In the morning, the board will hear an update from UW System President Ray Cross and hear presentations on student success and faculty teaching, research and service. The regents will discuss the 2019-21 biennial budget and federal higher education issues in the afternoon.
2019-21 Biennial Budget
Governor Tony Evers introduced his state budget last week. The governor’s higher education budget includes increases of $44.7 million in FY20 and $66 million in FY21 and $40.4 million for a 2% pay plan for UW System employees, including UW-Madison faculty.
- $45 million for capacity building initiatives
- $5 million for UW Colleges student support services
- 2-year tuition freeze, including $50.4 million to fund the freeze
- $10 million for a nurse educators program
- $17.4 million for Wisconsin Grants, a need-based grant program for Wisconsin students
- $3.5 million and 20 FTE for UW Extension agriculture representatives
- $500,000 for environmental education at UW-Stevens Point
- $18 million for a general increase to the Wisconsin Technical College System
- Resident tuition for undocumented Wisconsin residents
The state budget process is a months-long process that stretches into summer. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the state legislature must approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval. PROFS has already begun meeting with members of the governor’s staff and key legislators to discuss items important to UW-Madison faculty.
State Budget Forum
PROFS, along with WISCAPE and the Wisconsin Alumni Association, is planning a campus forum on the state budget on April 2. More information coming soon.
Mark Cook Bill
Assembly Bill 38 and Senate Bill 42, dubbed the “Mark Cook bills,” were introduced last month. This bipartisan bill would streamline and strengthen the law governing contracts between the university and a private company or nonprofit group in which a faculty member has a financial interest. The PROFS Entrepreneurial Work Group developed this draft legislation which honors the late faculty member and entrepreneur who chaired the work group. Similar legislation was introduced last session and passed the Assembly but was not scheduled for a Senate vote.
PROFS president Dorothy Farrar Edwards will present the PROFS Annual Report for 2017-18 (below) to the Faculty Senate Monday, March 4. The senate meets in Room 272 Bascom Hall at 3:30 pm. A full agenda of the meeting is here.
Faculty senators and visitors are invited to join PROFS for refreshments in the rotunda area outside Room 272 Bascom Hall beginning at 3 pm.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison Thursday and Friday, February 7 and 8. UW-Madison is hosting the meeting, which will be held in Varsity Hall at Union South, 1380 West Dayton Street. A webcast of the full board portions of the meeting is here.
Regents meeting in committee Thursday morning:
The Business and Finance Committee will review and consider approval of several graduate and non-resident tuition increases at nine UW System institutions. UW-Madison is not among the nine campuses with proposals. The committee will also hear several reports and presentations, including one from UW-Madison.
The Education Committee will consider approval of several charter school proposals and three new degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Health Equity at UW-Madison. UW-Madison Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf will provide an update to the committee on UW-Madison educational innovations.
The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider approval of two capital projects, including a remodeling project at UW-Madison’s DeLuca Biochemistry building, and a revision of evaluation criteria for major capital project requests. The committee will also hear an update from UW-Madison and a report on recent State Building Commission action.
The Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee will hear an update from UW-Madison on UW2020 research and innovation grants and report from UW-Eau Claire on new partnerships created by the UW-Eau Claire Finance Department.
The Audit Committee will hear several reports and an enterprise risk management update.
The full board portion of Thursday’s meeting begins at 1 pm with a welcome from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. The board will hear two reports before moving into closed session to discuss personnel, disciplinary, and legal items. UW-Madison football coach Paul Chryst’s employment and additional compensation agreements are among the items on the agenda.
The full board meets for a second day at 9 am Friday. UW System President Ray Cross and Regent President John Behling will each provide updates to the board and UW-Madison will deliver its annual NCAA Division I Athletics report. The board will also recognize recipients of the 2019 Diversity Awards.
In advocating for the UW-Madison faculty, PROFS vigorously defends academic freedom. State Representative Dave Murphy’s criticism of political science professor Ken Mayer’s course is an attack on academic freedom. It could have a chilling effect on future faculty members’ willingness to speak freely and openly about controversial topics of the day, a very unfortunate outcome. PROFS applauds groups like the College Republicans for standing up for Professor Mayer. These students recognize that Professor Mayer is a fair professor who is nonetheless willing to speak critically and honestly. That is a key element of the Wisconsin Idea.