Chancellor Shields' response to state budget signing
Today is a consequential day for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Southwest Wisconsin, the region and the state. Governor Scott Walker signed the state’s biennium budget, which includes two capital projects for our campus. They include the construction of a $55 million engineering building, Sesquicentennial Hall, and the $23.7 million renovation of Boebel Hall, our STEM facility.
These projects will be transformative, not just for our campus, but for the Southwest Wisconsin community, the region and for the state’s workforce. Our students graduate with the skills necessary to be successful as they enter the workforce, whether that be in engineering, healthcare or the biotechnology industry. It is critical to have modern facilities to train our students in those and other fields.
Nearly 80 percent of our engineering graduates remain in Wisconsin after graduation. And UW-Platteville produces the second-highest number of engineering graduates in the UW System. We have experienced a 40 percent growth in engineering students since 2000. We are proud of, and take seriously, our ability to respond positively to the state’s workforce needs.
The new engineering facility is projected to allow us to open our programs to an additional 800 new engineering students and 200 transfer students. Given the tremendous need for engineers and others in STEM fields this is imperative to our longer term needs.
In addition, the Boebel Hall renovation will allow us to engage an additional 300 biology majors. The number of biology majors has increased 200 percent since 2000.
We appreciate the tremendous support these projects have received from our local legislators, including from State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), State Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and State Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), as well as Gov. Walker, who was on campus recently voicing his support for the projects. They recognized the state’s workforce needs, our ability to facilitate state goals, and they advocated for us.
I also am thankful to our alumni, community and business friends throughout the state who have generously supported this effort. They all have my sincere thank you and the gratefulness of this campus.
I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have on the state, our campus, the nation, and the globe, for years to come. The UW-Platteville legacy began more than 150 years ago. These capital projects will position us to fulfill this legacy for generations to come.
Today, like every day, is a great day to be a Pioneer!
–Chancellor Dennis J. Shields