This will be my last Monday message. It has been a privilege to serve as Dean of the School of Education for past 5+ years. The future of the SOE is dependent on adapting to a new normal. I am hopeful the 2026 Task Force will bring forth transformational bold and radical recommendations to better position the SOE for a brighter future. As I have written a number of times, maintaining the status quo will not change the declining results the School has experienced over the past nine years. I encourage you to support and share your thoughts with the 2026 Task Force to take transformational initiatives to change your future for the better. As the Chancellor has noted, UWM will be different than what it currently is now. UWM needs bold, radical change if it is to maintain any sense of its strength and viability. While this change process is going to be uncomfortable, it is necessary first step towards moving the institution and SOE forward. I wish you all the best.

Please review Chancellor Mone’s messages regarding UWM’s efforts from this past week. Please monitor your e-mail and UWM’s Coronavirus website for further updates from campus communications. Here is the Fall re-opening website. Here is information on the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.


Here are the semester credit hour generation, applications and net admissions data as of November 9, 2020, point in time from a year ago.

Fall 2021 graduate admissions – SOE is up 1 in admissions (down 3 in applications)


This past week I had regular meetings using Microsoft Teams with Jessica Russell and Erica Yewlett, Johannes Britz, and the Deans.

Deans Provost Meeting

On Wednesday morning, I attended the bi-weekly Deans meeting with the Provost. Drew Knab gave us a budget update. They are projecting some fairly aggressive enrollment targets, especially in undergraduates. Graduate enrollment is projected to be relatively flat with a small decrease of about 2%. Campus is anticipating there will be no tuition increase. The 7.5% one-time budget cut for FY21 is anticipated to continue into FY22.

After Drew’s presentation, Dave Clark and Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska talked about graduate enrollment, in particular, recruiting our undergraduates to become graduate students. Marija shared about 1/3 of our graduate students are former undergraduate students. The Graduate School is looking to make it easier for prospective graduate students to apply and be accepted as long as the program accepts the student. In particular for master’s programs, if a program uses a formula or just requires a minimum gpa, then this can be processed easily. As it was shared, most universities are trying to make it simple for students to get admitted quickly, so they can make a decision.

Faculty Assembly Meeting 

On Thursday afternoon, I attended the Faculty Assembly meeting. I jumped in during an extensive discussion on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Hope Longwell-Grice gave an update on the retention committee and its work on equity. Following this discussion, I gave a brief update involving the VSIP. The coordinating committee asked me to share some thoughts I had shared at their meeting about whether it was the right time for the faculty assembly to continue its review of the governance structure (i.e., committee structure) when the SOE is going to be merged with another unit(s) next year and will have to go through another governance restructuring process. I shared my view that it may be wiser to focus the faculty assembly’s time this year on thinking about what a merger might entail rather than spending time on committee restructuring when it will have to be done again once a new college is created. In addition, the time could also be used to identify tangible action steps to address diversity, equity, and inclusion items shared by students, staff, and faculty.

The Faculty Assembly had an extensive discussion on the governance structure and the pros and cons of pursuing this work now or later. There were a diversity of opinions on a path forward. Chris Lawson all the members to read the Faculty Assembly Policy and Procedures Manual and be prepared to discuss it at the next meeting.

UWM Going Fully Online After Thanksgiving with Limited Exceptions

On Friday, the Provost informed all the Deans and campus leadership and governance leaders that UWM will follow other UW institutions and UW System and go fully online after the Thanksgiving holiday. This is due to the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases. Further information was provided by campus leadership last Friday through e-mail and details like final exams, etc., will be forthcoming from Academic Affairs. This impacts all on-campus courses. This will not impact off-campus activities like internship, practicum, student teaching, etc. It will also not affect graduate students doing their dissertation or thesis research on campus. Campus will continue to be open. Please work with your supervisor if you have any questions.


It is with pleasure that I share the news that Karla Giese has successfully defended her dissertation, “Factors that Influence Parent Communication Decisions for their Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child in Illinois.” While her graduation ceremony is postponed due to COVID-19, her completion is definitely celebration worthy. Please join me in congratulating, Karla.


With Spring right around the corner, do not forget about the course template available through Canvas Commons. SOE’s Course Template offers a great starting point when constructing your courses. Our template contains student facing resources that can aid in the ability to locate institutional and instructional resources to increase retention and course success. To find the course templates, simply search ‘SOE Course Template’ in the Canvas Commons page.


Beginning with the Spring 2021 semester, Dr. Marie Sandy will be a member of the faculty in the Department of Administrative Leadership. She will be affiliated with the Adult, Continuing and Higher Education Program. We are pleased that Dr. Sandy will remain a member of the SoE community.


The School of Education has two reading groups invested in exploring the topics of racial equity and justice.  One group meets on Mondays and the other on Fridays.  I want to extend my appreciation to the groups for taking time to engage in dialogue and inspire action.  Both groups continue to welcome new members and I encourage both staff and faculty to consider attending one of them.

The Monday group meets from 3:00 – 4:00 every other week through the end of the semester. They meet next on 11/23 and will discuss chapters 6, 7 and 8 in Ijeoma Oluo’s book So you want to talk about race. The Monday group membership is flexible and people join as they are able. The Monday group uses this Zoom link:

The group that meets on Fridays focuses on using the books they read as tools for instigating ways they can implement/apply changes to programs, departments, and the overall School of Education. Everyone is welcome! They meet every other Friday at 2:30 pm, and the group is currently reading ‘So you want to talk about race’ by Ijeoma Oluo.  Their next meeting will be on Friday, November 20th at 2:30 pm and they will be discussing chapters 5-7.  To join on Friday, they will be meeting on Microsoft Teams (link here).

In addition, I encourage anyone interested in this discussion to read the book, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk. I read this recently and it illuminates what is required to move beyond talking about equity to walking the talk.


  • Upcoming Furlough days – A Basis – Friday, November 27, 2020; Monday, December 28, 2020; Friday, January 22, 2021; Friday, March 26, 2021; Friday, May 28, 2021. C Basis – Friday, November 27, 2020; Monday, December 28, 2020; Friday, January 22, 2021; Friday, March 26, 2021; Friday, May 14, 2021 Staff will be unavailable on furlough days. Additional furlough days for all employees may be applicable depending on your salary. Please check the Guidelines on Intermittent Furloughs webpage for further information.