The state

October Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Superior Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11. Livestream coverage of the full board portions of the meeting is available here.

Regents meet in committee Thursday morning after a tour of the Lake Superior Research Institute ballast water treatment system testing facility.

  • The Business and Finance Committee will hear a report from UW-Superior, discuss several reports relating to investments and financials, and consider eight contractual agreements at UW-Madison.
  • The Education Committee will consider three new degree programs, including a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in data science at UW-Madison. The committee will also discuss changes to four Regent Policy Documents, including one relating to laboratory animals.
  • The Audit Committee will discuss the internal audit, compliance, and risk management.
  • The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will hear a report from UW-Superior and consider granting authority to several campuses for construction projects, including the Camp Randall renovation and Field House repair project.

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. UW System President Ray Cross and UW-Superior Chancellor Renée Wachter will address the board Thursday afternoon before moving into closed session to discuss honorary degrees, two salary adjustments at UW-Madison, chancellor evaluations, and legal issues.

On Friday, the board will hear updates from Cross and UW System Board of Regents President Drew Petersen. The regents will also vote to approve an amendment to student disciplinary rules. The amendment would outline punishment for students who disrupt free speech on campus. Regents adopted a policy in 2017 but it does not take effect until UW System administrative rules are amended.

Administrative rules must be approved by Governor Evers before they are sent to the legislature. A spokeswoman for Evers recently said the governor voted against this policy when he was a member of the Board of Regents and he continues to oppose the policy.

Last month, two bills (Assembly Bill 444 and Senate Bill 403) relating to campus speech were introduced. This legislation directs the Board of Regents to create a campus speech policy that would supersede and nullify any prior Board of Regents or institution policies or rules restricting free expression. PROFS is registered against these bills. If either bill passes the legislature, it must still be signed into law by the governor before becoming law.

Regent Tracey Klein Added to College Affordability Panel

UW System Regent Tracey Klein

PROFS is pleased to announce that University of Wisconsin System Regent Tracey Klein will serve as the third panelist at the upcoming forum on affordability and public higher education on Thursday, October 24.

Klein, a health care attorney for more than 30 years, was named to the Board of Regents by Governor Scott Walker in 2016. She is a chairs the Regent Education Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee.

The forum will focus on the cost of delivering education, why it rises, and the implication of rising expenses – pressure on the state to subsidize the cost, students to pay higher tuition and the university to raise funds and pursue partnerships.

It will be held in the De Luca Forum in the Discovery Building at 4 pm on Thursday, October 24. Klein will be joined by UW-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman (moderater) and panelists David Feldman (professor, William & Mary) and UW-Madison Vice Chancellor Laurent Heller.

Save the Date: PROFS Forum on the Cost of Higher Education

PROFS is pleased to announce a campus forum on the cost of higher education on Thursday, October 24. This event will be held at 4 pm in the De Luca Forum in the Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street, and is open to the public.

Nicholas Hillman

The forum, moderated by UW-Madison Education Professor Nicholas Hillman, will examine college cost, in particular why costs have risen so dramatically in recent years and the implications of rising expenses. We will look at the the resulting pressure on the state to increase funding and students to pay higher tuition, along with pressure on the university to raise funds and pursue partnerships.

Our panel includes William & Mary Economics Professor David Feldman and UW-Madison Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller. A third panelist will be named soon.

David Feldman

David Feldman received his A.B. from Kenyon College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. Before joining the faculty at William and Mary in 1989, he taught at Duke and Colgate University. His current research examines college cost, the demand for higher education, and the role of federal and state policy toward higher education. He has published two books on the cost of higher education with his faculty colleague Robert Archibald, The Road Ahead for America’s Colleges and Universities and Why Does College Cost So Much?

Laurent Heller

Laurent Heller began his appointment as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration in August, 2016. Heller has extensive experience in budgeting and finance, higher education strategy and business operations, having served as Vice Chancellor, Financial Planning and Analysis at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

UW-Madison’s Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership is a cosponsor of this event.

Badgers United Forum

Badgers United, a new advocacy group started by University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni, is hosting a public forum on the importance of UW-Madison to the state’s economy on Wednesday, July 24. More information is below:

Badgers United on UpFront

Amber Schroeder, executive director of Badgers United, recently appeared on WISN’s UpFront (below) to discuss the group’s advocacy efforts on behalf of UW-Madison.

Launched last month, Badgers United was formed to educate the public on the economic impact of UW-Madison and encourage greater state funding for the university. The group’s board of directors includes many prominent alumni, including former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and John and Tashia Morgridge, major donors to UW-Madison.

Schroeder told UpFront host Adrienne Pedersen that UW-Madison contributes $24 for every dollar of state support it receives. She also said the advocacy group supports lifting the tuition freeze and bringing UW-Madison resident undergraduate tuition to the Big Ten average.

Former PROFS President Judith Burstyn on News 3 Now

Former PROFS President Judith Burstyn appeared yesterday on News 3 Now (embedded below).

Burstyn told reporter Rose Schmidt that faculty salaries at UW-Madison lag behind peers and while the current state budget proposal includes two 2 percent pay increases for faculty and staff, the university must reallocate funds from elsewhere on campus to pay for $16 million of the pay raises if tuition remains frozen and the state does not provide inflationary funding.

Newly-elected UW System Board of Regents President Drew Petersen also appeared on the newscast. Petersen told Schmidt that requiring Joint Finance Committee approval for $45 million in state funding to UW System was “a little bit heavy-handed” but he was pleased with the committee’s $1.1 billion allocation for UW System’s capital budget.

Former PROFS President Judith Burstyn on WPT’s Here & Now

Former PROFS President and University Committee Chair Judith Burstyn recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s Here & Now with Frederica Freyburg. Burstyn discussed Joint Finance Committee (JFC) action on the UW System portion of the 2019-21 Wisconsin Biennial Budget, which was approved 12-4 along party lines.

The Republican motion will continue the tuition freeze for two more years, but does not fund the freeze. The motion also included a $59 million increase in funding, $69 million less than Governor Evers proposed as part of his budget. The committee also voted to require JFC approval of how UW campuses will spend money earmarked for academic programming in high demand fields.

Joint Finance Committee to Vote on UW System Today

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on the University of Wisconsin System portion of Governor Evers’ 2019-21 state budget today. Republicans hold a 12-4 majority of the committee and are expected to make significant changes to the governor’s budget.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has prepared a summary document (below) on several topics, including tuition, supplemental pay, and UW-Extension cooperative agriculture agents. The committee will likely consider options offered in the paper.