UW-Whitewater at the Capitol

February 02, 2017

Written by Jeff Angileri   |  Photos by Craig Schreiner

capitolChancellor Beverly Kopper, left, visits with Stephanie Goettl, Whitewater City Council member and alumna.

Representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater were in Madison on Wednesday for the annual Coffee at the Capitol event and a new event sponsored by UW System to give lawmakers and staffers a deeper understanding of the work happening on System campuses.

Coffee at the Capitol is a time when UW-Whitewater administrators meet with elected officials and alumni who work in state government to catch up, reconnect and celebrate collective achievements.

Warhawks are well represented in Wisconsin government, from legislators to staffers. Robin Vos serves as speaker of the State Assembly, a post he has held since 2011. Many, including State Sen. Steve Nass, serve in the Alumni Mentor Program, taking current UW-Whitewater students under their wings and introducing them to a vast network of professionals. Some students begin as interns and then jump into more prominent legislative roles.

capitolUW-Whitewater Provost Susan Elrod, left, visits with legislators and staff.

About 50 people were at the Coffee event, where Chancellor Beverly Kopper called for continued collaborations that enhance the quality of both the university and the state. She thanked lawmakers, including Vos and State Sen. Janis Ringhand, for their help in moving UW-Whitewater's new residence hall project forward. Kopper also spoke about the need for Wisconsin to reinvest in higher education, and she talked about the ways in which increasing funding can help create even more hands-on learning and real-world experiences that set UW-Whitewater students up for success.

In addition to producing talented graduates who make a difference in their communities, UW-Whitewater's value is manifest in other ways, Kopper said. She cited the $407 million regional economic impact of the campus and the 4,352 jobs it supports. The university's business outreach centers also assist entrepreneurs and companies in myriad ways — just one example of the Wisconsin Idea in action.

Later in the day, Kopper joined UW System President Ray Cross, Board of Regents President Regina Millner, State Sen. Sheila Harsdof, Rep. David Murphy, and UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen to present at UW101. About 75 legislators and staff members attended this inaugural event.

capitolChancellor Beverly Kopper speaks to legislators at an information session on the UW System with Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of UW-Colleges and UW-Extension, UW System President Ray Cross and Board of Regents President Regina Millner.

Kopper talked about the campus's mission to provide students with a world-class education in an ever-changing world. She touted recent achievements, including record enrollment of 12,628 students for the 2016-17 academic year. Her presentation painted a comprehensive picture — from demographic information like the number of first-generation students enrolled, to aspects of campus life that make UW-Whitewater unique such as the commitment to serve students with disabilities.

Also on Wednesday, Russ Kashian, professor of economics and director of UW-Whitewater's Fiscal and Economic Research Center, was invited to speak before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. A nationally respected scholar and researcher, Kashian shared his expertise on sales tax and its economic impact.