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Educational Innovation at UW-Madison

February 29, 2012

From the desk of Shared Governance Chair Beth Huang:

As most students have noticed by reading the news and by paying their ever-increasing tuition bills, the university is strapped for cash. In the political context of three decades of diminishing state funding, with the largest cut occurring over the 2011-2013 biennium, UW-Madison is looking to restructure how it delivers the most basic service to Wisconsin: the education of its students. Interim Chancellor Ward has charged Jeff Russell, the Dean of Continuing Studies, and Aaron Brower, the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, with providing recommendations on how to do just that. Recommended innovations will likely include restructuring programs and generating more revenue for the university, which could result in tuition increases.

As said by Aaron Brower, “Nothing is off the table”.

Considering the broad impact that large-scale educational reforms will have on students, ASM Shared Governance Committee has prioritized providing student input on Educational Innovation. This is especially important given students’ concerns about the rising costs to attend UW-Madison, the ability to graduate in four years or in another appropriate time period, and the quality of experiences in and out of the classroom. We have hosted a town-hall to gather preliminary information on what students value about a UW-Madison education, what students see as the ideal college experience, and what barriers lie between reality and ideals. This week, ASM Shared Governance Committee will assemble into affinity  groups based on survey results of what students want to emphasize in the process. Depending on survey results (to be finalized on Thursday), Shared Governance Committee will address up to six issues, which may potentially include teaching assistant training, experiential learning, student/faculty relationships, and technology in the classroom, among many others. These affinity groups will produce written materials about specific issues by the end of spring break.

Interested in getting involved in the process? Feel free to give your feedback at a Shared Governance Committee meeting at 5:30pm on Thursdays at the Caucus Room of the Student Activity Center.

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