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Category: Higher Education/System

UW-Platteville Richland campus cancellation of in-person classes ‘should not be read as a sign’ for other Wisconsin branch campuses

Wisconsin Public Radio

The cancellation of in-person classes at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Richland campus next year” should not be read” as a cautionary tale for other branch campuses.

That’s according to UW System President Jay Rothman, who appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” Thursday. He said the decision was “based on facts” specific to that location.

‘Some come every single day’: Wisconsin college students’ use of campus food pantries soars this year

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A ribbon-cutting event for a former storage room marked a milestone for Milwaukee Area Technical College.

MATC converted the small space at its Walker’s Square campus into a food pantry that opened Tuesday. It’s the last of MATC’s five campuses to open a food pantry for students, all of which launched within the last year.

The pantries couldn’t have come at a better time.

Soaring food costs have college students feeling the pinch. The need is especially great at Walker’s Square, which is on the near south side in the heart of Milwaukee’s Latino community. Many students at the campus are enrolled in the GED or English as a Second Language programs while working minimum wage jobs that don’t provide enough to cover rent, gas, groceries and other expenses.

After years of upheaval, UW-Whitewater announces 5 chancellor finalists

Wisconsin State Journal

Current Interim Chancellor John Chenoweth, previously UW-Whitewater’s provost; UW-Green Bay Vice Chancellor for University Inclusivity and Student Affairs Corey A. King; Minnesota State University-Mankato Vice President for Student Success, Analytics and Integrated Planning Lynn D. Akey; Grand Valley State University Dean Paul Plotkowski; and Auburn University at Montgomery Provost Mrinal Mugdh Varma.

Wisconsin’s pandemic-era high school students are now in college. Some need more help

Noted: At UW-Madison, the most selective school in the state, it’s too early to say what, if any, academic recovery will be needed, according to John Zumbrunnen, the university’s vice provost for teaching and learning. There hasn’t been a spike in tutoring sessions. Nor has there been a higher rate of D and F grades awarded. But the university offered two semesters of a pass/fail grading policy, which “muddies the data picture for us.”

That’s not to say Zumbrunnen hasn’t fielded concerns from some instructors. In math, there’s been a slightly larger share of students placing into pre-calculus instead of calculus. A STEM instructor told him this year’s crop of students scored lower on a basic exam than in past years. He’s heard from a social sciences instructor who felt that students this fall weren’t quite as ready to read at a college level than in past years.

Marnie Bullock Dresser: Loss of Richland campus is heartbreaking

Wisconsin State Journal

This is my 31st and final year as a professor on the campus that Brush Creek runs through. It was UW-Center Richland when I started, then UW-Richland of the UW Colleges, and will end as UW-Platteville Richland. It was recently announced that in-person degree instructional programs at UW-Platteville Richland, about 60 miles northwest of Madison in Richland County, will cease as of July 1, 2023.

Opinion | Surplus a chance to shore up UW System

The Capital Times

Wisconsin’s $6.6 billion surplus is an unparalleled opportunity to shape state policy. Along with the predictable talk of tax cuts and general investments in education, roads and health care, Democratic leaders in Madison should pay particular attention to one of the oldest public institutions in the Dairy State: the University of Wisconsin System.

UW System moving degree programs off Richland Center campus

Wisconsin State Journal

In a letter Tuesday to UW-Platteville Interim Chancellor Tammy Evetovich, System President Jay Rothman outlined a four-step plan for the Richland Center campus, which includes moving all instructional programs to either the Platteville or Baraboo campuses for fall 2023 while developing a plan to “maintain a suitable presence” at the Richland County campus through such things as enrichment programs or courses for adults.

Wisconsin had 1,427 opioid overdose deaths last year, 16% higher than previous record

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison in October installed naloxone kits in dorms and dining areas, in an effort to reverse overdoses. The kits, known as Nalox-ZONE boxes, contain nasal spray naloxone, instructions on how to administer it and a breathing mask.

Other campuses, starting last year with UW-Oshkosh, have installed the kits in an effort organized by Wisconsin Voices for Recovery. The parents of Cade Reddington, 18, of Waunakee, and Logan Rachwal, 19, of Pewaukee, UW-Milwaukee students who died from overdoses involving fentanyl last year, urged campus officials to make the kits widely available.

Jay Rothman: How UW System is encouraging civil dialogue

Wisconsin State Journal

“It’s Just Coffee” was the brainchild of a UW-Madison student who recognized that amid the political polarization in our country and on our campuses, students of differing backgrounds could discuss difficult topics — politics, religion, economics — in a respectful, civil way if they have a low-key, non-threatening environment for doing so. The program showed that students aren’t just willing but are eager to have meaningful, one-on-one conversations with people with whom they might disagree.

UW-Eau Claire employee files complaint alleging racial discrimination because she’s white

Wisconsin Public Radio

A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire employee has filed a racial discrimination complaint that alleges she was harassed and demoted because she is white.

The complaint follows the firing of a former vice chancellor for equity, diversity, inclusion who alleges students and employees of color were opposed to white individuals having leadership roles in the campus’s multicultural affairs office.

Microcredentials Could Help Fill the Skills Gap

MarketWatch

But this is not just about one post-secondary system. Microcredentials are growing in other public higher education systems as well. The University of Wisconsin, Kansas State, and the University of Texas are but a few examples of other public systems where microcredentials are rapidly growing. This work is moving rapidly in the private higher-education space as well.

Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is growing quickly, fostering innovation

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: In fact, the state’s higher education system is a major reason the industry is thriving, according to Dr. Zachary Morris, a researcher and associate professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

He said colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin are producing the highly-skilled workers that the biohealth sector needs, and research being done at those institutions also is helping to strengthen the industry.

“The universities, through the faculty, are in many cases steering or developing innovative technologies that these companies are then helping to spin out and commercialize,” he said.

UW System relaunches controversial free speech student survey

Wisconsin Examiner

The University of Wisconsin System sent a survey to students on Monday looking for their feelings about the state of free speech on the system’s campuses across the state.

The survey had previously been planned for May, but objections from chancellors, including by UW-Whitewater Chancellor James Henderson, who criticized the survey when he resigned from his post, caused it to be delayed.

UW-Madison provost stepping down, launching new search for an important position

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is launching a search for a new provost, an administrative position ranking just second to the chancellor in terms of importance.

The current provost, John Karl Scholz, will serve until the end of the school year and then return to the economics department, where he has taught since 1988. A new provost is expected to start sometime next summer, UW-Madison announced Tuesday.

Controversial free speech survey will relaunch on Monday across UW System

Wisconsin State Journal

The survey, which is meant to gauge student attitudes toward free speech on campuses, will be sent to a random selection of students — anywhere from 2,500 to 7,500 at each of the 13 System universities — starting Monday. Researchers from the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, a unit of the System, are looking to gather 500 responses from each campus.

School for beginning dairy farmers slated for closure

Wisconsin State Farmer

It looks as if the University of Wisconsin-Madison is getting ready to close down the School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, which has graduated almost 600 budding farmers after training them in grazing practices as well as business planning for their new operations.

The school was founded and directed by Dick Cates, a Spring Green beef farmer who also served on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s citizen policy board and various state sustainability panels.

Scholars of Urban Education Gather for Solutions-Based Conference

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Noted: Over 270 sessions were offered at the conference, including a keynote address by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, one of the world’s most prolific educational researchers. Ladson-Billings is Professor Emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The widening racial disparities between Blacks and whites is dramatic, noted Ladson-Billings, who pointed out that in 2019, about 30% of Black children lived in poverty, with 1 and 4 Black children facing severe food insecurity. With regard to public schools, she noted that 45% of Black students attend high-poverty schools compared to 8% of white children.

During the COVID pandemic, a number of Black children were only able to access the internet through their smart phones.

“Think about remote learning,” she said, adding that children struggled to receive their lessons via a small phone screen. “But that’s the reality.”

Additionally, Ladson-Billings noted that 75% of Black students who are considered eligible for advanced placement (AP) courses never take one, in part because so many of these students are enrolled in schools where these accelerated courses are not even offered.

“They’re bright enough, but there’s no access,” she said, adding that too many Black students are frequently discouraged from achieving their full potential by schoolteachers and administrators, even as suspension and expulsion rates for Black children steadily inclines.

Abortion training is part of medical school curriculum, but some Wisconsin programs are having trouble providing it post Roe

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also coming up with ways to solve the current training problem, but they’re also beginning to worry about future recruitment.

Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and the director of medical student education at UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the repercussions could be felt for years.

“I’m worried that we’re going to have a challenging time recruiting the best residents to our program because of these concerns, and not just for obstetrics and gynecology, but for all types of medicine,” she said.

Wisconsin OB-GYN programs must send residents across state lines for training because of abortion ban

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The state’s two other OB-GYN residency programs − at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee − are vulnerable as well.

An Aurora spokesperson said Thursday the hospital also plans to send OB-GYN residents out of state, though they would not provide specifics of the arrangement. A UW doctor said they are in the process of determining a course of action.

“We are committed to following the ACGME mandates of training our residents and putting out well-trained obstetrician gynecologists,” said Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and academic specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. “We are actively exploring options.”

Students rip ‘woke’ colleges for Halloween ‘offensive’ costume warnings: ‘Don’t think that’s their place’

Fox News

Schools such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Michigan are all encouraging students to choose a Halloween costume that does not appropriate another culture.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a webpage dedicated to “Halloween cultural awareness” which states that students should avoid “racist, crude, or culturally insensitive” costumes.

UW-Madison professor says student loan forgiveness faces uncertain future as lawsuits play out

TMJ4

Quoted: “To get standing, you have to prove that you’re harmed by these actions and so to prove that you’ve been harmed by canceling a loan is a really hard needle to thread,” UW-Madison professor Nick Hillman explained.

Hillman says the lawsuits are attacking the forgiveness plan from all sorts of angles to clear the legal standing hurdle and more lawsuits are expected to come now that the application process is officially open.

Out of the three that are currently still awaiting a court decision, Hillman thinks the one filed jointly by six states has the best chance to undo the forgiveness.

UW-La Crosse College Republicans scrawl anti-Semitic message on campus, prompting group chair to resign in protest

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The student leader of the College Republicans chapter at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse resigned from her post this week after group members scrawled an antisemitic message on a campus sidewalk and promoted it on social media.

UW-La Crosse is at least the second Wisconsin school to be hit with antisemitic messages this school year.

UW-Madison historian Monica Kim awarded MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A University of Wisconsin-Madison historian on Wednesday won one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, which comes with a no strings attached $800,000 stipend to spend however she sees fit.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named UW-Madison professor Monica Kim, 44, as one of 25 national recipients of the MacArthur fellowship. Also known as the “genius grant,” the awards are given annually to a select group of individuals across a range of disciplines who show exceptional creativity in their work and future ambitions.

Acceptance rates are declining at public universities

Washington Examiner

Less than half of the University of Georgia’s applicants, 42%, were accepted this fall after the university admitted a historically low number in 2021 at 39%. It previously toted accepting over 40% of students without a test score of any kind. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin similarly let in less than half of the applicants. Ten years ago, however, all three of the schools accepted more than 60% of applicants.

It’s Good For Business When Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Workers Are Given A Fair Shot

Forbes

For instance, a recent study showed that 80% of all tenure-track faculty members in the United States derived from just 20% of PhD-granting institutions. What’s more, no historically Black colleges and universities were among that 20%. Indeed, one in eight tenure-track faculty members got their PhDs from either Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the University of Michigan.

A Cold War Program Gets Hijacked

Wall Street Journal

NRC-funded efforts included a training institute last year at the University of Texas, Austin, where teachers of pre-kindergartners through fifth graders were schooled in “(Un)learning patterns of whiteness in literacy teaching.” In May, Stanford University’s Center for Latin American Studies sponsored a webinar about using picture books to initiate “conversations centered on advocacy for LGBT Latina/o(x) youth.” The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia hosted a graduate student who uses critical race theory in her research on Russia and Ukraine.

UW-Superior professor starts organization to tutor Ukrainian students whose lives were upended by war

Wisconsin Public Radio

University of Wisconsin-Superior chemistry professor Michael Waxman has the reputation of a tough instructor. But this year he has students who might say something different.

In late February, Waxman was horrified by the destruction of homes and families in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He felt he had to do something to help.

UW System launches campaign to increase financial aid applications

Wisconsin State Journal

The University of Wisconsin System’s new tuition-waiver program aims to help the state compete for talent and fill critical worker shortages.

But financial aid applications determine eligibility, and Wisconsin ranks 38th in the nation for the percentage of high school seniors who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Johns Hopkins U. Paused Its Plans for a Campus Police Force. 2 Years Later, Resistance Is Stronger Than Ever.

Chronicle of Higher Ed

Kristen Roman, chief of police at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said that for colleges, one of the advantages of having a police department is that officers are more familiar with the institution’s particulars.“

As a community member, I myself would rather have somebody in a police role who is invested and understands some of the unique challenges of my community,” said Roman, who serves as director-at-large of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators’ Board of Directors

UW-Green Bay bucks UW System trend with 7th year of enrollment growth, driven partly by Hispanic students

Green Bay Press-Gazette

As declining enrollment continues to plague the University of Wisconsin System, UW-Green Bay is experiencing its seventh year of growth.

Based on preliminary data from the first day of classes, UW-Green Bay saw a 3% enrollment increase over last year among its four campuses despite a 1% decrease across the state’s public university system. After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting education, the system expected the drop.