Chair’s Report for November 12, 2002

 

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.

 

Items from Senate Exec

1.        Consultation on Reorganization of University Centers and Programs Staff – Vice Chancellor Soll
No major reorganization of University Centers and Programs Staff followed resignation of associate director and subsequent retirement of director because did not want to tie hands of new director. Connsequently was interim restructuring to optimize efficient operation in absence of associate director and director. Bill Harms, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services, served as interim director. Last summer Mitchell Kilcrease came on board as new director. Looked at various units, position descriptions, and functions to create workable organizational scheme. Talked to subunits prior to proposing structure and returned with proposal to those subunits. Proposed organizational chart focuses on functions, not individuals carrying out functions. Restructuring proposes six functional areas. Proposal results from series of meetings with staff and review of university mission and core values. Redefined Center mission and reestablished core values, then looked at what design could support. Good buy-in from staff to proposed restructuring. Issue brought as courtesy to Executive Committee for input; not required by Handbook.

2.        Handbook revision issues recommended by Handbook Review Committee – motion before Senate today.

3.        Discussed number of nominations required from various nominating committees. Robert’s Rules of Order only require nominating committees to present one name per opening. Nominating committee presents slate; up to others to add to it. Current bylaws require nominating committees to come up with more than one nomination per vacancy. Discussion followed with many points, pro and con. Motion to retain status quo passed.  Would like to see issue debated before full Senate. Executive Committee action to be reported to Senate under committee reports. Could be considered under miscellaneous business if anyone so desired.

 

4.        Notes on Academic Advising Best Practices and Open Discussion to be posted on Senate website (http://www.uwec.edu/Usenate/AdvisingForumNotes.htm). Did receive good feedback on discussion

 

 

Other items

1.        Chancellor signed motion transferring Communication Disorders Major (teaching emphasis) from the School of Education to the School of HSS.

 

Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        Update by Tess Arenas, Senior Advisor to the President for Academic Diversity on Plan 2008. Campus accomplishments due in report by February ’03, feedback by April ’03, plan for future due June ’03, report to Board of Regents October ’03. Chancellor responsible for outcomes; Provost for implementation.

2.        Lisa Kornetsky, Academic Planner and Director of OPID briefed Reps on new Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative. For ’03-’04, every campus will have about $17,000 to establish


initial planning committee. Must find a way to value the scholarship of teaching & learning or won’t get done.

3.        Measuring Program Quality discussion facilitated by Associate VP Ron Singer. One says it is a quality institution; we know it is a quality institution; so how do we articulate that? Shared plan for gathering input.

4.        President Lyall shared the results of a hearing she attended last week. Speaker Jensen’s task force on Budgets – comprised primarily of those who wanted to double our budget cuts last time. They were extremely critical – gist was to see what UW was doing wrong and therefore justify cutting our budgets. When Lyall provided testimony to justify what we were doing, made the committee members angrier. Her efforts to get the group to look at the long-term effects were primarily fruitless – they are focused on the need to deal with the $2.8 million deficit and how to cut.

At the end of the 5-hour marathon, the chair of the committee took off his glasses and stared at Lyall and said “the University needs to be prepared for $100-300 million in cuts (over ’03-‘05).”
    $100 million – a small catastrophe
    $ 300 million – disaster

At the Economic Summit, people who know budgets well and have worked with them in the past, gave their ideas of fixing the budget. Said $600 million in cuts, $200 million of revenue enhancements and went through and assigned cuts – ours was $50 million (annual). Also said UW should be allowed to offset cuts with tuition increases. Also suggested getting rid of all sales tax exemptions except health and medicine – would get $2 billion from that.

Will report to the Regents on Thursday … To survive $50 million in cuts, would lose 1000 faculty and staff and 7800 students; also from those 7800 fewer students, would lose $23 million in tuition revenue in addition to the $50 million cut. One would need an 8.5% raise in tuition in order to offset the cut and not lose the 1000 faculty/staff and 7800 students.

The way out of all of this bad stuff is to move our tuition up. We are at the bottom of our peer group. We can move up. We have to do whatever we can to make legislators comfortable with allowing us to raise tuition. Need to share with legislators … “In my classes, here is what I won’t be able to do because of cuts…”

5.        Lyall then shared information about a new group being formed - Citizens for Higher Education. It is a new statewide organization established to protect public higher education in Wisconsin. Over the past decade, state support for public higher education has eroded dramatically while overall state spending has skyrocketed, growing by 74%. At the same time, demand for access to our state’s technical colleges and public universities is at an all-time high. These institutions are critical to the state’s economic future. And yet, with a looming state budget deficit of two billion dollars, public higher education in Wisconsin is in grave jeopardy.  Citizens for Higher Education will work to reverse a decade of decline and be a voice for legislative support for higher education. Former governor Tony Earl has endorsed this new organization. Founding board members include former state senate leaders Brian Rude and David Helbach, former UW Regent president Tom Lyon, Milwaukee community leader Jill Pelisek and President Emeritus of Western State College of Colorado, Harry Peterson. Member benefits include: keeping abreast of how your local legislator is treating public higher education; a bimonthly newsletter with “news you can use” about higher education; regional CHE events with state and university leaders; email alerts (if you wish) on important events and votes; an annual legislative report card on higher education; and a political voice for supporters of public higher education in Wisconsin.

Lyall then asked us to inform our friends and neighbors about the organization and ask them to join to help keep Wisconsin’s public colleges and universities excellent and accessible. A few copies providing information about joining was distributed. (See sample in Senate Office.)

 

6.        President Lyall noted System is required to provide the Legislature a report by December 15th of what to do with students accumulating excess credits. The discussions so far have cycled through the Provosts’ group and the Chancellors’ group. At present, starting in Fall 2004, any credits beyond 165 (or beyond 30 credits past the number of credits required by a degree if the total exceeds 160), will be fully funded by the students registering for those credits.

 

7.        Case for Higher Ed introduced by Christine Flynn Saulnier. Working (email) group discussed how to make the case – focus on benefits – what if all UW grads left your area; focus on cost of jail vs. cost of education; focus on teacher education impact on community. Discussed difficulty of engaging faculty in concern since most never experienced cuts of the magnitude before us.

 

8.        Institutional reports: Platteville – looking at service education; Superior – review credits for majors, look at mission; Extension – discussing low milk prices; Stevens Point – student access to evaluations, state of Foundation; Whitewater – too much to share; Oshkosh – handbook revision, titles for Academic Staff, differential tuition, women’s issues, property available, classified pay, reflection on Superior’s legislation on consensual relations; River Falls – redoing GE program, what is scholarship, how measured, grad council runs small grad program but is outside of APC… should interact with faculty governance; Milwaukee – Milwaukee Idea, NCA visit, Foundation $$, budget, land, Ph.D. in History; Stout – reconstituting School of Education … looking at models for teacher ed when faculty integrated within disciplines; LaCrosse – strategic plan, new initiatives; Madison – passed resolution supporting concept of health care benefits for domestic partners, 5th Health/Science Medical Division, examination of Biology Education faculty, campus climate, credits during summer session ... how some classes are only 1 week but give 3 credits or worse ... weekend only and still have 3 credits ... what makes a credit? No system policy stating what makes a credit.

 

Board of Regents Meeting

1.        Lyall shared her concerns about the budget. "We did not reduce enrollments despite this year's $44 million cut, but I believe we cannot do that again," Lyall said. "Further cuts will result in either tuition increases or enrollment cuts, or a combination of both.”  The board then reviewed a series of supplemental budget initiatives for which the UW System would seek approval if additional state funds become available in the next two years. The initiatives would address pressing state needs in teacher training, nursing education and economic development.

2.        New initiatives between UW System and WTCS including the development of a transfer contract for students; creation of a new information brochure for state officials, educators and others about the transfer process; and the appointment of an ombudsperson at each institution to assist students who encounter problems with the transfer process were announced.

 

3.        A team of students - from UW-Stevens Point, UW-Waukesha, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison - who emphasized the need for racial and ethnic diversity in the curriculum spoke from their own experiences. The students reported both positive and negative classroom experiences and proposed several action steps to the board:
- Develop a system of surveying students about their experiences in terms of classroom climate and the need for materials and class discussion that incorporates racial and ethnic diversity into the curriculum;
- Develop working groups to talk about and facilitate action on classroom climate;
- Use models of "Intergroup Dialogue" (a University of Massachusetts program) and apply them to UW campuses;
- Report curriculum composition around the system to gather good models of practice and assess the diversity of curricular materials and instructional practices.
 Committee members asked UW officials to look into these recommendations and to report back to the education committee.

4.        Tess Arenas, assistant vice president for academic affairs and senior advisor to the president for academic diversity; Frank Goldberg, associate vice president for policy analysis and research; and policy analyst Kelly Williams reported on a pilot assessment of UW precollege programs. In the study conducted during the summer of 2002, 21 of 88 programs were assessed looking at academic and affective outcomes. Williams reported on several of the findings:
- Precollege student attitudes toward college, motivation in school and confidence in succeeding in college become more positive as they participate in precollege programs;
- Changes in some student academic skills are measurable over a two-week time period;
- The longest precollege program (seven weeks) produced the most significant improvement in student attitudes toward college.
The UW System will continue to assess precollege programs to improve them and make them more effective as a means of increasing the pool of college-prepared students of color and disadvantaged students, Arenas and Goldberg said.

5.        Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cora Marrett, who presented the rationale for the UW System's decision to recommend that the regents not approve a new Ph.D. degree in history at UW-Milwaukee. The regents, after lengthy discussion on procedural questions and in recognition of strong support for both points of view, deferred the vote to the full board meeting on Friday morning where after almost 2 hours of discussion, the regents approved the program in a 10-6 vote.

 

6.        The revised mission statement for UW-Eau Claire was approved.

 

7.        Regent President Guy Gottschalk summarized the Economic Summit for the board. He said the summit's fiscal policy reform panel offered what has been described as the first real solution to the state's fiscal crisis. He added that the creation of the Wisconsin Economic Collaboration Council would ensure success of future summits.

 

8.        Regents approved construction of a sprinkler system for the Towers Residence Hall at UW-Eau Claire at a cost of $1.97 million program revenue supported borrowing.  

 

9.        At the very end of the long Friday meeting, in response to the strong debates over the History Ph.D., Regent Barry requested the Education committee take up discussion at the next meeting on putting a freeze on all new Ph.D.’s and setting guidelines for assessing new program requests.


Legislative Update

1.        Doyle again reiterated his pledge to not raise taxes (including temporary taxes) to balance the state’s budget, a sentiment that is shared by Republican leaders. Doyle predicted that the budget deficit could be as much as $3.5 billion by mid-2005 because of unanticipated health care costs associated with Medicaid and the SeniorCare program.