Your invitation to Martin Luther King Jr. Day state celebration

Monday, January 19, is a state (paid) holiday for UW Colleges and UW-Extension employees. You are invited to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. at Wisconsin’s 35th annual tribute and ceremony hosted by Jonathan Overby of Wisconsin Public Radio at noon Monday in the Capitol Rotunda at the State Capitol in Madison.

You will be able to listen live or download the coverage later via Wisconsin Public Radio at

You can watch live online or watch an edited broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday on Wisconsin Public Television. Details and related links are posted at

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Posted at: Broadcasting and Media Innovations | Leave a Comment

First UW-Extension Innovation Fund Projects Announced

We are pleased to announce the projects that will be funded through the first UW-Extension Innovation Fund. As you know, we set aside $1.5M of our one-time cash to reinvest in Extension’s future. The purpose of this fund is to create more visibility and access to the programs and services that Extension produces, thereby expanding impact and opportunities for residents of our state and beyond. The specific criteria used to evaluate proposals were as follows:

• Increase access to UW-Extension services and programs
• Build UW-Extension’s brand and expand relationships
• Increase UW-Extension’s ability to generate revenue
• Improve processes and procedures
• Demonstrate and foster cross-divisional collaboration and cooperation

A call for proposals went out in June, 2014, with the request to submit proposals up through the divisional deans and directors. Then deans and directors helped sift and winnow as we came to decision on which proposals we would fund. We want to thank all of you who submitted proposals—they were all very strong and our decisions were very difficult. Five proposals were selected among the more than twenty that were submitted.

Here is brief description of each of the projects:

1. Extending University Place: Through University Place, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) has provides university-related content to Wisconsin and broader audiences, including presentations in Dane County such as lectures at UW-Madison and speakers at community events such as the Wisconsin Book Festival. The Extending University Place collaboration includes Cooperative Extension and Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning content from around the state that will be preserved for digital access by statewide audiences.

2. EXAMPLE: Expanding Authoring for Mobile Personal Learning Environments (EXAMPLE) provides a mobile learning environment, agnostic to mobile device or learning platform, that allows students and instructors to co-create and post content that will be made widely accessible . In this way, learners can easily connect to course content, to other students, and to instructors – and provide learning content widely to the nation. BAMI’s Instructional Communications Systems group (ICS) is the lead for this project.

3. Learn More: This is a web-based news and information service to help Wisconsin residents understand and react to urgent and emerging issues facing our state. A new digital service, this collaboration includes content provided by WPT and Wisconsin Public Radio journalists and Cooperative Extension campus- and county-based experts with direct service experience.

4. Community Data Exchange: Cooperative Extension and the Division for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will combine various databases to create a comprehensive data exchange serving as a one-stop source for county-based educators and community organizations seeking to assess economic development options and prioritize strategies, serving as a new research platform for campus- and county-based faculty and staff and creating a subscription-based data source for sale to other states.

5. Developing Financially Sustainable Massive Online Courses: Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning is developing financially sustainable massive online courses or learning experiences (such as a massive online conference) that builds on current experimental CEOEL massive online course development. CEOEL would offer the possibility to partner with other UW-Extension divisions and lessons learned would inform other UW-Extension divisions seeking alternate revenue streams through global program expansion.

Each of these proposed projects is quite strong, and we are eager for them to get started. We will be monitoring and evaluating each one closely. We will learn a great deal from these projects, with future cohorts of Innovation Fund projects building on the successes of this cohort.

We expect that we will see impacts in the next two or three years, but the real impacts will come collectively from a stronger UW-Extension, one that’s better able to serve Wisconsin and the nation in the coming decades. In that way, the Innovation Fund dovetails nicely with the intentions of the Extension Reimagined project. (And as most of you know, we are scheduling public forums to seek input about how to best serve the next generation of Wisconsin residents. Please see details at:

For more information contact Aaron Brower, UW-Extension Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor, at

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Posted at: Broadcasting and Media Innovations, Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, Cooperative Extension, Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, UW-Extension | Leave a Comment

Thank a veteran today

Interim Chancellor Aaron Brower sent out this request today to UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff:

Today is Veterans Day.  We celebrate Veterans Day on this date because fighting ceased between Germany and the Allied troops during WWI at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

I ask you to pause and reflect on the military service of your loved ones, your colleagues, your community members and your students and learners.

Today is a day to thank those who step up to serve our country, even when that means putting themselves at risk. Their bravery, their love of country and their patriotism should be honored.

They are selfless in putting their country above all else. We thank them – and their loved ones – for that service. Anyone who has ever been in a military family knows that it’s not only the man or woman in uniform who serves. The whole family makes sacrifices and suffers losses when a parent or sibling is far away and all too often in harm’s way.

I also want to take this time to thank our UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff who provide assistance to current and former military members on our campuses and county-based programs, who support them through programs such as Operation Military Kids, and who recognize their service through collaborations such as the A Face for Every Name Photo Project.

If you see an active duty service member or can contact a veteran or a dependent of a veteran today, please take a moment to thank them for their service. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since they wore a uniform. It’s never too late to say thank you.

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Posted at: Broadcasting and Media Innovations, Chancellor, Cooperative Extension, UW Colleges, UW-Extension | Comments Off

Register for Chancellor’s Awards event

Chancellor's Awards 2014 The Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony and Reception will be 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison.

 This event honors the exceptional teaching, outreach, collaborations and public service of our employees, partners and supporters during the last year.

Registration, which is free, is requested to ensure that there are ample refreshments and enough seating for all. To register for this event and to see a list of the 2014 Chancellor’s Awards recipients, go to

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Learn how to handle disagreements at work

Your ability to build and maintain important relationships depends on effective communication skills. Those skills are essential to handling disagreements and resolving conflicts with your co-workers.

Life Matters, your Employee Assistance Program,will present “Coworker Communication: Handling Disagreements at Work” from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison, and via Mediasite at:

For those unable to participate live, the presentation will be recorded and posted later online at:

The content includes:

This presentation is being offered as a piloted monthly series. Look for additional topics, which we will be hosting in October and November.

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Joe Foy named associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW Colleges

Joy Foy

Joe Foy

Greg Lampe, UW Colleges provost and vice chancellor, has named Joe J. Foy as the new associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW Colleges. Foy is currently an associate campus dean at UW-Waukesha, where he also is an associate professor of political science. He will assume his duties Sept. 15, 2014.

The position had been filled on an interim basis by Rex Hieser, who will continue working through August.

Foy will be responsible for reviewing and interpreting academic policies and procedures; providing recommendations on instructional staffing and budgeting; and for assisting in academic program development and review, library planning and transfer issues.

He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Ph.D. in American government and comparative politics and a master’s degree in comparative politics and international relations. Foy also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Carroll College, Montana.

His research primarily has focused on the interplay between consumer culture and democracy in the United States. He has edited four books, the first of which was awarded both the John G. Cawelti Award from the Popular Culture/American Culture Association in 2009 and the Barrington/Musolf Faculty Research Award from the UW Colleges in 2010. He also has authored and co-authored 30 essays published in academic and commercial anthologies. In 2010 his contributions in and out of the classroom were recognized by the UW Colleges/UW Extension Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

He currently lives in Delafield with his wife and three children.

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Posted at: Appointments, Awards/honors, UW Colleges, UW Colleges Provost, UW-Waukesha | Comments Off

The “Survey” introduces staff stories through social media

Sue Swanson

Sue Swanson

The University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey is sharing stories about its staff and their work through social media, including Pinterest at: . Among the first stories is the post below about Sue Swanson and her work with Dave Hart and Ken Bradbury.

“Springs are an accessible representation of the groundwater. It’s easier to sample a spring than to install a groundwater monitoring well,” says Sue Swanson.

Swanson, who is on sabbatical from Beloit College, is a research associate at the Survey. She is kicking off the first year of a three-year statewide study of Wisconsin’s springs with Ken Bradbury and Dave Hart, hydrogeologists at the Survey.

She will set field procedures for this county-by-county inventory and will select six to eight “reference springs” for long-term monitoring. The reference springs will be representative of Wisconsin’s geologic and hydrologic regions. Those springs will be monitored intensively to establish a baseline of physical, chemical and ecological factors.

“If we can establish a baseline by sampling twice a year, then we can monitor these springs less frequently, say every few years, and still have a long term record to assess the effects of changes in land use, climate, or groundwater pumping,” she said.

Learn more about Swanson’s research here.

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