October Board of Regents Meeting

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Stevens Point Thursday and Friday, October 9 and 10. Livestream coverage of the meeting will be available here.

The regents will meet in committees Thursday morning:

The Education Committee will discuss updates on credit transfer agreements, changes to faculty bylaws at UW-Platteville, and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Wisconsin Partnership program.

The Business and Finance Committee will discuss faculty and staff base salary adjustments for FY2014, faculty turnover, the financial management report, and the report of the funding allocation working group.

According to the agenda, 44 percent of faculty and instructional staff at UW-Madison received a non-promotion base salary adjustment averaging $8,772. Five percent of UW-Madison faculty received a lump sum payment averaging $2,772.

Seventy-four faculty members left UW-Madison last year; 31 retired and slightly more than half left the institution.

The funding allocation working group recommends that base funding should not be reallocated among institutions and each institution should retain its tuition dollars. The group also recommends that the president and board retain authority over the distribution of any new flexible state funding.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will discuss its priorities and goals and two additional capital budget projects for 2015-17.

The Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee will hear an update on partnerships with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. UW System President Ray Cross will introduce a report on program revenue balances and the board will hear an update on the Flexible Option on Thursday.

According to the program revenue report, UW-Madison has lowered its tuition balance by 41 percent, from $143 million in 2013 to $84.5 million in 2014. The fund balance was lowered from 14 percent of expenses to 8 percent, well under the 12 percent threshold implemented by the legislature earlier this year.

The regents will hear updates from staff and committees on Friday.


Shared Governance Reception

sift_winnow_arch06_0292UW-Madison will host its first-ever shared governance reception for faculty and staff tomorrow, Tuesday, October 7 from 3 to 5 pm in the Sonata Room of the Gordon Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street. Chancellor Rebecca Blank will deliver remarks at 3:30 pm.

Unlike some universities, shared governance at UW System institutions is codified in Wisconsin statutes and Board of Regent policy. PROFS is a product of shared governance, having been created by the Faculty Senate in 1976. We encourage faculty to attend the reception and learn more about shared governance and how to become more involved in governance groups and committees.


Pocan: State Should Invest More in UW System

Congressman Mark Pocan

Congressman Mark Pocan

Congressman Mark Pocan recently spoke to the Badger Herald editorial board, sharing his thoughts on Governor Walker’s proposed tuition freeze, the academic reputation of UW-Madison, and cuts to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

Pocan said while a tuition freeze can help students, a freeze without increased funding from the state ultimately hurts the university:

“If the state of Wisconsin doesn’t invest money in the UW System, it puts pressure on tuition, and then if he (Walker) freezes tuition, you put double pressure on the UW. I’m not advocating for raising tuition, but I’m advocating for the state putting a proper share into the UW, given how much it is an economic engine for the rest of the state.”

Pocan also told the editorial board about his recently-introduced Next Generation Research Act. The proposal would encourage NIH to promote policies and programs that would improve opportunities for new researchers. The genesis for this legislation began last year when PROFS invited the congressman to UW-Madison to discuss federal funding and the Sequestration.

Regent Committee Meeting Thursday

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regent Committee on Research, Economic Development, and Innovation will meet in Madison at 1 pm on Thursday, October 2. The meeting is in advance of the regularly scheduled full board meeting on October 9 and 10 in Stevens Point.

The committee will review its history and mission and discuss collaboration with business partners. An overview of how UW System impacts Wisconsin’s economy is also on the agenda.

The meeting will be held in Room 1820 Van Hise Hall and is open to the public.

Voter ID Update

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinstated Wisconsin’s voter ID law (2011 Wisconsin Act 23), which had been on hold since first signed into law in 2011. The three member judicial panel found that recent changes made by the state to ease the process to obtain a free photo ID made the law acceptable.

The ruling means that all voters must show a valid form of photo identification in order to cast a ballot:

  • Wisconsin driver’s license
  • Wisconsin photo identification
  • University of Wisconsin voter identification
  • United States passport
  • United States military identification
  • Federally-recognized tribal identification

UW-Madison will begin issuing voter identification cards at the Wiscard office in Union South next week. The new ID is for voting purposes only and does not replace the Wiscard. More information is here. UW System’s student voting guide is here.

Voters may obtain a Wisconsin photo identification card at their local Department of Motor Vehicles office, and may apply to receive an approved identification card even if they lack the appropriate documents. DMV has said they will to process requests for identification without documentation in about 7 business days. More information is here.

Voters who vote absentee must show photo identification if voting in person or separately mail a photocopy of photo identification.

Opponents of the law have asked the full ten-member appeals court to reverse the law and suspend voter ID until a decision is rendered. They argue the application process is cumbersome and may take too long for voters to receive an approved ID. In addition, several thousand absentee ballots have been mailed without instructions about voter ID, complicating an election process already underway.

PROFS registered against AB 7, legislation that became the state’s voter ID law in 2011.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UW Business Partnerships Could Help State’s Economy

The editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lauds Chancellor Rebecca Blank for her efforts to foster collaboration between UW-Madison and industry in an effort to improve the state’s economy.

“UW prepares thousands of young people each year for a world that is changing before their very eyes as global competition forces U.S. companies to be smarter and leaner. Those are major challenges for a state such as Wisconsin, which is still so dependent on manufacturing and old-line industries. Good for Blank for recognizing the central role UW can play.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank visited the Milwaukee area last week, speaking to the Wisconsin Innovation Network about the role research plays in driving economic growth, visiting longtime research partner GE Medical, and touring UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences

The full editorial is here.