Regents Discuss Budget Priorities and Proposed Flexibilties

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin-Superior hosted the April meeting of the Board of Regents last Thursday and Friday. Michael Morgan, UW System Senior Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs, discussed UW System’s 2013-15 budget priorities. His PowerPoint presentation is here.

Morgan told the regents that the budget priorities are rooted in the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, and the state should view its support of UW System as an investment, not an expenditure. The Growth Agenda intends to help the state meet its goal of more graduates, while creating jobs and building stronger communities. The regents must complete its 2013-15 budget request by August and submit it to the Department of Administration for the governor’s consideration in September.

David Miller, UW System Associate Vice President addressed a joint meeting of the Business, Audit and Finance and Capital Planning and Budget committees. He shared the PowerPoint presentation that he delivered to the Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities earlier in the week. At that meeting, Miller said that UW System is one of the most highly-regulated systems in the country, resulting in many inefficiencies in building and procurement. He recommended that UW System be given the authority to plan and design capital projects, while the state retains its authority over bidding, contracting, and construction.

Regent Michael Falbo also provided an update on work of the task force. Falbo chairs the committee, which includes fellow Regents Mark Bradley and Tim Higgins. Falbo told the regents that many task force members were disappointed by the lack of details offered the Department of Administration in response to UW System’s recommendations for greater flexibility in procurement and capital projects. Falbo also reported that the task force is only just beginning its discussion of external boards and their role and will revisit the topic at its next meeting on May 9.

In other news, UW System President Reilly told the regents that Governor Scott Walker appointed three new regents — John Behling of Altoona and Regina Millner of Madison were appointed to seven-year terms, and UW-Parkside student Tracy Hribar of Franksville was appointed to a two-year term as a non-traditional student regent.

Behling, an Eau Claire attorney, previously worked for Governor Tommy Thompson. A graduate of UW-River Falls and UW-Madison’s law school, he specializes in regulatory work for mining and other heavy industries. He also serves on the Globe University Oversight Committee.

Millner is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. She owns RMM Enterprises, a firm that specializes in complex real estate projects. She currently serves on the UW Athletic Board and is past board chair of  the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

Hribar is business manager for the James Hribar Trucking Company in Franksville.