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

From the Office of Research

We are pleased to announce that Professor Kris O’Connor has accepted the position of Associate Vice Provost for Research. Kris is a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health Sciences. He joined UWM in 2002 and has had an active research program in biomechanics and exercise science. He has served in various governance positions, most recently as Chair of the University Committee.

The position is currently held by Dr. Rachel Schiffman, who is stepping down from her Associate Vice Provost for Research role at the end of the summer so she can concentrate on her duties as Director of UWM’s NIH-funded Self-Management Science Center in the fall. We have greatly appreciated all that she has contributed to the launch of the Office and the research community.

Please join me in welcoming Kris in his new role!

In the News

Tom Haigh’s (Professor in the Department of History) article, “Call That a Moonshot?” was featured in the weekend edition of the Australian Financial Review.

Milwaukee Athletics

Join the Milwaukee baseball team for its 14th annual golf outing scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI. Get your foursome together for the 18-hole scramble, set for 11 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $110/person ($400 for a foursome) and includes green fees, lunch, dinner, golf cart, and prizes.

The Week


I start the week meeting with my direct reports, followed by my monthly meeting with Brett Peters, and the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting. Later, I have a biweekly meeting with Mark Harris and my weekly staff meeting.


In the morning, I have the Connected Systems Institute Core Team meeting, the Dean’s Morning Meeting and the CEMAT co-leads meet with the Chancellor.


I start the day with standing meetings with Brian Thompson and Alan Shoho, followed by a Connected Systems Institute discussion with industry partners. Later, I have my quarterly meeting with Jennifer Gonda, Sue Weslow, and Chancellor Mone, my one-on-one meeting with Joely Urdan, my weekly meeting with the Chancellor, and a meeting with Scott Emmons.


In the morning, I have my monthly meeting with Tim Behrens, a Campus Budget Planning meeting, and a videoconference with UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs finalists. In the afternoon, I have a welcome lunch with the new deans, and more videoconference sessions with UW System Vice President candidates.


I have a teleconference with UW System President Ray Cross and a lunch meeting with Provost Chen from the National Taiwan Normal University.



The Office of Undergraduate Research has announced a new online platform for their flagship Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF)program. The old days of pdf and Word forms are over! Faculty and academic staff who wish to apply with an undergraduate collaborator for an award, which provides hourly support for the student to work as a research assistant, are encouraged to apply well ahead of the August 15 deadline. Please note, the new system requires that the research mentor (not the student) initiate the application.

TA Orientation

We’d like to remind Department Chairs to encourage their incoming teaching assistants to register and attend the New TA Orientation on Monday, August 19 in Lubar N140 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Common Reading Experience

The WUWM “I’m an American” series by Teran Powell has been selected as UWM’s 2019 Common Reading Experience text. “I’m an American” spotlights perspectives otherwise overshadowed in the national conversations surrounding civility and tolerance. Faculty are encouraged to sign up to facilitate a CRE discussion during Panther Academic Welcome.


Congratulations to the winner of the most prestigious bike race in the world. Egan Bernal is the first South American ever to win the Tour de France and the third-youngest winner in the history of the Tour. I will be on vacation until August 15, and my next Update will be on August 26.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs