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Michael R. Lovell

Getting a better perspective about UWM
October 2012

A better perception of what we are accomplishing here at UWM can sometimes be gained when you take a few steps back and see us from a different perspective. In my case, I got that different
perspective by traveling to the other side of the world.

Over the past year, I had met on two occasions with Roger Price, Australian consul-general from Chicago. He had recommended that our university seek new and/or additional relationships with Australian universities. When I journeyed there in August, supported by Eric Leaf, senior development specialist from our School of Freshwater Sciences, I made several significant discoveries:

  • We are at the first time in UWM’s history that Australian universities want to send students to UWM. The two primary reasons, I believe, are:
    • School of Freshwater Sciences Dean David Garman’s strong reputation in Australia. Prior to his arrival at UWM, he served in many key capacities in that country, including as executive director of the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre just outside of Sydney.
    • UWM’s and Milwaukee’s reputation as an international leader in water technology.
  • I visited Macquarie University; University of New South Wales; University of Queensland; University of Sydney; University of Technology, Sydney; and the University of Western Sydney, and every one of these universities had at least one existing collaboration with someone at UWM. The University of Queensland, in fact, identified 34 connection points between its faculty and faculty from Wisconsin, including UWM. It was obvious that many UWM faculty members are highly respected internationally. All of these universities are interested in further collaborating with us.
  • Unlike other parts of the world, Australia and its university system have not been hit by the recession and drastic cuts to higher education. The mining industry and exports to China and India have allowed the Australian economy to continue to grow. New construction was prevalent everywhere; the University of Technology, Sydney was engaged in capital projects amounting to the equivalent of more than 1 billion U.S. dollars.
  • Universities Australia, the country’s university system, has just 39 institutions (37 public and two private) in the entire country of about 23 million people. All 39 are supported by the federal government, rather than by individual states.
  • The Australian equivalent to the U.S. National Science Foundation provides research funding for humanities, arts and business as well as sciences and engineering.

Going to Australia was a very beneficial journey for me, and by viewing UWM from this different and distant perspective I gained an even greater appreciation for what is being accomplished here at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Joan M. Prince, UWM vice chancellor for global inclusion and engagement, has been appointed to serve as an alternate representative of the United States to the 67th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. She was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama.

The appointment, with the rank of ambassador, was approved by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. She was sworn in by the President and Ambassador Susan E. Rice on Sept. 18 and began her duties as the United States diplomatic representative with the opening of the General Assembly later that day.

“Please join me in congratulating Joan on her nomination to serve our country,” said Chancellor Michael R. Lovell. “She will continue to be a vital and contributing member of the UWM family during her appointment and is sure to open more doors for international opportunities for our students, faculty and staff.”

Prince, a nationally known policy strategist, was named a vice chancellor at UWM in September 2000. At the university, she is charged with the global responsibilities of managing its external relations. This encompasses building innovative and entrepreneurial bridges between academics and the broader private and public sectors of the community through engagement of entities such as international organizations, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, higher education associations, nonprofits and other social and civic organizations.

A native of Milwaukee, Prince has earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology, master’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and doctorate in Urban Education – all from UWM.

The U.N. announcement can be found on the website of the Office of the Press Secretary at The White House.


Michael R. Lovell