Highlights from the Board of Regents Visit
Photos by Jean Germano
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents made their way up north to Superior from Wednesday, Oct. 9 to Friday, Oct. 11 as the University of Wisconsin-Superior hosted the board members.
The Board of Regents consists of 18 members, 16 of whom are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the state senate. The remaining two positions are served by UW-System students, one of whom is a non-traditional student. The board is responsible for establishing policies and rules that govern the UW-System, plan to meet state needs in collegiate education, set admission standards and policies, review and approve university budgets, and establish the regulatory framework within which the individual universities are allowed to operate with as great a degree of independence as possible. The board is also responsible for appointing the president of the UW-System and the 13 UW chancellors.
The theme for the Board of Regents’ visit was “Small but Mighty,” adopted from the 125 Years of Leadership, Innovation and Tradition UWS alumni publication. Renèe Wachter, UWS Chancellor, began the meeting with the Board of Regents by bringing attention to the diverse population of UWS. “46 percent of students are first generation and 28 percent of students are nontraditional.” Wachter praised UWS students and said students are “involved with academic and other projects in the community for a total of 58,000 hours, hold 700 community partners, and 47 percent of [university] employees were connected to the community through these activities.” Once UWS students graduate, 76 percent become employed immediately after and 17 percent continue their education.
UWS has created 626 jobs in Douglas County since its opening and has produced more than $54 million in total economic impact.
During the meeting, UWS featured two students that are the Swenson Scholarship recipients. Hannah Kolanczyk, one of the recipients, spoke to the board and said, “Without the Swenson Scholarship, I have no idea how I would afford tuition… Instead of stressing out about working [too] many jobs, I can focus on exceling in my academics.” Kolanczyk received a standing ovation from the Board of Regents for her research, high aspirations, and speech.
The Board of Regents also attended a reception during their visit, hosted by Toby and Sharon Marcovich, Wednesday evening (Oct. 9). Thursday, Oct. 10, the Board of Regents visited the Lake Superior Research Institute Ballast Water Treatment System Testing Facility. LSRI Director Dr. Matthew TenEyck told a tour group, “This is a technological incubator to bring good ideas forward,” as he pointed out how the facility occupies a unique niche in the world of ship ballast treatment systems. Afterward, the Regents split up into small specialized sessions at the Yellowjacket Union dealing with budgetary matters, educational standards and research and development across the system. They retired to the Jim Dan Hill Library for lunch, and later enjoyed a concert performed by the UWS Music Department. Finally, on Friday, Oct. 11, the Board had a public breakfast in the YU Great Room, open to all that wanted to attend.
“It’s really interesting to see [the board] deliberate and to see what goes on that makes decisions for UWS,” said UWS junior, Taylor Rux.