Registration is now open for national public summit on preventing sexual harassment in higher education

Registration is now open for the second annual national Public Summit of the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education hosted by the University of Wisconsin System. The summit, scheduled for October 19-20, was originally to be held at UW-Milwaukee but will be taking place virtually this year due to COVID-19.

“The UW System is proud to be at the forefront of addressing this important issue in our society and particularly in higher education,” UW System President Tommy Thompson said. “In order for our students to receive the best possible education, they must feel comfortable and safe in their campus communities.”

The four goals of the Action Collaborative are to:

  • Raise awareness about sexual harassment and how it occurs, the consequences of sexual harassment, and the organizational characteristics and recommended approaches that can prevent it.
  • Share and elevate evidence-based institutional policies and strategies to reduce and prevent sexual harassment.
  • Contribute to setting the research agenda and gather and apply research results across institutions.
  • Develop a standard for measuring progress toward reducing and preventing sexual harassment in higher education.

To register to attend the summit and view the agenda, visit the event webpage.


UW-Green Bay Chancellor and Provost note child-care challenges and community support

Note: In the memo (August 10, 22020), UW-Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander and Provost Kate Burns acknowledge University support as employees and students face child-care challenges… 

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

As we approach the fall, it is important we consider the numerous ways our work patterns and the ways our students will access education have evolved. Our ability to have empathy for those who need support to deal with these sudden changes, will be essential to move forward as a University fully dedicated to access.  One issue that we have struggled to holistically address as a campus is support for child care for our faculty, staff, and students. We would like to update you on the steps we are taking this year to help improve the way we deal with the reality of the equity issues caused by challenges with child care. These steps are based on the recommendations from the UW System task force on Caregiving and COVID-19 and we urge everyone to take the time to read the recommendations in full.

  1. It is our expectation that supervisors work with all faculty and staff to do everything possible to accommodate the individual needs for child care that any of our colleagues might have.  Immediately contact HR if you have questions on how to support a colleague or if you feel you are not receiving the support you need.  We will review all of our HR policies on this subject to make sure we are doing everything we can to be flexible throughout the year.
  2. Faculty are expected to have empathy and accommodate students who are struggling with the balance of child care and class expectations.
  3. Mark Olkowski and John Landrum are working with SUFAC and SGA to provide grant opportunities for students who need financial support to provide child care for their families in order to have the space to complete their studies.  It is our expectation that these grants are widely communicated and mobilized as soon as possible.  In addition, we are working towards long term solutions to provide further support for faculty, staff, and students around this issue.

Thank you for continually considering how you can support our colleagues and students through these times through proactive actions that demonstrate our belief in student success, a caring spirit, and an understanding of the challenges that our communities face right now.


Chancellor Michael Alexander
Interim Provost Kate Burns

UW System introduces online behavioral health tool

The University of Wisconsin System today introduced a new online behavioral health tool, SilverCloud, that offers self-guided programs for anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia and resilience. The tool is now available to faculty, staff, and students at any time, on any device, and at no cost.

“While the behavioral health of our students, faculty, and staff has always been a high priority for the UW System, the current COVID-19 pandemic has put those needs into even sharper focus,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “We are working hard to find ways to provide these vital services to our UW community and this online tool is a great option.”

To sign up or find out more about the tool, visit:

Mask Up video still of Chancellor Alexander and Phlash wearing a mask

Video: Mask Up with Tommy!

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander and Phlash the Phoenix join UW System President Tommy Thompson and the rest of the UW System Chancellors and mascots in encouraging you to mask up! UW-Green Bay along with the rest of the UW System is doing everything possible to provide in-person classes safely this fall. But we can’t do it without you. Remember the three W’s: Wash your hands; Watch your distance and Wear a Mask! We all have a role in keeping everyone safe. Please do like our chancellors and mascots, and mask up!

Check back often for UW-Green Bay’s COVID-19 Updates

UW System President Tommy Thompson’s statement about funding and keeping the UW safe

In case you missed it, UW System President Tommy Thompson issued this statement today. (July 22, 2019).

“Our universities are doing everything we can to provide in-person classes safely this fall and reductions in state support for the UW System are an obstacle to that work. In addition to providing invaluable educational opportunity, our universities are critical to every regional economy in Wisconsin. We are a vital economic engine and one of the state’s largest employers. The UW System has already borne a disproportionate share of state cuts to date. I am working with the Governor’s office to manage these further cuts, as well as to secure the resources we need to ensure our classrooms and university communities are safe this fall. We have a compelling case, and I believe the Governor will be helpful.”


Wisconsin sues to stop ICE’s in-person class requirement for colleges | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin has joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit to stop the implementation of a new rule that requires international students to take their college classes in person for their visas to be valid, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Monday.

In a statement Monday, Thompson said the system values its international students and fully supports Kaul’s decision to join the lawsuit.

In the court filing, several UW schools provided assessments on the economic impact their international students have. At UW-Stevens Point, 84 international students account for $2.2 million in tuition. At UW-Madison, international students pay $180 million in tuition, fees and housing revenue and one in four classes are taught by international teaching assistants. UW-Green Bay said the rule could “severely disrupt” its Division 1 athletics, particularly men’s soccer.


Source: Wisconsin sues to stop ICE’s in-person class requirement for colleges | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Associate Prof. Jon Shelton weighs in on Tommy Thompson beginning term as UW System president | BusinessNorth

Associate Prof. Jon Shelton (Democracy and Justice Studies) and vice president for higher education with the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin labor union gave input on Tommy Thompson’s start as the UW Systems Interim President.

He said while he doesn’t agree with some of the policy platforms Thompson championed during his four terms as governor from 1987 to 2001, he feels that Thompson knows the importance of funding the UW System and ensuring it serves the state.

Shelton also said it’s possible that Thompson’s connections at the federal level could help in securing federal aid for universities suffering heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shelton welcomed Thompson’s inclusive approach, which he said was lacking during the past decade when the UW Board of Regents was dominated by appointees of former Gov. Scott Walker.

“A lot of faculty and staff have felt like they haven’t had people at the system level really listening to their concerns,” Shelton said. “So I think this is a really good step in the right direction.”

Shelton said it’s equally important that Thompson plans to act on the input he receives.

Source: Tommy Thompson begins term as UW System president |

UW System President Tommy Thompson seeks feedback

As Tommy Thompson takes office today as President of the University of Wisconsin System, his transition team is announcing creation of the “Listening Post” for Wisconsin residents and UW students, faculty, and staff to ask questions and offer ideas.

The Listening Post, and a message from Thompson, is available on the UW System website president’s page.

“Tommy Thompson will begin his tenure as UW System’s ‘Listener-in-Chief,’” said Tom Loftus, the former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Ambassador to Norway, and Board of Regents member who co-chairs the transition team. “He will collect ideas, feedback, and questions from the people the UW System serves.”

Prof. Jon Shelton gives input on interim UW System President Tommy Thompson|

Lawmakers, regents, chancellors, staff and faculty all largely praised former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s appointment to serve as interim UW System President.

University insiders say the unanimous Board of Regents pick of June 19 means there will be a passionate advocate for the system through tumultuous budget constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a pretty bold move,” said Jon Shelton, UW-Green Bay faculty representative and American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin vice president. “The system could’ve tried to go with somebody internal, but I think this indicates they’re looking to bring in some firepower to advocate for the system right now.”

Source: Tommy Thompson praised as choice to lead UW System | Cambridge News / Deerfield Independent |

UW-Green Bay Prof. Shelton gives input on UW System board naming Tommy Thompson interim president | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents appointed former Gov. Tommy Thompson as the interim system president, following the collapse of a months-long search for a new leader of one of the country’s largest public university systems.

Jon Shelton, an associate professor at UW-Green Bay and vice president for higher education at the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin, said the faculty members he heard from were cautiously optimistic.

“As an interim appointment at a time with a very difficult future (for the system), the real positive is that he is one of the few people in the state who has the ability in this position to effectively advocate for funding for the UW System,” Shelton said.

Source: Seeking unity, UW System board names Tommy Thompson interim president | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

He was also quoted in a number of other stories about the UW System president search: