MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross announced today that the UW System’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has formed a Plan Ahead Team to review best practices and identify criteria for a return to in-person instruction for fall 2020.

“We fully expect to remain open in the fall,” said Cross. “How we deliver education for students depends on a number of factors.”

Officials from across the UW System have already begun scenario planning on everything from academic instruction to residence hall and dining service operations to athletics to academic counseling. The UW System EOC will coordinate recommendations on fall 2020 university operations, keeping student and employee health and safety along with student academic progress at the forefront. It will identify best practices and other criteria for UW System leadership by reviewing guidelines and decisions made by the state of Wisconsin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health professionals, and other universities and university systems throughout the nation.

In addition to representatives from UW System universities, the Plan Ahead Team will rely on medical experts to identify criteria as the UW System plans for fall semester.

“We are thinking through the many factors that will help us determine how we deliver essential academic instruction this fall and what services, activities, and experiences we can offer,” said Cross. “This team will help us know all of our choices in the months ahead so our decision this summer best protects our students and ensures we are delivering a quality education.”

UW System universities first took aggressive steps in March to combat the pandemic by asking students to move out of residence halls and shifting in-person classes to alternative delivery, including online. UW System and university officials continue to monitor the spread of the pandemic, review public health guidance, and practice social distancing while providing needed education to students.

Members of the Plan Ahead Team include:

  • Bill Curtis, Team Facilitator, Emergency Management Director, UW-Madison
  • Jonathan Patz, Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute, UW-Madison
  • Valerie Peterson, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison
  • Jonathan Temte, Associate Dean for Public Health and Community Engagement, School of Medicine and Public Health, UW-Madison
  • Brian S. Yandell, Interim Director, American Family Insurance Data Science Institute, UW-Madison
  • Amanda M. Simanek, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, UW-Milwaukee
  • Pam Miller, Clinical Operations Manager, University Health Services, UW-Madison
  • Jake Baggott, Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of University Health Services, UW-Madison
  • Michael Lackey, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, UW-Madison
  • Josh Larson, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, UW-Madison
  • Tim Slater, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, UW-Madison
  • Ed Lawson, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, UW-Madison
  • Corinna Neeb, Emergency Management Specialist, UW-Stevens Point
  • Joseph Hallman, Chief of Police, UW-Platteville
  • Joseph LeMire, Chief of Police, UW-Milwaukee
  • Kari Sasso, Assistant Chief of Administration and Support, UW-Madison
  • Laura Pedrick, Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of UWM Online, UW-Milwaukee
  • Jennifer Gruenewald, Director, International Student & Scholar Services, UW-Milwaukee
  • Abby Meddaugh, Associate Dean of Students, UW-Milwaukee
  • Kari Dawson, Associate Director for Business Administration, University Housing, UW-Milwaukee
  • Brian Faust, Director of Residential Living, UW-Stevens Point
  • Lori Voss, Director of Purchasing Services, UW-Madison
  • Lori Welch, Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator, UW Oshkosh
  • Peter Davis, Director of Facilities Management, UW-Platteville
  • Todd Shechter, Chief Technology Officer, UW-Madison
  • Dan Schumacher, Director of Athletics, UW-Eau Claire
  • David Miller, Director of Human Resources, UW-Eau Claire
  • Timothy Boehnen, Director of Risk Management, UW-Eau Claire
  • Gary Bennett, Chief of Staff, UW System
  • Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director, State Relations, UW System
  • Amy Spohn, Occupational Safety Manager, UW System


The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419