The Regents meet in committee Thursday morning:
- The Audit Committee will discuss several items relating to internal audit, pandemic disruption, and compliance.
- The Capital Planning & Budget Committee will hear several reports and consider authorization to complete the design and construction of UW-Madison’s Chemistry 2nd Floor Wang Laboratory Renovation project.
- The Research, Economic Development & Innovation Committee will hear three perspectives on research, economic development and innovation in light of COVID-19 from committee chair Robert Atwell.
- The Business & Finance Committee hear several reports and consider approval of two contracts.
- The Education Committee will consider approval of several new degree programs, including a Master of Science: Business — Analytics at UW-Madison; changes to Regent Policy Document 20-2 (Student Evaluation of Instruction); and the 2020 Report on Faculty Promotions, Tenure Designations, and Other Changes of Status. The committee will also consider approval of the creation of six new schools at UW-Stevens Point, a reorganization that was the result of two-years of strategic planning and discussion.
The full board meets at 12:45 pm. They will hear reports from Board President Andrew Petersen and UW System President Ray Cross. They will also consider approval of the 2020-21 annual operating budget and hear presentations on student behavioral health and the seamless transfer program. The board concludes in closed session.
The University Committee of UW-Madison, the elected executive committee of the Faculty Senate and the PROFS Board of Directors, sent the following memo outlining their concerns about the Blueprint for UW System Beyond COVID-19 to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and UW System President Ray Cross.
University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross appeared on WISN’s UpFront with Adrienne Pedersen Sunday to discuss his Blueprint for the University of Wisconsin System Beyond COVID-19.
Cross introduced the blueprint to the Board of Regents Friday. His plan instructs each regional four-year campus to identify its strongest programs so cuts may be made in areas with limited student interest or instructional capabilities. The plan also includes administrative consolidation and an expansion of online course offerings. UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee are exempt from the directive.
Many faculty throughout UW System have expressed concern about the lack of shared governance in this process, which Cross characterized Sunday as “aggressive and quick.” Cross did not comment on shared governance explicitly in the interview, but said that the board “will seek input from folks in the process” (below).
If they (the Board of Regents) choose to adopt a blueprint, then the faculty and staff around the campuses and communities will be engaged in the process of trying to evaluate this through an objective model that is well known through higher education. How do you refine your mission and make choices on priorities? How do you evaluate programs and services?
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents met in a special meeting yesterday. A large part of the meeting was to discuss a “blueprint” (below) for moving the System forward in light of the tremendous budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.
While UW-Madison is exempt from this plan, PROFS continues to carefully monitor the action of the board to ensure that principles of shared governance are honored throughout the process.
Some faculty and legislators have spoken out with strong concerns about the plan. State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), a member of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, sent a letter (below) to UW System President Ray Cross outlining her thoughts on the plan. She is particularly concerned shared governance groups and legislators part of the development of the plan before it was announced and how this plan may affect issues related to equity and access.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents Executive Committee will meet at 2:30 pm today to discuss granting UW System President Ray Cross and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Black the authority to create policies and procedures relating to employee furloughs in response to the immense budget pressures due to COVID-19:
“The University of Wisconsin System is facing increased fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents, under the authority granted to the Board in Wis. Stats. s. 36.115, is being asked to modify Regent Policy Document 20-21 to authorize the UW System President and the UW-Madison Chancellor to create furlough policies. The furlough policies will provide options in addition to the other workforce reduction and cost saving measures, to address these financial challenges in a way that minimizes layoffs and maximizes the UW System’s ability to continue to perform its critical educational and outreach mission.”
The meeting will be webcast live here.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet via teleconference at 9:15 am, Thursday, April 2. Originally scheduled as a two-day meeting, the board will forgo committee meetings and will meet in full board session instead. Livestream coverage of the meeting is here.
Some discussion items include updates on the impact of COVID-19, the UW-Green Bay and UW-Stevens Point Chancellor searches and the UW System President search. The committee will also consider approval of new degree programs, building projects, clinical trials and an update to UW System’s strategic framework. The board concludes with a closed session.