PROFS Statement on Paid Parental Leave

Last week the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents met and heard about the implementation of paid parental leave for UW-Madison and Universities of Wisconsin institutions. PROFS has been working diligently for several years to bring this much-needed benefit to faculty and staff, including post-doctoral fellows. While we strongly support UW’s paid parental leave plan, we will continue to push for paid family leave for all Wisconsin workers. Our statement:
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April Board of Regents Meeting

Universities of Wisconsin logoThe Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents will meet at the University if Wisconsin-Platteville Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5. Zoom links for the open portions of the meeting are here.

Regents will meet in committee Thursday morning.

  • The Business and Finance Committee will hear a presentation on a sustainable financial future from UW-Platteville and consider approval of 2024-25 tuition rates, two contractual agreements, and new paid parental leave policies for UW-Madison and the UW System.
  • The Education Committee will consider approval of a continued test optional admissions policy through summer 2027 and several new degree programs, including a BS in dairy and food animal management at UW-Madison. The committee will also hear updates on dual enrollment and the student behavioral health initiative.
  • The Audit Committee will hear an updates on recent audits and the audit plan progress report.
  • The Capital Planning & Budget Committee will hear a presentation from UW-Platteville and consider approval of changes to a Regent policy document relating to the removal of unneeded structures. The committee will also move into closed session to consider approval of the naming of facilities at UW-Madison and UW-La Crosse.

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. On Thursday, Regents will consider approval of 2024-25 tuition rates and hear a presentation from UW-Platteville and updates from Regent President Karen Walsh and Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman. The Regents will also consider performance evaluations for chancellors and compensation adjustments for the UW President and chancellors.

On Friday, the Regents will watch a video presentation on this year’s Research in the Rotunda and present the 2024 Regents Teaching Excellence Awards. An optional closed session is on the agenda, and the Regents may also vote on action taken aforementioned closed session.

PROFS Forum on the Future of Flagship Universities

States from coast to coast are considering or have already announced plans to drastically cut public higher education funding. At the same time, many state legislatures are introducing bills that limit or ban DEI efforts, dictate curriculum, and eliminate tenure.

Where does that leave the flagship university, once the crown jewel of public higher education?

PROFS will host a public forum on April 24 to discuss national trends, how UW-Madison compares to our flagship peers, and what that might mean for Wisconsin.

PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals will moderate our panel:

The forum will be held in the Wisconsin Idea Room (Room 159) in the Education Building. Refreshments will be served.

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PROFS Statement on the Closure of UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha County

Last week, UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone announced the decision to close UWM’s two-year campus in Waukesha in 2025. PROFS is very concerned about the process undertaken to date and expects UWM and the Universities of Wisconsin to follow Regent policies and the principles of shared governance going forward. Our statement:

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Wrecked: State Politics and the Deinstitutionalization of Public Higher Education

Wrecked by Barrett J. Taylor

The Havens Wright Center for Social Justice is sponsoring an online event featuring University of North Texas Counseling & Higher Education Professor Barrett J. Taylor. Taylor will discuss his most recent book, Wrecked: State Politics and the Deinstitutionalization of Public Higher Education, via Zoom at noon, Thursday, February 29. Pre-registration is required to attend.

From the publisher:

Higher education is a central institution in U.S. democracy. In the 2010s, however, many states that spent previous decades building up their higher education systems began to tear them down.

Growing hostility toward higher education reflected changing social forces that remade the politics of U.S. higher education. The political Right became increasingly reliant on angry white voters as higher education became more racially diverse. The Republican party became more closely connected to extremely wealthy donors as higher education became more costly.

In Wrecked, Barrett J. Taylor shows how these social changes set a collision course for the Right and higher education. These attacks fed a policy agenda of deinstitutionalization, which encompassed stark divestment from higher education but was primarily characterized by an attack on the institution’s social foundation of public trust.

In response to these attacks, higher education officials have offered a series of partial defenses that helped higher education to cope in the short-term but did nothing to defend the institution itself against the long-term threat of declining public trust. The failure to address underlying issues of mistrust allowed conflict to escalate to the point at which many states are now wrecking their public higher education systems.

Wrecked offers a unique and compelling perspective linking higher education policymaking to broader social and political forces acting in the twenty-first century.