Chancellor Dennis Shields gave his annual speech regarding the state of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s campus. Many topics were discussed in regard to what will be changing on campus, such as the strategic planning that the university has put into place.
“I think the strategic planning that we’re engaging in is really significant because it sort of touches on everything. [It discusses] where we want to be and where we want to get to at a senior level, sort of laying out the ground work. We want to produce a plan that everyone pays attention to and that we’re monitoring so it sets us up to be successful” Chancellor Shields said.
Since this plan is a part of the bigger picture of the university, Chancellor Shields talked about several topics, like Sesquicentennial Hall, the renovations of other buildings and the rebranding of the three UW-Platteville campuses.
The biggest change right now is the change to the campus website. Chancellor Shields explained that this was done to attract more students. When the university looked at the statistics of the old site, they saw that most of the online traffic that was being seen was from current students. He also explained that the old website made it more difficult for prospective students to access the information they needed. Since this was the problem, the university changed the website to make it easier to new students.
He also discussed topics that are currently happening, such as our Campus Climate program and why it is important.
“You don’t know about it [Campus Climate] until something bad happens to you. We want all students to be able to leave here with the ability to interact with all kinds of people, to respect them, to have some empathy and to be able to step outside themselves to sort of understand what someone else’s experiences may give them a different perspective,” Chancellor Shields said.
In his speech, Chancellor Shields talked about his own experience regarding hate mail that he receives on a regular basis. He talked about how when people can see a visible difference, others seem to have to point it out, and people do not like that. Campus Climate works to try to improve diversity and inclusion so that no one feels targeted.
During his speech, Chancellor Shields talked about the Sesquicentennial Hall and how that will affect incoming and future students.
“We’re here as an educational institution, and it is important to have up-to-date, modern, facilities to train our engineers and other students. This Sesquicentennial Hall will replace Ottensman Hall that is over sixty years old,” Chancellor Shields said.
The university will be renovating Ottensman Hall as well as Boebel Hall to better fit the needs of the campus.