Chair’s Report for February 8, 2005


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.      Chair Selection

2.      Academic Staff Personnel Committee Membership and Function

3.      2006-2007 Academic Calendar


Items discussed with the Chair

1.      Concern expressed that the following decision was made without faculty consultation through the shared governance process: Based upon a recommendation made by Student Senate, the Chancellor's Executive Staff has approved elimination of the distribution of paper class schedule bulletins.  Therefore, we will not be printing a Fall 2005 course schedule bulletin.


Faculty Reps Meeting – February 4 in Madison. Next meeting March 4 via teleconference.

1.      President Reilly met with the Faculty Reps and shared details of the UW System Administration Restructuring including his appointment of Chancellor Mash as executive senior vice president for UW System. Discussion of the steps taken to ensure governance groups were involved in the process of merging Extension and the Colleges was held.

2.      Plan 2008 Phase II plans were discussed. Questions were raised as to how faculty were informed of and involved in the development of the campus plans. Reps expressed concern that as more requirements for faculty involvement are made by the plans, faculty must be given the time, reward, and recognition for such service.

3.      Update on Inclusivity Initiative.  Reilly will talk with chancellors later this month on how Domestic Partner benefits might be funded with private funds. Discussion then focused on how LGBTQ issues are being incorporated in opportunities, curriculum, and resources throughout the campuses.

4.      Office of Policy Analysis and Research (OPAR) shared examples of the large data base available to anyone to compare student data on enrollments, retention, graduation, etc. Check it out at: Also look at The Education Trust’s new college peer tool:

5.      During institutional reports, Platteville reported concern over a new class scheduling program that is taking over scheduling of all classes without regard to faculty hours, needs, course sequencing, etc. Also noted need for mass faculty email distribution permission. Milwaukee: working on discrimination policy.  Parkside: students are concerned about lack of textbook rental system. Whitewater: senate taking up resolution about trust fund issues. Colleges and Extension: working on merger. Oshkosh: concern for breach of security as student reportedly had hacked into system and gained access to all social security numbers of employees. Superior: revising Senate’s charter. LaCrosse: reviewing GE, chancellor wants all students to have study abroad experience.


Board of Regents Meeting – February 10-11 in Madison


Legislative Update

1.      Governor Jim Doyle will deliver the 2005-07 State Biennial Budget Address at 7 pm on Tuesday, February 8.  Wisconsin Public Television will broadcast the address.

2.      Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Dean Kaufert, Co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, announced plans to hold five or six hearings across the state on Gov. Jim Doyle’s budget bill.  While the dates and locations of these hearing have not been set, the Co-Chairs expressed interest in holding hearings in Madison, Milwaukee, and Central, Western, and Northern Wisconsin.

3.      Rep. Debi Towns has introduced AB-83, which would allow state employees who secure health care coverage from another source to opt out of the state's health plans.   Employees who choose this option would receive a stipend equal to 25 percent of the lowest premium amount that the state would otherwise have been required to pay on his or her behalf. This stipend would be subject to payroll taxes and withholding taxes.  For more information, please see

4.      The Senate will convene at 10 a.m., Tuesday, February 8, but the Assembly will not meet in regular session on that day.  The Assembly has been scheduled to be on the floor on Tuesday, February 15.

5.      Article in Capital Times by David Callender, February 7, 2005:
Gov wants UW partner benefits – says they’re needed to be competitive. In what may be one of his most controversial proposals, Gov. Jim Doyle will ask the Legislature to fund domestic partner benefits for all University of Wisconsin employees in the next state budget. Doyle says his proposed budget will include $500,000 in each of the next two years for domestic partner benefits for UW System employees. … Doyle acknowledged that his proposal would change state law and open the door to domestic partner coverage for all state employees, although there is no money included for that. The proposal would cover both same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual partners. State officials estimate it would cost about $6 million annually - or about 1 percent of the $642 million the state spent on insurance coverage last year - to provide domestic partner coverage to all state employees. … The proposal is likely to encounter major opposition from the Republican-controlled Legislature. … Republicans are backing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in Wisconsin. … Doyle acknowledged that there will likely be "a lot of opposition and name-calling about this," but said, "I hope people are ready to look at the facts and not just play emotional games about this. You can feel strongly about the definition of marriage. This does not overturn any kind of definition of marriage. You can feel strongly about what your religious beliefs or moral values are. But in the real world of living in a very competitive academic environment ... we should not go out into that competition with one hand tied behind our back," he said. …[See
  for the complete story.]








Congratulations and best wishes to Chancellor Mash!