LU Insider

Craig Gagnon

Author: Craig Gagnon

Active Shooter Presentation

Please plan to attend a presentation about reacting to an active shooter on campus, from 3 – 4:30 on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the Warch Campus Center cinema. This is extremely valuable and relevant information – particularly for faculty and staff. Presenting are Captain Chris Tarmann of the UW-Oshkosh Police and Joe Peterson, a member of the UW-O faculty.

Summer Renewal

Summer was an exciting time of renewal at Lawrence. Students, faculty and staff returned to campus a few short weeks ago to a number of changes and improvements to our campus and community – the result of a busy summer on the part of our facilities, HR and other departments. These were deliberate efforts, consistent with our strategic plan, to invest in physical and human capital over the short term to avoid major costs in the long term. Many of these changes were accomplished from the generosity of donors as well as planned investments from our annual operating budget.

Walking through campus, one can’t help but notice many improvements to our physical appearance. When the underground chiller system was replaced last spring, we took the opportunity to redesign the plaza between the library and the art center. Additional seating and upgraded landscaping was funded by one of our many generous donors.

In addition, several changes were made to add parking capacity in anticipation of the city’s new parking plan. Fifty-six new spaces were constructed for faculty and staff daytime parking next to the chapel. In addition, parking behind Plantz Hall was reconfigured to provide student parking immediately behind Plantz and faculty/staff daytime parking in the lots at Meade and Washington.

To facilitate additional parking in the future, while preserving the historic character of the City Park neighborhood, the house formerly located at 122 N. Union was moved to 229 N. Union where it now sits across the street from the park. Ultimately, the house will become the residence of our Provost.

Other notable physical changes to campus include the resurfacing of the Chapman Hall parking lot and the replacement of broken sidewalks in front of the building to provide a more welcoming experience for first-time visitors to campus. In addition, the renovations made to Colman Hall last year were finalized with the addition of new landscaping in the courtyard.

Several improvements have been made to the small houses on Boldt Way. And, another section of stained glass was removed, rebuilt and reinstalled in the chapel.

Other improvements include the second phase of the bathroom remodels in Ormsby Hall, made possible by an anonymous donor. The third and final phase will be completed in future years.

One of the biggest changes to campus is not to our facilities but to our community itself. This academic year, we will welcome some 85 new colleagues to our faculty and staff. Among these are new faculty – tenure-line, adjuncts, part-time teachers, fellows and Academy faculty. Others include several staff positions, assistant coaches, and residence hall directors.

Much has been accomplished during the summer months that will have a lasting impact to our campus and to our community.

 

 

LU Alert test Oct. 11

The annual test of the LU Alert system is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 between 11 a.m. and noon. At that time, you will be receiving telephone calls, email messages and, if you have provided a cellphone number, text messages confirming the test. Please let your emergency contact know that he or she will be receiving a phone message as well.

This system is one of several Lawrence will use to communicate in the event of an emergency. It provides Lawrence with an enhanced ability to communicate quickly to large numbers of students, faculty, staff and emergency contacts using multiple communication channels: email, office phones, cellphones and text messages.

  • Of the delivery options, email and text messaging have been the quickest and most reliable methods.
  • The system’s ability to deliver messages to office phones is limited by the capabilities of our telephone system. While we have improved our ability to receive office phone calls, faculty and staff should not expect to receive an emergency message immediately via office phone.
  • The delivery of messages via cellphones is faster, but may also be limited by the capacity of some network providers. If you want to be notified of a campus emergency via cellphone, please verify that your cell number is listed on Voyager.
  • If you would like to be contacted via cellphone or text message, you may provide your cellphone number to Human Resources. When your cell number has been entered into the LU Alert system, a confirmation text message will be sent to your phone asking you to verify that you want to receive emergency text messages. Please opt in.

As members of the Lawrence community, we all have a responsibility to ensure effective communication in an emergency. Thank you for your support.

LU Alert test on Oct. 11

The annual test of the LU Alert system is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 between 11 a.m. and noon. At that time, you will be receiving telephone calls, email messages and, if you have provided a cellphone number, text messages confirming the test.

This system is one of several Lawrence will use to communicate in the event of an emergency. It provides Lawrence with an enhanced ability to communicate quickly to large numbers of students, faculty, staff and emergency contacts using multiple communication channels—email, office phones, cellphones and text messaging.

  • Of the delivery options, email and text messaging have been the quickest and most reliable methods.
  • The delivery of messages via cellphones is faster, but may also be limited by the capacity of some network providers. If you want to be notified of a campus emergency via cellphone, please verify that your cell number is listed on Voyager. When your cell number has been entered into the LU Alert system, a confirmation text message will be sent to your phone asking you to verify that you want to receive emergency text messages. Please opt in.

Diversity and inclusion listening sessions

Join Kimberly Barrett, vice president for diversity and inclusion and associate dean of the faculty, for one of several listening sessions. If you have concerns about diversity issues or ideas for how we can make Lawrence more inclusive, come to Steitz Hall, Room 202, on one of the dates below.

Each session will begin with brief opening remarks followed by an opportunity to share your ideas or concerns with others in attendance. Light refreshments will be served.

Students:
Oct. 4: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 6: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Staff:
Oct. 11: 4:30–6 p.m.
Oct. 13: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Faculty:
Oct. 18: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 20: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

 

 

What about those spiders?

You may have heard that brown recluse spiders were discovered in the Facilities Services building in early August. These spiders are not native to Wisconsin, and they can deliver a nasty bite that should not be treated lightly. This was so unusual that local media (the Appleton Post Crescent and Green Bay TV stations) all reported the story.

To put everyone’s mind at ease, here’s the current situation:

  • When the spiders were first seen, LU worked with a pest control company to trap and then confirm that these were, in fact, brown recluse spiders.
  • The building was treated and additional traps were set.
  • As a precaution, staff, faculty and summer residents were notified and traps were set in all campus buildings.
  • The Facilities Services building was treated a second time to ensure that the problem was addressed.
  • No other campus buildings were affected, and no other brown recluse spiders have been confirmed on campus.

Since most of us have never seen a brown recluse spider, descriptions can be found on bulletin boards around campus. If you think you’ve seen a brown recluse spider, leave it alone and contact Facility Services at x6602.

What have you been missing?

Did you know Marcia Bjornerud has an article in The New Yorker? Or that Peter Glick has an article in Psychology Today? Or that Ken Anselment was quoted in The Washington Post?

You would know these things if you received eClips, a twice-monthly email report that lists and links to stories about Lawrence in the news, Lawrence students and alumni in the news and important articles about higher education.

Send an email to Rick Peterson asking to be placed on the mailing list. Then you, too, will know when your colleagues make national news.

Creating a more inclusive Lawrence—A welcome letter from Kimberly Barrett

Dear Lawrence faculty, students and staff,

I am writing to introduce myself, welcome you to a new academic year and begin a conversation about how we will work together to create a more inclusive Lawrence. I am extremely excited to be engaged in the work of fostering diversity and inclusion at this time, both in our country and at Lawrence.

The past year was a turbulent one that exposed the lingering pain of some while causing new anguish for others. But, as is the case in many periods of disruption, we have the opportunity to come together with new awareness to create a stronger institution and community. As author and activist bell hooks once wrote, “We cannot despair when there is conflict. Our solidarity must be affirmed by shared belief in a spirit of intellectual openness that celebrates diversity, welcomes dissent and rejoices in collective dedication to the truth.”

The evidence based on research is clear: Diversity improves the curriculum, pedagogy and co-curricular programs. Taking an inclusive approach to our work in higher education benefits everyone. It increases the cognitive complexity of students’ thinking, helping them to approach the tasks of living an engaged life both critically and with compassion. It helps us teach all students more effectively, better achieving the desired learning outcomes. And finally, it strengthens our democracy by helping create and expand an educated citizenry, including those historically underserved by higher education, who are capable of contributing fully to our shared political and economic success.

In President Burstein’s recent letter about the new academic year, he urged us to create a new path together that welcomes and supports us all and fosters civil discourse. I am developing a framework to facilitate creation of this new path, as well as a theme for our work. The framework is tactical, while the theme conveys the philosophy behind the work. Initial activities related to the framework will build upon the many critical strategies people across campus implemented prior to my arrival. I am grateful to those who have been and continue to be committed to and engaged in this important work at Lawrence. Their work laid a strong foundation upon which to build. Ultimately, conversations with faculty, students and staff over the next few months will determine specific strategies and priorities for the framework.

In order to institutionalize inclusion, the framework will focus on developing and supporting three areas:

  • Strengthening relationships, both within and between various groups on campus. This includes relationships between supervisors and employees, students and faculty members, and Lawrence and Appleton, as well as among and within various cultural affiliation groups.
  • Capacity-building—facilitating programs to ensure all members of our community have the skills, knowledge and resources they need to take an equity-minded approach to their work.
  • Accountability. This will focus on assessment across the organization (institutional, departmental and individual) in order to track and celebrate progress while identifying areas still in need of improvement and additional support.

Finally, in this time when there appears to be so much animosity, mutual hostility and hate, how can we, as our university’s motto urges, bring more light? To me, love is the light. So my theme for our diversity work will be, “Loving Large at Lawrence.” It refers to ideas related to loving learning, loving ourselves and loving community.

Loving learning is about the predisposition Lawrentians have to enthusiastically seek out opportunities to encounter and create new knowledge while bringing all of who they are to the educational enterprise. It also speaks to our understanding that optimal intellectual development occurs when significant challenge is accompanied by sufficient academic and emotional support. Loving ourselves is about becoming strong self-advocates and working to find harmony between the demands of rigorous, engaged liberal learning and self-care. It’s also about accepting ourselves so we can do the same for others. Loving community is based on the idea of Ubuntu, commonly translated, “I am because you are.” It is about acknowledging and supporting our interdependence as we strive to create a just, equitable and inclusive learning community.

So I hope you will join me in working to make sure we are indeed, “Loving Large at Lawrence.” As we embark on this journey together, keep in mind what celebrated scholar Noam Chomsky once said: “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.” I look forward to getting to know you and welcome invitations from departments or organizations to discuss strategies for achieving a more inclusive Lawrence.

Wishing you much success in the coming academic year!

Kimberly Barrett
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Dean of the Faculty
Sampson House
920-832-7451
kimberly.a.barrett@lawrence.edu