UWM began preparing for a possible COVID-19 outbreak on campus in January 2020, when the Campus Infectious Disease Preparedness Team was activated.
In February 2020, UWM established its COVID-19 Crisis Management Team (CMT), led by Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen and Chief Student Affairs Officer Kelly Haag, in partnership with UWM Police Chief Joe LeMire and Dr. Julie Bonner, the campus health officer. The CMT includes Chancellor Mark Mone, members of his cabinet and leaders of key campus units.
UWM’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated in March 2020 to move campus operations to on-site essential services as the coronavirus spread in the Milwaukee area. The EOC is led by UWM Police Chief Joe LeMire and Dr. Julie Bonner.
To plan for the Fall 2020 semester, the CMT convened the Scenario Planning Work Group, led by Scott Gronert, dean of the College of Letters & Sciences, and Laura Pedrick, special assistant to the provost for strategic initiatives and executive director of UWM Online. The Scenario Planning Work Group
developed and evaluated course options, making recommendations to the CMT, which has decision-making authority. At the same time, the EOC created teams to develop and recommend options for campus operations. The EOC teams included:
- Building Preparedness and Operations (BPO)
- Community Support and Impact
- Financial Impact Modeling and Decision Support
- Housing Readiness
- Human Resources
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Supplies
- Purchasing, Contracts and Travel
- Research and Scholarship
- Student Financials
- Testing, Tracking and Monitoring
- Special Request
The CMT made its initial decisions on Fall 2020 courses and operations in June. The decisions were based on the following guidelines: staying true to UWM’s mission; protecting the health and safety of students and employees; flexibility, creativity and adaptability; and preservation of UWM’s future.