Author: Michelle Felber

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.

 

February Board of Regents Meeting

Universities of Wisconsin logo The Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents will meet at UW-Madison’s Union South on Thursday and Friday, February 8 and 9. UW-Madison will host the Regents at the Chazen Museum of Art on Wednesday evening and at Olin House on Thursday evening. Open portions of the meeting will be available on Zoom.

Regents will meet in committee Thursday morning:

  • The Audit Committee will hear several updates, including the FY24 Audit Plan Progress Report; UW-Madison’s NCAA Division I 2022-23 Athletics Report; the Risk, Compliance and Audit Program; and the Youth Protection and System Policy.
  • The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will discuss giving authority to several campuses for a variety of items, including the construction of UW-Madison’s Camp Randall Sports Center, the sale of the Chancellor’s residence at UW-Milwaukee, and permission for UW-Eau Claire to lease a building for student housing. The committee will move into closed session to consider personal histories as they relate the naming of a facility at UW-Madison.
  • The Business and Finance Committee will discuss several contractual agreements, including one at UW-Madison with Fanatics, hear two reports on information technology projects, and an update on the Universities of Wisconsin’s engagement with Deloitte as it relates to the 2023-28 Strategic Plan and elimination of structural deficits at several campuses.
  • The Education Committee will consider four new degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Design, Innovation, and Society at UW-Madison, and consider approving a policy that would eliminate application fees at all campuses except UW-Madison, UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse. The current policy limits the application fee waiver to a student’s first three applications, with the exception of the campuses listed above. UW-Madison will also host a presentation on undergraduate research.

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. On Thursday the board will hear updates from UW President Jay Rothman and Regent President Karen Walsh. UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin will address the board on the topic of “Innovation for the Public Good” and Associate Vice President Monica Smith of the UW Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging will provide an update.

On Friday the Regents will consider approval of committee action, participate in a panel discussion,“Strategic Alliances: Maximizing Federal Funding Opportunities Through Public-Private Partnerships,” and present the 2024 Regents Diversity Awards.

February Legislative Update

This legislative update was shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate Monday. PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals shared the 2022-23 PROFS Annual Report with the Senate.

The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January, and visitors are always welcome.

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PROFS Annual Report

Each year PROFS presents its annual report to the Faculty Senate. On Monday, PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals presented the 2022-23 to the Senate.

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PROFS President on For the Record

PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals was recently interviewed by Will Kenneally for WISC-TV’s public affairs program For the Record. Bernard-Donals discussed the agreement reached last week between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and the Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents.

 

PROFS Testimony to JCOER in Support of UW Pay Raises

The Joint Committee on Employment Relations is meeting today to vote on the UW pay plan which was passed earlier this summer, but not approved by the committee on October 17. The recent agreement between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and the Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents paved the way for the pay raises to be approved.

Our testimony to the committee:

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November Legislative Update

PROFS shared this update with senators and guests at the November Faculty Senate meeting on November 6. The Faculty Senate meets in Room 272 Bascom Hall on the first Monday of the month during the academic year, October-December and February-May.

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PROFS Letter to Faculty on JCOER Action

PROFS recently communicated with faculty regarding the decision by Republican-led Joint Committee on Employment Relations to not approve UW System employee pay raises. Our letter:

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PROFS Statement on JCOER Action on UW Compensation Plan

On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations met to vote on state employee pay plans. Funding for the pay raises was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Tony Evers as part of the 2023-25 state budget. The Republican-led committee declined to vote on the UW System pay plan, withholding UW employee pay raises for the foreseeable future. Our statement:

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