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


Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, became the Brazil Studies Association president on July 28, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. BRASA is an international, interdisciplinary organization of scholars who focus on Brazilian studies. She is the first African-American woman to lead the organization. This is a wonderful recognition and congratulations, Gladys!


Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute

I am pleased to report that starting August 1, Dr. Purush Papatla has agreed to serve as UWM’s Interim Co-Director of the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute. In collaboration with Co-Directors from Northwestern Mutual and Marquette University, Purush will work with faculty, staff, and company representatives on academic and professional development curricula, research projects, and other foundational elements of the Institute. Later this month, Purush will invite interested faculty to attend an information session and learn about opportunities for involvement. Later in the fall semester, we will undertake a search for the permanent Co-Director. Here is a link to the announcement about the Data Science Institute.

Lubar Entrepreneurship Center

I am also pleased to share that Dr. Ilya Avdeev has been named Associate Director / Director of Innovation for the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.  Dr. Avdeev has been instrumental in efforts to foster entrepreneurship at UWM.  In this role he will continue to build programs that enhance the educational opportunities for UWM students who learn entrepreneurial thinking, creativity and innovation.  This programing will have a new home when the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and UWM Welcome Center opens in the spring of 2019. (This position is funded through the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.)

Director of the Military and Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC)
The Division of Student Affairs is pleased to announce to the campus and community that UWM has hired a new Director of the Military and Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC). Yolanda Medina will officially join us today (Monday, August 6). A former Marine, Ms. Medina has 12 years of experience working in Higher Education and comes to UWM most recently from her position as the Military and Veteran Student Services Coordinator at Carroll University.

Milwaukee Athletics

Milwaukee student-athletes have started to report back for the 2018-19 school year and women’s soccer will be the first program out of the gates! The Panthers open the 2018 campaign with an exhibition at Loyola Chicago August 7. See the full schedule.

In the News

The New York Times published a fascinating story on climate change with an important contribution by UWM’s Peter Dunn (Biological Sciences).

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen. I then attend the Academic Staff Committee meeting and I have the Chancellor’s Deep Dive Executive Cabinet meeting. In the afternoon, I have my weekly staff meeting, a meeting with Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska, and a meeting with Brett Peters and Scott Emmons.


In the morning there is a deans’ morning meeting, followed by a CEMAT Executive Committee retreat. In the afternoon I’m attending the University Committee meeting, I have a meeting on restructuring and the UW-Colleges, plus my regular one on one meeting with Ray Fleming – Ray is the new interim dean of CHS.


Another day of meetings: I have meetings with Brett Peters, Kanti Prasad, and Joely Urdan. I have a budget planning meeting, and I end the day with my weekly meeting with the Chancellor.


I have one-on-one meetings with Tom Lipinski, Mark Harris and Michael Doylen, a University Relations meeting, I’m attending part of the Associate Dean Retreat, and I have a follow-up SPC meeting with the College of Health Sciences.


A day of meetings with my staff, plus meetings on the new budget model. I’m also stopping by the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) Interns farewell reception.


Common Read

Join Chancellor Mone and me in facilitating a discussion session for the Common Reading Experience during Panther Academic Welcome on Friday, August 31! Sign up to facilitate a discussion surrounding a recent Roxanne Gay article from Smithsonian Magazine for a group of approximately 30 new first-year students.

UWM Brand Day Survey
In past years, University Relations has organized UWM’s Brand Day, which has served as a resource for information on the UWM brand and marketing resources. Looking at the future of this event, we are exploring new options and ideas to make it as useful as it can be for campus partners and therefore, would love to hear your feedback. Please take a short survey, which will take just a couple of minutes to complete. Your input is greatly appreciated!

Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research 

Please join the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR) in a service event at Lloyd Barbee Montessori School on Wednesday, August 15. Volunteers will be assisting teachers in classroom set up. Please specify whether or not you will need transportation when completing the sign-up form.

Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning: Canvas

On January 1, 2020, D2L will no longer be available. All D2L materials will be lost if they are not moved to Canvas or a repository. The Canvas staging areas are available for every instructor right now to move content from D2L to Canvas and set up courses for the future.

Aging Research Collaborative Team

An Interdisciplinary Aging Research Seminar will take place on Monday, August 13 from 10 – 11 a.m. at EMS Room 250. The title is “Soft and Continuum Robots: Potential Treads and Challenges.” More information.


Well done to England (I was hoping Kholi would do it for India), and an interesting article, recently published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, for new Department Chairs.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs