Chair’s Report for April 10, 2001

 

Senate update

1.       Important links to agendas, minutes, Chair's Reports and other sites of interest are available
on the Senate web site: http://www.uwec.edu/Usenate. Senate Chair’s Report will be available on this site by noon on the day of the Senate meeting.

2.       During debates, Senators may speak only twice to any motion or amendment. Each speaking term is limited to 10 minutes. The Chair will add names of those wishing to speak to a speaker's list upon recognition.

 

Faculty Reps Meeting – March 30

1.       Budget Update – System working on request to Governor to add more positions (see Legislative Update). Language requesting more evening/weekend courses was pulled out and included in the non-fiscal related lists, which should make the request easier to defeat. If additional money becomes available, the System’s first priority is the Economic Stimulus Package, second is compensation, then third is requesting a reduction in the proposed $6 Million base cut.

2.       Follow-up to March Regent’s Education Committee Program discussion – Based on the Regents’ discussion, seems that new programs should have a focus on collaboration and use of distance education; include convincing market research; and be consistent with the campus mission. Based on the Regents’ discussion, two programs that were in the pipeline are now on hold: a Master’s program at Stout and a Software Engineering at LaCrosse.

3.       Reps had a brief discussion about the Instructional and Research Academic Staff titling report. Concerns were expressed: erosion of faculty responsibility; no faculty say for lateral moves and choice of new title; shifts balance from faculty to administration. Some reps urged other campuses not to support the report.

4.       Research with Human Subjects – New regulations for those conducting research that is federally funded will significantly change the workload of campus IRBs.

5.       Teleconference with Regent Olivieri – Spent time discussing the use of digital technology. He urged each campus to look at how to utilize technology in teaching and learning. Sees the use of digital and electronic technology in a way similar to how one thinks of books – not as an add-on, but as an essential part of how we are going to teach in the future. Such technology allows some students to do things that could not be done before. Discussion then shifted to expectations of faculty concerning scholarship. Olivieri is interested in finding ways to give recognition and credit for tenure for the creation of worthwhile products. Believes products have enormous value – example: simulations add to knowledge and are a valuable academic product.

 

Board of Regents Meeting – April 5 & 6

1.       2001-2003 Capital Budget – Building committee endorsed plan for long-term maintenance

2.       University of Wisconsin E-University – language in proposal by Governor to create Department of e-government. Differences between E-University (decentralized, learning-based) and E-Government (centralized, transaction-based) discussed.

3.       Alcohol and Drug Abuse policies presentation included, among others, Chancellor Mash, Bob Shaw, and alum Bill Keeton – Academic Affairs Director of United Council. Current statistics and proposed revisions to UW System Policy on the use of alcohol on system campuses were given. Regent Brandes stated she was deeply embarrassed and concerned at the depth of the problem. Regent Olivieri didn’t like the fact the statistics presented were not campus specific. He was also concerned that the proposed policy language was not strong enough using “may wish to” rather than “shall direct”. Regent Olivieri then stated he wanted to direct the chancellors to take action – holding them accountable in future performance reviews. Chancellors responded: campuses vary in their student populations and thus must address the problem in different ways; complex issue requiring research and noted that funding for such research is not readily available; stressed the need to involve the community in seeking solutions; emphasized the importance of keeping the focus on the consequences, not the drinking itself. Regents’ Education Committee deferred action on proposed revisions to System policy until the May meeting.

4.       After hearing the report on orientation programs and information provided to students on sexual assault and sexual harassment, Regent Olivieri requested information on the impact of the activities cited in the report – “how do we know we have made a difference?” Interim Senior Vice President Beaver said he would convene a group of Chief Student Affairs Officers and other interested parties and charge them with determining how to assess the impact of what campuses are doing.

5.       During the Full Board meeting on Friday, Regent Gottschalk presented a motion (not on the agenda) to reaffirm the principle of Freedom of Speech “Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.” Motion passed.

 

Legislative Update

1.       The Department of Administration (DOA) has sent a letter to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) requesting three modifications to the Governor's budget bill on behalf of the UW System. First, DOA recommends adding 165 FTE positions to the authorized number to implement budget initiatives. Second, the department recommends delegating the salary setting authority for UW System Senior Executives to the Board of Regents. Finally, DOA recommends exempting the UW System from the newly created Department of Electronic Government. These recommendations still need legislative approval.

2.       April 10, 10 a.m., Room 417 North, State Capitol - Assembly Health Committee. The agenda included discussion of Assembly Bill 69, which allows individuals to use unused sick leave credits to purchase long-term care insurance under WRS.

3.       April 11, 10 a.m., Assembly Parlor, State Capitol- Assembly Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. The agenda includes discussion of Assembly Bill 243, which prohibits the Board of Regents of the UW System to administer any state financial aid to students who are required to register with the Selective Service and have not done so. Audio of this hearing available at: www.legis.state.wi.us/insession

4.       April 17, 2001, Room 411S. State Capitol - Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee. The committee will arrange for a video conferences so students, teachers and staff from the Universities of Eau Claire, LaCrosse, and Green Bay will be able to testify. LRB 2254: Rep. Kreibich, Sen. Grobschmidt Allows for grandparents to receive same tax incentive as parents and guardians under the Ed Vest Wisconsin College Savings Program. LRB 0103/3: Speaker Jensen, Rep. Rhoades, Sen. Meyer, Sen. Darling. The bill would create a nonrefundable income tax and franchise tax credit for businesses that pay tuition for an individual to attend a university, college or technical college. The credit will equal 50% of the tuition paid by a business. If the individual's taxable income is less than 185% of the federal poverty level the year prior to participation in the program, the credit increases to 75% of tuition paid.

5.       New Legislation - SB 125: Income Continuation Coverage. Senator Risser (D-Madison) and Representative Musser (R-Black River Falls) proposed legislation that would eliminate the current requirement that a state employee must exhaust his or her sick leave credits before becoming eligible for income continuation insurance benefits. Referred to Committee on Universities, Housing, and Government Operations.

 

Announcement

 

The UW Day exhibit will be set up on the stage of the Council Fire Room during Student Research Day, Monday, April 23. Senators are invited to take a look at the exhibit when attending Research Day.