Chair’s Report for March 11, 2003

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.

 

Senate Actions signed off by the Chancellor

1.        Action to drop the Major & Minor: Mass Communication, LA Electronic Media Emphasis; Minor: Communications, LA Training & Development Emphasis.

2.        Action to change the name of Department of Art to Department of Art & Design.

3.        Still waiting approval: Action about Functional Equivalents and Action on Final Exam Policy.

 

Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        Campuses across the System are debating resolutions about the war; some voted not to discuss it at all; general System response – is appropriate for Senates to react to things of student interest (providing levels of knowledge about the war appropriate for making decisions; $ for war, less for education; ensuring well being of students on campus, etc.). Don’t know what political clout we have on Government; could have more effect working with local media.

 

2.        Budget discussion encompassed much of what we have heard in Senate already. The 650 positions to cut across the system are GPR positions – can create faculty positions on program revenue. Anticipate the state won’t put in any money for pay plan. Much of the discussion was about how campuses differ in the ways planning is occurring as far as how much involvement faculty and staff have in the process. Also, fear that if sabbaticals are internally funded this year (to prevent them from being cut), may start a precedence that we can’t afford in the future.  Specific areas we need to articulate: (a) cannot cut student services – area contributes to the whole of the student; (b) some have singled out programs contributing to the economy to keep, but programs related to art, to cut – need to articulate what we are doing in all areas matters to the whole student; (c) some want to merge major physical plant planning projects – need to explain differences of missions among institutions; (d) lot of legislatures don’t understand the need for and role of research; (e) some have questioned tenure – if important ideas are not being generated by a tenured faculty member, then take away that person’s tenure. Wondered if there is any part of what we are doing that the legislature wants us to stop doing – because as we take on more, something will need to stop. Results of discussion: encourage all faculty to get involved in the planning and discussion. Faculty leadership should be in conversation with Budget Officer – across the board cuts may not be appropriate, but weighted cuts based on ability might be better. Some ideas: Milwaukee Senate has taken the position – willing to not take a pay raise, if health care can be absorbed into package; reduce amount spent on marginal students – spend more on those likely to succeed. Responsibility of entire faculty to decide what is important. This is NO LONGER an exercise – this is real. Students will be paying more and receiving less.

 

3.        Institutional reports: Whitewater – budget discussions. Colleges – faculty status for government purposes and how to evaluate IAS; developing budget principles with Chancellor; not able to replace about 30 positions; talked about travel implications for colleges. Milwaukee – Deans told to prepare for 5% and 10% cuts; some went to faculty, some to chairs only; University committee proposed guidelines, adopted by Senate: (1) schools with red ink, pay for own deficit, (2) money had to stay where pressure for enrollment, (3) need to maintain flexibility, (4) consider faculty teaching loads, (5) protect quality programs, (6) consolidate programs as possible, (7) first line of cut can’t be faculty. River Falls – redoing GE program; FYE classes may go to 50-70 instead of 20; evaluating numbers needed on Senate committees; faculty personnel issues; professor evaluations; concern for grad programs not coming through faculty governance. Stout – trying to keep open process in budget talks, committees include all stakeholders. Oshkosh –discussion on war resolution; working on principles to review programs; calendar changes. Academic Affairs at System – program planning and review, workshops on consolidating, eliminating programs this fall; long term planning; look at consolidating grants programs; transfer from Tech colleges smoother. LaCrosse – had 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10% reduction plans, trying to ensure mass participation. Superior – looking at eliminating electronic portfolio as means of assessment; passed plan for budget. Parkside – 5% and 10% plans, council decided to look at general principles and parameters. Stevens Point – restructure Foundation, update Handbook language.

 

Board of Regents Meeting

1.        Major discussion on budget. President Lyall briefed the board on state budget reductions for the current fiscal year. The UW System's portion of the most recent budget cut is about $8.3 million. With this latest cut, Lyall said the total budget reduction to the UW System during the 2001-03 biennium totals $49 million. Much of this reduction has come from administrative functions. "Let me be clear—if the governor's budget is approved, we will still have to take a $100 million cut, and we would like to manage this reduction without reducing capacity. To do so, we will need the tuition offset revenues," Lyall said. Lyall emphasized that a $100 million cut to the UW would be twice as much as the budget reduction for this current biennium, and it would bring the total amount of budget cuts to the university over the past decade to $200 million. The state's current annual appropriation to the UW System is a little more than $1 billion. Regent Smith said the long-term trend of declining state support is troubling. While the state provided 50 percent of the UW System's budget when it was created 30 years ago, that figure is now just 30.9 percent, and only 23.5 percent at the flagship campus in Madison. Stabilizing financial aid in the future is another budget priority, Lyall told the regents. The governor proposed $23 million in financial aid to offset tuition, but the increased funding would come from student fee revenue designated for important maintenance and construction projects such as residence halls and student unions. Lyall and others said they hoped that state lawmakers would designate a permanent funding source for the financial aid increases in the future.

2.        During a presentation on future and current academic technologies, Wayne Hodgins, director of worldwide learning strategies at Autodesk, Inc., told the board that today's technology is largely dedicated to managing and storing information. The next wave of technology will likely be designed around changing how the mind can process information.

 

Legislative Update

1.        The Assembly Speaker's Task Force on State Budget Review released a 16-page list of proposals to cut state spending, streamline some operations, and increase accountability. The work of the panel continued this session as the Assembly Committee on Budget Review. A number of the provisions affect the UW System. Click to link to report on The Wheeler Report Website. These recommendations were reported to Assembly Speaker John Gard for consideration. Some may be introduced as separate legislation, some may be sent to individual committees for further review and some may be raised in the budget process.
1) Request an audit on professor and administrative salaries within the University of Wisconsin System; 2) Reduce the size of the University System's fleet (currently 1,300 vehicles); 3) Reduce the number of administrative lobbying positions (there are currently 76 individuals registered); 4) Reduce printing expenditures (currently $26 million), and advertising expenditures for the UW System; 5) Eliminate funding and authority for the HEAB talent incentive grants;
6) Eliminate funding for the Wisconsin Humanities Council; 7) Eliminate funding and authority for outdoors skills training; 8) Eliminate UW system grants for International Education (free flights); 9) Eliminate the Wisconsin re-granting program; 10) Eliminate funding for environmental education; 11) Eliminate funding for the Arts Challenge initiative; 12) Eliminate funding and authority for the grants to forestry cooperatives; 13) Eliminate $27 million including all HEAB (higher educational aids board) minority programs; 14) Place a 2-year moratorium on all general obligation bonds for the 2003-2005 fiscal years; 15) Eliminate GPR funding for the "UW-Madison Initiative"; 16) Reduce the Educational Communications Board budget by 7% the 2003-2005 fiscal years; 17) Delete base funding for bilingual-bicultural education; 18) Require the UW-System to comply with the law regarding the use of Social Security numbers as student Identification numbers. Currently, returning students still have an ID number that is their Social Security number; 19) Create consequences for the University System if they do not comply with the new 165 credit policy; 20) Require all state employees to pay a portion of their health insurance; 21) Eliminate the practice of part-time employees receiving full benefits for insurance and retirement; benefits would be prorated.
 The full report is available at http://www.thewheelerreport.com/xgr03/budgettaskforcerec.PDF. 

These recommendations have been sent to Assembly Speaker John Gard (R, Peshtigo).  Individual recommendations may be sent to Assembly committees for further review, some may be introduced as legislation and some may be included in the 2003-05 biennial budget.  Several recommendations are similar to proposals already included in Governor Doyle's budget plan.

2.        Representative Spencer Black (D, Madison) has introduced legislation to ratify each of the 15 contracts negotiated between the state and various union groups.  He said he received an opinion from the Legislative Reference Bureau that lawmakers can approve the agreements without going through the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER), which has already rejected the agreements.  The bills, one for each of the bargaining units that has reached agreement with the Department of Employment Relations, have been referred to Speaker Gard's office.  The Speaker has until March 25 to refer the bills to a standing committee.

 

3.        LRB 0647/3 (Kreibich/Schultz) The proposal would require increasing the number of members of the UW System Board of Regents to 19. Future regents would have to be selected from 16 regions across the state (based on technical college districts). Further, the bill would add to the board a governor-appointed non-traditional student, at least 24 years old, to represent the view of non-traditional students, such as those who are employed or who are parents. The traditional student and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction would remain on the board.

 

4.        LRB 0615/1 (Kreibich) This bill prohibits smoking in, and within 25 feet of, UW System residence halls and dormitories. The bill also provides that no person may designate smoking areas in or around these residence halls and dormitories.