The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents met in Madison last Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6. Governor Scott Walker addressed the full board Thursday afternoon.
Walker told the Regents that he continues to support plans to offer the university greater management flexibilities:
“I think one of the great benefits is to give the chancellors greater flexibility, greater opportunity to do great things on their campuses. And I think most lawmakers, both parties, believe that to be true . . . I think as we come back in the next budget process, there’s a real opportunity to put even more power, and not just autonomy but more flexibility to do some of the great things we’re talking about, at individual campus levels – which I think is a good thing for our institutions and our system and ultimately our state.”
The governor included increased flexibilities as part of his 2013-15 biennial budget proposal, but they were removed during the contentious budget deliberations that occurred after the discovery that UW System held more than $1 billion in financial reserves.
Walker also commended UW System on the development of the Flexible Option, a program that considers work and life experience when awarding credits toward certificates and degrees. Aaron Brower, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor at UW-Extension told Regents on Friday that four campuses, including UW-Madison, will join UW-Milwaukee and UW-Colleges in offering the Flex Option.
The Flex Option will formally launch on January 2. UW-Milwaukee will offer certificate programs in information technology, health care, and business and management. UW Colleges will offer an associate of arts and sciences degree.
UW-Madison is currently developing a non-credit certificate in alcohol and other drug abuse counseling. UW-Stevens Point, UW-Parkside, and UW-Stout also plan to offer certificate programs. A timeline for these campuses has not been announced.