August 30, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

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

Fall 2021 Information Session 

On Tuesday, August 31, from 8:30-10 a.m., we will hold an Information Session for instructors, advisors, and academic support staff. Other staff are welcome to join as well. We will discuss the Instructor and Academic Support Staff FAQs, questions related to that document, and other questions regarding the fall semester. The session will be held in Teams. Joining me in this interactive Teams Live meeting will be Robin Van Harpen, Scott Gronert, Julie Bonner, Brian Switala, Stephen Schmid, Kelly Haag, Adam Jussel and Tim Danielson. All these individuals are extensively involved in planning and preparations for the fall semester. You can join the meeting here, and this same Teams link can be used for viewing the meeting at a later time if you are unable to watch it live.

News from the Graduate School

Professor Bonita Klein-Tasman (Psychology) has joined the Graduate School as Interim Associate Dean for the 2021-22 academic year. In addition to her work in Psychology’s large master’s and doctoral programs, Bonnie has served on GFC, chaired the Graduate Fellowships Committee, and has co-chaired the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health for a decade. Welcome, Bonnie!


Julie Kline and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) organized and hosted the extremely successful summer webinar series, “Latin American Children’s Book Creators,” with the collaboration of the International Youth Library (Munich, Germany) and UWM Translation & Interpreting Studies. The six-week webinar series featured children’s book authors, illustrators, and specialists from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. CLACS provided simultaneous Spanish-English language interpreting on Zoom to accommodate some 500 participants from more than 35 countries! Recordings of the webinars are available on the CLACS websiteCongratulations, Julie and CLACS, on an innovative and outstanding webinar series!

Simon Bronner (Dean, College of General Studies) has a new book published by Routledge: Americanness: Inquiries into the Thought and Culture of the United States (paperback, hardback, and ebook). Well done again, Simon!

Maria Novotny (English) recently published a chapter with colleagues in the edited collection, “Re-imagining Doctoral Writing.” The chapter, “Embodiment, Relationality, and Constellation: A Cultural Rhetorics Story of Doctoral Writing,” discusses how a cultural rhetorics method/ology can help scholars in any field reimagine the doctoral writing process as embodied, experiential, and personal. Congratulations, Maria!

Dan Agterberg (Physics) co-authored an article, “Field-induced transition within the superconducting state of CeRh2As2,” that has been published in Science. He has also received a new DOE grant on, “Superconductivity in quantum materials,” which will provide $280K for three years. Well done, Dan!

[Content Updated] UWM received a major clean-energy grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Engineering students & faculty stand to gain from this record-breaking investment in its university-based Industrial Assessment Centers. UWM’s IAC—directed by Ryo Amano (Mechanical Engineering)—will receive an unprecedented $2.3 million from the DOE and $0.6 million from industry partners. The investment is part of the Biden Administration’s goal for the U.S. to achieving a clean energy economy. Congratulations, Ryo!

In the News

Amanda Simanek (Public Health) was featured in the Philadelphia Citizen for her work on Dear Pandemic, of which she is a founding member and contributing writer. She was also quoted in this article in the Atlantic.

Milwaukee Athletics

The Milwaukee Athletics Department and Pounce Panther are Teaming up with the MACC Fund to go “Over the Edge” and raise money as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which begins September 1. Pounce Panther will be climbing down the 147-foot tall, 10-story Wintrust Commercial Bank building downtown on September 1 in an effort to raise money for childhood cancer and blood disorders research. Donated funds benefit both the MACC fund and Panther Athletics.

The Milwaukee Athletics Department and its exclusive multimedia rightsholder, Milwaukee Panther Sports Properties, announced that Panther men’s basketball will be heard on Good Karma Brands’ 540 ESPN and 101.1 FM this fall.

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by a planning meeting for Tuesday’s Fall Information Session. Then, I’ll provide welcome remarks at the New Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff Orientation. I also have an interview on university marketing, my weekly staff meeting, and my weekly check-in with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick.


In the morning, we have the Fall 2021 Information Session, my monthly meeting with Dave Clark, the CEMAT Leads meeting, and a meeting with Adam Jussel to discuss campus healing and community building. In the afternoon, I have my one-on-one with Tina Freiburger, my monthly meeting with Mark Harris and Rebecca Klaper, my weekly meeting with Chancellor Mone, and my one-on-one with Jason Puskar.


Today, I have my standing meeting with the Chancellor, Sue Weslow, and Jennifer Abele, my regular meeting with Brian Thompson, my one-on-one with John Reisel, my monthly meeting with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, a discussion with Simon Bronner, Dave Clark and Greg Ahrenhoerster regarding collaboration with Washington County Technical College, followed by my monthly meeting with Simon. Then, I have my monthly meeting with Kim Litwack and Amy Harley and my one-on-one with Nigel Rothfels (as the new UC chair).


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting, the APBC meeting, and a Wisconsin Policy Forum discussion. In the afternoon, I have my bi-weekly meeting with Mark Harris, my monthly meeting with Michelle Johnson and Keri Duce, my one-on-one with Pat Borger, and my standing meeting with Jennifer Abele.


I’m taking a day of vacation.


Lecture Capture Available in General Assignment Classrooms 

Campus Technology Support (CTS) has installed Lecture Capture technology in General Assignment classrooms and some department classrooms. To help prepare instructors to use Lecture Capture, CTS has recorded training sessions and developed short training videos on how to use the technology. Please visit Lecture Capture Training Videos to view the available training.

Orientation for Online Students

Please share with your students the Orientation for Online Students, which provides some effective strategies for being a successful online student.

Manfred Olson Planetarium

Join the UWM Planetarium for Fall Welcome at Stars ‘n S’mores, our first in-person event in more than a year! Offered on September 1 and 3 from 8-10 p.m. Enjoy free s’mores and relax outside while gazing at summer constellations through our telescopes.


50 not out from 14 balls!

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs