UW System

Turn your ideas into products and services via new seed fund administered by UW-Extension


Idella Yamben, Ideadvance Seed Fund program manager with UW-Extension

Idella Yamben

University of Wisconsin faculty, staff and students generate ideas in their classrooms and labs, but it takes money to reduce risk and turn the idea into a business. UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. have each kicked in $1 million to help with the commercialization process for those affiliated with UW institutions other than UW-Madison.

UW-Extension is administering this Ideadvance Seed Fund and invites you to join one of the following free webinars to learn more:

UW-Extension’s Idella Yamben will lead the webinar. As the Ideadvance program manager and “New Idea Concierge,” she will be your primary point of contact as you move through the application process and seek additional resources.

To register, please email your name, title, UW System institution and preferred webinar date to Yamben at: uwideadvance@uwex.edu

You can learn more about Ideadvance through the news release, website http://uwideadvance.org/ and by following @ideadvancefund on Twitter.

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Posted at: Division for Business and Entrepreneurship, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Extension | Comments Off

3 ways to watch introductions of your new UW System president

Here are three opportunities to see Ray Cross, chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension, talk about his new role as president of UW System, a role he will officially assume mid-February.

  1. Wisconsin Public Television’s Frederica Freyberg interviewed Cross for the “Here and Now” show that will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 and 9:30 a.m. Jan. 12 on WPT’s flagship channel. Find details – and, after the initial broadcast, the full interview – at: http://wpt.org/hereandnow
  2. UW System introduced Cross through a Jan. 10 news conference at UW-Milwaukee.
  3. UW System also released a video Jan. 9 featuring Cross.

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Posted at: Appointments, Broadcasting and Media Innovations, Chancellor, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Extension | Comments Off

Chancellor Cross named as finalist for UW System top post


UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross

Ray Cross

UW System Board of Regents President Mike Falbo has announced that UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross is one of three finalists for the position of UW System president. On Monday, Jan. 6, each finalist will be interviewed by Falbo and the Regent selection committee and also participate in a statewide public forum via videoconference.

“I’m honored to be considered. It’s a humbling experience to be selected as a finalist to lead this great university system,” Cross said. “I wish the Board of Regents the best in this process of determining the next UW System leader.”

The other two finalists are Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and Peter Garland, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The open forums will be 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with King, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with Cross and 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. with Garland.

University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, the general public and media are invited to participate via videoconferencing at 28 sites. Sites include the 13 UW Colleges campuses, the 13 four-year campuses and two additional sites in Madison:  the UW Colleges and UW-Extension conference room 523 at 432 N. Lake St. in Madison and the UW System Administration conference room 126 at 708 Regent St. Candidates will begin with a five- to 10-minute presentation and questions will follow, although there may not be enough time for a question from each site.

UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff who are unable to participate via videoconferencing are invited to submit a question in advance. Please email your question to externalrelations@uwex.uwc.edu by 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3. Colleagues who are attending open forums will try to share questions.

The selection committee will meet Tuesday, Jan. 7, and submit its recommendation to the Board of Regents, which will announce the new president after its Thursday, Jan. 9, meeting.

Additional details are provided in the news release.

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Posted at: Appointments, Chancellor, UW Board of Regents, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Extension | Comments Off

UW Flex admission process kicks off with news conference and celebration


Todd Richmond, Aaron Apel and Karen Herzog

Todd Richmond, Aaron Apel and Karen Herzog

Aaron Apel was the center of attention as UW-Extension, UW System, UW Colleges and UW-Milwaukee leaders announced the opening of the UW Flexible Option admissions process at a news conference Nov. 18, 2013, at the Pyle Center in Madison.  Apel, who works in the registrar’s office at UW-Madison, represented the most important focus of the event: prospective students.

As such, he was congratulated on his application by news conference speakers: UW System President Kevin Reilly, Chancellor Ray Cross, Regents Regina Millner and Tracy Hribar, UW-Extension Interim Provost Aaron Brower, Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (CEOEL) Dean David Schejbal, UW Colleges’ Flex faculty point person Kim Kostka, CEOEL Director of the Office of Student Success Jan Ford and UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing Dean Sally Lundeen.

Apel also was interviewed by media, including, pictured here, Todd Richmond of the Associated Press and Karen Herzog of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Additional information about the event is available through the news release and the UW Colleges and UW-Extension Facebook photo album. In addition, the event recording is archived on Mediasite.

If you know someone interested in exploring the UW Flexible Option, please direct them to the website, http://flex.wisconsin.edu/ , where they can take the Flex Fit self-evaluation to see if a UW degree or certificate program offered in the Flexible Option format would be a good fit for their educational needs, goals and expectations.

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Posted at: Chancellor, Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, Extension Conference Centers, UW Board of Regents, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Extension, UW-Extension Provost | Comments Off

Self-proclaimed “Robin Hood of pedagogy” honored for excellence in teaching

Kirthi & Milanki Premadasa & Ray Cross

Kirthi & Milanki Premadasa & Ray Cross

Kirthi Premadasa is not a typical teacher and proved it through an award acceptance speech in which he said, “I always wanted to be Robin Hood. Now I have become the Robin Hood of pedagogy.”

The setting was the 2013 Alliant Energy Foundation Award Ceremony hosted by UW System Oct. 25, 2013, in Madison. Among the awards presented were Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Awards to three teachers from UW System campuses within the Alliant Energy service area, who were recognized for their outstanding commitment to student success. The audience of 70 included 10 enthusiastic Premadasa fans at the start and 60 more by the end of his remarks.

Premadasa is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County and formerly taught at UW-Marathon County. He did not, however, consider himself a teacher until he determined how to reach his students who were failing to grasp key mathematical concepts. He did so by “stealing” the best ideas from sources as varied as academic journals and YouTube videos, and then filling in the gaps through his own research.  “I would collect all that loot and put it in my head and share the loot with my students,” he said.

His success previously led to Premadasa’s selection for a 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross, who nominated him for the Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award.

“I am proud that UW Colleges has such dedicated and talented teachers as Kirthi Premadasa,” Cross said. “He’s not the only one. We have many faculty and staff who are dedicated to teaching undergraduates and take great pleasure and pride in doing an excellent job. It is good to see the UW System recognizing their work.”

Additional details about the awards are included in the news release.

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Posted at: Awards/honors, Chancellor, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Marathon County | Comments Off

Lumina Foundation grant helps UW Flexible Option serve as national model

Rebecca Karoff

Rebecca Karoff

The Lumina Foundation is granting $1.2 million to UW System for the evaluation of the UW Flexible Option, which is a joint undertaking of UW-Extension and UW System. Rebecca Karoff will oversee implementation of the grant to evaluate this new model over the next three years and to help develop a blueprint for other university systems to build similar programs.

A senior special assistant in the UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs, Karoff has been working on the development of the Flexible Option since fall 2012. Other principal investigators include UW-Extension Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Aaron Brower, UW-Extension Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning Dean David Schejbal and UW System Senior Vice President Mark Nook.

“The Lumina Foundation recognizes the game-changing potential of the UW Flexible Option – and other programs that could be modeled after it – to help reach the foundation’s goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with high-quality college degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60% by 2025,” Karoff said. “In fact, higher education institutions and policy-makers across the country are watching closely, and the faculty and staff at UW-Extension, UW Colleges and UW-Milwaukee working to mount Flex should be really proud of the work they are doing.”

She will hire and supervise grant staff, including a project manager, policy analyst, part-time administrative assistant and two half-time graduate students. Watch the UW-Extension LinkedIn page at http://www.linkedin.com/company/university-of-wisconsin-extension for a link to postings and please share news of these positions via your networks.

Additional details are provided in the news release.

Information about the UW Flexible Option is provided at http://flex.wisconsin.edu/. That includes links to recent Chronicle of Higher Education and National Public Radio features about this innovative way to earn a UW degree or certificate.

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Posted at: Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, Grants, UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Extension | Comments Off

Second UW Colleges student tweets for @UWpowersMe

Eric Mindham

Eric Mindham

After going eight months without a UW Colleges student voice on the UW System’s Knowledge Powers Wisconsin campaign we now have had two. Eric Mindham from UW-Richland has taken over the @UWPowersMe Twitter handle for this week from UW-Fox Valley student Allyssa Novak, who was last week’s student tweeter.

The social media campaign is one part of an effort to highlight the contributions of UW System institutions to the state.

Eric is a sophomore who plans to earn his Associate Degree before transferring to UW-La Crosse to major in finance. Meanwhile, he is taking advantage of many opportunities at UW-Richland, including working in both University Relations and the business office. He is also a Resident Adviser for the campus dorms and a member of the Roadrunners soccer team. Follow Eric’s tweets this week at https://twitter.com/UWpowersMe.

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Posted at: UW Colleges, UW System, UW-Richland | Comments Off