The University of Wisconsin-Stout Designation as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University EDUCATION COMMITTEE Resolution I.1.d: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents supports the designation of UW-Stout as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. 03/09/07 I.1.d. March 9, 2007 Agenda Item I.1.d. DESIGNATION REQUEST Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University University of Wisconsin-Stout EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BACKGROUND The University of Wisconsin-Stout is requesting that the institution be designated Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. This designation builds on the rich history and tradition of UW-Stout, designated by the Board of Regents as a special mission university in 1974. This designation has been thoroughly discussed on campus and supported by the Faculty Senate, the Senate of Academic Staff and the Stout Student Association. This designation is a direct outgrowth of UW-Stout’s comprehensive and robust strategic planning process. The designation fits within the UW-Stout mission, Governor Jim Doyle’s Grow Wisconsin plan, and the UW System’s Growth Agenda. REQUESTED ACTION Approval of Resolution I.1.d., supporting UW-Stout’s designation as “Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University.” DISCUSSION Need UW-Stout requests this designation to move the campus forward and meet its strategic goals. The designation will: • Strengthen the educational opportunities of UW-Stout students and expand the pool of students who may be attracted to the campus. UW-Stout is committed to remaining an accessible UW institution, but it also needs to ensure that it attracts well-qualified high school graduates in Wisconsin and that its student body is diverse. This designation, and the resulting student profile, is a major part of the university’s future admission plans. • Enhance UW-Stout’s branding and marketing strategies: this designation will elevate the visibility of UW-Stout outside of the Chippewa Valley. A designation of UW-Stout as Wisconsin’s polytechnic university — joining a group of about 100 such universities in the country — would help the university focus its branding/marketing and fundraising efforts, eventually leading to a stronger university. • Bolster the university’s ability to attract outside funding: this designation could be used to bolster the ability to raise money from alumni, foundations and corporate donors because of the recognition that the designation would bring and the opportunities it would afford for an aggressive new advertising campaign. This marketing campaign would be aimed at potential new donors. The designation also would enhance the ability of UW-Stout to solicit and receive research dollars. Relation to institutional mission This is the opening paragraph of UW-Stout’s mission: University of Wisconsin- Stout, as a special mission institution, serves a unique role in the University of Wisconsin System. UW-Stout is characterized by a distinctive array of programs leading to professional careers focused on the needs of society. These programs are presented through an approach to learning which involves combining theory, practice and experimentation. Extending this special mission into the future requires that instruction, research and public service programs be adapted and modified as the needs of society change. UW-Stout has adopted the following definition of a polytechnic university: UW- Stout is a comprehensive, career-focused polytechnic university where students, faculty and staff use applied learning, scientific theory and research to solve real-world problems, grow the state’s economy and serve society. It is clear that the definition of UW-Stout as a polytechnic university fits with the special mission of the university. Benefits of designation UW-Stout will use the designation as an organizing theme for all future decisions on campus. UW-Stout believes the designation will help attract students from a wider area, who could benefit from the university’s unique array of programs. It believes the designation will help build even stronger bonds between UW-Stout and business and industry. UW-Stout also believes that the designation will challenge its administrators, faculty and staff, by giving the university a new set of peer institutions. Finally, the designation will allow it to be more successful in attracting research dollars and raising money from alumni and other benefactors. Institutional use This initiative is more than a designation. It is a comprehensive organizing theme for the future of UW-Stout. As such, it includes the following elements: • Program Planning: All new programs and program modifications will fall under this definition, including the proposed polymer and computer/electrical engineering programs. New minors developed through the UW-Stout incubation center also fall under this area. Examples include nanotechnology, bioinformatics, cognitive/neuroscience and biotechnology. • Fundraising: A position has been reallocated to represent the university more effectively in Washington and to work with the Stout University Foundation on government relations and corporate fundraising. • Honors College: UW-Stout will strengthen its honors program so it can become an effective recruiting tool for the university and for specific programs. UW-Stout will retain its historic focus on access and quality. • Marketing/Branding: UW-Stout is developing an aggressive program, based on the designation, to clearly differentiate this university in the increasingly competitive arena of higher education both in the regional and national markets. • Campus Physical Plant Plan: UW-Stout is working with the UW System in hiring a consultant to complete a campus master plan as part of its strategic plan to move forward as a polytechnic university. UW-Stout will analyze the needs of the polytechnic university and incorporate those needs into the master plan so there is a clear understanding of needs as it proceeds. • Program Alignment: UW-Stout will be reviewing potential program alignment in Academic and Student Affairs. This designation would become the university’s brand. It would be used as the central theme of a marketing/advertising campaign. Relation to other polytechnic universities UW-Stout already possesses most of the key characteristics of polytechnic universities, because the university: • Features an array of academic programs in the arts and humanities; education; social, natural and human sciences; math; computer science; engineering and related technologies; and management. The university has particular strengths in the areas of science, technology and engineering. • Embraces an applied learning educational philosophy that blends theory and practice in the classroom and encourages cooperation with business and industry on “real-world” projects that enrich the educational experience for students. • Applies technology in all university functions, using technology as a teaching tool and providing technology assistance for faculty, staff and students. This “digital campus” is dedicated to technology-renewal programs to remain state-of-the-art. • Promotes technology transfer programs, business incubators, research centers and a technology park — all to help students and foster a close relationship between the university and Wisconsin business and industry. • Works closely with the Wisconsin Technical College System and other universities to create seamless credit transfers, initiate new programs — such as the current NanoRite initiative and the proposed NanoSTEM budget initiative — and provide outreach programs for those who are place bound and need further education. New peer institutions The university has adopted a new set of peer institutions. They are: • Arizona State University Polytechnic • California Institute of Technology • California Polytechnic State University – Pomona • California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo • Ferris State University • Illinois Institute of Technology • Indiana Institute of Technology • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (aspirational peer) • Michigan Technological University • New England Institute of Technology • New Jersey Institute of Technology • New York Institute of Technology – Old Westbury • New York Institute of Technology – Manhattan • Polytechnic University • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (aspirational peer) • Rochester Institute of Technology • Southern Polytechnic State University • Stevens Institute of Technology • SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica – Rome • Wentworth Institute of Technology • Worcester Polytechnic Institute Resource request No new money is being requested for the polytechnic designation. Conclusion UW-Stout’s brand will be that of a polytechnic university, and it will be the central theme of an aggressive marketing, branding and advertising campaign.
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