Hogan, Wise discuss renovations

University president Michael Hogan and chancellor and vice president Phyllis Wise addressed a list of concerns from the faculty at the annual meeting, including the need for building renovations and a recently released enrollment management report.

Hogan said the report, which was approved by the Board of Trustees, is designed to improve and streamline enrollment services, such as admissions and financial aid.

“We need to step up our game in this area as the landscape has grown ever more competitive … we are losing too many (students) to other institutions that aren’t as good as we are,” he said.

Hogan told faculty members that recruiting quality students was one of the major goals by the Board and said he invited the University Senates Conference and the campus senates to review the recommendations.

But Leslie Reagan, professor of history, called these recommendations disappointing and said the University should advertise in a different way to obtain a diverse student body. Hogan agreed with Reagan in that the University could improve on diversity, as other Big Ten institutions are constantly recruiting students from Chicago.

“It offends me, frankly, when we go (to Chicago), and for every one Illinois sweatshirt we see, we see three Wisconsin ones,” he said.

When asked about the inadequacies of some of the buildings on campus, particularly the Natural History Building, Wise said she is aware of the need to fund the projects.

Teresa Barnes, professor of history, said in some cases facilities at her son’s high school are better than what she sees on campus.

With the millions of dollars the University requested for fiscal year 2013, the budget request calls for the use of the possible funds for repairs of campus buildings, the restoration of the Natural History Building and the redevelopment of both the undergraduate and graduate libraries.

Richard Wheeler, interim president for academic affairs and provost, said there has been a robust effort on the part of the campus to look at the instructional facilities and track their usage to determine priorities.

During Wise’s remarks, she said Robert Easter, former interim chancellor and vice president, has agreed to take the interim position of vice chancellor for research position starting on Dec. 16. He will replace Ravi Iyer, who will be focusing on his faculty position in the department of engineering.

“That search is ongoing, and (we are) very, very aggressively looking for candidates, and I’m hopeful we are able to identify a fine person for this position by next July,” she said.

In addition, Wise said she hopes to start a weekly blog in November to tell constituents of the campus what she did the previous week and what she will do the week after in terms of meeting the campus community and discussing issues.

Hogan said during his speech that the University has commissioned an external review to look at fundraising initiatives after the successful Brilliant Futures campaign. He said he hopes that this set of actions will double the amount of annual fundraising in the near future.

To end his remarks, he told faculty members that their voices are heard by the administration and they can make a difference.