September 16, 2019  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates

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

Chancellor’s Plenary Address

You are all invited to the Chancellor’s Plenary address this Thursday (September 19) at 2:30 p.m. in the Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts (and livestreamed for those viewing from other locations). The Chancellor will discuss our path forward, which will involve advocacy, enrollment management, branding, and other actions underway to continue our momentum and address the challenges facing higher education. He will also provide updates on our strategic directions, which will serve as foundational guideposts as we plan our future.


Congratulations to Chancellor Mark Mone, Vice Chancellor Patricia Borger and the whole UWM team, for a remarkable, successful Comprehensive Campaign!

Junjie Niu’s (Materials Science and Engineering) work, “Largely Improved Battery Performance Using Micro-Sized Silicon Skeleton Caged by Polypyrrole As Anode,” was published in ACS Nano, one of the top journals in the field, with an impact factor of 13.9. Dr. Niu is also filing a U.S. provisional patent. Congratulations, Junjie!

Tim O’Brien (Sociology) and his co-author Oren Pizmony-Levy (Columbia University) received the Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology’s Publication Award for Significant Contributions to Applied and Public Sociology for their article, “Going public, gaining credibility: student perceptions of publicly engaged scholars.” Well done, Tim!

Antonio Kitchens (Senior, Music Education) will be awarded the Richard Gaarder award for outstanding senior music education student in the State of Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association Conference in October. Antonio is a graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools Riverside University HS and a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard Band with whom he traveled throughout the state last January. Congratulations, Antonio!

Milwaukee Athletics

Congratulations to Jessica Kumke, the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and Enrollment Services in the Milwaukee Athletics Department. Jessica was appointed to the NCAA Division I Committee on Academics. Her four-year term began September 1.

Reminder: Multi-Factor Authentication

Enrollment for multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now open. All faculty and staff must enroll by October 31.

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by a Water @ UWM meeting, a meeting with the Academic Staff Committee, a monthly Campus Space Planning meeting, and the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting. Later, I have my bi-weekly meetings with Katie Miota and Mark Harris, my weekly staff meeting, and the Connected Systems Institute (CSI) budget meeting.

Tuesday – Friday

Today, I have my monthly meetings with Tom Lipinski and Kaushal Chari, an M3 Update with Chancellor Mone, and then I’ll travel to South Africa, where I’ll visit the University of Zululand, returning on Saturday.


Nominations for Academy Fellow Awards

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, a nearly 150-year-old statewide organization that promotes the Wisconsin Idea through programming that celebrates creativity and achievement across disciplines, is accepting nominations for its Academy of Fellows Awards, which recognize outstanding leadership and achievement in the sciences, arts, and letters. This is a great opportunity to get statewide recognition for members of the UWM faculty.   Please consider nominating members of our campus community for this important honor.  The nomination deadline is September 30.

Classroom Safety Training

Instructor-focused classroom and campus safety training is once again being offered by the Dean of Students Office and UWM Police Department. These 90-minute sessions take place in the Union and focus on disruptive students, students in crisis, and what to do in case of a violent incident. Registration.

Campus Connect

Registration is now open for Fall 2019 Campus Connect Gatekeeper and Booster training. Join a training session and help strengthen our network of UWM students, faculty, and staff prepared to reach out to students in crisis! More information.

Mindfulness Meditation

Running from September 17-December 17, Tuesday Mindfulness Meditation drop-in sessions for faculty, staff, and students will be held each Tuesday from 12:15-12:45 p.m. in Union 340.

WWHEL Fall Welcome

The UWM chapter of Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership (WWHEL) hosts its Fall Welcome on Wednesday, September 18. Refreshments will be served. Registration deadline is September 17.

We’ve Been Here All Along

Author Richard Wagner will give a presentation on his book, “We’ve Been Here All Along: Wisconsin’s Early Gay History,” on Wednesday, September 18 at 7 p.m. in the Library 4th Floor Conference Center.

Academic Adventurers

Professor Emeritus Don Hanlon (Architecture) presents, “The Case of Turpan: How to Destroy a Culture,” in UWM’s Academic Adventurers Series on Friday, September 20 at 3 p.m. in the American Geographical Society Library.

Public Health Research Seminar

George Bullerjahn, Director NIH/NSF Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health presents, “Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Erie – how science can inform management and policy,” on Friday, September 20 at 4 p.m. in Lapham N101.

Free Film Screening

The documentary, “Unlikely,” investigates America’s college dropout crisis. You can catch a free screening on Sunday, September 22 at 11:30 a.m. the Oriental Theater, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers at Good City Brewing. Registration.

Annual Fellowship Celebration

The Graduate School hosts its annual Fellowship Celebration on September 25 in the Library 4th Floor Conference Center from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The UWM Graduate Student Fellowship Celebration serves to recognize a select group of graduate students who have been chosen to receive a fellowship award during the 2019-20 academic year.

Taking Care of Business

The Non-Instructional Academic Staff Committee presents, “Taking Care of Business,” on Friday, September 27 from 11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. in Lubar S185. Listen to 5-minute short talks from UWM departments such as Travel, Risk Management, and Transportation Services. This is a great way to get department contact information if you’re new to campus or just not sure who to contact to get business done. Registration.

Higher Education Regional Alliance

Join Wisconsin business, education, community, and elected leaders to celebrate the official launch of the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) on Tuesday, October 15 from 1:45-3:15 p.m. at the WE Energies PSC Auditorium.

Teaching and Learning Symposium

Please submit your proposal for the 5th Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium by October 15.

Save the Date

Mark your calendars for this year’s annual faculty and staff holiday social on Wednesday, December 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. Further details to follow. Contact Lynn Wilk ( with questions.


World Cup Rugby kicks off this week, with an opening match of the All Blacks vs. the Springboks.  My prediction is that the All Blacks will retain the Webb Ellis Cup by beating Ireland in the final.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs