Chancellor’s Update: A Year of Impact

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Dear UWM Faculty, Staff and Students,

It’s the last stretch of final exams and projects, grading, events, and so much more! Each May I think we could not have possibly fit into one year more than the previous one – the personal journeys, research triumphs, learning, achievements, challenges, fun and growth.

There is much to build upon and, once again, I revel in the happy dilemma of having too many points of pride to fit into one end-of-year message. I’ll highlight just a handful of examples here.

Our Students

The giving nature of our students is one of the most uplifting things at UWM. For example, our Student Artists in Residence program continues to receive accolades for the positive impact of live-in art students on residents of elder care facilities. The UWM Food Center and Pantry received the Regents Diversity Award in the team category for efforts to address food insecurity on campus. As a cycling enthusiast, the innovative design by engineering students of a better recumbent trike was impressive and shows promise for riders of all ages.

Congratulations to our more than 3,600 graduating students eligible to walk across the stage on May 19th at the UWM Panther Arena for our spring Commencement ceremonies, which can be viewed via livestream. We are pleased to award for the first time associate degrees to our Waukesha and Washington County students. Mark Attanasio, chairman and principal owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, will be our commencement speaker. We are proud to also award honorary doctorates to philanthropist Dr. Mary Kellner and Dr. Marion Broome, Duke University Dean and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Duke University Health System.

Research and Innovation

As I advocate for support during this state budget-building cycle, I tell legislators and other influencers that public, urban research institutions are the most important institutions for any state. And in Wisconsin, UWM is the ONLY one and also is an access university. We again achieved R1 status as one of America’s top research universities. UWM’s undergraduate research also received national recognition this year as one of only two universities to receive the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Campus-Wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments in 2018. Our Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program helps feed that success – nearly 100 SURF recipients are eligible to graduate this Sunday.

Collaborative Engagement
Earlier this month, we officially opened the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and UWM Welcome Center to a standing room only crowd. The creative energy in that room was immense! The 24,000-square-foot building will be the first place prospective students will visit, while also showcasing UWM’s growing collaborative ecosystem. This is where UWM students, faculty, and staff innovators partner with business and the community to meet Wisconsin’s needs.

Support for UWM
Your impact, accomplishments and hard work continue to draw attention and support. The incredible success of our Made in Milwaukee – Shaping the World Campaign for UWM is a testament. As we close this campaign in June, I am delighted to share, as of today, we have raised more than $228M, far exceeding our second goal of $200M (the original goal for this campaign was $175M). Nearly 21,000 donors have made gifts to this campaign. Without you – and our dedicated Development team – we could not have achieved this impressive support for student success, research excellence, and community engagement. Thank you.To be fair, this year has not been a year without challenges. While we balanced the overall campus budget in 2018-2019, we continue to face demographically driven enrollment declines, lessened state support, and increased costs of technology updates and regulatory compliance, which makes the future financial outlook challenging. And, UWM isn’t immune to social unrest and acts of bias and hatred on campus. It is my hope and commitment that we will learn together from such challenges and create a better UWM.

As we sail into summer, I hope you will show your Panther Pride by wearing UWM gear at Summerfest on June 28 for Show Your College Pride Day. If you arrive between noon and 3 p.m. wearing a UWM hat or t-shirt you will receive one free admission ticket for that day. Join us Aug. 4 for UWM Day at the Wisconsin State Fair and you can help me judge the Roar Like a Panther kids competition.

I am filled with gratitude to have shared this year with you. Our actions as faculty, staff, students and alumni have the potential to positively impact thousands of lives. My warmest wishes to all for a fantastic summer of rest, rejuvenation and adventures of all kinds.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee