Friday, November 14, 2014

Proposed changes in College of Arts and Sciences

Following are proposed changes in the College of Arts and Sciences. If you have questions or concerns, contact Dr. Louisa Rice at or 715-836-5276 within 15 days of this notice, posted Nov. 14, 2014.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fidelity consultant to be on campus Dec. 5

Fidelty consultant Paul Knigge will be available to share information with UW-Eau Claire staff members from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Oneida Room (320D) of Davies Center. Those interested are asked to bring relevant account statements or other documentation to help with specific questions. For more information or to make an individual appointment, call 800-642-7131 or visit More information.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Blugold women's basketball to honor faculty, staff during Nov. 18 game

The Blugold women's basketball team will honor UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff during its Nov. 18 game against St. Mary's University. During the game, which starts at 8 p.m. in Zorn Arena, faculty and staff will be recognized and have a chance to win prizes. Each player also is personally inviting a faculty or staff member, who will receive a T-shirt and be introduced on the court at halftime.
For more information, contact Clare Hohman, UW-Eau Claire athletics, at or 715-836-3062.

Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program to offer individual appointments Nov. 17

UW-Eau Claire staff members are invited to sign up for individual appointments to learn about the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program. WDC representative Ben Genz will be available to meet with staff members from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Potawatomi Room (320C) of Davies Center. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Genz at or 877-457-9327.

Monday, November 10, 2014

UW System offers guidance on holiday displays

The UW System Office of General Counsel offers the following guidance on holiday displays on campus:

Display of Christmas Trees and Religious Holiday Symbols on Campus
As the holiday season approaches, questions naturally arise concerning the permissibility of displaying Christmas trees and other holiday decorations on campus.  The concern is that certain types of holiday and religious displays may violate constitutional restrictions respecting the separation of church and state.

This guidance is intended to clarify what types of holiday displays are permissible on university property, including in employee offices and cubicles. If further clarification is needed, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the General Counsel or your campus legal offices.

Christmas Trees
The display of Christmas trees on campus is generally permissible. Courts have recognized that Christmas trees have become simply a secular symbol associated with the winter holiday season.  All holiday displays must also be consistent with applicable fire and safety codes. For more information about what those codes require, contact your institution's safety or risk management office.  A list of safety and risk management contacts are available at:

Nativity Scenes and Menorahs
The display of nativity scenes and menorahs has generally been upheld by courts against legal challenges if they appear as part of a larger display devoted to the celebration of pluralism and freedom, or are used to promote tolerance and respect for diverse customs. However, any holiday display with an overtly religious symbol (such as a nativity scene or a menorah) should include at least one other religious symbol from a different religious tradition. The legal validity of these displays is premised on the notion that they do not represent an endorsement of any particular religion or religion in general.

The university is not required, however, to display any particular symbol of a religious nature requested by students, staff or the public. For example, a public school's holiday display which included a menorah, crescent and star, Christmas trees and other holiday symbols was permissible, even though it did not include a nativity scene as requested by parents and religious leaders.

Messages Accompanying Displays
Any message that might accompany a holiday display should be secular. Courts have upheld messages that celebrate pluralism and liberty, and do not promote the observance of any religion.

Religious Symbols and Décor in Employee Offices and Cubicles
Displays of religious décor and symbols inside employees' offices and cubicles are generally permissible. In fact, prohibiting the display of religious decorations and symbols may be deemed an infringement on an employee's constitutional rights of free exercise of religion and free speech.  Under certain circumstances, however, restrictions on religious displays may be appropriate such as in the office of a high-ranking university official where the display may be interpreted as an endorsement by the university of a particular religion or religions.

Public Forums on Campus
If the campus has a public forum designated for free speech purposes available throughout the year, the university cannot restrict its use during the holiday season to prevent the display of holiday symbols or messages. Such actions have been deemed impermissible content-based restrictions on speech. However, university policies that reasonably limit use of public areas in time, place and manner still apply, including quiet hours during study and exam periods.

TIAA-CREF to offer investment counseling Nov. 12-13

TIAA-CREF graphicTIAA-CREF consultant Jim Soholt will be available to discuss financial matters with UW-Eau Claire employees Nov. 12 and 13 on campus. Register online or call 1-800-732-8353 to schedule an appointment.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inclement weather policy

With the impending arrival of winter weather, it's time to review UW-Eau Claire's practices in the event severe weather strikes.

Should a decision be made to cancel classes, close the university to the public or completely close the university, official information will be transmitted via UW-Eau Claire's emergency notification system, which includes announcements on the university homepage, Facebook page and Twitter feed, among other notifications.

Inclement weather policy details:
In accordance with Ch. 36, Wisconsin Statutes, and delegated authority from the Board of Regents and UW System president, a chancellor has the authority to cancel classes, close an institution to the public, or completely close an institution to the public and employees.

In general, when inclement weather threatens operations at UW-Eau Claire, the university will remain open to the extent possible. If necessary, the chancellor may close the university to the public or cancel classes, but state employees will be expected to report to work.

Employees who accrue vacation, compensatory time or personal holidays may use the accrued leave if they are unable to make it to work, or if they are excused from work because emergency weather conditions make it unsafe remain at work. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees also may make up lost time within the same week of the weather emergency.

If a severe weather situation occurs, local media will be made aware of any cancellations/closings, but their announcements are advisory only.