Opening Week Events

Opening Week Events

As we look forward to beginning the new semester, I hope that you are able to participate in many of the events listed below. 

Maria Gallo



Fall 2023 Opening Weeks Events


Monday, Aug. 21

8 - 11 a.m.

New Falcon Orientation with Human Resources
(Participants invited via email,

Location: UC Falcon's Nest

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

New Instructor Orientation
(Participants invited via email,

Location: 118 Wyman Education Building


Tuesday, Aug. 22

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

New Instructor Orientation
(Participants invited via email,

Location: 118 Wyman Education Building

Wednesday, Aug. 23

8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Department/committee meeting time as needed

1 - 3 p.m.

Hypothesis: Activating Engagement with Social Annotation 

Come and learn new ways to engage students with your course readings and texts using social annotation. You can further online discussions or prepare students for in-class activities with the Hypothesis tool. This hands-on workshop, led by Rachelle Haroldson, will give you experience using Hypothesis followed by a panel of faculty currently integrating social annotation in their classes. Participants should bring a laptop. 

Location: St. Croix Room, 321 University Center


Thursday, Aug. 24

9:30 a.m. - noon

Hope in a Time of Monsters: Revitalizing Teaching and Learning with Compassionate Challenge, Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Teaching is a vocation. When supported with resources and security, it is a constantly renewing source of excitement and richness. The last several years of disruption, uncertainty, and overburdened workloads have exhausted teachers and students alike. Monsters have reared their heads, and we have understandably shrunk from them. Faculty are burnt out—sacrificing their own mental health, phoning it in out of desperation, or leaving the profession entirely. Students are experiencing an epidemic of mental health problems, especially of anxiety. To support their mental health and reinvigorate their learning, students need both compassion and care on the one hand, and assistance developing competence and self-efficacy on the other. Faculty need relief from overburdened workloads, but also to reignite their love of teaching. How can we support our students without burning ourselves out? How can we revive all of our sparks? In this interactive keynote, psychologist and educational developer Sarah Rose Cavanagh will present some research, food for thought, and practical applications based on her book on how higher education should respond to both faculty depletion and the student mental health crisis.

CETL will be giving away free copies of Sarah’s book and hosting a discussion of the book all year.

This event will be shared with faculty and staff from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout.

Coffee and tea will be provided by 9:30 a.m., presentation to start at 10 a.m.

RSVP here to request a book and/or attend the event by Tuesday, August 22. 

Location: Riverview Ballroom, University Center

Sarah Rose Cavanagh Screenshot







1 - 2:15 p.m.

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Workshop

Want to understand more about your students and ways to support them? Learn about trauma-informed pedagogy, specifically the practices and approaches you can use in the classroom to create environments of trust and predictability with students. Led by Stacy Furness and Rachelle Haroldson.

Location: Riverview Ballroom, University Center

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Creating Accessible and Inclusive Classroom Spaces through Collaborative Partnerships

Led by Alicia Reinke-Tuthill and Courtney Wells

The Disability Advisory Committee welcomes instructors to learn more about the newly developed student led Event Accessibility Checklist that outlines how to make events, classrooms, and spaces more accessible for UWRF's disability community. This will be followed by a facilitated student panel to hear directly from disabled students on their perspectives and experiences in the classroom. There will be opportunities for questions and discussions on how we can collaborate with students, the DRC, and other faculty to continue creating more inclusive and accessible clasrooms.   

Location: Riverview Ballroom, University Center


Friday, Aug. 25

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Development and Support for Department Chairs

All department chairs will be invited via email to participate in this daylong series of discussions and presentations. Topics will include handling conflict and power issues, dealing effectively with student challenges, and budgeting.

Coffee, tea, and lunch will be provided.

Location: 4 University Center, Falls Room

10 - 11 a.m.

Sustainability at UWRF

Did you know sustainability is one of UWRF’s core values? This session, presented by Mark Klapatch-Mathias, will provide an overview of current and upcoming sustainability efforts on campus as well as how you can support those efforts.

Location: 321 University Center, St. Croix Room

11 a.m. - noon

Sustainability Campus Tour

Join staff from the Sustainability Office on a walk around campus highlighting some of the ways UWRF is sustainable. Please wear comfortable shoes as the tour may go on grass trails if the ground is dry.

Location: St. Croix Room, 321 University Center



Monday, Aug. 28

8 - 9:30 a.m.

Awards and Recognition Breakfast (Invitation only)

9 - 10 a.m.

Employee Resource Fair

Prior to the University Opening Meeting, all employees are invited to attend the Employee Resource Fair in the University Center. More than 20 representatives from various campus departments and organizations as well as community organizations will be hosting tables. The hosts are looking forward to meeting you and talking with you about the services and resources they offer employees. There may even be a chance to take home a swag item or two! 

Location: University Center Bridge and Riverview Ballroom

10 - 11:30 a.m.

University Opening Meeting

Celebrate the start of fall semester by attending the annual all-campus Opening Meeting. In addition to university updates provided by Chancellor Gallo and academic updates provided by Provost Travis, the meeting will include honoring our years of service recipients, UW System and faculty awards. The meeting will not be livestreamed. It will be recorded instead and shared at a later date. Employees who attend in person will be provided with new swag items as well as a free lunch ticket to attend the employee appreciation picnic directly following Opening Meeting.

Location: Riverview Ballroom, University Center

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Employee Appreciation Picnic 

Employees who attend Opening Meeting will receive a lunch ticket. Please proceed to Pete's Creek (lower-level University Center) where the picnic buffet will be set up. Lunch includes: burgers, hot dogs, black bean burgers w/basic toppings; chips, pasta salad, cookies, brownies, lemonade, and infused water. Indoor and outdoor seating available. 

Location: Pete's Creek, University Center

1 - 2:30 p.m.

College of Arts and Sciences Opening Meeting

Location: Davis Theatre, KFA

1:30 - 3 p.m.

College of Education, Business, and Allied Health Opening Meeting

Location: 222 North Hall Auditorium

1 - 2 p.m.

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Opening Meeting

Location: 114 Agricultural Science Hall

3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

College of Arts and Sciences Opening Reception

The College of Arts and Sciences invites all faculty, staff, IAS, emeriti, and families to a welcome back potluck in celebration of the college community and upcoming academic year. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Glen Park Pavilion. Catering will be available at 4:30 p.m. Please bring a dish to pass (6-10 people). A water fountain is available and you are welcome to bring your own beverages. Donations to the college are welcome to support this and future events. All questions can be directed to Rachael Buckallew at

Tuesday, Aug. 29

10:30 a.m. - noon

IT Strategic Planning Stakeholder Session for Faculty/Department Chairs/Teaching Academic Staff

DoTS is in the process of developing a 3 to 5 year strategic IT plan for UWRF. We would like faculty input as part of the process. We are working with Rusk Prairie Consulting to hold several stakeholder sessions over the next six months. During this session, our consultant and DoTS directors will ask several questions to better understand the technology needs/wants at UWRF and how we can plan to meet them. Please take a few minutes to review the UWRF Strategic Plan ahead of the session as the IT Strategic Plan, once developed, will need to support it as a cornerstone of our work. DoTS and the IT Strategic Planning Advisory Group look forward to working with you all during this session.

Location: 103 Chalmer Davee Library

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Wellness Opportunities at UWRF

Did you know that multiple departments on campus provide wellness events? Come to this session to learn more about the wellness opportunities available for employees. The session will start with each department sharing what they offer and will end with a wellness in practice activity! Light snacks will be provided from the Whole Earth Market Co-op.

Location: KFA Outdoor Classroom (rain site: 141 KFA)

1 - 4 p.m.

College/department/committee meeting time as needed

Wednesday, Aug. 30

8:30 - 9 a.m.

Partnering with Career Services

Career Services desires to partner with faculty, staff, academic departments, and offices on-campus to provide the highest quality services to UWRF students. During this virtual (and recorded) session, hosted by Melissa Wilson, Director of Career Services, you will find information on how to partner with Career Services, events hosted this fall, learn how to request classroom or general presentations, and where to locate resources to better assist students. 

If you were unable to attend this session you can access the presentation here

10 a.m. - noon

ChatGPT: Digital Literacy in the AI Age

CETL, DoTS, Chalmer Davee Library, and the Dean of Students Office come together to present this session. Discussing ChatGPT and its counterparts, we will offer ideas and suggestions for syllabus language, scenarios around student conduct, how to get familiar with the tool, limitations and bias with the tool, ways to use in the tool in your classroom, and resources.

Refreshments provided.

Location: 4 University Center, Falls Room

1 - 2 p.m.

UNIV 101: What to Know if You Want to Teach this Important New Course
Arriety Lowell, First Year Seminar Coordinator

If you're thinking about applying to teach a UNIV101 course, this session is for you! Learn more about the design of the course, course objectives, and responsibilities of the instructor. The session will also include a discussion of what content proposals are likely to fit well with the course.

Location: 4 University Center, Falls Room

Thursday, Aug. 31

10 - 11 a.m.

Advising Our Students: Support and Advice from the Faculty Senate Advising Committee

Members of the Faculty Senate Advising Committee will share ideas to provide high quality advising for our students. Members of the committee include faculty, professional advisers, and members of the Orientation and Admissions Team. Questions and discussion will be encouraged.

Location: 4 University Center, Falls Room

1 - 2:30 p.m.

Handling Student Challenges Effectively: An Overview of Resources and Support from the Dean of Students Office

Please join several Care Team members as they share updates and resources related to the numerous support mechanisms offered to UWRF students through the Dean of Students Office (Student Conduct, Care Team, Conflict Resolution, Emergency Fund, Freddy's Pantry, Title IX, Counseling, and Reporting Options). 

Location: Falls Room, 4 University Center

Friday, Sept. 1


New Student Registration and Advising