Tag: Scott Walker

On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Testing The ‘Wisconsin Idea’ Of Public Higher Education

on point logo

Today’s first hour of On Point, a National Public Radio radio talk show hosted by Tom Ashbrook, featured a discussion of the Wisconsin Idea, Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts for the University of Wisconsin System, and how they relate to the the governor’s national political ambitions. Audio is below.

University of Wisconsin-Madison history professor John Sharpless and academic staff member Noel Radomski, director of WISCAPE, were joined on the panel by two members of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff — higher education reporter Karen Herzog and columnist/blogger Christian Schneider.

Regent President Michael Falbo on Increasing Faculty Workload

Michael Falbo

Michael Falbo

Michael Falbo, President of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, recently spoke with WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters. A two minute video excerpt is below.

The pair discussed Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal, including the governor’s recent remark that the university’s budget situation could be improved if faculty taught one additional class each semester.

When asked to react to the governor’s remark, Falbo said, “certainly it’s true if they (faculty) taught another class there would be some efficiencies from that.” Falbo went on to say any changes to faculty workload would not happen quickly and would be the result of a collaborative process with all involved.

The full 18 minute video interview is here:

UW System Budget Cuts Discussed on NPR’s Morning Edition

Governor Scott Walker’s proposed $300 million budget cut to UW System was a featured topic on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition today.

Click the link below to play. A transcript of the story is here.

 

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Petty on Faculty Workload

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Grant Petty

PROFS President Grant Petty was asked by WKOW-TV to comment on Governor Scott Walker’s recent remarks about looming budget cuts and the role faculty workload could play as a result. Petty told WKOW that an increase of one course per professor would likely result in a diminished educational experience for students.

 

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

 

Response to Governor Walker’s Call for Faculty to Teach More

Governor Scott Walker suggested yesterday that University of Wisconsin System faculty could teach more in an effort to offset his proposed $300 million budget cut.

Walker’s comments, which also implied shared governance and faculty participation in decision-making have hindered cost-effectiveness, were made to Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes. Remarks about UW System begin at 12 minutes.

 

Response from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW System President Ray Cross was swift. Cross told Wisconsin Public Radio host Joy Cardin that faculty work on average 50-60 hours per week (18 minutes):

 

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Chancellor Blank said that teaching is just part of the work faculty perform for the benefit of the state:

“Teaching is a core mission of the university and taxpayers should expect that faculty are spending time in the classroom. But we know that our faculty are working on behalf of the state in research, outreach and fundraising, among other capacities.”

PROFS President Grant Petty told the Wisconsin State Journal a professor’s job is much more than time spent in the classroom, likening it to the work of clergy:

“As Governor Walker knows from his own family background, a pastor’s job doesn’t start and stop with the Sunday sermon. The same is true of university professors and the classroom.”

Petty also noted that faculty are responsible for more than just undergraduate education, including graduate student teaching and advising, research and publication, continuing education, and outreach:

“I was not able to tell from the governor’s statement which of these things he thought we should do less of to make room for more of something else.”

 

Walker to Propose $300 Million Cut, Additional Flexibilities for UW System

Governor Scott Walker announced today that he will offer the University of Wisconsin System full management flexibilities through public authority status as part of the 2015-17 biennial budget. At the same time, however, UW System’s budget will be reduced by $300 million over two years. Details of the plan are embedded below.

PROFS is deeply concerned about the magnitude of the proposed budget cut to UW System. PROFS President Grant Petty offered this statement:

While the governor is offering long sought-after management flexibilities, the budget cut coupled with a two-year extension of the current tuition freeze would result in serious harm to the institution.

The governor’s plan, along with a base budget cut implemented 2 years ago, will likely result in an $83 million annual cut to UW-Madison. A cut this large will result in fewer faculty and staff and have a direct impact on students and the quality of their education. Access to courses, advising, and time-to-degree could all be affected.

PROFS will continue to work with Chancellor Blank, President Ray Cross and shared governance leaders as we advocate for appropriate funding levels for the university.

Petty’s remarks echo those of UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who offered her thoughts on her blog, Blank’s Slate.

UW System issued statements from UW System President Ray Cross, Regent President Michael Falbo, and Regent Vice-President Regina Millner.

UW System also provided more details of the plan:

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Governor Walker will introduce his budget on February 3.

Governor Walker to Deliver State of the State January 13, Budget Address February 3

winter capitolGovernor Scott Walker will deliver his State of the State address at 7 pm Tuesday evening in the Assembly Chambers of the Capitol. The speech is usually an outline for the governor’s legislative and budget priorities for the coming year, but Walker might also hint at a possible run for president. Livestream coverage of the address will be available on public radio and television.

Walker will present his 2015-17 budget proposal to the Legislature on Tuesday, February 3. The state is facing a $2.2 billion shortfall if agency requests are fully funded. UW System has requested $95.2 million for the several items:

  • $30 million for a competitive grant program targeting six areas critical to the state’s economy: agriculture, finance, insurance/real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and water research.
  • $27.3 to cover a pay plan funding gap. Historically, UW System funds about 30 percent of a pay plan increase with tuition dollars. The two-year tuition freeze has led to a funding gap, with many campuses holding insufficient reserves to cover the pay plan.
  • $24.4 million to increase the number of college graduates statewide, with much of the funding directed to the Course Options program, a program that allows high school students to earn college credits. Additional funding would expand the Flex Option degree program, improve the credit transfer system, and assist working and first-generation college students.
  • $22.5 million in one-time funding to assist with the creation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs. The money will be available to individual campuses through a competitive grant process.

PROFS has already met with the state’s budget director to advocate for the budget request and is working with other university stakeholders to secure the best possible outcome for UW-Madison.

Governor Scott Walker Inauguration Speech

Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker will deliver his inaugural address at 11 am today, Monday, January 5. Livestream coverage is available here.

Brief excerpts of the speech were released earlier today. In them, Walker emphasizes the role of the states over the federal government:

“We’ve been good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and lowered their tax burden as well. We’ve shown why the founders of this great nation looked to the states — and not the federal government — as the source of hope for this exceptional country. We will not let them down. Now, we have a grand vision for the future — a dream of freedom and prosperity for all who live here in the great state of Wisconsin.”

ETA: full remarks here.

Election Update

Governor Scott Walker handily defeated challenger Mary Burke last night, and legislative Republicans widened their margin in the Legislature with a 19-14 majority in the Senate and a 63-36 majority in the Assembly. Full election results from The Wheeler Report are below.

A special election will be scheduled in the 20th Senate District after State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) resigns to represent Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District, a seat he won yesterday after defeating Democrat Mark Harris. Two Assembly races are very close — the 51st and 85th Assembly Districts — and recounts are possible.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) and Joint Finance Committee Co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) spoke to the media earlier today and outlined their legislative agenda. Vos told reporters that while he supports UW System, changes in teaching and research will be considered.

Assembly results 2014 page 1Assembly results 2014 page 2Senate results 2014

Regents to Discuss UW System Budget Proposal

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting at UW-Oshkosh today and tomorrow, August 21 and 22. Livestream coverage of the full board meeting is here.

Regents committees will meet Thursday morning, while the full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday.

The board will consider UW System’s state budget request Thursday afternoon. The proposal includes $95.2 million for the “Talent Development Initiative,” the implementation of new performance measures, and statutory language changes related to compensation, including the ability to offer merit pay increases.

The budget request notes that Governor Scott Walker directed state agencies, including UW System, to submit proposals that assumed no new funding, but UW System discussed its intention to request an budget increase with members of Governor Walker’s staff.

Budget request highlights:

  • $30 million for a competitive grant program targeting six areas critical to the state’s economy: agriculture, finance, insurance/real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and water research.
  • $27.3 to cover a pay plan funding gap. Historically, UW System funds about 30 percent of a pay plan increase with tuition dollars. The two-year tuition freeze has led to a funding gap, with many campuses holding insufficient reserves to cover the pay plan. 
  • $24.4 million to increase the number of college graduates statewide, with much of the funding directed to the Course Options program, a program that allows high school students to earn college credits. Additional funding would expand the Flex Option degree program, improve the credit transfer system, and assist working and first-generation college students.
  • $22.5 million in one-time funding to assist with the creation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs. The money will be available to individual campuses through a competitive grant process.

UW System also plans to implement several accountability measures:

  • To meet or exceed the current goal of 80,000 undergraduate degrees conferred by 2025-26
  • To enroll at least 32 percent of Wisconsin high school graduates immediately after graduation
  • To meet or exceed the current plan to improve second-year return rate
  • To meet or exceed the current plan to improve the six-year graduation rate.

 

August 2014 UW System Board of Regents Budget Request