Monthly Archives: December 2015

UW System Tenure Policy Task Force Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Tenure Policy Task Force will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, December 23 at 2 pm. The meeting will be held in Room 1820 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, and is open to the public.

The task force is expected to finalize layoff and post-tenure review language. Current draft language is below.

Recommendations from the task force will be forwarded to the Board of Regents Education Committee for consideration at its February meeting. Full board action could happen in March. UW-Madison will hold campus information sessions on the proposed policies in January.

Layoff and Termination Draft Language

Post-Tenure Review Draft Language



Hesselbein and Berceau to Introduce Legislation Returning Shared Governance to State Statutes

PROFS President Judith Burstyn

PROFS President Judith Burstyn and PROFS Steering Committee member Dave Vanness

State Representatives Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) and Terese Berceau (D-Madison) announced yesterday they intend to introduce legislation that would return strong shared governance to state statutes.

Shared governance for faculty, staff and students was changed from a participatory role to an advisory one in the most recent state budget. Hesselbein and Berceau have drafted legislation that uses the same statutory language that had been in place since 1973.

The proposed legislation states faculty “shall actively participate in institutional policy development” and gives faculty primary responsibility for personnel issues and academic and educational endeavors on campus.

PROFS President Judith Burstyn voiced support of the bill:

“Make no mistake about it. One of the reasons faculty stay at UW-Madison, despite pay well below out peers, is our strong history of shared governance.”

Hesselbein concurred:

“This simple step – to upgrade the faculty’s role from advisory to decision-making – will have a far-reaching effect on morale. It will give the University an important recruiting tool that was lost. It will build loyalty and improve the quality of decisions.”

PROFS statement on proposed legislation:

Legislative Update

Capitol & ForwardUW System Tenure Policy Task Force

PROFS continues to actively follow the work of UW System’s Tenure Policy Task Force and lobby for the best possible result. PROFS met with Regent Vice President and task force chair John Behling In late November to discuss the University Committee’s proposed changes to the task force draft recommendations and share information on existing post-tenure review practices. The task force will meet again on December 23 and is expected to forward recommendations to the Regent Education Committee for action in February. Full Board of Regent action is expected in March.

Possible Health Insurance Changes

The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board recently discussed a report recommending a change to self-insurance for state employees. The report’s author, Segal Consulting, maintains the switch could save the state $42 million, but in 2012 a different consultant found the change could cost the state $100 million. The board is scheduled to meet and vote on the recommendation in February. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee must also approve any change.

Currently state employees can choose from 18 insurers, and state employees comprise 14 percent of the state’s health insurance market. Under self-insurance, the state would pay for benefits directly and assume risk. A private insurer would likely be hired to manage the program for the state.

Wisconsin Legislature

The Legislature finished its regular floor period on November 7 and held a one-day extraordinary session on November 16. While legislators are not expected to meet again in a floor period until January 12, committees continue to meet and hold executive sessions. PROFS is monitoring and lobbying on several items, including:

Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260, Limits on Scientific Research

PROFS officially registered and delivered testimony against AB 305 and SB 260, proposals that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts. If passed, the bills would criminalize the research and use of scientific material previously derived from fetal tissue. Both bills have passed out of committee but have not been scheduled for a floor vote. PROFS will continue to strongly oppose the proposals, which have far-reaching negative consequences on campus.

Assembly Bill 480/Senate Bill 363, Campus Concealed Carry

PROFS is registered against AB 480 and SB 363, legislation that would require UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses to allow concealed carry of weapons in campus buildings. Current law permits concealed carry on campus grounds, but allows individual campuses to forbid weapons in buildings. PROFS is vigorously opposed to this legislation telling legislators in a statement that “we believe that making it easier for people to carry firearms and bring them onto university property would make it more dangerous for the faculty, staff and student of the University of Wisconsin.”


December Board of Regent Meeting

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at UW-Madison Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11. All meetings will be held in Gordon Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street.

Regents meet in committee Thursday afternoon while the full board meets Friday morning.

The Education Committee will consider approval of several new degree programs and a reorganization at UW-Green Bay. The committee will also discuss a statement reiterating the board’s commitment to academic freedom and affirming the board’s commitment to freedom of expression:

The Business and Finance Committee will consider differential tuition at UW-Stevens Point and an alumni tuition proposal at UW-Eau Claire, discuss trust funds and contractual agreements, and hear a report on faculty and staff salary adjustments in 2015. UW System chancellors reallocated $12.1 million of the salary base for adjustments in 2015. 2,338 faculty received adjustments averaging $5,163. At UW-Madison, 102 faculty members received additional compensation averaging $3,377.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider authorization of a transfer of Vilas Trust funds for the UW-Madison Music Performance Building project, review changes to regent policy documents, and hear a report on State Building Commission action.

The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear an update from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan. UW System President President Ray Cross will also share how UW System is helping with the state’s workforce needs.

The Audit Committee will hear a report from the chief audit executive.

On Friday the board will hear several reports:

  • Hospital Authority Board
  • Higher Educational Aids Board
  • Wisconsin Technical College System Board
  • Informational report on student debt and financial aid
  • UW-Green Bay NCAA Division I Athletics report

Updates on the work done by Tenure Policy Task Force and the Tuition-setting Policy Task Force will also be given.