UW

Legislative Fiscal Bureau Budget Papers

The following papers were prepared by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in advance of the Joint Finance Committee executive session on the University of Wisconsin System portion of the 2017-19 biennial budget.

Each paper includes a summary of Governor Walker’s budget provision and discussion points, along with options for the committee to consider when voting on that particular budget item.

Legislative Update

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee statewide public hearings on the 2017-19 budget proposal last month and began voting on individual items last week. PROFS is meeting with university and legislative leaders to discuss several items in the budget proposal:

State funding tied to performance measures The Board of Regents would rank all UW institutions and distribute funds based on:

  • Affordability/Attainability, 30%
  • Student Success in State Workforce, 30%
  • Work Readiness, 15%
  • Efficiency, 10%
  • Additional Criteria, 15%

UW Pay plan A pay plan tied to presumed savings from a switch to self-insurance (see below) for all state employees would be offered in 2018 and 2019.

Policy Items in the budget The co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee said last month all policy items in the budget would be removed, but could be considered after being vetted in committee or as part of the committee’s omnibus motion. Several policy items dealt with the university:

  • Require the Board of Regents to create policies for the monitoring and reporting of teaching workload and a mechanism to reward those who teach more than an undefined “standard academic workload.”
  • Add language to state statutes that would give the university new power to regulate expression and criticism of that expression.
  • Allow students to opt out of allocable segregated fees.
  • Require institutions to develop 3-year degree programs.
  • Require students to have internship/work experience before graduating.
  • Require 60 credits transferable between UW and WTCS.

Self-Insurance

The Group Insurance Board recommended a switch to self-insurance beginning in 2018, but the Joint Finance Committee must review the proposed changes before they go into effect. The committee received the formal recommendation to switch to self-insurance today and has 21 days to decide whether or not to reject the plan. The committee co-chairs and other members have publicly expressed concern over the plan in the past.

Video from the PROFS/ASPRO forum on self-insurance is here.

Campus Free Speech Legislation

Several legislators, including the chairs of the Legislature’s higher education committees, announced their plans to introduce legislation that would direct the Board of Regents to draft a free speech policy that encourages all points of view. Regents would also be required to create rules that discipline students who interfere with campus free speech. PROFS is concerned about the reach of these proposals and has begun working with UW free speech experts on a response to these proposals.

AB 299 (below), sponsored by Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) was introduced last week, and Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) intends to introduce legislation (below) later this month.

 

 

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS hosted a public forum on the state budget on Thursday, March 16. PROFS President Judith Burstyn moderated. State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships Ben Miller, and PROFS Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara were panelists.

 

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 state budget proposal at noon, Thursday, March 16 in Room 5120 Grainger Hall. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Ben Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, and Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will share their expertise and take questions from members of the audience. A recording of the the forum will be available online at a later date.

Questions at the forum are likely to include:

  • What types of performance metrics are likely to be included as part of possible increased funding for UW System?
  • What is the likelihood of a pay plan for UW faculty and staff? Is a pay plan still possible if the Joint Finance Committee does not approve self-insurance?
  • Would new statutory language codifying the state’s commitment to academic freedom result in any changes to existing campus policies?
  • Are non-fiscal policy items likely to remain in the budget proposal?

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of the University of Wisconsin System portion of the governor’s budget is here.

PROFS is planning a forum on self-insurance later this spring.

 

 

February Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting at UW-Madison today and tomorrow, February 2 and 3. All meetings will be held in Union South, 1308 West Dayton Street. Livestream coverage of full board meetings is here.

Regents meet in committee Thursday morning.

  • The Education Committee will consider UW-Superior’s post-tenure review policy, discuss a new UW-Madison bachelor of science degree in education studies, and hear a presentation on UW-Madison educational updates.
  • The Business and Finance Committee will review a proposed Regent policy document on application fees, hear reports on financial management and gifts, grants and contracts, and consider approval of a UW-Madison School of Business Dean’s salary range that exceeds 75% of the UW System President.
  • The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider approval of two UW-Madison projects, discuss criteria for ranking campus building projects, and hear and update on UW-Madison’s Campus Master Plan.
  • The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear a presentation led by Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick on strengthening UW-Madison’s research capacity. The committee will also hear presentations on dairy science at UW-River Falls and community and research collaboration.
  • The Audit Committee will discuss several reports, including the audit plan progress report and reports related to cash handling, purchase cards NCAA compliance, international education, and emergency preparedness.

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. On Thursday, Chancellor Rebecca Blank will discuss the need for reinvestment in UW-Madison and UW System Vice President James Henderson will highlight the alignment between UW System’s academic programs and the state’s workforce needs.

On Friday, UW-Madison will present its Annual NCAA Division I Athletics report and UW System President Ray Cross will provide an update on the state budget process. The Regents will also present the 2017 Diversity Awards.

December Board of Regents Meeting

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at the Gordon Dining and Event Center at UW-Madison today, Thursday, December 8. Livestream coverage of the full board portion of the meeting is here.

Regents meet in committee Thursday morning.

  • The Education Committee will consider revisions to the post-tenure review policy introduced earlier this year. The amended policy would require “an independent, substantive review by a dean, the provost or the chancellor, or a designee, with the appropriate administrator making the final assignment of the category reflecting the overall results of the review.” The committee will also consider approval of the post-tenure review policies of six UW System campuses. UW-Madison’s policy was approved by the Faculty Senate in November, but must now be revised to meet the new guideline. The committee will also discuss adoption of an interim post-tenure review policy to be used by campuses that do not have board-approved policies in place by April 7, 2017. The proposed policies are below:
  • The Business and Finance Committee will hear the annual report on faculty turnover, which increased across UW System from an average of 5.9% to 8% in the last fiscal year. UW-Madison had the lowest turnover rate (5.3%), while five campuses experienced faculty turnover rates  greater than 11%. The committee will also vote on the adoption of a statement in support of a pay plan request. 
  • The Audit Committee will discuss the Fiscal 2017 Audit Plan Progress Report and hear an update on the UW System Waste, Fraud and Abuse Hotline.

The full board meets at 12:30 pm. Items on the agenda include UW-Green Bay’s annual Athletics Report and discussion of report of the UW System Task Force on Sexual Violence and Harassment.

Students Plan Day of Action in Opposition to Campus Carry

UW-Madison student leaders have planned a day of action on Thursday, December 15 to oppose allowing concealed carry weapons on campus. While a bill allowing campus carry died in committee last session, State Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) said at a campus forum last month that he intents to reintroduce the bill in 2017.

The group is also collecting signatures of students, faculty, staff and parents opposed to campus carry.

PROFS registered in opposition to campus carry last session and offered this statement on the legislation:

 

 

UW-Madison Drops in Research Expenditure Rankings

nsf1For the first time since 1972, UW-Madison does not rank in the top five in research expenditures as ranked by the National Science Foundation. UW-Madison dropped from fourth to sixth this year, with $1.07 billion in research spending in 2015.

Johns Hopkins University continues to lead in research funding ($2.31 billion), followed by the University of Michigan ($1.37 billion), the University of Washington ($1.18 billion), the University of California-San Francisco ($1.13 billion), and the University of California-San Diego ($1.1 billion). Among the top 30 universities, Wisconsin led among the four that experienced a drop in spending, with a 3.6 percent reduction.

UW-Madison Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick noted the impact of disinvestment by the state:

“We are extremely proud of our faculty, staff and students but if Wisconsin is to remain at the pinnacle of American research universities, the state will need to reinvest to be sure we have the faculty positions and conditions necessary to attract and retain the best researchers.”