Politics as Usual

It was recently brought to my attention that a blog post by Max Love had wild accusations about me conspiring with the administration against student interests. Where I’d like to say I’m surprised, I’m really not. This nothing more than politics as usual for Love, who likes to smear any possibly of a paranoia type conspiracy theory.  This has nothing to do with Chair Williams or Vice Chair Johnson. These were my actions alone and in no way is a conspiracy. Furthermore, his post is taken grossly out of context.  Yes I did say I would keep the documents ‘secret’ and in retrospect maybe that wasn’t the best word choice, however the goal with conceding this point was to at a minimum get some form of information from  the Chancellor’s office. (Compared to nothing if I had promised to spread the documents widely). Additionally, my willingness to hold these documents close reflects Martin’s desire to keep things not public because they were not ready for public consumption and she was still negotiating with Governor Walker. It’s important to note the New Badger Partnership is a working proposal so some things were not actually Martin’s policy yet.

I implore you all to read all the emails in their full context. If you do you can note a few things. Without my email to Chancellor Martin’s Chief of Staff on that date regarding this issue a few things would have never happened. Most notably:

  • An immediate meeting with Provost DeLuca, Dean of Student Lori Berquam, and Legislative Assistant to the Chancellor Don Nelson. (In which all the parties cleared the schedule for the day to meet with top ASM leadership)
  • Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, Dean Berquam, and Don Nelson present at a student council meeting to answer questions regarding the NBP.
  • Chancellor Martin to come to the open forum on January 24th

You know, I bet it’s really easy for Max Love to lob bombs from the sidelines. After all, when he’s not being caught by Jason Smathers anonymously commenting about campus politics, he’s too busy trying to create ASM drama. His position on the outside looking in lets him avoid producing a serious alternative vision to the Badger Partnership. By not engaging in a serious debate but instead, rushing to his favorite fetish – creating paranoid theories about student government – he has taken the serious debate and poisoned the well.  I’m the Chief of Staff to the Chair of ASM. I have to navigate the political waters to get things done. But Love and company need to take a serious look at themselves. This is how far they’ve come? They don’t have a coherent intellectual framework to oppose something intended to help UW-Madison so they came up with this. Another failed political attack. Look how far it’s gotten them over the years.

I’ll stick to getting things done.


Badger Partnership: ASM Leadership on the ball

I wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to Associated Students of Madison Chair Brandon Williams and Vice Chair Adam Johnson on their great work putting pressure on the UW administration, (most notably Chancellor Martin, Provost DeLuca, Dean of Students Lori Berquam, Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, and Don Nelson) to release more information regarding the Badger Partnership concept. Today after weeks of talks campus officials updated the website and released the this document outlining the different state statues that affect the university in a number of ways.

The question is now, how will student council respond tonight when they take up a vote on Rep. Zinn’s poorly written legislation demanding just this? Zinn’s legislation is wrought with incorrect statements and overall shows a gross misunderstanding of the state budget process. I anxiously await for tonight. In the meantime I’m glad to have strong leaders like Williams and Johnson at the head of ASM.

University Registrar Campus Forums

Below is an excerpt from a letter I received from Joanne Berg, The Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. She along with the other members of the Registrar Search and Screen committee are hoping to get students to come to the open forums next week to meet the four finalists. Please read below and I hope to see you there:

The Division of Enrollment Management at UW-Madison is in the process of hiring a new University Registrar. This member of our campus community will play an important role in collaborating across campus to provide long-term positive educational outcomes for students, and will position the Office of the Registrar to take advantage of technology for the delivery of service, management of records and for access to and ensuring security of information. 

University Registrar Campus Forums are scheduled as follows:

Monday, November 15, 9:00-9:45 a.m., 1195 Grainger Hall

Tammy L. Aagard- University Registrar and Interim Director of Student Financial Aid, University of Wyoming

Wednesday, November 17, 10:00-10:45 a.m., 1195 Grainger Hall

Larry Lockwood- Assistant Provost and University Registrar, University of Iowa

Thursday, November 18, 1:00-1:45 p.m., Wisconsin Idea Room, Education Building

Heather A. Chermak- Associate Registrar, University of Idaho

Monday, November 22, 11:00-11:45 a.m., 2280 Grainger Hall

Scott T. Owczarek- Associate Registrar, Michigan State University

Additionally the candidate’s curriculum vitae are available at:

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/groups/Registrar_Search_and_Screen/Finalist Curricula Vitae (NetID and password are required to access this through the UW portal in My WebSpace).  A copy of the Position Vacancy Listing for the University Registrar position is available at:  http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/pvl/pv_065088.html

I encourage your attendance at the forums, and welcome your feedback. Feedback and comments can be share using the simple survey at:  http://tinyurl.com/UW-Madison-Registrar-Feedback


Student Input Needed in Focus Group

A while back I posted an update about my work with the  “Establishing Lifelong Connections” Committee. This Thursday we are hosting a focus group for all interested stakeholders. Since this initiative is centered around students I feel it is very important to have student there to give input. Here are the details:

  • Who: Hosted by Dean of Students Lori Berquam and Megan Costello, Outreach Specialist for Letters & Science
  • When: Thursday August 19th, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
  • Where: Room 8417 Social Science

We are asking campus partners, faculty, staff and students to come and “Dream Big”.  We’re looking for ideas and ways that we can transform the affinity students have with UW-Madison and instill in them a sense of lifelong connection to the institution.  No idea is too big or too small.

This work is an initiative of the campus alumni/donor/friends projects.  The ELC will be making recommendations to Chancellor Martin later this year.

Hope you can make it. As always contact me if you have any questions.

Big Ten Conference Wrap Up & Conclusions

Last weekend I had the fortunate opportunity of attending the Association of Big Ten Students (ABTS) Summer conference at THE Ohio State University.  I learned a lot about how other Big Ten student governments are structured and how they govern.  This was Wisconsin’s first appearance in many years and the rest of the Big Ten seems quite happy that Wisconsin sent a delegation. Continue reading

Establishing Lifelong Connections

This summer I have been working with Dean of Students Lori Berquam along with folks from the around the university to “develop and deliver recommendations on how UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Association, and the UW Foundation can enhance and transform the affinity UW-Madison students have for the University.” Basically what this means is, how can the university support or offer ways to make students at UW Madison become more engaged on campus and feel more a part of the university. Continue reading

Ready from Day 1

Left to right: Chief of Staff Tom Templeton, Chair Brandon Williams, Vice Chair Adam Johnson

Yesterday ASM Chair Brandon Williams appointed me his Chief of Staff. [Press Release found here] I am honored Chair Williams chose me for this position and I’m excited for this new opportunity to serve the students of UW Madison. My time spent as Vice Chair of ASM during the 16th session allowed me Continue reading