Tag: tuition

PROFS to Cosponsor WISCAPE Budget Panel

PROFS is pleased to cosponsor the WISCAPE 2017-19 biennial budget forum at noon, Wednesday, July 26 in Room 159 Education, 1000 Bascom Mall.

Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will serve on the panel alongside Madison College Vice President of Institutional Learning Tim Casper, UW-Madison School of Education Professor Nicholas Hillman, and UW Colleges/Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. More information is below.

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Legislative Fiscal Bureau Budget Papers

The following papers were prepared by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in advance of the Joint Finance Committee executive session on the University of Wisconsin System portion of the 2017-19 biennial budget.

Each paper includes a summary of Governor Walker’s budget provision and discussion points, along with options for the committee to consider when voting on that particular budget item.

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Legislative Fiscal Bureau Informational Papers on UW System

The following Legislative Fiscal Bureau papers were released Wednesday, January 25.

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October Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet at the Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7. Livestream coverage of the full board portions of the meeting is here.

The regents meet in committee Thursday morning.

The Education Committee will consider new degree programs at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee and changes to faculty personnel rules at UW-Whitewater and UW-Green Bay. UW-Eau Claire will also present its academic master plan.

The Business and Finance Committee will consider several contractual agreements at UW-Madison and hear an update on information security.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will discuss new building projects at UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse, consider a lease agreement for UW-Madison College of Letters and Science career services, and hear an update on State Building Commission action.

The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will accept the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Partnership Program annual report and hear a panel discussion on business and community mobilization in Eau Claire.

The Audit Committee will discuss the Fiscal Audit 2017 Plan progress. The committee will also move into closed session to discuss a personnel issue.

The full board will meet Thursday afternoon. UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt will host a presentation, Partners in Wisconsin’s Future, and Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council will discuss UW System’s role as an economic driver in the state. The board will also move into closed session to discuss the naming of a facility at UW-Madison.

On Friday, the board will take action on committee work and hear reports from UW System Board of Regents President Regina Millner and UW System President Ray Cross. They will also consider a resolution (below) on tuition, affordability, and quality.

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Legislative Update

History 

The 2015-17 biennial budget process was difficult – UW System received a $250 million budget cut along with a two-year extension of a tuition freeze. PROFS played a key role in one budget bright spot: funding for the much-needed Chemistry Building project. In prior budget cycles, PROFS led the fight to ensure retirement contributions are taken pre-tax, saving the average faculty member about $1,800 per year and successfully lobbied for domestic partner benefits and first-day health coverage for faculty and staff. Looking ahead:

2017-19 Biennial Budget

While Governor Walker instructed all agency heads to prepare budgets with zero increases, the Board of Regents approved a $42.5 million increase in state funding over the next biennium. The increase will largely go toward initiatives to develop the state’s workforce and improve its economy, a plan called 2020FWD. The governor has also said he might consider performance-based funding increases for UW. Criteria for such an increase might include graduation and post-graduation employment rates.

FWD2020 highlights:

  • $26.1 million for the educational pipeline, with a focus on addressing the state’s workforce needs and increasing the student pipeline.
  • $6 million to improve the university experience, with a focus on creating graduates who are creative, innovative and entrepreneurial.
  • $6.4 million for business and community mobilization, with a focus on bringing together the university, businesses and the greater community.
  • $4 million for operational excellence, with a focus on improvements in targeted performance areas. The budget process is lengthy, beginning with formal introduction early next year and final passage most likely in late June. PROFS will be involved throughout the entire process and communicate regularly with faculty.

Tuition Freeze

Earlier this summer, Governor Walker said he supported an additional one or two-year freeze on University of Wisconsin System tuition, lengthening the current freeze to six years.

Regent Action on Tenure, Shared Governance and Post-Tenure Review

Last year, PROFS regularly communicated with the chair and members of the Regent Tenure Policy Task Force as they developed new tenure policies. We will continue to aggressively advocate on behalf of UW-Madison faculty as the Regents work to approve a post-tenure review policy this fall.

Fall Elections

All Wisconsin Assembly seats and 16 seats on the Senate are on the ballot in November. Republicans hold comfortable margins in both houses, but some pundits believe the Senate could flip parties if a Democratic presidential landslide occurs. A split legislature would have an impact on the upcoming state budget process and could slow Republican legislative efforts such as a proposed ban on fetal tissue research and campus carry.

Walker: Budget Increase Tied to Performance Measures

Speaking in his weekly radio address, Governor Scott Walker reiterated his intention to freeze UW System tuition for two more years and said he will tie any increases for UW System in the 2017-19 state budget to performance measures such as number of graduates and graduate employment rates.

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A transcript of the address is here.

Legislative Update

Capitol_tulips94_10State Budget Update

The 2015-17 biennial budget process continues. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee began meeting in executive session last month, but has yet to consider motions relating to the University of Wisconsin System.

Committee leaders have said they would like to conclude its work by the end of May, with the budget bill then moving to Senate and Assembly for their consideration. The entire process is expected to conclude in late June.

Public authority out of budget  Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) announced today that the public authority plan for the University of Wisconsin System was dead and the committee would instead consider granting the university greater budget and management flexibilities.

Meetings with legislators  PROFS continues to meet with key legislators and lobby on behalf of faculty, focusing on senate resolutions on state budget cuts and shared governance and funding for the Chemistry Building project. Members of the PROFS steering committee have met with more than a dozen legislators and staff since the beginning of the year.

Size of budget cuts While some legislative leaders have expressed a desire to lessen the size of the cut to UW System, both Governor Scott Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said revenue estimates expected later this week are likely to be lower than hoped and the first priority is K-12 education.

Fitzgerald also said he had less of a commitment to decrease the cut after the Board of Regents approved tuition increases on out-of-state and professional students earlier this month. Despite the unpopularity of the proposed cut — one poll found seventy percent of the state opposed — Fitzgerald said some legislators still have a “bitter taste in their mouths” after the budget surplus issue of the last biennium.

Tuition Freeze Governor Walker said in his budget errata message last month he intends to limit tuition increases to no more than the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after a two-year freeze. UW System President Ray Cross said tying tuition increases to CPI “is not compatible with the agile, market-driven, and competitive entity the state needs us to be.”

Many higher education experts believe the plan to be unworkable: “Because the costs associated with running universities naturally exceed the costs of basic goods and services as represented in the CPI, limiting tuition increases to increases in the CPI is the wrong yard stick to use and is also very likely to reduce the ability of Wisconsin universities to offer the same quality as they have in the past,” said Professor Michael McLendon of Southern Methodist University.

Board of Regents

The UW System Board of Regents does not have a May meeting scheduled, but will meet in Milwaukee on June 4 and 5. Governor Scott Walker is expected to name three new regents this month as Regent President Michael Falbo, Regent David Walsh and traditional student Regent Anicka Purath complete their terms.

Three UW-Madison faculty members will serve on Regent task forces on shared governance and tenure – Biomedical Engineering Professor Beth Meyerand is a member of the shared governance task force, while Kinesiology Professor Dorothy Farrar-Edwards and Plant Pathology Professor Patricia McManus will serve on the tenure task force.

 

Governor Walker: Freeze Tuition for Two Years, Tie Future Increases to Inflation

Governor Scott Walker said yesterday in a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (below) that he continues to support public authority status for the University of Wisconsin System. Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern over the proposal, with Joint Finance Committee Co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) saying the plan had little support among Assembly Republicans and is “dead in our caucus.”

Walker also said he intends to limit tuition increases to no more than the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after a two-year freeze, saying the move would protect students and parent from unpredictable tuition increases.

UW System President Ray Cross said in statement (below) that tying tuition increases to CPI “is not compatible with the agile, market-driven, and competitive entity the state needs us to be.”

The governor also said he would not change statutory language regarding the university’s mission, thus keeping the Wisconsin Idea intact.

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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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Center for American Progress: Wisconsin Lags Neighbors in Higher Education Funding

The Center for American Progress released a report (below) Monday calling for a renewed social compact between states and their institutions of higher education. The report illustrates how the Great Recession resulted in a disinvestment in public higher education, directly resulting in large tuition increases.

Comparing its recommendations to those of the Truman Commission on Higher Education in 1947, the center argues the federal government should offer incentives to states that enroll students receiving Pell Grants or benefits from the G.I. Bill. In particular, states should reach out to low- and middle-income students to ensure access to higher education, while addressing the burden of student debt.

How Wisconsin Fared
The report
found from 2008 to 2012 public higher education funding per student in the state fell 18 percent, while overall higher education spending dropped 8 percent. In 2012, state funding per student in Wisconsin was $4,439, the lowest of all Midwestern states with the exception of Michigan.

 

A Great Recession, a Great Retreat: A Call for a Public College Quality Compact by Center for American Progress