PROFS

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.

Legislative Update

Mark Cook Bills

Assembly Bill 38 and Senate Bill 42, bipartisan legislation named in honor of the late UW-Madison Animal Science professor Mark Cook, have begun to move through the legislative process. The Assembly Constitution and Ethics Committee held a hearing on AB 38 last week, and the Senate Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families will meet today to discuss the SB 42. More information is here.

These companion bills are a top legislative priority for PROFS and are the result of the work of PROFS’ Entrepreneurial Work Group, which was led by Cook. If passed, this legislation will expedite and strengthen the process for Board of Regent approval of projects that involve companies or non-profit organizations in which faculty or staff have a financial interest. Last session, the legislation was approved unanimously in committee and by voice vote in the Assembly, but never received a floor vote in the Senate before the end of the session.

2019-21 Biennial Budget

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance and Governor Tony Evers both held public hearings on the proposed state budget last month. Republican leadership said last week they reject much of Evers’ budget and will work off the existing state budget when the Joint Finance Committee begins its work May 9. GOP leaders outlined several fiscal and policy items they do not support, but they have not commented on the governor’s higher education budget.

Governor Evers 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.

PROFS has already met with members of the governor’s staff and key legislators to discuss items important to UW-Madison faculty and will continue to meet with legislative leaders and others throughout the lengthy budget process. Both houses of the Republican-led state legislature must approve the budget before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval. The 2019-21 budget officially begins on July 1, but funding continues at existing levels until a proposal is signed into law. Historically, the budget is passed sometime in the summer, but occasionally the process has stretched into the fall.

State Budget Forum Video

Video from the PROFS/WISCAPE state budget forum is on YouTube. The forum featured State Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee; State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), former Joint Finance Committee member; Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director for State Relations, UW System; UW-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman (Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis); and Noel Radomski, Managing Director of WISCAPE.

Mark Cook Bill Update

Assembly Bill 38 and Senate Bill 42, bipartisan legislation dubbed the Mark Cook Bills, have begun to move through the legislative process. These companion bills are a top legislative priority for PROFS and honor the late UW-Madison Animal Sciences Professor Mark Cook.

Mark Cook

Three years ago, PROFS created the Entrepreneurial Work Group, which was led by Cook, to create legislation that would expedite and strengthen the process for Board of Regent approval of projects that involve companies or non-profit organizations in which faculty or staff have a financial interest. Last session, the legislation was approved unanimously in committee and by voice vote in the Assembly, but never received a floor vote in the Senate before the end of the session.

The Assembly Constitution and Ethics Committee heard testimony today on AB 38 (below). Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council offered written testimony in favor of the bill, telling the committee that Cook’s “work was sometimes slowed by rules that had either outlived their usefulness, stood at odds with processes at other major universities, or simply cost Wisconsin entrepreneurs time and money. Time and money are two commodities that must be carefully guarded by young companies, often making the difference between success and failure.” A senate hearing on the SB 42 is scheduled for May 7.

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

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.

PROFS Annual Report

PROFS president Dorothy Farrar Edwards will present the PROFS Annual Report for 2017-18 (below) to the Faculty Senate Monday, March 4. The senate meets in Room 272 Bascom Hall at 3:30 pm. A full agenda of the meeting is here.

Faculty senators and visitors are invited to join PROFS for refreshments in the rotunda area outside Room 272 Bascom Hall beginning at 3 pm.

PROFS Statement in Support of Professor Ken Mayer

In advocating for the UW-Madison faculty, PROFS vigorously defends academic freedom. State Representative Dave Murphy’s criticism of political science professor Ken Mayer’s course is an attack on academic freedom. It could have a chilling effect on future faculty members’ willingness to speak freely and openly about controversial topics of the day, a very unfortunate outcome. PROFS applauds groups like the College Republicans for standing up for Professor Mayer. These students recognize that Professor Mayer is a fair professor who is nonetheless willing to speak critically and honestly. That is a key element of the Wisconsin Idea.