Tag: UW-Madison

Statements on Supreme Court Decision

The University of Wisconsin System, UW-Madison, and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health all released statements last Friday following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

UW System President Jay Rothman:

We know that abortion remains a highly contentious issue that directly affects our students. We are reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court decision to determine what impact it may have on our universities. Like others, we will monitor the legal process surrounding this issue and will adhere to the law as it continues to evolve.

UW-Madison Interim Chancellor John Karl Scholz:

This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health that overturns the precedent set by Roe v Wade almost 50 years ago. We recognize the decision evokes a wide range of feelings in our community as it alters long-standing federal protections and allows states to regulate abortion without federal constitutional standards.

While UW–Madison will continue to meet all applicable legal requirements, we are facing a period of uncertainty as the new legal status for abortion access in Wisconsin is interpreted and challenged. We know this uncertainty may affect some members of our community more than others.

We are concerned about the decision’s implications for patient care and clinical training of obstetrics and gynecology residents. We will continue to work to understand the full impact of the Supreme Court’s decision and assess its implications for the campus community.

We encourage you to seek support and community in ways that feel right to you. Campus resources are also available to anyone seeking assistance in processing change and uncertainty:

Students may contact University Health Services by calling 608-265-5600 (option 9) or schedule an appointment through MyUHS.Employees may access services through the Employee Assistance Office.

Employees may access services through the Employee Assistance Office.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert N. Golden, MD:

The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health to overturn the abortion access precedent set by Roe v Wade has significant implications for the patients and populations we serve. The ruling is directly relevant to the relationship between women and their health care professionals, and we are assessing how it may impact clinical training.

We remain completely dedicated to our patients, and will provide the best care possible and trustworthy, accurate medical information. We will continue to provide outstanding, comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency training. And we will continue to advance health equity by identifying ways to support marginalized populations that are disproportionally affected by barriers to accessing reproductive healthcare.

We will continue to meet all applicable legal requirements. While there may be some uncertainties regarding legal interpretations of state statutes, we will continue to comply with laws related to reproductive health care.


Reminder — PROFS/ASPRO Legislative Forum Thursday

Reminder: PROFS and ASPRO will co-host a legislative forum tomorrow, Thursday, April 28 at noon in the De Luca Forum in the Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard Street. Please note the room has changed. WisconsinEye will stream the event live and a recording will be posted by PROFS within a few days of the event.

Our panel will review the recently-completed 2021-22 Legislative Session and discuss implications of the session for the university and look forward to what may happen after the 2022 elections, including what UW-Madison needs from the state to remain a top public research university.

Our panel:

Jessie Opoien, Cap Times Capitol Bureau Chief will moderate.

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

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State Legislative Forum Hosted by PROFS and ASPRO

PROFS will co-host an in-person panel discussion reviewing the recently-completed 2021-22 Legislative Session. Panelists will discuss implications of the session for the university and look forward to what may happen after the 2022 elections, including what UW-Madison needs from the state to remain a top public research university.

The forum will be held at noon, Thursday, April 28 in the Discovery Center’s Orchard View Room (330 N. Orchard Street).

Our panel:

Jessie Opoien, Cap Times Capitol Bureau Chief will moderate.

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

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UW-Madison Chancellor Blank’s Address to the Board of Regents

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank delivered her final address to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents last Thursday, February 10. Her remarks were part of the board’s two-day February meeting which was hosted by UW-Madison at Union South. Chancellor Blank is leaving UW-Madison at the end of the spring semester to become president of Northwestern University.


February Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison on Thursday and Friday, February 10 and 11. UW-Madison is hosting the meeting, which will be held in Union South’s Varsity Hall, 1308 West Dayton Street. Registration for the Webex videoconference of the meeting is here.

Regents are invited to a site visit and reception at the College of Engineering Wednesday evening. Regent business will not be conducted during this informational visit. A new building on the Engineering campus is top priority of UW-Madison, and Governor Tony Evers recently signed bipartisan legislation providing $1 million to plan and design the building.

Regents begin the two-day meeting with committee work on Thursday morning:

The Audit Committee will discuss several reports and consider a new policy relating to youth programs on UW System campuses.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will hear a presentation by UW-Madison on future facilities planning and consider granting authority for UW-Madison to sell two parcels of land to University Research Park and design and renovate two lab spaces.

The Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee will hear a report from UW-Madison on recent biotechnology research and discuss corporate research and clinical trial contracting processes.

The Business and Finance Committee will hear a report from UW-Madison on strategic investments and consider approval of several agreements at UW-Madison and UW System. They will also hear updates on the budget and gifts, grants, and contracts.

The Education Committee will consider approval of a realignment of academic units at UW-Milwaukee, a transfer agreement between UW-Stevens Point and North Central Technical College, and ten new degree programs, including three at UW-Madison. Committee members will also discuss a change to the class audit policy and application fees waivers and reductions. UW-Madison will also host a presentation on student academic success.

The full board meeting Thursday afternoon includes updates from Regent President Edmund Manydeeds and a presentation from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. The Regents will move into closed session to discuss compensation agreements for three UW-Madison football coaches, an employee who earns more than 75% of the UW System President’s salary, and UW System chancellors and president. The Regents will also discuss crime prevention and detection strategies.

On Friday, the Regents will hear an update from outgoing UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson. Thompson has served as interim president since June 2020 and will step down March 18. Last month, Regents named Milwaukee attorney Jay Rothman as UW System President. Rothman begins his duties June 1 and former Regent President Michael Falbo will serve as interim president from March 18 until Rothman takes office.

The Regents have cancelled their one-day meeting on March 10.




UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank Discusses Plans for Combating Covid-19 as In-Person Learning Resume

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank appeared on PBS Wisconsin’s Here and Now last week to discuss the university’s plans for in-person learning this fall. Classes begin September 8 with a majority of courses offered in-person. While UW-Madison does not have a vaccine mandate, any student, faculty member or staff person who is unvaccinated must test weekly.

UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson WisconsinEye Interview

University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson was interviewed yesterday by Steve Walters of WisconsinEye. Thompson spoke about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases at many UW System campuses, including UW-Madison.

Thompson told Walters he expects in-person instruction to resume at campuses that have implemented two-week pauses in an effort to drive down cases of the virus. UW-Madison is in the second week of its pause of on-campus classes.

PROFS/University Committee Statement on Reopening

PROFS and the University Committee, which also serves as the PROFS Board of Directors, shared the following statement with UW-Madison Provost Karl Scholz at a University Committee meeting this afternoon:

With just over three weeks until the faculty contract period begins for the 2020-21 academic year, and with the prevalence of COVID-19 cases rising, there is great uncertainty and concern among faculty about the reopening of the university for classes for the upcoming academic year.

We are well aware that the health landscape that will determine how we move forward is evolving; we recognize that this makes planning difficult.  However, with three weeks to go before the contract period begins, faculty still do not have clear information on the in-person and remote course array, the process to ask for flexibility in their return to campus, or how to get answers to questions or concerns they have. 

The “Smart Restart” website contains a great deal of information, but like much in the “self-service” university, the assumption seems to be that faculty can find all the information they need to make intelligent choices about their return to work, and its effects on their health, on the site if only they read carefully.  Much of the information they are receiving from their departments, and their schools and colleges, is inconsistent, unspecific, and changes frequently. A lot of information is simply not making its way from the working groups down to the units and rank-and-file faculty. 

The university’s faculty is comprised of smart, curious, and caring people; they want up-to-date, clear, accurate, detailed, and consistent information. Faculty also want answers to their genuine concerns, many of which have been further compounded because they don’t feel as though they have been consulted or given a chance to voice those concerns as equal partners to those making policy.  Our colleagues at other major public research universities have attended town-hall meetings where information has been provided and concerns have been solicited and addressed; where working groups have reached out to faculty and staff; and where information is disseminated in clear and consistent ways from trusted sources in a timely and regular way.  We are concerned that with three weeks to go before the beginning of the semester and five weeks before classes start, faculty have many unanswered questions, and that we are far behind the curve when it comes to addressing significant issues having to do with the health, well-being and safety of the faculty.

We urge leadership to take the following steps immediately:

• Hold frequent virtual town-hall meetings for faculty and staff that solicit and address concerns about restarting the university;

• Make available to all faculty the contact information for all re-start working groups so that they can address their questions directly to those working on policy;

• Ensure that school/college leadership disseminates information to their departments in a clear and consistent manner, and designates a person to answer questions from chairs and from faculty;

• Offer a clear statement on how faculty can arrange alternative teaching assignments and/or other non-teaching assignments in cases where they fear for their health and safety or who have home situations that preclude their ability to teach or fulfill their other duties as faculty, and ensure that the flexibilities offered are non-punitive, and do not force them to reveal sensitive and/or health-related information;

• Make clear how decisions about a return to teaching and research are determined, and the extent to which those decisions are made with reference to (a) available space, (b) teaching best practices, (c) health and safety.  Faculty want to be assured that decisions made at the local level, decisions made with care and with health and educational outcomes in mind, are not overridden at the last minute.