College of General Studies names new dean

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has named Simon Bronner dean of its College of General Studies.

The College of General Studies, which offers core courses at the Waukesha and Washington County campuses, serves as the academic home for the Associate of Arts and Sciences degree at UW-Milwaukee. The campuses also provide accessible opportunities for students living in those areas to develop a foundation for bachelor’s degree programs.

Immediately prior to joining UWM, Bronner was distinguished professor emeritus of American Studies and Folklore at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, where he served as department chair and director of the School of Humanities. Before that he was in the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Business at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

He started work at the College of General Studies over the summer.

Bronner is the author or editor of more than 40 books on folklore and folklife, cultural history and ethnology, including three that were just published in August. He is looking forward to continuing his research in Wisconsin and the Midwest, he said, and is excited to be working with students, businesses and the community through the campuses in the Waukesha and West Bend areas.

“I think it’s an opportunity to help meet the new challenges of the 21stcentury in a vibrant region,” he said. Being able to work with communities on different regional educational needs was one of the factors that attracted him to the position, he said.

“The Waukesha, Brookfield and Washington County area is booming, and I’d like to make the colleges a part of that boom.”

On a personal note, he added, he grew up in an urban environment in the Chicago area and did his doctoral work at Indiana University. So he is looking forward to returning to the Midwest and continuing his research. “I love the mix of immigrants and localities and cultures that are here.”

Another factor in accepting the position was his interest in leading initiatives in higher education, and working with the changing cultures and technologies, especially those affecting organizational development. Bronner has consulted with universities around the world, he said. “This is a chance to implement some of those ideas for the betterment of future generations.”

Bronner will be based at the Waukesha campus, but expects to be spending time traveling regularly to the Washington County and the Milwaukee campuses.