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University of Wisconsin–River Falls

University of Wisconsin–River Falls
Motto Global. Innovative. Excellent.
Established 1874
Type State university
Chancellor Dean Van Galen
Students 6,061 (2013-2014)[1]
Location River Falls, Wisconsin, USA
Sports Falcons
Colors Red & White          
Nickname Falcons
Mascot Freddy The Falcon

The University of Wisconsin–River Falls (also known as UW–River Falls or UWRF) is a public liberal arts university located in River Falls, Wisconsin. It is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The 226-acre (91 ha) campus is situated on the Kinnickinnic River in the St. Croix River valley. The university has 32 major buildings and two laboratory farms, with a total of 440 acres (178 ha) of land.

In 2013-2014 UWRF had an enrollment of 6,061 students in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. Being a part of the University of Wisconsin System, it is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. UWRF is also a member of the American Council of Education Internationalization Laboratory and provides several global studies and study abroad programs.[4] The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development.[5]

Athletic teams at UWRF compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey, which compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's ice hockey team has won three national championships.


  • History 1
  • Overview 2
  • Academics 3
    • Admissions 3.1
    • Colleges 3.2
      • College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences 3.2.1
      • College of Arts and Sciences 3.2.2
      • College of Business and Economics 3.2.3
      • College of Education and Professional Studies 3.2.4
    • Honors program 3.3
    • Study abroad 3.4
      • Guy Healy Japan Program 3.4.1
      • Wisconsin in Scotland Program 3.4.2
      • China Study Tour 3.4.3
      • Other 3.4.4
    • University partnerships 3.5
    • Tutoring services 3.6
    • UWRF Reserve Officer Training Corps 3.7
    • Rankings 3.8
  • Campus 4
    • Academic buildings 4.1
    • Residence halls 4.2
    • Laboratory farms 4.3
    • Sustainability 4.4
  • Student life 5
    • Performing arts 5.1
      • Music 5.1.1
      • Theater arts 5.1.2
    • Athletics 5.2
      • Athletic facilities 5.2.1
      • Intramural sports 5.2.2
    • Student organizations 5.3
    • Student services 5.4
      • Child care 5.4.1
      • Student support services 5.4.2
      • Speech, language, and hearing clinic 5.4.3
  • Notable faculty 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The original Normal Hall (renamed South Hall), as it appeared before it was destroyed by fire in 1897.

The University of Wisconsin–River Falls was founded in 1874 as River Falls State Normal School, one of the state normal schools created to prepare students for teaching careers and to provide better education to the state's frontier regions. In 1926, the school was renamed to River Falls State Teachers College, as the state normal schools became "State Teachers Colleges" that incorporated a significant increase in general education offerings and four-year courses of study leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.

After World War II, thousands of returning veterans in Wisconsin under the

The school became a member of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971 when the former University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities merged. It then became the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.[6]

Today, UWRF grants graduate degrees in several fields. The university has remained loyal to its original purpose of teacher training as it still operated the Campus School for many years.


  • Enrollment: 5,794 (as of the 2013-14 academic year)[7]
  • Male (39.5%) Female (60.5%)[7]
  • Student/faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Public-access television station: Cable Channel 19
  • Radio station: WRFW FM (88.7 MHz)
  • Newspaper: Student Voice
  • Library book count: 220,447 volumes
  • Student Government: Unicameral legislature; 25 students representing student body

In 2012 River falls launched a fundraising campaign called Rising to Distinction. Its goal is to help with "financial aid, faculty support, student learning opportunities, and facilities.[8][9] The campaign has raised $12,605,083, which will be used for mentoring and student engagement.


The University has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the Council on Social Work Education, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Association of School Psychologists, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.[10] UWRF offers over 40 majors.


The Fall 2012 acceptance rate was 79.2% for incoming freshmen.[11]


UWRF is organized into four colleges: the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES); the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the College of Business and Economics (CBE); and the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS).

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

The UWRF College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences was founded in 1912.[12] It features the only agricultural engineering technology program in the state, one of the largest dairy science programs in the nation, and an agricultural studies program.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences offers majors in disciplines that include: Art, Communication Studies, English, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Modern Language, Music, Theatre Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography and Mapping Sciences, History, International Studies, Journalism, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Biotechnology, Broad Field Social Studies, Broad Field Science, and Marketing Communications. The college supports pre-professional programs in engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and is involved in UWRF's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program. The College of Arts and Sciences also coordinates with the Teacher Education Program (College of Education and Professional Studies) to offer teacher certification in many of its major fields.

College of Business and Economics

The College of Business and Economics has undergraduate programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science & Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing, and a Master of Business Administration program and an Adult Degree Completion Program.

College of Education and Professional Studies

Wyman Education Building, home of the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS).

The College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) has approximately 1400 students preparing for professional careers in communicative disorders, counseling, exercise and sport science, school psychology, social work, and teaching.[13] The teacher education program was founded in 1874. The Child Center is a $1.1 million building that is 7,800 square feet with six classrooms, a kitchen, a motor-skills activity area, and work and storage areas. It serves as a fieldwork site for early childhood and elementary education, social work, communicative disorder, school psychology, and counseling majors, providing activities for up to 90 children ages 6 weeks to 10 years old.

Honors program

The UWRF Honors Program serves students who have an outstanding record of academic achievement. Students may enroll in different types of courses and gain academic credit through educationally related experiences.[14]

Study abroad

The university has over 20 partnerships with institutions in countries including China, Scotland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Germany which facilitate international studies and student exchanges. UWRF Global Connections offers programs that allow students to study in almost 50 countries. The program sends more than 350 students abroad every year.[15]

Guy Healy Japan Program

The Guy Healy Japan Program is a summer program that sends 120 students to Japan as camp counselors, 20 from UW-River Falls. Counselor's duties include teaching Japanese children the English language.

Wisconsin in Scotland Program

This program offers students the opportunity to study in Scotland for either one semester or six weeks in the summer. Participating universities include UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, UW-Parkside, UW-Whitewater, UW-Colleges and Normandale Community College.[16]

China Study Tour

The China Study Tour is an opportunity for students to explore China's history and culture. Students visit Beijing, Luoyang, Xian, Suzhou, Wuzhen and Shanghai and tour the Great Wall of China, the Longmen Grottoes, the Terra-Cotta Warriors, classical Chinese gardens and the financial center of Shanghai. The program runs for about two and a half weeks during J-term.[17]


The Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) is a program open to students of the College of Education who wish to student teach in a different country.

University partnerships

Zhejiang International Studies University in Hangzhou, China has been a partner with UWRF since the 1970s. In 2013 the UWRF ZISU Partnership began a 1+1+2 program for Elementary Education majors.

Tutoring services

UW-River Falls offers tutoring services for all currently enrolled students. Campus study centers are found in several academic buildings, including Chalmer Davee Library, Centennial Science Hall, Klienpell Fine Arts, Agricultural Science Building and North and South Halls.[18]

Student academic assistance centers include the Math Help Center, the Writing Center,[19] the Chemistry Center, the Physics Study Center, the Tutoring Center, and the Agricultural Study Center.[20]

UWRF Reserve Officer Training Corps

The UW-River Falls has a Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, which is part of the Northwoods Battalion, along with UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, and UW-Eau Claire.[21]


The University of Wisconsin–River Falls is one of four University of Wisconsin System institutions included in The Princeton Review's 2014 list of the "Best in the Midwest."[22] For 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UWRF in the top tier for Regional Universities in the Midwest United States.[23]


The campus at UWRF is divided by the south fork of the Kinnickinnic River, which provides the opportunity for outdoor recreational activities. The Kinnickinnic is used for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Students also take advantage of the campus's open spaces for cross country skiing, biking, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The university is home to the open-air Melvin Wall Amphitheater that sponsors a summer concert series, which attracts bands from around the area and the state.

Additions and renovations have been made to campus. North Hall, which prior to the construction of the Ames Teacher Education building, housed the Campus School, is now an administration building that also houses the departments of Mathematics, Journalism, and Marketing Communications. The university opened a new Kansas City Chiefs during their summer training camp. In October 2007, the Dairy Learning Center complex was dedicated at the Mann Valley campus laboratory farm. The complex contains nine buildings that provide learning and research opportunities in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. A new residence hall, Jesse H. Ames Suites, containing an additional 240 beds for sophomores opened in the fall of 2012. A new Health and Human Performance Building called The Falcon Center is set to replace the aging Karges Physical Education Center and Emogene Nelson Fitness Center. The Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place on May 2, 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in October, 2016. It will include classrooms, a human performance laboratory, a large gymnasium (Page Arena), dance studio, auxiliary gym, offices, locker rooms, training rooms, and other supporting spaces. It is also going to include remodeling to the Hunt/ Knowles complex to accommodate the new additions.[24]

Academic buildings

  • Agricultural Engineering Annex (AEA)
  • Agricultural Science Hall (AGS)
  • Centennial Science Hall (CSH)
  • Chalmer Davee Library (DL)
  • Falcon Union Center on the Kinnikinic
  • Food and Animal Science Addition (FSA)
  • Emogene Nelson Building (ENB)
  • Greenhouse (GH)
  • Kleinpell Fine Arts (KFA)
KFA contains the Davis Theater, Abbott Concert Hall, and Art Gallery. The Davis Theater is the venue for theatrical productions. Abbot Concert Hall is used for musical concerts and recitals.[25]
On the exterior of KFA is the Swenson Sundial, which was inspired by former faculty member, Richard D Swenson. Designed by John Shepherd of the UWRF physics department, the sundial measures 56 feet horizontally and 31 feet vertically, and is “the most accurate of its kind in North America.”[26]

Residence halls

  • Crabtree Hall (International Housing, 2014-2015)
  • George R. Field South Fork Suites - Junior/Senior housing
  • Grimm Hall
  • Hathorn Hall
  • Jesse H. Ames Suites - Sophomore housing
  • Johnson Hall (Newly renovated for 2013-2014 Academic School Year) -Freshman Only
  • May Hall
  • McMillan Hall
  • Parker Hall
  • Prucha Hall (Closed for the 2013-2014 Academic School Year)
  • Stratton Hall (Substance free, co-ed for the 2013-2014 Academic School Year)

Laboratory farms

  • Lab Farm 1 (located at the corner of Cemetery Road and Wasson Lane)
  • Mann Valley Lab Farm (located at 129 S. Glover Road)


UWRF received an A- grade on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.[27] The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, whose mission is "to support and facilitate the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in becoming one of the premier venues for deliberation and demonstration of sustainable community development principles."[5]

Student life

Performing arts


The music department at UWRF supports a number of instrumental ensembles, including the UWRF Symphony Band, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, St. Croix Valley Community Band, Falcon Band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and the String Chamber Music Ensemble.[28] The Symphony Band has performed with artists such as New York Philharmonic tubist Alan Baer, euphonium player Jason Ham, and Pat O'Keefe. The Jazz Ensemble has performed as part of the UWRF Radd Jazz Series in the annual jazz festival. Musicians such as Ernie Watts, Leonard Foy, and Mike Stern have all been guests at this event.

UWRF fields a number of vocal ensembles, including Concert Choir, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Community Chorus.[29] The Concert Choir has performed at Muse Hall in Japan and in China and Korea.

The UWRF Music Department annually hosts the Commission Composer Project. Initiated by Conrad De Jong in 1967, the program's purpose is to expose students to new and cutting edge music. De Jong wanted students to be a part of the creative process by bringing the music on the page to life.[30] The department also holds a free Coffee Concert Series with guest artists.

Theater arts

The University Theatre department produces four shows a year that vary in style, period and genre. One of these shows is completely student run by the UWRF Masquers organization. Every other year the University theatre department produces a musical. UWRF has two student theatre organizations, Masquers and Alpha Psi Omega. The Iota Beta Cast of Alpha Psi Omega, a national honor society, focuses on community outreach and theatre education. While UWRF has a Theatre major and minor available, students can get involved with the technical and performance aspects of UWRF theatre no matter what they are studying.


UW-River Falls' athletic teams, known by their nickname, the Falcons, compete in 18 varsity sports in of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division III.[31] Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, swimming and diving, and track and field. Women's sports are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.

The university also offers club sports for students, including badminton, paintball, Jiu Jitsu, rugby and rock climbing.[32]

From 1991 to 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs used the university's athletic facilities during their annual summer training camp. The Chiefs moved their training camp to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri in 2010.[33] In 2007, the HBO sports documentary, Hard Knocks, followed the Chiefs throughout their summer training camp at UWRF. The series featured a number of university buildings, including the new student union, Rodli Commons, McMillan Hall, Ramer Field Complex, Hunt Ice Hockey Arena and Laboratory Farm #1.

Athletic facilities

  • Emogene Nelson Center is a wing of May Hall that houses a strength and conditioning center, an aerobics studio, and a human performance lab.
  • Hunt Arena, an ice arena, is home to the Falcon ice hockey teams and to the Hunt Arena Skating School. The facility is also used for intramural broom ball, open skating, and hockey and for rental to neighboring communities.[34]
  • Intramural Complex consists of 22 acres of green space with four softball fields, eight soccer fields, five lacrosse fields, and six football fields.
  • Karges Physical Education Center houses the Department of Health and Human Performance, a gymnasium, racquetball courts, dance studio, human performance lab, and three classrooms. Men's and women's basketball and volleyball games are held here.
  • Robert P. Knowles Center has a six-lane 200-meter indoor track, four basketball courts, five tennis courts, two batting cages, volleyball courts, and a rock climbing wall. The center is available for rental for events such as concerts and shows.[35] Knowles is also the home to Kinni Outdoor Adventures.
  • Ramer Field is home to the UWRF football team.
  • Ramer Softball Field, a regulation sized NCAA softball field with two covered dugouts and a dirt infield, is used for women's softball.
  • Ramer Field Tennis Courts, with eight hard-court tennis courts used by the women's tennis teams.

The Falcon Center, which will become the new strength and conditioning center replacing the Emogene Nelson Center and the Karges Physical Education Center, started construction on July 28, 2014 and is hoped to be completed by 2017.

Intramural sports

The UWRF Recreation and Sport Facility creates opportunities for students and faculty to engage in athletic activities, including flag football, volleyball, soccer, and women's broomball in the fall and 5 on 5 basketball, softball, Ultimate Frisbee, and men's broomball in the spring. Intramural seasons last 4 to 5 weeks. One-day intramural events include coed sand volleyball, a bean bags tournament, 3 on 3 basketball, a dodgeball tournament, doubles badminton, rock climbing and floor hockey.

Student organizations

The University of Wisconsin–River Falls has over 150 student organizations on campus that range from athletic clubs to social fraternities/sororities and honorary academic societies.[36]

Organizations at UWRF include:

  • Academic/major related - 33 organizations
  • Greek life - 3 fraternities, 4 sororities, 2 governing bodies, and 2 Greek honor societies (listed below)
  • Hobbies/social - 35 organizations
  • Identity-based cultural - 9 organizations
  • Media/publications - 4 organizations
  • Performance/performing srts - 5 organizations
  • Political - 2 organizations
  • Religion/spirituality - 9 organizations
  • Residence life - 15 organizations
  • Service/social action - 5 organizations[37]
  • Sports/recreation - 17 organizations
  • Student government - 1 organization

Seven social fraternities and sororities are represented on campus. For men, these include [38]

The rodeo club at UWRF began in 1964. David Stafford organized the club. It had over 50 members within the first year.[39] The rodeo club has hosted a rodeo every September for about 50 years. The rodeo brings in competitors from colleges and universities in the Great Plains Region.[40] The club also travels to competitions. Any student at UWRF can join Rodeo Club. To compete, athletes must purchase a membership card through the NIRA (National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association). Competitors travel to other college rodeos to compete, including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.[41]

The official student government organization is the Student Senate, which comprises 25 members. The Student Senate represents the student body in all aspects of student affairs.[42] The eight standing committees within the Student Senate are: Student Affairs and Academic Services, On-Campus Pub Ad Hoc Committee, Inclusivity and Diversity Issues, Ethics, Executive, Finance, Legislative Affairs, and Shared Governance.[43]

Student services

Child care

The UWRF C.H.I.L.D. Center provides child care for faculty, staff, and students. The C.H.I.L.D. Center employs student-staff, the majority of whom are elementary education majors.

Student support services

UWRF's Student Support Services (SSS) is a United States Department of Education funded program designed to assist students with basic college requirements, and help them complete their post-secondary education.[44] Students accepted into the SSS Program are assigned a coach who helps them in their goals throughout the year and makes sure they stay on track to graduate.

Speech, language, and hearing clinic

The speech, language and hearing clinic provides clinical services for issues such as articulation and stuttering to the social and cognitive aspects of communication. The clinic serves both students and community residents.[45]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


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  2. ^ [11]
  3. ^ [12]
  4. ^ "Internationalization Laboratory". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b [13]
  6. ^ Alice Songe, American Universities and Colleges: A Dictionary of Name Changes. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978, p. 229.
  7. ^ a b "Office of Institutional Research : Undergraduate Enrollmeny by Gender : 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  8. ^ "Rising to Distinction". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  9. ^ "Pathway to Distinction". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  10. ^ [14]
  11. ^ "University of Wisconsin--River Falls U.S. News Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  12. ^ "CAFES Home Page". University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  13. ^ "College of Education and Professional Studies". UWRF. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "UWRF Catalog -Honors Program". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  15. ^ "Global Connections". University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  16. ^ "UWRF - Wisconsin in Scotland". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  17. ^ "Inactive Content". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  18. ^ "Become a Tutor". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  19. ^ "Writing Center". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  20. ^ "Tutoring Centers". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  21. ^ "Msl / Rotc". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  22. ^ "Princeton Review Best of the Midwest". Princeton Review. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  23. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2014". U.S. News and World Report. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  24. ^ "Falcon Center". UWRF. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Inactive Content". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  26. ^ "UWRF About Us -The Richard D. Swensen Sundial". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  27. ^ "Report Card 2011 - The College Sustainablilty Report Card". 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  28. ^ [15]
  29. ^ [16]
  30. ^ "Commissioned Composers". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  31. ^ [17]
  32. ^ "Recreation and Sport Facilities: Sports clubs". Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  33. ^ [18]
  34. ^ "Hunt Arena". University of Wisconsin River-Falls. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  35. ^ "Recreation and Sport Facilities". University of Wisconsin River- Falls. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "Student Life". University of Wisconsin–River Falls. 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  37. ^ "Student Life". University of Wisconsin–River Falls. 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  38. ^ "Organization Network Directory". University of Wisconsin–River Falls Student Life. 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  39. ^ "UWRF Rodeo celebrates 45 years". Angela Lutz. 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  40. ^ "UWRF Collegiate Rodeo Marks 45 years". Wisconsin Ag Connection. 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  41. ^ "UWRF Rodeo Club". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  42. ^ [19]
  43. ^ [20]
  44. ^ "Student Support Services Program". Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  45. ^ "Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • University Advancement (Alumni and Foundation)
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