Dean’s Update: January, 2016

To: L&S Administration, Chairs, Directors, Associate Chairs and Department Administrators

Dear Colleagues:

I am happy to share our year-end review with you. I hope it serves as a reminder that Letters & Science is truly remarkable. As I reflect on the past year, I remember the many conversations with staff, faculty, administrative colleagues, alumni and friends who were determined to keep our college – the heart of this great university – strong and growing. I can't thank you enough for your commitment, drive, and passion for Letters & Science and UW-Madison.

Last year presented its challenges. I find it useful to remind myself that the University was not built in a single budget cycle. It will not be irreparably harmed in one, either.  Looking ahead to 2016, we will continue to create wonderful learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. The thirst for discovery will continue to fuel our research:  the lifeblood of the great research university. And we will continue to reach out to the citizens of Wisconsin, the country and the world, extending the many contributions of UW-Madison beyond the boundaries of the campus. We have much to look forward to. We will continue to exert greater control over our financial future.  New capstone certificates, visiting international student programs, and professional programs are on the drawing boards. Existing ones will be improved. 

In Summer 2016, we will take advantage of new financial incentives to collectively offer courses that students need or want to take. We will be in the first full year of the Comprehensive Campaign, "All Ways Forward." A campaign provides a wonderful opportunity for departments, programs and the college to tell our stories that inspire alumni, friends, and others to make the next 167 years as remarkable as the first 167. We will continue to advance the L&S Career Initiative, demonstrating the remarkable value of a liberal arts education in making a good living and leading a good life.

The next year, of course, is also an election year. With that in mind, I am linking our legal department’s guidelines for engaging in political activities.

Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin statutes is the source that prohibits state employees from engaging in political campaign activities on work time and using state resources. Political campaign activities are broadly defined, as you can see in Guidance Point #1. Where an activity is still political but isn’t associated with a political campaign (such as advocating for or against a legislative change), the guidance still requires that employees not use state work time or state resources to engage in the political activity. Please take a moment to review the guidelines here, so all are aware of what is, and is not, acceptable in terms of advocacy.

I am grateful for your involvement, enthusiasm, and Wisconsin spirit. You make this college an amazing place to work, study, and learn. From all of us in South Hall, best wishes for a joyful new year.

On, Wisconsin!

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