UW-Parkside ramps up regional business presence

Chancellor Deborah Ford is taking steps to help the University of Wisconsin-Parkside become a business resource for the entire Milwaukee 7 region.

“We’ve been connected with the Greater Milwaukee Committee and attend the M7 meetings. We see our opportunities as regional but certainly focused here in Kenosha and Racine as well,” Ford said. “We believe that part of our role as an institution of higher learning is talent development and creating this next generation of leaders for our community.”

Ford is the sixth chancellor at UW-Parkside and one of eight women to serve as a university chancellor in the University of Wisconsin System since the 1980s. She has been aggressive during the last year working to position the campus with strategic partnerships with other institutions, businesses and community leaders.

“I have learned so much from the interactions, and about how important higher education is to our region in southeastern Wisconsin,” Ford said.

Ford is hoping to engage the community with various business support services offered through the Ralph Jaeschke Solutions for Economic Growth Center and the UW-Parkside Small Business Development Center.

“Here at UW-Parkside, we have a very strong small business development center, and what I have heard from our political leaders, from business owners and business leaders is that we need to make sure that small businesses have the resources they need to enhance their businesses,” Ford said.

UW-Parkside recently entered into articulation agreements with Gateway Technical College and Moraine Park Technical College that will enhance the area’s water industry and focus on sustainability in the M7 region. The funding for the articulation agreements came from Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development grants and the Milwaukee Water Council.

The agreement with Gateway allows students enrolled in the civil engineering technology-freshwater resources and the air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology with emphasis in geoexchange technology programs to transfer credits to UW-Parkside in pursuit of a bachelors degree in geosciences.

“We believe the articulation agreements will create opportunities for those students who choose to begin their education at one of the tech colleges but know there are opportunities to continue education at one of the UW campuses,” Ford said.

The agreement with Moraine Park is the first articulation agreement between any of the four-year UW campuses offering a sustainable management degree and first agreement to date between institutions. The agreement allows Moraine Park students to transfer up to 67 credits from the college’s applied science degree in water technology to pursue a bachelors degree in sustainable management at UW-Parkside.

UW-Parkside hired Terry Brown this spring to serve as provost and vice chancellor, creating the first female co-leadership at the institution. Ford is working with Brown to finalize the academic plan that will direct the growth of the university.

Ford is confident that by embracing the four hallmarks of the institution – academic excellence, student success, diversity and inclusiveness and community engagement – the university will continue to move forward in creating academic programs and partnerships to meet workforce demand.

“As we continue to focus around the hallmarks it allows us to be able to live our mission, serve our students and serve our greater community,” Ford said.

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