The Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges will meet tomorrow in an informational hearing to discuss the report on the Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities. The task force, which was chaired by Regent Michael Falbo, met monthly from December 2011 through June 2012 and issued its recommendations in August. Falbo is expected to provide testimony at tomorrow’s hearing.
The task force was created as part of the 2011-13 state budget (Wisconsin 2011 Act 32) which provided certain operational flexibilities to UW-Madison and UW System and specified that a task force be created to address the following issues:
- whether there is a need to restructure the UW System and, if so, make recommendations as to a new governance structure;
- how UW-Madison employees and all other UW System employees would transition from the state personnel system to the new personnel systems;
- whether tuition flexibility can be extended to UW System while ensuring access and affordability and what role the Legislature should have in establishing tuition rates;
- how compensation plans for UW System employees should be determined in future biennia;
- additional operational flexibilities that could be provided to UW System institutions; and
- how articulation and the transfer of credits between UW institutions could be improved.
Ultimately, the task force recommended increased flexibilities for UW System and UW-Madison, including a separate pay plan for faculty and staff at UW-Madison:
- Individual chancellors should have the authority to create advisory boards, but the Board of Regents should retain primary governing authority over the institutions.
- The Board of Regents should develop a tuition plan for legislative consideration.
- UW System employees should not be included in the state compensation plan and the Board of Regents should have the authority to offer merit-based salary increases using base resources.
- Primary responsibility for capital planning and design should rest with the Board of Regents.
- The Board of Regents should be granted purchasing authority.