunity to attend the first series of meetings, they are available for you to view at this link: http://www.uwex.edu/ics/stream/event.cfm?eid=85960

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions and comments on the budget, please email them to: budget.comments@uwex.edu

Thank you for your contributions as we work through the biennium budget process.

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Congratulate Greg Hutchins on retirement

Posted on behalf of UW-Extension Provost Aaron Brower, who sent this message to UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff and Board of Visitors members June 17, 2015:

Greg Hutchins squareAssociate Vice Chancellor Greg Hutchins will retire as of July 6 after 41 years of service to Extension. That includes 21 years with UW-Extension and 20 years before that with Cooperative Extension services in four other states. That is a contribution we certainly want to honor! Before I tell you more about how Greg wants to celebrate, I will share a few highlights from his distinguished career.

Greg’s Extension career began in 1974 as a County Agent in Southeast Kansas.  He also held Extension positions in Nebraska, Minnesota and Alabama before joining UW-Extension in 1994.

In Wisconsin, Greg was State Program Director for 4-H Youth Development and Assistant Dean/Director in Cooperative Extension for 15 years. He then joined the Provost’s staff in 2009,  serving as the Secretary of Faculty and Staff. His leadership and vision in this role helped our UW-Extension governance groups represent their colleagues well. Greg also stepped in to serve as Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor during a transitional time when UW-Extension needed strong continuity.

I particularly appreciate the way he has developed his current role as Associate Vice Chancellor. Under Greg’s leadership of the Infusing Technology initiative, we moved UW-Extension educators into the world of mobile technology, rapidly increasing the use of technology such as iPads and supporting the development of apps and experimentation with drones. There were, as Greg can tell you, barriers to overcome. Patiently working through new processes and garnering support of colleagues, he prevailed. We now have 38 Cooperative Extension county offices (and all Lake Street conference rooms) with videoconferencing technology. This technology helps overcome the barriers of distance and limited resources. We also now have WiFi at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center and a weather measuring system campers can use, both of which further the center’s STEM focus.

Meanwhile, Greg also has played a leadership role in the Extension Reimagined project, bringing a national initiative back here to Wisconsin. Greg foresaw the need to look ahead well before our current budget challenges, and his work has proven to be prophetic. He introduced the Extension Reimagined concept at governance group meetings and through public forums, developed the website and made sure moderators were trained. Most importantly, he ensured that stakeholders would be engaged in a statewide discussion about how UW-Extension can remain strong and relevant for future generations.

4-H 2007 staff meeting at Upham Woods

4-H 2007 staff meeting at Upham Woods

Earlier in his career with UW-Extension, as the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Program Director, Greg provided visionary leadership in developing partnerships, fostered new program directions – including the STEM program  –  and demonstrated commitment for outreach to underserved audiences. He valued and built on the historical strengths of the Wisconsin 4-H program. Under Greg’s leadership, the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development program was recognized with the 2002 Regents Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, the first UW-Extension unit to receive this award.

Greg has had the courage to reinvent himself time and time again, developing new knowledge and skills along the way. I don’t expect that will stop as he segues into retirement. I believe his bucket list is full. I will leave that to him to share with you in the coming days and at the coffee he has planned from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 29, outside 432 N. Lake Street on the back side of the building (the west side closer to the Chazen Museum).

I hope you will join us then to honor and thank Greg for his decades of service and his passionate support of the Wisconsin Idea.


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UW-Extension proposed mission change

Posted on behalf of UW-Extension Provost Aaron Brower

Diploma I am very pleased to share that as of June 3, 2015, all three of UW-Extension’s shared governance groups have approved UW-Extension’s new mission statement.  The Faculty Senate and Academic Staff Council both voted their unanimous approval on June 2 and the Classified Staff Council voted unanimously on June 3. These unanimous votes are very strong endorsements for this new chapter in UW-Extension’s contribution to the UW System, to the state of Wisconsin and beyond.


We will now take our new mission statement to the Board of Regents for their approval.

If approved, UW-Extension’s new mission will allow us to offer professionally oriented, interdisciplinary and competency-based credit-bearing degrees and certificates. These credentials will be directed toward the nontraditional audience who needs them most and delivered in the flexible and collaborative formats that are required.

The new mission language and a white paper that explains the purpose of these degrees, the niche they will fill and how these degrees will work are posted at: http://www.uwex.edu/academic-affairs/initiatives.html Through this mission change, UW-Extension will provide access to a quality UW education for those who have not had access to what the UW has been offering.  And in so doing, our new mission is a true evolution in our historic mission of embodying the Wisconsin Idea.

We still have several steps to go before our mission change is approved. For now, let’s celebrate our ability to embrace a future in which UW-Extension’s work is even more central to building strong and well-educated families, communities, local businesses, local governments, listeners and viewers across the state and beyond.

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Posted at: Governance, UW Board of Regents, UW Colleges, UW-Extension, UW-Extension Provost | Leave a Comment

Wisconsin Public Television names Jon Miskowski as new director of television

Jon Miskowski

Jon Miskowski

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) has named Jon Miskowski to lead the station following the retirement of James Steinbach, longtime director of television.

You may recognize Miskowski through Wisconsin Public Television pledge drives and other fundraising events. He has served as WPT’s development director and executive director of the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television since 2000.

“I love the people, places and stories of this state and plan to build on our legacy of excellent work that connects communities and celebrates all things Wisconsin,” said Miskowski, who will assume his new role July 1. “We have a strong group of talented and devoted employees at WPT, and I look forward to working closely with them to continue to create the essential public television work that we have been know for more than than 60 years.”

Read the news release for details.

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Save the date — May 21 — for ICS 50th Anniversary and Third Thursday

Instructional Communications Systems logoYou can play in a Technology Sandbox, visit a Technology Museum and hear Chancellor Cathy Sandeen talk about how technology is transforming education during the Instructional Communications Systems (ICS) 50th anniversary open house 2 to 5:30 p.m. May 21, 2015, at The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison. The event is free and open to University of Wisconsin System faculty and staff and to guests from other educational, governmental and nonprofit organizations who want to learn about ICS services. ICS is part of UW-Extension’s Broadcasting and Media Innovations division and provides services such as audioconferencing, videoconferencing, webconferencing and webcasting.

Guests also are invited to stay for the first in the 2015 series of Third Thursdays at The Pyle Center, which will include live music, free appetizers, a cash bar and a featured nonprofit organization from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The May 21 event will also celebrate the opening of a new courtyard that features a fire pit. Most Third Thursdays are held on The Pyle Center Rooftop as weather allows.

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Wisconsin Humanities Council online resource “Humanities Booyah”

Wisconsin Humanities Council logo“Humanities Booyah” is an online magazine for people who plan public programs and events that involve history and culture. It’s produced by the Wisconsin Humanities Council, a nonprofit organization for which UW-Extension provides some fiscal, business and other services.

Jessica Becker, editor, said, “As part of UW Colleges and UW-Extension, the useful articles published weekly are relevant for you and the community leaders you work with. We are sharing stories at ‘Humanities Booyah’ to open new possibilities — for collaboration, for conversation, for a more engaged community.”

At http://www.wisconsinhumanities.org/blog, readers can find practical articles covering topics such as:

Becker invites readers to contact her at jebecker2@wisc.edu or 608-263-3155 to suggest additional topics to cover.

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Find links to UW System Board of Regents meeting news and Chancellor Sandeen inauguration

Patti Thompson at April 2015 BOR meeting

Patti Thompson, Extension Conference Centers

Watch – and share  – brief videos Chancellor Cathy Sandeen included in her presentation to the UW System Board of Regents about UW Colleges and UW-Extension, hosts of the April 9-10, 2015 meeting at UW-Waukesha:

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

Dairy Modernization in Wisconsin

4-H sySTEMatics in Milwaukee County

Growing Second Stage Companies in Wisconsin

Veterans Coming Home

WisPACT Program

To review what happened at the meeting and Chancellor Sandeen’s inauguration, read the following summaries:

Regents Teaching Excellence Awards, including Shubhangi Stalder, professor of mathematics at UW-Waukesha.

April 9 Board of Regents news summary

April 10 UW System President Ray Cross News from Around the UW System, including from UW-Barron County

April 10 Board of Regents news summary

April 10 Chancellor Sandeen inauguration

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Posted at: Awards/honors, BAAS, Broadcasting and Media Innovations, Chancellor, Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, Cooperative Extension, Division for Business and Entrepreneurship, Extension Conference Centers, UW Board of Regents, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Barron County, UW-Extension, UW-Waukesha | Comments Off