Outlook Magazine - Fall 2023




Sixteen years after first proposing a complete renovation of the busy, 50-year-old Heritage Hall classroom building, UW-Stout received full funding approval this summer in the 2023 25 state budget to move ahead with the $139 million project. Degree programs housed in Heritage produce career-ready teachers, school and clinical mental health counselors, police officers, food scientists, property managers and directors of hotels, restaurants and tourism. The renovation, with new labs and updated classrooms, could double the number of students using the build ing each year. “I have heard significant concerns voiced about child care, mental health, manufacturing and other issues impacting local economies. Heri tage Hall is part of the solution,” said Chancel lor Katherine Frank, who thanked alumni and business and industry partners who advocated for the project and who have provided $13.5 million in private support. “Stout graduates are the backbone of Wisconsin communities, large and small.” At a campus news conference after the budget was signed, state Reps. Clint Moses (’99) and Rob Summerfield (’02) , echoed Frank’s com ments. The project, which includes demolition of the oldest portion of the Vocational Rehabilitation Building, the university’s original library built in 1954, will begin bid for construction in fall 2024.

A few blocks from Heritage, renovation wrapped up this summer at South Hall, built in 1967. The $25 million residence hall project, which fea tures a new central entrance on the north side facing the campus mall, began in spring 2022. The project had a UW-Stout twist: Construction majors Noah Gansluckner and Tommy Quinn were part of the Market & Johnson building crew. Alum Ryan Wichmann (’10) was overall project manager, and Chad Schlough (’97) was an HVAC manager for a subcontractor. It’s the fifth campus residence hall renova tion since 2010 (Hovlid 2010, Fleming 2012, McCalmont 2014 and North Hall 2019), with more in the capital plan. UW-Stout also plans to upgrade the recreation complex, featuring an addition to the southwest part of the Sports and Fitness Center.

A After debuting three new academic programs last year — cybersecurity, individualized studies and online early childhood education — several more rolled out this fall as UW-Stout continues to address workforce needs. A new online bachelor’s in automation leadership is designed for technical and community college transfers who have training in SACA — the Smart Automation Certification Alliance. The program will prepare graduates to solve engineering problems involving smart automation manufacturing sys tems that employ robots, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and more. The Wisconsin Technical College System supports the program — believed to be the first of its kind anywhere — along with leading state manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, Kohler, Mercury Marine, Oshkosh Corp., Ashley Furniture, Generac, Greenheck Group and Plexus. “Wisconsin and the U.S. are in dire need of educational institutions willing to see higher education for what it will be in the future – highly flexible, hands-on, career-relevant, affordable and efficient. This degree is tremen dously forward-thinking,” said Matt Kirchner, a national advanced manu facturing expert and SACA board member. Automation leadership, esports coaching minor, apprenticeship, new certificates join university’s academic array.

A new minor in coaching esports, first in the UW System, builds on the growing interest in the sport and UW-Stout’s team, which is starting its fourth season. The new minor is an offshoot of an existing coaching minor. The minor will appeal to students majoring in game design or animation, Blue Devil esports athletes and others drawn to the $2 billion a year worldwide industry. A new apprenticeship program, first in the UW System, has been created through the state Department of Workforce Development. It includes one year of on-the-job-training, followed by a pathway to an undergraduate or graduate degree at UW-Stout. Five new certificates are available to enhance a degree-holder’s career: workforce development specialist, strategic leadership in talent devel opment, teaching and training, improving user experience and teaching adult learners. THIS DEGREE IS TREMENDOUSLY FORWARD-THINKING. "

(Top) Rendering of Heritage Hall remodel (Bottom) South Hall





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