Black and Gold Commission

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About the Black and Gold Commission
The Black & Gold Commission is made up of twelve students, six faculty members and six staff members. Please feel free to contact the commission by email at or post your feedback here.

The UWM Black and Gold Commission Focuses on Student Success

The UWM Black and Gold Commission is charged with ensuring that the quality of the UWM student experience improves as UWM grows in stature as a premier urban research university.

Building on the example set by the Blue Ribbon Committee, the Black and Gold Commission is developing recommendations to share with the campus community that will ultimately lead to a higher quality student experience at UWM as measured by increased retention and graduation rates and higher satisfaction survey rankings. Twelve students, six faculty members and six staff members are working together to identify areas for the university to focus on in upcoming years to positively impact students.

Chancellor Zimpher charged the Commission to:

  • Focus on students and their experiences
  • Use multiple forms of data
  • Consider all possibilities
  • Focus on service and how we treat our students whether in the classroom, on the phone or any other point of contact
  • Work diligently and have fun doing it! If there's too much for this commission to deal with, set up other groups.

We know that commissions work!
In 1994, the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Undergraduate Experience, following extensive review, issued a series of recommendations that affected policies and practices as well as student outcomes throughout the 1990's. In the years that followed the implementation of Blue Ribbon Committee's recommendations, 1-year retention of freshmen increased by over 10%; 6-year graduation rates increased by over 3%; and satisfaction of graduating seniors with educational quality and academic advising increased by over 5%.

Research the Black and Gold Commission is using and what we're learning about our students and campus
The Black and Gold Commission has access to and is studying an enormous amount of data on student success available at UWM. These include the commonly known sources such as retention data, data from the National Survey of Student Engagement, and the annual UWM graduating senior survey. However, the Commission has also been provided with research studies and results not commonly known and investigations that are unique to UWM. These include Professor Scott Solberg's work on identifying successful undergraduate pathways, Dr. Ester Johnson's research on retention of freshmen in UWM's College of Engineering and Applied Science, Professors Carol Haertlein and Carol Ott's analyis of the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey distributed to UWM students, and Dr. Don Craig's presentation of the responses provided by UWM students on the nationally distributed College Health Assessment.

Commission's directions
The Commission has divided into three subcommittees to review data and strategies, and to begin to draft recommendations. The Black and Gold Commission will formulate a draft report on its progress to share broadly with the campus community. The Commission will solicit feedback and suggestions by promoting its information on its website - which includes a "talk to us" portion, visiting governance and leadership groups, and holding focus groups for students, staff and faculty during the month of April. The final report, expected in late April, will set both short and long-term priorities. Some recommendations will be able to be implemented within a semester or two while others will be part of a long-term strategic plan to keep important issues at the forefront of campus planning. Integral to the report will be assessment and measurement tools to track progress.

UWM Black and Gold Commission Members
Last Updated: April 9, 2002

Commission Members

Carol Haertlein, Associate Professor, Co-chair Occupational Therapy, College of Health Sciences
Isaac Monteagudo, Co-chair Junior LSBA L&S



Year Classification/School


Kerri Francis

Sophomore LSBA

Eman Ibrahim

Graduate Student LIS LIS

David Karasek

Freshman PNUR

Chikeyia Longley


May Moua

Sophomore PBBA

Elizabeth Sengkhammee


Val Sichi-Krygsman

Senior Information Science

A. J. Simon

Graduate Student ARCA A&UP

Bhagwant Sindhu

Graduate Student OT AHP

Kathryn Stocks

Senior MUBA F.A.

Pakou Vang

Graduate Student LS L&S


Tom O'Bryan

Associate Dean College of Letters and Science and Associate Professor of Mathematics

Joseph Rodriguez, Associate Professor

History, College of Letters and Science

Darrell Radson, Associate Dean

University Outreach

Scott Solberg, Associate Professor

Educational Psychology, School of Education

Jose Torres, Associate Professor

Social Work, School of Social Welfare

Academic Staff

Linda Anderson-Courtney, Assistant Dean

School of Business Administration

Don Craig, Director

Norris Health Center

Ester Johnson, Director

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Tom McGinnity, Director

Student Organizations Advising and Resources

Cathy Seasholes, Director

Women's Resource Center

Patrick Sims, Faculty Associate

Theatre & Dance

Ex Officio

John Wanat, Provost/Senior Vice Chancellor
Academic Affairs

Stanley Battle, Vice Chancellor
Student and Multicultural Affairs

Mary Roggeman, Deputy Assistant Chancellor

Student and Multicultural Affairs

Ruth Williams, Associate Vice Chancellor

Academic Affairs