Chair’s Report for December 9, 2003


Senate update

1.        Senators - remember to initial the sign-in roster. Guests should sign the Guest Register.

2.        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.

3.        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.     Acknowledged University Senate Resolution on University Support


Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        Brief discussion on a study by a Steven’s Point professor on the inability of Technical College transfer students to adequately perform in university-level psychology courses. More discussion will follow. Reminder that the System’s Academic Advising group, newly created, will provide suggested procedures for campuses to use in determining the transferability of courses.

2.        Louise Root-Robbins from System described the Sloan Foundation Work/Life Project – a project to see how to expand opportunities in career advancement. Since 1987, have lost over 600 faculty positions. The project will look at what is happening, how this loss has affected the campuses and instruction. Demonstration (pilot) campuses were selected to include geographic diversity, differences in types of institutions, and those ready and working in work/life areas. The project will work with each demonstration campus to help them effect a change in the area of work life and opportunities for career advancement.

3.        Charting a new Course working group updates: the Revenue Authority group heard how Stout has gone to a per credit tuition and is working on a proposal to give incentives for completing a degree in 4-5 years; Operating Efficiencies is looking at ways to increase instructional delivery using more staff than faculty.

4.        Institutional Reports: GB – open meeting law relationship to review of individuals, want it as open as possible; balance between academic staff and tenured faculty; institutional climate, suspected problems of fairness, strategic budgeting; LaCrosse – reorganization of PhysEd, Health, Teacher Ed, staffing, and service & supplies concerns; Milwaukee – chancellor search progressing, strategic budget planning, looking at differential tuition in four colleges, open records law being discussed; Oshkosh – move toward more web/computer format for savings in Administration, but putting burden in departments, some departments want required GPA for specific programs, looking into male/female ratios on campus; Parkside – strategic budgeting, committee to look at streamlining program review and working directly with Provost office to help decide faculty hires in conjunction with budgets, mentoring for new faculty & academic staff, looking at Teacher Ed program, looking at what recall of $ for supporting financial aid did to the campus; Platteville – controversy over Print Program in Business, administration wants to eliminate it, faculty are in full support to keep it, Senate voted unanimously to reverse decision of Chancellor, enrollment expansion, forum on Issues of Funding UW System to be in February; River Falls – concerns on conversion of People Soft and shifting decisions now to Dean’s office, GE review and reformatting, assessment; Superior – compliance of reducing program credits, streamlining number of tracks, finalizing policy for campus for strategic planning, university-wide review of retention and promotion process, gift of $5 million for academic building; Whitewater – personnel rules revision, using NSE and FSE to look at quality, participating in sexual harassment training, been pushing for study of power of women in governance & administration, attempt to meet needs out of reserve funds, students working at publishing evaluations; Colleges – changing way for initiating policies in senate, role colleges play with tech college system, faculty worried if will need to take on additional responsibilities

5.        Plans are being made by System to host regional meetings to discuss implications of Supreme Court decisions on race in terms of scholarships, and fellowships.


Board of Regents Meeting  and

1.        In the most recent budget, state lawmakers required the UW System to use $26 million in auxiliary funds to supplement state financial aid – a one-time source that will not meet the ongoing demand for such funding. During a discussion Thursday morning about state and national financial aid policies, several regents and university officials expressed concern about the declining number of needy Wisconsin students attending UW campuses and lack of financial aid to support them.

2.        Frank Goldberg, UW System associate vice president for policy analysis and research, told the board that Wisconsin lags behind its Midwestern neighbors and trails the national average in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a four-year degree. … Goldberg stressed that the university system can provide more access for non-traditional students and other underserved populations. He emphasized that need-based financial aid plays an important role in providing access to a bachelor's degree.

3.        The full Board of Regents on Friday approved two final items of a six-part plan to increase credit transfer opportunities between the UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. The first item will allow WTCS students in college-parallel programs at the Madison, Milwaukee and Nicolet campuses to transfer up to 72 credits and satisfy general education requirements at any UW campus, subject to UW faculty approval on those campuses. The second item would create a broad-based committee to explore options for expanding the number of Wisconsin residents with bachelor's degrees "in collaborative and cost-effective ways." During Thursday’s discussion of this, Regent Fred Mohs of Madison said he appreciated the specific language of the item that calls for faculty approval of WTCS courses that transfer to meet general education requirements. "We share governance, and we share it gladly and with gratitude," Mohs said

4.        The committee on Thursday also reviewed the UW System faculty sabbatical reassignments for 2004-05. Several regents praised the program for its ability to enhance learning and teaching at no additional cost. UW System President Katharine C. Lyall said that private businesses generally use the benchmark of spending 5 percent of their budgets on professional development. The UW System comes in under that figure, she noted. "Any cutting-edge business realizes that you need to keep your talent on the cutting-edge, and we expect that, too," she said. Regent Fred Mohs of Madison said faculty sabbaticals are critical to maintaining quality and recruiting new professors.

5.        The Regents' Business and Finance Committee Thursday learned about changes in EdVest, Wisconsin's college savings program, in reaction to questions raised about fund mismanagement by Strong Investments. UW System Vice President for Finance Deborah Durcan told the committee that the College Savings Board has approved four new mutual fund alternatives for investors with lower fees in time for end-of-year investments and tax reporting.

6.        U.S. Reps. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), and Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) told the board that their work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is intended to help alleviate some of the fiscal pressure universities are experiencing as a result of budget cuts. Kind said he has heard a great deal of feedback in opposition to a proposal from Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, (R-Calif.), that would withhold federal financial aid from colleges and universities that raise tuition by more than twice the rate of inflation. Kind said he has helped introduce an alternative proposal that would instead offer incentives to states that “hold harmless” students by more fully funding higher education. Kind also noted that for the first time in 10 years, Congress is expected to freeze the level of funding provided by Pell grants for the next fiscal year. Regent Peggy Rosenzweig of Wauwatosa asked if public outcry may be able to influence a change in that plan, but Kind said the decision is almost certain to be voted on when the House returns to session next week. Lyall said the board should consider joining with student groups to create requests for the 2005-07 budget that would ensure sufficient financial aid funding, and will examine earmarking savings from administrative cutbacks for financial aid.

7.        Lyall reminded the board that the 2003-05 budget required a one-time use of $26 million in UW auxiliary reserves to fund student financial aid, leaving a hole to fill in the next biennial budget. Lyall suggested that the board could also adopt a resolution at its February meeting, with support from the chancellors and student governments, urging Congress to increase federal financial aid.


Legislative Update

The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in room 225-NW. The following bills will be heard:
AB-406. Requires colleges and universities to reenroll a student who was called into active duty military service in the semester following discharge or the next succeeding semester.
AB-540. Establishes a statutory code of ethics governing unclassified personnel of the UW System.

A vote will likely be held on the following bills, which have already had a hearing:
AB-366. Mandating the transfer of credits between and within the UW System and technical college system. An amendment has been introduced.
 AB-543. Expands the statutory notice of public meetings of certain bodies within the UW System.
AB-558. Requires UW System Board of Regents to vote by roll call.

New Legislation Circulating
Administrators—Rep. Stone is circulating LRB-3636, which would prohibit
University of Wisconsin System administrators from serving on the board of directors of corporations where a conflict of interest might exist.

Chancellors/Deans—Sen. Hansen is circulating LRB-3571/2, which would require the president and chancellors (including deans of the two-year UW Colleges campuses) of the UW System to obtain the approval of the Ethics Board before accepting compensation for serving on a corporation’s board of directors.