FAQ – Academic Affairs

  • Will interdisciplinary programs, such as the Gender and Sexuality and Women Studies programs at UWM at Waukesha, be housed within the UWM College of General Studies? Similar (but different) programs also exist at UW-Milwaukee.

    UWM has cross-department and inter-college programs. Like curriculum integration and other inter-college collaborations, discussions on these programs will continue this academic year.

  • How will collaborative degree programs work after the restructuring when UW System institutions other than UWM, UWM at Waukesha, and UWM at Washington County are involved?

    Collaborative degree programs with other institutions are still being discussed. A primary focus in these discussions is ensuring that the needs of the students currently enrolled in those programs continue to be met.

  • Who are the department chairs for the new College of General Studies (CGS)?

    Department chair elections and recommendations were conducted in May 2018. Interim Dean Stephen Schmid recommended the following chairs to the provost, and they have been approved.

    • Dean Kowalski – Arts & Humanities
    • Talitha Selby – Mathematics & Natural Sciences
    • Julianna Alitto – Social Sciences & Business

    The department chairs have begun their work on governance policy for the departments, division, and college, including tenure, retention, and promotion policy. Department chairs also will receive training in academic affairs and curriculum management, student affairs, business affairs, HR functions, and UWM’s department chair training.

  • What is the timeline for recruiting a permanent dean for the CGS? How will recruitment work for other administrative positions within the CGS?

    Provost Johannes Britz will determine the timeline for recruiting a permanent dean. Other administrative positions are being filled by existing regional and campus staff, as budget and organization chart allow.

  • Who is the interim dean for the College of General Studies and what has that person’s role been for the UW Colleges?

    Dr. Stephen E. Schmid assumed the role of Interim Dean for the College of General Studies on July 1. Previously, Dr. Schmid served as the Southeast Regional Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the UW Colleges. In this role, he oversaw curriculum, instructional staffing, and student academic support services at UW-Waukesha, UW-Washington County, and UW-Sheboygan. He also served as the campus administrator at UW-Waukesha, where he works with campus staff in managing the day-to-day operations of the campus.

    After completing his doctoral degree in philosophy 14 years ago at UW-Madison, Dr. Schmid started with the UW Colleges at UW-Rock County in Janesville, Wisconsin. Soon after promotion to associate professor, he moved into various leadership roles including associate dean for academic affairs. Holding that position prior to the UW Colleges’ regionalization, he gained broad experience serving on numerous teams engaged in the restructuring of the UW Colleges’ 13 campuses into its current four-region model. In the current restructuring process, he is a member of a half dozen working groups at both UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee.

  • What is the status of the reimagined degree?

    Yes, Provost Britz has asked that CGS move forward with the reimagined AAS degree. In 2015, UW System mandated the updating of associate’s degrees as part of the UW LEAP initiative (SYS 115, adopted June 2015). The UW Colleges’ reimagined AAS degree complies with this UW System mandate and is modeled on AAUP’s LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. UWM’s College of Letters & Science has started discussions about GER reform using this model.

  • Is there a requirement for shared governance representation from the CGS? How will the governance representation work before a governance document is in place for the CGS?

    CGS will have shared governance representation at UWM starting in fall 2018. Three CGS senators were elected in spring 2018. In absence of complete and approved policies, good faith efforts will guide department, division and CGS actions.

  • Will the CGS faculty members be part of a department or a division? How are the department chairs and members of the Divisional Committee determined?

    Each UWM college/school has a department structure, with the number of departments varying by college/school. CGS will have three departments: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences & Business, and Mathematics & Natural Sciences. Through elections, these inter-disciplinary departments recently recommended chairs, which will be recommended by the interim CGS dean to the Provost. Departments oversee academics, staffing, and assessment standards and quality.

    UWM currently has four divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Professions. Divisions are the governance mechanism for addressing tenure, retention, and promotion after department reviews. In addition, the divisional structure is the mechanism by which schools/colleges at UWM participate in the larger governance structure. As part of the restructuring, a new division is being proposed for CGS. This governance body will be constituted from members of each CGS department following UWM policy.

  • How will general education courses be managed across the three campuses, particularly when there is duplication in the courses?

    The Associate of Arts and Sciences degree will be overseen by the new UWM College of General Studies. UWM does not currently offer an associate’s degree. The Academic Affairs Functional Team is currently looking at the integration of curriculum, focusing on the UW Colleges’ courses and UWM’s general education courses. This team is looking at which courses are transfer equivalents and discussing nonequivalent transfer courses with UWM department chairs. Ultimately, there will be no “duplication” of courses since all courses will be UWM courses.

  • Will faculty at the two‐year campuses have opportunities for sabbaticals and conference travel similar to those for other UWM faculty?

    Details on sabbatical opportunities and conference resources for faculty at the two-year campuses have not yet been decided.

  • How will faculty who are working toward tenure be affected by differences in the tenure and promotion criteria and processes at the two‐year campuses compared to UWM?

    The Academic Affairs and Governance Functional Teams are working on this issue. The College of General Studies will have its own faculty promotion and tenure processes, separate and distinct from UWM’s current policies and procedures for faculty tenure and promotion.

  • Where will UW Flexible Option degrees be housed?

    The Flex Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree will be housed in and managed by the new UWM College of General Studies. Management of UWM’s Flex bachelor’s degrees will remain unchanged.

  • What will happen to collaborative programs between two-year campuses and UW institutions that are not being integrated under the proposal?

    Successful collaborative partnerships and programs should continue, regardless of whether a UW institution and a two-year campus are affiliated post-restructuring. We will continue to encourage and build upon innovative programs that enable student success.