Board of Regents Holds Meeting at Stout

Michael Hilliger

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents held a public meeting in the Memorial Student Center on Oct. 5 and 6 to discuss potential changes to the rules, policies and infrastructure of the UW System. The last time University of WisconsinStout hosted a Board of Regents meeting was in 2012.   

The board, which consists of two UW students and sixteen members appointed by the governor, heard from five committees including the Education Committee, who touched base on education, business, budget, innovation and an audit. Each committee spoke to the board, reporting subjects and proposals within their field.

The Education Committee proposed the implementation of a Bachelor of Science degree in applied biochemistry and molecular biology. The executive summary of the proposal states that the addition would “better align [UWStout’s] mission as a polytechnic university […] by expanding its array of science programs.” The committee cites student and market demand as justification for approval of their plan, and expect 126,000 students to enroll in the program within the next five years.

A Freedom of Expression policy was also considered. This policy would allow for potential suspension or expulsion of students who have been found repeatedly responsible for disrupting the expressive rights of others. The Stout Student Association sent out an e-mail early on Thursday, Oct. 5 to all students declaring the proposal unfit. “Any policy that prohibits people’s right to express themselves and peacefully protest is unconstitutional and violates our First Amendment rights. This policy violates such rights,” said the Stout Student Association. On Oct. 6, the Board of Regents voted in favor of passing this policy.

Chancellor Bob Meyer also made an announcement that the School of Engineering would be renamed the Robert F. Cervenka School of Engineering, after the late founder of Phillips Plastics. “[Bob Cervenka and his wife Debbie] both worked to make engineering at Stout a reality,” the Chancellor said. “He’s achieved a legacy here at Stout that’s been sustained, and to have his name on that school is extremely appropriate.”

The full board proceedings can be viewed via webcast by  following the instructions under the “Meeting Webcast” tab.