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.
The Legislature is in session and PROFS is closely monitoring several bills that could severely affect UW-Madison:
Proposed Bill to Assist Faculty Entrepreneurship, LRB-4627
Led by faculty experts, PROFS worked with a bipartisan group of legislators who plan to introduce legislation related to University of Wisconsin research contracts. The faculty group, led by the late Mark Cook (Animal Science), identified the need to change state statutes that regulate how the university contracts with companies in which faculty or other university employees have a financial interest, noting current law is slow and cumbersome and ultimately leads to lost contracts.
PROFS is carefully monitoring two bills that would limit the use of fetal tissue in scientific research and is registered against Senate Bill 423. Our statement is on the PROFS website and Facebook page.
Bill Limiting University of Wisconsin OB/GYN Training, Assembly Bill 206
PROFS is also registered against AB 206, a bill that would restrict abortion-related activities of UW System and UW Hospitals and Clinics employees. UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden testified in July this bill would seriously hamper student training in obstetrics and gynecology and could possibly jeopardize the medical school’s accreditation.
Supporters of campus carry have said they intend to introduce legislation allowing concealed weapons on campus, but nothing has been introduced to date. PROFS is opposed to campus carry and continues to carefully monitor the issue.
PROFS is closely monitoring Senate and House tax reform efforts and has contacted members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation to express concern that both bills would seriously harm higher education. In particular, PROFS is opposed to a provision in the House version that would tax graduate student tuition waivers, making the cost to attend graduate school out of reach for many students. The federal budget proposals coupled with many years of declining state support, seriously threaten public higher education.
UW System Restructuring
Last month, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved the implementation of a plan to reorganize UW Colleges and Extension. Under the proposal, UW Colleges would be integrated with four-year institutions, Cooperative Extension would become part of UW-Madison, and Wisconsin Public Television would shift to UW System.
Leaders of the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Wisconsin Technical College System released an open letter to President Barack Obama and members of the United States Congress expressing support of the president’s overall vision to improve access and affordability in higher education.
At the same time, the chancellors and presidents expressed deep concern over changes to the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS). They are worried that the system could limit student choices and financial aid, ultimately harming affordability and access for the state’s students.
Their letter listed three items of concern:
- The proposal to tie federal financial aid to college rankings which could unfairly harm institutions that serve disadvantaged students who might take longer to complete a degree.
- Data about admission, cost, students and faculty are public and widely available. The creation of a new system could be redundant.
- Ratings systems can lead to standardization, resulting in less innovation. The leaders support regulatory waivers that would allow campuses to pursue new educational delivery models.
Louisiana State University President and Chancellor F. King Alexander will visit UW-Madison tomorrow, Friday, January 17, for a discussion of federal oversight in higher education, including President Obama’s College Scorecard.
Alexander was named to the newly-merged position of LSU Chancellor/ LSU System President last year. He received his Ph.D in higher education administration from UW-Madison and served as president of California State University-Long Beach before arriving in Louisiana. He also served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky.
Join Congressman Mark Pocan in a conversation about current events in Washington, the effects of Sequestration, and the changing landscape of public higher education at 11:30 am, Tuesday, November 26.
“PROFS is excited to welcome Congressman Pocan to UW-Madison. The university receives more than 30 percent of its budget from federal funding, and faculty are concerned about the future consequences of the federal sequestration,” said agronomy professor Bill Tracy, President of PROFS.
The event will be held in the Wisconsin Idea Room on the first floor of the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall. It is free and open to the public.
Congressman Pocan was elected to represent Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District in 2012 after serving 14 years in the Wisconsin Legislature. He currently serves on the House Budget Committee and was recently named to the House Education and Workforce Committee. Pocan graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1986.
PROFS will host a brown bag conversation with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison) at 11:30 am on Tuesday, November 26. The event will be held in the Wisconsin Idea Room on the first floor of the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall.…
Earlier this week, PROFS sent a letter about the federal shutdown to the Wisconsin Congressional delegation. As PROFS president Bill Tracy noted in the letter, the shutdown has already had a negative effect on campus, with much more serious consequences…
Senator Tammy Baldwin visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus yesterday, meeting with researchers from the School of Medicine and Public Health. Baldwin announced she plans to introduce her second piece of legislation, the Next Generation Research Act (below), when the…
President Barack Obama told a gathering of scientists last week that the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration could harm scientific research for several years. The president made his remarks at the 150th annual meeting of the National Academy of…
In addition to state legislative issues, PROFS also watches federal issues as they relate to the university. Right now, PROFS is talking with the Wisconsin congressional delegation about how a possible federal sequestration (the reduction of federal funding to reduce…