Chair’s Report for September 9, 2003


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.


Senate Actions signed off by the Chancellor

1.        Change deadline for Promotion Decisions

2.        Ownership Interests for Online Courses Frequently Asked Questions


Open Forum Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting minutes

1.        Leaders of Colleges and Universities Committees in State Assembly and Senate now seem to agree that UW-System has taken fair share of cuts; Apparently they intend to write letter to Governor Doyle stating just that; letter not yet sent

2.        Wondering about UW-System stance on increased health care premiums during year when talking 0% pay increase;  President Lyall asked System Compensation Advisory Committee for reaction to possibly increasing what willing to pay for health care premiums even further in exchange for larger increase in pay plan; She is looking for what to go to Board of Regents with in October - Seen as more than just trade-off – is structural change; Health care costs also expanding at faster rate; Starting in January, will be three tiers with premiums becoming progressively higher - Should know soon what exact premiums will be; already know providers in each tier; Option of choosing plan at no cost no longer available; everyone will pay something; As of yet, does not include people covered by collective bargaining; For people in certain plans, may not be a big difference in employee cost


Faculty Reps Meeting – August 29

1.        Reps discussed what it means to be a Faculty Rep and suggested topics for discussion for the future – retention, assessment, collaboration, health insurance, workload, program array, faculty member’s retention criteria. Reps serving on the five Regent working groups for “Charting a New Course for the UW System” were noted. Others serving on each committee include: academic staff, faculty, student, Chancellor, Regent as Chair, two other Regents, and system personnel.

2.        Chancellor Bill Messner of the Colleges provided an overview of the Board of Regents. He then spoke about the role differences of the Tech colleges and the two-year colleges within the UW System. Legislators continue to ask for a seamless system between the two systems.

3.        Institutional reports: Whitewater – low replacement rate of faculty, increased teaching load for AS, great concern is the potential for increased cost of health care; UW-Milwaukee – increased enrollment, chancellor search; Extension – reaching adults locally, rising cost of health care results in actual pay cut, will host outreach scholarship conference; Colleges – no layoffs but fewer hires, working on salary improvement plan, concern about health plan cost, need info on merit systems; Oshkosh – seeking opinions on compensation, hosting October Board meeting, looking at policies for cost savings, increased number of AS and contracts are shorter, most of summer school eliminated, number of sections and numbers of computers replaced was down; Stout – 2nd year of wireless laptops for students, centralized advising center, reorganized School of Ed, increased focus on assessment…especially for quality of instruction, push to lower credits to degree… philosophically controversial; Superior – new mission “liberal arts college of the UW System”, no sabbaticals, no travel to speak of, concerned about 0% salary increase, finalizing grade appeal process; River Falls – instituted program assessment, midst of GE revision, examining administrator evaluation system; Green Bay – workload, pay, morale, strategic budgeting; LaCrosse – lost 18 faculty, looking at reorganization, campus morale, loss of younger faculty, planned drop in enrollment; Parkside – examining FYE from bookstore to classroom, teacher ed council; Stevens Point – new instrument for student evaluations of faculty, educating students, faculty, administration in appropriate use of instrument, salary inequities.


Board of Regents Meeting – Sept. 4-5

1.        Prior to the official beginning of the Committees, five separate working groups met to work on various aspects of the study “Charting a New Course for the UW System”. These groups include: Research & Public Service Missions, Revenue Authority & Other Opportunities, Redefining Educational Quality, Achieving Operating Efficiencies, and Our Partnership with the State.;
summary at

2.        The new chair of the Education committee, Jose Olivieri, opened the meeting by stating he wants to have more discussions and fewer presentations. Cora Marrett, UW System vice president for academic affairs, outlined the role of and agenda for the Education Committee.

3.        The committee also: had the first reading of a proposed new program authorization for a master's of science degree in physician assistant studies at UW-La Crosse; accepted the 2002 Report on Undergraduate Drop Rates; and appointed Dr. Susan Goelzer to the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Oversight and Advisory Committee.

4.        In the Business & Finance Committee, members heard a final report on the limited-term employee conversion pilot program at UW-Madison. The program converted 51full-time LTE to permanent classified status and has helped produce a more stable workforce for the university.

5.      The Physical Planning & Funding Committee approved $277,400 to construct a parking lot on UW-Eau Claire's upper campus and $417,000 for a lighting project at UW-Eau Claire's Bollinger Fields.

6.        At Friday’s full-board meeting, the 12th Annual Regent’s Teaching Awards (Dr. Janna Cowen, Economics – UW-River Falls; Dr. Carole Vopat, English and Womens Studies – UW-Platville; and the Departmental Award (Geog & Geol – UW-Stevens Point) were announced. Brief summary reports were given by Committee Chairs.

7.        President Lyall Lyall reminded the board that budget cuts have meant noticeable changes for students and employees on all UW campuses. Both internal and external members of the UW community will notice fewer courses, longer lines and slower services…. Lyall also said that in addition to the $250 million reduction in state funding for the UW System over the next two years, the Department of Administration has not yet decided how to allocate additional cuts stemming from the Governor’s vetoes—which could add up to as much as another $20 million to the UW System cuts. In addition, Lyall noted that the UW might have to spend as much as $8 million more for increased health insurance costs; is still facing a $6 million shortfall in utility funds; and could lose up to $700,000 from the state to assist disabled students.

8.        In accordance with state statutes, the Board of Regents made its annual adjustment of salary ranges for UW senior executives earlier this week in a teleconference meeting. No pay raises were approved. At Friday’s meeting, Regent Nino Amato of Madison raised concerns about the process that led to the teleconference meeting to adjust the salary ranges.


Legislative Update


1.        The Senate Higher Education and Tourism Committee may vote on Wednesday, Sept. 10 on SB-85, a proposal that changes membership of the Board of Regents by substituting a resident from each of the 16 technical college districts for the Technical College System Board member and the 14 citizen members and by adding a student member who is at least 24 years old.  Earlier this year, the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee amended a companion bill (AB 208) to simply add to the board a non-traditional student who would be selected by the governor.  The Senate may adopt the same amendment.

2.        The Speaker’s Task Force on the Wisconsin Technical College System has invited UW System President Katharine C. Lyall and WTCS President Richard Carpenter to address the committee about credit transfer issues on Tuesday, Sept. 9.