Summer construction projects underway at Truax Campus

Madison College is continually investing in its facilities in order to better serve the college’s mission, vision and values. Projects range from small updates to existing spaces to large‐scale maintenance to new construction.

2018 projects include:

  • Project Name: D18014, Truax – Southwest Plaza Restoration
    Overview: This project includes removing the deteriorated brick privacy wall at the pool, replacing the adjacent site stair and handrail, new concrete sidewalks, new site lighting, regrading for drainage, new limestone retaining walls, new landscaping, waterproofing below grade at pool equipment room, sandblasting all exposed foundation and retaining walls, and new limestone wall and metal gates at childcare outdoor playground.
    Timeline: Construction has started and wll be complete in July.

  • Project Name: D18014, Truax – Childcare Outdoor Playground Wall Replacement
    Overview: This project includes removing the deteriorated metal gates and brick privacy wall around the outdoor childcare playground. The gates will be replaced with new galvanized metal, and the wall will be replaced with limestone to match the new café/meeting room addition.
    Timeline: Construction has started and will be complete before the start of the fall 2018 academic year.

  • Project Name: D19010, Truax – Animation, Rooms D2619, D2623, D2626 and D2628
    Overview: This remodel project will relocate the Animation programming from DTEC to Truax. Three computer labs and storage will be created in four existing general classrooms. This new space is adjacent to other art programs on the second floor and is 3,000 square feet.
    Timeline:Construction at Truax has started and will be complete prior to the fall 2018 academic year.

  • Project Name: D19007, Truax – Five Classrooms
    Overview: This remodel project will create five classrooms in the vacated third floor electron microscopy lab and adjacent accounting lab. These five classrooms will replace the rooms displaced by the Animation project on the second floor. The new rooms will be built as, two active learning, two computer labs, and one lecture room.
    Timeline: Construction at Truax has started and will be complete prior to the fall 2018 academic year.

  • Project Name: D19006, Truax – Business Tech Lab and DMB Accounting Lab, Rooms D3610 and D3613 
    Overview: This remodel project will remove a wall between the existing business tech space and adjacent underutilized computer lab. The larger footprint will allow the DMB accounting lab displaced by the classroom project to be combined with the business tech lab.
    Timeline: Construction at Truax has started and will be complete prior to the fall 2018 academic year.

  • Project Name: D19008, Truax – Music, Rooms A1017Q, A1017R and Corridor A19
     This remodel project scope includes a dedicated new drawing lab and existing art labs E2835, E2841, and E2842 A&B. Renovations are needed in order to effectively share space with the College Transfer Art and Graphic Design programs.
    Timeline: Construction at Truax has started and will be complete prior to the fall 2018 academic year.

  • Project Name: D19008: Truax – Music, Rooms A1017Q, A1017R and Corridor A19
    Overview: This remodel project will renovate two existing music labs to accommodate the music instruction from the DTEC campus. It includes, new sound wall separation around the perimeter of both rooms, moveable partitions and structure support to better separate the two labs acoustically, an improved ventilation and lighting system, and new acoustic ceiling system. New secure storage rooms will store instruments and sheet music from the current archive room at DTEC.
    Timeline: Construction at Truax has started and will be complete prior to the fall 2018 academic year.

Contact Fred Brechlin at FBrechlin@madisoncollege.edu with any questions regarding construction projects.

Published May 14, 2018. Updated May 23, 2018.

A memo from Mark Thomas

DATE: May 10, 2018
TO: All Employees
FROM: Mark Thomas, CFO/VP of Administrative Services
RE: Federal Tax Changes

With the tax changes for 2018, the IRS has put together a great resource for estimating what your taxes should be at the end of 2018 and to help you decide if you should update your W4. The links below contain both Frequently Asked Questions and a calculator that will walk you through estimating your taxes. As we have now completed the first quarter for 2018, it would be a good idea to review your withholding to ensure you are on track for the year.

Please note that the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) tax deferred retirement plan is at a rate of 6.7% for 2018. 

If you decide you want to update your W4, please see  https://facstaff.madisoncollege.edu/sites/facstaff/files/workday/workday-emp-payroll-manage-payroll-options-ja.pdf for guidance.

IRS Withholding Calculator Frequently Asked Questions

IRS Withholding Calculator

Please note that Payroll cannot offer any tax advice and if you should have additional questions, we recommend you contacting your tax advisor directly.

Thank you!

Published May 11, 2018.

College Assembly Elections

A note from Dr. Keith Cornille: 

As you are aware, we recently held Shared Governance elections to seat the eight Employee and two Regional Representatives onto the College Assembly. I thank everyone who was involved in this process – the nominators, the nominees, and those who voted in the elections. It was a robust election with many qualified, interested individuals willing to serve. I am also very grateful to all those who serve in Shared Governance for their continued dedication.

I’m pleased to announce the following individuals who will serve in the next term:

Shawna Marquardt: North Region
Paul Barribeau: East Region
Rhoda McKinney: PSRP
Lisa Hollman: PSRP
Mike Kent: PTF
Bob Curry: PTF
Laura Osinski: FTF
Carola Pfortner: FTF
Janice Mettauer: Admin
Sylvia Ramirez: Admin

Published May 9, 2018.

FPIC Workplace Survey results announced

The Facility Planning and Investment Council (FPIC) continues to work on the Facilities Master Plan, which is scheduled to be completed in late summer/early fall. Listening to many different voices and gathering the ideas and interests that are brought forward are critical to a robust plan. In addition to information-gathering sessions with various student and faculty/staff groups across the college, FPIC recently engaged employees using two different surveys. Thank you to everyone who participated. Below are some results and insights from those surveys.

A SurveyMonkey survey was launched in December to collect information about working environments, opinions about the importance of work location, the need for face-to-face meetings, issues about personal focus, and the importance of workspace functions. More than 400 college employees participated in this survey.

In January, a Convocation session presented information about trends in work and workspace, and used a Kahoot survey to collect participants’ thoughts on issues important to workplace collaboration, technology-enabled remote meetings, focus/concentration, “agile” work and the importance of staff or department co-location. Nearly 100 PSRP attended and/or took part in the survey. 

Results showed that most faculty and staff prefer a dedicated workspace rather than shared, hotel space. Almost half of the respondents thought some of their work could be done without being physically on campus and many believe that there will be more “mobile work” in the future. Many feel they would be effective using remote technologies to attend meetings, and some staff are willing to try new modes of work right now. 

Most felt that the workspaces aid in the ability to focus on tasks, although confidentiality is a concern for nearly a quarter of the respondents. In fact, two-thirds of the Convocation session participants reported that control of privacy is the most important issue to allow concentration. Perhaps related to confidentiality issues is staff’s mixed report on use of simple remote collaboration tools such as phone and computer, and nearly a quarter of respondents reported a lack of meeting rooms for four or more people. 

This input is very useful for the design work the college will undertake as part of future projects. FPIC thanks you for participating.

For questions or more information about the Facilities Master Plan, please email Facilities Planning & Investment Council.

Published May 7, 2018. Updated May 9, 2018.

Letter from Dr. Daniels regarding non-renewal concerns

TO: All Employees
FROM: Jack E. Daniels, III, Ph.D.
DATE: May 7, 2018
RE: Non-Renewals

There has been a great deal of discussion during these past two weeks regarding non-renewals. I believe that there is a need to “clear the air” and address concerns that have been identified.

  • Two faculty members were never “fired." In fact, both of them exercised their due process in a non-renewal hearing on May 4 before the Board of Trustees wherein the presentations were well-done and there were indications that the process needed to be strengthened and well-defined. The result of that hearing will be provided to each of them and their advocates.
  • Non-renewals are not solely based on one’s Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).
  • A PIP is a plan of action to help one improve his/her work performance. While an unsuccessful PIP could result in a disciplinary action, a PIP in itself is not a disciplinary action. 
  • Legally, just cause is not required for a termination within the Wisconsin Statutes. However, in the spirit of transparency and fairness we strive for here at Madison College, I believe for any action there must be clear rationale for that action.
  • The college has not entertained nor will it entertain any notion of finding “cheaper” ways to employ individuals. In fact, quite the opposite. We are constantly working to advance and invest in the talent of all of our employees.  We seek to ensure that we add resources to high demand areas to better serve our District. Removing any employee based solely on an employee’s compensation would be directly counter to our Values of Excellence and Respect. 
  • Similarly, the college has not and will not use personal differences between supervisors and employees as a basis for non-renewal.

I think it is important, however, to look at the process of non-renewals, defining PIP, and what is the overall philosophy in improvement.

PIPs are for developmental purposes. A PIP allows an individual to improve their performance with defined expectations, coaching, monitoring and reporting. The college has had several individuals successfully complete the PIP process and they are now moving forward with their Madison College careers.

I do believe it is important, however, (and I hope you agree), that if expectations aren’t met, then further appropriate disciplinary actions need to be taken. I reiterate, such actions happen after the steps of the processes have been followed and documentation provided that deficiencies have not been corrected. Non-renewals should be rare – and hopefully, non-existent. In fact, during my tenure (now in my fifth year) I can only recall the College once moving forward with a non-renewal; this is a testament to our excellent faculty and staff who support our students and serve our community. 

I also believe there is a need to clarify definitions, processes and outcomes. The college will do its due diligence in reviewing the use of PIPs and best practices in its use. Inclusive of this review will be the statutory requirements of non-renewals and how our practice will provide for timely review, due process and appropriate Board action. Based on the review, there will be training for managers and HR personnel. 

As we build a culture of excellence, we owe it to each other to maintain high standards and professionalism. The bigger issue is how we, as members of the Madison College community, do that moving forward. We do not need to be adversarial and think that every disagreement or situation is a win/lose proposition.  It doesn’t serve the college, its students or the community well. We need to be partners in moving the entire college forward – on all levels. To this end, I am requesting that there be a meeting between the leaders of our full-time faculty and senior members of my administration, including myself. The purpose of this meeting is to begin to identify issues of common ground for us to jointly address and in the appropriate venue, provide information relating to the process of reviewing non-renewal, and establish strategies for clear and accurate communication. I anticipate this meeting will happen this week. 

This has been a very successful year and we have a lot to accomplish in the years to come. I am certain we all want to proceed in partnership to better serve students, our community, and ourselves, and I believe this is a pivotal moment in our college’s history that we will one day look back upon and say “we did.”

Published May 7, 2018.

Access to PeopleSoft and Blackboard suspended May 18-21


Access to PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (PeopleSoft) and Blackboard will be temporarily suspended for all faculty, staff and student users as both systems are upgraded May 18-21.

  • Both PeopleSoft and Blackboard will be offline beginning at 11:30 p.m., Thursday, May 17
  • PeopleSoft is anticipated to have user access restored by Monday morning, May 21
  • Blackboard is anticipated to have user access restored by Tuesday, May 22


How will the outage impact me?

Staff and Faculty

  • Employees using PeopleSoft, Faculty Center, HighPoint (myMadisonCollege), and Blackboard will not have access to these systems to serve students during the outage
  • Employees should remind students they will not have access to their myMadisonCollege and Blackboard accounts during the outage



  • Final grades from the spring semester should be submitted by 11:30pm, Thursday, May 17
  • Classes in-session from May 18-21 should plan for Blackboard to be inaccessible to them and their students during the outage. Be sure to make alternate plans during this time


A communication plan is in deployment for students; however, you can help us spread the word by referring students to this Student News article.

Coming Up

The login experience for PeopleSoft will be changing for faculty and staff with the upgrade. Look for more updates next week including previews of the new PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 environment.

For questions regarding the PeopleSoft outage or upgrade, email peoplesoftupgrade@madisoncollege.edu.

For questions regarding the Blackboard outage or upgrade, email TSDLBlackboard@madisoncollege.edu.

If you are experiencing difficulties currently with either of these systems, please contact the Help Desk or (608) 246-6666.

We appreciate your support and understanding during these system upgrades.




Published May 4, 2018.

Cornille announces changes in Student Development and Retention Services

DATE:             April 30, 2018
TO:                 All Student Development and Success Staff
FROM:            Keith Cornille, Executive Vice President/CSSO
RE:                 Student Development and Retention Services Alignments

 As the spring semester is coming to an end, I want to take a moment and thank you for the important work you all do to support our students as they strive to achieve their educational and career goals at Madison College. I would like to also share with you some structural changes in Student Development and Retention Services (SDRS) related programs, services and work assignments that will take effect between now and July 1, 2018. 

To continue to increase efficiencies and to improve upon the Madison College Student experience, SDRS is aligning some of its service activities and programming. We believe this alignment will enable SDRS to provide enhanced proactive, personalized and holistic programming -- services to meet the individual needs of Madison College students from enrollment to completion-transfer. These changes are based on student and staff feedback, as well as student affairs best practices, and will position SDRS to more effectively support the performance indicators and benchmarks outlined in college-wide initiatives.

The most notable changes area:

1.    Associate Vice President for Student Development and Success | Dean of Students.

a.     As the Dean of Students at Madison College, Dr. Geraldo VilaCruz oversees a number of key areas within Student Development and Success. With the added responsibilities he has received over the last few years, I am pleased to announce his promotion to Associate Vice Present for Student Development and Success | Dean of Students.

2.    Integrated Advising Services (Academic, Retention, Career, Transfer…)

a.     Academic and retention advisors will be integrated within one advising unit and advising workloads would include, academic, retention, and career advising functions.  The integration of core advising functions within one position and under one unit will streamline and enhance the provision of advising services and improve upon the student experience.  Students will be able to meet with the same advisor for educational planning, FA-SAP educational planning, career exploration planning, and transfer planning. 

b.     Creating a unified advising structure overseen centrally fosters consistent personalized advising experience.

c.     Advising and Transfer Services Manager Transition: Audra Cooke will be transferring from her current role as advising and transfer services manager to a new role as an Admissions Navigator effective April 30, 2018.  I want to thank Audra for her work over the last few years.  In her new role, Audra will continue to report to Geraldo and will coordinate the development and implementation of a college-wide applicant outreach plan in collaboration with Admissions, Recruitment, FYE Coordination committee, School offices and other college stakeholders

d.     New Advising and Transfer Services Manager Job Search: The College will be posting this vacant position internally and externally at the same time.  The target hiring date is set for mid-July, 2018. This position will report to Gretchen Rixie. With the added job responsibilities, Gretchen Rixie has been promoted to Director effective May 2, 2018. 

e.     Regional DRS/Advising staff will report to Scott Ritter effective May 2, 2018. 

3.    Special Populations (Retention Strategic Planning, TRIO-SSS, Veterans Resource Services, Tops College Success)

a.     Carlotta Calmese will not be returning to her role at Madison College. We thank Carlotta for her contribution to the College over the last 10 years.

b.     Scholars of Color Mentoring, TOPS College Success, and Veterans Resource Services will transition and report to Janine Wilson, with new title of Director, effective July 1, 2018.  Janine will also provide backup administrator support to the Counseling and College Success department.

4.    Dean of Students Office & Student Development Retention Services

a.     Associate Dean Lisa Delany will gain more responsibility for the oversight of student affairs related compliance (e.g. Title IX, discrimination/harassment) and systems and processes improvements to ensure the college is meeting its legal obligations.  Lastly I want to thank Lisa for her excellent work in building and growing our veterans support resources over the past few years. 

Over the next few months, the SDRS administrative team will be working with staff preparing for these changes.  We are excited to leverage the knowledge, experience, input and leadership of staff during this transition. 


Keith Cornille, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President/Chief Student Services Officer (CSSO)
Madison Area Technical College
Madison, WI
(608) 246-6464

Published May 1, 2018. Updated May 2, 2018.

Dr. Daniels offers open office hours

Correction: The date in the Friday, April 27 Matters newsletter is incorrect.

President Daniels has announced open office hours for Tuesday, May 1, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. 

This is an opportunity for faculty and staff to discuss matters of concern, share success stories or propose new ideas.

Published April 24, 2018. Updated April 30, 2018.

April 11 College Assembly Recap

The College Assembly met Wednesday, April 11.

News and updates

Assembly Co-chair Keith Cornille officially announced his upcoming departure from Madison College. Cornille accepted a position to serve as college president at Heartland Community College in Illinois.

Student Senate President Tina Marshalek shared that new senators-elect will take over in May. The Senate will continue working on their student hunger initiatives.

Diversity and Community Relations Council addresses achievement gaps

The Diversity and Community Relations Council gave a first-read of their policy recommendation: Madison College will implement data monitoring systems to assess equity of student performance and establish intervention strategies to address areas of inequity in student success.

The policy will focus on the need to address achievement gaps between minority and non-minority students.

Textbook affordability

The Student Affairs Council presented their Textbook Affordability Policy.

Nationally, college students spend about $900 per year on books. Book and materials costs are rising faster than the rate of inflation.

A book charge option allows students to use up to $800 of financial aid funding to cover their books. However, most students are not aware of this option.

President Daniels signed a textbook rental policy in 2017 but challenges still exist and include: minimal participation from departments resulting in fewer books available for rental, purchasing books from Amazon is easier, and a low return rate on rented textbooks.

The council proposed a large-scale textbook rental program that would involve a segregated student fee for textbook rental. This means the rental fee would be added to existing student tuition and fees (degree-credit students only) and would require a referendum vote by the student body, ideally in Nov. 2018.

If the student body votes yes, the policy would be presented to the Madison College District Board as part of the annual budget approval. The estimated fee is $7 per credit hour per student.

If the policy is adopted, the proposed rental program would entail:

  • Requiring textbooks and materials to be used for three-year periods (understanding that exceptions may be necessary)
  • Limited use of materials and items that cannot be used more than once
  • Consistency of textbooks across class sections
  • Creation of a textbook rental/affordability committee
  • Integration of textbook costs into a financial aid and tuition/fees structure
  • Additional space for textbook storage

Members of the Student Affairs Council were planning to present the policy and plan to the Cabinet April 23.

Shared Governance elections

Elections for council and Assembly seats are around the corner. Council and Assembly member applications take place through May 4. Assembly nominations will take place between April 18 and April 24, with the election taking place between April 25 and May 2. New Assembly members will be announced on May 7. Councils will seed and select new members over May 8 and 9.

New College Assembly and council terms will begin May 14, 2018.

Published April 23, 2018. Updated April 24, 2018.

Karyn German featured in 'Focus on Focus' video

At the January Convocation, you heard stories from students about their learning and engagement experiences with our faculty. 

We wanted to share some additional perspectives in the form of short videos. In this week's video, nursing instructor Karyn German talks about her experience at Madison College.

Focus on Focus is about faculty engaging students in the classroom with evidence-based practices for course success that have been identified by Madison College faculty and staff.

Focus on Focus - Karyn German

Published April 23, 2018. Updated May 11, 2018.