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Michael R. Lovell

Investing time in the future of our university
November 2013

Two large gatherings of faculty and staff that took place in October spoke well of our future. The first was the Best Place to Work (BP2W) All Teams Meeting on Oct. 1. It was followed on Oct. 9 by the Strategic Planning Mini-Retreat.

While Mark Mone, chancellor’s designee for strategic planning and campus climate, led both meetings and made excellent contributions along with Provost Johannes Britz, Vice Chancellor Joan Prince and Interim Vice Chancellor Robin Van Harpen, I came away especially impressed by the individuals leading and supporting the BP2W Action and Leadership teams, and the Strategic Planning Thematic and Functional teams.

I was impressed because these initiatives cannot be successful if we don’t have thorough involvement from throughout the university.

Anyone familiar with the shared governance that is the hallmark of University of Wisconsin System institutions knows that the approach is successful because it widely involves individuals from all areas. Job titles don’t matter. Commitment to the university does. I believe we’re seeing a very similar spirit of commitment and involvement with BP2W and Strategic Planning.

In our BP2W process, we have great success stories like the creation of the new Code of Conduct (codeofconduct.uwm.edu) and its clear, cohesive series of expectations for faculty and staff alike. We have hundreds of people participating in wellness courses and physical fitness sessions.

The response I have seen to those who have been named Best Place to Work Champions has been amazing. The College of Nursing may have had the most incredible impromptu award ceremony yet when Jennifer Weinzierl was awarded her BP2W Champion pin.

I’m asking each division to be involved, too, and am looking forward to vice chancellors’ upcoming reports on how BP2W is becoming part of how our work and responsibilities are better accomplished.

At the Strategic Planning Mini-Retreat, there were 21 presentations in all, and people were still interested in conversation when the four-hour time limit had been reached.

While I wasn’t able to stay for the entire time, I did stress my commitment to implementing the results of strategic planning. This will not be a plan that sits on a shelf. It will be our guide for our near and far terms.

An especially interesting segment of the mini-retreat that was relayed to me were the comments made by Greater Milwaukee Committee President Julia Taylor, who is a member of the Community Engagement and Sustainable Prosperity Thematic Team and was present for all four hours.

At the end of the mini-retreat, she congratulated those involved for a process that is well thought out. She said that when individuals solve local problems, they also solve global problems, and gave as one example our work to address the issue of freshwater.

If you want to read more about either initiative, please go to the websites at bp2w.uwm.edu and strategicplanning.uwm.edu If you would like to get involved in either initiative, please contact Mark Mone, mone@uwm.edu.

We know that changing responsibilities for faculty and staff, both on and away from campus, alter whether employees are available for these initiatives. If you can make time for BP2W or Strategic Planning, I’m sure Mark can find a place for you.

One last note about Strategic Planning: Open forums on the work being done and ahead will be held yet this semester and in the spring. The times, dates and places for the forums will be announced soon. Watch for them on the strategicplanning.uwm.edu website and in the weekly Announcements email sent on Mondays.

Best,

Michael R. Lovell
Chancellor