WisCUR Annual Meeting, September 23, 2021

Annual Meeting Minutes

Julie O’Leary provided a welcome and took roll call. The following campuses and UW System staff were represented:

Concordia University Wisconsin, Carthage, UW Eau Claire, UW La Crosse, UW Madison, Jeff Buhrandt-UW System, UW Milwaukee, UW Oshkosh, UW River Falls, UW Stout, Alison Steil-UW System, UW Superior, Kathy Divine-UW System, Marissa Jablonski-UW Freshwater Collaborative

Julie O’Leary presented the results of a WisCUR Survey sent to all WisCUR campuses in August 2021 asking – How’s Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) doing on your campus? Responses to the following questions were shared:

  1. Challenges facing URSCA programs
  2. Looking to the Future, what do you see as the greatest threats to the continuity and quality of URSCA on your campus?
  3. How can WisCUR best provide leadership to advance, enhance, and expand URSCA in Wisconsin?
  4. What support from the UW-System would be most important at this time to help maintain the quality of your program and insure sustainability?
  5. Suggestions for WisCUR activities to sustain URSCA on our campuses, support faculty and staff, and promote student engagement.

This was followed by a robust conversation. Jeff Buhrandt, UW System, Interim Vice President for University Relations provided a system perspective to the survey responses and research as a whole across our campuses. They understand the need for administrative support, resources, and a coordinated effort. Collaborative projects, grant opportunities, and professional development are needed in an effective manner. There will be future conversation around a coordinated approach to ensure impactful use of funds and receive input from campuses. Campuses have different needs and resources to consider.

Aligning URSCA with Priorities on our Campuses and within the UW System – Catherine Chan, UW Eau Claire, Scott Cooper, UW La Crosse and Jalal Nawash, UW Whitewater presented examples and experiences at the campus level highlighting how URSCA can support areas such as:

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion– Research indicates at risk students engaging in
    URSCA significantly improve their persistence and success. More information can be
    found in the following papers
  • Recruitment and Retention – URSCA is a high impact practice that increases
    recruitment, retention, and graduation rates. This is supported by national research,
    but campus data is also important. They highlighted working with their Institutional
    Research Departments to gather campus specific data on students involved in
  • Community Engagement – Scott Cooper discussed embedding URSCA projects into
    course curriculum and working with community partners on a needed project. It
    allows the students to be involved in URSCA, work with community members, gain
    valuable experience with methodology and report writing.

Updates on 2021-22 URSCA Events

  • Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin undergraduate research opportunities- Marissa Jablonski, Executive Director, Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin discussed the URSCA opportunities available now and in the future. Details can be found at this link: https://freshwater.wisconsin.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2021/09/FCW-RFP-Announcement-ofOpportunity_13Sep2021v2.pdf There was discussion about sharing this information
    with the WisCUR listserv and Research Administrators. Funding is available for faculty, staff, course development, bolster existing programs, and student support around water and water challenges.
  • Research in the Rotunda-Kathy Devine, UW System discussed the upcoming
    signature event at the state capitol in Madison. It will be held on March 9, 2022, in-person unless directed otherwise. A formal email announcement and registration link will be sent on October 18th. Registration closes on January 31, 2022. Campuses can send six students. Kathy discussed adding a media component for students. She will send out an email to solicit more feedback. The idea would be each student creating a 5-minute video in advance that could be posted online and allow legislators and others to review prior to attending the event. Updated information can be found at https://www.wisconsin.edu/research-in-the-rotunda/. Steve Kercher shared a video to illustrate what students can demonstrate in the field as example for Research in the Rotunda. https://vimeo.com/607397340/4b071b017c
  • UW-System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity-Jamal
    Nawash, UW Whitewater provided an update on the event. It will be held on Friday, April 22, 2022. Events will start on Thursday with activities for the campuses that travel the day before. In person is preferred but will plan for a virtual event as well. More information can be found at https://www.uww.edu/urp/events/uw-systemsymposium.
  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) – Catherine Chan, UW
    Eau Claire shared information on NCUR being held at UW Eau Claire, April 13-15, 2023. Everyone will be asked to provide support. There will not be a UW Symposium that year. Scott Cooper, UW La Crosse indicated they will not be sending students to NCUR 2022 which is being held virtually as it was last year. There were few attendees at the event. More information about NCUR 2023 can be found at https://www.uwec.edu/ncur/.
  • WisCUR Website – Jessica Schuld, UW Milwaukee maintains the WisCUR website at
    https://sites.uwm.edu/wiscur/. Please share your stories and campus updates via
    the form on the website.
  • Julie O’Leary, UW Superior, WisCUR Chair will be retiring effective 10/1/2021.
    Thank you Julie, for all of your work and dedication. You will be missed. Jenice Meyer will be the URSCA point of contact at UW Superior.