The University Committee, which also serves as the PROFS board of Directors, released a statement today on how they worked with UW-Madison administration as Fall 2021 COVID-19 policies were developed. The statement is below.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank appeared on PBS Wisconsin’s Here and Now last week to discuss the university’s plans for in-person learning this fall. Classes begin September 8 with a majority of courses offered in-person. While UW-Madison does not have a vaccine mandate, any student, faculty member or staff person who is unvaccinated must test weekly.
Last Thursday, University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson participated in a virtual WisPolitics luncheon and shared his plans to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus this fall. Thompson also reiterated his view that the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules does not have authority to require UW System to submit Covid-19 policies to the committee for its approval.
Earlier this month, University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents President Ed Manydeeds appointed six Regents to a special committee to examine governance issues. The creation of the Special Regent Committee on Governance Issues is the result of a resolution passed at the Board’s May meeting.
Manydeeds appointed the following Regents to the committee:
- Regent Scott Beightol
- Regent Héctor Colón
- Regent Michael Grebe
- Regent Tracey Klein
- Regent John Miller
- Regent Cris Peterson
Manydeeds and Regent Vice President Karen Walsh will serve as ex officio members of the committee, which will be chaired by Regent Klein.
The committee’s first meeting is at 2:30 pm, Tuesday, August 31. The full agenda is below and a link to join the Webex stream of the meeting is here.
After discussing the committee’s charge, the members will discuss the chancellor search process. UW System Interim Vice President Jeff Buhrandt will discuss proposed changes to Regent Policy Document 6-4, “Selection Process for System President, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and UW System Senior Leadership Positions.” Changing the composition of the chancellor search committees is among the proposed changes.
Regents most recently made changes to RPD 6-4 in 2017 when they voted to add language to the policy that limited the size of search committees to ten — five Regents and five members of the university community, including two faculty members. Regents also added language to the policy that removed the requirement for a chancellor to have earned a terminal degree in their field.
Pushing back against a directive by the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR), UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson offered his thoughts in an op-ed released today.
Earlier this month, the Republican-led committee voted along party lines and ordered UW System to submit Covid-19 related policies to the committee as emergency rules subject to JCRAR approval.
Thompson said today he doesn’t believe the committee has oversight and does not plan to comply with the committee’s order. His op-ed is below.
State Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) appeared on WISN’s UPFRONT yesterday to discuss recent action by the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) that would require UW System to promulgate emergency rules for COVID-19 related policies within 30 days. The committee, which is co-chaired by Neylon and State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), would then approve or suspend the proposed rules.
Neylon told host Adrienne Pedersen the committee’s intent is to prevent overreach by the university:
“Too often, we’ve allowed agencies, the administration, the UW System, to circumvent the legislative process in doing these unilateral rules that have the same impact as law, without going through the legal legislative process.”
PROFS is strongly opposed to the action of the JCRAR. Our statement is here.