This past week, I learned our 2017-18 estimated marginal tuition revenue was down 8.7%. This translates to a loss of $801,214 in tuition revenue, although we made up about $200K from 189 funds for a total loss of approximately $600K. This was much higher than anticipated and due primarily to enrollment and semester credit hour declines. This emphasizes the importance of the work of the retention committee and departments to develop a strategic enrollment plan.


Here are the semester credit hour generation, applications and net admissions data for the Fall 2018 semester as of April 9, 2018, point in time from a year ago.

Undergraduate admissions – SOE is down 15 in net admissions (down 1 in applications)
Transfer admissions – SOE is down 23 in net admissions (down 21 in applications)
Graduate admissions – SOE is up 26 in admissions (up 19 in applications)
Total admissions (UG, T, and G)down 12 in admissions (down 3 in applications)


This week I had regular monthly meetings with Jessica Russell and Erica Yewlett, Simone Conceicao, Krissy Lize, and Michael Bonds along with my weekly meeting with the Deans.

UWM/MATC Meeting

On Monday afternoon, I convened a meeting with MATC and C&I representatives to discuss how we can better coordinate and align our teacher education programs between MATC and UWM, so that as we launch grow your own programs, prospective students will have multiple options for pursuing an education pathway. The meeting was productive. I believe everyone was on the same page in wanting to create easy pathways for students to transfer from MATC to UWM.

APCC Meeting

On Tuesday morning, I attended APCC and Devarajan Venugopalan provided an update on the UW Colleges restructuring. Dev shared that one of the unknowns is the resources accompanying the institutions being absorbed and whether the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will approve the application for four-year schools to award two-year degrees. Depending on the outcome of the Higher Learning Commission’s review in late June, things may be delayed if HLC asks for more materials to review the application.

The merger of the departments of curriculum and instruction and exceptional education was shared as an informational item. The other issue discussed was the number of credits that could be double-counted in an integrated bachelor/master’s degrees. Dev shared there have been proposed programs where in two cases, 27 and 30 credits were being double-counted. This raised concerns at the Higher Learning Commission and thus triggered a review of peer R1 institutions. This review revealed that the mean was 12 credits. There was a prolonged discussion about how many credits UWM should allow for double counting in an integrated degree program. The debate centered between 12 and 15 hours.

Central City CyberSchool Board Meeting

On Tuesday afternoon, I attended a quarterly board meeting at Central City CyberSchool. They were recently approved by the City to pursue an expansion into high school levels, which will provide their current students with a seamless option to complete their entire K-12 education within one school. We also approved a 3% raise for all teachers and discussed increasing the size of the board from its current number of six.

Pi Lambda Theta Ceremony

After the board meeting, I drove to St. John’s on the Lake to participate in the Pi Lambda Theta ceremony. I want to thank Barbara Michaels for hosting this event for at least the third year in a row. This was the 55th induction ceremony of Pi Lambda Theta at UWM. It started in 1963. This year, we inducted approximately 50 people including the 1,000th inductee. As part of the ceremony, we heard from three long-time members and how their journeys in education impacted their life. Pi Lambda Theta also awarded three scholarships to end the evening.

Bradley Tech Meetings

On Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, I attended several Bradley Tech Commission meetings. On Thursday, we discussed extensively what data and how often should we report updates on key metrics. A small group is going to put together all the data available to Bradley Tech and the timing of the year that it becomes available and then we will assess our options for reporting to the Commission. At the Commission meeting on Friday afternoon, we reported Thursday’s discussion.

Faculty Assembly Meeting

On Thursday afternoon, I attended Faculty Assembly. I shared the budget information above and there was a discussion on the department chair survey. The Faculty Assembly expressed the sentiment to let the process move forward. After this, there was a discussion about involving staff in various governance committees within the SOE.

Southeast Asian Youth Education and Career Conference

On Friday morning, I talked briefly to two groups of 60 Asian American students each. There were over 300 students from surrounding Wisconsin high schools. They saw Jackie Nguyen demonstrate a mock lesson and then heard from two students about their experiences in university life. They received great advice for being successful in college. Jackie shared with me this event comes to UWM every 4 years. It is a great opportunity to get in front of prospective students and make a positive impression and Jackie and her two students did just that.

Go Milwaukee

On Saturday afternoon, we held our 3rd Go Milwaukee event. There were approximately 28 prospective students and parents. Ray Scolavino did an excellent job of demonstrating what an active learning class looks like by demonstrating a mock science lesson illustrating spatial imagery using a single piece of paper as well as another demonstration using paper spinners. All the students and parents were captivated and highly engaged in the activity. Nice job Ray!


Please complete the Outside Activities Reporting by April 30th. This takes less than 5 minutes. All approvers, i.e., Department Chairs and other Supervisors must certify the outside activities report of their people.


This week we are featuring Nicholas Husbye, new faculty in the Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction.

School of Education faculty member Nicholas Husbye.

That the gravitational pull of my working life is reading and literacy more widely is not a surprise to my family. I was a child whose youth was resplendent with books, whether the historical romance novels my mother favored or the Chilton automotive manuals my father cursed over in the garage. My own collection of books as a young reader was mostly borrowed, only mine for thirty days (possibly sixty if eligible for a second check out, which was rarely needed, though I needed to keep certain titles close for a while longer, even after having finished them a second or third time). Once I obtained a paper route in middle school, I began amassing my own collection of paperbacks, mostly from the local thrift store, though I always relished the unmarred spine of a new book. Books, my Grandmother Josie used to joke, were my insulation against the long and harsh winters of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was not an inaccurate statement, though my time spent in books did more than provide respite, however figurative, against the cold. They showed me how much wider the world was, how diverse its people, the range of human experiences.

When growing up, my parents preferred not to travel far. We rarely took vacations, beyond those daylong trips to nearby Lake Michigan, where we would swim and my mother and I would read on the beach, beneath the shade of an umbrella. Lake Michigan seemed endless, and I would often imagine the land on the other side of that body of water. Unbound by the rules of geography, I imagined London, Rome, Vienna on the other side. Reading of distant places fueled my wanderlust, pushing me out into the world, though not as quickly as expected. It wasn’t until I was thirty-three that I decided that now was the time to travel. There is nothing quite like learning a city on foot and I look forward to a yearly trip abroad, where I trace the footsteps of favorite characters and historical figures.

When travelling, I have particular boundaries of what I am able to bring back with me. Books, of course, though only titles not available Stateside or are in a different and interesting edition. I also seek out wooden spoons, thinking of the large crock of them my Grandmother Donna kept in the Diner she and my Grandfather Bud ran when I was a child. My search for these kitchen implements have led me to amazing flea markets in Salzburg, kitchen supply stores stuffed to the ceiling in Dublin, and woodworking studios in London. I cook often and bake even more (the rules of proportion in baking are more comforting to me than the alchemy of cooking), so having regularly-used objects as portkeys to adventures in the larger world makes the required luggage space feel worth it. Cooking also connects me to my family, whose histories can be tasted in our family’s recipe for marinara.

I am always on the search for interesting and location-specific yarns when away. I began knitting in graduate school, when the material markers of my work day shifted from child-created book logs and science experiment detritus to number of pages read and written. I missed creating things with my hands, perhaps a genetic carryover from my father, whose life’s work on engines left his hands permanently stained with oil. I took a daylong workshop at a local yarn store and supplemented my education with YouTube videos. The act of knitting was soothing and the piles of hats, scarves, and mittens accruing as a result was a lovely benefit. Like many knitters, I quickly acquired more yarn than I could knit through in my lifetime and, after destashing (a knitterly term which here means mourned all the beautiful yarns I got on one heck of a sale but was no longer in love with so I sent them to a program that teaches incarcerated men to knit) before my move to St. Louis, I made the rule that I could only purchase yarn, outside of yarn specifically destined for a project to be completed in three months or less, when I traveled. This rule has forced me to explore nooks and crannies of these cities I might not normally see.

So, yes, it has been no surprise that my working life has been about reading as those books, newspapers, websites, blogs, and whatnot have been instrumental in making my world so much bigger, more diverse, and delightfully complex than the one I grew up in. I’m looking forward to my move to Milwaukee, where my father was a child and my Grandmother Josie was a young woman. Phyllis Lindstrom, my Boston Terrier, is looking forward to long walks along the Lake, though she is undecided about the snow, having been a St. Louis dog all her life. Luckily, there is a skein of worsted red yarn I picked up in Dublin last December that will make a toasty dog sweater.


Please join me in congratulating Kaitlin Trokan on her selection for a highly competitive Fulbright award to the Slovak Republic to teach English next academic year. Kaitlin Trokan is a senior in the undergraduate UWM English Education program and currently student teaching as an intern at Audubon Technology and Communication High School in MPS. She will be graduating this May.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program is the flagship international educational exchange program, funded through taxpayer dollars by the US Congress. Its mission is to increase mutual understanding between people in the US with people in other countries. Recipients of Fulbright awards include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Congratulations again Kaitlin!


This past Thursday, I was informed Craig Berg received a three-year $600K NSF grant entitled, “RET Site: Milwaukee Water-Energy Nexus Education Initiative” with Ilya Avdeev. Congratulations to Craig and his colleague for receiving this funding.


  • May 10th – Spring All School Meeting starts at 1:00 pm in the 4th floor Library conference room
  • May 11th – Retention Summit at Zilber School of Public Health from 1:00 – 4:00 pm

For faculty assistance and support, check the SOE Administrative Support Dashboard.