Chair’s Report for September 14, 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.

Faculty Reps Meeting – September 3, 2004 in Madison

1.      President Kevin Reilly addressed the group. Expressed a desire to work closely with the faculty.

2.      Program Planning – New program requests should be (a) consistent with the mission, (b) show a wise use of resources, (c) look for areas of collaboration where possible, (d) show preparation of students for a tech-based world, and (f) infuse diversity if possible.

3.      PK-16 report – shared continued desire for Colleges of Education to work with Letters & Sciences

4.      Access to quality education. Concern that 2700 new students added in system, but down 670 positions. About 40% of instruction taught by non-faculty. Will ask for 300 positions to be restored in next budget.

5.      Faculty & staff urged to get more directly involved with legislators. Reported that just 5 calls or letters on same topic appears as ‘crisis’ to many legislators. They really don’t hear much from constituents.

6.      PK-16: Quality of student in today’s freshmen class in college depends on quality of K-12 education; quality of those teachers depends on quality of faculty in University; need to show need to maintain that quality.

7.      Discussed budget process. Very large budget request is going forward, but ½ of request is for standard budget adjustments; other ½ for 5 initiatives. End of Nov thru Jan best time to get legislators’ attention. Find who on campus is already politically active and ask them to contact legislators again. KEY message is what impacts students. Governor is leaning extremely hard on Board of Regents to up tuition and lower GPR request.

8.      Compensation report given (refer to Senator Wick’s report)

9.      Discussion of the role of the faculty reps; not a deliberative body. New name: Faculty Representative Advisory Council. How to be more involved?


Board of Regents Meeting – September 9 & 10 in Madison

1.      You can now listen to the Board of Regent’s full-board meetings via the Web at . The next meeting will be October 7 & 8 in Superior.

2.      Please take the time to access President Reilly’s remarks and the summary of the Regent’s meetings at . The following are key points from these items.

3.      Reilly noted: it's clear to me that a top priority must be to share the importance of the work that happens within this university, and to build lasting relationships with the people and organizations that make it possible … Our mission as a public university is to be Wisconsin's premier developer of advanced human potential, of the jobs that employ that potential, and of the communities that sustain it. … Our budget is a "student access" budget because it contains financial aid that will in effect, freeze tuition for students from families with annual incomes in the low $40,000 range and below.  It is a "student access" budget because it will enable working adults to have access to educational opportunities throughout their careers. And it is a student access budget because it will ensure that students have access to quality faculty and staff… more than 85% of our general operating budget is spent on people. Faculty and staff are at the core of our enterprise.  Without quality people, we cannot have a quality university….To me, it is unacceptable that we have almost 9,000 more students and nearly 700 fewer faculty than we did a decade ago.  Quality is in jeopardy when 40% of our student credit hours are taught by nonfaculty, no matter how talented and dedicated they might be….I'd like to share just three or four areas that I believe demand my immediate energy and commitment...First, students first! …students are a number one priority….A second, and related, priority is to be more transparent in how we operate.  I believe that the UW System is a "black box" to a lot of Wisconsin citizens - indeed, to most of our own employees and students in some ways.…I want to demystify the UW System - to communicate what we do, how decisions get made, why decisions are made, and how we stand accountable to our own internal audiences, as well as the citizens of the state… A third priority of mine, not unrelated to the first two, is to focus on efficiency.  After all, the greater our administrative efficiency, the more dollars available to serve students, perform public service or conduct much needed research to improve our quality of life - and the more transparent we will be.  

4.      George Brooks, UW System associate vice president for human resources, reported to the board the results of a review of salaries [PDF] within the UW System, requested by Regent President Toby E. Marcovich of Superior. Marcovich asked for data that showed the UW's regional and national competitive position. "It's going to be a problem like we have not seen before," Brooks said. "The need is here now, and we're going to have to respond to it." …The report was for information purposes only, and the committee did not make a formal pay plan recommendation during Thursday's session….Brooks said that more than one-third of the university's faculty members are currently at retirement age, and the same is true for one of every four academic staff..

5.      The Education Committee voted to accept the 2003 report on Undergraduate Drop Rates and following a decade of satisfactory performance, request that the Joint Finance Committee discontinue the course credit drop reporting requirement; approve several school and college reorganizations at UW-Eau Claire.