Author: Michelle Felber

November Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Madison’s Gordon Dining and Event Center on Thursday, November 4. Registration for the Webex videoconference stream of the meeting is here.

The Business and Finance Committee will meet at 8:15 am to discuss three clinical trial agreements and one research agreement at UW-Madison.

The full board meeting will begin at 8:45 am and the board will hear updates from Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds and UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson and reports on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and freedom of expression compliance.

The board will also consider changes to Regent Policy Document 6.4, “Selection Process for System President, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and UW System Senior Leadership Positions” (below). PROFS has strongly advocated for changes to the policy which was changed in 2017 under the leadership of Board President John Behling. The changes approved four years ago limited executive search committees to ten members, including five Regents. PROFS was opposed to the changes and supported a return to search committees that honor the principles of shared governance.

The current policy says that search and screen committees include “five non-Regent members… to include two faculty, one staff representative from the institution, one student, and one community and/or alumni member.” The proposed new policy will say the committees include “at least five non-Regent members of the university committee to include at least: two faculty, one staff representative from the institution, one student, and one community and/or alumni member.”

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November Legislative Update

This legislative update was shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate today. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. Guests are welcome to attend meetings, which are held in Room 272 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive.

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October Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting at UW-Oskhosh today and tomorrow. Registration for livestream coverage of the pubic portions of the meeting is here.

This morning, the board met in closed session before breaking to meet in committee:

  • The Audit Committee heard several reports and updates on Title IX investigations and information technology security.
  • The Capital Planning and Budget Committee discussed several construction projects and real estate agreements.
  • The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee heard several updates, including one from the new UW-Madison School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences.
  • The Business and Finance Committee heard several reports and discussed two collective bargaining agreements with the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin and a half dozen contractual agreements at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee.
  • The Education Committee considered approval of eight new degree programs at UW-Madison, along with two others from UW-Parkside. They also had the second reading of revised mission statement for UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater.

The full board will meet at 1 pm and hear updates from Regent President Ed Manydeeds and Interim President Tommy Thompson. UW-Oshkosh President Andrew Leavitt will also speak on the role of the comprehensive university, and Dr. Eve Fine will discuss unconscious bias and assumptions when evaluating job prospects. Fine is Director of Curriculum and Development at UW-Madison’s Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute. The board will conclude its work this afternoon in closed session.

Friday, the board will consider approval of committee action, hear a presentation on the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and present the 2021 University Staff Excellence Awards.

PROFS Testimony on AB 413, Relating to “Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism Instruction and Training at the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System”

The Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities is holding a public hearing on two bills this morning, including Assembly Bill 413, legislation that would prohibit instruction on systemic racism (referred to by some as Critical Race Theory) at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. PROFS strongly opposes this legislation and is registered against bill and its companion, Senate Bill 409.

PROFS offered written testimony from PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals to the committee:

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UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank Discusses Plans for Combating Covid-19 as In-Person Learning Resume

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.

UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson Discusses Reopening UW Campuses

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.

 

 

UW System Special Regent Committee on Governance Issues

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.

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UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson: Running UW System is Our Responsibility

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.

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State Rep. Adam Neylon on Committee Oversight of UW COVID-19 Policies

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.