September 21, 2020  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

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


Bill Keith’s (English) book (co-authored by Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo) Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship was published by The Pennsylvania State University Press. His interview with Tom Luljak on WUWM’s UWM Today program airs on October 8 at 1:30 p.m. with an encore airing on October 11 at 7:30 p.m. An article based on the book appeared in The Conversation. Well done, Bill!

Roger Smith (Occupational Science and Technology) and his team (including Jennifer Fink and Jake Luo), in collaboration with Columbia University, Texas Women’s University, Independence First, and Marquette University, received a new three-year, $1.5M grant entitled, “Home Evaluation App for Community Independence: HESTIA-NextGen,” from USDHHS/National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Congratulations, Roger, Jennifer, and Jake!

Mohammad Rahman (Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering) was awarded $1.49M from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation to develop the prototype of a multifunctional robotic assistive arm, equipped with grippers, to allow a person to feed themselves, open doors, pick up an object, and perform other activities essential to independence. This is exciting news, Mohammad!

Richard Grusin’s (English, C21) essay, “Donald Trump’s Evil Mediation,” was translated into German, along with one of his poems, for the publication of Trump and Television: Media, Reality, Affect, Politics (Herbert von Halem, 2020). Congratulations, Richard!

Kathleen Dolan (Political Science) will participate on a panel in the “Conversations on the Future of Democracy” series sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The panel, “Early Voting and Voting by Mail in the 2020 Election,” takes place on Thursday, September 24. Congratulations, Kathleen!

In the News

Marc Levine’s (Professor Emeritus of History and Founding Director, Center for Economic Development) recent study on the state of Black Milwaukee has received extensive media coverage, including CNN, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Links can be found on the center’s website.

Purush Papatla (Lubar School of Business and Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute) and Amber Wichowsky (Marquette University) discussed the influence of more screen time on campaigning and activism with WUWM Lake Effect’s Becca Schimmel.

Crystal Carter (Social Work) recently wrote an article about systemic racism and COVID-19 for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers’ newsletter. This article will be included in the national newsletter in October.

Milwaukee Athletics

Vote for Pounce this week! The Horizon League announced the Nike Mascot Challenge to determine the top mascot in the League. Voting will start today and continue throughout the week exclusively on Twitter (@HorizonLeague), with a winner announced on Friday, September 25.

The Week


I start the week with the COVID-19 Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by my weekly meeting with Robin Van Harpen, and our monthly meeting on the System-wide water initiative. I will then join the Academic Staff Committee meeting, followed by the Chancellor’s Cabinet is meeting later in the morning. Then, I have my weekly staff meeting and the Enterprise Directions Council meeting (a System-based group that meets regularly regarding IT needs).


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting, a College of General Studies meeting, a budget discussion, my standing meeting with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, and a check-in with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick. In the afternoon, I have the Rockwell Automation Executive Update, standing meetings with direct reports, and an Academic Task Force meeting.


Today, I have the Deans Morning Meeting, my monthly meetings with Tina Freiburger and Simon Bronner, the UW System Provosts Council meeting, my one-on-one with Mary Bunzel, a meeting to explore potential program management with Academic Partnership, and my monthly meeting with Kaushal Chari.


In the morning, I again meet with CMT Leadership and I’ll attend the APBC meeting. Then, I have the Executive Cabinet check-in, a Campus Budget meeting, I’ll provide welcome remarks to the Connected Systems Institute Steering Industry Board, and I have my monthly meeting with Peter Sands.


Today, I will focus on administrative tasks and meetings with direct reports.


National Voter Registration Day 

Tuesday, September 22 is National Voter Registration Day. The UWM Student Voter Working Group encourages faculty and staff to check their registration status. The UWM student voter information website has helpful tools like a Canvas module you can incorporate into your class and videos made by students for students that you can share on social media. You can also volunteer to be a poll worker as many communities are in need. The Milwaukee Campus will also host an early voting site in the Student Union weekdays October 20-October 30. For more information, contact Director of External Relations Keri Duce (

IWW International Panel Discussion

The Institute for World Affairs and UWM’s Global and International Studies programs will present a webinar entitled, “COVID-19 and Educational Disparities: Global Perspectives,” on Wednesday, September 23 at 10 a.m.

C21 Panel Discussion

The Center for 21st Century Studies hosts a virtual event on Friday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. Anika Wilson (African and African Diaspora Studies) will moderate a conversation between Tarik Moody (88.9 Radio Milwaukee) and journalist Reggie Jackson about their new podcast, “By Every Measure,” which explores systemic racism in the U.S.

COVID-19 Self Reporting for Students

University Relations has produced an Instagram communication to encourage UWM students to self-report their positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Students can self-report with UWM’s COVID-19 self-reporting tool.

Instructor Mentoring Program

All faculty and instructional staff are invited to participate in the UWM Instructor Mentoring and Teaching Partnership Program. By sharing our teaching experience, knowledge of students, and successful teaching practices, we can support each other’s growth as instructors and increase student success. To participate, please complete the interest form.

Teaching and Learning Symposium

Submit a proposal and register for the 6th Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium, which will be held virtually on January 14, 2021.


The Packers achieved the highest scoring in their first two games since 1919 and for cricket lovers: yesterday’s game between DC and KxiP was a real thriller.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs