Lubar Undergraduate
2008-2009 Differential Tuition Report
Please refer to previous reports for the background and intent of the Lubar School's Differential Tuition program.  The thrust of the program remains to improve the quality of educational experience available to our Lubar School students.  Focus areas toward which we applied funds include activities that span academic advising, classroom experiences (class size, quality of instruction), technology and technical facilities, and international preparation of students and faculty.  The Black and Gold Committee reviews differential tuition annually and members suggest additional uses for available funds. 

Progress toward benchmarks continues in all areas.  The targets for improvement include the following.

  • Improve availability of academic advising
  • Hire additional academic staff
  • Improve faculty to student ratio
  • Maintain high quality instruction
  • Increase the number of teaching assistants
  • Upgrade and improve technology
  • Hire technical support staff and improve technical facilities
  • Strengthen the international preparation of students and faculty

2008-2009 UpdatesAdvisingFrom the beginning, the categories above that Differential Tuition supports represent fixed expenses have not changed or been subject to annual revision.  For example, the academic advisors and career advisor hired five years ago using Differential Tuition funds are all still employed and have contributed significantly to the student experience in the Lubar School.  Availability of advisors has made it possible to continue the popular walk-in advising program, which our students consistently report is a greatly valued advantage.  Individuals hired with the advent of Differential Tuition have become campus leaders in the "Focus on Freshman" initiative, which this has contributed valuable support to students' ability  to progress toward their degrees in a timely manner. 

Campus-wide surveys of satisfaction with advising consistently rate Lubar School advisors among the most highly regarded, and without support from Differential Tuition, this more than likely would not be the case.  Making progress toward an undergraduate degree, rather than taking and extra semester or year to graduate, likely saves many times the investment students make in Differential Tuition for their business courses.

Career Services has used Differential Tuition to provide a host of additional services to students, all of which are detailed in prior years' reports.   To update for 2008-2009, a workshop was added to prepare students for finding jobs in a tough economy.  Another recurring workshop was added that focused on considerations students should keep in mind when beginning careers: insurance, benefits, loans, etc.  These workshops were made possible by the ability to hire a Career Services staff using Differential Tuition dollars.  In the present very difficult job market, these career workshops have been invaluable to students in their search for employment and in understanding how to manage their careers once they secure their first professional position.

InstructionThe Lubar School has been able to maintain desired student/faculty ratios in Discussion sections thanks to Differential Tuition.  Innovations during this academic year have included electronic mid-term course evaluations for Teaching Assistants.  Differential Tuition has directly supported this program.  The Lubar School may be the only School/College on campus that formally collects performance data on Teaching Assistants at mid-term as well as at the end of the semester.  The new e-surveys of performance have enabled the School to provide Teaching Assistants with quicker and more meaningful feedback when there is ample time for them to improve and innovate for better student learning during the balance of the semester.

Technology
Students on the Black & Gold Committee formally requested that Differential Tuition funds be used to purchase "building screens" for Lubar Hall.  These are electronic displays with changing and rotating data that announce programs and opportunities of interest to students.  The building screens were installed at the end of the academic year, and they have promoted a number of events of high interest to students.  These include a recent Business Ethics lecture, the Great Journeys Lectures, advising hours for both Career Services and academic advising, and a number of other opportunities.  Members of the Black & Gold Committee felt that students in the Lubar School need to be more engaged and feel a part of what is going on, but seldom have a direct and timely opportunity to learn about events that interest them.  Since the building screens have been in operation, we have noticed a higher level of awareness of opportunities available to students.  Ongoing plans for use of the building screens include promoting scholarship application deadlines, announcing meetings and events for clubs and student organizations, as well as continuing to promote events such as the Career Fair and the regularly occurring interviewing and resume workshops. 

The David O. Nicholas Finance Lab became operational in 2008-2008, and a portion of the technology was supported with Differential Tuition funds.  This lab will enable students studying investment and portfolio management to have access to cutting-edge technology and real-time stock performance data.  This is essential in the job market and gives them an advantage of less well-prepared students from other universities as they prepare for responsible positions in investment management.

Summary During the 2008-2009 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.  The Black & Gold Committee continues to seek input from students across the Lubar School regarding ways to help Differential Tuition become as responsive as possible to student needs.  Differential tuition is now a key, and vital, part of the Lubar School's ongoing operations, and makes a critical contribution to its mission to provide quality educational opportunities to Business


Fee and Expenditures as of 6/30/09

FEE REVENUE  
2008/09
Actual
Tuition Differential  
$1,361,008


   
EXPENDITURES BY OBJECTIVE:  
 
Enhance Academic Advising & Career Services
Advising and Career Services Staff  
$208,572
 
Improve faculty to student ratios/ Maintain high-quality instruction
Faculty hires/additional course sections/curricular internationalization
 
$849,662
Business Scholars Program  
$177,884
Supplemental Tutoring  
$4,543
Subtotal  
$1,032,089
 
Increase the number of Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistants/additional course sections  
$74,364
 
Enhance Learning Technology  
Technical support staff, course enhancements, expanded lab hours,
new Black & Gold Committee proposals
 
$26,574
 
TOTAL Expenditures to Date  
$1,341,599
 
BALANCE
of Revenue over Expenditures
 
$19,409
 

 
Notes:
* Above salary amounts include related fringe benefits.