Shields delivers university address



Chancellor Dennis Shields

A new year calls for new ideas and reflect on the past. On Jan. 30, Chancellor Dennis Shields delivered the state of the university address as a reflection on the 2016 school year. This address serves as a look into activities going on at the university during the 2017 academic year.

Shields started off the address by stating that this past year was very celebrated by the university because of the 150th anniversary of the institution. Shields also stated facts about the university, one being that the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is rated the best value college by Shields also mentioned that current enrollment at the university is 8,693 students—the third largest enrollment in school history. There are also more students transferring to the university than ever before.

In addition to enrollment, budget and graduation rates were two other large topics of discussion. Shields stated that tuition is now the largest part of the university’s budget with it accounting for 32 percent. Students on average must pay $5000 out of pocket in order to attend the university. With that, it is no surprise that 89 percent of the university’s revenue is self-generated. Shields also mentioned that he would like to see the four-year graduation rate increase to 30 percent.

With the overall concept of this address being to reflect on the past and pioneer the future, Shields also discussed multiple aspects of the university that will receive a change in the upcoming year. Shields stated that Boebel Hall renovations and the construction of the new Engineering Hall are top priorities for the UW System. The replacement of Ottensman Hall is also on the radar, however, the date of completion for these projects is still unknown and can only go as far as the UW System budget allows.

Budget is always a major topic of discussion, as mentioned, and that topic is one at all post-secondary institutions. With that, Shields stated that Rob Cramer, the university’s chief budget officer has departed. Shields plans on announcing an interim chief budget officer within the next few days. Shields also mentioned that he will most likely not be able to name a new provost until March.

For those looking to be more involved in any of the UW-Platteville topics mentioned above, Shields mentioned three ways people can advocate: contact the governor, contact the legislator, and attend UW Day on April 12.