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Category: Business/Technology

Kathleen Gallagher: Why do schools like MIT excel in launching startups, while UWM and other area schools do so little?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

UWM’s Sandra McLellan and MIT’s Eric Alm are among the world’s foremost experts at detecting very small organisms in very large quantities of sewage — a useful tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite their similar research capabilities, Alm’s work is having a wider impact and creating more economic value and high-paying jobs.

Factory shutdowns highlighted need for smaller, local meat processors

Wisconsin State Journal

The FFI was founded in 2013 and is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. The organization focuses on building and funding profitable businesses in the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector through training, coaching, resources, tools and mentoring programs.

There’s a new agreement between Foxconn and Wisconsin. Here are some important unanswered questions.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Foxconn has worked to try to create goodwill with other parts of the state by signing agreements with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and local governments in Racine, Eau Claire and Green Bay to establish “innovation centers.”

The company has signed a $100 million agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology within the College of Engineering.

Pandemic Helps Stir Interest in Teaching Financial Literacy

The New York Times

Noted: An increasing number of studies support the effectiveness of financial literacy education when taught by well-trained teachers, said Nan J. Morrison, chief executive of the Council for Economic Education. And more teachers now say they feel confident teaching the material. A study released in March by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Montana State University found significant increases in teacher participation in professional development.

Will economic growth always rely on population growth?


Quoted: Basically, capital and investment are the main ingredients in economic growth, said Charles Engel, a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But capital and investment can only take you so far. Simeon Alder, a visiting assistant professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said exponential economic growth requires exponential new ideas, as new ideas are the fundamental engine of growth. (Think about the economic growth and improvement in standards of living that occurred during and since the Industrial Revolution.)

“The challenge with that is the more ideas you already have, the more new ideas you need to create in order to sustain that growth rate,” he said. “To get these extra ideas, you just need more and more people as sort of a general result.”

‘Buy Black’ Gift Box Initiatives Tackle Pandemic, Economic Equity


Quoted: Buying products with racial equity in mind can make some people feel absolved from doing harder anti-racism work, like attending protests or advocating in their workplaces, says Aziza Jones, an incoming business professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But Jones says other people respond differently. “Other people will see what they’ve done, this purchase of a product from a Black-owned business and take that as a signal to themselves, as a symbolic signal, of how important this cause is to them,” she says.

Kimberly-Clark Hiking Prices On Toilet Paper, Diapers


Quoted: Moses Altsech, an expert in consumer behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business, said if the price increases are small enough, some consumers might not even notice.

Altsech added that the company might also not have to worry about their customers buying different products because Kimberly-Clark’s competitors might take the opportunity to increase their prices, too.

“If commodity prices are the reason, the same reason that hurt Kimberly-Clark hurt its competitors, too,” Altsech said. “So everybody’s motivated to increase.”

Queer, BIPOC Farmers are Working for a More Inclusive and Just Farming Culture

Civil Eats

Quoted: The lack of data on queer BIPOC farmers is also prevalent in academia, said Jaclyn Wypler, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies queer and transgender sustainable farmers in conservative rural communities. Wypler was recently hired as the Northeast project manager of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network at the National Young Farmers Coalition.

“There is discrimination for BIPOC folks and queer folks within academia, including within the environmental and rural and agricultural departments,” Wypler said. As a result, research studies that highlight their experiences are difficult to adequately fund.

Wisconsin Dairy Marketing Group Nationally Recognized For ‘Cheeselandia’ Social Media Campaign

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Sarah Botham teaches agriculture and life sciences marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She said the Cheeselandia campaign is a successful example of the way that agriculture is trying to “market smarter” and with a new customer in mind.

“They are reaching, first of all, people who are really interested in Wisconsin cheese and secondly people who are of a younger demographic,” Botham said. “That generation is interested in not just eating but in understanding where their food comes from, in experiencing the food and sharing it with friends.”

The Way Bosses Conduct And Communicate Layoffs Is Inhumane. There’s Another Way.

HuffPost Life

After layoffs, morale tanks and turnover increases. As Charlie Trevor, a professor of management and human resources at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, previously told HuffPost, how layoffs are handled can tell “a survivor a great deal about the company’s priorities and about the type of treatment one might expect moving forward.”

At Pyran, Kevin Barnett is out to replace petroleum with plants

The Capital Times

Today, Barnett runs Pyran, a 3-year-old startup providing plant-based materials to replace fossil fuels in plastics and paints. He subleases a lab space at University Research Park and runs a team of “young, scrappy chemical engineers … surrounded by some really good advisors,” including George Huber, the professor he once worked for, who co-founded the company.

Zoombombing an unwanted ‘education’ for Platteville

Telegraph Herald

Quoted: Whether a registration requirement complies with open-meetings statute has not been tested in the Wisconsin court system, said attorney Philip Freeburg, with UW-Madison Division of Extension’s Local Government Center.

“The main thing about open meetings is to provide open access,” he said. “If you’re putting up barriers to that, I think you may be at some risk.”

Biden hikes cost of carbon, easing path for new climate rules


Noted: The number could rise as climate science advances, said Paul Kelleher, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in climate change economics. Advances in translating temperature increases to economic damage have enabled more precise measurements of climate impacts. And the Biden administration has emphasized equity considerations to take into account low-income areas and communities of color, which new modeling makes more possible.

Three Rust Belt Governors Seek More Taxes, Less School Choice


Quoted: “At a time when we want to encourage saving and investment in the state, the Evers budget would sharply raise the cost of capital by increasing capital gains taxes,” Noah Williams, Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, told the Institute for Reforming Government (IRG), a Wisconsin-based think tank that recently published an analysis of Evers’ budget. “I also think it’s unlikely that the capital gains tax would raise the projected amount of revenue, as past episodes of capital gains increases have found that people either realize the gains before the tax takes hold or delay realization.”

A year after deadly shooting, Molson Coors has set a course for more inclusive culture — but cultivating real change will take time

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Repeated, daily acts of racism at work — like those some employees described last year — can wear people down, said Jerlando Jackson, director and chief research scientist at Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In workplaces where employees of color see that harassment is not handled well by supervisors, they might not speak up about their experiences, Jackson said.

The issue is two-fold, he said: most workers face both organizational and internal barriers to success. So even if companies work to address some of the structural hurdles, employees might be struggling silently if they aren’t given a chance to be heard.

Each person carries their burden differently. Many people in hostile work environments eventually quit or are fired, he said.

“Usually there’s no good end to it, for those people,” Jackson said. “Individuals leave opportunities they spent their whole lives trying to get.”

Direction of milk prices for the remainder of year still uncertain

Wisconsin State Farmer

Growing cow numbers and increased milk production have dairy experts walking on a knives edge when predicting the trajectory of milk prices for the coming year.

Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Center for Dairy Profitability and Bob Cropp, emeritus professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, delved into the factors impacting milk prices for 2021 during the February “Dairy Situation and Outlook” podcast this week.

Experts Say Cold Is Unlikely To Cause Power Crisis In Wisconsin, But There Are Still Lessons From Texas

Wisconsin Public Radio

Noted: Demand for electricity goes up when temperatures drop, said Dr. Line Roald, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The surprising part of what happened in Texas was that so many generators — from nuclear and natural gas plants to wind turbines — stopped producing energy due to the freezing temperatures, she said.

Economist Says Wisconsin Should Increase Minimum Wage To At Least $10

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: The rate has stayed consistent in the state with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Workers earning minimum wage who work 2,000 hours a year — 40 hours for 50 weeks — make about $14,500 before taxes and work expenses.

“That’s just about enough to keep one single person out of poverty,” said economist Tim Smeeding, a professor of public affairs and economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

What’s the Best Business School? For This Year’s M.B.A. Rankings, It’s Not Who You Think.

The Wall Street Journal

Noted: The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s business school jumped 27 spots this year to No. 19 in the Economist’s ranking, which could put the program on the radar of prospective students, said Assistant Dean Blair Sanford.

“To be top 20 in a respected ranking, that has some extra clout for us,” she said.

Report: UW-Madison listed among top drivers of state economy


A new report shows output from UW-Madison is to thank for about 9% of Wisconsin’s $345 billion economy.NorthStar Analytics found UW-Madison is responsible for more than 230,000 public and private sector jobs. That’s the equivalent of one in 13 jobs in the state and puts the university on par with major Wisconsin industries like dairy, food processing and tourism.

‘Check your credit report’ campaign

La Crosse Tribune

Quoted: “Sometimes incorrect information is a simple data entry error, and other times, it could be a sign of fraud,” says Peggy Olive, University of Wisconsin-Madison financial capability specialist. “It is up to each individual to look over his or her own credit report for old information that should be removed, common mistakes or signs of identity theft. Better to discover an error yourself than to have a creditor find it first.”

UW student creates bot to track Nick’s capacity

Daily Cardinal

The Nicholas Recreation Center is home to 30,000 square feet of fitness space, eight courts, five studios and an Olympic size pool. But while the facility continues to operate at 25% capacity due to COVID-19, these spaces can fill up fast, resulting in long lines and even longer wait times. Ethan Lim, a junior majoring in computer engineering and computer science, set to work to create a practical solution to this impractical situation.

Paul Jadin: UW, broadband, inclusion are key to Madison region’s success

Wisconsin State Journal

First, education is king. Don’t ever allow UW-Madison to be anything but a premier, world-class institution. State and private dollars invested now will be leveraged considerably by virtue of the fact that most of the federal investment will go to expanded research at universities such as UW.

New York can’t get rich quick with GameStop

City & State New York

Bjorn Eraker, a finance professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said those high numbers point to a bubble, not long-term stability of the stock.

“It’s a speculative bubble more than it is a safe investment,” Eraker said. “There’s no way of knowing what they might do because the stock is trading way, way above its fundamentals. It is a game more than it is an investment.”

An old arrest can follow you forever online. Some newspapers want to fix that.

Washington Post

Quoted: The idea of removing names — let alone an entire article — from a newspaper’s digital archive is traditionally anathema for many journalists. “For a long time the instinct was, ‘Nope, we’re not even going to think about this. We are about seeking the truth and reporting it and we don’t go back and unreport it,’ ” said Kathleen Culver, the James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Walmart Presses Into Stores as Fulfillment Center Strategy


Quoted: As customers make their way through shelves, they may move or pick up items in ways that can make the location and quantity of inventory difficult to to gauge, said Hart Posen, professor at the University of Wisconsin school of business.

“It leads to lots of mistakes and errors because what the computer system says is on the shelf might not be there, because a customer has it in their cart, or…picked it up and moved it someplace else,” he said. “So mostly using store shelves for e-commerce fulfillment is not a scalable and efficient way to do it.”

Altered Vaccine Data Exposes Critical Cyber Risks

The Wall Street Journal

Quoted: Dietram Scheufele, the Taylor-Bascom chair in science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that scientists already must counter misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines. Manipulated data only makes that job harder, he said.

“It’s probably the worst possible time to deal with something like this,” he said.

Black and Latina women carried the brunt of job loss in December


Quoted: Laura Dresser, an economist with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said prior economic declines were led by male-dominated fields, such as construction and manufacturing. The pandemic-driven decline, she said, has strongly affected areas – such as the restaurant and education industries – with a high number of women workers.

“And those jobs are low-wage jobs,” Dresser said. “They’re held disproportionately by women. They’re held disproportionately by people of color.”

How Sheryl Adkins-Green’s Love of Fashion Has Carried Through Her Impressive Career

Paper City Magazine

Today, Sheryl’s playful fascination with exquisite footwear continues via her weekly posts on Instagram — #tuesdayshoesday and #sherrylovesshoes — which feature covetable selections from her closet, from Jimmy Choo to Chanel. Her love of fashion informed her choice of colleges. “I pictured myself in New York City, but I ended up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when I learned they had an undergraduate program that combined business and design,” she says.

Despite Challenges, Wisconsin Farmers Projected To End 2020 With Higher Average Income

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Paul Mitchell, director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the forecast is slightly higher than last quarter’s estimate, partly because of a price rally for corn and soybeans seen around harvest time.

“Cash revenues, from soybeans especially, are up compared to where they were in September. It’s rare to have prices go up at harvest when everyone is bringing crops in,” Mitchell said

Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?

New York Times

Quoted: “It’s really important that we don’t just anthropomorphize cows based on our human experience, but we do know that they can experience negative emotions like pain and fear that we want to minimize,” said Jennifer Van Os, an animal welfare scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “On the flip side, they can have positive experiences like pleasure, reward and contentment that we want to try to promote.”

Consumer Demand For Butter, Other Dairy Products Remain Strong During Pandemic

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: “Pandemic cooking is a real thing,” said Mark Stephenson, head of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Restaurants have used a lot of butter, but we’re seeing greater sales even going through retail now than we did the sum of retail and restaurants before that.”

Biden and the Underseas Cable: Underworld Massive internet cables may already be below water—but they can still drown.


Quoted: Paul Barford, a University of Wisconsin computer science professor and co-author of a study on the effects of climate change on the internet, sounded less worried about cables sinking anytime soon, because of the financial interests of the telecoms firms involved with cables. But he still says planning now is important. From the get-go, “simply assessing what the current state of this infrastructure is would be something that the government could potentially motivate and potentially help to facilitate,” Barford said. And considering how “unbelievably expensive” these cables are, with costs running into “tens and hundreds of millions of dollars,” it would be a boon if the federal government poured in “funding to help facilitate new deployments or to harden current infrastructure.”

A new poll shows the ‘outsized’ financial burdens faced by millennials

Yahoo! Money

Noted: The new Harris Poll was commissioned by DailyPay, the Bipartisan Policy Center Funding Our Future campaign, and The Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin. The survey was conducted online from Nov. 17-19 and surveyed 2,075 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 593 are millennials between the ages 24-39.

“This data shows the resilience of younger generations in the face of the second major economic shock of their financial lives,” added J. Michael Collins of the Center for Financial Security, referring to this year’s pandemic and the Great Recession of 2007-2009.