Last week, the Faculty Senate voted to support the legislative proposal that would transform UW-Madison into a public authority. The Senate also approved principles in support of key flexibilities for UW-Madison (Faculty Senate Document 2280).
The faculty motion in support of the public authority model gives the University Committee the ability to work for additional flexibilities for the university should the public authority status be removed during the budget process. PROFS has been working very hard in support of those flexibilities, meeting with key legislators and representatives of Governor Scott Walker over the past several weeks. Many legislators, including Rep. Robin Vos (R-Caledonia), have expressed concern about the separation of UW-Madison from UW System and have suggested that public authority is unlikely to pass. Others, including members of Governor Walker’s administration, say that public authority may remain in the budget.
PROFS developed the following documents that articulate the need for administrative and financial flexibilities on campus:
- A plan that rewards efficiency, innovation and productivity
- Accountability measures for UW-Madison
- Flexibility within UW System, should public authority status be removed from the budget bill
The budget bill is currently being debated by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. PROFS does not yet know when the proposal for UW-Madison will be discussed, but it is likely to be one of the last items the committee addresses. Historically, the work of the committee is completed by early June. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau publishes budget papers with alternatives to the governor’s proposals for each budget item. The paper about the plan for UW-Madison has not yet been published, but PROFS will post a link to it as soon as it becomes available.
Once the finance committee completes its work, the bill will be referred to the Assembly, and then Senate, for final approval. Republicans enjoy wide margins in both houses, leading many pundits to believe that significant changes to the bill while in the legislature are unlikely.