Board of Regents
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in 1820 Van Hise Hall
Thursday, May 10, 2007
- President Walsh presiding -
PRESENT: Regents Bartell, Bradley, Burmaster, Connolly-Keesler, Crain, Cuene, Davis, Falbo, Loftus, McPike, Pruitt, Rosenzweig, Salas, Semenas, Smith, Spector, and Walsh
UNABLE TO ATTEND: Regent Shields
President’s 2007 Commission on University Security
In opening remarks, President Reilly referred to the murders of 33 people at Virginia Tech on April 16th. Upon hearing about this tragedy, he decided to undertake an immediate review of security in the UW System and asked UW-Madison Police Chief Sue Riseling to lead that effort. The President’s 2007 Commission on University Security is composed of members representing each UW institution, as well as a range of functional areas. Regent Bartell represents the board on the commission.
The goal of the commission is to “develop a series of recommendations for how University of Wisconsin System institutions can collectively prevent, intervene, respond, heal and resume operations when confronted with the threat of or actual major violence on one or more of its campuses.” Its recommendations are to be brought to the board’s July meeting.
President Reilly noted that Governor Doyle had also formed a Task Force on Campus Safety, to be co-chaired by UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard and River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque. This group will take a larger view, including the Wisconsin Technical College System and the state’s independent colleges, as well as the UW System. The commission will work closely with the task force, so that each may learn from the other. The task force recommendations are expected by November 2007.
Introducing Chief Riseling, President Reilly noted that she also is an associate vice chancellor at UW-Madison. Prior to coming to Wisconsin in 1991, she worked as assistant chief and deputy chief at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. She is vice president at large of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the world’s largest police organization with more than 20,000 members from over 100 countries.
Joining her for the presentation was Marcy Hufendick, program manager and senior counselor at UW-Parkside’s Student Health and Counseling Center.
Chief Riseling began her report by indicating that the 18-member Commission met for the first time the preceding day.
The Virginia Tech shootings, she said, began with a double homicide, followed by mass casualty shootings – the first time ever that a perpetrator has taken a break between shootings.
Referring to her professional expertise in preventing workplace violence, she explained that if people focus only on the shootings and reactions to them, they miss the opportunity to prevent them from happening. Stating that mass casualty shootings are the “end of an understandable and often discernable process,” she emphasized that no one “snaps” and goes directly from being normal to being a mass murderer. Before that happens, there are “red flags” on the way to impending violence. In the case of the Virginia Tech murderer, there were instances of violent writings, not speaking to suite mates, stalking, and court-determined mental illness.
Sometimes, she pointed out, these kinds of signals are heard and sometimes they are missed. One problem is that no one has the whole picture concerning the individual in question.
Chief Riseling indicated that the commission is focusing its work on prevention -- or how to see the red flags and intervene. In that regard, she noted that such violent incidents often begin with a fantasy, followed by a plan. Then there is preparation, in this case purchase of weapons, shooting and reloading practice, and determining when where to strike. Finally, there were the actual killings.
Prevention strategies include pre-violence intervention, intervention during violence, and post-incident management. In that regard, she indicated that the commission spent its first meeting considering prevention opportunities.
In conclusion, she said that the commission plans to work very hard to complete its report as soon as possible.
Marcy Hufendick began her remarks with the following quote from Ernest Boyer: “Wellness must be a prerequisite to all else. Students cannot be intellectually proficient if they are physically or psychologically unwell.” In that regard, she pointed out that one in four (26.2%) Americans age 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This amounts to 57 million people suffering from minor to serious illness. The largest number (14.8 million) suffer from major depression. The second most frequent disorder is post-traumatic-stress disorder, which is suffered by 7.7 million – a number that can be expected to increase as more war veterans return home.
Turning to myths and facts about mental illness, Ms. Hufendick said that it is a myth that people with mental illnesses are violent and unpredictable. In fact, most are no more violent than anyone else. It also is a myth that once people develop mental illnesses, they never will recover. In fact, most get better or recover completely and go on to live full, healthy, and productive lives.
Reiterating the point that people do not just “snap”, she noted that there are warning signs and that, in order to avoid a negative ending, various campus constituents need to: 1) know the warning signs, 2) recognize the warning signs, 3) know the appropriate responses to warning signs, and 4) intervene, as appropriate.
Ms. Hufendick reported that depression is the most common mental health problem among college students, with 16% of college women and 10% of college men having been diagnosed with depression at some time in their lives. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students, with 1 in 12 students going so far as to make a plan. While homicide is the second leading cause of death among college-aged youth, the risk is much lower among college students compared to the general population of similar age.
Eighty-one percent of college counseling center directors, she said, report seeing more students with serious psychological and emotional problems than five years ago, along with an increase in the demand for crisis services. At the same time, the level of available services has remained the same or decreased. The Board of College Counseling Center accreditation standard is one mental health counselor for 1,500 students. No campus in the UW System meets that standard.
Noting that mental health issues surface in all areas of the campus and impact the entire community, Ms. Hufendick emphasized that the entire community needs to be committed to being part of the solution. In conclusion, she noted that systemic change requires leadership and commitment by the entire campus, as well as by board and system as a whole.
In discussion following the presentation, Regent Loftus referred to increased needs for mental health services with the arrival of more veterans on campus suffering from stress-related conditions. He asked the commission to outline those needs so that they can be addressed.
With regard to warning signs of impending violence, Regent Davis asked who needs to be made aware of these signs and whether the same recommendations should apply to K-12 schools.
In response, Chief Riseling indicated that the commission had discussed the matter and that the two student members felt that such information should be provided at orientation. The commission discussed the need for faculty, teaching assistants, student service personnel and residence assistants to be aware of warning signs and know what to do about them. There is a need, she said, to formulate recommendations on which personnel should get what kind of training.
With regard to K-12 schools, she felt that some of what the commission finds could apply to those settings. However, she thought that little of what the K-12 schools do in such situations would apply to the university because a campus is a much larger setting.
Ms. Hufendick added that adults in the K-12 schools need to be aware of warning signs of pre-violent behavior. The need for awareness by students would vary for children of different ages.
Regent Burmaster pointed out that every school is required to develop a school safety plan.
Regent Salas inquired about balancing right to privacy with scrutiny of an individual’s behavior and about whether the commission would review issues related to access to guns and concealed weapons.
In reply, Ms. Hufendick indicated that privacy issues will continue to be explored by the commission. Chief Riseling indicated that, in Wisconsin, only police can carry guns on campus and that she had testified against proposed legislation to permit concealed carrying of guns. In Virginia, the perpetrator was prohibited by law from buying guns, but computer records had not been updated accordingly.
Regent Salas noted that, in Utah, weapons are allowed on campus and that some have expressed the view that the ability to carry guns can help prevent mass shootings.
While that position could be debated, Chief Riseling said, she did not believe that more weapons would be the answer to the problem. Instead, she felt that the focus should be on prevention.
Regent Smith inquired on how campuses are doing in dealing with mental health issues.
While each campus is different, Chief Riseling replied, none of the UW campuses meets the national standard for staffing. In that regard, she noted that some campuses contract out for counseling and that there are no counselors on the two-year campuses. At UW-Madison, there are dozens of cases each year that require police intervention; and the problem is growing. But there are not enough resources to meet current, much less future, needs.
Regent Crain observed that the relationship of mental illness to violence is confusing to the public and that the question of when to report bizarre behavior is a difficult one.
Ms. Hufendick concurred, adding that the commission needs to look at how to collect and store such information. Chief Riseling added that it is necessary to separate uniqueness from danger and that one bizarre act does not take a person far down the continuum toward violence. Ms. Hufendick added that often a number of people have little bits of information about a person’s behavior and that it is important for someone to be able to put together warning signs and see the big picture.
Regent Connolly-Keesler pointed out that the campus also needs to coordinate with the community so that external systems can be made aware of possible problems.
Chief Riseling indicated that one challenge for the commission is to make layered recommendations, recognizing that campuses with armed and trained police are in a different position from campuses that rely on community police.
Regent Bartell, a member of the commission, noted that Virginia has a Governor’s commission on this matter and that similar groups also are meeting in other states. Noting that there will be a number of reports and that mental health and educational experts will advise as to what should be done, he said that, once the board receives the commission’s recommendations, there will be a need to address resource issues.
Regent Spector cautioned the commission not to become stymied by laws on privacy and to recognize that, in the best interest of students, some laws may need to be changed. He asked if the commission’s work would be restricted to instances of shootings or would include other types of violence, such as bombings.
Replying that the commission’s charge is focused on shootings, Chief Riseling explained that there is a base of knowledge on mass casualty shooters but that less is known about people who plant bombs or other devices. It was her belief, however, that plans to respond to shootings would be helpful in other disasters as well.
Regent Semenas commented that the judgment of when or whether to intervene would be difficult in some cases, such as one in which a person has done no more than write deranged fiction. Noting that he had served as a resident assistant, he said that guns on campus are a real concern and that resident assistants and others may not know what weapons any given student may have.
With regard to threat assessment, Chief Riseling observed that some campuses have very sophisticated systems for spotting red flags and police may intervene to detain a person for mental care. Noting that Chapter UWS 17 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code allows emergency suspension for not more than 30 days, she said that the commission would review that provision and explore what else might be done. For example, she indicated that there is need of options for “soft landings” to remove students undergoing mental crisis from the stress of going to school, but allowing them to return when they are better.
In reply to a question by Regent President Walsh about other universities where there had been mass killings, Chief Riseling identified the University of Montreal, Penn State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Washington.
Regent President Walsh remarked that the challenge will be to obtain resources necessary to implement the recommendations and to persuade decision-makers that the threat is real.
Chancellor Wells noted that the standard ratio of one counselor to 1,500 students is an average and asked that the commission provide more specific advice as to what is needed.
Ms. Hufendick indicated that the need for resources on campus is related to what resources are available in the community as well. Chief Riseling emphasized that the commission is keenly aware of resource issues and recognizes that all campuses cannot have everything that might be desirable. A plan is needed to infuse resources where they are needed.
In response to a question by Regent Cuene, Chief Riseling said that an implementation process for the recommendations would be established.
The Growth Agenda and Beyond
President Reilly began his remarks by noting that this discussion responds to the board’s desire for a big picture framework within which to consider future direction.
Recently, the chancellors and system administration leadership participated in a retreat, which was preceded by a roundtable discussion with business leaders. Three outcomes were sought: 1) to identify major issues going forward; 2) to provide some initial thinking about those issues; and 3) to consider the shape of a strategic planning process.
Noting that Regent President Walsh, Regent Vice President Bradley, Regent Burmaster, and Regent Crain also attended the business roundtable, President Reilly indicated that a presentation had been made by Dennis Jones, of the National Council of Higher Education Management Systems, on Wisconsin’s challenges and opportunities from perspectives of national and international competitiveness.
The intention at this meeting was to relay initial thoughts and ask for regents’ advice. At the June meeting, a more detailed plan would be presented; and Dennis Jones would return to make a presentation to the board.
President Reilly then referred to the UW System’s vision: “The University of Wisconsin System will be Wisconsin’s premier developer of advanced human potential, of the jobs that employ that potential, and of the communities that sustain it.”
The Growth Agenda, 2007-09, he pointed out, is the first step toward fulfilling that vision. Its purpose is to make Wisconsin a competitive state in the 21st Century knowledge economy, with a high quality of life and a high per-capita income. Its goals are to:
- Produce more baccalaureate degrees
- Help attract more college-educated people to Wisconsin
- Help grow the jobs that will employ both.
President Reilly then presented some big-picture data that point toward future directions. With regard to the student pipeline, he referred to a slide showing progression of students from high school to college graduation. Wisconsin performs above the national average in rates of high school graduation and numbers who directly enter college, who enroll in the second year, and who graduate within 150% of program time. However, the percentage of people age 25-44 with a bachelor’s degree is 28.8%, which is below the national average and well below the 42.3% of the best performing state. At 27.3%, Wisconsin is also two percent below the national average in those people age 25-64 with a bachelor’s degree.
With respect to earnings, he pointed out that, for the United States as a whole, the difference in median earnings between a bachelor’s degree in a population aged 18-64 is $20,000. The difference in Wisconsin is lower -- $15,000 – possibly because of the state’s tradition of lower salaries and relatively higher earnings for jobs that do not require a college degree.
While Wisconsin is above the national average in patents issued per $1,000 of gross state product, it is far below the national average and non-competitive in initial public offerings and in venture capital financing.
President Reilly then turned to a slide showing what would be needed to reach top performance by 2025. In the best performing countries, 55% of the population have college degrees. In order to reach that level, UW institutions and the Wisconsin technical colleges would have to produce 241,000 additional degrees beyond the current annual rate, or 12,000 more per year – a 36.1% increase.
If there were no additional state investment, reaching that goal would require a 33.1% increase in tuition and fees. If tuition and fees stayed the same, the cost to the state would be $545.6 million to educate the additional students, or a 34.4% increase.
For Wisconsin to get to where it needs to be, President Reilly said in summary, it will be necessary to have reinvestment by the state, additional money from tuition and fundraising, and greater success in attracting college graduates to the state.
He then discussed seven strategic planning issues.
- Tuition/financial aid policy, state investment, and private investment. In
considering the question of who should pay how much for what and where, topics
might include: differential tuition, stratified tuition, how far to move
toward higher tuition and higher aid, how far to move toward private funding
of core activities at a public institution, and what portion of operations
should the state be expected to supply.
A working group had been established to consider these issues, with Regents Crain and Falbo serving as members.
- Degree program offerings, including which institutions should offer what
kind of degrees, independently or through collaboration with each other.
In that regard, President Reilly noted a rising tide of institutional aspirations to offer higher degrees in order to better serve student need.
- Enhancing quality and productivity, including how to advance quality in
an environment of limited resources, when greater productivity is being demanded
in all three facets of the UW’s mission of teaching, research, and
Questions include what should the cost-per-student be to ensure quality and
gain in productivity. In that regard, President Reilly noted that higher
education differs from business with respect to lowering costs. If
lowering costs in a business causes loss of quality, that business would
lose market share; whereas, in higher education, lowering quality too far
causes loss in value of a degree, which results in harm to students.
Another question relates to whether more research can be connected to public service in ways that enhance the quality of both. Noting that this question is connected to the matters of patents and venture capital, President Reilly pointed out that basic research often stimulates applied research. One question is how to enhance those efforts.
- Attracting, retaining, and graduating a wider, deeper cut of Wisconsin’s
population. Under this heading, one question is how to help create
aspirations for and commitment to college education among a broader segment
of the population. In looking for solutions, the President observed,
there are strong roles for the Wisconsin Covenant, and Adult Student Initiative,
the Equity Scorecard, and the successor to Plan 2008.
Other questions involve what changes the university needs to make to improve retention and graduation of traditional students and new student groups that it seeks to serve, and what changes the K-12 system needs to make for the same groups.
- Removing regulatory barriers to productivity and cost efficiency, including how to persuade the state to adopt the recommendations for regulatory flexibility put forward in the 2004 “Charting a New Course” strategic plan and whether there are additional kinds of red tape that should be cut to promote the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin.
- 6.More strongly linking university education and research to entrepreneurship
and job creation in Wisconsin, including what the UW’s role should
be in strengthening the entrepreneurial culture throughout Wisconsin. In
that regard, President Reilly noted that the state has a relatively conservative
culture that needs to become more entrepreneurial and risk-taking. UW
universities have started a number of programs to promote that kind of climate
Another question relates to what changes might be made in the university’s research enterprise – research policies, practices, and expectations – that would connect it more fully to job creation and wealth generation statewide.
- The role of the liberal arts and sciences, including how to reaffirm to
students, families, and policy makers the importance of the liberal arts
In that regard, President Reilly pointed out that a liberal education is
central to what students need to know and be able to do as citizens and professionals
in a global environment – a centrality that is affirmed by every report
on the topic from inside and outside the academy. While students tend
to push for specialized, job-related program content, employers say that
what is most important to them is a solid education in the liberal arts. Initiatives
like Liberal Education and the American Promise (LEAP) need to be strongly
Turning to strategic planning principles, President Reilly outlined the following:
- Outside-in: think in terms of what the public and others need from the university.
- Lead from behind: Dennis Jones advised that where public universities have been successful, they have led by offering what they could do to meet the needs of others and asking for help in making that happen.
- It’s about all of Wisconsin, not just the UW System. It is the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin as a whole.
- Involve faculty, staff, and student governance to provide broad input and buy-in.
- Involve players from outside the university – including elected officials – strategically in a way that respects their time and other obligations. Noting that this might be done through such means as focus groups, President Reilly said that care must be taken to ensure that the board’s plan is not “dead on arrival” for lack of involvement by these leaders.
In that regard, President Reilly said that it will be necessary to plug leaks in the pipeline, both at the K-12 and the university levels.
In discussion following the presentation, Regent Burmaster expressed agreement with both the issues and planning principles; and she emphasized the need to bring people together around a knowledge-based Grow Wisconsin plan, with the Growth Agenda as an essential component. Noting that not everyone needs to go to a four-year college, she suggested that the communication be broadened to encompass the technical colleges and the K-12 pipeline.
Stating his agreement, President Reilly said that it is important to send the message that students need some kind of post-secondary education and that a high school diploma is not adequate for today’s work force.
Regent Salas commended President Reilly and Regent President Walsh for their work on the Growth Agenda and their testimony before legislative committees on the operating and capital budget requests. With regard to the latter, he noted the connection of adequate facilities to the ability to teach and learn effectively.
He was pleased to learn that tuition and financial aid had been identified as a primary issue for strategic planning, reflecting the board’s concern about providing student access. He suggested that issue #4 be broadened to include the issues of access for low-income and non-traditional students and closing access and achievement gaps for students of color.
Regent Davis suggested that the principles include engagement of parents and communities across the state and particularly in Milwaukee. Participation and buy-in by these groups, she pointed out, is critical to the success of the plan.
As additional issues, Regent Loftus suggested examining the change in yield rate of applicants over the years; considering whether additional efforts should be made to increase non-resident enrollments on campuses where nonresident students have been priced out; increasing graduation rates on campuses where the rates are lower than on others; under-representation of men in the student body; strategy with regard to numbers of PhD programs; and encouragement of endowments by alumni.
Referring to discussion at the roundtable, Regent Crain noted the challenge presented by the perception that reducing costs will help the university to improve.
She expressed support for inclusion of the liberal arts among the strategic planning issues, noting that making a better society involves more than raising incomes.
Commending President Reilly for his presentation, Regent Spector observed that the more inclusive the process, the greater the yield in terms of ideas and buy-in.
With regard to the issues presented, he urged that excessive caution be avoided and that there be willingness to think new thoughts and be open to new ideas. He suggested consideration of changing the approach to compensation in order to make the state more competitive and consideration of changing laws that are unduly restrictive and limiting of needed flexibility. Regent Loftus added that many of those laws date from the time of merger.
With regard to the third issue, relating to quality and productivity, Regent Bartell asked how the point about losing the value of degrees could be made more persuasively.
Noting that this is a difficult matter to address, President Reilly indicated that reputational rankings have been used as one surrogate for value of degrees. Part of the task, he said, is to identify easily understandable quality indicators.
Congratulating President Reilly on his presentation, Regent Pruitt suggested talking about the Growth Agenda as the Growth, Access and Affordability Agenda. In that regard, he indicated that investments from both tuition and state funds will be needed.
As an additional issue, he suggested the future of graduate education at doctoral institutions as a topic integral to the Growth Agenda.
Regent Falbo pointed out that Wisconsin needs to be made more attractive to businesses. Without adequate employment opportunities, educating more students will not be enough to make the state successful.
Referring to the planning principles of leading from behind and planning from the outside in, Regent Rosenzweig asked if there are other states that have successfully produced the results being sought here.
Indicating that Dennis Jones could address this question at the June meeting, President Reilly observed that governors have played important roles in the success of such plans and that business support has been crucial.
Chancellor Wells added that Kentucky and North Dakota are two states that were mentioned by Mr. Jones.
Regent Rosenzweig felt that the greatest challenge would be to obtain civic engagement and buy-in.
Concluding the discussion, Regent President Walsh noted that legislators now view the UW and the Technical Colleges as part of the solution to growing Wisconsin. Going forward, it will be necessary to prove the case by continuing to provide data on the importance of education to the state’s future.
Upon motion by Regent Pruitt, seconded by Regent Semenas, the meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Judith A. Temby, Secretary
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in 1820 Van Hise Hall
Friday, May 11, 2007
- President Walsh presiding -
Upon motion by Regent Falbo, seconded by Regent Cuene, the minutes of the April 12 and 13, 2007 meetings of the Board of Regents were approved as distributed.
Regent President Walsh reported that Governor Doyle has been traveling across the state to promote the Wisconsin Covenant, which is an important part of the Growth Agenda vision. Noting that it is being met with enthusiasm and support, he stated the UW’s pride in being part of this exciting initiative.
Reporting that the Joint Committee on Finance has been continuing its review of the biennial budget, Regent President Walsh noted that, in the upcoming months, the board will need to decide on tuition for the next year, based on what is decided with regard to pay plan and the budget. Depending on those results, the board may have difficult decisions to make with respect to tuition.
Noting that the value of public investment in higher education has long been advocated, Regent President Walsh quoted as follows from a statement made by former UW System President John Weaver in 1972 testimony before the Joint Committee on Finance: “Our unwavering confidence has been that public university education is a public good in that public investment in such endeavors is repaid to society many fold and in countless ways. The people of Wisconsin have had great faith in public higher education above everything. I would covet the hope that through the difficult days of decision that lay immediately ahead, the citizens of Wisconsin will sustain that faith.”
The following resolution was moved by Regent Rosenzweig, seconded by Regent Burmaster, and adopted by acclamation.
Resolution 9344: WHEREAS, Martha Dunagin Saunders has served as an energetic, forward-thinking leader as the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; and
WHEREAS, at the start of her tenure, Chancellor Saunders engaged faculty, staff, students, and community members in summits about the future of the campus, which led to a five-part strategic plan that now guides the university; and
WHEREAS, Saunders was closely connected with UW-Whitewater students, establishing the Warhawk Ambassadors, a service program that highlights the “best and the brightest” students on campus, and sharing a “blog” about her experiences with the campus community; and
WHEREAS, Saunders advanced UW-Whitewater’s commitment to diversity by charging the assistant to the chancellor on affirmative action with creating a campus-wide diversity plan; and
WHEREAS, Chancellor Saunders guided the finish to a successful fund-raising campaign for the $41 million College of Business and Economics building, saw renovation of the James R. Connor University Center, spearheaded work to gain the UW System’s first certification of an environmentally friendly residence hall, and gave a strong start to a $7 million multi-sport athletic complex; and
WHEREAS, Saunders witnessed seasons of outstanding athletic and academic achievement by dozens of student athletes and coaches, including five conference championships and a top 10 percent placement in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Division III Directors’ Cup Standings; and
WHEREAS, Martha created the UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award, which to date, has honored two writers who celebrate all that makes the Midwest so special; and
WHEREAS, Chancellor Saunders strengthened UW-Whitewater’s relationships with the city of Whitewater and other regional agencies;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System offers its sincere gratitude to Chancellor Martha Dunagin Saunders for her service and enthusiasm for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and wishes her well as she returns home to serve as President of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Supplementing the written report that had been provided, Regent Connolly-Keesler, the Board of Regents representative to the Educational Communications Board (ECB), relayed concern expressed by members of that board about being unable to broadcast re-runs of Badger games.
Regent President Walsh said that a written explanation would be provided for Regent Connolly-Keesler to share with the ECB.
In introductory remarks, President Reilly noted that Chancellor Wiley is among those monitoring federal negotiations that could mean changes in the way colleges and universities are accredited. The federal Department of Education has proposed new rules that are causing much concern on the part of higher education because they could give the federal government unprecedented control over academic decisions that now are properly entrusted to faculties, chancellors, presidents and governing boards.
Six higher education associations signed a statement of concern about the potential changes. While they have not taken a position against any new regulations or proposals that would seek to measure educational outcomes, they want to make sure that any new rules are driven by colleges and universities, not by political appointees in Washington.
President Reilly then called on Chancellor Wiley, who serves as chair of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the national association of accrediting bodies.
Chancellor Wiley stated that current proposals by the Department of Education would federalize higher education, through recommendations made by the Spellings Commission. David Ward, president of the American Council on Education, filed the commission’s lone dissent. The department then convened a negotiated rule-making process, to implement the proposals.
CHEA dissented from these proposed rules, one of which would mandate transfer of credit among institutions – a change that was promoted by for-profit institutions. Another proposed rule relates to standards for outcomes, which would mean standardized testing – a change promoted by the testing industry.
The impact of these changes, he said, would amount to federalizing a system of higher education which has been a model for the world. The proposed rules, he noted, would be published in the federal register in June, at which point there will be a need for colleges and universities to become actively engaged in opposing them.
In discussion following Chancellor Wiley’s remarks, Regent Rosenzweig asked to see David Ward’s position in writing; and Chancellor Wiley said that he would provide copies to the board.
Regent Davis asked if the proposed rules were being fast-tracked by the Department of Education and if there were legal issues involved.
Replying that the proposed rules were on a very fast track, Chancellor Wiley indicated that Congress could prevent the rules from taking effect, if it chooses. One legal issue involves transfer of credit. Because the Higher Education Act does not cover credit transfer, legal counsel for CHEA does not believe that the Department of Education has jurisdiction in that area; but counsel for DOE argues that it does.
In response to a question by Regent Pruitt, Chancellor Wiley indicated that the proposed rules would treat all institutions the same. While there are some fraudulent schools and some reforms are needed, he did not believe that the solution is to use a sledgehammer approach to all institutions.
Regent Crain asked if the matter is receiving attention in Congress. In reply, Chancellor Wiley indicated that, while there currently is not much attention being paid to the proposed rules, there is awareness of them and people are poised to act at the right time.
Regent Falbo asked if any segments of higher education support the proposed rules. Chancellor Wiley replied that he did not know of any such support, adding that the accrediting bodies are being careful not to offend the Department of Education.
Regent Bartell asked if there were any positive recommendations from the Spellings Commission and if any of them related to financial aid.
Replying that there were no recommendations on financial aid, Chancellor Wiley commented that some recommendations make sense for some schools, but not all. One recommendation would be to require standardized testing of freshmen and seniors to determine the difference over four years. The tests would be on general knowledge, not specific disciplines.
In conclusion, Chancellor Wiley suggested that the Board of Regents send a letter to the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) expressing concern about this matter.
Upon motion by Regent Davis, seconded by Regent Bartell, the board passed a motion on a unanimous voice vote to send a communication on this matter to the AGB.
President Reilly reported that UW-River Falls Chancellor Don Betz, UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Rick Wells, and UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Linda Bunnell joined him to testify before the Joint Committee on Finance about the importance of UW capital projects included for funding in the biennial budget. They spoke of the importance of quality facilities, where students live and learn, to providing a successful educational experience and to attracting students to achieve the goals of the Growth Agenda. They reminded the committee that the projects have support from students, alumni and donors and noted that the Board of Regents forwarded only the most vital projects for their consideration.
UW-Eau Claire students, staff, and alumni spoke in support of the Davies Center project; and UW-Madison students testified in support of the Union project.
Legislators and regents joined students and faculty in the State Capitol on April 18th to celebrate “Posters in the Rotunda,” a showcase of undergraduate research. Both houses of the Legislature passed a resolution commending the UW System and proclaiming “Undergraduate Research Day.” Sixty-five student researchers were featured; and the event included remarks by President Reilly, Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, Senator Kathleen Vinehout, Representatives Jeff Smith and John Murtha, and UW-Eau Claire student researcher Lori Scardino.
The event, President Reilly remarked, was an outstanding demonstration of the value of Wisconsin’s public higher education system and undergraduate research on UW campuses.
April 18th also was “Spirit Day,” and more than 400 students, alumni, and others from around the state traveled to Madison to participate in the events and talk with their legislators about the importance of support for the UW System. In the evening, there was a legislative reception, which hosted UW-Madison Head Football Coach Bret Bielema, Bucky Badger, and the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble.
President Reilly reported that the Legislature had passed resolutions honoring the accomplishments of the UW-Madison men’s track and field team, the women’s hockey team, the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team.
President Reilly reported that the UW System was represented at a Joint Audit Committee hearing about economic development by UW-Extension Provost Marv Van Kekerix and Outreach Program Manager John Fischer. Their testimony about the UW’s ongoing efforts to create a directory of university economic development resources was well received by the committee.
Discussion of Growth Agenda for Wisconsin with Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education
President Reilly spoke with the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education about why the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin is important for the state’s families and economic future. Regent President Walsh spoke of efforts to be responsive and accountable to legislators and taxpayers. Chancellor Betz described UW-River Falls’ Growth Agenda initiative that will boost retention and graduation rates of freshmen and transfer students. The Growth Agenda received a positive response from the committee.
It was reported by President Reilly that he and chancellors have continued to meet with key legislators and that he has been including them in discussion about strategic planning.
The preceding week, he met with Joint Committee on Finance Co-Chair Kitty Rhoades, whose input he would continue to seek, along with that of other legislators. He also visited with Representative Steve Nass, and he and Regent Bradley met with Senators John Lehman and Kathleen Vinehout. Regent Bradley also met with other legislators, and President Reilly planned to meet with Representative Pedro Colon and Senator Mark Miller in the coming weeks.
President Reilly reported that UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, and Chippewa Valley Technical College were stepping up their commitment to improving Wisconsin’s economy through the Educational Partnership for Regional Development.
Under that agreement, the institutions will collaborate on curricula that meet the region’s workforce education and training needs, enhance opportunities for credit transfer, and look for new ways to develop the regional workforce.
Such partnerships, the President said, send a strong message to business and government leaders that the UW is a major driver of the state’s economy and is ready to do even more. He thanked and commended Chancellors Betz, Levin-Stankevich and Sorensen and Chippewa Valley Technical College President Bill Ihlenfeldt for making this commitment.
President Reilly reported that by the end of this spring commencement season, the UW System will have graduated more than 31,000 students. These graduates, he stated, are among the UW’s greatest contributions to the state. Thanks to faculty, staff, and university leaders, they have the tools they need to be critical thinkers, informed citizens and accomplished professionals. More than 80% of these graduates can be expected to stay in Wisconsin to live and work.
UW-Oshkosh, the President reported, has received national attention for its plans to offer honorary doctorates to the nation’s first women astronaut candidates. Known as the Mercury 13, these women pilots secretly trained in the 1960s to become astronauts; but, largely because of gender bias at the time, they were never allowed to fly in space.
UW-Oshkosh is the first to honor them as a group, and this recognition has been reported by USA Today, the Washington Post, and CNN, among others, along with media in Europe, Russia, and South Africa. He congratulated Chancellor Wells and his colleagues for stepping up to honor these remarkable women.
In conclusion, President Reilly offered congratulations to this year’s graduates and urged those who speak with them to encourage them to stay connected and become advocates for their alma mater and the UW System.
Introducing presentation of the awards, Regent Connolly-Keesler, chair of the Regent Committee that selected the award winners, stated that, through these awards, “the Board of Regents recognizes the dedicated work, vital services and outstanding contributions of the UW System’s academic staff.” She indicated that each recipient will receive a $5,000 stipend designated to support their professional development or other activities that will enhance a university program or function.
Each UW institution was invited to submit one nomination for these awards. The nominations were reviewed by a committee consisting of Regent Connolly-Keesler, Regent Davis, Regent McPike, Regent Salas and Regent Smith. Criteria used by the committee in selecting winners were: Excellence of performance, personal interaction, initiative and creativity, and outstanding achievement.
Stating that the committee was impressed with the quality and achievements of all of the nominees, Regent Connolly-Keesler said that they represent the “enormous accomplishments and commitment of our academic staff across the University of Wisconsin System.” The committee agreed to make three awards, instead of two, next year.
Regent Connolly-Keesler then introduced the first 2007 award winner, Tammy Salmon-Stephens, senior director of the UW-Platteville Women in Engineering Program (WEP) and the Engineering Advising Office.
Stating that Ms. Salmon-Stephens has consistently excelled since her employment began in 1997, Regent Connolly-Keesler listed several of her notable accomplishments. She has created and implemented over 20 initiatives for the Women in Engineering Program and the Engineering Advising Office. She created a database to track statistics of women in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS). She is considered chief advisor in the college, and faculty and students regularly turn to her for advice. She also serves on the University Advising Team and contributes regularly to the work of that committee.
The retention programs that she leads provide support in many ways, from assisting students with choosing a major, to helping them transition between majors, to providing advice and training to colleagues.
She maintains the only Women in Engineering Program in the State of Wisconsin and has been instrumental in generating support for it.
As chief advisor in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, her door is always open to students and colleagues alike. She consistently demonstrates her genuine concern for students in assisting them to find options and provide hope that any problem can be resolved.
Initiatives that she has created include: The Women in Engineering Scholarship, the Women in EMS Advisory Board, WEP Career Days, a WEP web page, the WEP Mentor Program, the WEP Student Ambassadors, the Women in EMS Phone-a-thon, and “Engineering” a Girl.
She participated in writing 31 grant proposals, of which 28 were funded for a total of $293,630.
Ms. Salmon-Stephens has created a national reputation of excellent programs that encourage girls to consider STEM fields, and the UW-Platteville Women in Engineering Program received a national award this year.
Expressing appreciation for the award, Ms. Salmon-Stephens thanked Chancellor David Markee and Provost Carol Sue Butts for the opportunity to work at UW-Platteville. She also thanked her husband for being the right partner to make it possible for her to succeed.
She grew up in southwest Wisconsin and was a first-generation college student who worked to finance her education at UW-Platteville, which offered her both quality and affordability. Stating her pride in graduating from UW-Platteville, she expressed gratitude for the mentoring and support she received there.
As a young graduate in engineering, she recalled, her first job in a man’s field was as a supervisor of older, non-college educated men. While this was a difficult situation, she was fortunate to have a mentor who helped her along the way and asked her to do the same for others. That is what she does at UW-Platteville.
She feels privileged to work with college students who need help in transitioning from high school to college and from college to the workplace. In conclusion, she said that she is passionate about supporting students and advocating for them.
Regent Smith presented the second award to Ron Buchholz, director of career services and leadership development at UW-Whitewater.
Noting his nearly 23 years of superior service to the UW-Whitewater community, Regent Smith listed a number of his many accomplishments. He is a two-time recipient of the Academic Staff Excellence Award at UW-Whitewater, in 1994 and 2006; and he also is a two-time recipient of the UW-Whitewater Academic Staff Recognition Award, in 2001 and 2005. On the national level, he received the Campus Outreach Opportunity League’s “Leader of Leaders” award, recognizing outstanding advising of a community service student organization. He was nominated for the award by UW-Whitewater students and was presented the award at the league’s national convention in 2000.
Mr. Buchholz is viewed as a true collaborator, helping to bridge the gaps between faculty, staff and students. He gives about fifty presentations annually to student groups on a variety of topics. He has facilitated the National Coalition Building Institute’s Prejudice Reduction Workshop for students nearly 30 times. He utilizes team adventure facilitation annually with a number of student groups to enhance trust and communication within their organizations. He uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator annually with student groups to enhance understanding of personality differences within organizations and to teach students how be more effective leaders within their organizations. In addition, he developed a leadership education seminar which has been completed by more than 1,000 students.
Mr. Buchholz also developed a number of initiatives to foster student participation in community service, including creation of a student group with the role of planning and implementing community-based service projects to promote student volunteerism, development of a web-based clearinghouse of community service opportunities, co-authoring a grant to help sponsor an alternative spring break trip for students to engage in community service at the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, and co-authoring a grant to establish an after-school program for children in need at a local elementary school at which UW-Whitewater students do volunteer service.
Noting that Mr. Buchholz is one of the most respected leaders on campus and is respected at the state, regional and national level as a resourceful and dedicated professional whose tireless efforts support student success, Regent Smith observed that his actions embody two themes that are part of his personal philosophy, “choose to make a difference” and “build on a legacy of success.”
Expressing appreciation for the award, Mr. Buchholz said that he is passionate about his work on behalf of students.
Two of the most important influences on his career were: 1) His parents, who did not have the opportunities that he had. He was a first generation college student, a circumstance that helps him connect with such students in his career; and 2) working with “great supervisors, colleagues, and students.”
In his first job, at UW-Waukesha, he was in charge of high school visits, advising student government, and a number of other areas, all of which gave him a broad perspective, which he brought with him to UW-Whitewater in 1984.
In conclusion, he observed that it is critical to look at the student experience in a holistic manner.
Following the award presentations, Regent Davis remarked that people like Ms. Salmon-Stephens and Mr. Buchholz exemplify excellence in education and that she is honored to see them receive this well-deserved recognition.
Regent Salas, chair, presented the committee’s report.
The committee was informed that these utility improvements would distribute needed additional capacity to the west side of the campus. When the project was initially approved, the budget was reduced from what was requested; and money that had been intended for renovation of Sterling Hall was reallocated to fund the utility project.
The committee passed a resolution approving the design report and granting the requested authority for inclusion in the consent agenda.
UW-Madison: Approval to Seek a Waiver of s. 16.855 under s. 13.48(19) to Accept a Single Prime Contractor Bid, Approval of the Design Report, and Authority to Construct the Washburn Observatory Renovation Project
The committee passed a resolution granting the requested approvals and authority for inclusion in the consent agenda.
Regent Salas moved adoption by the board of the following resolutions as consent agenda items. The motion was seconded by Regent Connolly-Keesler and carried on a unanimous voice vote.
Resolution 9346: That, upon the recommendation of the UW-Madison Chancellor and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Design Report be approved and authority be granted to construct the West Campus Utility Improvements project at an estimated cost of $32,500,000 ($25,660,000 General Fund Supported Borrowing, and $6,840,000 Program Revenue Supported Borrowing).
UW-Madison: Approval to Seek a Waiver of s. 16.855 under s. 13.48(19) to Accept a Single Prime Contractor Bid, Approval of the Design Report, and Authority to Construct the Washburn Observatory Renovation Project
Resolution 9347: That, upon the recommendation of the UW-Madison Chancellor and President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority be granted to (a) approve the Design Report; (b) seek a waiver of s. 16.855 under s. 13.48(19) to accept a single prime contractor bid for the project; and (c) construct the Washburn Observatory Renovation project at a total project cost of $2,617,800 Gift Funds.
UW Colleges: Approval to Amend Land Lease with Waukesha County to Grant an Easement to the City of Waukesha Water Utility for the Construction of a Water Tower
Regent Salas reported that this request was held over to revise the resolution to include reference to a temporary construction easement. That revision had been made.
Upon motion by Regent Salas, seconded by Regent Bartell, the following resolution was adopted by the board on a unanimous voice vote.
Resolution 9345: That, upon the recommendation of the UW Colleges Chancellor and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority be granted for the Board of Regents to amend the land and facilities lease agreement between the Regents and Waukesha County for the site of UW‑Waukesha such that less than an acre of land can be released to Waukesha County. The release will permit Waukesha County to grant an easement to the City of Waukesha Water Utility, for the specific purpose of erecting and operating a water tower on the parcel and a temporary construction easement.
Assistant Vice President David Miller reported that the Building Commission approved about $37 million for projects at its April meeting, including $25 million in general fund-supported borrowing and $12 million in program revenue funds.
Planning and Systems Specialist Tom Bittner presented information about the All Agency Projects Program, which is specifically targeted towards maintenance and repair projects. While recent increases to all-agency funding were intended to decrease the maintenance backlog, funding availability remains at less than half of the demonstrated need; and the program limits both scope and budget for each project. It was indicated that, in order to make progress on university maintenance needs, the program either needs to be redefined or a new capital project track needs to be identified and implemented.
Kate Sullivan, director of facilities planning, presented information about changes in the UW System physical planning process. These changes are intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ongoing planning initiatives, to better comply with statutes, and to facilitate working relationships between campuses, the UW System, and the Department of Administration’s Division of State Facilities.
Among the improvements being developed are integrated strategic planning, campus master planning, biennial planning, and pre-planning of projects.
Regent Salas observed that the practice of assigning regents to specific campuses is an important part of the regent role and allows members of the board to obtain a broad, hands-on view of the campuses. He also pointed out that regent meetings on campuses allow the board to see first-hand campus facilities and deferred maintenance needs.
The committee toured the Washburn Observatory with project architects and program staff. The tour demonstrated the historic preservation aspects and program enhancements of the renovation project.
Regent Davis, chair, presented the committee’s report.
Bachelor of Applied Studies, UW-Green Bay
Regent Davis noted that this was the second B.A.S degree program presented for approval in two months, the first being a B.A.S. degree at UW-Oshkosh, approved by the board in April. Like the UW-Oshkosh program, the UW-Green Bay B.A.S program was developed with Committee on Baccalaureate Education funds provided in the 2005-07 biennial budget.
The program would reconfigure a 30-year-old major in Interdisciplinary Studies as a Bachelor of Applied Studies designed for those who hold an applied associate degree from a technical college or other regionally accredited college or university. It would accept all 60 of the credits earned through the applied associate degree, and students then would earn an additional 60 credits for the baccalaureate degree.
After a rigorous analysis and discussion, UW-Green Bay concluded that these transfer students would be academically prepared for the courses that they would take at the university. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College already is the largest provider of transfer students to UW-Green Bay, and these students perform at rates equal to or better than non-transfer students. In the past, many of these students would transfer to a private institution because not enough of their credits would be accepted by UW-Green Bay. The problem would be alleviated with this new program.
The committee was told that the program is in high demand and that applications were waiting to be processed immediately.
A resolution approving the program was passed by the committee for inclusion in the consent agenda.
This program would replace a Master of Physical Therapy, changing it from a two-year to a three-year program, a change that was motivated by the need to meet advancing professional standards for preparation of physical therapists.
Regent Davis recalled that there had been a number of allied health doctoral programs approved during Regent Emeritus Jose Olivieri’s tenure as committee chair and that he voiced concern about the burden these changing degree requirements would place on students in terms of time and tuition costs. However, the regents were told that, for its students to be competitive, the university had no choice but to accept these new requirements.
In that regard, the committee was informed that Physical Therapy is a changing discipline with an expanded scope of practice, in which patients have direct access to physical therapists without a physician’s referral, especially in rural areas.
Nationally, there is a growing demand for practicing physical therapists, and the field is one of the fastest growing occupations in Wisconsin as well, with a 46% projected growth in need from 2002-2012. The committee was informed that institutions offering the D.P.T. have more demand than they can accommodate, despite the increased time and costs to degree.
The committee inquired about collaboration plans with the UW System’s other D.P.T. program, which is a consortial D.P.T. offered by UW-La Crosse and UW-Milwaukee that was approved by the board in 2005. The presenters assured the committee that collaboration already is taking place; and the committee requested an update on both programs in two years, particularly with regard to collaborative relationships.
A resolution approving the program was passed by the committee for inclusion in the consent agenda.
Interim Provost Jerry Greenfield conveyed in his presentation the extent to which UW-Parkside, in addition to its strong focus on teaching undergraduates, has a faculty dedicated to conducting research and creative activity. In doing so, he made the point that research and creative activity are critical to good and innovative teaching and that the content of courses is renewed by faculty through their scholarly and creative work.
He showcased several examples, including the work of Communications Professor Jonathan Shailor, who has been producing full-length Shakespeare plays with prison inmates since 2004.
Regent Davis and the committee thanked Provost Greenfield for his excellent presentation.
Announcement of Proffer from Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for Support of Scholarships, Fellowships, Professorships, and Special Programs in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Music
Noting that the annual request to the Vilas Trust had been approved at the April meeting, Regent Davis reported that the committee voted to accept the proffer, which totaled over $14.8 million.
This amount was $24,508 less than requested as a result of the trust’s available income. It will be absorbed by UW-Madison from its one-time only program allocations.
The committee expressed its deep appreciation for the generosity of the Vilas Trust.
The resolution accepting the proffer was approved for inclusion in the consent agenda.
The committee approved the revised rules for inclusion in the consent agenda.
Transfer Relationships with Wisconsin Technical College System
Regent Davis reported that Interim Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin provided an encouraging update on transfer relationships and the Chippewa Valley Technical College transfer program approved by the board in February.
The committee received assurance that some of the concerns raised during the approval process would not, in fact, be problems. In a meeting with Department of Education personnel, UW System and WTC System staff were told that WTCS transfer students would be just as eligible for financial aid as other students. In addition, staff from both systems met with the Higher Learning Commission and received strong assurance that the program would not encounter problems in seeking accreditation. The program is on track so that students will be able to enroll by next fall.
Rebecca Martin met with her WTCS counterpart, Kathy Cullen, to develop and formalize a series of proactive steps designed to facilitate streamlined transfer and better collaboration between the two systems in the future.
These steps include:
- A mutual understanding that the two systems are working together to improve access to higher education for Wisconsin citizens;
- Monitoring the development and implementation of the Chippewa Valley Technical College degree;
- Early and ongoing discussion of program proposals across the two systems with the goal of encouraging potential partnerships and identifying problems and roadblocks earlier in the process;
- Regular status reports to both system’s governing boards; and
- Seeking to raise potential issues and possible resolutions well in advance of board consideration.
Noting that there would be challenges along the way, Dr. Martin said that UW institutions would be involved in discussions whenever appropriate and that fidelity to institutional missions would be ensured.
On behalf of the committee, Regent Davis thanked Dr. Martin, her staff, and the WTCS staff for their diligence in advancing this collaboration.
Interim Senior Vice President Martin informed the committee that the progress made by Plan 2008 is mixed. Retention and graduation numbers were not what was hoped for; and gaps in both retention and graduation between students of color and their white peers are increasing.
Last month’s report on the Equity Scorecard showed the attention that a number of campuses have been paying to the reasons underlying those gaps; and next month’s report will identify exemplary programs from other institutions.
The committee discussed the complicated set of factors contributing to these problems, including the need to change how courses that students repeatedly fail are taught and the need for professional development that will enable faculty to engage in the kind of dramatic curricular overhaul that will effect real change. Chancellor Keating noted that, while it is labor-intensive to engage in course redesign, UW-Parkside has been doing that work with one-time funding received from the system.
He also pointed out that the retention numbers reported in the Accountability Report to not tell the whole story. For example, graduation rates at UW institutions do not include students who transfer in from other institutions and graduate.
Regent Loftus noted that the Fiscal Bureau reports these lower rates to the Legislature and that is all the data that legislators see.
Associate Vice President Sharon Wilhelm reported on efforts by UW campuses to use numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse, which provides more accurate student degree and enrollment information, including from which institution a student graduates.
Update on Wisconsin Covenant
Executive Senior Vice President Don Mash described the national “Know How to Go” program, developed by the American Council on Education, the Lumina Foundation and the Ad Council, which helps young people and their families think early about preparation for post-secondary education. UW System staff will work with these groups to develop marketing materials for Wisconsin.
The UW System also will be working with the Wisconsin Technical College System, private colleges and universities, and the Department of Public Instruction on how best to reach out to Wisconsin families.
Ms. Wlhelm informed the committee that there is a newly created Office of the Covenant with an energetic and already productive director appointed by the Governor. The UW System also is putting together a Covenant working group with campus participation.
Chancellor Keating reported on the Governor’s Wisconsin Covenant Day in Milwaukee. The event was well-attended and the Governor was clear in setting parameters around the program that would help students and families determine eligibility.
The committee discussed some of the reasons behind resistance to this inspiring program. In that regard, Regent Spector noted the extent to which higher education is seen as a private good that should be paid for by the individuals receiving the education. While committee members acknowledged that funding issues remain, they expressed confidence that these matters can be resolved, as they have been in other states. They also agreed that Wisconsin’s economic future depends on bringing more students into higher education.
Interim Senior Vice President Martin provided a preview of the discussion to be held in June on charter schools. The guiding question was one posed by Chancellor Santiago last fall: Should UW-Milwaukee be in the business of chartering schools?
While the discussion would be philosophical in its framework, Regent Davis asked that it be guided with data regarding student performance at the 11 charter schools approved by the board. Regent Spector asked that the committee receive in writing information on how Bob Kattman works with the charter schools, as well as how faculty are involved with and/or benefit from UW-Milwaukee’s chartering of public schools.
It was moved by Regent Davis and seconded by Regent Semenas that Resolutions 9348-9351 be adopted by the board as consent agenda items.
At the request of Regent Loftus, Resolution 9349 was removed from the consent agenda; and, at the request of Regent Bartell, Resolution 9348 was removed.
The question was put on Resolutions 9350 and 9351, and they were adopted on a unanimous voice vote.
Resolution 9350: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellors of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents accepts the proffer of $14,815,397 made by the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for fiscal year July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, as provided by the terms of the William F. Vilas Trust, for Support of Scholarships, Fellowships, Professorships, and Special Programs in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Music.
Resolution 9351: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the amendments to the UW-Green Bay Faculty Personnel Rules.
Adoption of Resolution 9348 was moved by Regent Crain and seconded by Regent Semenas.
Resolution 9348: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Bachelor of Applied Studies.
Regent Bartell asked if demand is the primary criterion for adding new programs and inquired about the cost involved.
Regent Davis replied that demand is a key criterion and that implementing the programs does not always involve additional costs.
UW-Green Bay Provost Sue Hammersmith added that market research in Northeast Wisconsin showed that there are 68,000 persons with associate degrees. A survey of employers indicated that they would support the program and contribute toward tuition for their employees. There would be no additional cost because the B.A.S. would be funded by program revenue. There is demand for the program, and applications have already been made in anticipation of approval.
Regent Bartell asked whether, when a new program is approved, consideration is given to eliminating another program.
While there is not a one-to-one relationship, Interim Senior Vice President Martin explained, there are no new resources from the system for new programs and campuses must reallocate to meet funding needs. There are program shifts over time as needs change and campuses reallocate to meet those needs.
Noting that a program array report is brought to the board each year, President Reilly added that these reports have shown that there are as many programs eliminated as added. He remarked that the program array is lean for a system of this size.
Regent Loftus noted that 60 credits from technical colleges would be transferred as part of this program, but that these credits would not necessarily transfer elsewhere. The role of these types of programs going forward, he remarked, should be part of the discussion.
Chancellor Shepard explained that the transfer of that many credits is standard practice in the matter of applied degrees. The credits would not apply to other programs.
Regent Rosenzweig added that, as a member of both the Board of Regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, she viewed approval of the B.A.S. program as a very positive action that would produce graduates who could make great contributions to the state.
Regent Cuene noted that the proposed program followed the recommendations of the Committee on Baccalaureate Expansion and fits with the mission of NEW ERA and the interdisciplinary mission of UW-Green Bay. She felt that the program is one that students clearly need.
Regent Salas inquired about the regent role in elimination of programs.
President Reilly replied that the board acts to approve new programs, but does not act on elimination of programs or departments. He thought it best for such decisions to be made at the campus level.
Expressing agreement with President Reilly, Regent Connolly-Keesler said that chancellors should be trusted to drop programs if there is insufficient demand for them.
Regent Falbo questioned why the board should approve adding programs, but not dropping them. He asked if the Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy would be eliminated with addition of the Doctor’s Degree, and Regent Davis replied in the affirmative.
Regent Connolly-Keesler noted that discontinuing a program tends to elicit an emotional response. She said that campus leaders should be trusted to make such decisions in view of limited resources.
Regent Davis remarked that the board needs to be deliberative about adding new programs and that the public needs to know that programs are not added without thorough examination. In that regard, she said that the criteria for authorizing new programs are clear. As to elimination of programs, she felt that the decisions should be made at the institutional level, although there may be exceptions in unusual cases.
Regent Burmaster pointed out that there is a distinction between elimination of programs based on lack of demand versus discontinuance for other reasons.
Regent Spector remarked on the substantial shared governance role of faculty in such program decisions.
Regent Crain said that she would expect administration to bring such matters to the board, if appropriate.
President Reilly added that, in exceptional cases, there are mechanisms to bring programs forward, if the board wishes to consider them.
Regent Salas commented that there is a dearth of women’s studies programs, which are important in creating a supportive climate for diversity.
In response to a question by Regent President Walsh, Provost Hammersmith said that the UW-Green Bay B.A.S. Degree is an adult program and that student tuition pays directly for the instruction.
Regent Smith added that program revenue covers incremental costs, but not the fixed costs.
The previous question was moved by Regent Cuene, seconded by Regent Bartell, and carried on a unanimous voice vote.
The question then was put on Resolution 9348, and it was adopted on a unanimous voice vote.
Adoption of the following resolution was moved by Regent Crain and seconded by Regent Davis.
Resolution 9349: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Regent Loftus commented that approval of the degree would continue the trend of increasing credentials and costs to limit entry into the profession. With more limited entry, he did not see how the program could be expected to meet increased demand. Noting that the medical doctor would be removed as gatekeeper to these services, he said that medical rationale for the program was not presented. In the future, he hoped that more questions would be asked about such enhanced degrees.
Chancellor Wiley expressed agreement in principle with Regent Loftus. However, he said that escalation of titling is so far along that there is nothing that can be done about it and that the profession has decided that it is necessary to hold a PhD in order to practice. He recalled that the same thing happened in the field of Pharmacy and that, too, was forced by the profession. While the professions argued that the fields had changed, he was not sure that is really the case. While the effort should be to bring medical costs down, he pointed out that escalation of degrees only drives costs up.
The School of Medicine and Public Health, he added, is working hard to make effective patient transitions between medical doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals.
With reference to the Growth Agenda, Regent Loftus commented that Wisconsin is not doing well on many health indicators and is worst in infant mortality for African Americans. He felt that there might be areas besides increasing baccalaureate degree production that merit additional funding.
The question was put on Resolution 9349 and it was adopted on a unanimous voice vote.
Regent Pruitt, chair, presented the committee’s report.
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health: The Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future – Third Annual Report
At a joint meeting of the Education Committee and the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee, Dean Robert Golden, of the School of Medicine and Public Health, presented the third annual report on the Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future.
He reported that the Oversight and Advisory Committee (OAC), which was allocated 35% of the funding for public health initiatives, reviewed 81 proposals from community organizations throughout Wisconsin. Twenty-six grants were awarded for a total of $6.8 million for Community-Academic Partnerships, Community-Population Health Initiatives, and Community-Based Public Health Education and Training Initiatives. Awards are aligned with state health plan priorities.
The Medical Education and Research Committee (MERC), which was allocated 65% of the funding for strategic medical education and research initiatives, made 11 new awards totaling $9.4 million. The Institute for Clinical and Translational Research received a $7 million grant with the hope of leveraging it into a $65 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Total awards since 2004 totaled $50 million, funding 129 grants.
Dean Golden provided insights into the priorities for 2007 and beyond, including reducing health disparities in birth outcomes, collaborations between OAC and MERC, a comprehensive evaluation of the Wisconsin Partnership Program, a vision for transformation into the School of Medicine and Public Health, and preparing for the next five-year plan. In all areas, he emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership.
The committees discussed a number of issues of public health facing Wisconsin. It was agreed that Dean Golden has demonstrated remarkable understanding of Southeastern Wisconsin, as well as the state as a whole, and that the priorities for 2007 and beyond are on target.
A resolution approving the report was adopted for inclusion in the consent agenda.-
Associate Vice President Al Crist reported on the titles and number of new hires designated as limited appointments within the UW System. These are “at will” positions; and some, mostly those hired from an existing UW System faculty or staff position, retain concurrent appointment rights.
This information will be included in a report to be submitted by June 1, 2007 to the Legislative Audit Committee as required by the Legislative Audit Bureau’s audit of UW System Personnel Policies and Practices.
President Reilly asked the Committee to approve a salary increase for the provost at UW-Milwaukee based on external market and competitive factors.
The committee approved the requested increase for inclusion in the consent agenda.-
Regent Connolly-Keesler reported on the next five agenda items.
Julie Gordon, director of the Office of Operations Review and Audit, reported on the office’s review of institutional and legislative efforts to control textbook costs. It was found that there are considerable cost savings to students at institutions with a textbook rental program, and the committee discussed with campus representatives the challenges of establishing such programs.
The report recommended “that each UW institution, particularly those without a textbook rental program, involve faculty, students, bookstore managers, and others with relevant experience in reviewing the institution’s practices for selecting and selling textbooks, to identify approaches to control textbook costs.”
Reporting committee approval of Resolution 9352, Regent Connolly Keesler moved its adoption by the Board of Regents; and the motion was seconded by Regent Pruitt.
Regent Salas inquired about whether a recommendation was included for establishment of a consortium that would buy back used textbooks.
Replying that it would be difficult to organize such a consortium among campuses, Regent Connolly-Keesler said that the resolution asks the institutions to look at all possible means of controlling textbook costs.
Regent Pruitt added that Chancellors Betz and Markee spoke of the success of their campus’ textbook rental programs and that a consortium is another issue that it is hoped the institutions will consider.
The question was put on Resolution 9352, and it was adopted on a unanimous voice vote.
Resolution 9352: Whereas, there is debate about the average amount students spend per year on textbooks, increases in textbook costs, combined with increases in other educational costs, make it more difficult for some students to afford a college education, and
Whereas, efforts to control textbook costs are important as part of any effort to increase access to higher education, and
Whereas, the Office of Operations Review and Audit, in its Program Review of Textbook Costs in Higher Education recommends that each UW institution, particularly those without a textbook rental program, involve faculty, students, bookstore managers, and others with relevant experience in the reviewing the institution’s practices for selecting and selling textbooks, to identify approaches to control textbook costs.
Therefore, be it resolved that, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents endorses the findings, recommendations, and cost-saving strategies identified in the Office of Operations Review and Audit program review entitled Textbook Costs in Higher Education, and requests that each institution provide to the Board of Regents by its December 2007 meeting, a description of strategies the institution has already adopted to control textbook costs and additional strategies the institution anticipates adopting in the future.
Ms. Gordon reported that the Legislative Audit Bureau’s Report on Information Technology (IT) Projects was primarily focused on large projects at 28 state agencies. The audit suggested that the Legislature consider requiring regular reports on major IT projects.
Ms. Gordon recommended for committee approval a resolution directing that the committee receive an annual report of major IT projects. The committee would receive supplemental reports any time total expenditures were expected to exceed the total annual budget of the Common Systems Review Group. The resolution would endorse recommendations of the LAB in its recent review of IT projects and would direct that the reports to the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee also be provided to legislative leaders to help them stay informed of significant IT activity in the UW System.
The committee approved the resolution for inclusion in the consent agenda.
Ms. Gordon gave a report which found that UW institutions have largely implemented the review’s recommendations related to developing written policies and procedures for surplus computer disposals and to implementing adequate data removal procedures when recycling or selling surplus computers.
Ms. Gordon discussed the status of major projects currently under way, including: computer security; student mental health services; oversight of student organizations; tuition waivers; and academic fees.
Regent Pruitt presented the remainder of the committee’s report
Executive Senior Vice President Don Mash, with representatives from UW institutions, led a discussion about current business practices related to student lending in the UW System; and campus financial aid directors provided insights into student loan practices.
Regent Pruitt noted that this complicated issue arose when the federal government moved away from federally funded programs and that Dr. Mash is leading an important initiative to assure students and families that the board and the UW System are looking out for their interests in an open and transparent manner.
The committee approved a resolution directing the establishment of a UW System code of conduct for student loan activity for inclusion in the consent agenda.
Sheri Ackley, director of the Office of Safety and Loss Prevention, discussed risk management in the UW System.
Outlining risks and exposures throughout the System, she noted that the UW System has lower injury rates than other state agencies and property loss claims are about the same, or slightly lower than, those in the rest of the state. She also provided interesting statistics on trend data for worker’s compensation, property, and liability programs.
Vice President Debbie Durcan reported that awards totaled almost $865 million for the nine-month period ending March 31, 2007. This represented an increase of almost $46 million over the same period last year.
Ms. Durcan reported that the President’s Advisory Group on Tuition and Financial Aid will be asked to address five major topics at a minimum:
- Institutional and program differentials;
- Tuition stratification within the UW System;
- Per credit tuition versus plateau tuition;
- Use of tuition revenue to support financial aid; and
- Establishing competitive nonresident tuition levels.
It was reported by Ms. Durcan that the IRS had been conducting an employment tax audit since fall 2005, focusing on the 2003 and 2004 tax years. The UW System has responded to about 80 informational data requests, and it is expected that official findings will be forthcoming in the near future.
Vice President Durcan reported that negotiations regarding Minnesota reciprocity are ongoing, with the hope of reaching an agreement by the end of May.
Ms. Durcan reported that a surplus is projected in the utility appropriation.
Adoption of Resolutions 9353-9356 was moved by Regent Pruitt, seconded by Regent Rosenzweig, and carried on a unanimous voice vote.
Resolution 9353: That, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System and the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Board of Regents approves the 2006 Annual Report of The Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future, which was collaboratively developed by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the Oversight and Advisory Committee, in accordance with the Order of the Insurance Commissioner and the Agreement.
Resolution 9354: Whereas, pursuant to ss. 20.923(4g) and 36.09(1)(j), Wisconsin Statutes, the salaries of UW System senior academic leaders must be set within the salary ranges established by the Board of Regents, and based upon a formula derived from the salaries paid by peer institutions to their academic leaders, and
Whereas in addition, section 36.09(1)(j), Wisconsin Statutes, authorizes the Board of Regents to increase chancellors' and other university senior academic leaders’ salaries to address salary inequities or to recognize competitive factors in the periods between pay plan adjustments, and
Whereas at the February 2006 Board of Regents meeting the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee endorsed the recommendation that the President of the UW System periodically perform a review and assessment of individual chancellors’ salaries to determine whether there is a need for an adjustment to recognize competitive factors or correct salary inequities among senior academic leadership, as allowed by law, and
Whereas the Board of Regents affirms that leadership is critically important to the performance of our institutions and the students and citizens they serve and therefore places a high value on recruiting and retaining our outstanding senior academic leaders.
Now, therefore be it resolved;
That, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the annual salary for Provost Cheng be adjusted due to competitive market factors and equity reasons per the attached recommendation, effective May 11, 2007.
Resolution 9355: Whereas, the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit recommended in its February 2007 program review report entitled, “Options for Board Oversight of Major Information Technology Projects,” that UW System management provide the Board of Regents with an inventory of major UW information technology (IT) projects scheduled for implementation and regular status reports on project implementation; and
Whereas, the Operations Review and Audit report recommended that projects under the auspices of the Common Systems Review Group would be appropriate projects to include in an inventory of major projects; and
Whereas, the Operations Review and Audit report recommended status reports be provided at least annually, including project costs, timelines, progress toward meeting established benchmarks, other accomplishments, and any significant changes in plans that will affect project costs and timelines; and
Whereas, the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau recommended in its April 2007 report entitled, “Information Technology Projects,” that the Legislature consider requiring regular reports from UW System on its plan, budget, and schedule for implementing new human resources and procurement IT systems, including plans to modify and standardize related business processes, establish procedures to limit subsequent software customizations, and coordinate its projects with the Department of Administration’s development of the Integrated Business Information System (IBIS) project;
Therefore, be it resolved that the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee:
accepts the Office of Operations Review and Audit recommendations and requests that the two recommended reports, an inventory of major IT projects and a status report on major IT project implementation, be presented annually to the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee;
requests that supplementary status reports be provided whenever major IT system implementation expenditures for a given year are projected to exceed the total annual budget of the Common Systems Review Group; and
- endorses the Legislative Audit Bureau recommendation and, further, directs UW System management to provide the recommended inventory of major IT projects and regular or supplementary status reports to legislative leaders each time management prepares these reports for the Board of Regents Business, Finance, and Audit Committee.
Resolution 9356: Whereas, the Board of Regents has the utmost concern for and desires to protect the best interests of students and their families; and
Whereas, the Board of Regents recognizes that students and their families often use education loans as a practical means of financing their college education; and
Whereas, recent investigations into practices regarding education loan programs have raised concerns regarding potential conflicts of interests on the part of campuses and lenders of education loans nationally; and
Whereas, the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) and the Board of Regents are committed to ethical behavior by University employees, and the public requires confidence in the unbiased administration of University programs; and
Whereas, financial aid officials within the UWS have demonstrated these values, as well as a dedication to both students and their profession; and
Whereas, students and families often request assistance and solicit advice in dealing with financial aid issues and selecting a reputable lender; and
Whereas, under the directive of the President of the UWS, the UWS is currently in the process of reviewing practices related to lender lists and lender relationships, including those in written policies, unwritten generally accepted standards, and those practices within the UWS, other institutions of higher education, and industry regulations;
Therefore, be it resolved that, upon the recommendation of the President of the UWS, the Board of Regents directs staff, for adoption at the June meeting of the Board of Regents, to:
- Develop and promulgate a system-wide code of conduct relating to education loans that is consistent with the standards of conduct for state officials and employees under s. 19.41, et seq., Wis. Stats.; UWS 8 and ER-MRS 24, Wis. Adm. Code; and consistent with the code of conduct being developed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA); and
- Develop and promulgate guidelines for the campuses and their administrators which serve the best interests of students and their families, ensure that any relationships with education loan providers, other entities, and organizations are free from conflicts of interests, and specifically address the development and utilization of lender lists.
Regent Loftus reported that he went to Boston with Governor Doyle for an international biotechnology meeting at which the UW was prominently featured. The Governor spoke about the Wisconsin Covenant and the greatness of UW Biotechnology. Regent Loftus spoke about the strength of the UW System and its many partnerships.
Regent Loftus introduced UW-Madison Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a renowned expert on bird flu and a star of the show.
Noting that the trip also included a UW-Madison alumni event, Regent Loftus added that there are 5,000 alumni in the Boston area, which has a very active chapter.
At 11:50 a.m., the following resolution was moved by Regent Bradley, seconded and adopted on a unanimous roll-call vote, with Regents Bartell, Bradley, Burmaster, Connolly-Keesler, Crain, Cuene, Davis, Falbo, Pruitt, Rosenzweig, Salas, Semenas, Smith, Spector, and Walsh (15) voting in the affirmative. There were no negative votes and no abstentions.
Resolution 9357: That the Board of Regents move into closed session to consider a UW-Superior honorary degree nomination and to consider naming a UW-Stevens Point facility after a person, as permitted by s.19.85(1)(f), Wis. Stats.; to confer with legal counsel regarding pending or potential litigation, as permitted by s.19.85(1)(g), Wis. Stats.; and to consider annual personnel evaluations, as permitted by s.19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats.
During closed session, the board adopted the following resolution:
UW-Stevens Point: Authority to Name the College of Natural Resources Building, the Daniel O. Trainer Natural Resources Building
Resolution 9358: That, upon the recommendation of the UW-Stevens Point Chancellor and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority be granted to name the College of Natural Resources Building, the “Daniel O. Trainer Natural Resources Building.”
The meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m.
Judith A. Temby, Secretary