April 13, 2020  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs.

COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Following the Chancellor’s message last week, I just want to remind you of the Microsoft Teams town hall meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 17.

We will share the latest actions taken and plans in response to COVID-19. Chancellor Mone will host the town hall and share the big picture on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected UWM. Vice Chancellor Van Harpen and I will provide academic, HR, and financial updates and will join the Chancellor in answering your questions.

Your voices are important and we invite your questions, which can be shared in advance or asked online during the townhall by sending them to: uwm-townhall@uwm.edu. We have created an FAQ resource that is updated daily at uwm.edu/coronavirus. Please check this comprehensive resource before submitting a townhall question; there are hundreds of answers available just a few clicks away.

Faculty and staff at all campuses are highly encouraged to participate by joining the town hall meeting here. The same link can be used for viewing the meeting at a later time.

In the News

Patricia McKnight (UWM graduating senior) took the iconic photo that went viral last week.


Elizabeth Drame’s (Teaching and Learning) new book, The Resistance, Persistence and Resilience of Black Families Raising Children with Autism, was recently released. The book presents nuanced perspectives in the form of counternarratives of what Black families who have children with autism experience at the intersection of race, class, disability, and gender. Congratulations, Liz!

Our Emergency Grant Fund

UWM continues to raise money for additional aid during the COVID-19 crisis and you can donate to the emergency grant fund. We currently have raised more than $40,000.

Indefinite Status Process Extension

Accommodation will be made to extend the probationary period for academic staff on track toward indefinite status. Because the circumstances are beyond the control of the staff member, there is a presumption of approval of these requests. The extensions will be available for individuals who have files due on or before December 31, 2020. A written request for an extension should be made to the Academic Staff Committee chair as well as the chair of the Instructional and Research Academic Staff Review Committee (IRASRC) OR the chair of the Non-Teaching Academic Staff Review Committee (NTASRC). Extensions must be requested by the staff member by September 15, 2020. This extension is not available to individuals with probationary status who have already received a nonrenewal notice for Spring 2020 (as these files were due to the committee prior to the COVID-19 disruption). The extension allows employees to complete the indefinite status appointment process by May 31, 2021. Notification of the extension will be provided to the supervisor/executive committee/dean/division head.

Milwaukee Athletics

Catch up on all the exciting things happening in Milwaukee Athletics by reading the latest issue of The Roar Report. This issue contains messages from Amanda Braun and Alyssa Fischer on the environment we are currently living in, updates on each in-season Panther sports program, and a feature story on the Milwaukee baseball program and Head Coach Scott Doffek.

The Week


I start the week with my daily Crisis Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by my weekly meeting with Robin Van Harpen, a meeting with Scott Gronert, the CMT Coronavirus Crisis Management meeting, the Associate Deans meeting, my weekly staff meeting, a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Board of Directors meeting, and my daily meeting with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick.


In the morning, I have my daily CMT Leadership meeting, I will join a meeting with 2030 Think Tank Co-Chairs Jennifer Doering and Kris O’Connor, and I have my monthly meetings with Ron Perez, Tim Behrens, and Purush Papatla. In the afternoon, I have an Online/Keypath discussion, I’ll provide Academic Affairs updates to the Academic Staff Senate, I have my weekly meeting with the Chancellor, a Coalition of Urban Serving Universities Provosts teleconference, and my daily meeting with Dev and Laura.


Today, I have another daily CMT Leadership meeting, a Deans and Shared Governance meeting, an Enrollment Management meeting with the Chancellor, a Distinguished Professors check-in meeting with Paul Roebber, my monthly meeting with Stan Stojkovic, and a teleconference with Robin Van Harpen and UW System Vice President Robert Cramer. Again, I end the day with my meeting with Dev and Laura.


In the morning, I have my daily CMT Leadership meeting, a Restructuring/CGS meeting, my bi-weekly meeting with Tom Luljak, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting, and my monthly meeting with Kim Litwack. In the afternoon, I have the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute Core Team meeting, the Faculty Senate meeting, and my daily meeting with Dev and Laura.


I start the day with our live Town Hall meeting, followed by my one-on-one with Dave Clark, my monthly meeting with Scott Gronert, the daily Milwaukee County COVID-19 Briefing, a meeting on space planning, and I end the week with my daily meeting with Dev and Laura.


UCS Services for Academic Units

University Counseling Services of Norris Health Center is currently operating remotely by providing telehealth (phone and video) based services. In-person services remain unavailable at this time.

Services for students new to UCS include brief telehealth counseling, crisis counseling, case management, and referral assistance. Services for students previously seen in-person at UCS include short-term telehealth counseling, crisis counseling, case management, referral assistance, and medication checks by UCS psychiatrists.

Phone consultations for faculty and staff regarding student concerns are still being offered.

All services are available during business hours M-F 8 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. by calling (414) 229-4133. For after-hours crisis assistance use these resources.

Assistance for Students

UWM students can apply for a grant to help with emergency expenses, including academic and technology expenses incurred by distance learning, food and personal items, and housing. While we have limited funds, it is our campus-wide priority to raise money to help students in crisis. Some funds are also still available for students who attended Milwaukee Public Schools or Milwaukee Area Technical College through the M³ initiative. We are asking students to apply if they need financial assistance – this is important to assess current needs.

Students can apply to the grants by visiting the Dean of Students website.

Students can find additional support and resources in the Student Handbook, the Virtual Student Union, or by contacting the Dean of Students (dos@uwm.edu).

Student Orientation
In looking at a variety of peer institutions from across the state, as well as other urban institutions, the following decision about UWM’s Orientation programs for summer 2020 has been made for all three campuses: Orientation will be offered in a virtual format at all three campuses for new undergraduate students who are starting in the Summer or Fall of 2020.

Summer 2020 orientation programming for freshmen (required) and transfer students will function in a remote format, with a required Canvas Online Orientation and optional ways to engage virtually with other students and campus resources.

Students will be able to connect online with Academic Advisors to schedule their classes once their Orientation requirements have been completed. Through this engagement, new students can feel cared for, well-informed, and confident as they navigate an uncertain time and transition into the university. More information will be available on the New Student Programs website.


We are excited to announce the launch of You@UWM, a digital well-being portal for students. You@UWM fosters student success in three domains: Succeed (academics and career); Thrive (physical and mental health); and Matter (purpose, community, and social connections). The portal serves up relevant information and campus resources, customized to each student’s engagement with the resource. Please log in to explore all You@UWM has to offer and consider sharing it with your students! More information. Reach out to Lori Bokowy (labokowy@uwm.edu) with questions.

Friendly Caller Program

Are you in contact with older adults struggling with fear and isolation related to the COVID-19 Crisis?

The HBSSW Office of Applied Gerontology is partnering with Jewish Family Services to get the word out about the JFS Friendly Caller program. The program supports older adults who may be struggling with loneliness and anxiety, now exacerbated by quarantine measures due to COVID. If you know of any adult client or community member in Milwaukee County who may benefit from additional support during this time, please refer them to JFS Friendly Caller program. They will be matched with an intern or JFS staff member who can provide friendly chats and socialization to them over the phone for the duration of the COVID crisis.

Call: 414-225-1374 (Kat – Clinical Services Coordinator)
Email: clinic@jfsmilw.org
Text: 414-376-0711

Letters of Encouragement

We are looking for UWM students, faculty, and staff who would be willing to send a letter or card of encouragement to a local older adult during these difficult times. We are partnering with Eastside Senior Services to hopefully make the day of one of our UWM neighbors as many people are isolated during these unique circumstances. If you are interested, please use our online request form. We will review your request to be matched with an older adult and be in touch with further details. If you have any questions, contact Zachary Garrity (zgarrity@uwm.edu).

Webinar: Reaching out to Students When Teaching Online

Join the Center for Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL) for a special webinar, Reaching Out to Students When Teaching Online, being held on Tuesday, April 14, from 2 – 3 p.m. Join the webinar. Note that you do not need to register for this event. After the webinar, a recording will be available.

In this webinar, we’ll examine how we can construct supportive, equity-minded messages to foster student progress, and use Canvas to track student engagement and easily contact students.  We’ll also share tips and resources for student success such as:

Teams Tip

Take an online Teams course and learn more about how Teams works! These courses are free to faculty and staff and the next class will be on April 15.

Power of Nutrition

Join Neal Barnard, MD (George Washington University School of Medicine), on Thursday, April 16 (note updated date) at 8 a.m., as he presents a Zoom lecture on the power of using nutrition to prevent and reverse chronic disease and how nutrition can boost immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downer Woods Survey

This spring, the Practicum in Natural Resources Management class (CES 471) is writing a management plan for Downer Woods on the UWM campus. We are very interested in learning about how the UWM community uses the woods and have prepared a short survey. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete and we request that you return them by April 24.


Creativity during a time of social isolation.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs