Tag: shared governance

Blueprint for the University of Wisconsin System Beyond COVID-19

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents met in a special meeting yesterday. A large part of the meeting was to discuss a “blueprint” (below) for moving the System forward in light of the tremendous budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.

While UW-Madison is exempt from this plan, PROFS continues to carefully monitor the action of the board to ensure that principles of shared governance are honored throughout the process.

Some faculty and legislators have spoken out with strong concerns about the plan. State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), a member of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, sent a letter (below) to UW System President Ray Cross outlining her thoughts on the plan. She is particularly concerned shared governance groups and legislators part of the development of the plan before it was announced and how this plan may affect issues related to equity and access.

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UW System Presidential Search Update

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents recently announced a public comment website for faculty, staff, students and others to offer input on the UW System President search.

In correspondence with UW System employees, Regent Vice President Michael Grebe also announced two video listening sessions at 11 am and 3 pm on Thursday, December 19. Those interested can register here.

Grebe writes:

To frame and guide these engagements, I am including a set of questions that I ask you think about:

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing the UW System over the next five to ten years? What particular characteristics and attributes would help the successful candidate address these issues?

What specific role and specific priorities should we expect the new President to carry forward with respect to that future agenda?

What are the characteristics, skills, and experiences we should be seeking in the search for the new President? Which characteristics are required and which would be nice to have? Which are the most important or essential?

What are the top three to five attributes of the UW System that should be exciting to candidates? More generally, why should candidates be excited about coming to UW System?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights. Thank you in advance for participating and helping the Committee drive towards a successful result.

PROFS has previously expressed serious concern about the composition of the search committee and finds a comment website and online listening session to be poor substitutes for appropriate faculty, staff and student participation. These are not examples of shared governance. We again ask the Board of Regents to do better.

Faculty Senate Resolution on UW System President Search Committee

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate voted unanimously yesterday to pass a resolution (below) objecting to the composition of the Search and Screen Committee for the new UW System President. The resolution also called for the Board of Regents to add faculty, staff and students to the committee. Similar resolutions have passed at every comprehensive and doctoral campus within UW System.

Regent President Andrew Petersen named members of the search committee in early November, drawing criticism from governance groups and legislators. The letter PROFS sent to Petersen urging him to include governance groups on the committee is here.

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Reminder: Shared Governance Forum

PROFS, along with several campus cosponsors, is hosting a public forum on shared governance at 3 pm, Thursday, May 3 in the Wisconsin Idea Room in the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall (poster below).

Our panel:

  • Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education, former General Secretary AAUP
  • David Maxwell, Drake University President Emeritus, Association of Governing Boards Senior Consultant
  • Regina Millner, University of Wisconsin System Regent, Board President Emeritus
  • Thomas Harnisch, American Association of State Colleges and Universities Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis

Karen HerzogMilwaukee Journal Sentinel higher education reporter, will moderate.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The La Follette School of Public Affairs, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, WISCAPE (Wisconsin Center on the Advancement of Postsecondary Education) and ASPRO (Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization) are cosponsors.

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Shared Governance Forum

PROFS is pleased to sponsor a public forum on shared governance at 3 pm, Thursday, May 3 in the Wisconsin Idea Room in the Education Building.

Public higher education has faced enormous challenges in recent years — massive funding cuts, declining student enrollment, shifting perception on the value of a degree. Many legislative leaders have called for the University of Wisconsin System, and UW-Madison in particular, to operate more like a business, often citing shared governance as a major impediment to institutional efficiency.

Our panel of nationally known experts will guide our discussion.

  • Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education, former General Secretary AAUP
  • David Maxwell, Drake University President Emeritus, Association of Governing Boards Senior Consultant
  • Regina Millner, University of Wisconsin System Regent, Board President Emeritus
  • Thomas Harnisch, American Association of State Colleges and Universities Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis

Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel higher education reporter, will moderate.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Legislative Update

The Legislature is expected to wrap up the 2018 session this month and PROFS is closely monitoring several bills. More information on PROFS lobbying effort is here:

“Mark Cook Bills” to Assist Faculty Entrepreneurship, Assembly Bill 758 and Senate Bill 671

Directed by faculty experts, PROFS worked with a bipartisan group of legislators 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. AB 758 has passed the Assembly and PROFS is hopeful it will be scheduled for a Senate vote later this month.

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 the bill would seriously hamper student training in obstetrics and gynecology and could possibly jeopardize the medical school’s accreditation.

Bills Restoring Tenure and Shared Governance to State Statute, Assembly Bills 991 & 993 and Senate Bills 823 & 824

PROFS is registered in support of legislation that would restore statutory language relating to tenure and shared governance to state statues. These provisions were removed as part of the 2015-17 state budget.

Bills Limiting Scientific Research, Assembly Bills 83 & 549 and Senate Bills 422 & 423

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.

Bills Eliminating Certain Reporting Requirements, Changes to UW-Madison Health Sciences Start Date, Assembly Bill 932 and Senate Bill 790

PROFS is registered in support of this legislation that would eliminate several duplicative reports and allow graduate health science classes to start before September 1.

Shared Governance Forum

PROFS is planning a campus forum on shared governance – what it is, how it works on a flagship campus that is part of a system, and why it leads to best business practices. A date and more details to come soon.

Federal Relations

PROFS President Dorothy Farrar Edwards and Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara will participate in the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s UW-Madison Day in Washington, DC on Wednesday, March 14. They will also meet with members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation during their time in on Capitol Hill.

 

PROFS Registers in Favor of Senate Bills 823 and 824

PROFS registered in favor of two recently introduced Senate bills. Senate Bill 823 restores tenure to state statutes and Senate Bill 824 restores university shared governance to state statutes. Both provisions had been in state law but were removed in 2015 as part of Act 55, the 2015-17 biennial budget. State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and State Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) are lead authors of the legislation (below).

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Governor Walker on Tenure, Tuition, Free Speech on Campus

Governor Scott Walker spoke about UW System and recent faculty no confidence votes with Jay Weber on WISN radio yesterday.

The pair touched on several subjects, including tenure (“jobs for life”), the possibility of extending the tuition freeze into the next biennium, shared governance and giving more power to the chancellors, strengthening free speech on campus, and “superstar” faculty members who bring in large amounts of research funding.