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Provost's Action Plan: Planning for the Year 2000


"What is needed now is a new model of undergraduate education at research universities which incorporates the undergraduate experience as an integral part of the an integrated whole. There should be a symbiotic relationship between all three components of the university life and learning in order to provide a new kind of undergraduate experience available only at research institutions. A way needs to be found to integrate the undergraduate experience with the research mission, without compromising the research mission and without short-changing the undergraduate experience. The human and technological resources of the research universities are dazzling in their depth and variety, and the undergraduate students would be immeasurably benefited by programs that allowed real access to those resources . . .. There is no reason to assume that the small liberal arts college model is the only workable pattern for undergraduate education or that an entirely new approach to the education of the undergraduates in research universities could not be devised, an approach that would create a cohesive, integrated community of research faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. Distinctly different from the college experience, the university undergraduate experience can offer a clear alternative."

This quotation is from a report by the National Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University, a commission sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation to undertake a study initiated by the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The report formed the basis of discussion at a session on Undergraduate Education at the Research University during the summer 1996 meeting of the Chief Academic Officers of the member institutions of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).

Most striking is how this quotation, although its emphasis is on undergraduate education, mirrors the first, and central, priority in our Strategic Plan. Integrating the creation, application and dissemination of knowledge is an approach promulgated by Ernest Boyer in his book "Scholarship Reconsidered." It is exactly what the Commission means when it talks about "an integral part of an integrated whole" or when it says, "There is no reason to assume that (we could not devise) an approach that would create a cohesive, integrated community of research faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates." This emphasis upon a cohesive whole that unites our sometimes disparate activities and brings together a complete community of learners forms the vision that should drive us as we endeavor to implement the Strategic Plan on our own campus.

In the UWM Strategic Plan, Chancellor Schroeder notes that UWM will enrich the learning experiences of students by more widely organizing instruction around a "paradigm of discovery." The expression "paradigm of discovery" has been used recently in higher education and by UWM planning committees to describe an ideal for the learning process. This ideal is particularly appropriate for a research university in which the discovery of new knowledge is one of our defining activities. A university engaged in the "paradigm of discovery" brings the excitement of the creation of knowledge to all levels of the academic endeavor so that not just the knowledge itself but also the thrill of the creation process is part of what our students experience and learn.

UWM has great resources, but they are not the resources of a small liberal arts college and we should not pretend that they are. They are, instead, the resources of a major urban research university and we must find ways to use them to create the "paradigm of discovery" for our students. This demands the successful integration of knowledge creation, dissemination and application. We must be recognized as a place where great learning takes place at all levels of our endeavor, from the beginning freshman, or even the pre-college student, through to our most prestigious faculty. We, in turn, recognize that many of our best opportunities to integrate the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge come about in the context of our urban mission, another priority of our strategic plan. We will be known as a place where learning occurs as a community endeavor in which all share. This will be the trademark of UWM as a great university.


With a strategic plan in place, UWM is now poised to put into action a number of steps to realize our strategic goals. In this report, I will describe the changes that are expected over the next several years, the steps that campus administration will take to implement the strategic plan, the planning strategies each unit will be asked to describe in implementing the campus plan, and the budget planning strategies that will provide the resources necessary to realize these changes. Following the completion of each school, college, and division long-range plan, I will provide a comprehensive strategic implementation plan in Spring, 1997.

We have a great opportunity to move our institution toward a common goal. To do so, we must work collaboratively and within the reality of our resource base. We cannot be willing to let current or even potential budget restrictions prevent us from increasing the quality of our programs and institution. Instead, we must be willing to look closely at how we spend our time, money, and physical facilities to assure the greatest effect in meeting the goals of our strategic plan. We must also continue to encourage and support creative ideas for program and service development, and be willing to curtail some ongoing programs and activities in order to do so.



What should students expect?
  • To be engaged in discovery learning both in UWM courses and in internships and other placement experiences.
  • To experience a stronger sense of community and identity with UWM.
  • To be able to acquire information about UWM, register for classes and complete other administrative functions, and participate in courses at convenient times and in convenient sites.
  • To acquire technological, multicultural, and international learning experiences which help prepare them to succeed professionally and personally.
  • To experience improved services (including parking and transportation), curricula, and instruction.
  • To meet their educational goals in a timely manner.
  • Tuition and segregated fee increases that will be kept at modest levels.

What should faculty and staff expect?
  • An increased focus on the centrality of the academic department in collectively integrating and excelling in the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge.
  • The establishment of interdisciplinary academic areas of emphasis which will increasingly define the image of UWM and be supported and enhanced through academic planning and resource allocations.
  • A change in program array (the addition of new programs and the reduction or discontinuation of others) supporting areas of emphasis and reflecting changing needs of students and society.
  • Increased investment in technological support to enhance learning and research activities and administrative operations.
  • Increased extramural support for teaching and research.
  • Better alignment of state research support with units and individuals active and successful in securing extramural funding.
  • Reward, promotion, and professional development policies and practices which support the campus strategic goals.
  • Resource planning and allocation that support the strategic plan and are accomplished with faculty and staff participation and understanding.
  • More focused opportunities for professional growth and development with a strong emphasis on using technology to improve pedagogy and the quality of the student experience.
  • Strong emphasis on improved training and support for graduate teaching assistants.

What should the community expect?
  • Increased access to the expertise of faculty, staff, and students in addressing issues of importance to the community.
  • Increased partnerships between community agencies and area businesses with university programs.
  • Greater numbers of students participating in community placements as part of their degree work.
  • Increased convenience in registering for and attending UWM courses and programs.
  • Expanded program options for working adult students.

What should all expect?
  • Wider recognition of UWM's tradition and relevance to the interests of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin, and beyond.
  • Wide recognition of UWM for excellence in applying its resources as a research university to successful learning experiences for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Educational programs of the highest quality and productivity.
  • An aggressive marketing and recruitment program to make UWM a more recognized and attractive choice for potential students, faculty and staff.
  • Increased linkage of alumni with UWM.
  • Budget planning that enhances institutional quality through recapturing resources, cultivating innovation and collaboration, establishing responsibility and accountability, and promoting performance and productivity.
  • Increased knowledge and awareness of planning and budget parameters and decisions affecting the university's programs.
  • A physical environment that is attractive, safe and conducive to learning and scholarship.
  • A campus that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of its community and its campus population.

What UWM will do:

#1 Strengthen and integrate the university's main purpose - the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge.

Action steps requiring reallocation of resources at the campus and unit levels:

  • The campus will identify for future targeted growth select areas in which UWM will develop model interdisciplinary and cooperative programs distinctive for their strength through integration of research, teaching, and service. These might be, for example, the science and study of the Great Lakes region; urban environmental studies and design; health studies and careers; information technology and management; art and expression related to community and culture; and international studies.
  • The campus will develop new undergraduate and graduate programs responsive to the changing needs of society. The administration and the faculty will revise the program review process and will establish parameters to identify programs in need of attention.
  • The CIPD will create a model training program for graduate teaching assistants.
  • The Golda Meir Library will creatively maintain and enhance scholarly resources and access to them.
  • A coordinated campus freshman and transfer orientation program will be developed.
  • After renaming the Urban Research Center as the Office of Urban Initiatives and Research, the chancellor will charge it to expand urban initiatives across campus units.
  • The campus will intensify efforts to use the university's metropolitan location to expand the student educational experience by providing more internships, fieldwork, co-op programs and other learning opportunities in the community.

Actions steps requiring review and redistribution of targeted funds held at the campus and/or unit level:

  • Using the annual resource planning process, the campus will ensure that existing state research funding (activity 4 funds) supports areas and individuals with proven ability and/or outstanding potential to bring extramural funds to the campus.
  • The campus will review the Centers of Excellence model for its effectiveness in promoting scholarship and extramural support and in enhancing the integration of the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge.
  • The Vice Chancellor's and deans' offices will increasingly communicate with and strengthen the role of department chairs.
  • Through the annual budget planning process, units will support curricular revisions and other activities which integrate undergraduate instruction around a paradigm of discovery, including undergraduate research and creative activity.
  • The Graduate School will be restructured to ensure maximum support for graduate education, the university's research efforts, and success in increasing extramural funding.
  • The campus will make program and service adjustments to better accommodate the needs of traditional and nontraditional students. These will include expanding evening offerings and services, identifying areas to pilot accelerated program offerings, and establishing satellite sites.
  • The assignment of classrooms and scheduling of classes will be reviewed and revised to better meet student needs and resource limitations.
  • Professional development funds will focus on development of strategies to better connect and integrate research, teaching, and outreach.

Actions steps not requiring immediate allocation of resources:

  • The recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Undergraduate Experience will be fully implemented. The campus will complete the Degree Audit Review System and develop and implement a pilot Collegiate Academic Database System. The APCC will evaluate Writing Across the Curriculum for wider use on campus. Other areas of focus from the Blue Ribbon Committee report are:

    - support of teaching and increased flexibility of faculty workload.

    - development of advising and retention plans which better integrate and

    - coordinate the roles of faculty and professional advisors to provide effective student support.

    - regular and periodic assessment of student and faculty satisfaction.

    - advising across units to enable students to change majors.

    • The campus will modify those factors over which we have control (advising support, curriculum structure, transfer equivalencies, acceptance of Advanced Placement experience, recruitment) to attract students with high academic potential and to facilitate timely degree completion for all students and graduation compacts in appropriate majors.

    • The Milwaukee Initiative III plan will be completed in 1996-97.

    • Faculty review and promotion policies and practices will be reviewed and revised as necessary to recognize and foster the integration of the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge.

    • The campus will implement and revise, as necessary, the campus-wide UWM Research Plan, which sets specific goals for research, scholarship and creative activity and promotes collaborative research initiatives.

    • The provost and deans will use reviews of academic programs, including student outcome assessments, to regularly revise curricula and allocate resources. Departments will monitor and be expected to address any problems revealed by student outcomes assessments; course pass rates; and student, peer, and self evaluations.

    • The Vice Chancellor's office will work with academic units to strengthen student outcomes assessment as a means to review continually and revise as necessary curricula and program requirements.

    • The APCC will reevaluate the General Education Requirement.

#2 Stabilize Enrollments and Resources

Increase student enrollment and retention, better utilize existing resources, and find ways to enlarge the university's resource base.

Action steps requiring reallocation of resources at the campus and unit levels:

  • Over a three year period, at least $6.0M will be directed and reallocated primarily within the schools, colleges and divisions to achieve the initiatives of the Strategic Plan and to improve the quality and productivity of programs and activities. Each school/college/division will prepare long-range (3-5 year) strategic implementation plans along with annual resource management plans.
  • The campus will meet UW System's enrollment revenue target for the campus by the year 2000. We will continue to pursue enrollment planning and accompanying strategies to achieve this target through aggressive recruitment and improved undergraduate and graduate student retention rates. Resources will be reallocated as appropriate to meet campus goals.
  • The campus will review and modify its program array to ensure effective utilization of resources. An initial emphasis will be placed on a review of doctoral programs in light of the university's strategic objectives.
  • Certificate and other program options for adult students will be expanded.
  • Selected recommendations of the UWM Marketing Plan will be implemented.

Actions steps not requiring immediate allocation of resources:

  • The Vice Chancellor's office, working with the University Committee, Divisional Committees, and the Academic Deans Council, will coordinate discussions and revisions of promotion, tenure, and merit policies and practices to ensure their consistency with the strategic goals.
  • Each school, college and division will have in place a development plan to increase private sector gifts and revenue-producing activities.
  • Planning will begin for a campus-wide fund drive

#3 Expand Technology

Employ appropriate information and communication technology to improve the academic, student service and administrative operations of the campus.

Action steps requiring reallocation of resources at the campus and unit levels:

  • Through the planning process, resources for technology will be made available, distributed and maintained to meet technology needs.
  • A Learning Technology Center will help faculty and teaching staff integrate educational technologies into their courses.
  • I&MT will transfer the student administrative systems from an IBM mainframe to an open-architecture, relational database environment to enhance student, faculty and staff access to UWM student data.

Actions steps not requiring immediate allocation of resources:

  • The Vice Chancellor's office will facilitate the development of a comprehensive campus Learning Through Technology plan which will address near-term goals and long-range potential in utilizing technology to improve learning, research, and administrative services.
  • The Vice Chancellor's office will establish and maintain a technology "round table" group.

#4 Enhance the Campus Environment

Improve the support systems and physical facilities that make the campus environment conducive to learning and working.

Action steps requiring reallocation of resources at the campus and unit levels:

  • Student Affairs will review and augment as necessary services for students in areas such as admissions, registration, financial aid, career counseling and student health services.
  • The campus will pilot an on-line student registration system in 1997-98.
  • New technologies will be supported in the Career Development Office to improve student access to up to date career placement information.
  • The Office of Financial Aid will develop systems to provide students with on-line access to financial aid application and award information.
  • Administrative Affairs will put into place a plan to update and modernize classrooms.
  • Selected recommendations of the UWM Marketing Study will be implemented by the Division Heads.

Actions steps requiring review and redistribution of targeted funds held at the campus and/or unit level:

  • Existing professional development resources for employees will be targeted to achieve the initiatives of the Strategic Plan.
  • Student Affairs will review and augment food services and child care services to improve the student experience on campus.
  • Student Affairs will continue to develop the NCAA Division I athletic program.
  • The campus will expand its sports and recreation facilities.
  • Administrative Affairs will develop a new comprehensive parking and transportation plan that addresses student problems.

Actions steps not requiring immediate allocation of resources:

  • The campus will put into place and implement over the next four years a plan to expand residence hall space.
  • The Vice Chancellor's office will coordinate regular assessments of student, staff, and faculty satisfaction.
  • Deans will strengthen constituent alumni groups and UWM alumni will be increasingly involved in campus activities and initiatives.