PROFS has a strong record of advocating for the best possible pay plans for University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and staff and our work during 2021-23 budget process is no different. The Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on a pay plan for state employees, including those at UW-Madison Thursday. This is the letter we shared with committee members earlier today.
Former PROFS President and University Committee Chair Judith Burstyn recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s Here & Now with Frederica Freyburg. Burstyn discussed Joint Finance Committee (JFC) action on the UW System portion of the 2019-21 Wisconsin Biennial Budget, which was approved 12-4 along party lines.
The Republican motion will continue the tuition freeze for two more years, but does not fund the freeze. The motion also included a $59 million increase in funding, $69 million less than Governor Evers proposed as part of his budget. The committee also voted to require JFC approval of how UW campuses will spend money earmarked for academic programming in high demand fields.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on the University of Wisconsin System portion of Governor Evers’ 2019-21 state budget today. Republicans hold a 12-4 majority of the committee and are expected to make significant changes to the governor’s budget.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has prepared a summary document (below) on several topics, including tuition, supplemental pay, and UW-Extension cooperative agriculture agents. The committee will likely consider options offered in the paper.
Mark Cook Bills
Assembly Bill 38 and Senate Bill 42, bipartisan legislation named in honor of the late UW-Madison Animal Science professor Mark Cook, have begun to move through the legislative process. The Assembly Constitution and Ethics Committee held a hearing on AB 38 last week, and the Senate Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families will meet today to discuss the SB 42. More information is here.
These companion bills are a top legislative priority for PROFS and are the result of the work of PROFS’ Entrepreneurial Work Group, which was led by Cook. If passed, this legislation will expedite and strengthen the process for Board of Regent approval of projects that involve companies or non-profit organizations in which faculty or staff have a financial interest. Last session, the legislation was approved unanimously in committee and by voice vote in the Assembly, but never received a floor vote in the Senate before the end of the session.
2019-21 Biennial Budget
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance and Governor Tony Evers both held public hearings on the proposed state budget last month. Republican leadership said last week they reject much of Evers’ budget and will work off the existing state budget when the Joint Finance Committee begins its work May 9. GOP leaders outlined several fiscal and policy items they do not support, but they have not commented on the governor’s higher education budget.
Governor Evers 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.
PROFS has already met with members of the governor’s staff and key legislators to discuss items important to UW-Madison faculty and will continue to meet with legislative leaders and others throughout the lengthy budget process. Both houses of the Republican-led state legislature must approve the budget before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval. The 2019-21 budget officially begins on July 1, but funding continues at existing levels until a proposal is signed into law. Historically, the budget is passed sometime in the summer, but occasionally the process has stretched into the fall.
State Budget Forum Video
Video from the PROFS/WISCAPE state budget forum is on YouTube. The forum featured State Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee; State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), former Joint Finance Committee member; Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director for State Relations, UW System; UW-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman (Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis); and Noel Radomski, Managing Director of WISCAPE.
PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Tony Ever’s 2019-21 state budget proposal at noon, Tuesday, April 2 in Room 159 Education (1000 Bascom Mall) This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.
The panel includes:
- State Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee
- State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), former Joint Finance Committee member
- Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director for State Relations, UW System
- Nicholas Hillman, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis professor, UW-Madison
The governor’s higher education budget includes increases of $44.7 million in FY20 and $66 million in FY21 and a 2% pay plan for UW System employees, including UW-Madison faculty. Additional details:
- $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 and often into autumn. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the Republican-led state legislature must approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval.
Event cosponsors: The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO), and the Wisconsin Alumni Association.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a summary of AB 64, the 2017-19 biennial budget, along with individual agency summaries, including UW System (below). These documents reflect the Governor’s original proposal and changes made by the Joint Finance Committee.
Both houses of the legislature must pass the bill, which will be taken up by the Assembly tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13. Governor Walker said last week he hopes to sign the bill later this month.
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance concluded its work on the 2017-19 state budget last night with the adoption along party lines of a “wrap-up” motion that included several non-fiscal policy items relating to the University of Wisconsin System (highlighted below, pages 2, 8, 9).
Faculty Workload Reporting
The committee restored language originally proposed by the governor in February. Each UW institution will be required to create a policy that monitors faculty and instructional academic staff teaching loads. Each institution will also be required to develop a policy for rewarding faculty and instructional staff who exceed standard workloads. Aggregate data must be published on UW System’s online accountability dashboard and included in legislatively mandated accountability reports.
Qualifications of UW System President, Chancellor, Provost and Vice Chancellor positions
The committee modified previously adopted language relating to the hiring of university leadership positions. The new language prohibits individual campuses from adopting a policy that requires the Board of Regents to only consider candidates who hold tenure or a terminal degree in their field. The committee had previously applied that prohibition to the Board of Regents. UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures (FP&P) currently requires the Chancellor and Provost to hold a tenured faculty position.
Earlier in the budget process, PROFS asked the co-chairs of the finance committee to remove the proposed language. A Regent working group is currently reviewing the hiring process and expects to release their recommendations later this fall. PROFS is carefully monitoring the group’s work.
The motion also changes the dates for the proposed 2 percent pay plan for all state employees, including UW faculty and staff, from September 30, 2018 and May 26, 2019 to July 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019. The pay plan must also be approved by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations.
Progress on the state’s 2017-19 biennial budget is picking up as the Joint Committee on Finance is scheduled to meet today (Tuesday, September 5) to vote on the state’s transportation budget. Until a new budget passed, the state continues to spend according to the 2015-17 budget.
Since the budget was introduced in February, PROFS has been busy meeting with legislative leaders and lobbying for the best possible outcome for University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty.
In May, the Joint Finance Committee approved along party lines an omnibus motion containing several provisions relating to the university. Key points:
- Extension of the current four-year tuition freeze for two additional years.
- $26.3 million in outcomes-based funding. Regents will create metrics to measure progress toward goals.
- $5 million for high-demand degree programs.
- $3 million for the creation of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at UW-Madison.
- $10,000 for the review of policies related to academic freedom.
- $980,000 for UW Hospital and Clinics Carbone Cancer Center.
- $200,000 for the Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program.
- $100,000 for UW-Madison’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
- Creation of an engineering school at UW-Green Bay.
- Language that bars the Board of Regents from adopting a policy that would require UW campus chancellors and vice chancellors and the UW System President to have tenure or hold a terminal degree in their field.
- Expansion of tuition free-education programs for veterans and their families.
PROFS has deep concerns about policy items in the budget and has asked the co-chairs of the finance committee to remove language relating to the qualifications for UW System President and Chancellor candidates and amend the language that creates the Thompson Center on Public Leadership to eliminate the leadership board, allow for the creation of an advisory committee, and ensure, as is the case for all other UW-Madison centers, that the Thompson Center is subject to university governance.
Regent Administrative Hiring Workgroup
UW System Board of Regents President John Behling named members of the workgroup tasked with review of UW System Chancellor and other top administrative positions (see above). The group, which does not include a member from UW-Madison, will examine hiring practices and consider expanding the search process to include non-traditional candidates from outside academia. Behling told fellow Regents last month he would like UW System institutions to recruit non-academic candidates and “streamline” the hiring process for top administrative positions.
UW-Madison Faculty Polices and Procedures (FP&P) requires the Chancellor and Provost to hold a tenured faculty position. PROFS met with Regent Drew Petersen, chair of the workgroup, to share UW-Madison faculty concerns. Peterson told PROFS it is too late to add a UW-Madison faculty member to the workgroup but he welcomes input from an ad hoc UW-Madison committee and will work with PROFS on strategy related to working with legislators and the governor on this topic.
AB 299, relating to campus speech
This bill, which passed the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee on a partisan vote, requires the Board of Regents to adopt a policy on free expression for all campuses. Under this bill, university administrators would be required to punish students who disrupt campus speakers. The bill would also require campuses to remain neutral on public policy issues. PROFS is registered in opposition to the legislation. Our statement on the bill is here.
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.
Republicans who control the legislature appear to be split on legislation relating to the use of fetal tissue in scientific research. Two different bills have been introduced, one that follows existing federal law forbidding the sale of fetal tissue, but not research that uses it, and one that bans research using fetal tissue from abortions performed after January 1, 2017 and imposes hefty fines on anyone who uses the material. PROFS has assembled a working group comprised of faculty and industry representatives to advise us on this issue.
In July, Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn and Governor Scott Walker announced Foxconn’s intention to build a liquid crystal display manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. Wisconsin would provide $3 billion in state incentives over 15 years to Foxconn. The plant could ultimately provide 13,000 Foxconn jobs and thousands of related jobs. Legislation authorizing a financial package passed the State Assembly August 17 and a State Senate vote is expected soon. Prior to the announcement, Chancellor Rebecca Blank met with leaders of Foxconn to discuss the advantages of locating such a facility near a major research institution like UW-Madison. Her statement on Foxconn is here.
PROFS President Judith Burstyn, incoming PROFS President Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, and PROFS Chair Anja Wanner sent a letter (below) to Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) asking for two important changes to the 2017-19 state budget.
The changes relate to requirements for the University of Wisconsin System President and chancellors and governance of the proposed UW-Madison Thompson Center on Public Leadership.