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Building a bright future

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County is planning for its future as a branch campus of UW-Eau Claire. We are developing a five-year strategic plan, which includes identifying and defining our core principles, setting audacious yet achievable goals, and developing implementation plans to achieve the goals. This is an exciting time for us as we envision and plan for our future.

This process began in October when Chancellor Schmidt appointed the Strategic Planning Leadership Team and charged the team with developing a strategic plan for UW-Eau Claire – Barron County. The Leadership Team membership purposefully reflects the collaborative nature of this process as it includes students, university staff, instructional and noninstructional academic staff, UWEC – Barron County faculty, and UW-Eau Claire faculty. It is co-chaired by Abbey Fischer (Assistant Professor of Chemistry) and MJ Brukardt (Special Assistant to the Chancellor).

At the end of October, over sixty UWEC – Barron County students, staff, faculty, and Foundation members gathered for a Core Values Conversation. Long-time faculty and staff regaled us with stories from the institution’s past. Students uplifted us with hopes for the institution’s future. Everyone solidified our ideas of who we are with present-day examples of our core principles. From this conversation and follow-up discussions, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County has identified the following core principles that guide our actions:

Four Core Principles:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Community           
  3. Inclusivity             
  4. Innovation

With our core principles in hand, we invited community members to join us on November 16 for a half-day Visioning Workshop. Over seventy people participated in the event. We were thankful to have Barron County Board members, state representatives, K-12 administrators, CESA representatives, local employers, law enforcement officers, UW-Eau Claire faculty, and many others collaborate with our students, staff, and faculty as we discussed what UW-Eau Claire – Barron County will be in five to ten years. At the end of the event, consensus was reached, and we identified four strategic areas of focus. Later conversations of students, staff, and faculty led to the addition of a fifth.

Strategic Areas of Focus:

  1. Growth and Sustainability
  2. Serving Students and Community Through Strong Academic Programs
  3. Helping Students Develop as Future Professionals / Experiential Learning
  4. Community Visibility and Campus as a Destination
  5. Online Programs

Today, work groups are developing one to three SMART goals for each focus area and the implementation plans to help us achieve the goals. To do this, they are using the data gathered at the two large conversations (Core Values and Visioning), surveying relevant stakeholders, and reaching out to experts.

We anticipate having a draft to share with the larger community at our EATS scholarship event on Saturday evening, February 2. A final version will be provided to Chancellor Schmidt in March.

For more information, please feel free to contact Abbey Fischer at or 715-788-6208.

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