La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – The UW System Board of Regents holds regular meetings eight times per year, hosting half at a UW institution. This year the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) held the two-day meeting for their first time since 2013.
With various committees collaborating, and multiple Full Board Meetings, the event works to shape the future of higher education in Wisconsin.
“The big thing to come out of the meeting today is the request of the 3 percent pay increase for their faculty and staff,” UWL Chancellor Joe Gow recalls.
A proposed increase that would impact every university across the UW System. If approved by the legislature, the pay increase would take effect during the 2019 through 2021 budget with a 3 percent increase at the beginning of each year.
The meeting signifies more than a chance to discuss issues in a new location though.
“They’ll [Regents] also have a lot of time touring the buildings, talking to students, faculty and staff. That’s the real value of this,” Gow adds.
The university uses the meeting as a chance to highlight various aspects of UWL culture. They focus on well-known projects and one particularly inspiring graduate.
“Who came from a very poor, impoverished and troubled background,” Wisconsin Governor-Elect Tony Evers continues.
“Through the help of all sorts of people around him, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Western Wisconsin Technical College, he is a success.”
Evers mentions Ryan John Crain, a proud member of the Ho-Chunk Nation who lost both parents to cancer.
Initially denied entrance to the university, he was determined to find a better life through education.
“Not for just reasons of getting a job, but also really understanding the kind of person that you can become and who you want to become,” Crain describes.
He tells his story to convey just one UWL value to the Board of Regents.
“You never know what another person is going through. Respecting that and understanding that is what we really need in the community. Just a better understanding for each other and respect for each other,” Crain finishes.