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Michael R. Lovell

New Investments Into UWM

Nov. 8, 2013

Dear UWM Community,

Over the past several months, I have been informing you about how resources are being diminished on our campus.  Today I am very excited to report that due to the hard work of our faculty and staff, we will be getting significant investments into campus initiatives from state and federal agencies.  These investments signify the quality of work being conducted on our campus and how others view UWM’s importance to the future prosperity of Milwaukee, the state and the nation.

The first investments are coming courtesy of the UW System Incentive Grant program. During an accelerated period in late September and early October, UWM faculty and staff – along with partners across the state – developed seven proposals aimed at economic growth and workforce development. I was extremely proud of how the campus came together to prepare these proposals and for the hard work that our faculty and staff put forth to compete for the $22.5 million in available funding.   My office even became a gathering place for weekly Sunday night meetings as we strategized and proposal leaders provided updates.

I am very pleased to announce that the hard work of our campus community paid off.  When the financial awards were announced late last week, four of our seven submissions were funded. Our campus will receive significantly more funding than any other institution in the state as we will be sharing in approximately $11.7 million for the following projects:

  • Research and Training Center for Commercialization of Intensive Aquaculture and Aquaponics ($2.5 million), with Parkside and Whitewater.
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Applied Chemistry Center of Excellence ($3 million), with Parkside.
  • Water Technology Accelerator (WaTa) Supporting Wisconsin’s Water Industry ($3 million), with Whitewater.
  • Addressing the Nursing Shortage: Statewide Initiative to Increase Nursing Program Faculty, Expand Student Enrollment, and Enhance Workforce Development ($3.2 million), along with Eau Claire, Madison and Oshkosh.

We all should be very proud that UWM and its partners earned more than half of the available funds provided by the state.   I was personally gratified to see how the region got behind our efforts; the majority of our proposals had between 15 and 20 strong letters of support from business and community leaders.

The Department of Physics also received exceptional news this week about being awarded a prestigious Science and Technology Center from the National Science Foundation.  As one of the key members of an eight-university partnership that will be granted $25 million, UWM will receive nearly $4 million in new funding.  Competition for Science and Technology Centers was fierce, and we all should be proud that UWM was a critical component of one of three proposals selected from more than 600 submitted from across the United States. Congratulations to our UWM team led by Abbas Ourmazd, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering.

Stan Stojkovic, Dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, also received excellent news in the past few weeks about our campus’s success in garnering significant financial support for the recently formed Institute for Urban Agriculture & Nutrition.  The Institute, which is being led by UWM, is a consortium of seven universities and community partners including Growing Power and the City of Milwaukee to advance the city’s urban food system. The Institute earned two grants to develop its infrastructure, the first of which was through the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin ($427,000) and the second was through the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program ($200,000).

We knew the funding reductions at the state level and the decline in enrollments were going to produce significant financial challenges for our university. We all should be extremely proud of the individuals on our campus who have directly addressed these challenges by bringing in more than $16 million in new funding. These funds will directly benefit our students, faculty, staff and our greater UWM community.


Michael R. Lovell