UW-Platteville officials to accompany Gov. Evers to Japan

Governor Evers with UW-Platteville officials
Vice Chancellor Rose Smyrski (far left), Chancellor Dennis J. Shields and Gov. Tony Evers (center) will be traveling to Japan.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Chancellor Dennis J. Shields and Vice Chancellor for University Relations/Chief of Staff Rose Smyrski will accompany Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on his first-ever international trade mission to Japan.

Chancellor Shields and Smyrski will be the only representatives of a UW System school among the 17 delegates on the historic trip, which takes place Sept. 6-14.

“The opportunity to go on the trade mission with Gov. Evers is really important for UW-Platteville and for the State of Wisconsin,” Chancellor Shields said. “Industry in Japan is making significant investments in Wisconsin. There is a foundry in Wisconsin that was purchased by a Japanese company and viewed UW-Platteville as a major source of work for them. As a result, it contributed to the support of an endowed position in our industrial studies program. That highlights how important it is for this institution to provide workforce and how well recognized we are by the employers in this state. If Japanese companies are going to be making investments in this state, they will need engineers and other types of workforce. This is an opportunity to connect with those, learn more from our elected officials about economic development plans and also establish relationships with similar educational institutes in Japan.”

The chancellor and vice chancellor will visit businesses, alumni groups, six secondary schools and higher education institutions Chiba University, Hokkaido University, Nihon University, Sakae Institute of Study Abroad, Tamagawa University, Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, TOYO University and University of Tokyo.

“Those institutions provide workforce for the companies in Japan, and our students and graduates who work for U.S.-based companies are going to interact with them,” Chancellor Shields said. “Understanding their educational processes and engaging their faculty and students with ours make for significant opportunity to develop relationships that further those aims.”

Gov. Evers was elected the 46th governor in Wisconsin in November and inaugurated in January. Chancellor Shields began as UW-Platteville’s leader in the 2010-11 academic year. Smyrski joined the university in 2012, and, after a one-year stint as an interim vice chancellor at UW-Extension, became vice chancellor at UW-Platteville in 2015.

UW-Platteville is beginning its 154th academic year with approximately 7,500 students. Located in the southwest corner of the state, UW-Platteville provides associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees programs in a broad spectrum of disciplines, including the STEM fields, criminal justice, education, business, agriculture and liberal arts. The university is preparing for a $23.7 million remodel to its science building, Boebel Hall, as well as the addition of a $55 million engineering building, Sesquicentennial Hall.