PROFS

PROFS Welcomes Dorothy Farrar Edwards as President

Dorothy Farrar Edwards

PROFS welcomes Kinesiology Professor Dorothy Farrar Edwards as president and extends much gratitude to Chemistry Professor Judith Burstyn for her service as president for the past two years. Burstyn remains a member of the steering committee.

Farrar Edwards, a former member of the University Committee, has served on the PROFS Steering Committee since 2013. She also serves in the Departments of Medicine and Neurology in the School of Medicine and Public Health.

PROFS would also like to thank Murray Clayton (Plant Pathology), Mark Cook (Animal Science) and Irwin Goldman (Horticulture) as they step down from the PROFS Steering Committee after many years of service.

Video from WISCAPE’s 2017-19 Biennial Budget Forum

PROFS recently cosponsored WISCAPE’s 2017-19 Biennial Budget forum. Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, served on the panel alongside Madison College Vice President of Institutional Learning Tim Casper, UW-Madison School of Education Professor Nicholas Hillman, and UW Colleges/Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. Video from the forum is below.

 

PROFS to Cosponsor WISCAPE Budget Panel

PROFS is pleased to cosponsor the WISCAPE 2017-19 biennial budget forum at noon, Wednesday, July 26 in Room 159 Education, 1000 Bascom Mall.

Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will serve on the panel alongside Madison College Vice President of Institutional Learning Tim Casper, UW-Madison School of Education Professor Nicholas Hillman, and UW Colleges/Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. More information is below.

PROFS Asks JFC Co-Chairs for Budget Changes

PROFS President Judith Burstyn, incoming PROFS President Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, and PROFS Chair Anja Wanner sent a letter (below) to Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) asking for two important changes to the 2017-19 state budget.

The changes relate to requirements for the University of Wisconsin System President and chancellors and governance of the proposed UW-Madison Thompson Center on Public Leadership.

Campus Speech Bill Passes Assembly

Assembly Bill 299, dubbed the Campus Free Speech Act, passed the Assembly Wednesday, June 21 on a 61-36 vote. Republican Bob Gannon of West Bend joined the Democrats in opposing the bill. A statement of PROFS’ opposition to the bill is here.

Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), the bill’s main author, maintains the legislation is necessary to ensure all voices are heard on campus, citing incidents at Middlebury College and the University of California-Berkeley as evidence that free speech is stifled on college campuses.

PROFS lobbied against the bill, noting that in 2010 the University of Wisconsin Faculty Senate adopted a policy (Faculty Document 2186) that protects speech on campus. In 2015, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents adopted a resolution affirming academic freedom, including free speech, on all UW campuses.

Under the amended bill (below), the Board of Regents would be required to adopt a policy that would apply to all UW System institutions and supersede any existing Regent or campus policies. The legislation also requires mandatory punishments for students violators and employee and new student training on free speech annually.

The bill now moves to the State Senate.

PROFS Statement on AB 299, Relating to Campus Speech

PROFS is registered against Assembly Bill 299, legislation that would require the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents to adopt a policy on free expression on all two and four-year campuses. This new policy would supersede any previous Regent rules or individual campus policies.

The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee is scheduled to vote on an amended version of AB 299 at 1:30 pm, Tuesday, May 30.

In 2010, the UW-Madison Faculty Senate amended its Faculty Policies and Procedures to  provide “principled protection for faculty engaged in speech pursuant to their official duties.” The amendment (below) also provided a definition of academic freedom.

 

PROFS and ASPRO Forum on Self-Insurance

PROFS and ASPRO, the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization, are partnering to sponsor a public forum on self-insurance at 4 pm, Thursday, April 13 in the Plenary Room of Grainger Hall, 975 University Avenue.

Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board recommended a switch to self-insurance for all state employees beginning in 2018, and Governor Scott Walker has earmarked the projected savings to fund a pay plan for UW System employees and increase K-12 funding in the next biennium. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee must review the proposed changes before they go into effect, and most of the committee has publicly expressed deep concern over the plan.

So where does that leave the proposal? PROFS and ASPRO have assembled a panel of experts who will share their knowledge about self-insurance and state employee health plans and take questions from the audience, including:

  • Will the Group Insurance Board reduce the number of eligible health plans even if self-insurance fails?
  • How will the state replace the earmarked funds if self-insurance fails?
  • How might a switch to self-insurance affect the state’s health insurance marketplace?
  • Are the projected savings from a switch realistic?

The panel:

  • Justin Sydnor, UW-Madison School of Business Associate Professor, Risk and Insurance. Sydnor is an applied microeconomist specializing in behavioral economics. His interests include the study of risk aversion and insurance choices, discrimination, and issues surrounding self-control and commitment.
  • Lisa Ellinger, Director of the Office of Strategic Health Policy, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Before joining ETF, Ellinger was the assistant director of the Wisconsin Health Project. She is also an alum of UW-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs.
  • Peter Farrow, General Manager and CEO of Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire. Farrow is past president of the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, an advocacy organization opposed to self-insurance. A graduate of Marquette University, he was previously Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Insurance in Wisconsin.

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

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS hosted a public forum on the state budget on Thursday, March 16. PROFS President Judith Burstyn moderated. State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships Ben Miller, and PROFS Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara were panelists.

 

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 state budget proposal at noon, Thursday, March 16 in Room 5120 Grainger Hall. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Ben Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, and Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will share their expertise and take questions from members of the audience. A recording of the the forum will be available online at a later date.

Questions at the forum are likely to include:

  • What types of performance metrics are likely to be included as part of possible increased funding for UW System?
  • What is the likelihood of a pay plan for UW faculty and staff? Is a pay plan still possible if the Joint Finance Committee does not approve self-insurance?
  • Would new statutory language codifying the state’s commitment to academic freedom result in any changes to existing campus policies?
  • Are non-fiscal policy items likely to remain in the budget proposal?

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of the University of Wisconsin System portion of the governor’s budget is here.

PROFS is planning a forum on self-insurance later this spring.