UW System Campus Budget Cuts

The University of Wisconsin System released one-page summaries (below) of how each campus, along with UW Colleges and Extension, is managing its share of the historic $250 million state budget cut.

System leaders had originally planned for each campus chancellor to present a five-minute summary of budget cuts to the Board of Regents last week, but that plan was scrapped because  UW System President Ray Cross was concerned about the length and tone of the presentations.

April Board of Regents Meeting

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting today and tomorrow, April 7 and 8, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Livestream coverage of the full board meetings is here.

The regents meet in committee Thursday morning:

The Education Committee will discuss UW-Madison’s proposed layoff policy. Several changes to the policy are under consideration:

The committee will also discuss and approve several new degree programs.

The Business and Finance Committee will consider non-resident and graduate tuition increases at UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville, UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider approval of the Design Report of the UW-Madison Music Performance Building (Hamel Music Center) and hear a report on State Building Commission actions and the 2017-19 Capital Budget proposal. 

The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear several reports including updates on the Talent Development Initiative and the WEDC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

The Audit Committee will hear several reports. They will also meet later Thursday in a joint committee meeting with the Business and Finance Committee where they will discuss two reports — an independent auditor’s report on financial statements and other reporting required by government auditing standards and the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau report on the University of Wisconsin System.

The full board meets Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The board is expected to approve committee action, including possible changes to UW-Madison tenure policies, Friday. The board will also hear from student representatives on diversity issues.

Legislative Update

state_capitol_dawn07_4080Tenure and Shared Governance

The Board of Regents met last month and approved three policies related to tenure, post-tenure review, and faculty layoffs. The meeting was contentious at times as the board rejected three faculty-supported amendments offered by Regent Tony Evers.

The language approved by the board was broad and intends to serve as an umbrella policy for individual campuses. The Regent Education Committee will consider UW-Madison’s faculty layoff policy (below), approved by the Faculty Senate in November, at its meeting in Green Bay later this week.

Wisconsin Legislature

Republican legislative leaders have said the legislature has concluded its regular 2015-16 session. The legislature is unlikely to meet again this spring, but could reconvene in special or extraordinary sessions later this year. PROFS monitored and lobbied on the following bills this session:

Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260, Limits on Scientific Research—Passed committee, never brought to the floor

PROFS registered against AB 305 and SB 260, proposals that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts.

Assembly Bill 480/Senate Bill 363, Campus Concealed Carry—In Committee

PROFS registered against AB SB 363, legislation that would have require UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses to allow concealed carry of weapons in campus buildings. Current law permits concealed carry on campus grounds, but allows individual campuses to forbid weapons in buildings.

Assembly Bill 485/Senate Bill 365, Bans Guns on College Campuses—In Committee

PROFS registered in favor of this bill, which would ban guns on college campuses.

Assembly Bill 814, Shared Governance—In Committee

PROFS registered in favor of this bill, which would have returned university, shared governance to state statutes.

Assembly Bill 898, Tenure—In Committee

PROFS registered in favor of this bill, which would have restored strong tenure language to state statutes.

College Affordability Package—Four bills signed into law

Governor Walker signed four of six bills into law last month. A PROFS statement on the bills is here.

Senate Bill 276, Parking Revenue

Governor Walker signed this bill into law. It allows the university to spend parking revenue on campus safety and transportation programs. PROFS registered in favor of this proposal.

Senate Bill 571, Sale of Agricultural Lands

Governor Walker signed this bill into law. It expands UW System Board of Regent authority over agricultural lands. PROFS registered in favor of this proposal.

Legislative Update

Capitol & ForwardUW System Tenure Policy Task Force
PROFS continues to actively follow the work of the UW System Tenure Policy Task Force. The Board of Regents meets Thursday, March 10 and will discuss recommendations of the Regent Education Committee. Board action on UW-Madison’s draft policy is not expected until April.

Wisconsin Legislature
Republican leadership has said the Assembly has adjourned for the session, but the Senate plans to meet again March 15. Both houses could reconvene in special or extraordinary sessions. PROFS is monitoring and lobbying on several items:

  • Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260, Limits on Scientific Research  PROFS is registered against AB 305 and SB 260, proposals that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts. If passed, the bills would criminalize the research and use of scientific material previously derived from fetal tissue. Action on the bills seems unlikely.
  • Assembly Bill 480/Senate Bill 363, Campus Concealed Carry  PROFS is registered against AB SB 363, legislation that would require UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses to allow concealed carry of weapons in campus buildings. Current law permits concealed carry on campus grounds, but allows individual campuses to forbid weapons in buildings. PROFS is vigorously opposed to this legislation.
  • Assembly Bill 814, Shared Governance  PROFS is registered in favor of this bill, recently introduced by Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), which would return university shared governance to state statutes.
  • Assembly Bill 898, Tenure  PROFS is registered in favor of this bill, recently introduced by Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine). The proposal restores strong tenure language to state statutes.
  • College Affordability Package  The Governor announced a package of six bills that address college affordability last month. All six bills passed the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities and five of the six passed the Senate last week. The PROFS statement on the bills is here.
  • Senate Bill 276, Parking Revenue  Governor Walker signed this bill into law. It allows the university to spend parking revenue on campus safety and transportation programs. PROFS registered in favor of this proposal.
  • Senate Bill 571, Sale of Agricultural Lands  Governor Walker signed this bill into law. It expands UW System Board of Regent authority over agricultural lands. PROFS registered in favor of this proposal.

PROFS Forum on Self-insurance for State Employees
The Group Insurance Board met last month and voted to issue a request for proposals on self-insurance for state employees. PROFS hosted a forum featuring three insurance experts the following week. Video here.

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