UW-Fox Valley held its annual report to the community March 2. Regional Executive Officer and Dean Martin Rudd hosted the event in Perry Hall. The annual report is a way for community members to learn what has been happening at UW-Fox throughout the previous year.
“Dean Rudd has been holding this event about three years now and it’s a good way of bringing people in from the community to present the good things that are happening at UW-Fox. A lot of times people aren’t familiar with all the various things that happen here during [the] year, so this is a nice way of providing a synopsis to the community about all the ways campus reaches out into the community and touches lives,” Tom Frantz, 2015’s interim marketing & communications director, said.
Partners of UW-Fox were also in attendance to hear about what has been happening on campus. One such partner, Lawrence University, sent a representative to hear about some of the experiences UW-Fox students were able to have in 2015.
“[Lawrence University has] been in attendance at every UW-Fox report to the community and we have a close partnership with UW-Fox. We like to hear about what’s happening there and the impact that UW-Fox has on the Fox Cities community. We have a transfer partnership agreement between UW-Fox and Lawrence, so it’s important to hear about what experiences students are having as they prepare for what’s next in life,” Jake Woodford, Lawrence’s assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees, said.
UW-Fox Valley also partnered with Thrive Career Academy, an organization affiliated with Valley Packaging Industries, to help people with disabilities gain work experiences through some classes and internships that were held on campus. Matt Busch, placement team manager for Valley Packaging Industries spoke to the community at the event.
“I partner with the university through Thrive Career Academy and we [provide] classes for people with disabilities and also internships with the ultimate goal of getting them a job in the community. This [event] is important because it raises awareness to the community for what we do. We want to get the word out there to the community to all employers and to hire people of all abilities,” Busch said.
Some of the event attendees were local politicians, who came to hear what UW-Fox had accomplished in the previous year Appleton Mayor Tim Hannah and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson both attended.
“[Report to the community] is very important because Outagamie County is part owner alongside Winnebago County, so we have great interest in the success of this institution. We all know that there are many great stories that have come out of UW-Fox, but not a lot of people are aware of it, so this is one method for Dr. Rudd and his team to be able to talk about all the great things happening here at UW-Fox, which we’re very proud of,” Nelson said.
The annual report to the community is a great way to highlight the accomplishments of UW-Fox Valley and its students, as well as discuss some of the challenges facing the campus, such as budget cuts. Rudd organized the events for this reason.
“When I first became campus dean here, I was able to see the value of getting people together to talk in a more focused way about the mission of the organization. As I looked out I could see there was a glaring hole that we had: we did not produce either a written annual report or especially host an event where people could hear about the story we had the previous year and we tried to theme these events to show the particular partnerships that we have. This year it was ‘start small, dream big,’” Rudd said.
Rudd also strongly emphasized the community aspect of the event.
“I think it’s a key message for us to get out; we’re here in the community, we’re working in the community. These are local students that are coming to our local UW campus, receiving this terrific start,” Rudd said.
The annual report is given in the spring.