Getting to Know UW-Green Bay Conversations with Chancellor Shepard:
Information and Computing Science
February 1, 2002

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We offer a large number of majors and minors in Computer Science and Communication Processes.  It comes down to resources and managing a growing program.

There are student access problems particularly with regard to upper division courses.  We get squeamish about that.  We could raise the standard for admissions, but then we’ll get pressure from borderline students.  We get some pressure from other parts of the University.  We’re trying to balance access so students can graduate. 

The Chancellor stated that it could be addressed through admission standards.  University enrollment hasn’t changed much over the years.  We don’t want to disrupt a program to meet short-term goals.  He went on to say that what he’s noticed here, in budgeting, is that new dollars do new things.  We need to evaluate resources.  Are we making the best use of our resources?

With regard to the $500,000 for the Learning Experience, I have the feeling that our teaching faculty ratio vs nonteaching ratio comes into play.  When talking with students, I’ve been told that we’re not impressive with regard to services for students (i.e. testing, career services, etc.). 

The Chancellor stated that he’s still trying to figure out where the resources are.  He’s looked at regression of last year’s data.  There’s a $200,000 imbalance.  Students learn inside and outside the university.  He doubts we’ll get more money to do what we’re already doing.  We should have tied the LE to economic stimulus ­ that was a missed opportunity. 

Changes in Computer Science program are on going.  We need to acquire more hardware and software.  What the Computer Center purchased no longer completely meets our needs.  Past conversions/upgrades affected all of our programs ­ we needed one-time funds to accommodate our needs.  We now have a Linux  administrator ­ that will help.

The Chancellor replied that the university computing needs as a whole are not budgeted as a recurring need.  The consequences of your programs need to be included in the budgeting process.

We’re in a better situation now, so the problem won’t be so severe, but we still need resources to meet our needs. 

The Chancellor stated that he realizes it’s a more expensive program to run.  Our Computer Labs and Social Science Labs are impressive.

How do you see the position of the University as compared to other universities and in the community?

The Chancellor stated that what’s he’s heard from the community ­ loud and clear ­ is that they want UW-Green Bay to be a more integral part of the community.  He’s heard on campus that people want to be a more integral part of the community.  He went on to say that what he was hearing about the university when he was in Oregon, etc.  ­ he thought he had a big problem facing him..  However, once he arrived, found folks wanted to be engaged in the community and were engaged in many ways. 

With regard to positioning ourselves ­ expand access or offer quality undergraduate education ­ we need to do both.

Interdisciplinary programs are essential.  How do we turn out graduates prepared for a future we can’t yet see?  We give them practical problem-solving skills.  Our job is to sell that to 18-year olds and their parents. 

Years ago, the business community indicated they wanted a MIS program.  However, their definition of a MIS program was all over the place.  How do we address that?  The information we gathered never went anywhere. 

I don’t know if I buy people on campus wanted to be involved in the community.  At times there’s no follow-through with businesses.  We say we want to be unique, but in the community that translates that we’re strange.  We were being positioned as a unique institution with a unique role. 

The Chancellor replied that with regard to the community, we need to develop a sense of ownership.  We won’t be able to meet all expectations/specific needs, but we will be able to meet the general needs, and then individual businesses will take that to the next level (i.e. providing education to meet their unique needs). 

He went on to say that some in the community have a dated image of what we’re about.

Last year, with regard to the Learning Experience, we were positioned to reduce our size - reposition us within the UW System ­ that uniqueness is now causing us difficulty in negotiations.  What is the cost of changing our positioning at this juncture?

The Chancellor stated that President Lyall and the Regents are very welcoming about our repositioning effort.  He doesn’t want to give up some of the uniqueness of the Learning Experience.

When faculty say they’re willing to get out there, one thing they’re leaving out is that they want to do it on their terms and that may not mesh with business. We need to help the community understand us. 

Re. the proposal to reduce our number of students.  The idea behind that was to improve the student/faculty ratio.  It came out the way it did because the other way (in the past) didn’t work. 

Do you look at external funding dollars?  Paid professorships?  How do we stack up?

The Chancellor mentioned that our $10 million dollar endowment is nothing to brag about; it is about average.  Went on to talk about the upcoming capital campaign.  We’re going for $30 million - $15 million for bricks & mortar; $15 million for harder to sell items (i.e. endowments).  A feasibility study will be done, followed by the silent phase.  The silent phase is time intensive ­ 10-11 contacts are made before an ask it made.

It was mentioned that when Advancement met with them in October, the presentation stressed getting employees to contribute x amount of dollars so they had something to go to the community with.  Advancement should meet with the Leadership Council ­ they should be asking for fundraising suggestions ­ the needs that are attractive to donors. 

The Chancellor mentioned that foundations will ask what % employees are contributing.  Advancement has listened and their message has been changed.  Giving by employees has gone up. 

There is internal tension about what makes us unique (i.e. interdisciplinarity) and trying to manage it.  We’re becoming more frustrated.  Now, we’re pulling into various budgetary units (i.e. the way we hire faculty ­ we’re responsive to needs of budgetary units when we used to hire with split appointments to respond to problems). 

We (in Info & Computing Science) have opted out of Gen Ed even though communication and problem solving skills are listed as high priority.  We’ve lost flexibility. 

The Chancellor talked about “ownership of the common.” 

Mentioned a fundraising slogan “Denver is a world class city that needs a world class university.” 

Our structure is off-putting ­ interdisciplinarity is nice, but the way it’s implemented here is limiting. 

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2420 Nicolet Drive,
Green Bay,WI 54311-7001 
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Revised 2/1/11