Faculty Senate discusses campus renovations


Faculty Senate Chairperson Tracy Hawkins presents new policies of grade changes, final exams, and extenuating circumstances with members during the Faculty Senate meeting on Feb. 14, 2023, in Hyland hall.

Katie Popp, Campus News Editor

Chancellor’s Office Chief of Staff Jim Disrude presented renovation plans of academic buildings to the Faculty Senate during the Feb. 14 meeting. Chair Tracy Hawkins highlighted policies of grade changes and final exams that passed among member votes.

Plans are in place for Winther and Heide Hall to be renovated in upcoming semesters if approved at the state level. While Winther could be receiving a majority of the renovations, Heide could also be receiving updates, as well as additions to both buildings. 

“So many major systems in the building are 10, 20, 30, even 40 years past expected lifespan, such as fans, furnaces, vents, piping, and the roof,” Disrude said. “It is not just simply making a nice building look nicer- it’s about rehabbing and improving.”

Winther Hall is a building used primarily for the College of Education and Professional Studies as well as counseling services. It houses many courses for education majors. With a decreasing number of teachers within the state of Wisconsin, the building not only benefits the Whitewater campus and community, but the entire state.
“The state of Wisconsin, just like the rest of the nation, is facing a national shortage of teachers. We produce the most teachers in Wisconsin,” Disrude said. “We can help to address that teacher shortage by the teachers we produce here. It is not just about the quantity but the quality as well, which they will learn within these walls.”

With funding from both the UW System and state, the cost of building is estimated to be around $1.52 billion. The plans are awaiting approval by the UW System in a cue of many projects, which also include sound proofing practice rooms and new ventilation of the Center for the Arts.

Also at the meeting, Hawkins reviewed recently voted upon policies handling changing student grades, especially with finals and students undergoing extenuating circumstances.

“If there is a terminal grade at the time of processing, and the terminal grades are posted, the letter grade cannot go back to ‘I’ (incomplete),” Hawkins said.

For final exams, if students have multiple cumulative exams on one day, it is to be discussed with the professor, who will then take the conflict to the Registrar’s Office. If a student is facing extenuating circumstances, they can “request exceptions to some academic criteria, grade, transfer, graduation, or registration policy,” Hawkins said.

For more information on the Winther Hall and Heide Hall renovations visit UW-Whitwater’s future projects at https://www.uww.edu/adminaffairs/fpm/campus-planning/future-projects.