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University Announcements

Category: University Announcements

Harrison Symposium, Saturday May 15, 9:00am-12:15pm

The Harrison Symposium is this Saturday (May 15th) 9:00am-12:15pm held virtually on Zoom. Featuring remarkable student-research and creative projects across disciplines including the Humanities, Film Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Musicology, and Social Sciences.

Schedule available on the Harrison website (Zoom links available the morning of):

Or email for a schedule (with links available Friday May 14th).

Data Bytes and Updates …

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) has posted the Common Data Set and the colleague version of the Fall 2020 Fact Book. Be sure to check these out if you are looking for data!

Thank you to all who participated in the HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey!

Check out a list of our recent and upcoming presentations that have focused on data-informed decision-making as it relates to student success and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts.

University Convocation:

Thursday, January 28, 2021

11:15 a.m. (please note time change)

“The Radical Possibility and Democratic Necessity of Navel Gazing”

Kiese Laymon, author and Hubert H. McAlexander Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Mississippi.

Virtual Convocation, Interview and Q & A

Heavy Coffee Talk: Request your copy today

Graphic including the book cover for "Heavy: An American Memoir" by Kiese Laymon and a photo of the author with the following text: Heavy Coffee Talk. Virtual Book Discussion. MLK Day. Jan 18th. 10AM-11AM CDT. Kiese Laymon will be "on campus" for our Winter Convocation: Jan 28th 11:10AM.

Please join us for a community book read of Kiese Laymon’s book Heavy: An American Memoir on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan 18th 2021 from 10-11 AM.

Students, staff, and faculty volunteers will lead a discussion on this compelling work. Kiese Laymon will join us virtually for the Winter Convocation on January 28th entitled: “The Radical Possibility and Democratic Necessity of Navel Gazing,” Kiese Laymon, author and Hubert H. McAlexander Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Mississippi”. 

To register and request your free copy of Heavy: An American Memoir, please fill out the information at the following link by Oct 30th:

Contact or with questions.

Thank you, 

Public Events Committee and the Diversity and Intercultural Center

Voter Registration Information

 The 2020 General Election will be held on November 3, 2020. All Lawrence faculty and staff who are eligible to vote are strongly encouraged to participate in this important form of civic and community engagement. 

The first step for all voters is registration. You can easily register to vote online or by mail by going to Remember, if you have moved since the last time you voted, you’ll need to re-register to vote.The deadline for online voter registration is October 14

If you choose to register by mail, your envelope must be postmarked by October 14. You can find more information about voter registration, request an absentee ballot, and see what is on your ballot at

Thank you to all participating in this process!

Matriculation Convocation

Matriculation Convocation

Thursday, September 24, 2020

11:15 am (please note time change)

“Finding Home: Belonging During a Pandemic”

President Mark Burstein

Webcast from Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Read more about this year’s Matriculation Convocation address.

Introducing the Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team

Dear Colleagues,

As the academic year comes to a close, we have shifted our institutional focus from COVID-19 crisis response to the challenges COVID-19 brings to our community, academic program, and daily work. In May, President Burstein established a team of faculty, staff, and students to research and recommend how to approach our learning and living, and working environment for the academic year 2020-21 and beyond: the Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team (LPPT).   

The LPPT is preparing three possible living and learning modes:  

  • Full Mode (high on-campus student residency, courses taught in-person and via distance learning) 
  • Flex Mode (moderate on-campus density, with a mix of students residing on- and off-campus; a mix of distance and in-person courses) 
  • Distance Mode (like spring 2020: low on-campus student residency, courses taught remotely)  

The LPPT comprises five working groups, each addressing different facets related to Full, Flex, and Distance modes. Working groups consist of Lawrentians who bring expertise or important perspectives to the various planning areas. The five groups are:  

  • Health  
  • Curricular  
  • Co-Curricular  
  • Outside In  
  • Employees & Legal Aspects

A description of each group’s focus, a full list of the group chairs and members, and information on work to date is available on the COVID-19 News blog.

Each group has been meeting separately to review current research from expert sources and apply its developing knowledge to its focus area. The heads of each working group have been meeting periodically, as well, to share progress, questions, and possible solutions. By the end of June, each of the groups will have completed its work and will share their findings to President Burstein and the Cabinet, who will consult with faculty representatives and the Board of Trustees to deliver their final plan in the month of July. Our goal is to move as quickly as possible so faculty and staff can begin working immediately toward starting the academic year. 

Preparing for the fall will be a full community effort, engaging both individual departments and offices and the existing committees within our governance structure, and we’d like to thank everyone in advance for their efforts to successfully launch an academic year in this challenging environment. Information about the SARS-CoV-2 changes every week. It is likely LPPT will need to continue to meet periodically as our understanding of the virus unfolds and campus and Fox Cities conditions change. If a policy change is needed after fall term begins, the LPPT would discuss options with appropriate shared governance.

We will share important information before that final plan is announced. For example, we can share with you today that the start of the 2020-21 academic year has been finalized. Upon the recommendation of the LPPT and following consultation with the Faculty Governance Committee and the Curriculum Committee, the Cabinet has decided to start the 2020-21 academic year at its original date: classes will start on September 14. In addition, December Term 2020 will not take place. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please refer them to your supervisor or a member of the LPPT. Thank you for your ongoing patience, cooperation, and work as we all learn to adapt and live with COVID-19.   

On behalf of the Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team,  
Christyn Abaray  
Assistant to the President  
LPPT Project Manager

Lessons Learned – Faculty and Staff survey regarding COVID-19

We have all had to make significant adjustments to how we do our jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from how we prioritize tasks to how we communicate and collaborate with colleagues. President Burstein and your colleagues on the President’s Cabinet invite your feedback on the university’s response to COVID-19 and to hear about the innovative approaches to work you have discovered.

Take the Survey.

Changes in the President’s Cabinet

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce a few changes in the President’s Cabinet. 

As many of you know, Jake Woodford, former Secretary to the Board and Assistant to the President was elected Mayor of Appleton.  I am deeply grateful for Jake’s service to his alma mater.  We will host a campus reception for our new Mayor as soon as we can, to give us all a chance to thank Jake for the enormous impact he has had on Lawrence and to wish him well in guiding Appleton’s future. 

Since the beginning of the mayoral campaign last fall, Christyn Abaray has served as interim Secretary to the Board and Assistant to the President.  I am thrilled that she will now pick up this position permanently.  In addition to supervising the Athletics Department, Christyn will permanently assume all the other roles Jake performed: primary contact for the Board of Trustees; lead liaison to the Fox Cities, State and Federal agencies; managing real estate transactions here and in Door Country.  As part of this transition, the President’s Cabinet will diminish in size by one.  This change will help us reach our goal of lowering operating costs by $3.5 million.  Christyn will announce today a new full-time Athletics Director.

Jeff Clark, Professor of Geosciences will also complete his three-year term as Special Assistant to the President at the end of this academic year.  I want to thank Jeff for the leadership and enthusiasm he brought to this role.  His work to deepen Lawrence’s sustainability efforts, to revitalize our 3-2 program relationships, and to establish a connection with the Center for Professional and Executive Development at University of Madison’s Business School, among other initiatives, has moved Lawrence forward in many important ways.  

I am pleased that Jason Brozek, the Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs and Associate Professor of Government will be the next Special Assistant to the President.  Jason will work with Provost Kodat and me on our strategic priority of Deepening the Academic Program.  In this regard, I have also asked Elizabeth De Stasio, Raymond J. Herzog Professor of Science and Professor of Biology, to join Jason in this effort in her role as Chair of the Pre-Health Advising Committee.  I want to thank both Jason and Beth for finding time for this important work. The University’s sustainability efforts will continue to be led by Kelsey McCormick, our Sustainability Coordinator, and the Sustainability Steering Committee which is comprised of student, faculty, and staff representatives.  Kelsey will report to Christyn for this and other responsibilities. 

After over 25 years of service, Nancy Truesdell will also retire from her role as Special Assistant to the President in June.  I want to thank Nancy for her “third career” at Lawrence serving as interim Registrar and leading a number of different initiatives over the past three years.  We have counted on her dedication to the University and to learning, time and time again in her multiple roles at Lawrence.  I am thankful that she will continue to serve the higher education community as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.  Her position as special assistant will not be replaced.  I know you will join me in wishing Nancy the best of luck.



Mark Burstein