Blank forms committee to review student services structure

May 18, 2017 By John Lucas

UW-Madison has been a leader in the delivery of student services and creating a life-changing experience for students.

To review the delivery of student services and ensure that the university’s structure is positioned to meet future challenges, Chancellor Rebecca Blank has created an ad hoc advisory committee.

Over the past decade, the complexity of student issues has increased, more frequently requiring close collaboration and coordination among units across campus. Across higher education nationally, many different approaches are employed to coordinate student services.

“We offer a first-class student experience,” says Chancellor Blank. “I want to take some time over the coming months to consider how to support first-rate student services in the next decade.”

The ad hoc advisory committee, which will include participation from shared governance appointees from faculty, academic and university staff and students, will work through the summer and provide input to Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Life Lori Berquam and Chief of Staff Matt Mayrl, who are together leading this organizational assessment.

It will assess the following areas:

  • Identifying student service functions which require some degree of coordination or alignment to ensure that services and support are provided seamlessly to students.
  • Reviewing the possibility of alternative organizational models which could achieve greater coordination.
  • Identifying policies, procedures and governance practices that would need to be reviewed and possibly updated to support any changes to the organizational model.

Blank says it’s important to understand the context and charge of the group.

Currently, UW–Madison student service units are spread among several different areas, including the Provost’s Office and Finance and Administration, among others.

“Our talented and dedicated student service professionals across the university do an outstanding job,” says Blank.

“To be clear, this effort isn’t designed to fix specific problems or cut staff. If it’s warranted, we’re interested in better aligning our services and addressing any gaps that exist.”

Blank notes that such an effort might improve UW–Madison’s already strong retention rates and time to degree, ensuring students are successful on campus and graduate on time.

More information about the project will be shared through governance groups and Inside UW–Madison.