Chair’s Report for October 9, 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. Motions for the upcoming meeting should be on this site by the Wednesday prior to the Tuesday 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.


Open Forum Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting minutes

1.        Due to the short time frame (less than 24 hours), the Executive Committee acting on behalf of the full University Senate passed the following resolution unanimously and sent letters containing such a resolution to each member of the Joint Committee of Employee Relations (JCOER): The University Senate Executive Committee at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire strongly urges you to approve the pay package (3.2% for 2001-02 and 2.1%/2.1% for 2002-03 as recommended by DER for all UW faculty and academic staff.

2.        Chancellor noted need to remember special nature of university environment

         Allows talking and discussing ideas regardless of whether or not everyone agrees

         Specifically, few community members displeased with forum held September 11th, forum in November featuring Palestinian scholar, and using UWEC facilities last summer by Middle Eastern youth

         Despite events of September 11th, University will continue to grow International Education programs

         However, programs in Continuing Ed will be looked at more carefully in future to ensure programs fit mission


Student Senate

1.        (October 8) After much thoughtful and spirited debate, Student Senate passed a resolution supporting the proposed changes to GE requirements, but increased the subcategory requirement from 2 to 3 in GE III and GE IV.


Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        (September 28) Update on pay plan was provided. Thanks to all faculty and academic staff expressed for letters, faxes, phone calls, and emails on behalf of the pay plan. While some deny statement of considering decoupling, concept was proposed. Debate on this issue should stop now, but one needs to keep a watch for any future hints of decoupling.

2.        The titling issue concerning Instructional Academic Staff is being done differently on various campuses. Concern was expressed by some reps that various titles are being developed with no sense of consistency. The apparently non-existent role of governance to approve IAS working titles was highlighted.

3.        The September Board of Regents meeting was reviewed. The October Board of Regents meeting was previewed. Board meetings will have one session centering around topics on retention, accountability, information & technology infrastructures, and trends in recruitment of faculty and one session centering around budget and economic development. Regents are interested in faculty input.

4.        Overview of new system-wide groups being created was given. Faculty reps stressed the need to involve campus governance structures in providing names for such system-wide groups.

5.        Faculty reps agreed to send a thank you to the Chancellors and President Lyall for their letter of support to legislators.

6.        Updates on campus actions concerning Marder resolution, proposed by a member of the Milwaukee campus Senate, provided. Most campuses have tabled the issue. Superior is writing a new resolution and will share it when finished.

7.        Reps shared issues at each campus such as (1) requirement that lists of applicants recommended for hire be submitted in unranked order [some campuses rank them anyway; has been acknowledged that this is NOT a system policy, but recommended as a good policy]; (2) process for selecting a department chair [one campus requires that both the department and the Dean agree on the selection – either has right to veto the selection]; and (3) request for per credit fee structure may soon come forward to the Board from one campus.


Board of Regents Meeting

1.        Board of Regents meeting held here at UW-Eau Claire on October 4 and 5. Presentations included: Briefing paper “Campus Climate as a Factor in Student Retention”; “Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity” (biennial report on file in the Senate office); “Resources: Accountability for New Initiatives” – will track funds against what campuses said the funds would help them achieve;  “National Higher Education Resource Strategies” by Chancellor, University of Maine System – necessary actions: 1. Listen to voices of the people, 2. Construct a positive agenda (visible sacrifice, genuine partnership, commit to a greater value for consumer, develop compact or formal agreement), 3. Implement a broad “grass roots” communication campaign, 4. Empower university leaders to be spokespersons, 5. Carry the campaign to political leaders, and 6. Make all this a standard way of doing business.

2.        Impressive presentation of UW-Eau Claire’s Marks of Excellence given by Chancellor Mash followed by an Introduction to Student Retention Issues.

Legislative Update

1.        2001 Legislative Session Legislation Introduced: AB 502 (Hundertmark) provides that a school board is not financially responsible for more than six credits of higher education instruction of an 11th or 12th grade public school under the youth options program. This bill provides that pupils participating in the youth options program are eligible for both the Wisconsin higher education grant program (WHEG) and the tuition grant program.

2.        The Assembly Committee on Health and the Assembly Committee on Public Health met in Marshfield on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 to hear testimony from invited speakers (including Rita Kisting Sparks, RN, PhD, School of Nursing UW-Eau Claire) regarding the nursing shortage in Wisconsin.

3.        The Assembly passed AB-509 (Musser), 98-0 on a voice vote. The bill increases the appropriation to fund National Guard tuition grants in 2002-03. The Joint Finance Committee, in its deliberations, reduced funding for the existing National Guard tuition grants from 100 percent to 85 percent. Governor Scott McCallum vetoed this provision, thus re-establishing the 100 percent rate. The bill will restore 100 percent funding at a tentatively estimated cost of $1.8 million.

4.        The Assembly passed AB-320 (Jensen), which creates an income tax and franchise tax credit for businesses that pay tuition of an individual to attend a university, college, or technical college. The measure passed 73-25.

5.        The Assembly also voted against hearing AB-194 (Black), a measure to link financial aid increases to tuition increases. The motion to take the proposal up was defeated 42-55.

6.        The Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) approved the Governor's recommended compensation plan for UW System on a vote of 6 - 2 (Representatives John Gard and Steve Foti in opposition). The plan covers UW senior executives, faculty and academic staff. The plan included: An unfunded increase of 3.2% over the base payroll for fiscal year 2001-2002. An increase of 2.1% over the 103.2% of the 2001-2001 base payroll for fiscal year 2002-2003, beginning in July 2002. No more than 1.0% will be funded from GPR, with the UW System funding the balance of 1.1%. An unfunded increase of 2.1% over the 105.3% of the 2001-2001 base payroll for fiscal year 2002-2003, beginning in January, 2003.

7.        The Senate Universities, Housing and Government Operations Committee met on Wednesday, October 3, 2001. Committee members confirmed student regent-designate Tommie L. Jones to the Board of Regents 7-0. In addition, the committee heard SB 130 (Grobschmidt), a proposal that prohibits the Board of Regents from requiring the use of the high school graduation test for admission to UW System institutions. There was no action on the bill pending Regents' meetings on this issue. The vote was 6 - 1 (Zien). In addition the committee heard SB 175 (Grobschmidt), the bill to add a nontraditional student to the Board of Regents. The committee members decided not to vote on the proposal.

8.        The Senate Universities, Housing and Government Operations Committee passed SB 136 (Risser), a measure pertaining to using accumulated unused sick leave credits and certain health insurance premium credits for the purchase of long-term care insurance for participants under the Wisconsin Retirement System.

9.        The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee will meet on October 16, 2001, to vote on AB 371, a measure introduced by Rep. Rob Kreibich to increase the student representation on the Board of Regents from one to two members. One member is to be at least 18 years old and recommended to the Governor by elected reps of student government organizations at institutions within the UW System. The proposed additional member is to be at least 24 years old and to represent the views of nontraditional students, such as those who are employed or who are parents.

10.     The committee is also scheduled to consider AB 87 (Schneider). The measure prohibits the UW System Board of Regents and a technical college district board from imposing a parking violation fine during final exam periods. The exam period is defined as beginning on the first day on which final exams are given and ending on the seventh day after the last exam is given. The bill does not apply to violations related to parking for the physically disabled.

11.     The Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems met on Tuesday, October 9, 2001 to take up AB-498 (Vrakas). The bill makes various changes to WRS contribution rates. An analysis of the bill's impact is currently underway and will be disseminated as soon as possible.