UW-BC Speaking of Education Column – November 2015 By Keith Montgomery Ph.D., Regional Dean-Designate UW Colleges North Region Next year we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of UW-Barron County, which welcomed its first class in fall 1966 in the former County Teachers College building in Rice Lake. Then, the campus was a Wisconsin State University Branch Campus -- a branch of WSU-Stout. The present campus buildings opened in 1968 and three years later, in 1971, with the creation of the UW System we know today, the campus became part of a new institution within that system -- the UW Centers. In 1997 the Centers became known as the UW Colleges. There was naturally a great deal of administrative change in the newly independent UW Centers as campuses like UW-BC detached from partners like UW Stout and merged into the new self-governing system of freshman-sophomore campuses. Now, at the start of UW-BC’s 50th year, the UW Colleges are undergoing further administrative change in response to a permanent reduction in state tax support to the UW System. The UW Colleges’ share of that reduction is $5.6million. The reduction is being met primarily by a cut in administration and staff as new processes are introduced to meet students’ needs for services outside of the classroom. Currently, each campus has four primary administrative positions -- a dean, an associate dean for academic affairs, and two assistant deans, one of whom oversees administrative services and finance and another who oversees student affairs. Starting on January 1, UW-BC will share these positions with three other campuses in a new “North Region” of the UW Colleges. The other campuses are UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-Marathon County, and UW-Marinette. Administration in the North Region will go from sixteen positions to five shared positions. The job of Regional Executive Officer/Dean will be substantially different from the current Campus Executive Officer/Dean. The REO/Dean will not have a “home campus.” Instead, he will have an office on each campus. The scope of the work will become narrower. The primary responsibility will be growing the already strong relationships between a region’s campuses and the county and municipal governments, business communities, K-12 partners and other educational partners, such as WITC. The daily operations of the campus will no longer be the dean’s responsibility. The REO/Dean will be the leader of the region and report directly to UW Colleges/UW Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. An Associate Dean will be placed on each campus and will have regional oversight in his or her area of expertise as well as being responsible for the daily operational management of the campus (there will be two Associate Deans of Student Affairs in the North Region). On January 1, I will assume the position of REO/Dean of the North Region. I am originally from Scotland and came to Wisconsin in 1991 via Canada to join the UW Colleges as a faculty member in Geography/Geology at UW-Marathon County. I have been Campus Dean at “UWMC” since 2011. I have visited UW-BC many times and I look forward to serving the campus and community. My email is [email protected] and my cell phone number is 715-212-8008. Please call or email if you have any questions. Jayant Anand, the current Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UW-BC, will assume the position of regional Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and he will be located at UWMarathon County in Wausau. Brittany Lueth, who is currently the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at UW-Marshfield/Wood County, will be located at UW-BC as one of the two regional Associate Deans for Student Affairs, and she will have special responsibility for student affairs on the western two campuses. As we move to the new structure, I feel greatly for the loss of loyal staff in many areas of campus service. I thank Dean Dean Yohnk and the Administration Team at UW-BC for their wonderful stewardship of the campus over the years.