Faculty and Staff Handbook

24th Edition, 2015 Version

Chapter I: Introduction to UW-River Falls

1.3 Mission Statements

1.3.1 University of Wisconsin System Mission

The mission of the System is to develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses, and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the System is the search for truth.

1.3.2 University Cluster Core Mission

As institutions in the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the University of Wisconsin- Superior and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater share the following core mission. Within the approved differentiation stated in their select missions, each university in the cluster shall:

  1. Offer associate and baccalaureate degree level and selected graduate programs within the context of its approved mission statement.
  2. Offer an environment that emphasizes teaching excellence and meets the educational and personal needs of students through effective teaching, academic advising, counseling and through university-sponsored cultural, recreational and extracurricular programs.
  3. Offer a core of liberal studies that supports university degrees in the arts, letters and sciences, as well as specialized professional/technical degrees at the associate and baccalaureate level.
  4. Offer a program of pre-professional curricular offerings consistent with the University's mission.
  5. Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its approved mission statement.
  6. Promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin- Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity.
  7. Participate in interinstitutional relationships in order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the state effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources.
  8. Serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff.
  9. Support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.

1.3.3 Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has as its
select mission that:

  1. The University provides an excellent environment for learning, emphasizing the importance of faculty-student interaction in classrooms, laboratories, academic advising and co-curricular activities.
  2. The University offers liberal arts programs and degrees to meet regional needs in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. The liberal arts also strengthen and broaden programs in the agricultural sciences, teacher education and business administration.
  3. The University offers professional programs and degrees in teacher education with special emphasis in early childhood, elementary and secondary education.
  4. The University offers programs and degrees in the agricultural sciences, agribusiness and agricultural teacher education.
  5. The University offers graduate programs in education, agriculture and other areas clearly associated with its mission. Development of cooperative graduate instructional programs with appropriate institutions is encouraged.
  6. The University expects scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate level, its selected graduate programs and its select mission.
  7. The University continues to develop interinstitutional relationships in cooperative research, graduate training and undergraduate programs within the state, region and world. As a border institution, the University promotes interstate cooperation.
  8. The University provides students opportunities to develop an appreciation of the richness and diversity of American culture and is committed to representing this diversity in its staff and student body.
  9. The University offers students the opportunity to increase their global awareness and sensitivity to other cultures. It also has a continuing commitment to provide opportunities for students to live, study and travel abroad and to increase the number and diversity of international students on campus.
  10. The University provides public service by using its resources to address problems and concerns throughout the state and region. Special emphasis is placed on cooperative extension, extension and economic development outreach.
  11. The University offers enrichment to the citizens of Western Wisconsin and the St. Croix River Valley by providing artistic, scientific and other cultural events, programs and exhibitions. (as amended by BR Res. 6/10/1988)

1.3.4 Shared Vision and Expectations of the Academic Community at River Falls

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is an academic community composed of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. This academic community shares a common vision of working together to provide an excellent environment for learning, emphasizing the importance of faculty-student interactions in academic advising, classrooms, laboratories, and co-curricular activities.

As with any community, there is a shared vision that is subscribed to by all members. This vision ensures common purpose within the academic community. This shared vision protects, enhances, and empowers individuals, while fostering a positive learning environment. As members of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus community, our vision is to:

  1. Treat others with honesty, trust, and respect
  2. Interact with others in a spirit of congeniality, openness, and support
  3. Recognize and honor each person's talents and unique qualities
  4. Operate collaboratively with students, faculty, staff, and others in our community
  5. Foster relationships individually and in teams that promote enthusiasm, unity, motivation, and encouragement
  6. Be committed to excellence; continuously seek to improve the quality of all that we do
  7. Promote each other's development and engagement in the learning process
  8. Support an environment that nurtures students, one another, and other members of our
  9. Be viewed as leaders and role models in the educational process
  10. Share our expertise and resources across the campus and community

The achievement of this shared vision is the responsibility of the entire academic community. It is the academic community as a whole that determines the quality of education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Our daily actions as individual members should be in accordance with the shared expectations of the academic community. Therefore, all members of the academic community have a shared expectation to:

  1. Prepare thoroughly
  2. Meet obligations punctually
  3. Participate fully and constructively
  4. Display appropriate courtesy
  5. Adhere to deadlines and timetables
  6. Provide constructive feedback
  7. Respect the confidentiality of information shared or exchanged
  8. Challenge each other intellectually

This documentation of expected behaviors and actions at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls is presented in the united spirit of an academic community with a shared vision. By focusing our energy and attention toward fulfilling the ideals presented in this document, we, as an academic community, will be able to achieve an excellent learning environment. We cannot mandate that these expectations be upheld, but adherence to these shared expectations will ensure that the rights and privileges of individuals and groups are preserved. [FS 93/94 #31]

1.3.5 Vision and Values

[FS 06/07-54]


INTEGRITY—We earn trust through honesty and ethical behavior.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE—We help students attain their full potential as critical thinkers, effective communicators and committed life-long learners by providing personalized, integrated educational experiences.

INCLUSIVENESS—We create an environment of mutual respect, professional behavior, academic freedom and appreciation of individual differences and rich cultural diversity.

COMMUNITY—We intentionally cultivate leadership through community engagement and public service in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT—We strive for excellence through decisions based on information and analysis.


Our mission is to:

Help students learn so that they are successful as productive, creative, ethical, engaged citizens and leaders with an informed global perspective.


We will be the learning nucleus of the St. Croix Valley. We will act in close collaboration with communities, institutions and private enterprise to create a dynamic economy, sustainable communities and environment, and an optimum quality of life. Our efforts will be firmly rooted in unbounded inquiry and a cultivated sense of civility, public service and creative expression. We will be a highly accessible gateway to explore the full range of human potential. We will inspire and educate citizens and leaders who, guided by core values, will purposefully and ethically serve society. We will link our students and our communities to global opportunities and collaborative relationships in the St. Croix Valley, in Wisconsin and beyond. We will be a life-long learning partner for all those who seek to discover their own potential and the richness and complexity of our multifaceted world.

1.3.6 Strategic Planning: Living the Promise 2007-1012

[FS 06/07-54]

Strategic goals for UW-River Falls were developed following an inclusive strategic planning process involving faculty, staff, administrators and students from across campus.

During Fall 2006, Strategic Planning Working Groups developed initiatives and tasks for these goals and the Faculty Senate reviewed and approved this work.

Following planning meetings between the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and members of the administration, Chancellor Betz introduced the strategic plan, Living the Promise 2007-2012, at an all-campus meeting on February 22, 2007. Living the Promise 2007-2012 Goals:

1. Create a culture of learning: UWRF will develop and sustain a strong learning environment on the campus and beyond. We will support both student learning and faculty learning through research, scholarly and creative activity.
2. Model sustainability principles: UWRF will model and champion the principles of sustainable community development.
3. Expand global literacy and engagement: UWRF will integrate international and global experiences, learning and attitudes throughout the University.
4. Develop engaged leaders: UWRF will create an institutional culture that teaches, promotes and rewards leadership that positively impacts external and internal communities.
5. Foster a culture of inclusiveness: UWRF will create a supportive community that embraces our differences and builds understanding.
6. Promote the University of Wisconsin - River Falls: UWRF will create and apply an integrated market strategy.
7. Invest in human resources: UWRF will invest in the present and future quality of the University.
8. Enhance the use of technology: UWRF will build an effective technological infrastructure to support the increasing demand and will provide the continuing training and support services needed to meet the institution’s growing needs.
9. Invest in facilities to support our mission: UWRF will invest its resources in facilities that support identified institutional needs.
10. Secure financial resources: UWRF will build a sound base of fiscal resources that will enable the University to fulfill its mission and goals

The strategic planning operating paradigm, the details of the final ten strategic goals, and accompanying tasks and initiatives that form the nucleus of Living the Promise are outlined at