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The UW Board of Regents return to UWRF campus

October 4, 2007

For the first time in nearly seven years, the UW System Board of Regents will return to UW-River Falls.

The Regents arrived in River Falls on Oct. 3 and have meetings scheduled in the University Center Oct. 4 and 5.

Traditionally, the board meets two times per year at campuses other than UW-Madison. A total of 14 four-year universities means the Regents make it to each campus about once every six or seven years, so it’s very exciting each time they return, Board of Regents Vice President Charles Pruitt said.

“We really look forward to learning about what’s going on in River Falls,” Pruitt said. “That’s the top thing for most of us.”

The agenda will include items to be discussed by the business and finance committee, education committee, physical planning committee or by the Board as a whole.

The Regents will also have opportunities to learn about River Falls as a campus and a community through other events going on during the two-day meeting. Board members are invited to participate in the joint meeting of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Technology Councils on Wednesday, browse through the International Study Abroad Fair or take a walk through the Outdoor Art Installations on Thursday and check out a variety of displays in the University Center throughout the duration of their visit. 
 
UWRF will begin the Regent’s visit with a campus tour at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 4. Soon after, UWRF will have the chance to present the Regents with a “multi-faceted introduction to River Falls in 2007,” Chancellor Don Betz said in an e-mail interview.

This will include the strategic plan, “Living the Promise,” which was introduced by Chancellor Betz in February, as well as presentations on sustainability, global literacy and engagement, and building a culture of inclusivity.

Not only will the Regents have an opportunity to review displays of campus activities and projects, but to meet and hear from students as well. Students should be aware that Regents may even approach them while on campus to get their take on things, Betz said.

“It is very likely that the Board members will spontaneously speak to students in the UC and elsewhere on campus,” Betz said. “Students shouldn’t be surprised when this occurs.”

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Regents being on campus, director of Student Life Programming Vicki Hajewski said during the Sept. 24 Student Senate meeting.

“They’re very interested in students and really want to know what your experience is,” Hajewski said. “It’s important to give any help you can give in making this the positive, friendly, personable campus we plan to be.”

Senate president Derek Brandt said the Regents’ “Breakfast with Students” at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 5 will act as a forum for students to “give input and just say what they want to say without administration looking over their shoulder.” This is something that must be taken advantage of, Brandt said.

“This is the first time they get to see what we’re really about,” Brandt said. “We can’t stress enough how important this is to our institution.”

Although it is only Senate vice president Sara Deick’s first year in student government, she recently had a chance to meet some of the Board members during student government training this summer. After finding them to be open to student input, she urges any and all students to make contact with them.

“They’re very approachable and want to hear from students,” Deick said. “This is a good chance to show them what we’ve done and what we can do.”