Lubar Undergraduate
2007-2008 Differential Tuition Report
The Lubar School's overarching goal in implementing differential tuition has been--and remains--to improve the quality of educational experience available to our students. The focus areas toward which we applied funds included a variety of activities that span academic advising, classroom experiences (class size, quality of instruction), technology and technical facilities, and international preparation of students and faculty. Students on the Lubar School's Black & Gold Committee, as well as students in professional interest organizations and Student Association Business Senators, were instrumental in identifying the eight specific focus areas differential tuition has targeted. The Black and Gold Committee reviews differential tuition annually and members suggest additional uses for available funds. 

The sections below summarize progress toward benchmarks set when the program began.

Improve Academic Advising When differential tuition went into effect in Fall, 2004, the student-to-advisor ratio was 946:1. The recommended ratio the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) suggests is 400-450:1. Differential tuition funds made it possible to hire two more academic advisors, and the ratios substantially improved in 2004 and in 2005. At its most favorable, the ratio was 565:1. Subsequently, enrollment growth has resulted in the ratio creeping slowly upward. At the time of this writing, the student-to-advisor ratio is 716:1. Nonetheless, without the differential and the two new advisors the Lubar School hired, the present ratio would be 1,140:1. 

To compensate for the ratio increase and create efficiencies to maintain academic advising services at a level consistent with what students experienced during the first two years of differential tuition, the School has invested in scheduling software for advisor appointments, an automated telephone answering system for routine inquiries, and increased commitment to advisor training and professional development to enhance advising skills. 

The School's successful efforts in terms of training and professional development were borne out this year by campus-wide data collection of student feedback regarding advising. This data places the Lubar School advising office second only to the College of Engineering and Applied Science advising office in terms of student satisfaction (students rating the office's performance as "excellent" or "good"). 

Hire Additional Academic Staff Differential tuition funds permitted hiring one additional full-time Career Services professional. The impact 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 made possible. 

  • One staff member is now able to focus on job postings. As a result, there were a total of 439 internship postings for the 2006-2007 academic year, versus 283 in 2003-2004, prior to differential tuition.
  • Resume Writing and Interview Workshops increased from 19 (prior to Differential tuition) to 30 in 2006-2007.
  • Additional Career Services staff have also meant increased resources are available to support the School's annual Career Fair. In 2003, forty-four companies participated in the Lubar School Career Fair, versus 67 in 2007. Greater participation in this event is the result of 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.
  • The Career Services office also helps students succeed in the competitive job market via the purchase of Vault Career Software, a new initiative that differential tuition has funded (further details in technology section below). This software allows students access to a national job market, customized job searches, and the ability to prepare for interviews by researching company data not usually available on corporate web sites. During the most recent academic year, over 400 students used this career software.
Improve Faculty to Student RatioDifferential tuition has permitted opening additional course sections to reduce class size. Mass lecture classes in Organizations, Principles of Marketing, and Business Statistics were split to reduce by half the number of students per section. Differential tuition funds permitted hiring additional teaching assistants for expanded numbers of discussion sections, and also paid for additional faculty to teach smaller mass lectures. 

As the Table I below demonstrates, mean class size in discussion sections (fall semester, 2007, data) has improved overall since prior to implementation of differential tuition. For comparison, the table's right hand column indicates what class size would be without differential tuition. 

Maintain High Quality InstructionFaculty recruitment focusing on high-quality teaching skills yielded appointments of teaching faculty in Marketing, Management, Management Information Systems, Finance, and Business Statistics. Undergraduate students were actively involved in recruitment for these faculty positions. Additional initiatives that differential tuition has made possible include:

  • Establishment of a Business Scholars program to provide premier students the opportunity to challenge themselves through more rigorous business courses. This program has both in-class and extracurricular features to ensure that students who seek a more demanding academic experience have that opportunity within the Lubar School. The Business Scholars program prepares these exceptionally motivated students by providing them with advanced tools (e.g., analytic and statistical skills) and real world experiences that they need to compete for selective job opportunities and for admission to top graduate business schools.
  • Support for "supplemental instruction" tutoring in math-intensive courses in accounting, finance, and management statistics. 
  • Addition of 13 new course elective topics to the schedule. Spending in this category responds to a student request for greater class availability to facilitate on-time graduation.
Increase the Number of Teaching Assistants Differential tuition has made it possible to increase the number of teaching assistants from 33 to 45. Sections that are the responsibility of teaching assistants in Introduction to Business and in Organizations increased from 8 to 10, Business Statistics discussion sections increased from 13 to 15, Introduction to Information Systems discussion sections increased from 18 to 23, Introduction to Financial Accounting and Principles of Marketing discussion sections increased from 15 to 20, Principles of Finance discussion sections increased from 7 to 9. Quality/Productivity Improvement discussion sections increased from 10 to 12. 

Improve Technology Students requested differential tuition revenue to pay for extended evening and weekend hours in the Lubar School's computer labs.  Labs now close at midnight daily, rather than 10 p.m. as previously. Additional technology enhancements include:

  • A dedicated server to support student technology projects and student organization web sites.
  • The purchase of Vault software (see above) enhanced Career Services' offerings. This technology helps students prepare for the job search, provides high-quality information on employers not available from other sources to aid in interview preparation, and gives undergraduate students an edge in the competitive job market. Business students at all Big 10 Universities have access to Vault, but the Lubar School was unable to subscribe to this web-based software prior to implementation of differential tuition.
  • The addition of advanced finance software and hardware in the Applied Finance Lab will significantly improve the quality of undergraduate finance education. This Lab will strengthen the Finance program, particularly in the area of investment finance. 
  • An enhanced technology package will include flat screen monitors mounted at strategic locations in the Lubar School to display activities, research presentations, and opportunities for student involvement, fulfilling a specific Black & Gold Committee request for differential tuition-funded technology enhancements.
Hire Technical Support Staff and Improve Technical FacilitiesAs noted above, funds for additional support staff for extended computer lab hours came from differential tuition. In addition, students requested spending differential tuition funds to create a "Group Projects Lab" where they can meet in study groups to create, refine, and practice group projects and presentations for their classes. Along with funding the remodeling costs for the room that became the GPL, the Lubar School purchased hardware and software for the space that is identical to what is available in classrooms. Students using the GPL thus have access to the same technology they will use for in-class presentations.

Strengthen the International Preparation of Students and Faculty Since the inception of differential tuition and the increased staff support it has made possible, the Lubar 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 increased via differential tuition. For example, a new "international focus" section of the undergraduate capstone course is now available. Also thanks to differential tuition funds, the Lubar School has staff support to ensure adequate academic advising and course transfer procedures for students who choose to study abroad for a semester or a full year. In the year prior to differential tuition, the Lubar School was able to serve 26 students in this way. That number grew to 44 in 2006-2007.

SummaryDuring the 2007-2008 academic year Differential Tuition continued to make a significant difference in the quality of UW-Milwaukee's business students' education, their access to courses, their preparation for the competitive job market, and their overall student experience. A vital aspect of the program is the unique partnership created between students and the Lubar School. The process has benefited throughout from consistent student involvement, dating from the program's inception to the present. Students initiated the key focus areas to target differential tuition spending, have monitored its progress, and continue to suggest ways to develop and enhance the benefits the program makes possible. Differential tuition is now a key, and vital, part of the Lubar School's ongoing operations.

Fee and Expenditures as of 6/30/08

Tuition Differential  
Carryforward Balance

Enhance Academic Advising & Career Services
Advising and Career Services Staff  
Improve faculty to student ratios/ Maintain high-quality instruction
Faculty hires/additional course sections/curricular internationalization
Business Scholars Program  
Supplemental Tutoring  
Increase the number of Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistants/additional course sections  
Enhance Learning Technology  
Technical support staff, course enhancements, expanded lab hours,
new Black & Gold Committee proposals
TOTAL Expenditures to Date  
of Revenue over Expenditures

* Above salary amounts include related fringe benefits.