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A lot new at UW-Parkside, on campus and in the community

A lot new at UW-Parkside, on campus and in the community

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‘What’s new at UW-Parkside?” More than you think!

Enrollment is up and we continue to graduate a record number of students. We’ve added 11 new master’s programs, and we now offer more than 18 online master’s, bachelor’s and certificate programs, including the innovative UW Flexible Option bachelor of science in business administration.

New master’s programs answer a growing demand for advanced expertise in areas such as business administration, sustainable management, mental health counseling, health-care administration – even smart cities and cybersecurity.

Online courses meet the needs of many adult learners pursuing important academic credentials. During this unprecedented health emergency, online courses are helping all UW-Parkside students continue their educational journey.

Growing enrollment, record graduation, and new academic programs are great, but the real story is that UW-Parkside continues to transform lives and provide more talent for our region. Businesses, including those new to our area and those with a longer history in our communities, are driving the demand for talent. Health-care organizations, schools, government, and nonprofit organizations need talent, too.

UW-Parkside is also proud to partner with these organizations as faculty and students share research and operational expertise to help solve today’s challenges.

Last month, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Missy Hughes visited UW-Parkside and talked with business leaders from our region. Without talent, it’s challenging to attract businesses and organizations to our region. And without thriving businesses and organizations, it’s challenging to keep talent in our area.

Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our outstanding faculty and staff, UW-Parkside has added or revised more than 100 academic programs in the past decade to provide students with the relevant educational experience they need to be successful well into the future.

UW-Parkside transforms lives beyond the classroom. Last year we signed a partnership with Kenosha County to further develop the Pike River which runs through property on the northwest side of campus. We are also working with Root Pike WIN to enhance habitat for pollinators, including the endangered rusty patched bumble bee.

I encourage you to visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website ( for important information on the rusty patched bumble bee – and be on the lookout for the bee this summer.

WE Energies will develop a 2.25 megawatt solar array on the east side of campus. Very soon, sunlight shining on UW-Parkside will help supply sustainable power to our region.

I’m extremely excited about the work we’re doing with the City of Racine and Smart Cities initiatives. UW-Parkside students and faculty are helping Racine discover new ways to use technology and data-informed decisions to create a better city.

On the UW-Parkside website, you’ll find the Status of Women in Kenosha and Racine research report. I had the honor to work with local educators, UW-Parkside researchers, and community advocates with the goal of setting the stage to move the needle in closing gaps and improving equity for women and girls in our region. I invite you to visit to learn more.

In May, we were scheduled to welcome back the class of 1970 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our very first commencement. As we all know, large events have been canceled or postponed to protect the health of our communities.

Faculty, staff and Parkside Student Government are planning a commencement weekend in December. It will be our largest commencement celebration ever, recognizing the success of our May, August, and December graduates – along with our inaugural class. Our legacy of student success is a legacy of providing talent for our region.

Finally, allow me to thank so many in our community who helped make the second annual “Parkside Day” an amazing event. We had a lot of fun, including an appearance by Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers. Together we raised more than $140,000 to support student success.

So, “What’s new at UW-Parkside?” More than you think! Follow us on Twitter @uwparkside, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn – and check out Parkside Today podcasts at

Debbie Ford is UW-Parkside chancellor.


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