February 17, 2020  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

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


Gladys Mitchell-Walthour (African and African Diaspora Studies) moderated a panel and made a presentation at the 2020 California Brazilianist Conference at San Diego State University. She is the national co-coordinator of the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil. Congratulations, Gladys!

Kimberly Blaeser (English) and Peter Blewett’s (English) poetry has been included in “Contours: A Literary Landscape,” a new anthology of literary works published by the Driftless Writing Center. Well done, Kimberly and Peter!

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Dean Finalists

We have three finalists for the position of Dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and their campus visits begin next week. Candidate CVs and campus visit information can be found online:

Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin Executive Director Candidate on Campus:

Candidate CVs and visit itineraries, as well as details for the Open Forum live webcast, are posted online. You’ll also be able to access forms to submit feedback on the candidates.

Milwaukee Athletics

The Milwaukee men’s and women’s basketball programs will host the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Games on February 29. The Panthers will be recognizing one campus and one community organization or individual as our United We Roar Diversity All-Stars at each game. If you know of an individual or organization that should be nominated, please fill out the form.

In the News

Roger Smith (R2D2 Center) and a team of students are developing an app to rate buildings on accessibility.


Last week, I noted that our BSIST was ranked #17 in the nation. We are actually #16!

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by a meeting with the Academic Staff Committee, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting, a Crisis Management Team meeting focusing on the campus approach to and monitoring of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), my weekly staff meeting, and my one-on-one with Dave Clark.


In the morning, I have a breakfast interview with Freshwater Collaborative Executive Director candidate David Marquardt, my monthly meeting with Purush Papatla, and a meeting with Alan Shoho. In the afternoon, I have a meeting with the University Committee and a Research Computing meeting with Bob Beck.


Today, I have my bi-weekly meeting with Tom Luljak, followed by standing meetings with Stan Stojkovic, Peter Sands, Ron Perez, and my direct reports. Later, I meet with Jennifer Gonda and Mary Bunzel – Mary is the newly appointed executive director of the Connected Systems Institute.

Thursday – Friday

I will be at the University of South Florida on Thursday and Friday and will therefore not be at the Faculty Senate meeting.


University Staff Announcements

  • It’s time for University Staff Elections! Get your name on the ballot – fill out preference forms February 10 through March 2. Elections will be held March 30 through May 8. More information on the University Staff website.
  • Recognize a University Staff member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Anyone can nominate someone they know has served our campus beyond their job duties. Go to the website today!

Community Building Workshop

Community Building Workshops are structured group processes that facilitate positive communication and authentic community. In this workshop, you’ll learn communication skills, how to develop a diverse and inclusive campus culture, and how to promote acceptance. Please contact Dimitri Topitzes (topitzes@uwm.edu) if you would like to attend.

WWHEL Brown Bag

Katie Rasoul, ACC, MBA presents, “Hidden Brilliance: A High Achieving Introvert’s Guide to Self-Discovery, Leadership, and Playing Big,” on Thursday, February 20 at 11:45 a.m. in the Library 4th Floor Conference Center. Please register.

LACUSL Speaker Series

Maxwell Woods (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile) presents, “On the Chilean Social Explosion of 2019: Urban Segregation, Public Transport as a Public Space, and Neoliberal Modernity,” on Thursday, February 20 at 3 p.m. in the AGSL.

Fireside Forum

This year’s Fireside Forum series examines Policy and Politics in an Election Year:

Educational Technology Fee Call for Proposals
Proposals are requested for student technology-related projects, funded by the educational technology fee and to be reviewed by the Ed Tech Fee Advisory Committee. Project proposals should be submitted electronically on the Educational Technology Fund Form A to Laura Pedrick at lpedrick@uwm.edu no later than midnight, March 10.

Pre-Retirement Workshop

The Department of Human Resources will be offering a pre-retirement workshop for employees considering retirement in the next five years. Registration required.

What’s Your Question?

UITS and the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research will co-host, “What’s Your Question? Resources and Revelations Regarding Campus Reporting,” on Thursday, March 5 at 10 a.m. in Vogel 170. Please register. Questions may be directed to Stephanie Warner (swarner@uwm.edu).

Call for Abstracts: UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium

Abstract submission is open for the 12th annual UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium. The deadline to submit abstracts is March 7.

The Transformative Power of Role-Play in Language and Culture Classes

Sandra Sousa (University of Central Florida) will present a free workshop for language educators focusing on the effectiveness of implementing role-play as a new teaching method aimed at facilitating student success in the language classroom. Pre-registration by March 2 is requested.

New Telephone System

Calling features added to Microsoft Teams. UWM faculty and staff will be assigned phone numbers through Microsoft Teams.

Online Summer Courses

Are you teaching an online course in Summer 2020? Consider promoting your course on the Online Summer Courses website!


Today is Presidents’ Day. Here is some interesting background information.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs