State of the University Address

Good morning residence of 4 South. Yesterday Chancellor Shields gave his State of the University Address. For those who were unable to attend yesterday, I would like to share the key topics that were addressed during this meeting.

The Chancellor began his address stating the challenges that UW- Platteville faces are challenges faced by every higher education establishment across the United States. Despite these challenges UWP has continually proved we have the ability to overcome year after year. Seeing as just last year we were able to celebrate 150 years, and still roots are growing here at our campus. The University offers 3 different colleges covering 130 different programs and these students are all putting there roots here in Platteville. this past year UWP has been “ranked #1 for the students Return on Investment” according to Pay Scale Magazine and “Best Value College” from SmartAsset.com. This helps to show that the students here at UWP are able to overcome the challenges faced every year.

In discussion about the current student enrollment the Chancellor stated we are at a total of 8,693 students, which is our 3 rd largest enrollment in our history. To maintain this enrollment the University will have to work hard to continue to improve our programs across the board. Shields made it clear that he believes UWP offers the “Best experiences in the Country”. The current budget to maintain this excellence is $139.6 Million with only 11%  of that budget coming from the state. This means our largest portion of the budget comes from tuition and self funding. To ensure our experience is held the University is implementing four pillars: Providing Outstanding Education, Controlling our Destiny, Enriching the Tri-State, and our Openness to diversity, fostering respect to all.

Through these pillars as a University we hope to raise our current graduation numbers from where the needle lies today. Currently we have a 20% 4 year graduation rate. The goal is to raise this number to 30%. The 6 year graduation rate is 50%, but we strive to reach above 60%. Our overall graduation rate is 70% and again we want to move this to an 80% graduation rate. Fostering our four pillars the University believe these numbers are achievable.

In addressing the budget the Chancellor made it clear that for UWP we need an enrollment of at least 8,000 to survive. Using the new budget model and data informed decisions the University will put our money where it is needed. On average students pay $5,000 out of pocket meaning that we need to ask our state to invest in our students to bring our tuition prices down so that students may focus on their studies while at Platteville. Currently the UW Universities are asking the state for $42.5 million in funding to help our programs, from that UWP would receive  anywhere from $700,000 to $1 million. This money would go to invest first in students, then our employees, and the universities infrastructure. Currently 23% of engineering graduate in Wisconsin come from UW-Platteville. Therefore, we need to invest in upgrades across campus with renovations and new buildings, so we can keep students coming to UWP.

I hope that this information will be helpful to you this semester and to understand how the University stands today. If you have any questions I may be able to answer them, or point you n the right direction!

Thank you and remember Everyday is a Great Day to be a Pioneer!!

-Ben

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