Chair’s Report for March 9, 2004


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.     Renaming ART Majors; Eliminating KINS/MUSI Majors


Open Forum Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting minutes

Academic staff senator raised possibility of scheduling senate agenda items with business academic staff senators could vote on occurring first so they might excuse themselves at its completion

·         Most business seems to be for faculty consideration in their role as ‘producers’ at university; seems waste of two hours when have no say in matters anyway – just looking to make better use of time

·         Too late to change this year, but could consider when set order of business for 41st Session of Senate next year

·         Believe that is bad idea – we remain a University Senate; allows people on this campus to get a better big picture than those on campuses with separate academic staff and faculty senates

·         Whether discussing academic staff or faculty issues, educational process works in both directions

·         No restriction on involvement in discussion on any issue; can add insight into discussion, just cannot vote

·         All about issues from university perspective – informed community best prepared for shared governance

·         Chancellor never votes, would mean he should not attend either


Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Concern expressed about request from Senate Office for possible amendments to be submitted in advance for distribution prior to meeting

·         Seemed to set precedent that amendments must be printed (on blue paper) to be considered

·         Also concerned amendment distributed prior to motion that was to be amended introduced

·         Understand desire for time to think through possible changes

·         Still think strange to have amendment out before motion on the floor

·                     Letter from department chairs against program review revisions disseminated in similar manner

·         See difference because information, not amendment

·                     Also were amendments distributed that were not even made

·                     Would like to set standard procedure to deal with amendments and their distribution

·         Much easier to consider when able to read off paper rather than just hearing changes

·         Especially important if making substantial changes

·                     Also accessibility issues – when papers handed out during meeting, are those who cannot read them

·                     One more reason to adhere to two readings procedure

·         Concern expressed before, but continue to suspend rules with regularity

·                     See problem when something complex is amended on floor of Senate – even in second reading

·         Substantial changes can be made without being able to think about or consult about issues

·         Would favor having those amendments in writing and out as soon as possible

·                     Concerned precedent of having amendments written up intimidates people so don’t make amendments because not fully prepared in writing – might inhibit open discussion and revisions

·                     According to Robert’s Rules of Order, sheets of paper are part of discussion

·         No rule about what can be printed, but anything that would tend to impede open discussion should not be allowed

·         Seems circulating blue sheet at beginning instead of in midst of debate would tend to do that

·         Apart from Robert’s Rules, intuitively give standing to amendments passed out in advance

·                     Is individual prerogative, if feel strongly and plan to amend, to speak and pass out amendment in written form

·         Handing out in advance gives credence prematurely

·                     Chair of Senate does have prerogative as to what gets distributed; also chair’s responsibility to seek out verbal amendments

·                     Consensus to leave distribution of amendments up to individual senator


Faculty Reps Meeting

Next meeting in Madison, March 26th


Board of Regents Meeting – March 4th & 5th in Madison (condensed from Board of Regents website)

The proposed "Taxpayers Bill of Rights" or TABOR was discussed in the Regents' Business and Finance Committee. Lyall and committee members expressed concern about how tuition, gifts and grants, financial aid and bonding authority would be treated under proposed Wisconsin TABOR legislation. Gard, R-Peshtigo, predicted the proposed legislation would pass both houses of the Legislature later this spring, possibly during a special session in May. He told the committee that university gifts and grants and bonding authority likely would not be significant parts of the legislation. He was unsure how tuition would be treated under the proposal. Currently, the Legislature and the governor set the limits under which tuition can be raised for UW resident undergraduates by the Board of Regents. The regents control tuition for non-resident and graduate students. Lyall told the committee that a tuition cap could limit the number of students the university could educate. Gard said he thought the legislation should not have to limit enrollment.


UW System Associate Vice President for Learning & Information Technology Ed Meachen explained that technology is transforming higher education and the university system. Kathy Pletcher, head of information services at UW-Green Bay, told the regents that the number of online-related courses and enrollment in the UW System has grown tremendously. In 1999, there were about 1,200 online-related classes and 16,000 students. In 2003, those numbers grew to approximately 6,800 courses and 159,000 students. Last year alone, the number of online courses and students taking them jumped 33 percent. Meachen outlined several challenges to information technology in the future: state budget cuts; continued support of faculty using technology; campus collaboration during a time of declining resources; and the university remaining free of state restrictions on computer network issues.


Education committee revisited the importance of general education. The skills required for college graduates to become productive workers and citizens have developed over time, and the general education requirements on UW campuses that build those skills have undergone a similar evolution. The UW System adheres to a board policy that states the importance of general education outcomes—that is, the skills that develop from studies in the humanities, arts and social sciences—rather than an emphasis on specific coursework.


Business and Finance Committee reviewed differential tuition guidelines. The board in 1996 first approved flexibilities for tuition setting. In 1999 the board approved a policy outlining student involvement in differential tuition initiatives. Stephanie Hilton, academic affairs director for United Council, noted that students need to be consulted on differential tuition plans, and that these guidelines document the steps that had previously been more informally taken between students and the UW System. Brian Tanner, shared governance director for United Council, stated that students are opposed to differential tuition programs that are used to backfill state budget cuts and supplement state support.


The committee heard a report from George Brooks, associate vice president for human resources, regarding the number of actual layoffs and non-renewal of employee contracts due to budget cuts. Brooks outlined that 103 employees have lost their jobs due to either direct layoffs or the non-renewal of their annual employment contract. He noted that most other positions out of the 325 to be cut this year were vacancies not filled. Brooks said the UW System will face a stiff challenge next year when it must cut an additional 325 positions as part of budget cuts from the state.


State Building Commission in its annual ceremony honored excellence in design construction for state projects. Gov. Jim Doyle presented the awards to the recipients, one of which was Market and Johnson of Eau Claire for excellence in construction of the Chancellor's Hall project.


The members of the UW System President Search-and-Screen Committee, which will lead the effort to hire Lyall’s replacement were announced. The committee’s charge will be to identify and select finalists to be considered as a replacement for UW System President Katharine C. Lyall. Members of the Search-and-Screen Committee include: Regent David G. Walsh of Madison, who will chair the committee; Mark Bugher, director of the UW-Madison University Research Park; Regent Elizabeth Burmaster of Madison, who is state superintendent of public instruction; Michael Grebe of Milwaukee, regent president emeritus; David Hay, student government president, UW-Stout; Joseph Heim, professor of political science, UW-La Crosse; Thomas Lyon of Cambridge, regent president emeritus; David Markee, chancellor, UW-Platteville; David Olien, senior vice president for administration, UW System; Kathy Pletcher, associate provost, UW-Green Bay;  Regent Charles Pruitt of Milwaukee; Regent Beth Richlen of Madison, also a UW law student; Regent Peggy Rosenzweig of Wauwatosa; Regent Jesus Salas of Milwaukee; Jay L. Smith of Middleton, regent president emeritus; and Peter Spear, provost, UW-Madison. Two additional members will be named—one faculty and one academic staff—to the search-and-screen committee before Tuesday’s meeting, which will bring the total number of committee members to 18. The search-and-screen committee will report its recommendations to a regent selection committee, which will then interview finalists and recommend a new president to the full board. Regent President Marcovich will serve as co-chair of the Regent Selection Committee along with Regent Guy Gottschalk of Wisconsin Rapids, who is immediate past president of the board. Members include Regents Roger E. Axtell of Janesville, Mark J. Bradley of Wausau, Danae Davis of Milwaukee and David Walsh of Madison.


UW System President Lyall noted the governor and Legislature have found short-term solutions to manage projected state budget shortfalls for the current year, but the university must remain aware of continuing financial pressures as its enters the 2005-07 budget cycle. Providing sufficient financial aid for students will be among the major challenges facing the board in the coming biennium, and must be considered one of the university’s foremost priorities, she said. Freda Harris, UW System associate vice president for budget and planning, presented a preview of three financial aid proposals that are likely to be submitted as part of the UW System’s 2005-07 budget request based on findings from the working group on Partnership with the State. The working group has recommended that the university concentrate financial aid proposals toward

achieving three goals: access, retention and “brain gain.” Harris said the budget requests will include state GPR dollars to continue current financial aid commitments, now being paid for using UW student fee dollars; to meet the statutory requirement to increase the percentage of state financial aid at the same rate as tuition; and to develop a program to provide a “dollar match” program that will cover the full amount of tuition increases for the university’s neediest students.


The full board approved a resolution Friday that encourages the state Assembly majority leader to schedule a vote on a bill that could result in the appointment of an additional student regent. The resolution states that the two-year appointment of the student regent position can cause difficulties related to turnover and transition, and encourages the appointment of an additional student who will represent nontraditional students, such as employed students or parents. The bill would require that the student themselves be nontraditional, an undergraduate and at least 24 years old. Several regents indicated that they were uncomfortable with several aspects of the resolution as proposed, including the precedent such a measure could set by appointing board members to represent groups with a particular interest. Other regents noted that students fund more than 40 percent of the university’s budget through tuition and are entitled to a greater voice in university policymaking. Regent Davis moved that the board amend the resolution to remove a clause in which the board would have taken an affirmative position on the bill. The amendment passed 10-6. The amended resolution was approved 12-4.


The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board on Friday (March 5) appointed a joint committee to address the state’s brain-gain needs by developing recommendations to expand the number of bachelor’s degree holders in Wisconsin. The committee was formed in response to a series of recommendations to both boards in December by a joint UW-WTCS task force charged with identifying ways of expanding college opportunities for Wisconsin citizens and further facilitating course credit transfer between the two systems. The committee will be jointly chaired by UW System Regent Charles Pruitt of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Technical College Board member Brent Smith of La Crosse. Other members include: UW System Regents Roger E. Axtell and Eileen Connolly-Keesler; Technical College Board members Allen Kehl and Mary Cuene; UW System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cora Marrett; WTCS Vice President Deborah Mahaffey; UW Colleges Chancellor William Messner; Western Wisconsin Technical College President Lee Rasch; UW-Stout Provost Robert Sedlak; Northwest Wisconsin Technical College Provost Lori Weyers; Moraine Park Technical College faculty member Mary Alsteens; UW-Superior student Joseph Stensland; Chippewa Valley Technical College student Cherish Mudgett.  A UW faculty member yet to be named will be added in the near future. Lyall and Carpenter have asked the committee to look at six areas: collect data on degree production across all sectors of higher education in Wisconsin; seek input from decision makers in business and government on future workforce needs; identify gains to the state from the expansion of baccalaureate degree holders; consider the challenges associated with expansion and options for meeting those challenges; review strategies that other states have employed to meet such needs; and consider proposals for graduating more non-traditional, adult students.


Legislative Update

Bills that could receive action in both houses before adjournment:

AB-207.  Bans smoking in and around University of Wisconsin System residence halls and dormitories and provides a penalty; AB-342. Makes a student convicted of certain drug violations ineligible for state financial aid; SB-85 AB 208 Adds a non-traditional student to the membership of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System; SB-253. Allows four more UW institutions to charter K-12 schools with BOR approval  


The Senate unanimously confirmed Board of Regents appointees Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Jesus Salas, Mark Bradley and David Walsh.