Category: University Announcements

Open Forums on the Higher Ed Landscape and Lawrence’s Way Forward

Dear Colleagues, 

Many of you may be reading about or are familiar with the current dynamics of the higher education landscape: shifting demographics, increased competition for new students, and the resulting pressures on college enrollment and finances.

But perhaps fewer of you may be familiar with what that means for Lawrence and our response, including how we can work together as faculty and staff colleagues to sustain our momentum in this environment.

To that end, we are hosting two open forums led by Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communication, to learn more about the current environment in which we work and the university’s response. Jenna Stone, associate vice president for finance, will also share updates on efforts to reach sustained financial equilibrium.

Please join us for:

The Higher Education Landscape & Lawrence’s Way Forward
Warch Campus Center Cinema

Tuesday, February 4
11:10 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.


Monday, February 17
4:00 – 5:00  p.m.

Attached are documents outlining the University’s institutional priorities over the next three years. We encourage you to read these in advance of the forums, as they will provide you with a more robust understanding of the university’s response to our current environment. Please also feel free to bring questions regarding the priorities to the forums.

We look forward to seeing you at one (or both) of the sessions.

Mark & Katie


Mark Burstein

Katie Kodat

UPDATE: Commencement Returning to Main Hall Green

Dear Lawrence Community,

Following our announcement of a change of venue for Commencement 2019, we heard from many members of the graduating class and their families. They were concerned about the plan to move Commencement to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center (PAC). Several administrators and I met with Senior Class officers, Miranda Salazar and Hoa Huynh, on Tuesday. We agreed to hold a forum that afternoon for the graduating class to ask questions and better understand the factors at play in the decision.

The discussion was representative of the best of Lawrence. Students engaged thoughtfully with this important issue and, together, we came to a better understanding of our different priorities. The University administration had prioritized ensuring a quality of experience defined primarily by sheltering participants and guests and mitigating issues around accessibility—even at the expense of potentially limiting in-person attendance. Forum participants expressed different priorities, specifically, providing a location that supports open, in-person, attendance and keeps Commencement in its traditional location of Main Hall Green.

Because not all members of the graduating class were able to attend the forum, and not all participants shared their preference publicly, we agreed to poll the entire class. The poll contained context about the pros and cons of each viable option. We were clear both in the forum and in the poll that the choice of Main Hall Green at this point means the vast majority of seating will not be covered by a tent; this might lead to a delay of Commencement exercises in the event of inclement weather. Furthermore, the condition of the Green may still be soft or muddy in places depending on weather leading up to the event. This said, we heard loud and clear from the class that they want as many family and friends as possible to watch them walk across the stage, to witness in person the culmination of their Lawrence experience. They also want the University to arrange for a rain site to prevent outright cancellation of Commencement in the event of sustained inclement weather.

The poll closed at 12:00 p.m. yesterday, and we met with Miranda and Hoa to discuss the outcome. The results revealed a resounding preference for Main Hall Green: 202 for the Green, 69 for the PAC, total participation rate of nearly 80% of the graduating class. In light of this feedback, we will plan for Commencement 2019 to be held on Main Hall Green on the same date, at the same time as originally announced: June 9, 10:00 a.m. CDT. Please plan for an open-air event.

In addition to making technical arrangements to hold the ceremony on the Green, University staff and faculty have begun arranging a viable rain site in the event of inclement weather on the day of Commencement. Please note that any rain site option will require tickets. These will be distributed to graduates at the Commencement Rehearsal on Friday, June 7, regardless of the forecast for the day of the ceremony. Please watch for additional communication about this change.

As a learning institution, civil discourse and learning from differing perspectives are essential elements of the education we provide and the values we uphold. We thank the Senior Class officers for organizing these important discussions—the perspectives and insights expressed by students helped us work toward a shared goal of making Commencement 2019 a memorable event for all.

Please remember to visit for information regarding Commencement, including updates to the schedule or other important news. Thank you for your patience. I look forward to celebrating with you in June.



Mark Burstein

President, Lawrence University

Sampson House, 711 E. Boldt Way | Appleton, WI 54911-5699 | Office 920.832.6525

Comprehensive Fee for 2019-2020

During its recently held meeting, the Lawrence Board of Trustees set the comprehensive fee for the 2019-20 academic year.  Full-time tuition will be $48,822.  Together with room, board and fees, the total comprehensive fee will be $59,841, which is a 3.5% increase over last year.  Thanks to significant efforts to contain operating costs, which are ongoing, Lawrence has held the comprehensive fee increase to 3.5% or less for the last five years. You can see a detailed breakdown of next year’s comprehensive fee at

We will also institute a number of changes in the coming academic year:

  • more flexible dining options that fit class schedules, including 19-, 14-, and 9-meal per week plans, each of which will reset weekly, so you no longer need to manage declining balances over an entire term;
  • a new study abroad pricing and aid policy originally announced last year, which offers Lawrence financial aid toward long-term study abroad programs, with the goal of making these transformative experiences more affordable;
  • modified pricing and financial aid for December term courses to allow more students to take advantage of these enrichment courses; and
  • an increase in most hourly wages for on-campus jobs for the second year in a row.

While we strive to minimize cost increases, we remain committed to sustaining the distinctive nature of a Lawrence education.  We aim to provide a highly personalized and transformative college experience, driven by one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios in the country that prepares students for success in an ever-changing world. 

Our financial aid team plans to post aid awards for the 2019-20 academic year to students’ Voyager accounts in April. For those of you who have received need based financial aid and who have not yet completed your FAFSA for the coming year, you are encouraged to do so soon. Please visit Brokaw Central for any additional assistance.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Your Sustainable Lawrence University update


The Death and Life of the Great Lakes with Dan Egan – February 11th at 11:10am in the Pusey Room.
All are welcome to join this question and answer session with the author of this year’s community read.

What we’re doing:

  • Collection bins for battery recycling have been installed in all major residence halls.
  • Alice G. Chapman Hall will be producing less waste with the addition of 2 new hand dryers.
  • The wellness center is cutting back on single-use plastic with 2 new water bottle filling stations.
  • Residence hall dwellers can now compost food waste in their halls. Make sure you check to see which items can be accepted!

Convocation – January 17, 2019, 11:10 am

“Strange New Worlds: Is Earth Special?”

Phil Plait is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and brainchild behind the popular science blog “Bad Astronomy,” on which he tries to debunk scientific myths and misconceptions.

Though never a NASA employee, he has worked as part of the Hubble Space Telescope team as well as engaging in public outreach advocacy for several NASA missions focused on high-energy forms of light emitted by black holes, exploding stars and super-dense neutrons stars.

Plait is the author of two books, “Bad Astronomy” and “Death from the Skies!,” in which he provides real science behind all the ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth. Plait attended the University of Michigan and earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia.

College Ave. Crosswalk Lights

The City of Appleton is installing a new button activation system this week for the mid-block College Avenue crosswalks between Drew and Lawe Streets. The new system will require pedestrians to push a button to activate the warning lights. This change will cut down on false activations, which can reduce the effectiveness of the lights. If you have questions, please contact Jake Woodford at 832-6850.

320 E. College Avenue Update

The process of selling the former bank building at 320 E. College Avenue continues. While this process was expected to conclude in the fall, negotiations between the City and developer remain ongoing and a closing date has not been set. This sale does not envision changes to Lawrence-owned parking immediately to the north of that building.

Winter 2019 Community Read: “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes”

Did you miss that fall community read? No problem! All students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the 2019 winter term community read. This winter we will be reading Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. Participants will read a common book and attend discussions led by instructors to further explore sustainability and the Great Lakes.

A free copy of the book will be provided for all participants. The course will take place during second term of this academic year.

You can sign up for one of seven course sections that will meet during the winter term to discuss the book. Students should enroll in ENST 320. Faculty and staff should contact Kelsey Mc Cormick ( about their preferred section.

Mondays 1:50-3:00 – Macia Bjornerud
Tuesdays 9:50-11:00 – Israel Del Toro
Tuesdays 12:30-1:20 – Jason Brozek
Wednesdays 9:50-11:00 – Timothy Troy
Wednesdays 1:50-3:00 – Jeff Clark
Wednesdays 3:10-4:20 – Bart DeStasio
Thursdays 9:50-11:00 – Relena Ribbons

10/23 Convocation – “Listening Well in a World that Turns Away”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
11:10 a.m.
“Listening Well in a World that Turns Away”
Katherine Cramer

Katherine Cramer is an American political scientist and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of “The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker,” the product of almost a decade of studying political attitudes in rural Wisconsin through ethnography.

Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs.

Cramer was the recipient of the 2017 American Political Science Association’s Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods published in 2016, as well as a finalist for the 2017 APSA Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics or international affairs.