Chair’s Report for December 10, 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.

 

Faculty Reps Meeting – next meeting via teleconference December 13

 

Board of Regents Meeting –December 5-6

1.                    Update on Student Success based on Retention, Graduation Rates, and Credits-to-Degree given by Frank Goldberg, UW System Associate VP for policy analysis and research. Eau Claire met or exceeded all targets. This presentation was a lead-in to the discussion on Excess Credit Policy. The Board passed a resolution instructing institutions “to review the requirements for all programs that currently require more than 130 credits and to develop a process to identify and counsel students who are accumulating credits in a manner that could result in their amassing more than 165 credits (or 30 credits more than required by their degree programs, whichever is greater) by the time they fulfill all of the degree requirements. Starting in fall of 2004, all resident undergraduate students who have accumulated 165 credits (or 30 credits more than required by their degree programs, whichever is greater) will be charged a surcharge, equal to 100 percent of the regular resident tuition, on credits beyond that level. Furthermore, implementation rules should provide flexibility for UW institutions to provide exceptions where appropriate to ensure that students are able to complete their degree requirements.” A system-wide implementation group will develop guidelines for exceptions. One Regent expressed concern that the implementation of the policy may cost more than any savings gained from the policy.

2.                    A panel of five UW leaders gave an update on enrollment trends, budget cut impacts, and ways that other public universities are coping with state budget reductions. They told the board that future budget reductions could mean sweeping measures, such as eliminating entire majors or departments. One panelist shared how it is running out of cuts that can be made and now will focus on preserving programs that bring in dollars or support for core courses needed by all freshmen, seniors, and are basic to many programs. Another panelist told how units on his campus would openly share needs and projected cuts with the entire campus in order for everyone to realize the impact of the cuts and the tough decisions to be made with everyone’s cooperation. Another panelist shared how current cuts, leading to reduced number of sections, has created a ‘black market’ – the buying and selling of seats that available in popular classes. Lyall stated that all the easy and obvious things have been done. She then shared three things that other states have done to cope with budget cuts that we have not: (1) requiring faculty and staff to pay a larger portion of their health care; (2) developing an early retirement window; and (3) charging cohort tuition for big incoming classes.

3.                    The Office of Academic and Student Services, with the Board’s approval, implemented a 3-month moratorium on all new academic planning until February 2003. The Performing Arts major is affected by this.

4.                    The 2003-2005 General Compensation Plan and Guidelines were approved. The UWEC Pay Plan previously passed fits these guidelines.

5.                    The Citizens for Higher Education made a presentation to the Board stressing the need for everyone to become involved. Lyall praised the new non-profit organization calling it “another first and a great step in linking arms for higher education.”

 

Legislative Update

1.                    When the 2003-04 Legislative Session convenes in January, both houses will be under Republican control for the first time since 1995. With their majorities, they control the appointment of legislative committee chairs, hold a majority in each legislative committee, and control which bills get scheduled for committee and floor action. Moreover, Republicans will control important joint committees such as the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

2.                    A group of lawmakers led by former Governors Lee Sherman Dreyfus (R) and Anthony S. Earl (D) have announced the creation of a bipartisan New Patriotism Caucus. The group intends to push for new legislative rules that assures better conduct, creates accountability, strengthens relationships across party lines, and creates an ongoing forum for legislators to revive the Legislature as the foremost democratic institution of the state.

3.                    Department of Administration and Revenue officials announced the budget deficit projections decreased.  Before June 30, 2003, Governor-elect Doyle will need to fix a $185 million deficit.  Estimates for mid-2005 ranged in the $2.8 billion deficit range throughout the campaign.  Administration and Revenue officials adjusted the deficit by $200 M to $2.6 B. 

4.                    Governor-elect Doyle will solicit citizen assistance in helping to solve the state's budget deficit.  Doyle will hold listening sessions to gather suggestions on ways the state may save money:  Monday, December 16 at 10 a.m. UW-Eau Claire, Davies Center, Tamarack Room