A rendering of the new SciTech building, which will begin construction in 2023. Rendering courtesy of UW-River Falls
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UW-River Falls to add three undergraduate majors

SciTech approved by Board of Regents, heads to State Building Commission in August

RIVER FALLS – The Board of Regents on June 10 approved the addition of three new Bachelor of Science undergraduate majors at University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The three majors – finance, management and marketing – were emphasis options in the existing Bachelor of Science Business Administration program. The new majors will start in the fall semester.

“These new standalone majors in finance, management and marketing will help our students to be more focused on their area of passion within the very broad business field and more prepared for internships and employment in their area of interest,” said College of Business and Economics Acting Dean Dawn Hukai.

A finance major prepares students to understand portfolio management, financial and personal risk management, financial institutions, international financial management and asset valuation. Finance graduates often secure careers in banking, insurance and risk management, real estate, investments, financial analysis and personal financial planning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the market for financial analysts is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, faster than average for all occupations.

The management major prepares students to motivate people, lead a business unit, form and implement a company strategy, and succeed in business, non-profit, government and graduate study. Management graduates often pursue careers in human resources, business analysis, project management, small business management, entrepreneurship, logistics and innovation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the market for management analysts is projected to grow 14% from 2019 to 2029, faster than average for all occupations. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development projects a 5.9% growth rate in the demand for general and operational managers, faster than the average for all occupations.

A marketing major prepares students to assess consumer and business behavior to determine the products and services people and organizations need and want and how to design, promote and distribute them. Marketing graduates often choose careers in advertising, brand management, marketing research analysis, public relations and professional sales. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the market for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is projected to grow 10% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

“This is really what students want,” Hukai said. “Students can still get a general business administration major as well. The changes are part of an ongoing process of review for our majors in demand and to meet the needs of our students and employers.”

Students would also be prepared to go to graduate school after graduating in the new majors, Hukai noted.

Regents grant authority to construct SciTech

The Board of Regents granted the authority for UWRF to construct the $116.7 million Science and Technology Innovation Center (SciTech) project.

The project will raze Hagestad Hall and construct the 73,865-square-foot Sci-Tech building that will be home to biology and chemistry, including biomedical and health sciences and biotechnology; physics, including pre-engineering; and psychological sciences, including neuroscience; as well as create a collaboration space for engagement of local and regional business partners in STEM fields and beyond.

UWRF produces the third highest percentage of STEM graduates in the UW System and nearly 60% of UWRF students will take a class in SciTech, such as students from high demand programs like environmental engineering, agricultural science, international food operations management, animal science, crop and soil science and dairy science. The building will feature flexible undergraduate instructional laboratory suites, active learning studios, undergraduate and faculty research spaces and shared interdisciplinary space. SciTech will have 32 undergraduate research spaces and 12 instructional labs.

It also will enhance and grow partnerships with businesses and industries through collaborative programming, internships and innovative product development through the University Business Collaboration Center (UBC2). The UBC2 will actively engage business and community partners in discovery, innovation and talent development at UWRF, ouering students increased internship, research and career opportunities while providing employers facilitated access to student talent, as well as faculty and stau expertise.

“Students will benefit through engagement in active- learning spaces designed for the 21st century,” said UWRF Chancellor Maria Gallo. “Our industry partners are committed to this project because of its unique UBC2 which will increase student learning opportunities and enhance discovery, innovation and talent development by bringing university and business resources together in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and beyond.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed in late 2025. Classes are slated to start in the new building in January 2026.

The project is slated for State Building Commission approval in August.

The state of Wisconsin has funded $111.73 million for the project. UW-River Falls is working with alumni and corporate donors to raise the remaining $5 million and is already nearly halfway to that goal.

To learn more about the SciTech project and to provide financial support, go to www.uwrf.edu/scitech.

Submitted by UW-River Falls

June 21, 2022