Chair’s Report for March 27, 2001


Senate update

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


Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meetings

1.        Discussion of Request for Non-Senator Membership on University Senate Academic Policies, Budget, and Technology Committees

   Copy of statement of support from faculty member with proposal distributed and read; discussion followed

   Standing Technology Committee formed to watch for technology issues curriculum and personnel implications to make certain shared governance involved with policy decisions in these areas

   To open committee to non-senators defeats and expands purpose of committee

   Took being on Senate for me to gain respect for purpose of University Senate

   Oppose opening to non-senators; of three justifications listed two not forceful, other weak

   Closed session only allowed for few very specific issues, not policy decisions

   These three committees only ones besides Executive and Nominating without elected non-senators serving

   At times shortage of senators to fill all committee positions; this would mitigate problem

   Talked at length about committee membership when last restructured Senate (spring 1998)

   Decision at time for majority or all of committee to be senators

   If not enough senators to staff committees, then maybe need to increase size of body

   See value in requiring Senate membership because representative body

   Opening up committees may not result in more people forthcoming from groups needed for positions difficult to staff

   Not sure where stand on issue, but see inconsistency in committee structure as problem

   All committee structures open for changes at restructuring

   Membership on Academic Policies Committee not addressed (during restructuring) other than to remove restriction on Library member being senator because is only one senator from Library and that representative already required to sit on Budget Committee

   Budget Committee perceived to have too many non-senator members so changed to increase number of senators

   Technology Committee restricted to senators because of proposed purpose

   Personnel Committees did not believe changes necessary at that time (of restructuring)

   History of formulation of personnel and compensation committees with elected at-large membership unknown

   Since probably not time to get constitution changed this spring, consensus to report discussion to Senate as part of Chair’s Report, garner comments from senators, send copy of minutes to concerned faculty member, and further discuss as necessary


Faculty Reps Meeting, March 2

1.        Associate Vice President of Budget and Planning Kathleen Sell and Vice President of University Relations Linda Weimer provided an overview of the Biennial Budget. [Available in Senate Office]

2.        Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Larry Rubin provided a copy of the new Systemwide AODA Policy. [Copy is available in the Senate office.]

3.        Senior Academic Planner in Academic Affairs Fran Garb provided a preview of the PK-16 Curriculum Alignment project to be presented at the Board of Regents meeting (see Board notes)

4.        Lengthy discussion occurred concerning the problems various campuses are having with PeopleSoft – especially in the area of student records used for academic purposes. One campus reported the degree audits was only accurate through December 1999 and any course taken since then had to be manually included in the record. Suffice it to say, the discussion was tense at times. Regent Vice President Gerald Randall was present for this discussion during lunch.


Board of Regents Meeting, March 8 & 9


1.        All regents were invited to a review of the Governor’s Budget Proposal. Concerns in the proposed budget and statutory language were highlighted. The Regents reaffirmed the financial aid funding principle “GPR financial aid and graduate assistant support increases should be kept commensurate with general tuition increases” and encouraged the Governor and Legislature to fund state-supported financial aid programs to achieve this goal.


2.        President Lyall provided an Economic Stimulus Proposal. (see attachment) This Economic Stimulus Package outlines the Regent’s priorities if additional funding is received from the legislature for 2001-2003. During the discussions, Regent Boyle stressed the need to maintain the quality of faculty and staff – “we must put this ahead of access; we must make it very clear the need to support 4.2%”. Regent Krutsch encouraged campuses to see if businesses in the area would fund positions to help retain students in the area and work on internships. Regent Olivieri said it was sad that the instructional technology component in the budget was being sacrificed and he hoped System could look at ways to reallocate funds for IT. He also stressed the need for financial aid to be in alignment with tuition. Regent Mohs stressed the need to pick up the extra 4.7 million not received last time to support the libraries. Regent Grottschack expressed concern that the current budget backs away from partnerships established in the last budget and that donors in the future may resist being asked to substitute for state funds rather than supplement state funds. Regent President Smith again reminded everyone that we must work as a team as we go forward working with the legislature. Regent Mohs offered a resolution thanking President Lyall and all UW-System staff for their role in making UW Day such a success. [Full text of Governor McCallum’s speech at UW Day available in the Senate office.]


3.        During the Education Committee, a review of the work of the PK-16 Standards and Alignment project was presented. The project involved investigating the continuity between what students are expected to learn in high school and what they must know to succeed in college. [Briefing paper available in the Senate office.]  Responding to findings showing gaps in the high school preparation and college expectations in mathematics, “Regent Krutsch proposed several policy considerations intended to help remedy the situation: (1) requiring four years of mathematics for admission to UW institutions; (2) having UW institutions give no credit for remedial math courses; and (3) recommending interactive mathematics software that students could use to improve their math skills before entering the university”… Regent Axtell asked presenters “to comment on the use of the high school graduation test as a requirement for admission to UW institutions…. Regent Benson predicted that requiring the test for admission would put an end to remediation courses. Regent Olivieri proposed the following policy initiatives: (1) advocate continued work on alignment issues; (2) encourage exposure to math in each year of high school; (3) eliminate the negative connotation of the word ‘remediation’ in light of the increasing number of older, returning students; and (4) make explicit the assumption that a student cannot complete high school without being ready to attend college.” {from System draft minutes of the meeting}


4.        An overview of the process of Academic Program Review and Development was given. Regent Axtell stressed the importance of market research for new proposed programs and the importance of institutions’ monitoring program health since Regents do not have a role in discontinuing programs. “Regent Boyle urged development of standard criteria for reporting resources to the board and expressed the desire that campuses be required to specify what resources are available and to what extent it will commit those resources to a proposed new program. Interim Senior V.P. Beaver suggested the possibility of expanding the Executive Summary to include this information. … Regent Boyle stated that campuses should describe their funding strategy in the executive summary.” Regent Olivieri stressed the need for greater consistency in presenting market information and the need for a campus history regarding programs eliminated to be provided when a new program is brought forward. “He emphasized the need to discuss collaboration and the use of technology in program delivery very early in the process, urging that collaboration be a requirement for all proposed new programs…. Regent Boyle suggested getting a better sense of how a proposed program fits into campus program array and conforms to campus mission.”


5.        At the Friday meeting, different Chancellors, including Chancellor Mash, provided updates on regional Economic Summit events.


6.        President Regent Smith introduced the topic of Plan 2008 (which was not listed on the agenda). After a general discussion, Regent Alexander introduced a resolution to show continued support for Plan 2008 “Be it resolved that the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System hereby renews its commitment to promoting diversity, opportunity, and access for all its students, faculty and staff, and be it further resolved, that the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System directs the President and each campus’ Chancellor and staff to seek new and innovative measures that will bring said goals of the Board of Regents and of Plan 2008 to fruition.” One Regent wondered why they were doing this. Regent Mohs asked what was new in this motion. The motion passed.


The Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity Interim Report was distributed. [Full report available in the Senate office.]


7.        President Regent Smith then introduced a motion affirming the existing policy for Freshman Admissions (which was not listed on the agenda). Regent Mohs wondered how insecure were the proponents of this motion to bring it up without proper notice. “How is it that the usual collegial relationship of the board was set aside?”  Mohs is a strong advocated for removing the minority element from the current Freshman Admissions Policy, that is to strike the word ‘minority status’ from the following: “Students who do not meet the above criteria but are members of specific groups, for example, students in programs because of physical status or learning disability, minority status or because of substandard income level; veterans; incarcerated; or foreign students. These students may be admitted but considered exceptions.”


Fairly strong discussion occurred over the next 45 minutes to an hour. While a large portion of the discussion centered around the idea of race-based admissions, the discussion also focused on Open Meeting Laws and following established Board procedures. Once when a motion was made to table the discussion (a non-debatable motion), others wanted to speak and debate why the motion should not be tabled. It was determined by System Legal Council that one could speak on the non-debatable motion if there was unanimous consent to allow the person to speak. After one speaker was allowed to talk, Regent Gracz who originally made the motion to table informed the Regents he would not give further consent for other to speak. The roll call vote to table was taken and the motion was defeated. After more lengthy discussion, the policy was reaffirmed by a 13-3 roll call vote.


Regent Boyle asked the Education Committee to review, analyze, and carefully study the present admission policy and provide opportunities for all Regents to understand the policies. The Regents also asked to have specific admissions numbers relating to Plan 2008 reported in the September report on Plan 2008.


8.        A resolution was passed showing Regent support for the continuation of human embryonic stem cell research and support for continued federal funding that will enable research on human embryonic stem cells to move forward rapidly and, at the same time, ensure public access to such advances. Further, the Board opposed any state or federal legislation or administrative action that would have the effect of slowing or banning research in this area.


9.        Finally, a Report of the Regent’s Personnel Review Committee was presented (another item not on the agenda). The committee recommended that the record concerning allegations against John Marder made before the Faculty Termination Committee of UW-Superior was insufficient for dismissal for just cause and therefore directed proceedings to be discontinued but made note that any items may be used for future proceedings.


Regent Berry commented that the Chancellor of Superior had acted in good faith, but was dealt a poor hand. Regent Gracz wondered who “dealt” the poor hand? Berry responded that within our system, we expect administrative leadership out of those who may not have had training and stated that the case also dated back to a prior chancellor. The need to put more effort into management skills of Department Chairs and Faculty Committees was stressed. This ruling upholds the procedures established for faculty governance at UW-Superior while putting Marder on notice to be careful.


Legislative Update

See attachments.




1.        Dialogue with the Provost on Faculty Roles and Rewards at UW-Eau Claire, Wednesday, March 28, Presidents Room, Davies Center