The state

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.

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.

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.

 

Reminder: Shared Governance Forum

PROFS, along with several campus cosponsors, is hosting a public forum on shared governance at 3 pm, Thursday, May 3 in the Wisconsin Idea Room in the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall (poster below).

Our panel:

  • Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education, former General Secretary AAUP
  • David Maxwell, Drake University President Emeritus, Association of Governing Boards Senior Consultant
  • Regina Millner, University of Wisconsin System Regent, Board President Emeritus
  • Thomas Harnisch, American Association of State Colleges and Universities Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis

Karen HerzogMilwaukee Journal Sentinel higher education reporter, will moderate.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The La Follette School of Public Affairs, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, WISCAPE (Wisconsin Center on the Advancement of Postsecondary Education) and ASPRO (Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization) are cosponsors.

Shared Governance Forum

PROFS is pleased to sponsor a public forum on shared governance at 3 pm, Thursday, May 3 in the Wisconsin Idea Room in the Education Building.

Public higher education has faced enormous challenges in recent years — massive funding cuts, declining student enrollment, shifting perception on the value of a degree. Many legislative leaders have called for the University of Wisconsin System, and UW-Madison in particular, to operate more like a business, often citing shared governance as a major impediment to institutional efficiency.

Our panel of nationally known experts will guide our discussion.

  • Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education, former General Secretary AAUP
  • David Maxwell, Drake University President Emeritus, Association of Governing Boards Senior Consultant
  • Regina Millner, University of Wisconsin System Regent, Board President Emeritus
  • Thomas Harnisch, American Association of State Colleges and Universities Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis

Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel higher education reporter, will moderate.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Legislative Update

The Legislature concluded its regular session work in March, passing several items key to Governor Scott Walker’s re-election agenda including a school safety passage, an overhaul of the juvenile corrections system, and a one-day sales tax holiday and $100 per child tax credit. The Legislature did not take action on the following:

“Mark Cook Bills” to Assist Faculty Entrepreneurship, Assembly Bill 758 and Senate Bill 671

PROFS worked with faculty experts to develop bipartisan legislation that would change state statutes that regulate how the university contracts with companies in which faculty or other university employees have a financial interest. AB 758 passed the Assembly, but was not scheduled for a vote in the Senate.

Bill Limiting University of Wisconsin OB/GYN Training, Assembly Bill 206

PROFS registered against AB 206, a bill that would restrict abortion-related activities of UW System and UW Hospitals and Clinics employees. This bill died in committee.

Bills Restoring Tenure and Shared Governance to State Statute, Assembly Bills 991 & 993 and Senate Bills 823 & 824

PROFS registered in support of legislation that would restore language relating to tenure and shared governance to state statues, provisions that were removed as part of the 2015-17 state budget. These bills died in committee.

Bills Limiting Scientific Research, Assembly Bills 83 & 549 and Senate Bills 422 & 423

PROFS registered agains SB 423, and monitored additional bills that would have limited the use of fetal tissue in scientific research. SB 422 received a public hearing but was never scheduled for a floor vote, the remaining bills died in committee.

Bills Eliminating Certain Reporting Requirements, Changes to UW-Madison Health Sciences Start Date, Assembly Bill 932 and Senate Bill 790

PROFS registered in support of this legislation that would eliminate several duplicative reports and allow graduate health science classes to start before September 1. These bills died in committee.

Federal Relations

PROFS President Dorothy Farrar Edwards and Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara traveled to Washington, DC last month as part of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s UW-Madison Day. They met with members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation including Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressmen Mark Pocan and Glenn Grothman, and staff from the offices of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson.