MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
t is hard to believe that another semester has passed and we are now into the spring term of 2010. It did not seem that long ago we were all worried about Y2K and now we enter into another decade.
We want to thank the CEE Golf Committee, alumni, friends, and students for making the 13th annual golf outing a HUGE success. Together, we raised more than $70,000 for the department, and given the economic challenges, we could not have asked for a better outcome. Specifically, we used these funds to support student competitions, including the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe competitions; partial student travel expenses for service-related projects, and repair of key laboratory equipment. Please plan to attend the 14th annual event in September 2010.
We also are grateful for some recent significant gifts from our dedicated alumni and friends. Jun Lee and William Mielke continue to be loyal supporters of the CEE discretionary fund, which helps the department address increased expenses and respond quickly to change. Edward Martin made a gift to support research work in integrated building systems; we will explore sustainability, lean delivery, building information modeling and 4-D modeling. Gary Zimmerman made a five-year commitment to fund a faculty fellow; this is helping us develop and retain our exceptional new faculty and remain a highly competitive department. Thank you!
The CEE Visiting Committee has set up a development subcommittee. This group is planning to help us develop a mechanism to bridge potential budget shortfalls and preserve the prestige and quality of the UW-Madison CEE degree. The members serving include Roger Cooley, chair; and Valarie King-Bailey, Kevin Chesnik, Richard Bub, Michael Davy and Norm Doll.
All of us at UW-Madison and the CEE department in particular have been reassessing our efforts, given the state of the Wisconsin economy and our base budget reduction of more than 5 percent. We are convinced the wisest thing we can do in these uncertain times, individually and as a community, is to keep our focus on our core mission—educating our students in their careers and as future citizens—by our combined efforts to create, advance and transfer new types of knowledge to serve the nation and the world.
Although no one is in a position to predict the future, it is our key priority to minimize the impact of these budget cuts on our civil and environmental students, staff and faculty. Given these uncertainties that lie ahead, however, all of us in the CEE department are looking for opportunities to maximize our educational efforts when possible, with a goal of preserving flexibility we may need.
You may wonder how you as friends and alumni can help us. First, many of you are in key leadership positions in engineering firms, or in government research laboratories or agencies. Our most important “product” is our graduates and I would encourage you to continue to recruit and hire our students—as interns, co-ops and permanent employees. They can be the key to your future success.
Second, our students rely on the generosity of all of you to help finance their undergraduate education. Last year, because of your gifts to the CEE department for student scholarships, we gave more than 70 students some financial aid toward tuition. These gifts enable top-notch students to attend UW-Madison, to remain in school, and to devote their time and mental energy to excelling in their study of engineering.
Third, your support of the CEE discretionary fund is appreciated. This allows us to address ongoing expenses like new faculty start-up packages, student recruiting, and lab and graduate student space renovations. We are also able to support our students in their ventures—whether it’s through their research, such as the group of students who are implementing rainwater catchment cisterns to preserve Madison’s water supply, or our students who volunteer their time and their knowledge to organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Engineers Without Borders.
We are always glad to meet with any of you when you return to the university for campus activities, sporting events, Engineers’ Day or other events..
S. Russell, PhD, P.E., DistMemberASCE
Professor and Chair
2205 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Dr.
Madison, WI 53706