Chair’s Report for November 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: 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.

3.        Committee Chairs:

         To have any motion through the Senate this semester, the motion needs to be in the Senate office by Tuesday, November 20th.

         To implement any changes to the language of the Constitution by next fall, the motion needs to reach the Senate office by March 5th in order to go through Senate and be voted on by the University Faculty and/or University Academic Staff by the end of the academic year.


Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meetings

Review of Open Discussion on Shared Governance and Senate Structure for determination of course of action.

1.        Sense few looking for separate faculty and academic staff senates; not widespread consensus

2.        Issue of academic staff with faculty status needs clearing up

         Currently being investigated in personnel committees

3.        Membership on Senate Committees seen as main issue of contention requiring attention

         Nonsenate membership on Senate Committees makes harder for whole body to function

         At some other universities in system are nonsenators on committees, but chairs must be senators

         May need to target areas with problems supplying representatives

o        School vs. college-level representation; continued representation part of deal at time of reorganization

o        If smaller schools want representation, then have to shoulder burden

o        If only three members in category, will have to serve

         Way committee membership and activity valued and incorporated into evaluation decisions has bearing on willingness to serve

o        Perhaps getting chairs and deans involved with ways to enhance interest

o        Others might be encouraged to serve if benefits articulated

         Perhaps should be solved where problem lies – Senate members and deans of colleges involved

o        Suggest areas involved look carefully to determine if they need representation on all committees

o        If look closely at committee responsibilities, may find others outside particular area could represent that contingency

o        On certain committees could do some consolidation of responsibilities

o        Are areas where lack of representation would probably not hurt

         By consensus, Chair Harrison to write to College of Business and College of Professional Studies deans and respective college Senate members suggesting they discuss representation

o        Perhaps others could represent various schools on some committees to help lift burden on some members

o        Remedy should start with those affected by current structure



Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        In reference to Reps concerns about System requesting faculty and academic staff representatives to System committee and such representatives being appointed without governance input, System administration stated that Provosts will try to consult with governance groups if System gives them enough lead time.

2.        The next request for a representative for a System committee is for the Retention Conference to take place in January. The Provost will receive a request shortly to identify a team to attend the conference.

3.        System has negotiated with the State and we will not have a hiring freeze. Instead a negotiated sum of money will be ‘given back’ to the State. While campuses should be able to handle the give back, it has been suggested to chancellors that hiring for some ‘less essential’ positions be slowed down. Theoretically this is a one-time give back of GPR. Also, the Biennial Budget may be reopened again in February. The first thing to be discussed then will probably be School Aid, which makes up about 50% of the GPR budget. UW System only makes up about 9%.

4.        Discussion of the Status of the Instruction and Research Academic Staff reports across the System: In Madison, the Senate passed the concept of Research Professors titles, but not Instructional Professor titles. The Administration there believes it is free to create any working titles and some have done so. The Faculty Senate is upset since it had voted not to create Instructional titles with the word Professor in them. Current resolution being discussed states that any proposed working titles that include the word ‘Professor’ in the title must come to the Senate for approval. This motion will probably pass in Madison. Also, at Madison, a person cannot hold both Research AS and Instructional AS titles. If one can show one does both research and instruction, then the person has the right to be reviewed for the tenure track.

5.        As for the concept of ‘Faculty Status’, Madison indicates for a given individual if that individual has voting rights for curriculum matters and/or voting rights on selection of a Department Chair. These rights are given at the department level by the DPC. At Oshkosh, instructional academic staff in the beginning of their fifth semester at 50% or more contract have automatic voting rights as faculty.

6.        River Falls is working towards a merger of the Governance Structure – merging the Academic Staff Senate with the Faculty Senate.

7.        Update on what is happening in Academic Affairs at the System level: looking at the new biennial budget, framing budget initiatives; reviewing the academic program planning process, process of developing new academic programs, encouraging connections among campuses; looking at the appropriate role of technology; organizing the System office to facilitate better communication.

8.        Items for future discussion at Reps meetings were announced: changing face of the faculty – changes in value of governance, loss of institutional history, salary policies for administrators returning to classrooms, getting newly promoted people involved in governance; how Affirmative Action policies are being implemented (advisability of departmental ranking of candidates)

9.        The Superior rep distributed a document concerning the Marder case:  Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin (available in the Senate office).


Board of Regents Meeting

1.        Four key topics were presented to the full Board of Regents: Federal Funding Strategy, UW Systemwide Information Technology Plan (available in the Senate office), Learning Innovations update, and the role of testing and high school graduation tests. It was emphasized that it is the role of the Regents, if a high school graduation test is developed, to focus on how it might be useful for admission decisions, not whether a test is implemented or not in the state.

2.        Discussion of the topics continued in the Education Committee where it was noted that confusion seems to exist as to the Boards stance on the use of the graduation test for admission. Regent Boyle concluded by stressing that clarification of the prior Board of Regents’ action was needed and would occur at the December meeting.

3.        Dr. Tess Arenas reported on efforts to improve the tracking of students following their participation in Pre-College Programs and work on developing integrated databases. UW System Legal Counsel has drafted an agreement with the Department of Public Instruction for access to student records of Pre-College participants to aid in tracking. The Pre-College Program application will be standardized to fit the tracking databases. The TRIO Program evaluation model is being reviewed as the standard for Pre-College program evaluation. Over the next year, Multicultural Affairs office will gather data about the nature of pre-college programs being offered and will craft a plan to look at the array being offered and ways to make sure programs are working.

4.        Wisconsin Economic Summit II will be held November 26-27, 2001 in Milwaukee. (Lisa Theo from Geography will be our UW-Eau Claire faculty member attending the Summit.)

5.        President Lyall reported that Fall 2001 enrollment brings us close to our target for 2006!

6.        Much discussion was held on differentiating the missions of the UW Colleges from that of the Technical Colleges in Wisconsin. This can be done with collaboration. It was stressed that the Board needs to reaffirm collaboration as an outgrowth of the UW-Colleges mission, not as an expansion. The report stated part of the problem was public confusion; duplication of efforts; political interference; and limited student success – less than 4 out of 10 transfers from non-college parallel programs succeed when transferring to the UW System. It stressed the need to clarify the differentiated missions; avoid further expansion of the transfer of GenEd credits for non-college parallel WTCS students and promote efforts of sharing resources and developing collaborative programs to meet student needs. Regents will be discussing this topic more after a meeting between UW and WTCS leaders.

7.        An overview of the 2003-05 UW System Operating & Capital Budget Development process and principles was given. (Copy available in the Senate office.) The overview provided the timeline, components of the budget, and criteria for initiatives: strong outcomes, reallocation, and collaboration focus.

8.        Regent Berry stressed frustration with the fact that four appointed Regents have yet to be confirmed by the legislature.


Legislative Update


1.        SB-136. Use of accumulated unused sick leave credits and certain health premium credits to purchase long-term care insurance for WRS participants. Referred to Joint Committee on Finance.

2.        The committee heard testimony against AB-87 (Schneider), a measure to prohibit the UW System Board of Regents and a technical college district board from imposing a parking violation fine during final exam periods. Officer Dale Burke of UW Madison explained this would create safety and security problems.  The bill was not recommended for further action.

3.        AB-556 passed the assembly 87-9. The bill is a product of the 2000 Legislative Council Special Committee on Labor Shortage.  Sections of the bill apply to the UW System. Student Loan Forgiveness Study. Requires HEAB, by January 1, 2003, to study and report on the cost, desirability, and effectiveness of creating a student loan forgiveness program to attract workers to the state. Job Training Access Policies.  Requires the UW System board of regents, each WTCS district board, and each school board in the state to have a policy regarding the use of classrooms and facilities by local organizations and businesses for the purpose of employment related training. The policy may condition access on payment of a reasonable fee, the availability of space, and the appropriateness of the training and may limit access to activities that are consistent with the mission of the institution, college campus, technical college, or school district. 

4.        The Assembly voted 97-0 to support AB-558. A section of the bill provides that, if a student who is a member of the Wisconsin national guard or a reserve unit withdraws from a technical college or UW system institution because he or she is called into service for at least 30 days, the school must, at the student's request, either: 1) reimburse the student all tuition and fees paid for all courses from which the student had to withdraw and, for UW system students, a prorated portion of room and board payments; or 2) grant the student an incomplete in all such courses and permit the student to complete the courses within six months after leaving service, without paying additional tuition or fees. The bill also provides that such a student who withdraws from a private college or university is entitled to the second option of an incomplete. Note: This bill simply mirrors the UW System policy issued Sept. 17, 2001. The identical bill passed the Senate Health, Utilities, Veterans and Military Affairs on Tuesday, October 23, 2001, on a vote of 9 – 0.

5.        SB-239. (Risser) Valuation of sick leave credits for health insurance. The bill relates to the valuation of a state employee's accumulated sick leave credits for the payment of health insurance premiums under a group health insurance program administered by the group insurance board. Passed, Voice Vote, in Senate.

6.        SJR-46. Honoring Dr. James Thomson, UW-Madison, WARF for work on stem cell research. Adopted, 23-9, in Senate.

7.        AB-509. Increases appropriation to fund national guard tuition grants in 2002-03. Passage recommended 15-0 in Joint Finance. Passed, 29-4 in Senate.

8.        SB-256. National guard tuition grants changes. Passage as amended, 16-0 in Joint Finance.

9.        SB-295 (Chvala). Passed in Senate 17-16. Funding for the Biostar program. Passage failed, 8-8 in Joint Finance. The measure that allows UW-Madison to accelerate development of the Biostar project, passed the Senate Economic Development and Corrections vote 3 – 0.

10.     The Senate Universities, Housing and Government Operations Committee passed 4-3 SB-175. The measure will 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 representatives 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. The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee passed the Assembly companion bill (Kreibich) -- AB 371 -- on October 16, 2001 by a vote of 8-2 (Krawczyk and Underheim).  Opponents of the bills were concerned with the requirement that the Governor choose from a list forwarded by elected representatives of student government organizations.

11.     The Senate approved Tommie L. Jones as member of the UW System Board of Regents unanimously (33-0).  Mr. Jones is a student at UW-Whitewater and will serve a term ending in May, 2003.

12.     New Bill Introductions: AB-520 This bill provides that a nomination of the governor for appointment to a statutory office (including UW System Regents) is considered confirmed 180 days after its submission if it has not been rejected by the senate or withdrawn by the governor. Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.