December 20, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

Good afternoon, colleagues. Wishing you a very happy holiday season. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs. Please note that this is my last update for the year and weekly messages will resume on January 10, 2022.


Congratulations to all of the students who received their degrees at yesterday’s graduation ceremony!

Kudos to UWM for retaining its R1 (Research 1) status! UW-Milwaukee has preliminarily earned R1 status and remains one of the top research universities in the nation. This is the third consecutive time that UWM has earned the highest rating for research from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning. Final classification will be announced as official by the end of January 2022.

Andrew Whetten’s (Mathematical Sciences) work on functional and modeling strategies for apex predator movement was recently published in Ecology and Evolution. Well done, Andrew!

Kyle Jansson (UWM Prototyping Center) was honored as a Notable Hero in Health Care from Milwaukee’s BizTimes Media. This is for his work at the onset of the pandemic to work around the clock to create reusable respirators by collaborating with his team, peers, and local manufacturing companies. Congratulations, Kyle!

Provost’s Office Strategic Update 

Last week, I issued my third Provost’s Office Strategic Update (the second of the 21-22 academic year), which focused on “student-centric efforts.” We hope, through these Strategic Updates, to provide clarity on our goals and the wide range of initiatives that are underway.


The Milwaukee Brewing Company, in conjunction with Milwaukee Athletics, is set to introduce a Panther Pilsner beer to celebrate the partnership of the two area institutions. The “MKE Panther Pilsner” is a true Pilsner made with Sazz Hops and Bries Barley Malt that produces a smooth and easy-drinking lager that is very refreshing. The beer is available starting December 17.

Gaby Schwartz and Mackenzie Schill of the Milwaukee women’s soccer team have been named members of the 2021 Academic All-America® Division I Women’s Soccer Team. Being honored on one of the three 11-member national teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), is the highest academic honor possible in NCAA Division I women’s soccer.

Ari Miller of the Milwaukee volleyball team earned a nod on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-American team, announced December 15. Miller joins an elite group of just 11 other Panthers in program history to earn All-American status and the most recent since Rachel Neuberger and Kerri Schuh in 2011. She is just one of six to earn AVCA All-America recognition since Milwaukee joined NCAA Division I in 1990.

New York City FC won the 2021 Major League Soccer Cup on December 11, claiming a 4-2 penalty-kick shootout victory in the MLS Championship following a 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers. That made an MLS champion out of former Milwaukee men’s soccer player Vuk Latinovich, who spent the 2021 season on the active roster and made his professional debut in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union in May.

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by an Academic Affairs update for the Academic Staff Committee, the Chancellor’s Cabinet meeting, a check-in with Dev Venugopalan, my weekly staff meeting, and my monthly meeting with Mark Harris and Rebecca Klaper.


In the morning, I have a Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting and an M3 update with Chancellor Mone. In the afternoon, I have my monthly meeting with Dave Clark, I will then attend a meeting regarding the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) and my one-on-one with the Chancellor.


Today, I have a Strategic Partnerships meeting, my bi-weekly meeting with Mark Harris, my one-on-one with Simon Bronner, my monthly meeting with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, a Diversification of Faculty discussion, my monthly meeting with Kim Litwack, my monthly meeting with Tim Behrens and Amy Harley, and the monthly Campus Space Planning meeting.


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting. Later, I’ll meet with direct reports and attend to administrative matters.


UWM will be closed for the Christmas Eve holiday.


Holiday Food Drive and Party

The Multicultural Network at UWM (MCN) will be hosting a Holiday Food Drive as well as a Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 21 at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center (atrium) from 1:30-3 p.m. Please consider aiding others in having a great holiday. The MCN food drive will be available until December 21. Drop-off locations are: Black Student Cultural Center, Student Success Center, Women’s Resource Center, and the UWM Golda Meir Library. Please share this information with colleagues and extend the invitation to your students. Please consider bringing some snacks for all to share. To contribute individually-wrapped treats for our Holiday Celebration, please submit this form.

Hoops for the Holidays!

Celebrate the holidays with your friends and family at the Panther Arena as the men’s basketball team hosts an afternoon game. There are special guest ticket rates for family and friends of UWM students. Click the link to claim your FREE UWM Student Ticket and discounted guest ticket.

2022 Curriculum Innovation Grant 

The Lubar Entrepreneurship Center is seeking UWM faculty and instructors interested in integrating creative-, design-, and entrepreneurial thinking into their courses. Proposals for the 2022 Curriculum Innovation Grant are due by December 31, 2021. The goal of the program is to expose more UWM students to innovation and entrepreneurship through two tracks: (Track 1) ideas for individual course instruction from individual applicants and (Track 2) ideas for new co-instruction from a pair of faculty members. Proposals should be emailed to Dr. Ilya Avdeev ( More information.

Public Rights in Milwaukee’s Fresh Coast 

The UWM Center for Water Policy will present, “Public Rights in Milwaukee’s Fresh Coast,” a virtual event about the past, present, and future of Milwaukee’s fresh coast, on January 19, 2022 at 12 p.m. More information and registration.

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. 

Caring Communities

Sometimes students need a referral to a campus or community resource.  Learn about appropriate referral sources.

Teams Issue Identified

An issue preventing some Android users from calling 911 on their device’s phone has been found. Android users who have downloaded the Microsoft Teams mobile app but have not yet logged in may not be able to contact emergency services. Make sure you are signed into the Microsoft Teams application on your device. You may also update your Teams application to the latest version to mitigate this issue. For more information, visit this UWM IT-approved news article.

2030 Financial Services Transformation Project

This fall, as part of the 2030 initiative, we are launching the Financial Services Transformation Project. This project is intended to respond to school/college restructuring, decreased staffing, and the upcoming Administrative Transformation Program. The project goal is to achieve a finance structure that supports campus leadership and reflects UWM’s mission and resource levels through assessment and enhancement of the finance function and related processes. As the project progresses, updates will be available on the Business and Financial Services website. Specific questions may be directed to the project team at 

NSF Project Reporting Requirements

A reminder that NSF requires project reports for all assistance awards. PIs must submit final project reports within 120 days after the award end date and annual project reports prior to the annual performance period end date. Failure to comply could jeopardize future funding to the University. More information.


I think the ashes are going to stay “down under.” One of our colleagues forwarded this funny article to me.

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs