Alan’s Weekly June 22nd, 2020

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Coronavirus Update – 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 Chancellor Mone or campus communications.

APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS UPDATE

Here are the semester credit hour generation, applications and net admissions data as of June 15, 2020, point in time from a year ago.

Fall 2020 graduate admissions – SOE is up 7 in admissions (up 4 in applications)
Summer 2020 graduate admissions – SOE is up/down 0 in admissions (down 1 in applications)

Summer 2020 semester credit hours generation is up 6.8%

Fall 2020 semester credit hours generation is down 2.3%

BUDGET UPDATE

Since my last budget update, we have finalized our pre-COVID19 budget cut of $689K. We were working on finding the last $120K to meet the $689K. After input from the departments and Deans/Chairs, we met the additional $120K by doing the following items: 1) Reducing chair summer compensation from 2/9 to 1/9, resulting in a savings of $53K; 2) Extending computer replacement from 4 to 5 years, resulting in a savings of $30K; 3) Reducing faculty travel from $60K to $49K, resulting in a savings of $11K; and 4) Reducing unfunded course releases by $25K. I informed the chairs this past week at our monthly meeting.

Unfortunately, Jessica Russell and I were informed each school/college needs to plan for an additional 5-10% budget cut for FY21. We will be receiving our exact additional budget cut within the next month. We had already been planning for additional budget cuts for FY22, so these items will be shifted up to meet the FY21 additional cut. As in the past, I will keep the school updated as things become known.

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES

This week I had regular meetings using Microsoft Teams with Jessica Russell and Erica Yewlett, Stephen Wester, Jessica Russell, Simone Conceicao, and the Deans.

Fall Planning Meeting

On Monday midday, the Provost asked the Deans to participate in the fall planning meeting held by the Crisis Management Team to roll out the plans for the fall semester. Police Chief Joe Lemire started by sharing that we would be required to wear face masks and practicing social distancing when we return to campus. Scott Gronert shared UWM will use a hybrid approach with a lot of flipped classrooms where instruction being split between F2F and online. The schools and colleges would determine which courses could be F2F and which ones would be hybrid and flipped (course enrollment and classroom size would be a major factors). There will be no changes to the schedule. We will start the day after Labor day and end normally in December. Faculty will be encouraged to front load their courses in case there is a 2nd wave around Thanksgiving and we have to transition to fully online. Every course will end 15 minutes early to allow for social distancing. It was shared that cleaning classrooms will occur once or twice a day.

Housing will be basically the same as the past, although there will be some modifications as need be. The food services will be determined by public health guidelines. They do not anticipate any large in person gatherings in the fall semester. The full report accompanies the Chancellor’s announcement from this past Wednesday’s e-mail message to campus.

M3 Meeting with Chancellor

On Tuesday morning, I attended a M3 meeting with the Chancellor. Since COVID-19, M3 activities have been limited due to MPS and MATC’s operations. Given the events of the past few months, our discussion focused on shifting resources and energy to address racial inequities, online education, and changes in best practices. Some of the issues being worked on are digital connectivity and summer bridge programs to help rising freshmen who weren’t able to receive a high quality educational experience during their senior year due to the pandemic. The M3 leadership will be pulling together a group of representatives from MPS, MATC, and UWM in July to see how we can work together to advance racial equity.

Deans and Chairs Meeting

On Wednesday morning, the Deans and Chairs held their monthly meeting. I gave an update on the budget and shared the above information on the fall plans for operations at UWM. I also encouraged the chairs to ensure their faculty take advantage of the online self-paced training for creating high quality online courses this summer. Given the unknowns, it behooves everyone teaching to be prepared to go fully online this fall and spring if another outbreak occurs.

Following my updates, Hope Longwell-Grice asked the chairs to inform their faculty that the staff will not be available on furlough days. We will try to publicize these dates in my Monday message as well at monthly department meetings. She also shared some thoughts about putting together a group of interested faculty from across the school to develop a culturally responsive practices certificate for in-service teachers. We believe this idea can pull the departments together on a common area of interest and expertise to develop this certificate and/or graduate degree program.

Afterwards, Jeremy Page shared information about UWM’s test optional one time exception for this year. He shared there is a group who is looking at whether it makes sense to recommend a permanent change. As a number of institutions have adopted test optional policies (i.e., not requiring an ACT or SAT with their application).

To end the meeting, I recognized Bill Keith for his one year of service as the external chair for the department of teaching and learning. Everyone expressed their appreciation to Bill and wished him the best as he takes on another external chair for the coming year in the College of Health Sciences.

Deans Meeting with Joan Prince to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

After the Deans and Chairs meeting, I had to attend a meeting set up by the Provost with Joan Prince to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at UWM with action steps to help address and improve the state of affairs gripping our country. The main focus of the meeting appeared to be on the low numbers of African American faculty and the underlying causes and what could be done to improve the situation. Several people spoke about the statistics and what UWM might do to improve the situation. Joan Prince also alluded to working with USC on some specific modules geared specifically for UWM. More information will be forthcoming as a committee has been tasked with working to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee (EDGM) Meeting

On Friday morning, I attend a virtual meeting of the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee. Based on what the other Deans are experiencing at the private schools, it is going to be a very precarious environment for education schools/programs over the coming years. At Marquette, the College of Education is being absorbed into their College of Arts and Sciences. The rest of the institutions are much smaller and I wonder if they are going to survive.

DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Upcoming Furlough days – Friday, July 3rd; Friday, August 21st; Friday, October 30th; Friday, November 27th; Monday, December 28th; Friday, January 22nd; Friday, March 26th; Friday, May 28th – staff will be unavailable on furlough days.