The University Committee, which also serves as the PROFS board of Directors, released a statement today on how they worked with UW-Madison administration as Fall 2021 COVID-19 policies were developed. The statement is below.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank appeared on PBS Wisconsin’s Here and Now last week to discuss the university’s plans for in-person learning this fall. Classes begin September 8 with a majority of courses offered in-person. While UW-Madison does not have a vaccine mandate, any student, faculty member or staff person who is unvaccinated must test weekly.
Last Thursday, University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson participated in a virtual WisPolitics luncheon and shared his plans to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus this fall. Thompson also reiterated his view that the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules does not have authority to require UW System to submit Covid-19 policies to the committee for its approval.
Pushing back against a directive by the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR), UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson offered his thoughts in an op-ed released today.
Earlier this month, the Republican-led committee voted along party lines and ordered UW System to submit Covid-19 related policies to the committee as emergency rules subject to JCRAR approval.
Thompson said today he doesn’t believe the committee has oversight and does not plan to comply with the committee’s order. His op-ed is below.
State Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) appeared on WISN’s UPFRONT yesterday to discuss recent action by the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) that would require UW System to promulgate emergency rules for COVID-19 related policies within 30 days. The committee, which is co-chaired by Neylon and State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), would then approve or suspend the proposed rules.
Neylon told host Adrienne Pedersen the committee’s intent is to prevent overreach by the university:
“Too often, we’ve allowed agencies, the administration, the UW System, to circumvent the legislative process in doing these unilateral rules that have the same impact as law, without going through the legal legislative process.”
PROFS is strongly opposed to the action of the JCRAR. Our statement is here.
This legislative update will be shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate today. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. Guests are welcome to observe the livestreamed meetings and can find the link here.
University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson was interviewed yesterday by Steve Walters of WisconsinEye. Thompson spoke about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases at many UW System campuses, including UW-Madison.
Thompson told Walters he expects in-person instruction to resume at campuses that have implemented two-week pauses in an effort to drive down cases of the virus. UW-Madison is in the second week of its pause of on-campus classes.