Campus update from Interim Chancellor Lovell
January 31, 2011
Dear UWM Faculty and Staff,
Welcome back to UWM! As we settle into the spring semester, I want to offer a special welcome for those faculty and staff starting anew at our campus.
Even though this is the spring semester, the weather outside this week is anything but spring-like. If we do receive the predicted blizzard, we will be making announcements about whether campus is open and classes are held via the UWM homepage, all-campus e-mails and the S.A.F.E. Line recorded phone message at 1-414-229-4444. You can also receive the information by listening to local radio stations, watching local television stations or checking their websites or the website of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The just-completed mid-year break is often seen as a time to recharge batteries for the second semester. Over the past month, however, many of us were busy completing the Columbia St. Mary’s hospital campus acquisition. On behalf of UWM, I was proud to accept a very large ceremonial key to the property from Columbia St. Mary's Board Chair R. Bruce McDonald on Dec. 29.
Overall usage of the hospital campus, which we will be calling the Northwest Quadrant for the foreseeable future, will be worked out by faculty, staff and students over the coming months. An immediate use is the property’s 962 parking spaces. The parking ramp has already opened to students only at a cost of $4 a day. Surface parking spaces have been marked for faculty, staff and public uses.
You can see our new acquisition for yourself when the Northwest Quadrant Open House is held this week as part of our monthly First Friday. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 4. Enter off of Maryland Avenue or the circle drive off Newport Avenue. Tours will be held throughout the event and a short program will take place at 11:30.
There also has been continuing work in areas relating to the “UWM, a Caring Community” initiative, which encourages students, faculty and staff to be mindful of each other’s safety and health.
The Behavior Review Team, established in 2008, is working to educate faculty, staff and students about identifying distressed and disruptive behavior, and confidentially review specific cases that have been reported. My thanks to Dean of Students Jim Hill and Police Chief Michael Marzion for co-chairing the team.
The final report of the Campus Mental Health Task Force will be acted on this semester with the creation of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health. It will be led by Paul Dupont, Counseling Director of Norris Health Center, and Bonnie Klein-Tasman, Associate Professor of Psychology.
Also continuing work this semester is the Ombuds Council, an impartial group of campus staff that provides a resource for individuals (who are not faculty or students) who seek a pathway to resolve issues that are affecting his or her work life at the university. Vice Chancellor for Partnerships and Innovation Joan Prince maintains ombuds operations.
Our new Human Factor Task Force, which is being organized by Interim Provost Johannes Britz and Peck School of the Arts Dean Wade Hobgood, is still in the early stages of development. Watch for more information about how it will be used to enhance the work environment so that all employees feel valued, respected, productive and critical to the success of UWM.
Thank you for reading about all of our progressive initiatives and, again, welcome to the Spring 2011 semester.
Michael R. Lovell