Category: UW System

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:

UW-Madison Chancellor Search Committee Named

Last week, University of Wisconsin Board of Regents President Ed Manydeeds announced the UW-Madison Chancellor Search Committee. The 21-member committee will be chaired by Regent Vice President Karen Walsh, and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Susan Hagness will serve as vice chair. In addition to Hagness, the committee includes Professors Jon Eckhardt (Business), Adena Rissman (Forest & Wildlife Ecology), Ananth Seshadri (Economics) and Anja Wanner (English).

Last month, the 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 allows for greater representation of shared governance groups on search committees.

The full committee:

  • Chair Karen Walsh, Regent
  • Vice-Chair Susan Hagness, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Regent
  • Jon Eckhardt, Associate Professor, School of Business
  • Ndemazea Fonkem, Student
  • Gail Ford, Director, PEOPLE Program, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement
  • Robert Golden, Dean, School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Luis Gonzalez-Quizhpe, Student
  • Erik Iverson, Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
  • Mike Jones, Regent
  • Tracey L. Klein, Regent
  • Aerin Leigh Lammers, Student
  • Edmund Manydeeds III, Regent President
  • John W. Miller, Regent
  • Adena Rissman, Professor, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
  • Ananth Seshadri, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Economics
  • Jack Salzwedel, Community Representative
  • Mike Shannon, Community Representative
  • Samantha Skenandore, Community Representative
  • Lisa Walters, Administrative Manager, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
  • Anja Wanner, Professor and Department Chair, Department of English

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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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 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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