Author: Michelle Felber

PROFS Annual Report to the Faculty Senate

Michael Bernard-Donals

Michael Bernard-Donals, PROFS President

PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals will present the PROFS 2020-21 Annual Report to the Faculty Senate Monday, April 4. The Senate meets at 3:30 pm in Room 272 Bascom Hall and visitors are welcome.

PROFS is undertaking a membership drive and faculty members who join PROFS Monday will receive a free PROFS mug. Information about PROFS and membership forms will be in the rotunda area outside Room 272 Bascom Hall before and after the Senate meeting.

The report (below) outlines the governance structure of PROFS and describes the legislative and outreach efforts undertaken last year.

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PROFS Celebrates 45 Years

PROFS Incorporation documentForty-five years ago, a group of UW-Madison faculty led by Law Professor Marygold Melli created PROFS, a non-profit organization whose mission was to advocate on behalf of UW-Madison faculty to the Legislature, Governor, Regents and members of Congress.

While many years have passed, PROFS continues to work hard to make sure faculty voices are heard in the legislative process. We extend our gratitude to those faculty members who have supported us and helped ensure our success since 1977.

 

 

UW-Madison Chancellor Blank’s Address to the Board of Regents

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank delivered her final address to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents last Thursday, February 10. Her remarks were part of the board’s two-day February meeting which was hosted by UW-Madison at Union South. Chancellor Blank is leaving UW-Madison at the end of the spring semester to become president of Northwestern University.

 

February Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison on Thursday and Friday, February 10 and 11. UW-Madison is hosting the meeting, which will be held in Union South’s Varsity Hall, 1308 West Dayton Street. Registration for the Webex videoconference of the meeting is here.

Regents are invited to a site visit and reception at the College of Engineering Wednesday evening. Regent business will not be conducted during this informational visit. A new building on the Engineering campus is top priority of UW-Madison, and Governor Tony Evers recently signed bipartisan legislation providing $1 million to plan and design the building.

Regents begin the two-day meeting with committee work on Thursday morning:

The Audit Committee will discuss several reports and consider a new policy relating to youth programs on UW System campuses.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will hear a presentation by UW-Madison on future facilities planning and consider granting authority for UW-Madison to sell two parcels of land to University Research Park and design and renovate two lab spaces.

The Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee will hear a report from UW-Madison on recent biotechnology research and discuss corporate research and clinical trial contracting processes.

The Business and Finance Committee will hear a report from UW-Madison on strategic investments and consider approval of several agreements at UW-Madison and UW System. They will also hear updates on the budget and gifts, grants, and contracts.

The Education Committee will consider approval of a realignment of academic units at UW-Milwaukee, a transfer agreement between UW-Stevens Point and North Central Technical College, and ten new degree programs, including three at UW-Madison. Committee members will also discuss a change to the class audit policy and application fees waivers and reductions. UW-Madison will also host a presentation on student academic success.

The full board meeting Thursday afternoon includes updates from Regent President Edmund Manydeeds and a presentation from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. The Regents will move into closed session to discuss compensation agreements for three UW-Madison football coaches, an employee who earns more than 75% of the UW System President’s salary, and UW System chancellors and president. The Regents will also discuss crime prevention and detection strategies.

On Friday, the Regents will hear an update from outgoing UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson. Thompson has served as interim president since June 2020 and will step down March 18. Last month, Regents named Milwaukee attorney Jay Rothman as UW System President. Rothman begins his duties June 1 and former Regent President Michael Falbo will serve as interim president from March 18 until Rothman takes office.

The Regents have cancelled their one-day meeting on March 10.

 

 

 

February Legislative Update

This legislative update was shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate y. 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.

The Wisconsin Legislature has been busy with committee hearings and floor sessions, and Governor Tony Evers is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address on February 15. Evers and members of the Legislature will make a final legislative push over the next several weeks before turning their attention the November elections.

Fall Elections

Democratic Governor Tony Evers is running for re-election, but Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes has instead joined a crowded field of Democrats vying to challenge two-term Republican Senator Ron Johnson. The Republican race for the gubernatorial nomination heated up last week when Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson announced his candidacy, challenging former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch for the Republican nomination.

Legislature

PROFS is actively lobbying on and monitoring several pieces of legislation:

  • Assembly Bill 195/Senate Bill 323   PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit transgender women from participating in UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System intercollegiate, intramural, and club sports. AB 195 passed the Assembly but failed passage 2-3 in a Senate committee. However, it could still be scheduled for vote in the Senate floor this session. Our statement on this legislation is on the PROFS website.
  • Assembly Bill 413/Senate Bill 409  PROFS is registered against these bills that essentially ban instruction on systemic racism at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. Last week, the Committee on Colleges & Universities recommended passage of the bill along party lines, 10-4. PROFS’ statement in opposition to the bill is on our website. PROFS was also registered against similar legislation targeting K-12 public schools which was vetoed by Gov. Evers last Friday. PROFS is also registered against legislation that targets training for state and local government employees (AB 414/SB 410).
  • Assembly Bill 568/Senate Bill 557  PROFS is registered in favor of these bills that expand the type of revenue the university currently is allowed to invest to generate additional returns. Both bills passed unanimously in committee but neither have been scheduled for a floor vote.
  • Assembly Bill 639/Senate Bill 602  PROFS is registered in favor of this legislation. The bill will provide funding $180,000 in funding in each of the next two years for UW-Madison’s Missing-in-Action Recovery Project. SB 602 passed in committee but has not been scheduled for a floor vote.
  • Assembly Bill 775/Senate Bill 728  PROFS registered in favor of this bipartisan legislation that provides $1 million to plan and design a new engineering building at UW-Madison. Gov. Evers signed this bill into law late last month.

UW System Presidential Search and UW-Madison Chancellor Search

The UW System Board of Regents named Milwaukee attorney Jay Rothman as UW System President. Rothman, Chair and CEO of Foley & Lardner, will begin in June. He is a graduate of Marquette University and Harvard Law School. The UW-Madison Chancellor Search Committee released a position description last month and is accepting nominations until March 11. The committee hopes to announce finalists for the position in April.

PROFS Offers Testimony in Support of Pay Play to Joint Committee for Employment Relations

PROFS offered the following written testimony in support of the 2%/2% pay plan today at a hearing of the Joint Committee for Employment Relations this morning. Two weeks ago, PROFS urged the committee to schedule the hearing and pass the pay plan that was included in the 2021-23 state budget. The plan calls for state employees, including University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, to receive 2% raises on January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023.

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Legislative Update

The Wisconsin Legislature continues to propose legislation and hold public meetings, and PROFS is lobbying on and monitoring several pieces of legislation: 

  • Assembly Bill 195/Senate Bill 323  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit transgender women from participating in UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System intercollegiate, intramural, and club sports. AB 195 passed the Assembly but failed passage 2-3 in a Senate committee. However, it could still be scheduled for vote in the Senate floor this session. Our statement on this legislation is on the PROFS website.
  • Assembly Bill 370/Senate Bill 260  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit UW System and UW Hospital and Clinics from, while in the scope of their employment, performing or assisting the performance of an abortion. This legislation could jeopardize the accreditation of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program. AB 370 failed passage 2-3 in committee but could still be scheduled for a floor vote this session.
  • Assembly Bill 413/Senate Bill 409  PROFS is registered against these bills that essentially bans instruction on systemic racism at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. A public hearing was held on AB 413 in October and our testimony in opposition to the bill is on the PROFS website. We are also registered against legislation that targets K-12 public schools (AB 411/SB 411) and training for state and local government employees (AB 414/SB 410).
  • Assembly Bill 568/Senate Bill 557  PROFS is registered in favor of these bills that expand the type of revenue the university currently is allowed to invest to generate additional returns.
  • Assembly Bill 639/Senate Bill 602  PROFS is registered in favor of this legislation. The bill will provide funding $180,000 in funding in each of the next two years for UW-Madison’s Missing-in-Action Recovery Project.
  • Senate Bill 728  PROFS is registered in favor of this bipartisan legislation that would provide $1 million to plan and design a new engineering building at UW-Madison.

UW System Presidential Search and UW-Madison Chancellor Search

The UW System Presidential Search Committee met in closed session last week to discuss and interview semi-finalist candidates. Regents have said they hope to announce a new president in early 2022.

Last month, the Board of Regents voted to approve changes to Regent Policy Document 6.4, which outlines President and Chancellor searches. PROFS worked with UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson and the Regents, and successfully advocated for the changes which will allow for greater representation of shared governance groups on search committees. The UW-Madison Chancellor Search Committee was announced last Thursday. A list of committee members is on the PROFS website.

 

 

December Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison on Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10. The meeting will be held in the Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street. Webex coverage of the meeting is also available by registering here.

Regents are meeting in committee Thursday morning:

The Business and Finance Committee has many agenda items that relate to UW-Madison — a proposal to increase out-of-state tuition rates by 2%, generating an additional $8 million for the university; the approval of several agreements and contracts; the annual faculty turnover report; and a presentation that outlines a possible real estate strategy that would benefit the university economically.

The Education Committee will hear several reports, consider approval of 4 new degree programs at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point and UW-River Falls, and discuss extending the temporary suspension of the requirement for ACT or SAT requirements for admission to UW System institutions through 2024-25,

The Audit Committee will hear several updates and reports on compliance and annual audits.

The Capital Planning & Budget Committee will consider granting approval to plan or revise several building projects, including the new Data Sciences and Engineering buildings. The committee will also hear a number of reports, including a presentation on UW-Madison’s proposed real estate strategy for future economic growth for the institution (mentioned above).

The Research, Economic Development & Innovation Committee will hear updates on UW-Madison’s biotechnology research and university-industry partnerships that could grow Midwestern technology hubs.

The full board will meet at 1 pm Thursday. Regent President Ed Manydeeds will provide an update on the UW System Presidential search and the UW-Madison Chancellor search. UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson will also provide an update on winter commencement and legislative and staffing issues before the board moves into closed session.

The board will meet at 8:45 am Friday morning and vote on committee action from Thursday. The board will also recognize the service of Regent Emerita Olivia Woodmansee. An optional closed session rounds out the agenda.

 

PROFS Requests Leaders to Convene JCOER to Approve the 2%/2% Pay Plan

Today, PROFS sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) requesting them to convene a meeting of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) so the committee can approve the pay plan for state employees. The pay plan, which was part of the 2021-23 state budget signed into law on July 8, calls for 2 percent raises on January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023.

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The letter is below: