Regent Update

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin Board of Regents took action on several items last week, including raising the cap on non-resident students at UW-Madison, increasing the pay range for chancellors at UW-Madison and UW-Eau Claire, and approving UW-Madison’s HR Design plan.

On Thursday, a regent committee voted to raise the cap on non-resident students at Madison from the current 25 percent to 27.5 percent. UW-Madison would also enroll 200 more resident students as part of the plan. The original proposal called for an increase to 30 percent, but Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) expressed concern over the plan. Regent Tim Higgins proposed the compromise saying that revenue generated from out-of-state tuition would offset the cost of the increase in resident students. The full board approved the plan on Friday.

The regents also approved increasing the pay range for the Madison chancellor to between $427,500 and $522,500 annually. The current range is between $369,907 and $452,109, with about $100,000 paid for by an endowment from UW Foundation and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. That arrangement is expected to continue when a new chancellor is named in 2013.

On Friday, UW System President Kevin Reilly addressed the board to discuss faculty and staff salaries. Reilly noted that last pay increase — one percent — was in 2008 and was followed by furloughs and increased employee contributions for pensions and health care. System-wide, faculty salaries are 18 percent below the national average. The Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities recommended greater autonomy on salary and personnel issues and UW System hopes the next legislature will be in agreement.

As part of the 2011-13 biennial budget (Act 32), the legislature directed UW-Madison and UW System to develop their personnel systems before July 1, 2013. On Friday, the regents approved each of those plans, which must now be approved by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations.

UW-Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward addressed the board on Thursday and shared a PowerPoint presentation, Strength Through Innovation and Flexibility. Ward spoke about the changing compact between the campus and the state and how campuses across the country are coping with dwindling state support and increased tuition as a result. The chancellor encouraged more public discussion on the topic, noting that such a discussion has not occurred in Wisconsin.

Audio and video archives of the two-day meeting are here.