PROFS offered the following testimony to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Tuesday.
Month: September 2015
UW-Madison Proposal on Faculty Layoff Policy
The University of Wisconsin-Madison University Committee approved a proposal outlining faculty layoff policies Monday. The policy, written by an ad hoc faculty committee, replaces Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP) Chapter 10 and is consistent with American Association of University Professors (AAUP) guidelines. The committee was formed in July after tenure protections were removed from state statutes as part of the 2015-17 state budget.
The proposal will be presented to the Faculty Senate on October 5. A second reading and possible vote could be scheduled as early as the November 2 senate meeting. The proposal must also be approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.
Three campus listening sessions for faculty have been scheduled:
- 8:30-10:30 am, September 29, Room 1306 Health Sciences Learning Center
- 5-7 pm, September 30, Room 1220 of Microbial Sciences
- 5-7 pm, October 1, B10, Ingraham Hall
September Board of Regents Meeting
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will host the UW System Board of Regents today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, September 10 and 11. All meetings take place in the James R. Connor University Center, 228 Wyman Mall.
Regent committees meet Thursday morning, while the full board meets Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Livestream coverage of the full board meeting is available here.
The Education Committee will discuss possible changes to the mission statement of UW-Extension that would allow UW-Extension to award credit-bearing certificates, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business and management. The request and supporting materials are here:
The Business and Finance Committee, Capital Planning and Budget Committee, Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee, and Audit Committee also meet Thursday morning.
The full board will discuss a new accountability dashboard Thursday afternoon. The dashboard allows users to view accountability measures for UW System and individual campuses on the following topics:
- Access (enrollment)
- Progress & Completion (graduation and retention rates)
- Cost & Efficiency (time to degree)
- Undergraduate Experience
- Faculty & Staff (workload, turnover)
- Economic Development (research funding, STEM degrees)
The full board continues its meeting Friday. Items of note on the agenda:
Updates from Board President Regina Millner on the Tenure Policy and Tuition-setting Policy Task Forces and a discussion of recent legislation on research involving fetal tissue. A resolution on fetal tissue legislation is possible.
Chancellor Cathy Sandeen will discuss budget reductions at UW Colleges and provide an update on the Flex Option degree program.
PROFS Statement on Amended Scientific Research Legislation
The Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hold an executive session on AB 305 at 10 am today, September 10. PROFS is registered against this legislation and opposes recent changes to the bill.
PROFS welcomes faculty back to campus as the new semester begins. For those unfamiliar, PROFS is a non-profit membership organization that represents UW-Madison faculty to the Wisconsin Legislature and Congress.
We are proud of our past achievements. During the most recent budget process, PROFS played a key role in securing $86 million in state-supported bonding for the UW-Madison Chemistry Building Project.
In 2011, PROFS led the successful fight to ensure retirement contributions are taken pre-tax, saving the average faculty member about $1,800 per year. Before that, PROFS successfully lobbied for domestic partner benefits and first-day health coverage for faculty and staff. Recent activities at the state level are listed below.
2015-17 Biennial Budget
PROFS met with more than two dozen legislators and staff throughout the budget process, lobbying for decreased cuts in state funding and the preservation of strong tenure and shared governance for faculty. While the final budget was still much worse than the faculty would have liked, it did include $50 million more for the UW System than the governor had proposed and the attacks on tenure and shared governance, while harsh, were not as punitive as some key legislators wanted them to be.
PROFS took strong stands on these harmful actions. Please see previous posts for statements on budget cuts, tenure, and shared governance. Going forward, PROFS is closely following the work of UW System’s Tenure Policy Task Force and making the case that tenure policy at UW-Madison must meet the standards of the AAUP and peer institutions.
Assembly Bill 305, Limits on Scientific Research
PROFS officially registered and delivered testimony (below) against AB 305, a proposal that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts. If passed, the bill would criminalize the use of scientific material previously derived from fetal tissue, which includes cell lines that have been in use for more than 30 years.
PROFS will continue to vigorously oppose the proposal, which has far-reaching negative consequences on campus.
The Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will meet in executive session to vote on the bill on Wednesday, September 9.
Possible Merger of UW Colleges and the Wisconsin Technical College System
PROFS is deeply concerned about the private discussion among Assembly Republicans on the possible realignment of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and Extension and the Wisconsin Technical College System. PROFS shared its concerns in a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester):
“The faculty at UW-Madison urge you and other legislative leaders to reconsider this strategy and instead create a transparent and inclusive process for any review of public higher education in the state”
“UW-Madison faculty welcome an open and consultative discussion on the future of higher education in Wisconsin. We hope to be “at the table,” along with many other stakeholders across the state, as this discussion continues.”
PROFS is funded entirely by faculty contributions. Please consider joining PROFS if you are not a member.