Dean's Update: December 31, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, both of things that happened during the past year and aspirations for the coming year. If you are inclined to reflect on what transpired in 2013, my colleagues in L&S Communications wrote and posted a very nice year in review. And in the year to come, if you’re ever uncertain about the good work going on in the College, stop by the L&S web page: ls.wisc.edu/news for ongoing coverage of the fascinating work occurring in the College.

One of the many important accomplishments of the past year was that this fall the College Academic Planning Council endorsed two recommendations inspired by the L&S Climate Committee. The first describes a healthy workplace and the second commits L&S Administration to developing a set of tools that employees can use when confronted by workplace climate challenges. The new College climate policy can be found here: L&S Climate Policy. I thank the L&S Climate Committee and APC for their work. I expect there to be further campus-wide conversations about workplace climate in the spring. A healthy, respectful workplace climate can bring out the talents and energy of all L&S employees. Thank you for doing your part.

In the year ahead, we will continue to see changes on campus. The UW System will get a new President. The campus will get a new Provost and there will be campus-wide conversations about the reorganization of the Division of International Studies and a new campus budget model. L&S will be an active participant in these larger campus (and System) conversations. In the College, there are many opportunities to do great things. We will focus our time and talents on developing and implementing the L&S Career Initiative. We will continue our work restructuring departments, programs and Centers, and seek better ways to organize our work to best meet our potential.

In L&S administration, we will do our best to focus on the things that make our College great: supporting those who provide extraordinary experiences in the classroom, who embody the Wisconsin Idea, and who produce world-class research. As we step into the New Year, I want to thank you for all you do for the College.

Together, we will do great things in 2014.

John Karl Scholz
Dean and Professor of Economics
College of Letters & Science

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