State budget primary focus of Roundtable

Chris Kemp

With eight students and six faculty members filing into the President’s Room of Davies Center anticipating the Chancellors Roundtable, they were greeting by a different sight for the first time since 1998 — a new chancellor.

Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson, who replaced Chancellor Emeritus Donald Mash March 7, made her way around the table, greeting everyone before opening the meeting.

“I am delighted and honored to be here,” she said.

The main topic she focused on dealt with the state budget and her stance on what action the university should take.

Larson also covered the issue of rising tuition and what her plans were. She said over the next several years the university needs tuition increases in order to maintain and improve the quality of excellence.

“Also, with a reasonable tuition increase, we need matching dollars in financial aid,” she said.

Students interested in voicing their opinions can attend the next budget meeting 4:30 p.m. Monday in Hibbard 102. The meeting is open to all faculty and students.

As she continued with the meeting, she said she wants to stay focused on the Eau Claire motto of “excellence.”

Larson also said she is working for the university and the students to pave the way for the permanent chancellor once he or she is selected.

“I felt that (the meeting) went well,” said senior and former Student Senate President Chad Wade. “I was glad to see that she’s taking an interest in the students.”

Larson discussed her plans for the university and gave a slight background on her work experience. She is a Wisconsin native and a product of the state. She received all of her degrees from UW-Madison, majoring in Communication Science and Disorders. She worked as a speech and language pathologist for two years in public schools in northern Wisconsin.

After earning her doctorate at Madison and working as an administrator and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh, she was offered the interim chancellor position.

Larson said she was pleased with her first roundtable as well as her time so far as interim chancellor.

“Those present gave good ideas,” she said. “There was some clear interest in the topic of the budget.”