MENOMONIE — Heading into the 2018-19 school year, UW-Stout’s chancellor and staff are focused on attracting more students to the Menomonie university.
Chancellor Bob Meyer addressed staff Monday, touching on a number of topics, including an emphasis on growing enrollment.
Meyer said the university faces its second year of decreasing enrollment. UW-Stout’s numbers are anticipated to be down 6 percent compared with the 2017-18 school year.
The chancellor said the drop could be a significant financial hit for the university, adding UW-Stout is not the only university seeing a decrease.
“We’ll wait to see what the final numbers look like,” Meyer said.
In an effort to turn enrollment numbers around, UW-Stout has hired a director of enrollment and retention services, and developed a strategic enrollment plan.
In the short term, Meyer told staff to introduce freshmen to mentoring programs and find little ways to introduce people to UW-Stout.
“There are some easy ways to promote what we do,” he said.
Meyer announced the university will change the name of Millennium Hall to Sorensen Hall in honor of former Chancellor Charles Sorensen, who died Feb. 23.
“I felt very privileged to work with Chuck,” he said.
The UW System Board of Regents unanimously approved renaming the hall last week.
“This is an extremely fitting honor for a great chancellor, a great leader and a giant in higher education in Wisconsin,” Meyer said.
A renaming ceremony will take place Oct. 29.
Meyer discussed other university matters:
• Another salary increase is on the way for UW-Stout staff. The last salary increase was part of the 2017-19 state budget. A 2 percent raise went into effect July 1, and the second raise will kick in Jan. 1.
• UW-Stout has three building projects underway on campus. They are Bowman Hall exterior maintenance and repair, $8.9 million; North Hall renovations and addition, $21.7 million; and Price Commons first floor renovations, $7.5 million.
The 2019-21 state budget includes a proposal for South Hall renovations.
• A new major, a bachelor’s program in applied biochemistry and molecular biology, will begin in fall.
• UW-Stout will announce the public phase of its Pathway Forward fundraising campaign on Sept. 14. The goal is to raise $35 million by June 30, 2020.
The campaign has raised $30.6 million, which is 87 percent of the university’s goal.
The first day of classes for students is Wednesday, Sept. 5. Residence halls open Sunday.
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