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The October 2010 meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents at UW Oshkosh began with a message of cautious hope for the state’s public universities and their plan to increase the number of degrees awarded.

Chancellor Richard H. Wells

UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells presented “Principles for Progress and Prosperity: A Compact to Better Educate More People” before the 18-member governing board of UW System, guests from other UW institutions and members of the UWO campus community the morning of Oct. 7. The compact is comprised of three requirements of the UW System — expanded access, increased productivity and enhanced quality — and three enabling conditions that the State must meet to help control costs.

“In exchange, the compact calls for three things from the State,” Wells said. “First, a greater and more stable share of state tax dollars for the UW System, including the resources and flexibility needed to make faculty and staff compensation competitive; second, greater management flexibility in purchasing, contracting and construction; and third, prudent investments in need-based financial aid to preserve access for low- and moderate-income students.”

Wells cited examples of how UW Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s third-largest and second-fastest growing university, is well positioned to uphold its end of the bargain, including how the University has expanded access to high-demand programs, increased productivity through innovate initiatives such as the Graduation Project, and taken steps to enhance quality by adopting essential learning outcomes every student needs in the 21st century.

“It is clear that we need a very compelling strategy for the 2011-13 biennium, and we have to do things in a fundamentally different way if we want to see a greater share of state tax dollars invested in the mission of our public higher educational institutions,” Wells said.

Following Chancellor Wells’ speech, those gathered watched a video highlighting some of the high-impact, educational practices that illustrate the quality of teaching and learning at UW Oshkosh. After the video, the guests heard panel presentations from faculty and students, including those who have benefited from high-impact learning experiences in beach health monitoring, the Yahoo! Global Service Desk and a cross-discipline multimedia project titled “Airboat Rescue 1: When the Ice Breaks.”

In the afternoon, Provost Lane Earns will expound on UWO’s initiatives to enhance quality in the curriculum before the Education Committee, and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Tom Sonnleitner will share more about the University’s strategic financial planning initiatives and an updated campus master plan at the Finance Committee meeting.

At 4 p.m., a dedication ceremony will be held for the state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly Student Success Center, which provides UW Oshkosh students with a single destination for student advising, career services, counseling, tutoring and learning assistance.

The Board of Regents meeting continues tomorrow, Oct. 7, with the UW Oshkosh Foundation’s Report to the Community Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and an update provided by   representatives of New North Inc. and NEW ERA at 9:15 a.m. in Room 227 of Reeve Memorial Union. The meeting comes to a end at noon with a closed session.