Lubar Undergraduate

2006-2007 Differential Tuition Report
Since its inception in the 2004-2005 academic year, Differential Tuition has made a significant difference in the Lubar School in addressing the four focus areas that the Board of Regents approved in February, 2004. These include: advising and placement services, improving access to courses and quality of instruction, enhancing technology, and strengthening internationalization initiatives. The following sections of this report summarize progress on each of these initiatives.

Student Advising and Career Services ProgramsAcademic AdvisingDifferential Tuition funds dedicated to the goal of assisting students with greater access to academic advising resulted in changing the student-to-advisor ratio from 785:1 to 600:1. To accomplish this, the School hired two additional full-time Undergraduate Academic Advisors in year one of Differential Tuition implementation. Their presence has made a significant and positive difference in the ability to provide Undergraduate students with essential advising expertise. Internal student surveys and focus groups conducted annually have consistently affirmed that students are now able to make appointments with advisors in a timely manner. Campus-wide data collection of student feedback regarding advising places the Lubar School advising office second only to the College of Engineering and Applied Science advising office on this campus in terms of student satisfaction (students rating the office “excellent” or “good”).

Additional services to students that are now in place with increased Academic Advising staff include:

1) The “Focus on Freshmen” advising week was added to promote first-year students’ adjustment and academic success.

2) “Transition Sessions” were added. This is a series of special programs to introduce the majors and their requirements to students at the point of admission to the business school, and to increase the information available to “undecided” business students. Transition Sessions were a Black & Gold Committee idea.

3) A Student Services assistant was added at a 50% appointment to handle student phone inquiries and requests, schedule advisor appointments, and help administer the above programs.

Career ServicesDifferential Tuition funds permitted hiring one additional full-time Career Services professional. The impact this has had on students’ access to internships, job opportunities, and preparation for the job search process has been significant. The following enhancements to Career Services’ offerings are the direct result of additional staffing that these funds provided.

  • One staff member is now able to focus on job postings. As a result, we anticipate at total of 439 internship postings for the 2006-2007 academic year, versus a total of 283 in 2003-2004, prior to Differential Tuition.
  • Additional Career Services staff has also made it possible to devote more resources to the annual Career Fair. In 2003, forty-four companies participated in the Lubar School Career Fair, versus 67 this year. Greater participation in this event is secured via personal calls and visits to firms, again made possible by Differential Tuition support for added staff to perform this function.
  • A Student Organization Directory is now available to students, created and maintained by the new Career Services staff position.
  • Career Services also serves students with the purchase of Vault Career Software, a new initiative funded by Differential Tuition (further details in technology section below).
  • Career Services workshops for resume writing and Interview skills have increased from a total 19 in 2003 to 45 in the 2006-2007 academic year to date.

Improving Access to CoursesDifferential Tuition has made it possible to add sections of new courses to meet the enrollment demand that has increased in each of the last 3 years. Since implementation of Differential Tuition in the 2004-2005 academic year, 13 entirely new course topics have been offered. In addition, this funding made it possible to hire instructors and add new sections of existing courses during peak enrollment periods when full sections would have prevented students from enrolling in courses they needed.

Improving Quality of InstructionClass size is an important contributor to instructional quality. Differential Tuition has permitted opening additional sections to reduce class size. In terms of Discussion sections, Introduction to Business sections and Organizations sections increased from 8 to 10, Business Statistics sections increased from 13 to 15, Introduction to Information Systems sections increased from 18 to 23, Introduction to Financial Accounting and Principles of Marketing sections increased from 15 to 20, Quality/Productivity Improvement sections increased from 10 to 12. Mass lecture classes in Organizations, Principles of Marketing, and Business Statistics were split to reduce the number of students per section by half.

Faculty recruitment focusing on high-quality teaching skills yielded probationary and tenure track appointments in Marketing, Organizations & Strategic Management, Management Information Systems, Finance and Business Statistics. Students were involved in recruitment for these positions. Additional initiatives that Differential Tuition has made possible include:

  • Establishment of a Business Scholars program
  • Support for “supplemental instruction” tutoring in accounting, finance, and business statistics.

Enhancing TechnologyStudents requested Differential Tuition revenue to pay for extended evening and weekend hours in the computer labs. Labs now close at midnight daily, rather than 10 p.m. as previously. Additional technology enhancements include:

  • A Group Projects Lab was developed with a full complement of needed technology for creating and viewing presentations, and space for students to work on group projects.
  • A dedicated server will soon be available for student technology projects and student organization web sites.
  • The Career Services office (one of only two in-school Career Services offices at UWM) now offers Vault software. This technology helps students prepare for the job search, provides high-quality information on employers not available from other sources for interview preparation, and gives them an edge in the competitive job market. Business students at all Big 10 Universities have access to Vault, but it was not possible for the Lubar School to subscribe to this web-based software prior to implementation of Differential Tuition.

Strengthening International ProgramsSince the inception of Differential Tuition and the increased staff support it has made possible, the School’s short-term study abroad opportunities have increased from two options to three (Giessen, Germany study abroad added). Faculty professional development for teaching international courses has also been made possible via Differential Tuition. The School now has staff support to ensure adequate academic advising and course transfer procedures for students who choose to study abroad. In the year prior to Differential Tuition, the School was able to serve 26 students in this way. That number grew to 44 in 2006-2007 with Differential Tuition support.

Black & Gold CommitteeRoleThe four broad categories that are the focus of Differential Tuition, and the main expenses in each category, have been in place since the program’s inception in Fall, 2004. Salaries, capital expenses, and annual subscriptions (e.g., to Vault software) are therefore fixed. The Black & Gold Committee annually reviews the budget and suggests new projects that can be accommodated, for the most part, via the carry forward balance that is calculated each Spring. In prior years, projects such as the Group Projects lab involved significant expense. In other years, such as in the 2006-2007 academic year, the Committee’s activities focused on the School’s internal procedures and policies to promote a student-centered academic environment, consistent with the group’s original mission as a facilitator of student-generated initiatives within the School.

CompositionA membership drive for the Black & Gold Committee occurs each Fall. Announcements inviting applications are made in classrooms and posted on the School’s intranet, web site, and on undergraduate and graduate listservs, along with the application form. Upon submitting an application, current members of the Committee contact students for interviews. New member selection is the sole responsibility of student members, and has primarily been directed toward finding students sincerely willing to devote time, energy and creativity to the group and its activities. Committee membership is not capped, and has fluctuated between 18 and 25 students since its inception. In recent years the Committee has included up to 3 faculty members.

CommunicationCommunication between the Black & Gold Committee and the student body occurs though the Lubar School web site where committee members’ names, minutes of Committee meetings, and agendas are regularly posted. Student listservs also serve as a regular means of communication.

Respectfully submitted:

Jennifer Gen Globig
President, SBA Black & Gold Committee

Janice S. Miller, PhD
Associate Dean

 

Fee and Expenditures as of 6/30/07

FEE REVENUE  
2006/07
Actual
Tuition Differential  
$1,234,000
     
EXPENDITURES BY OBJECTIVE:  
 
Enhance Academic Advising & Career Services
New Advising and Career Services Staff  
$187,200
 
Improve faculty to student ratios/ Maintain high-quality instruction
New Faculty hires/additional course sections/curricular internationalization  
$691,600
Business Scholars Program  
$54,200
Subtotal  
$745,800
 
Increase the number of Teaching Assistants
New Teaching Assistants/additional course sections  
$91,000
 
Enhance Learning Technology  
Technical support staff, course enhancements, expanded lab hours,
new student proposals
 
$63,000
 
TOTAL Expenditures to Date  
$1,087,000
 
BALANCE
of Revenue over Expenditures
 
$147,000
 
Notes:  
* Carryforward balance will fund recruitments, Black & Gold committee requests, proposed new finance lab and provide a contingency for enrollment fluctuations.
* Above salary amounts include related fringe benefits.