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Madison Board of Regents approves Falcon Promise

March 10, 2011

After being approved by the Board of Regents in Madison last month, the Falcon Promise will now be implemented within the 2011-2012 school year. The Promise includes differential tuition, which will cause an increase in tuition.

The Falcon Promise was created last fall by the university and will fund programs in four different areas. The four initiatives includes tutoring, undergraduate research opportunities, increased student scholarships into the Falcon Scholars Challenge and enhanced learning spaces. For this to remain effective, UW-River Falls Administration needs to make sure that the campus as a whole are willing to support this Promise.

Chancellor Dean Van Galen said that the Falcon Promise will greatly benefit the whole student body.

“We will have more students engaged in undergraduate research, scholarships and creative activity. We will also have more students who have the opportunity to study abroad and be able to better recruit and support students through the scholarship program,” said Van Galen. 

Ashley Goettl, Student Senate Vice President, said that many students are most excited about the scholarship opportunities. The scholarship opportunities that will be offered to students will provide assistance to those who need it the most.

After the Student Senate and Board of Regents approved of this, the Falcon Promise states that the student campus is mainly from families of “modest means.” The Falcon Scholar Challenge states it will motivate alumni and friends to provide scholarship support that will “attract and retain students,” reducing the need for students to pursue off-campus jobs.

The Student Senate went through a long process of getting student input and what Van Galen said was it had a very significant role in shaping the proposal and made some very significant changes to it.

Paul Shepherd, Student Senate advisor, explained that it was essential to have the Student Senate involved.

“It needed students’ voices in order for the Falcon Promise to be approved,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd also said that with these key initiatives in place for students, there will be an increase in student retention and success.

Goettl mentioned that as all students benefit from these initiatives.

“It essentially says that each student will put in a little and get twice as much back,” said Goettl.

Since it is a differential tuition initiative, there will be a slight increase in tuition over the next three years, Van Galen said. Currently, there is a $72 charge to every full-time student which includes library services, additional undergraduate research and scholarly activity experiences and a centralized testing and tutoring center. Once it is fully implemented, there will be an additional charge of $88 per year for full-time students, which will generate $554,440 per year to use for the four initiatives.

Van Galen said that once this is fully underway, students and faculty will see a significant change in the education system here at UWRF.

“Not every student will benefit in the same way, from the Falcon Promise,” said Van Galen. “But I think overall, it will raise the academic achievement level of the University in a very significant way.”

Comments

Matt on 12 Mar 2011: I love how they continue to force this stuff down our throats. If you look at the comments from students, they overwhelmingly opposed this, yet our chancellor refused to listen to our opinions. Then these same people wonder why voters support Walker and cuts to the UW system. Sorry, but actions like this PROVE UWRF leaders can handle some major cuts. Another reason I support GOV. Walker... the Falcon Promise.