Extension Conference Centers
Dan Wanish’s day started differently from usual June 24, 2013. That’s because he was shadowing Chancellor Ray Cross instead of reporting to work at UW-Extension’s Conference Centers, where he is a senior accountant.
Since it was a Monday morning, the chancellor began the day leading the weekly executive team meeting. Pictured here at that meeting are, clockwise from left: Barb Sandridge, Aaron Brower, Greg Lampe, Ray Cross, Dan Wanish, David Prucha and Rosemary Potter).
“I was impressed with how friendly and down-to-earth Ray is, with his quiet, laid-back style, and with the thoroughness of his organization and preparation,” Wanish said after reflecting on the experience. “It was also interesting to see how tactful Ray is guiding his executive team through difficult conversations while still maintaining an informal and humor-filled atmosphere.”
While the chancellor makes no promises about being entertaining, he does invite others to contact him about the job shadowing opportunity. The process remains very simple: If you are interested in the shadowing opportunity, send a brief request to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your dean or supervisor’s approval.
Here’s an earlier News & Ideas post with feedback from others and a link to the chancellor’s original invitation to employees: http://blogs.uwex.uwc.edu/ni/2012/08/15/youre-invited-to-shadow-chancellor-cross/
The University of Wisconsin System is sponsoring a conference, “LEAP 2.0: Integrating Liberal Education into a Changing Landscape,” Thursday and Friday, May 30-31, 2013, at the Pyle Center in Madison.
The conference will address topics such as how institutions of higher learning can continue to offer high-quality liberal learning in the context of changing delivery methods. The faculty and staff who are working on curricular development and student services for UW Flexible Option programs will lead panel sessions and workshops to share their experiences in developing a competency-based education.
There is no charge for the conference. Participants who have not registered in advance will be asked to register at the table set up on the third floor of the Pyle Center outside the meeting rooms.
About 220 UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff participated in an April 25, 2013, Town Hall Meeting on the size, source, use and political ramifications of the UW System program revenue balance carried over from Fiscal Year 2012.
The April 25 Town Hall Meeting began with a presentation by Chancellor Ray Cross, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Steve Wildeck and UW-Extension Provost and Vice Chancellor Aaron Brower from the Pyle Center in Madison, which was available for viewing statewide via Mediasite or videoconferencing.
They reassured the audience that UW System did not mishandle money and that the cash balance carried over is not out of line with comparable university systems.
Regarding the question of whether the cash balance could be used for a pay plan, they explained that:
- Reserves are one-time, non-recurring.
- Reserves, which are generated from many sources, ebb and flow.
- Reserves can’t fund permanent salaries.
- Permanent salary increases must be supported by a permanent and predictable revenue source.
They also noted the messages they – and UW Colleges and UW-Extension deans and directors – are sharing with elected officials:
- An explanation of the local campus/division impact
- A request to not harm students, faculty or staff
- The need for a pay plan for faculty and staff
- The need for flexibilities
Chancellor Cross recognizes that, because of the last-minute nature of the Town Hall Meeting, not everyone could participate. In addition, those who did may not have had a chance to ask their questions.
“I want to keep the dialog going, so I invite you to email questions directly to me,” he said, explaining that he will address those additional questions and concerns in an upcoming Chancellor’s Chatter to faculty and staff.
You can send questions and comments to: email@example.com
Links that may be of interest:
- The April 19, 2013, Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo to the State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance that raised questions about the program revenue balance
- Reaction from the United Council of UW Students
Are you stuck in Madison due to the current bad weather and you’ve got no place to stay? If you are an employee of the University of Wisconsin or another state institution or agency, fear not! You are among those who qualify for a special lodging rate at The Lowell Center, located at 610 Langdon St. The rate is $49 per night, with $12 for an addition person.
For reservations, call (608) 256-2621 or the toll free number, (866) 301-1753, or register online.
What we know today as the UW Colleges began life in 1907 as part of extension and, through reorganizations, budget cuts, mergers and name changes, has steadfastly exemplified the Wisconsin Idea by bringing the knowledge and resources of the University to the whole state, Jerry L. Bower told the UW Colleges and UW-Extension Board of Visitors in a Dec. 11 presentation at The Lowell Center in Madison.
Bower, professor emeritus of history at UW-Richland and author of the 2002 book, The University of Wisconsin Colleges, 1919-1997: The Wisconsin Idea at Work, taught at UW-Richland for more than 40 years and personally experienced many of the changes he described.
He reminded the Board of Visitors that for most of the 20th Century, what we call the UW Colleges was known as the Extension Centers. The first Center opened in Milwaukee in 1907 as part of UW general extension. The number of Centers ballooned to 29 to serve returning WWII veterans, Bower said, far more than the current 13 campuses. The Centers gained their independence in a reorganization engineered by UW President Fred Harvey Harrington in 1962, and acquired the UW Colleges name in 1997.
While most of Bower’s presentation covered the twists and turns of budgets and organizational structure, he came back again and again to one theme: whatever the name and structure of the institution, it never wavered from its mission of providing local, accessible and affordable access to a high quality educational experience. That is remarkable when you consider that there was no plan or blueprint for the organization, Bower said. It just grew to meet the changing needs of the people.
The UW‐Extension Academic Staff Council, other colleagues, family and friends honored five colleagues during a program and reception at the Pyle Center in Madison Oct. 12, 2012.
Recognized for earning the “distinguished” prefix to their titles as broadcast specialists with Wisconsin Public Radio in the Division of Broadcasting and Media Innovations were: Anne Strainchamps, Chuck Quirmbach and Mike Simonson.
Erik Ernst, chair of the council, also presented Academic Staff Council Awards for Excellence to Diana Alfuth, Cooperative Extension’s horticulture agent in Pierce County, and Sridevi Venkata Karri, associate instructional specialist in Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition Education Program in Dane County.
Chancellor Ray Cross congratulated all the “superstars” on their achievements and thanked them again later for their service to UW-Extension. He noted Alfuth’s 4,760 direct contacts last year, in part, through teaching hundreds of horticulture programs, and Karri’s work with middle school girls with nutrition education and cooking lessons, as well as networking with colleagues who provided team building and gardening opportunities.
He commended Strainchamps for her hard work and commitment both for “To the Best of Our Knowledge” and the “Wisconsin Life” series, Quirmbach for being one of NPR’s top contributors from a member station and for his award-winning work reporting and producing, and Simonson, who was not in attendance, for his work with UW-Superior students in addition to his award-winning radio documentaries and news reports.
Information about the council is available at: http://www.uwex.edu/secretary/academic-staff-council.html. Details about the distinguished prefix guidelines are available with “Progression Resources for Academic Staff” at: http://www.uwex.edu/secretary/title-progression.html.
UW Colleges Provost Greg Lampe is excited about the Higher Learning Commission accreditation site visit Nov. 5 to 7, 2012, and wants to makes sure the nine peer evaluators meeting with faculty, staff, students and stakeholders in more than 100 sessions get even better treatment than he and others did during September’s initial campus “mock” site visits. That means making sure colleagues turn on campus lights for early visitors, wear nametags, welcome evaluators warmly, provide a place to leave coats, ensure access to all campus spaces and, when the visit is over, express thanks for the evaluators’ time and efforts as they walk them out.
Lampe is confident about what the evaluators will find between arrival and departure. During an Oct. 23, 2012, UW Colleges Town Hall Meeting at The Pyle Center in Madison and via video statewide, he talked about strengths that emerged during the September mock site visits:
- Meaningful assessment at campus, department and institutional levels
- Faculty and staff who care deeply about teaching and learning
- Shared governance
- The mission of access and student success
- Students’ heartwarming stories reinforcing that UW Colleges delivers on its mission
Challenges that emerged were, for the most part, not a surprise, Lampe said, listing them as:
- Communication struggles of a multi-campus structure
- Recruitment of diverse faculty, staff and students
- Work demands on faculty and staff
- Implementation of Integrated Enrollment Management (more of a strength among campuses that were early adopters)
- Co-curricular challenges related to students who commute, work and have families
“Balance our challenges with our strengths and our weaknesses with our opportunities,” Lampe advised. He urged all involved to prepare for discussing the self-study, providing campus specific details and answering questions directly and honestly.
Keep in mind that you’re talking to people who will decide whether UW Colleges is reaccredited, whether the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences is accredited and whether our mission change is approved, he said.
“Let them see our passion. Let them hear our issues,” Lampe said, concluding, “Focus on what matters to us all — our students.”