Board of Regent Resolutions

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents adopted two resolutions relating to the 2015-17 biennial budget proposal last week.

One resolution called for a reduction in the proposed base budget cut and supported management flexibilities either through public authority status or new legislation:

The second resolution reaffirmed support for shared governance and tenure and asked for authorization to establish policies of shared governance and tenure should they be removed from state statute:

 

Four Public Hearings on State Budget Planned

Joint Committee on Finance co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) announced four public hearings on Assembly Bill 21, the 2015-17 biennial budget proposal, will be held later this month:

The committee is expected to begin voting on motions related to the bill in April.

March Board of Regents Meeting

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Madison Thursday, March 5. Livestream coverage is available here.

The full board begins its meeting at 9 am at the Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street.

The regents will discuss a sponsored research contract agreement with ExxonMobil and hear a presentation on how faculty and staff are using information technology to improve learning outcomes on campus.

In the afternoon, the regents and UW institution chancellors will discuss the 2015-17 biennial budget proposal and its potential effects.

Joint Finance Committee Briefing on UW System Budget Today

Joint Finance Committee Hearing RoomThe Joint Finance Committee began budget briefings yesterday and continue today with discussions on the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Workforce Development, the University of Wisconsin System, the Department of Public Instruction, and the Department of Health Services.

Members of the committee will hear from agency representatives during the briefing. There will be no public testimony. UW System President Ray Cross is expected to address the committee. Livestream coverage of the hearing is available on WisconsinEye.

Yesterday, the committee heard an overview of the budget from former Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch and discussed the Department of Corrections, the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice budgets.

The committee will conclude budget briefings Wednesday when they hear from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Financial Institutions, the Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Legislative Fiscal Bureau Analysis of Governor Walker’s UW System Budget Proposal

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its analysis of Governor Scott Walker’s 2015-17 biennial budget proposal yesterday. The entire University of Wisconsin System portion is here, but PROFS has broken down the document into separate categories:

Budget and FTE Position Summary

This section outlines the fiscal impact of the budget proposal — a 13 percent cut to the university’s state appropriation. It also includes language freezing tuition for two more years.

Also included are cuts to several programs: the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, the Environmental Education Board, solid waste research, recycling education funding, rural physician residency assistance program, and the discovery farm grant program. The State Laboratory of Hygiene and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory would be transferred to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Creation of Public Authority

The section includes language converting UW System to a public authority effective July 1, 2016. Governance of the system would be the responsibility of the Board of Regents. Changes to the university’s mission statement are included in the this section, but the governor has said the mission statement will remain unchanged.

This section also says all public authority employees will continue participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System, group health insurance, and other benefit programs.

Provisions for tenure and and sabbatical leave programs are deleted. UW System President Ray Cross has said he will ask the Board of Regents to adopt current language as new regent policy.

Deletion of Current Law Provisions

This section deletes many current law provisions including shared governance. Again, President Cross has said he intends to maintain shared governance through regent policy.

The LFB memo says that the Board of Regents will have the authority to recreate deleted provisions, but will not be required to do so by law. Other affected programs include tobacco research grants, tuition remission, minority and disadvantaged student programs, student financial aid, distinguished professorships and chairs, and the reporting of sexual assault information.

New, Modified or Maintained Chapter 36 Provisions

Many provisions are maintained including police authority, admissions, conferring of degrees, travel policies, prohibition of student discrimination.

Sick leave would be regulated by the board.

2015 Legislative Directory

UW_Day_at_Capitol13_1390PROFS has compiled an extensive list of legislative contacts in an easy-to-use pdf (below) .

The printable document includes hotlinks to email addresses and websites, along with addresses and phone numbers of key legislators. A link to the directory is always available just below the PROFS logo on the website.

The list includes the governor; Dane County legislators; Assembly and Senate leadership; and members of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, and the Joint Committee on Finance.