Last week marked the first Madison Initiative Oversight Committee meeting since the board presented our final recommendations last spring to then Chancellor Biddy Martin. Our committee has since been reconstituted to focus more on the “oversight” of the current projects being funded rather than the allocation of the differential tuition collected. For those unfamiliar with the Madison Initiative it is a differential tuition model which started in 2010 aimed at targeting high impact and transformative curriculum development on campus as well as closing the $20 million gap in need based financial aid. More info can be found here.
I received a breakdown of different data from my last meeting that I felt compelled to share. They are very remarkable and I’m very proud to have been part of this process. Look below at some of the great things we’ve been able to do in only a few short years. The full report can be found here.
- 54 projects funded of over 200 submitted
- 76 faculty hired: 31 new faculty are already on campus in 12 different departments
- 36 Academic staff hired: 24 new advisors constituting the largest influx of advisors at one time this campus has seen.
- 120 New 50% TAs: The equivalent of 10,000 new course seats available now
- Center for Pre Health advising: over 1000 student appointments
- Cross College Advising Service: additional 6900 student went through advising
- 80% increase (1100 students) enrolling in FIGs (First-Year Interest Group)
- 50% increase in enrollment in Residential Learning Communities
- 50% increase (430 students) in the number of students served by the Chemistry Learning Center
- Expansion of the Common Scholarship application
- $5.2 million (8500 students) given the held harmless grant.
- $8.4 million (2200 students) need based financial aid-. Average grant $3900 per student
- 36 students from rural Wisconsin received grants of $7000 each
- An additional lucky 350 students will be receiving grants of around $2000 each at the end of the semester. Talk about a great surprise Christmas gift!
I think it is quite clear that the MIU has met if not exceeded the goals and expectations laid out by former Chancellor Martin. With these types of numbers it is hard to believe there was a sizable, albeit often uninformed, chunk of the student population who were against the ideas behind the MIU. Nevertheless this is not an end all be all fix to our University. We much continue to ask for a larger investment from the state and to be provided with the tools and flexibilities needed to run an efficient, competitive, and culturally rich university.
If you have a story about how you’ve been impacted by the MIU please share below.