December 13, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

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

Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations Finalists Feedback

Chancellor Mone has requested feedback on the Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations finalist candidates who visited campus this month. To submit your feedback, please access the survey, which is available until 11:45 p.m. today (Monday, December 13). Candidate materials are available on the finalists page. The survey feedback will be collected and presented to Chancellor Mone in an anonymous format.

Our newly appointed Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Congratulations again to Dr. Chia Vang for being named as the VC for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion! I am looking forward to continuing our work together, Chia.


Melinda Kavanaugh (Social Welfare) received the International Allied Health Professional award from the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations for her research on child caregivers. Congratulations, Melinda!

Michael Newman (English) is mentioned as a source on the 1980s “moral panic” around video games, in an op-ed article in last week’s New York Times, “I Play Video Games With My 4-Year-Old, and That’s OK,” by Jay Caspian Kang. Well-deserved recognition, Michael!

Melissa Scanlan’s (Center for Water Policy) book, “Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy: Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses,” was included on a list of Favorite Books of 2021 in The Progressive Magazine, and on a list of Ten Books for Every Transformational Change Bookshelf in Orion MagazineCongratulations, Melissa!

Habib Tabatabai (Civil Engineering) has been chosen to serve on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ad hoc committee that will review the failure and collapse of the mammoth radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last year. Dr. Tabatabai is an expert in bridge engineering and assessment issues, most notably the long-term durability and reliability of cable-stayed bridge structures. Well done, Habib!

Dazhong Zhao (Biological Sciences, PI; co-PIs: Zhanguo Xin and Melinda Yerka) was awarded a grant sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture for $649,820 for his study on hybrid sorghum breeding. Congratulations, Dave!

Milwaukee Venture Partners (MVP), a female led, volunteer based, nonprofit organization co-founded by Matthew Friedel (School of Information Studies), is a Wisconsin Inno Fire Awards 2021 finalist. MVP’s selection for Inspiring thought leader: Brian Thompson, president of the UWM Research Foundation and director of the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center. Well done, MVP and Brian!

In the News

Bettina Arnold (Anthropology) was quoted in an article about the salt mining site of Hallstatt in Austria entitled, “Turning Salt into Gold,” in the most recent issue of Archaeology.

Jamie Harris (Urban Studies) was quoted in a Journal Sentinel story on the state of evictions in Milwaukee.

Journal Sentinel article showcased the partnership between the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) and MKE Tech Hub pre-internship program around Data and AI, and featured Phyllis King (Academic Affairs and College of Health Sciences), UWM and HERA representative, and Matthew Friedel, Information Studies lecturer and curriculum director for the program.

Milwaukee Athletics

Elaina LaMacchia of the Milwaukee women’s soccer team has been named a United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I All-American. She was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-American Third Team, becoming the sixth WSOC player to earn the status in program history, as well as the first since Sarah Hagen in 2011.

Tickets for the 2022 Horizon League Basketball Championships taking place in Indianapolis March 7-8 at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum are now on sale. Tickets for the men’s and women’s semifinals and championship games are available for purchase at, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum box office, or by calling the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Box Office at 317-927-7601.

The Week


I start the week joining the Chancellor in a meeting with Regents Scott Beightol, Hector Colon, and Kyle Weatherly, followed by my one-on-one with Melissa Scanlan (Melissa is the Director of the Center for Water Policy). Then, I will attend a lunch with the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office. In the afternoon, I have my weekly check-in with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, my weekly staff meeting, and an FY22 Divisional Fall Forecast Review meeting. I’ll end the day with the Honors College Commencement Ceremony.


In the morning, I have the Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, a Campus Budget Planning meeting, my monthly meeting with Dave Clark, Kay Eilers, Michelle Johnson, and Keri Duce. I will then join the Chancellor in meetings with Regents John Miller, Kyle Weatherly, and Karen Walsh, followed by my bi-weekly meeting with Paul Klajbor, and my monthly meeting with Student Association leadership. In the afternoon, I have my one-on-one with Brett Peters and my monthly meeting with Nancy Nelson. Then, I will attend the Academic Staff Senate, followed by my weekly meeting with Chancellor Mone. I end the day with a meeting with UW-Parkside.


Today, I have the Deans Morning Meeting, my monthly meeting with Jonathan Hanes, my one-on-one with Purush Papatla, a Diverse Recruitment and Selection Initiative meeting, my monthly meeting with Michael Doylen, an executive update on the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative, and my standing meeting with Mark Harris and Dietmar Wolfram.


In the morning, I have a CMT Leadership meeting, the quarterly update on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I’ll attend the APBC meeting, and I have my one-on-one with Nicole Oswald. In the afternoon, I have my monthly meeting with Scott Gronert, my standing meeting with Brian Thompson, and I’ll attend the Faculty Senate. In the evening, I’ll join the Chancellor and other Cabinet members for a student study break in the Golda Meir Library with coffee, hot chocolate, and treats.


Today, I have my one-on-one with Kaushal Chari, the Associate Deans’ meeting, the Affirmative Action in Faculty Employment meeting, and the UW System Provosts bi-monthly meeting.


Semester Memo

My end-of-semester memo is available online.

Fromkin Research Grant

The deadline to apply for the 2022 Fromkin Research Grant and Lecture has been extended to Friday, January 14, 2022. More information.

NEW Scholarships to Increase Diversity in Tech Education

Between 12-15 full-ride scholarships will be awarded to incoming Fall 2022 freshman who graduated from Milwaukee high schools and are enrolling in computer science, computer engineering, data science, or information technology majors. This considerable financial support is thanks to the generosity of UWM computer science alum and Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella and Anu Nadella. This program is part of their larger $2M gift to UWM, which also provides funding for academic support and pre-college programming to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue tech education. Please encourage any prospective students to consider this opportunity, which offers financial and academic support for up to five years to students with demonstrated financial need and academic merit.

Federal Emergency Grant Funding – Spring 2022

Additional Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) will be available during the spring 2022 term. UWM has already disbursed nearly $30M in HEERF since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Based on current legislation, this funds to be released in spring are likely to be the last. More information.


If you are a Packers fan, you can wear your green and gold and if you are a Dutch supporter, you can wear your orange!

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs