UW System

PROFS State Budget Forum Video

PROFS hosted a forum to discuss Governor Tony Ever’s 2019-21 state budget proposal on April 2. The panel included:

PROFS/WISCAPE state budget forum, April 2, 2019

April Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting in Madison Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5. The meeting, originally scheduled to be hosted by UW-Whitewater, will be held at UW System office in Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Avenue. Livestream coverage of the meeting is available here.

Regents met in committee Thursday morning.

The Education Committee considered approval of a change in UW-Green Bay’s mission statement and two UW collaborative degree programs. The committee also heard updates on the UW System associate degree program and the UW System Task Force on Advancing Teacher Education and School Leadership in Wisconsin.

The Business and Finance Committee heard updates on shared services and considered approval of new salary ranges for executives and several contractual agreements.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee considered approval of several building and renovation projects and heard an update on State Building Commission action.

The Audit Committee heard updates on audit reports, risk management and compliance.

The full board will meet in closed and open session Friday afternoon. The board will discuss student behavioral health, the restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension and high impact practices in open session.

On Friday, the board will hear reports from the Board President John Behling and UW System President Ray Cross and consider approval of committee action. Updates on the chancellor search at UW-Whitewater, President Trump’s recent executive order on campus speech, and the 2019-21 state budget are on the agenda.

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Tony Ever’s 2019-21 state budget proposal at noon, Tuesday, April 2 in Room 159 Education (1000 Bascom Mall) This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

The panel includes:

The governor’s higher education budget includes increases of $44.7 million in FY20 and $66 million in FY21 and a 2% pay plan for UW System employees, including UW-Madison faculty. Additional details:

  • $45 million for capacity building initiatives
  • $5 million for UW Colleges student support services
  • 2-year tuition freeze, including $50.4 million to fund the freeze
  • $10 million for a nurse educators program
  • $17.4 million for Wisconsin Grants, a need-based grant program for Wisconsin students
  • $3.5 million and 20 FTE for UW Extension agriculture representatives
  • $500,000 for environmental education at UW-Stevens Point
  • $18 million for a general increase to the Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Resident tuition for undocumented Wisconsin residents

The state budget process is a months-long process that stretches into summer and often into autumn. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the Republican-led state legislature must approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval.

Event cosponsors: The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO), and the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

March Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Madison’s Gordon Dining and Event Center Thursday, March 7. Livestream coverage of the meeting is here.

In the morning, the board will hear an update from UW System President Ray Cross and hear presentations on student success and faculty teaching, research and service. The regents will discuss the 2019-21 biennial budget and federal higher education issues in the afternoon.

Legislative Update

2019-21 Biennial Budget

Governor Tony Evers introduced his state budget last week. The governor’s higher education budget includes increases of $44.7 million in FY20 and $66 million in FY21 and $40.4 million for a 2% pay plan for UW System employees, including UW-Madison faculty.

Additional details:

  • $45 million for capacity building initiatives
  • $5 million for UW Colleges student support services
  • 2-year tuition freeze, including $50.4 million to fund the freeze
  • $10 million for a nurse educators program
  • $17.4 million for Wisconsin Grants, a need-based grant program for Wisconsin students
  • $3.5 million and 20 FTE for UW Extension agriculture representatives
  • $500,000 for environmental education at UW-Stevens Point
  • $18 million for a general increase to the Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Resident tuition for undocumented Wisconsin residents

The state budget process is a months-long process that stretches into summer. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the state legislature must approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval. PROFS has already begun meeting with members of the governor’s staff and key legislators to discuss items important to UW-Madison faculty.

State Budget Forum

PROFS, along with WISCAPE and the Wisconsin Alumni Association, is planning a campus forum on the state budget on April 2. More information coming soon.

Mark Cook Bill

Assembly Bill 38 and Senate Bill 42, dubbed the “Mark Cook bills,” were introduced last month. This bipartisan bill would streamline and strengthen the law governing contracts between the university and a private company or nonprofit group in which a faculty member has a financial interest. The PROFS Entrepreneurial Work Group developed this draft legislation which honors the late faculty member and entrepreneur who chaired the work group. Similar legislation was introduced last session and passed the Assembly but was not scheduled for a Senate vote.

February Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison Thursday and Friday, February 7 and 8. UW-Madison is hosting the meeting, which will be held in Varsity Hall at Union South, 1380 West Dayton Street. A webcast of the full board portions of the meeting is here.

Regents meeting in committee Thursday morning:

The Business and Finance Committee will review and consider approval of several graduate and non-resident tuition increases at nine UW System institutions. UW-Madison is not among the nine campuses with proposals. The committee will also hear several reports and presentations, including one from UW-Madison.

The Education Committee will consider approval of several charter school proposals and three new degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Health Equity at UW-Madison. UW-Madison Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf will provide an update to the committee on UW-Madison educational innovations.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider approval of two capital projects, including a remodeling project at UW-Madison’s DeLuca Biochemistry building, and a revision of evaluation criteria for major capital project requests. The committee will also hear an update from UW-Madison and a report on recent State Building Commission action.

The Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee will hear an update from UW-Madison on UW2020 research and innovation grants and report from UW-Eau Claire on new partnerships created by the UW-Eau Claire Finance Department.

The Audit Committee will hear several reports and an enterprise risk management update.

The full board portion of Thursday’s meeting begins at 1 pm with a welcome from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. The board will hear two reports before moving into closed session to discuss personnel, disciplinary, and legal items. UW-Madison football coach Paul Chryst’s employment and additional compensation agreements are among the items on the agenda.

The full board meets for a second day at 9 am Friday. UW System President Ray Cross and Regent President John Behling will each provide updates to the board and UW-Madison will deliver its annual NCAA Division I Athletics report. The board will also recognize recipients of the  2019 Diversity Awards.

December Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-La Crosse Thursday and Friday, December 6 and 7. All meetings will be held in the student union, 521 East Avenue North. The full board portions of the meeting will be livestreamed.

The board meets in committee Thursday morning:

The Education Committee will discuss many items including the approval of procedures relating to financial emergency and program discontinuance that require faculty layoff and termination at UW-Stevens Point (below). The committee will also hear several reports and consider changes to several Regent Policy Documents and approval of new degree programs at UW-Stevens Point, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Green Bay.

The Business and Finance Committee will meet jointly with the Audit Committee before meeting to discuss several items, including faculty turnover (below). The number of faculty at all UW System institutions has declined from 6,485 to 5,983 over the past five years, with 434 faculty leaving in FY18. Last year, faculty turnover at UW-Madison was about 5%. Eighty-two tenured faculty members left — 58 retired and 24 resigned. Twenty-two probationary faculty left — 18 resigned and four were non-renewed. The committee will also consider two contractual agreements and hear a report on faculty and staff base salary adjustments.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will discuss several building and renovation projects and hear several reports.

The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear the UW School of Medicine and Public Health annual report and consider approval of the Wisconsin Partnership program’s five-year plan.

After meeting jointly with the Business and Finance Committee to discuss the Plante Moran external audit, the Audit Committee will discuss internal audits and internal controls and enterprise risk management.

The full board meets in open and closed sessions Thursday afternoon. Governor-elect Tony Evers has been invited to address the board at 1 pm. The board will also hear from UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow and consider a resolution in support of a faculty and staff pay plan of 3% increase in each year of the 2019-21 biennium (below). The recommendation includes a provision for the state to fully-fund the pay plan given the the likelihood for a continued tuition freeze.

Friday, the board will hear reports from Regent President John Behling and UW System President Ray Cross.

October Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Parkside Thursday and Friday, October 4 and 5. All meetings will be held at the UW-Parkside Student Center, 900 Wood Road in Kenosha. Livestream coverage of the full board portions of the meeting is here.

The Regents meet in committee Thursday morning:

The Education Committee will consider a new degree program in video production at UW-Stout and mission statement change at UW-River Falls. The committee will also hear reports on UW System restructuring and teacher education in Wisconsin.

The Business and Finance Committee will consider two contractual agreements at UW-Madison and hear reports on topics including program revenue balances, financial management, information security, shared services and performance funding.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider two remodeling projects at UW-Madison — Helen C. White Library and Memorial Library. The committee will also hear presentations on UW System building conditions and UW-Parkside’s capital planning and budgeting.

The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear two presentations — an update from UW-Parkside women innovators and an update from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on Foxconn supplier initiatives and partnerships.

The full board meets Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Thursday’s agenda includes reports from UW-Parkside Chancellor Deborah Ford (partnerships), UW-Madison Athletics Director Barry Alvarez (safety review), and UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside and UW-Stout (capacity building efforts).

Friday’s agenda includes committee reports and updates from UW System President Ray Cross and Regent President John Behling.

Legislative Update

PROFS, a non-profit membership organization representing UW-Madison faculty, monitors legislation and lobbies the governor, members of the legislature, and members of Congress. PROFS has a long history of effectiveness – PROFS led the fight to ensure retirement contributions are taken pre-tax, saving the average faculty member about $1,800 per year and successfully lobbied for domestic partner benefits and first-day health coverage for faculty and staff. Recent activities at the state level are below.

2019-21 Biennial Budget

While Governor Walker instructed agency heads to prepare budgets with zero increases, the Board of Regents recently approved a request for a $107.5 million increase in state funding over the next biennium:

  • $82.5 million to be directed to meet outcomes-based goals set by the Republican legislature, including student success, workforce development and operational efficiencies.
  • $25 million to be directed to improve access in high-demand fields in science, math, technology, engineering, health care and business.

The Regents also approved a $1.9 billion capital budget request, including $90 million to expand UW-Madison’s Veterinary Medicine building.

UW System’s budget request did not include a pay plan for faculty and staff. UW System President Ray Cross said he would ask Regents in December to approve a plan equal to twice the rate of inflation.

The state budget process is lengthy and begins early next year when the governor introduces his budget proposal. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the state legislature must then approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval.

PROFS will actively monitor and participate in the state budget, meeting with key legislators and leaders from UW-Madison and UW System.

Tuition Freeze

Earlier this summer, both candidates for governor – current Governor Scott Walker (Republican) and Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers (Democrat) – said they support an additional two-year freeze on University of Wisconsin System tuition, lengthening the current freeze to eight years.

Fall Elections

All Wisconsin Assembly seats and 17 seats in the Senate are on the ballot in November. Republicans hold comfortable margins in both houses, but some pundits believe the Senate could flip parties. A split legislature would have an impact on the upcoming state budget process and could slow Republican legislative efforts such as a proposed ban on fetal tissue research and campus carry.