The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its analysis of Governor Scott Walker’s 2015-17 biennial budget proposal yesterday. The entire University of Wisconsin System portion is here, but PROFS has broken down the document into separate categories:
Budget and FTE Position Summary
This section outlines the fiscal impact of the budget proposal — a 13 percent cut to the university’s state appropriation. It also includes language freezing tuition for two more years.
Also included are cuts to several programs: the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, the Environmental Education Board, solid waste research, recycling education funding, rural physician residency assistance program, and the discovery farm grant program. The State Laboratory of Hygiene and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory would be transferred to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
Creation of Public Authority
The section includes language converting UW System to a public authority effective July 1, 2016. Governance of the system would be the responsibility of the Board of Regents. Changes to the university’s mission statement are included in the this section, but the governor has said the mission statement will remain unchanged.
This section also says all public authority employees will continue participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System, group health insurance, and other benefit programs.
Provisions for tenure and and sabbatical leave programs are deleted. UW System President Ray Cross has said he will ask the Board of Regents to adopt current language as new regent policy.
Deletion of Current Law Provisions
This section deletes many current law provisions including shared governance. Again, President Cross has said he intends to maintain shared governance through regent policy.
The LFB memo says that the Board of Regents will have the authority to recreate deleted provisions, but will not be required to do so by law. Other affected programs include tobacco research grants, tuition remission, minority and disadvantaged student programs, student financial aid, distinguished professorships and chairs, and the reporting of sexual assault information.
New, Modified or Maintained Chapter 36 Provisions
Many provisions are maintained including police authority, admissions, conferring of degrees, travel policies, prohibition of student discrimination.
Sick leave would be regulated by the board.