Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting includes a ‘committee of the whole discussion’ of the New Badger Partnership (NBP). Many faculty members — beyond senators themselves — are planning to attend and we encourage you to prepare for this meeting by looking at the proposed budget bill. The language about the new public authority for UW-Madison is in chapter 37, beginning on page 519. Please keep in mind that this is an initial proposed budget. It is likely to be changed during the legislative process and possibly by the governor’s veto pen. Successful changes from PROFS and allied groups will require a tight focus on particular issues and parts of the bill, and we will need to establish clear priorities for our efforts. It is critical to our governance process that faculty are engaged in helping to identify such passages and potential improvements to the bill.
At this point, we as UW-Madison faculty are wrestling with multiple, interwoven issues, including not only public authority status for our University, but also the budget repair bill and the coming, extremely painful budget cuts, as well as the process by which we have come to be in this situation. PROFS is focusing most directly now on public authority status, and we aim to generate balanced, informed discussion on campus. To that end, we are working to organize a forum about what public authority status means, and what the pros and cons are. We hope to hold it Thursday of next week, if possible. In the meantime, we will prepare a handout for the Senate, summarizing some points from the bill.
Chair, University Committee
President, PROFS Steering Committee