August 26, 2022  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

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

Divisional Name Changes

Two of UWM’s six divisions have new names:

  • The Office for Development and Alumni Relations is now University Advancement (UA), led by Vice Chancellor Joan Nesbitt. The new name reflects an integrated approach to engaging alumni and friends of UWM.
  • University Relations and Communication is now Marketing and Communications (MarComm), and Government Relations has moved to the Office of Strategic Partnerships, led by Chief Partnership Officer Jennifer Abele. The search for a MarComm vice chancellor is underway. Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Johnson is leading the division in the interim.  


Pamela Harris (Mathematical Sciences) has been named a winner of the Mathematical Association of America’s Debora and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, for faculty whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have had influence beyond their own institution. Well done, Pamela!

Jayden Richards (Social Welfare) won the Graduate Student Paper Competition from the executive board of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association for her paper titled, “A Spatial Analysis of Homicides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” Jayden was commended for her thoughtful analysis of the issue. Congratulations, Jayden!

Joel Spiess (Enrollment Management) joined EAB in producing a podcast to discuss UWM’s success in using retention grants to eliminate a 16-percentage point retention gap between students of color and White students this past spring. In addition, a case study document was published describing how UWM successfully piloted a completion grant program to close equity gaps in retention or graduation between non-URM and URM students. Well done, Joel!

In the News

Junjie Niu (Materials Science and Engineering) was interviewed by TMJ4 News about the biological degradation of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). His team identified three lab-specific bacteria naturally found in soil that can “eat up PFAS like dinner!”

Robert Schneider’s (Urban Planning) pedestrian safety research, including an analysis of the most prominent fatal pedestrian crash “hot spots” in the United States, has drawn national attention. It has been cited in the US Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and covered by the New York TimesWashington PostVoxStreetsblog USA, and Planetizen.

Milwaukee Athletics

The Milwaukee women’s basketball team finalized its full 2022-23 schedule which features 14 home games including the season opener on November 7 against in-state rival Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Athletic Department concludes its campaign of content for the summer surrounding the 50-year anniversary of the signing of Title IX legislation that changed the landscape of college athletics and created equal opportunities for all female student athletes at the collegiate level. The next portion consists of sit-down interviews with former MKE female student athletes and host Kaitlin Sharkey entitled, “Panther HER-Story.” The fourth and final episode sees Sarah Hagen join Sharkey.

The Week in Retrospect

The theme this week is welcome back for Fall 2022! I gave welcoming remarks on Monday for new teaching assistants; on Tuesday, it was for the Department Chairs Retreat and the Advisors Luncheon; on Thursday, for the new graduate students; and on Friday, the College of Health Sciences semester opening event. The energy in all these groups is a positive statement for the Fall semester. I also had my start of semester meeting with Student Association leadership and learned more about their AY 22-23 priorities that include looking at the scope of Academic Resource Center accommodations and building communication channels with the Student Association. I also led the Deans Retreat on Wednesday morning, which had focus points on student retention, particularly freshman, and ways to better coordinate policies and practices between UWM schools and colleges. A highlight of the week was the Chancellor’s Plenary Address. If you missed it, please view it here. I finished the week in a discussion with Dave Clark, Vice Provost for Student Success, and Sarah Riforgiate, Interim Director of CETL, on Fall 2023 new faculty and instructor training options. Lastly, welcome back to those on nine-month contracts and hope all can enjoy some of this fine, late summer weather this weekend.


Connected Systems Institute Open Forums 
The Connected Systems Institute will be holding open forums during candidate interviews for Research Program Director (working title Executive Director). Campus community participation is welcome. Details follow.
Updated 8/29/22: Please note the second candidate has withdrawn, and note revised open forum times for candidates on Thursday & Friday morning*

  • The second candidate, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, has withdrawn. Thursday afternoon open forum is canceled.
  • Friday, September 2, *10:00 a.m.Mason Khan
    CSI: LIB E190 and on Teams

The Connected Systems Institute (CSI) is located in the East Wing of the Golda Meir Library. For more information, see the CSI candidates page or contact Charlise Strong (; 414-251-5626).

Return of the Student Union!
The Union is currently completing final tests and inspections to open its doors on Friday, September 2, with dining units beginning their services on Tuesday, September 6. The Panther Shop, Books by eCampus, UWM Tech Store, and PantherCard Office will operate from Bolton Hall August 29 – September 1. All four offices will reopen in the Union on Friday, September 2.

There will be one more year of active construction in the Union before the project is completed, so there will be both usable and unusable spaces in the facility. For a more detailed look at the UWM Student Union Renovation and the locations of displaced services, please visit the What’s Happening and Space Relocations pages within the Union’s Renovation website.

Accessibility Resource Center
As we near the beginning of the Fall semester, the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) would like to familiarize faculty and instructional academic staff with its office, staff, and the accommodations students with disabilities might utilize. Understanding the ARC office, the various accommodations, and familiarizing yourself with ARC staff will help you and your student(s) get off to a smooth start from the very first day of classes. Open house dates:

  • August 31 – UWM @ Milwaukee: Mitchell 115 any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • September 8 – UWM @ Washington County: Room 204 any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • September 8 – UWM @Waukesha: Room L112 any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Exam Scanning
Lisa Fugina, Assistant Director of Testing and Assessment, will continue to provide exam scanning and course evaluation services, but she will now be housed under UITS rather than the Registrar’s Office. It is expected that scanning services will remain mostly unchanged except that exams that need scanning will be placed in a drop box on the 7th floor of the Northwest Quadrant B building. Times for the drop box and pick-up hours may be more limited.

Food Pantry Extended Hours
There are expanded open hours in the UWM Food Center and Pantry for Fall Semester 2022. The hours are:

  • Monday: 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m. – Noon
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Student Financial Services
The offices within Student Financial Services are proud to introduce you to their collaboration effort: The Student Financial Services Center (SFSC). The SFSC will be a single office that will serve as students’ and parents’ go-to place for answers to questions about scholarships, financial aid, and billing. The SFSC will launch November 1 and will be located in the newly remodeled Financial Aid Office space – Mellencamp Hall Room 162. Until then, students can reach out using the existing contact information for the Financial Aid & Bursar Offices.

Sad News
I share sad news from the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in the College of General Studies. Professor Alan Douglas Parker passed away on Tuesday, August 23. He was born on September 21, 1945, in Wellsville, NY. He earned his PhD in Mycology from the University of Illinois and taught Botany, Microbiology, and Mycology at UW-Waukesha for 35 years before he retired in 2011. We share our condolences with Alan’s family and the many others whose lives he touched. For additional information, see Alan’s obituary. A graveside service will take place at St. Bruno’s Cemetery in Dousman, WI on Saturday, August 27. Friends are invited to share their favorite memories of Alan at this occasion.

Campus Events

Atmospheric and Freshwater Sciences Colloquium
Guest speaker Allison Michaelis (Northern Illinois University) will present a research colloquium on “High-Resolution Modeling of High-Impact Weather: Insight into Atmospheric Rivers and the Extratropical Transition of Tropical Cyclones.” The event will take place on Friday, September 9 at 2 p.m. at the School of Freshwater Sciences in the GLRC Room 3093 or join remotely via Teams.

Panther Prowl
Join the UWM Alumni Association on Saturday, October 8, in person or virtually for the UWM Panther Prowl 5K Run/Walk. The beloved campus tradition features a picturesque course that winds through campus and Lake Park in the prime of autumn-color season. All registrants will receive an eco neck gaiter, tech decal, and bib. All Prowl proceeds benefit UWM student scholarships. Information and registration.

Take care,

Scott Gronert
Interim Provost