Campus Message from Chancellor Wachter

Dear Students,I write to you from the Feb­ru­ary Board of Regents Meet­ing in Madi­son.  The dia­logue in many of the meet­ings cen­tered on finan­cial matters.


Over­all, the con­ver­sa­tional tone con­tin­ues as that of pre­vi­ous meet­ings — increased scrutiny of and a desire for greater detail – par­tic­u­larly in regard to the finan­cial posi­tions of insti­tu­tions and the dri­ving forces behind them.


Debt ser­vice is an impor­tant topic as it relates to a cam­pus mas­ter plan and any new facil­i­ties or cap­i­tal projects which might be requested.  All indi­ca­tions are that future resources will be tight.


The ground was laid for the next bien­nium bud­get cycle when an overview was pre­sented of finan­cial posi­tion and chal­lenges.  Ongo­ing costs not cur­rently funded by the leg­is­la­ture total $61.9 mil­lion for FY ‘15.  This num­ber encom­passes sev­eral areas.  The imposed bud­get reduc­tion for this spring resulted in $32.8 mil­lion in per­ma­nent cuts to cam­puses (of which our share is the ongo­ing rescis­sion of $964,000).  An addi­tional decrease of $23.9 mil­lion also exists which UW Sys­tem has cov­ered of neces­sity to fund com­pen­sa­tion.  Future con­tin­u­ing costs are $3.9 mil­lion and the fund­ing of $1.3 mil­lion for “new” ini­tia­tives.  These annual costs, when com­bined with esti­mates for a future request for com­pen­sa­tion for the next bien­nium, amount to more than $306-million for 2015–2017.


On a cel­e­bra­tory note, there was much hap­pen­ing in the early part of the week and this past week­end.  The hockey teams con­tin­ued to shine as vic­tors.  It was a tremen­dous night at the Duluth-Superior Sym­phony Orches­tra on Sat­ur­day.  50 UW-S atten­dees were rec­og­nized front and cen­ter as an out­stand­ing group to have par­tic­i­pated in the Back­stage Pass event – so thank you for your sup­port!  The per­for­mance was invig­o­rat­ing; our fac­ulty mem­bers were in the spot­light.  Erin Aldridge received a stand­ing ova­tion for her splen­did ren­di­tion of the Samuel Bar­ber Vio­lin Con­certo.  Beth Gilbert was impres­sive at the harp­si­chord in the Bach Bran­den­burg Con­certo No. 3, accom­pa­ny­ing prin­ci­pal vio­list Kevin Hoeschen and a Baroque band of string play­ers.  Brett Jones mes­mer­ized his audi­ence at a fac­ulty recital pre­sen­ta­tion in Webb Recital Hall on Tues­day night with a wide reper­toire and array of per­cus­sion instru­men­ta­tion (yes, there were a ping-pong ball and a fish­ing pole involved, aside from your usual marimba, membrano-, metalo-, and idiophones!).


Next week is sim­i­larly a busy one.  In recog­ni­tion of the World Day of Social Jus­tice (Feb. 20), the fol­low­ing pro­grams are being offered: Feb. 16 at 6 PM in Swen­son Hall 1004,   a MOVIEInequal­ity for All; Feb. 20 at 5:30 in Swen­son Hall 1012,  a webi­nar with Robert Reich, for­mer Sec­re­tary of Labor,  A com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion on poverty in Supe­rior will take place.


Many hands and much effort have con­tributed to the devel­op­ment of the first draft of the strate­gic plan which will be unveiled on Wednes­day at two forums in Erlen­bach Lec­ture Hall in Swen­son — one at 11:30 a.m. and one at 4:30 p.m.  The cam­pus con­tin­ues to need your best cre­ative think­ing as it con­sid­ers the future direc­tion of the Uni­ver­sity.  I look for­ward to see­ing you there for the conversation!


Enjoy the deep freeze while it lasts!  I under­stand that sum­mer (30 degrees) might arrive next week.  I highly rec­om­mend the ice caves just north­east of Cor­nu­copia – absolutely spec­tac­u­lar!  Yes, we really are for­tu­nate to live at the cen­ter of the polar vortex.


Chan­cel­lor Wachter

 Dr. Renée Wachter
Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin — Supe­rior
P.O. Box 2000 — Old Main 212
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