Chair’s Report for February 13, 2001


Senate update

1.        Important links to agendas, minutes, Chair's Reports and other sites of interest are available
on the Senate web site:

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.



Open Forum Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting minutes

1.        Chancellor Mash comments concerning open discussion held in University Senate on January 23, 2001 in regard to Workload

         Appreciated opportunity to be part of discussion

         Listened intently to comments

         Reluctant to jump in to clarify or follow-up points raised by various speakers

         Will try to clarify couple comments made during discussion

         Extent building or not building graduate program is not case of trying to be more like Madison

         Important to do things necessary to build resource base in order to offer new programs

         Learned from experience in three states that money rarely becomes available before programs created

         Must demonstrate need and demand for program, show good work in that area, then get resources to fund

         If waited for funding to create programs, would continue without those programs

2.        Concern that students more interested in careers than in liberal arts borne out by national survey

         Is challenge to engage students to begin to look at big picture

         Planning in-service discussion on liberal arts in August

3.        Open forums allow all to gain understanding of campus climate, morale, and issues

         Provost regrets possibility for misunderstanding from comments made in open discussion

         Especially comment regarding additional graduate students in Department of Communication Disorders

         Apparently discussion of, “What would your department need to increase  number of graduate students?” interpreted by some as request to increase graduate enrollment without increase in resources


Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meetings

1.        Discussion of Dual Degrees 

         Would appear regular college/school curriculum committee process sufficient, except in two areas

1)       Residency requirement for at least 23 of last 30 earned credits

         According to Registrar Sue Moore, institution has latitude as to what residency can be

         Without some sort of action, would not see last years of these type programs as resident credits

         Certainly could define in that way for individual programs

2)       Accepting of transfer credits

         Review of programs would be through regular university and accreditation processes when various departments up for review

         These programs do not require approval through System

         Consensus of committee that because violates residency requirement by virtue of program, that portion should go through Academic Policies Committee and University Senate



Items discussed with the Senate Chair

1.        Can new business be brought up at a committee if the topic has not been listed on the agenda? This questions was researched. For an answer, see attached sheet describing my research on Open Meeting Laws.


Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        The search for a system Vice President of Academic Affairs has been unsuccessful. Al Beaver will serve as interim VP from March through June.


2.        Ed Meachen shared information about E-Learning. They are now looking at establishing 18-24 month exit strategies up front when each new technology product is adopted. A major digital project is occurring to index digitized material, small object units for use in curriculum. In the near future, request for faculty to help identify object units will be made. Faculty will receive release time and a stipend for their work.


BadgerNet, built 3 years ago, is now full. Next year, it will cost over $4.2 million for services on BadgerNet. Bandwidth requirements will double every year. This increase is a result of our success! There is no good way to cap growth. Campuses will be hit with the increase in costs next year.


President Lyall has invited some Regents and Chancellors to serve on an advisory group for e-planning to set a vision and to determine ways to reach the vision. Their report, describing how to bring internet-based learning to a higher level, is due August 1st.


Faculty reps around the table expressed concern for how many dollars are going to support technology and how few dollars are supporting the performing arts. One rep challenged "anyone to say or show where any of this [using the internet or web-based learning] has enhanced or improved the learning of students". One rep shared his frustration at the cost of People Soft - "it was a disaster". Eventually UWEC will have to join in, since System made it clear that one system for all is wanted.


3.        A DRAFT of the Report and Recommendations of the Integration Sub-Group working on the integration of Instructional and Research Academic Staff was distributed. (See attachment.) This is definitely a DRAFT as the actual committee has not seen it yet for editing and comments. This draft will soon go to committee review, then to the Senior Vice President then to campuses for comment in late March or early April. If you have any comments, please share them now with Don Reynolds from Mathematics, our UWEC representative on the IRAS committee to help enhance the current draft. One rep mentioned that the suggestions given seem to require resources. Will there be additional resources provided to help implement these suggestions? NO.


4.        Chuck McConnell from System shared the current status of the Title discussion for IRAS. Faculty reps shared their concern that the discussion of IRAS titles has consumed so much time of the IRAS committee that other issues such as security and salary, raised in the original forum, seem to be forgotten. Reps were told that the Committee is incorporating recommendations in the final report that attention must be given to the other issues brought up by the forum. The reps were then reminded that the first premise of the report is that "if a person is doing faculty work, the person should be a faculty member."


5.        President Lyall provided an update on the new governor - McCallum. His style is more open and will invite more dialog with the University. As a system, we need to remind legislators "the tougher things are getting, the more you need us." Lyall predicts a fight in the legislature between tax cuts and the need to invest in higher education.


As for the 4.2 pay plan request, Lyall can't image the union letting the state get away with less than a 3.2% plan. She thinks we can get 4.2, but will have to pay for part of it 'out of hide'. "It is so important to keep good people in the system" that Lyall is not willing to concede to less than 4.2%.


6.        Lyall stated "the leadership on the Board determines if we move forward or spend time fighting and on corrective actions." She has argued for years with Thompson that we need someone with technical experience on the Board. Lyall commented that Governor McCallum is not bound to the recent appointments made by Thompson to the Board of Regents. One needs to wait and see if those Regents are confirmed.


Board of Regents Meeting

1.        Prior to the starting of the official Board meeting, the Regents gathered to hear Steve Gunderson, former Wisconsin congressman and senior consultant of the Greystone Group, Inc., give a presentation entitled: Designing a System-Wide Federal Relations Strategy - a Comprehensive Research & Strategic Planning Project. The study was one result of the Economic Summit recommendations.  His firm interviewed most of the Wisconsin congressional delegation, examined federal relations strategies at other universities, and identified funding opportunities in the 107th Congress.  Among other things, he suggested that the System identify priority interests for each Member of the delegation and provide information, issue expertise and contacts to assist their efforts - be a "mini-Library of Congress" in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea. Gunderson concluded by providing three specific recommendations: (1) design the structure and protocols for a federal relations program; (2) identify 3-5 System-wide priorities; and (3) design and implement strategic communications with the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation. Throughout the report, Gunderson emphasized the need for the System to act as one System when dealing with the Wisconsin delegation in Washington. While an individual campus could venture out on its own, it would be best if everyone worked together. He stressed that the federal relations effort will be most successful if a formal process is designed for System-wide collaboration among the different campuses. UW System President, Katharine Lyall, said that she will name a federal relations council to recommend 3-5 system federal relations priorities and that a full-time federal relations officer will be appointed in the Spring to implement the recommendations of the report.  {copy of slides available in the Senate office)


2.        Debbie Duncan, Vice President of Finance and Ed Meachen, Associate Vice President of Learning and Information Technology provided a report to the Regents on "Building a Foundation for a Changing Future: The Information Technology Infrastructure". The report included four challenges facing the UW System: (1) exponential growth of network traffic; (2) integration of web-based administrative and academic systems to create an integrated electronic enterprise; (3) finding the resources to support IT initiatives; and (4) becoming more entrepreneurial and flexible within a state regulatory environment. {full report available in the Senate office}


After the presentation, Regent Krutsch asked "Is this all worth it? Does it add to teaching and learning?" Regent Mohs encouraged attention to the cost-effectiveness of teaching technologies and expressed the hope that, following the entrepreneurial model, UW campuses will abandon technology initiatives that do not work. Regent Olivieri encouraged that the following issues be included in the October IT Report: (1) setting challenging targets and goals (e.g., that 100 % of students have a significant web-based educational experience; that a specific percentage of faculty be trained and use web tools); (2) exploring whether there are courses that can be taught systemwide via the internet; (3) make it a high priority to increase the number of consortial programs among UW campuses and with WTCS; (4) require greater specificity in campus reports, reflecting measurable targets and goals; (5) guard against establishing user fees that deter internet use, on the assumption that internet access is comparable to library access; (6) show which campuses are reluctant to use common systems; and (7) continue to seek incentives and rewards for risk-taking campuses. He urged regents to actively encourage campuses to adopt common systems and wanted to be alerted to campuses that 'stood in the way' of such systems.


3.        Assistant Vice President Rubin introduced a panel to review the report on Technology in Teacher Education in the UW System. The panelists reviewed a survey of UW institutions regarding the training of PK-12 teachers in the use of technology. In stressing the university-wide responsibility for teacher education, they noted the importance of integrating technology throughout the curriculum and across the colleges; collaboration among colleges, IT and other campus units; and collaboration between UW System institutions and PK-12 schools and other stakeholders. {full report available in the Senate Office}


Regent Olivieri stressed the importance of making clear the UW System's responsibility for preparing teachers to use technology, and the fact that both Schools of Education and Letters & Sciences Colleges play a vital role in teacher education. He further noted the importance of connecting the report on best practices with the UW System Information Technology Report in order to encourage units other than the Schools of Education to address these issues.


4.        During the full Board meeting, President Lyall presented an overview of the Accountability Report. Regent Axtell reflected that the purpose of the Accountability Reports over the last eight years were to earn the right for the Board to manage the budget of the University. He was concerned that little progress has been made in this area even though the reports continue. {full report available on the web at}


5.        President Lyall reported that the System has been told to reduce utility costs. Starting immediately, thermostats will be set at 68 degrees and down to 60 degrees when the room is not in use. In addition, all computers will be turned off when possible.


6.        The request of $355, 000 Program Revenue-Housing for Governors Hall window and screen replacement for UWEC was approved.


7.        UW President Lyall introduced UW Day.  It is a major celebration of public higher education and will take place on March 7 from 5 – 8:30 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. Governor McCallum will give remarks at 6:30 p.m. More than 1500 guests have been invited and the event is a chance for local community leaders, alumni, legislators, and friends of the UW System to interact. Each of the 15 UW institutions will be presenting exhibits of cutting edge technology and educational partnerships.  More information is available at:


Legislative Update

1.        On his last day in office, Governor Thompson delivered the State of the State Address. In looking ahead to the future, he highlighted E-government, reinventing the state-local government relationship, the challenge to supply enough energy for the new economy, ending illiteracy, reforming campaign finance, and continuing to focus on high-tech industries.  Full address available at:


2.        Regent Appointees

Governor Thompson appointed James R. Klauser and announced the reappointment of Gerard A. Randall, Jr. to the UW Board of Regents on January 19. Both appointments are effective May 1, 2001 and will end May 1, 2008, but are subject to senate confirmation. Klauser is senior vice president at Wisconsin Energy Corporation.  He will replace Ruth Marcene James. Randall is president and CEO of the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County and currently serves as the board’s vice president. 


3.        2001 Legislative Session

Leaders of both houses hope to pass legislation on education, tax cuts, health care, and campaign finance reform in the upcoming session. Steve Baas, press secretary for Rep. Jensen, said the state needs to invest more in education in order to meet demands for the 21st century workforce. Rep. Black also said that education was a priority, specifically legislation to increase financial aid. 


4.        2001-2002 Budget Address

Governor McCallum will deliver the 2001-2002 Budget Address on February 20. Senate Joint Resolution 14 was passed in order to extend the deadline for the governor's budget submission.


5.        Assembly Bill 69: Use of unused sick leave credits

Representative Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) and Senator Risser (D-Madison) introduced a bill that would allow state employees who have unused sick leave credits to use them for the purchase of both health insurance and long-term care insurance. Under current law, state employees may use these credits to purchase health insurance. Referred to Committee on Health.


6.        Assembly Bill 86: Ban on smoking in buildings on post-secondary school campuses

Representative Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) and Senator Burke (D-Milwaukee) introduced a bill to expand the existing law which prohibits smoking in college, university or other post-secondary school buildings. The bill includes a ban on designating certain areas of a building as smoking-areas. Referred to Committee on State Affairs.


7.        Assembly Bill 87: Prohibits parking tickets during exam periods

Representative Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) introduced a bill that would prohibit the UW System Board of Regents and a technical college district board from imposing a parking violation fine during exam periods. It does not apply to violations related to parking for the physically disabled. Referred to Committee on Colleges and Universities.


Audio via Internet:                       

Video via Internet:                       

UW Government Relations Web Site:      

State of Wisconsin on the Web             


Wisconsin Open Meetings Law


Question raised:

Can an item brought up during an open discussion by members or non-members of a committee during a meeting be discussed if the item was not specifically listed in the meeting notice? 


Action taken:


Suggest the following policy be used for University Senate and Senate Committee meetings:


1)       All Senate Committees shall provide proper public notice of all meetings.

2)       The Chair of any committee should make every attempt to list in the public notice the topics of all know business that will probably be discussed at the meeting.

3)       In the event unforeseen business may be presented, an item such as "miscellaneous business" or "such other matters as may come before the body" should be included within the notice to allow for such unexpected business.

4)       When discussing new topics under "miscellaneous business", the Chair shall make every attempt to postpone any motions or actions, if possible, to a future meeting to facilitate public notification of the topic. 



Open Meeting Law 19.83 Meetings of governmental bodies.


19.83(1) Every meeting of a governmental body shall be preceded by public notice as provided in s. 19.84, and shall be held in open session. At any meeting of a governmental body, all discussion shall be held and all action of any kind, formal or informal, shall be initiated, deliberated upon and acted upon only in open session except as provided in s. 19.85. 


19.84(2) Every public notice of a meeting of a governmental body shall set forth the time, date, place and subject matter of the meeting, including that intended for consideration at any contemplated closed session, in such form as is reasonably likely to apprise members of the public and the news media thereof. The public notice of a meeting of a governmental body may provide for a period of public comment, during which the body may receive information from members of the public. 


19.85(5) Departments and their subunits in any University of Wisconsin System institution or campus ... are exempt from the requirements of subs. (1) to (4) but shall provide meeting notice which is reasonably likely to apprise interested persons, and news media who have filed written requests for such notice. 



Excerpts from "Wisconsin Open Meetings Law - A Statutory Summary and a Digest of Opinions of the Attorney General, July 31, 1979" are located on the back of this page.

Excerpts from "Wisconsin Open Meetings Law - A Statutory Summary and a Digest of Opinions of the Attorney General, July 31, 1979". 


66 Op. Att'y Gen. 68 (1977) - summary An agenda item indicating a time for citizen participation during a school board meeting is adequate notice under sec. 19.84(2), Stats., of the subject matter of the meeting. On motion of a board member, the board could discuss any matters raised during this part of the meeting, and if urgency required, the board could take action on the matter. Nothing in the open meetings law would prevent the board from referring matters on an agenda to committees without completing all the business management. [pg. 24] 


The actual Opinion of Attorney General Bronson C. La Follette included the following:

"It is my opinion that an agenda item such as "Citizens and Delegations" gives adequate notice to the public of the proposed subject matter of the meeting. If time is set aside in the agenda and notice of the meeting for such matters there is nothing in subch. IV of ch. 19, Stats., which would preclude a governmental body from hearing orderly presentations even though the express subject matter has not been included on the agenda and in the notice of the meeting. Further, such governmental body could on motion of a member, discuss and if urgency requried take action on the matter. My opinion assumes that there is no conspiracy between the citizen and the presiding officer to evade the notice requirements of the open meeting law. 


The basic thrust of the open meeting law is to provide the best notice available to the public of the nature of the governmental business which will be conducted. This policy does not, in my opinion, require exacting specificity. Thus, such general designations as "miscellaneous business" or "such other matters as may come before the body" are probably adequate notice to the press and the public that items not specifically listed on the agenda may be considered. I would caution, however, that where the presiding officer of a governmental body has specific knowledge that matters may come before the body, they should be included on the agenda. 


The second question is whether anything in subch. IV of ch. 19, Stats., requires that a governmental body delay action on matters which are not specifically noticed under se. 19.84, Stats., until the next meeting. The answer to this question is no. So long as some general notice of the type of business to be conducted at the meeting is provided, and the general notice is not a subterfuge, the governmental body is not required to refer to committee or delay action until the next meeting of the body." 


66 Op. Att'y Gen. 93 (1977) - summary

Although a school board is not necessarily limited to agenda items and may revise or add to the agenda if there is an agenda item called "agenda revisions," this practice should be avoided. Members should communicate specific items known in advance to the presiding officer who should give notice of a supplemental agenda by means outlined under sec. 19.84(1). Matters of importance or wide interest should be postponed until more specific notice can be given. [pg. 24]