Board of Regents
Minutes of the April, 2011 Board of Regents meeting
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in Ullsvik Hall
Harry & Laura Nohr Gallery
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Thursday, April 7, 2011
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BORAD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in Ullsvik Hall
Harry & Laura Nohr Gallery
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Thursday, April 7, 2011
-President Pruitt presiding-
PRESENT: Regents Jeffery Bartell, Mark Bradley, Judith Crain, Danae Davis, Stan Davis, John Drew, Anthony Evers, Michael Falbo, Thomas Loftus, Edmund Manydeeds, Charles Pruitt, Brent Smith, Michael Spector, José Vásquez, David Walsh, Aaron Wingad and Betty Womack
UNABLE TO ATTEND: None
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President Pruitt welcomed Regents and others to UW-Platteville. He thanked the meeting’s hosts, Chancellor Dennis Shields and his staff, for all of their hard work in preparing for the Board’s visit, saying Board members looked forward to their meetings, and to Friday’s investiture ceremony. President Pruitt began by introducing Chancellor Shields, who would invite attendees to “Celebrate UW-Platteville.”
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Chancellor Shields welcomed Regents, his fellow chancellors, and other guests to UW-Platteville, saying that he and UW-Platteville staff were extraordinarily pleased to host the Regents for their meeting. He said that for the past 13 years, UW-Platteville has been the fastest-growing institution in the System, having nearly doubled in size during that time. He attributed the growth largely to the vision of Chancellor Emeritus Markee’s Tri-State Initiative. Chancellor Shields said that he believed that higher education institutions must take greater control of their destiny. He said that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership recognizes that the landscape of funding for higher education is shifting. At UW-Platteville, the institution has been trying to take greater charge of funding issues. Chancellor Shields said that the university is in the midst of a major capital campaign, is ramping up entrepreneurial academic activity, has hired more grant writers, is developing strategic plans, and is engaging in a public-private partnership to build a new residence hall.
The chancellor introduced a video which would “celebrate UW-Platteville” by showing highlights of the university. Among the points made in the video were the following: UW-Platteville began as the state’s first teacher-preparation institution and has remained committed to education. UW-Platteville has increased enrollment by 48 percent, to almost 8,000 students, in the last 13 years. UW-Platteville is the largest enterprise in southwestern Wisconsin, and is a key player in the cultural and economic development of the tri-state region. UW-Platteville is well positioned to meet new challenges as the state’s “pioneer” in higher education.
The video described programs that have helped, and would continue to allow, UW-Platteville to control its own destiny. The video paid special attention to the Tri-State Initiative, which came about because workplace shortfalls were identified in such areas as engineering, industrial technology, criminal justice, agriculture, and business, which UW-Platteville could meet. Students qualify for the Tri-State Initiative by being Illinois or Iowa residents and choosing a major that is within the Initiative. Students receive a discount on out-of-state tuition. About 114 positions have been added through funding by the Tri-State Initiative. The program has increased the diversity of the campus. The program operates on a cost-recovery basis and has also had significant success in bringing grant funding to the institution. Curricular changes were noted, including a new class in infrastructure engineering in the civil engineering program.
The video also described the high value placed on the “360-degree student,” and detailed students’ active involvement in the community through service learning, multi-semester undergraduate research projects, the forensic investigation program, study abroad, athletic programs, liberal arts, and other areas.
In closing his portion of the agenda, Chancellor Shields extended an invitation to Regents to visit UW-Platteville as often as they would like.
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Introducing the biennial budget discussion, President Pruitt reminded Regents that at the last Board meeting Board members reviewed Governor Walker’s proposed 2011-13 state operating budget and engaged in a high-level discussion about the Wisconsin Idea Partnership – the UW System’s proposal to provide new operational flexibilities to all UW institutions. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership is a win-win proposition. President Pruitt expressed pride that 13 of the 24 chancellors had endorsed the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, the penultimate compromise with the Governor’s budget, which will allow UW-Madison to achieve all of the flexibilities it needs, while staying part of the UW System.
At the present meeting, President Reilly and his staff would offer an update on budget-related activity since the last meeting, with topics to include the 2011-13 capital budget and efforts to obtain greater administrative freedom from the state.
President Pruitt said that during the prior week, President Reilly and a number of UW chancellors addressed the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance during the “agency briefing,” where legislators engage in their first discussions about the state’s biennial budget proposal, in advance of taking any action on the individual components of the bill. A number of UW chancellors and colleagues joined President Reilly to represent the university’s interests. Chancellor Debbie Ford came with prepared testimony, but several others were invited by legislators to offer extemporaneous remarks, including: Chancellors Ray Cross, from UW Colleges and UW-Extension; Mike Lovell, from UW-Milwaukee; Biddy Martin, from UW-Madison; Bernie Patterson, from UW-Stevens Point; and Rick Wells, from UW-Oshkosh. Chuck Sorensen, Chancellor of UW-Stout, and Dick Telfer, Chancellor of UW-Whitewater, also attended.
The next step of the budget process would be the Joint Finance Committee public hearings, including hearings being held at UW-Stevens Point and UW-Superior, which would provide citizens with an opportunity to address the legislature about various aspects of the state budget.
President Pruitt stressed that any discussion of the UW System budget must begin with the UW System’s vital mission, and the premise that Wisconsin needs more well-prepared college graduates, more well-paying jobs, and more engaged citizens in the 21st-century knowledge economy. If Wisconsin attracts only employers, but lacks the well-educated workers to fuel the employers’ success, those companies will leave. If the focus is only on producing more college graduates, but there are no good jobs, the graduates will go to where the jobs are. Because of the educated workforce and the jobs the UW System helps create, the UW System must be a core pillar of the State’s economic development strategy. President Pruitt said that this sentiment was echoed by several legislators at the UW System briefing.
President Pruitt recalled the participation of UW leaders from across the state in a series of Economic Summits last year. The UW joined with elected officials, economic development specialists, business leaders, educators, and others to develop some innovative strategies. This process produced the “Be Bold Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy.” This report highlighted several areas related to the UW, including the suggestion that the UW “raise the percentage of four-year degree holders in the state to a level that puts Wisconsin in the top tier of states.” The same report further recommended that the UW “capitalize on the State’s research and development strength” by supporting more research on UW campuses and creating new emerging technology centers to facilitate partnerships between UW campuses and private companies.
President Pruitt said that it is important to remind people of the concerted efforts made to partner with the business community, and the strong support received from the private sector in the university’s push to gain greater flexibility to better serve the people of Wisconsin.
President Pruitt introduced President Kevin Reilly, to provide more detail about President Reilly’s Joint Finance Committee testimony. Pesident Reilly began his remarks by saying that as the Board discusses various budget provisions, it is important to know that he asked legislators to look for any opportunity to reduce the funding cuts and help find ways manage the cuts most effectively, in the interests of UW students and others around the state.
President Reilly said that it is important to keep the university’s mission front and center in discussions with the Joint Finance Committee and others. Any analysis of the System’s budget must begin with the impact on UW students’ education and expenses. The Higher Education Aids Board budget provides flat funding for the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (WHEG)-UW program, the largest source of state financial aid for UW students. Meanwhile, the number of students eligible for the WHEG-UW program is growing, and the program is already experiencing significant shortfalls. Also in the budget proposal, there are no additional funds to hold students harmless from tuition increases; that was done through the need-based Tuition Incentive Grant (TIG), used the past two years to insulate low- and middle-income students from tuition income. Taken together, these funding choices have a large impact on current and prospective students. President Reilly pledged that he and the chancellors would work hard to try to identify ways to minimize the effect of this bad news on students.
Turning to the capital budget, President Reilly said that the quality of facilities often plays a big role in the decisions that students make about where to enroll. The 2011-13 capital budget would have a positive effect on UW campuses, providing long-term investments in facilities that would enhance teaching, research, and student life all across the state. President Reilly introduced Associate Vice President David Miller to present the capital budget and major funded projects.
Mr. Miller provided an overview of the capital budget, presenting a chart showing major projects by funding source. The General Fund column totaled approximately $385 million. This is higher than the amount the Board of Regents had recommended when it submitted its budget.
Mr. Miller also provided a project breakdown, showing program revenue and grant-and-gift-funded projects that were approved as requested by the Board in their totality. The total of $229.5 million compares to about $555 million, excluding the Charter Street heating plant, in 2009-11. The decrease is due to the difference in the type of projects; there are fewer large, new projects and more renovation projects. Mr. Miller showed a rendering of the new UW-Eau Claire Education Building, a $44-million General-Fund-Supported project, currently in design. The second tower of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research is also funded, as is the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology. The UW-Milwaukee Initiative was funded over three biennia; two major UW-Milwaukee projects are underway, the Interdisciplinary Research Complex and the School of Freshwater Sciences. The UW-Madison Nursing Building is also included in the budget.
In renovating buildings, Associate Vice President Miller said that the goal was to do more with the limited resources available. He provided an example of the UW-Whitewater Carlson Hall remodeling, which would use $17-million in savings from other projects to make dramatic improvements. He also provided an example of a greatly upgraded and improved lecture hall in UW-Madison’s Sterling Hall.
The budget achieves a totally new program, Mr. Miller said. All-agency projects have been limited to a budget of $3 million. A new flexible fund, started with $50 million, would provide for whole-building projects; a list of about 30 such projects already exists. Deferred-maintenance projects still exist, and the pool of flexible funds needs to be increased to address these needs at a faster rate in future biennia.
The UW-River Falls Health and Human Performance Building was highlighted. After 12 years of requests, the project has finally been funded, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Chancellor Dean Van Galen, Mr. Miller said.
The process of renovating residence halls built in the 1950s and 1960s is also beginning. Mr. Miller showed pictures of a typical residence-hall renovation project.
Associate Vice President Miller then responded to a question from Capital Planning and Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Bartell, who asked how to fill the gap between the $50 million available for flexible-funding projects and a $350 million need. Mr. Miller responded by saying that that some projects could be phased, with some floors done at one time, and other floors at another time; however this still requires the building to be emptied during the renovation. He also mentioned an increase in funding for energy-efficiency projects; the UW will benefit from this.
President Reilly thanked Mr. Miller for the snapshot of the capital budget, expressed thanks to the Governor for a very positive capital budget, and also noted the positive impact of the capital budget on jobs in the state.
President Reilly noted that while the capital budget is good news, UW System’s treatment in the proposed operating budget presents more challenges. Specifically, the Governor’s budget would remove $250 million in GPR support for the UW System over the biennium. President Reilly said that he explained to the Joint Finance Committee that cuts of this magnitude would have significant impacts on all UW students, faculty and staff, as well as on the educational programs and services the UW provides.
Under the Governor’s proposal, UW-Madison would absorb a 13-percent cut to GPR. The budget calls for GPR reductions that average out to an 11-percent cut for UW-Milwaukee, the 11 regional comprehensive campuses, UW-Extension and the 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges. Because these institutions are more GPR-dependent than UW-Madison, the relative impact of these cuts could be at least as severe at those campuses.
President Reilly said that to illustrate the impact on students, Chancellor Ford shared a letter in her remarks to the Joint Finance Committee. The letter was a message from a prospective student to an admissions ambassador and peer mentor in UW-Parkside’s award-winning Theatre Arts Department. President Reilly quoted from the letter, as follows:
“I was actually planning on mailing my response letter this week. I unfortunately am not planning on attending the program at Parkside. Between the uncertainty with the UW System's Madison breaking off as well as the forthcoming budget cuts to the UW System I don’t feel comfortable going to Parkside any longer. I am going to a bigger college that seems much stabler (sic) at this time. I really regret this decision, and it was not taken lightly. If the circumstances were different, UW-Parkside would have been my final decision. I loved your program and I loved the professors I met there. I wish the theatre department the best of luck in the future.” This illustrates how even the discussion of major cuts and structural changes can begin to impede the educational mission, President Reilly said.
President Reilly observed that students are not the only people who are concerned. Many campus colleagues worry that professional development, programmatic support, and other services provided to faculty and staff around the state would be diminished, due to a requirement that UW System Administration take a 25 percent GPR cut. This reduction would make it harder for System Administration to facilitate collaboration and joint programs, and less likely to be able to work with campuses to achieve new cost savings. With that in mind, and with President Pruitt’s endorsement, President Reilly said that he was establishing a special committee of Regents, campus colleagues, and System staff to help recommend which System functions could be dropped or modified, as well as to identify those of high value to the Regents and the institutions.
As discussed last month, the Governor’s proposed budget provides flexibilities to only one UW campus, and it does it in a way that fractures the UW System. However, the Governor has said that he was willing to work with the UW, and with legislators from both parties, to provide all UW System campuses with new managerial flexibility immediately.
President Reilly used an analogy to explain the budgeting problem. He described a discussion around a family kitchen table, in which family members are looking at their resources and needs. Groceries, utilities, transportation, clothing, and other expenses must be balanced against the total family earnings; if the price of gas goes up, the family might have to make the hard choice to cut back on certain groceries, clothing, or other expenses. At the university, by contrast, no matter how well spending on groceries or clothing is managed, the university still cannot use that money to put gas in the tank, even if that is where the greatest need lies. Without changing the UW’s governance structure or splintering the UW System, legislators can amend state laws in ways that would allow UW chancellors to use savings from the grocery budget to put gas in the tank.
Budgeting is only one area addressed in the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. Since the last Board meeting, using the Governor’s budget proposal as a benchmark, the System has drafted specific statutory changes that could accomplish reforms while keeping the highly-regarded UW System together. President Reilly invited Senior Vice President Michael Morgan to elaborate.
Senior Vice President Morgan said that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership is proposed as an alternative to the New Badger Partnership, included in the Governor’s budget. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership keeps the current governance structure and seeks flexibility in the areas of budgeting, tuition pricing, human resources, capital planning and construction, financial management, and purchasing and procurement. Mr. Morgan said that the UW System’s proposed amendment to the budget bill was a document of about 60 pages, available on the UW System website. This amendment was refined during a series of briefings with UW chancellors.
Mr. Morgan noted that under the Wisconsin Idea Partnership the UW would remain a unified public university, under the control of the UW Board of Regents. Existing administrative rules would remain, as would the shared governance and other provisions of Chapter 36, Wis. Stats. The UW’s commitment to transparency and accountability would remain intact.
Senior Vice President Morgan focused first on budgeting, saying that the UW was requesting an amendment to the budget bill that would provide the ability to move funds among appropriations, with the flexibility to prioritize available funds to address emerging needs. Currently, GPR and other funds are allocated in earmarked silos, with no ability to move or reprioritize funds, which limits chancellors’ ability to manage. Under the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, the Board would receive a GPR block grant, which the Board would move to the UW institutions to use for any appropriate university purpose. Savings could be used to fund core operations, technology, and other needs.
Pricing flexibility pertains to the ability to set tuition levels to meet the needs of students, enhance educational quality, address competitive compensation challenges, improve student services, and increase retention and graduation rates. Under current law the Board of Regents has tuition-setting authority, but it is restricted so that undergraduate rates are essentially determined outside the control of the Regents and the institutions. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership would give the Board of Regents authority to set tuition levels for UW institutions so that all would have the ability to meet students’ needs while maintaining educational quality. Policies would need to be developed related to affordability, a traditional concern of the Board. Funds could be generated for unique value-added programs.
Human resources flexibility is needed to provide all UW institutions with the capability to address challenges associated with staff recruitment and retention related to institutional missions. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the major change in this area would be that the Board of Regents’ authority would replace that of the Office of State Employment Relations. University-specific classification titles could be created, and greater authority over compensation would be under the control of the Board. The Board also would have bargaining and contract-administration responsibilities with respect to classified and unclassified employees. Mr. Morgan expressed his belief that there is nothing in the New Badger Partnership, proposed as part of the Governor’s budget, that could not be done as part of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
In capital planning and construction, Mr. Morgan said that the needed flexibility was the ability to reduce project costs by streamlining the planning, design, and approval processes and by placing the responsibility and accountability for these projects closer to the UW institutions, which currently face many state restrictions. The legislature would continue to enumerate all projects over $500,000 funded with General Fund Supported Borrowing or Program Revenue Supported Borrowing. The State Building Commission would continue to approve all projects over $500,000, regardless of fund source. The Board of Regents would have the authority to undertake projects under $500,000 funded entirely from sources other than GPR or General Fund Supported Borrowing without enumeration or Building Commission approval. UW institutions could manage all aspects of non-GPR and non-General Fund Supported Borrowing projects. The Board would be able to accept gifts of land and other real property or to allow privately-owned or operated facilities to be constructed on university land. The Board could independently enter into off-campus leases for space and sell real property.
In the financial management area, Senior Vice President Morgan said that the university was seeking the ability to manage all finances and investments and retain all interest earnings on university resources. Currently, the state can sweep the interest from the earnings of accounts the university manages. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership amendment would allow the Board of Regents to retain interest earnings, to be managed by the state Investment Board, and also to invest surplus funds. Statutory limitations on certain application fees and other income would be removed; also, the Board would be able to determine the percentage of trust funds that could be held in common stock, without being subject to the current 85-percent limitation.
In the procurement area, Mr. Morgan said that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would provide the ability to manage purchasing of goods and services related to the higher education mission; to participate in higher education purchasing consortia for the purchase of goods and services; and to manage fleet vehicles, travel policy, insurance, and other areas to reduce costs. Current law does not address the specialized needs of universities, and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership amendment would change this. The new authority would be further delegated from the System to the institutions. About 85 percent of all travel for the state is done by UW System employees, but the state controls all of that activity, Mr. Morgan said.
Mr. Morgan concluded his remarks by saying that, to a large extent, the proposed New Badger Partnership and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership were identical with respect to the desired flexibilities. Mr. Morgan noted that examples had been added to the Wisconsin Idea Partnership summary on the UW System website.
Regent Bartell, saying that he reviewed the documents Mr. Morgan had mentioned, including the 60-page draft amendment, commented that there was nothing magical about the public-authority status UW-Madison would be given in the New Badger Partnership proposal, because this authority would be a creature of statute and could be changed. He asked how the flexibility requested in the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would be delegated to the UW institutions; this is not addressed in the proposed amendment. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the Board of Regents would have to take action to delegate the new flexibility. Regent Bartell asked if this delegation should be included in statute, so that the Board of Regents has guidance now and in the future as to what was intended. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the current Board of Regents would be delegating the flexibilities, as indicated in the Board’s resolution of March 10, 2011.
President Reilly added that he intended to suggest that the UW System include as a regular part of its regular accountability report a description of how it is devolving the flexibilities to the campuses. This would be part of the written accountability report, as well as testimony before the two legislative higher education committees. General Counsel Tom Stafford noted that s. 36.09(f), Wis. Stats., says that the Board shall delegate to each chancellor the necessary authority to operate each institution; therefore the issue of delegation is already addressed in the statutes.
Regent Womack said that there is a perception in the public arena, and on the part of the Governor, that UW System Administration has become a cumbersome bureaucracy that “siphons money from classrooms while imposing more red tape” on UW institutions. She asked how the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would affect the way the System allocates funds for human resources and other areas. Senior Vice President Morgan responded that the UW is one of the most efficient university systems in the country. The System works closely with UW institutions to try to reduce red tape. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership gives a new framework to strengthen the way that the System Administration works with the institutions. Further, he noted that the human resources area is largely controlled by the state Employment Relations office. Based on his own experience in UW System Administration, Mr. Morgan said that he could not offer any insight on the Governor’s perception or comments.
Regent Vásquez commented that he would be hesitant to ask for more language in state statutes related to the delegation of flexibilities. He said that as a Regent, he clearly understood the intent and the spirit of delegating responsibility to the UW institutions. He said that he trusted that this and future boards would exercise this responsibility in an expeditious manner.
Regent Danae Davis asked a question about the intent, under the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, that the Board would delegate all flexibilities, as opposed to project by project, in the construction area. She also asked about accountability reporting, and how this would change. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the current accountability report addresses a number of important measures that are important to the System; the System would in the future work with legislators to ensure the accountability reports would address measures important to the Legislature.
As to construction, Mr. Morgan asked Associate Vice President Miller to respond to Regent Davis’s question; Mr. Miller said that UW-Madison, for example, had a large number of architects on staff and would, in time, be able to complete projects without the Division of State Facilities. Thirteen major components, including “construct the building,” are areas involved in a construction project; raising the level of professional services systemwide would be a significant task; each UW institution would have to determine if they wanted to hire staff, contract out for services, hold the contract, and other construction-related matters.
Regent Loftus said that Regents, having been appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate, have a responsibility to all of the people of the state. The state is very divided; the UW’s presenting two competing proposals to the Legislature adds to the confusion. The chancellor at Madison wrote to the other chancellors suggesting a “legislative compromise.” Authority concerning legislative matters is statutorily assigned to the Board of Regents, which in turn, authorizes the System President to represent the Board, under the assumption that the President consults with the Board. In this way, the System comes to the Legislature with one voice. The Board has an obligation to the people of Wisconsin to develop that one voice. The Regents should get back in the action; any proposal that goes to the Legislature should go there after consultation with the Board. The chancellors should reject the idea that they would negotiate with each other and develop a compromise.
Regent Bradley, saying he was sympathetic to this point of view, said it was necessary to also raise the question about what a chancellor is supposed to do if a Governor contacts a chancellor to discuss ideas. Regent Loftus responded that, based on his first-hand experience, he believes there is nothing wrong with this. He called the chancellor when he was in the Legislature. But chancellors came to the Legislature with one big voice, but also with the concerns of each campus. Regent Loftus said that the Board of Regents has the statutory obligation to govern the System, and the budget proposal comes from the Board. The Board should have only one budget proposal.
Regent Walsh said that at the last Board meeting the Board expressed its support, through a resolution, for the Wisconsin Idea Partnership; Board members are advocates for that proposal. Referring to Regent Bartell’s questions about the statutes, Regent Walsh suggested that Regent Bartell’s question was about how to give more comfort to the chancellors that their concerns would be addressed.
Regent Walsh said that when Chapter 36 was rewritten to accomplish merger, the law was written in a way that required interpretation. The Board of Regents was empowered to promulgate rules and perform other duties; the primary responsibility is the governance of the System “to promote the widest degree of institutional autonomy within the controlling limits of the System.” It was the responsibility of the Board to address those issues about which the chancellors were concerned. Chapter 36 has a lot of power in it, he said. Specifics regarding autonomy and delegation could be written into policy or addressed in the mission statement of the statute. The Board should give the chancellors some comfort, and the Board should be the one to propose legislation. Regent Walsh said that regardless of how it happened, the present situation was one in which there were two pieces of legislation. The Board should move forward with promoting the Wisconsin Idea Partnership and could also be responsive to the chancellors.
President Pruitt called the Board’s attention to a letter that he and Vice President Spector sent the day before to the Joint Committee on Finance, in which he and Vice President Spector affirmed the Board of Regents commitment to delegate to each chancellor the flexibilities contained in the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, while maintaining necessary Board of Regents oversight responsibility. The letter went on to say that at the March 10, 2011 meeting of the Board, the Board affirmed this commitment when it affirmed a resolution in support of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
Regent Falbo remarked that administration of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would be from bottom to top. The Board of Regents hires the best people to run the universities; this is the Board’s primary responsibility. The Board’s next responsibility is to let those people lead. The System’s resources should be used from the bottom up, not the top down.
Regent Drew remarked that the chancellors were hired by the Board of Regents. When it comes to policy that affects the entire System, the System should speak with one voice. In addition, Regent Drew asked about the capital planning and construction area; the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would require the UW to adopt policies related to minority and veteran business goals, whereas the New Badger Partnership would not require UW-Madison to adopt such policies. General Counsel Stafford said that UW-Madison could put such policies in place, if it so chose.
Regent Bradley asked about each institution’s handling of human resources matters. Senior Vice President Morgan said that each institution could have its own approach to titling and classification; however, as a policy matter, and in working with the chancellors, the System may wish to design a system that is not too unwieldy to operate. General rules may apply, if appropriate.
Regent Bradley referred to tuition pricing flexibility and observed that students and families would need to consider specifically what they would pay at a particular institution. He suggested that there would not be a “comprehensive campus tuition schedule.” President Reilly affirmed that there would not be such a schedule, but noted that with differential tuition, pricing is already different across institutions. Regent Bradley concluded that differential tuition proposals would not be necessary if the Wisconsin Idea Partnership were approved. President Reilly agreed that this would be the goal.
Regent Crain, recalling that the Board took strong action at its last meeting, asked if further action would be requested of the Board at the current meeting. President Pruitt agreed that the Board spoke loudly and clearly in March. The proposal had been further developed since then, and advocacy for the proposal would be important in the future.
Regent Wingad said that student leaders had expressed concern. Students have input into differential tuition proposals at individual institutions. In developing a future tuition structure, retaining student involvement would be essential for gaining student buy-in. Also, Regent Wingad supported Regent Bartell’s concern, saying that he has been impressed by the chancellors’ unified support for the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, said that it was important to be responsive to the chancellors’ concerns.
President Reilly said that he believed the chancellors’ intent would be to continue to engage in consultation with students before bringing tuition proposals forward in the future. A board will still have to improve tuition increases, regardless of the governance structure.
President Pruitt recognized Chancellor Joe Gow, who commented that differential tuition had been a very positive thing at UW-La Crosse. Making consultation explicit is not a radical idea. Regarding legislative relations, the chancellors feel encouraged to speak with legislators; legislators from his region support more responsibility for the institution. The contentious question is who is responsible for oversight of UW-Madison, not the question of flexibilities.
Chancellor Biddy Martin said that it is chilling to suggest that chancellors should not be allowed to talk with one another. Also, she said she wished to clarify the record; when she made a suggestion to other chancellors regarding a compromise, she sent the suggestion at the same time to President Reilly. She asked for a meeting to discuss an amendment to the Governor’s budget bill because she believed the most realistic opportunity to gain flexibilities for all of the institutions was to add to what was already in the Governor’s budget, rather than to oppose it and ask for less for Madison. She said that President Reilly asked that the chancellors and he not meet together until a written analysis of a budget amendment was completed. In addition, she said that the comparison chart between the Governor’s budget bill and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership was one with which the UW-Madison legal staff did not agree. She said she brought to the meeting another version of how the two compare.
Chancellor Martin said that she understood the importance of speaking with one voice when there is agreement; in the current situation, there was honest disagreement about what is best for UW-Madison and the other institutions. She said the lack of interest in differentiating UW-Madison made her less trusting of the forms of differentiation and delegation that would occur. UW-Madison’s market, competition, and audience is global, as well as within the System. UW-Madison needs every tool that is in the Governor’s budget, she said. She suggested taking the approach of adding to the current budget by keeping the gains for UW-Madison and getting more for the other institutions, in addition. Responding to an earlier question about red tape, Chancellor Martin said that the Governor and legislators had heard about the problems of red tape at the System level from other chancellors, as well; impediments do not exist only at the state level, she said.
Recognized next, Chancellor Wells spoke as a chancellor from what he called one of the “greater Wisconsin universities.” Speaking to the issue of how to ensure the flexibilities would move to the institutions, Chancellor Wells said that in his 11 years in the System, he had observed that when System Presidents and the Board gave their word, they kept their word. The rules of no surprises and keeping one’s word helped to maintain good relationships among leaders. There is only so much delegation that should be put in legislation; he said he could count on the word of the Presidents of the System now and in the future, and of Regents now and in the future. He said that a lot of the “red tape” that comes from the System actually comes from the state; those at the institutions may not even be able to discern which type of red tape is which.
President Reilly concluded the budget discussion by saying that the next day, Associate Vice President Heather Kim would present the 2011 Accountability Report, measuring the university’s performance across a variety of benchmarks. In addition to other feedback from the Joint Committee on Finance, President Reilly said he heard some legislators say that the current report is too exhaustive, that a simpler, leaner report may be more useful for their purposes. President Reilly said that the UW System should listen to that feedback, keeping in mind the need to remain focused on a broader set of performance measures for the university’s own continuous improvement purposes.
President Reilly suggested that it would be a good time to revisit the original intent for the accountability report, conceived as a way to demonstrate the UW’s performance to the state’s elected officials, earn their trust, and secure specific operational flexibilities. He said that further discussions could occur with legislators about which measures are most useful to them. Future accountability reports should include a special section focused on measuring implementation and delegation of any new administrative flexibilities that are provided in the budget.
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The meeting was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.
/s/ Jane S. Radue
Jane S. Radue, Secretary of the Board
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in Ullsvik Hall, UW-Platteville
Harry & Laura Nohr Gallery
Friday, April 8, 2011
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in Ullsvik Hall, UW-Platteville
Harry & Laura Nohr Gallery
Friday, April 8, 2011
-President Pruitt presiding-
PRESENT: Regents Jeffery Bartell, Mark Bradley, Judith Crain, Danae Davis, Stan Davis, John Drew, Anthony Evers, Michael Falbo, Thomas Loftus, Edmund Manydeeds, Charles Pruitt, Brent Smith, Michael Spector, José Vásquez, David Walsh, Aaron Wingad and Betty Womack
UNABLE TO ATTEND: None
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The minutes of the February 10 and 11, 2011 meetings were approved as distributed.
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A written report was provided. There were no questions or comments.
President Pruitt again expressed appreciation to Chancellor Shields and the entire UW-Platteville community for their hospitality, saying that he could not overstate how much Board members enjoyed the opportunity to see and hear first-hand the unique offerings of each campus within the great UW System.
President Pruitt noted that nearly 150 students participated in the prior week’s Posters in the Rotunda event at the Capitol. This was the 8th annual posters event, and by all reports, it was another success. It was inspiring to see the work being done. The academic research done on the UW campuses has a major impact on the state’s economy. President Pruitt offered congratulations to all of the student researchers, their faculty advisors, and everyone who made this event a success.
President Pruitt also announced that President Reilly was elected President of the National Association of System Heads (NASH). NASH is the association of the chief executives of 52 colleges and university systems of public higher education in the United States and Puerto Rico. Established in 1979, it provides a forum for sharing perspectives, problems, and opportunities among heads of higher education systems. President Reilly previously served as Vice President of that association. On behalf of this Board of Regents, President Pruitt offered his congratulations.
President Pruitt said that Thursday’s discussion reflected how passionately Board members, chancellors, and others felt about the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. He asked if Regents or chancellors had any other reflections to offer.
Regent Smith commented first, saying that he wanted to express appreciation to the chancellors for their support of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. He also complimented President Pruitt, Vice President Spector, and President Reilly on their leadership during a challenging time. He said that the Board was 150 percent behind the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. The state had been well served by the UW System for 40 years. Board members would be conveying this message in the weeks to come.
Regent Walsh said that at the March 10, 2011h meeting, the Board was clear in its support of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, although this had not been clearly reported in the press. The Board of Regents represents the interests of all of the people of Wisconsin and has a big-picture view and a long history. It would be important that President Pruitt, Vice President Spector, and President Reilly, when appropriate, restate the Board’s support for the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. He said that he had reviewed the comparison between the New Badger Partnership and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership in the Board’s packets. The Board of Regents would be no different than the board of trustees under the New Badger Partnership – they are simply different boards. To change the structure so that one institution could compete internationally ignores the statewide service that UW-Madison and other institutions provide. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership keeps the System together to provide access, affordability, and quality, in a System that has flourished for 40 years.
Regent Vásquez said it was frustrating to sometimes read that the Board of Regents joined the discussion of flexibilities late. On the contrary, this discussion is not new to the Board. It has occurred for years and in many ways.
Regent Bradley commented that he could not recall during his eight years on the Board any subject that produced more email, as well as thoughtful typed and handwritten letters, from people around the state. Unfortunately, about 20 percent of the contacts ask, “why are you breaking up the System?” His immediate response was to let these writers know that this was not a Board of Regents initiative. Another theme was that people had the impression that the System structure has worked well. People were concerned about the effect of any change on tuition at UW-Madison. Finally, a number of writers noted that they or their children have degrees from the UW-Madison campus, and they proceeded to say that they did not think that a separation of UW-Madison made any sense; they could not understand the need for two boards.
President Reilly commented that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership was an argument for new, significant flexibilities that all institutions need, in the context of a unified System. He was initially a chancellor in the System, and with that experience, he said he understood the need for additional flexibilities. If these could be obtained, the environment would be changed, within the context of a governing structure that has worked well.
Regent Danae Davis said that she was proud of the Board and the leadership at the UW institutions, inasmuch as they have taken the high ground and avoided getting personal. The risk in taking this approach is that students, faculty, staff, and leadership at the institutions may have misunderstood the Board’s message. The Board took the approach of advocating for what it was “for,” so that it could win and so that it could keep its eye on the prize.
Regent Falbo remarked that part of the goal was to reduce red tape, both legislative and System red tape. He said that it was tremendous to see the chancellors rally around what they knew was the right thing to do. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership would address the legislative red tape; thereafter, System red tape would be on the Board’s agenda. Reducing red tape could be taken up with President Reilly and the System, and with the chancellors’ help.
Regent Crain stressed the importance of the unity behind the strength of the Board’s position.
President Pruitt, expressing appreciation for all of the comments, noted that a number of campuses have held forums for the campuses and the broader community. Several Regents took the opportunity to get involved. Regent Drew and Regent Vásquez, for example, each took part in different forums at UW-Parkside. Regent Bartell attended a session at UW-Whitewater. President Pruitt asked if Regents wished to make observations about their participation in the forums.
Regent Bartell commented that approximately 60 to 70 faculty, staff, and students attended the forum at UW-Whitewater. Two major areas of questions emerged. The first was about the UW-Madison separation, and who was making the decision on that issue. The other was concern on the part of employees about compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave conversion into health insurance premiums. This is a period of great uncertainty on the part of faculty and staff, and it is important that they be resolved quickly.
Regent Vásquez commented on the forum at UW-Parkside, which was well planned and which generated ideas for even greater effectiveness and efficiency. After the formal forum, some conversations reflected the same passion, worry, and concern among faculty and staff that Regent Bartell had described.
President Pruitt called upon Chancellor Wells, who reinforced that the $250 million cut would have consequences on campus; the biggest issue would be the consequence of an average 8-percent reduction in the take-home pay of faculty and staff at the institutions. While acknowledging that the goal may be for employees to pay for benefits at a rate closer to the national average, Chancellor Wells said that salaries should also be at the national average. Instead, salaries are 10-, 15-, or 20-percent behind the national average in salary, depending on the comparisons that are used. Significantly more people would be leaving; replacing that talent and institutional memory at salaries that are below the national average is a crisis situation. The flexibilities would allow institutions to address this issue over time, and this knowledge would help keep faculty and staff committed to the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
President Pruitt, continuing his report, said that he would like to offer something else for Regents to consider, the notion of increased regional representation on the Board of Regents. He said that if the Legislature and the Governor agreed that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership was an idea whose time has come, they would provide new flexibilities to institutions to manage their resources. There is a legitimate concern on the part of elected officials that the Board of Regents would handle those flexibilities with great care, and with an appreciation of the diverse needs of the regions of the state of Wisconsin. Having more flexibilities would be a new era, and the status quo is not acceptable. Therefore, President Pruitt said that he had come to the conclusion that making sure that every region of the state is represented on the Board is an important concept. He said that he had heard this sentiment as he travelled across the state.
President Pruitt offered a resolution for the Board of Regents to consider, which would put the Board on record as supporting Senate and Assembly bills that would amend s. 15.91, Wis. Stats., to provide at least one representative on the Board of Regents from each of Wisconsin’s congressional districts. Saying that the Board of Regents has in the past been neutral on the issue of regional representation, President Pruitt said that he believed times were changing, and it was important to recognize the evolution occurring in the state. Adopting this resolution would be consistent with the era of change that would be brought in with the prospective adoption of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
President Pruitt moved adoption of Resolution 9891, Regent Smith seconded the motion, and President Pruitt recognized Regent Smith to begin the discussion of the resolution. Regent Smith remarked that the Senate Bill has bipartisan support. He said that he had mixed emotions, but what ultimately convinced him to support the resolution was its consistency with the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
Regent Loftus said that this idea had not been passed into law because it attempts to fix something that is not broken, and Governors need latitude to be able to choose Regents. The representation issue has sometimes been a lack of minority representation, a lack of representatives of organized labor, or other constituencies. He said that he would like to reserve for the Governor the power to decide on Regents for the Governor, so he would vote “no.”
Regent Bartell, expressing support for the resolution, said that he had long disliked constituent boards, because such boards can sometimes be inefficient because board members may do what is best for “the folks back home,” rather than what is best for the organization. However, he said that he was convinced that this probably would be a good thing, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. Regent Bartell also pointed out that Regents are assigned to be “buddies” with, visiting and becoming familiar with, particular institutions; thus, Regents get a particular feel for the campuses. Chancellors and deans then feel more comfortable contacting their buddy Regents. He concluded by saying that while he did not like constituent boards in general, this is probably the right thing to do at this time.
Regent Falbo, expressing agreement with Regent Loftus, said that this is not a big issue, but he would prefer to leave the discretion in the hands of the Governor.
Regent Evers asked if the resolution is contingent on the passage of the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. President Pruitt responded that it would not be contingent.
Regent Vice President Spector, speaking in support of the motion, said that he liked that the legislation represented a mix, with half of the gubernatorially-appointed Board seats having regional representation, and half providing the Governor with more discretion. He said that when he was the chair of the Governor’s task force on K-12 education and travelled around the state, he learned how important it is, particularly to people in the northwestern part of the state, to feel that they are represented. Regents represent all of the state, but a local flavor is also useful.
Regent Crain agreed with concerns that had been expressed about regional representation. She said she was somewhat ambivalent but would support the resolution. She said that she represents a particular part of the state because she lives in that area; people like to know that the culture of their area is represented. However, it would be important for Board members to recognize that they represent the whole System.
Regent Stan Davis asked about the link between the current resolution and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership and whether greater clarity about delegating the flexibilities might be another alternative. President Pruitt said that the Board is asking the legislature and the Governor to do something that they had not been comfortable with in the past. A concern will be whether there will be a voice at the table of the System’s governing board for areas throughout the state as the new flexibilities are delegated. It is a signal that the Board is open to change going forward.
Regent Walsh, speaking in favor of the motion, recalled that changes have occurred in representation on the Board. For example, two students have been added, and they cannot both be from the same institution. He said that he had been persuaded by the messages from around the state that this is everyone’s System. Governors have always tried to find statewide representation, even without the requirement in the statutes.
Regent Womack, speaking in support of the motion, said that it is the System leadership that is responsible for engaging the Regents in the idea that they are to consider the common good. Once this is understood, varied perspectives help promote the common good.
Regent Wingad said that as a student, he has had to deal with “identity” on the Board. He said that he would like assurance that there will not be a Milwaukee, Eau Claire, or La Crosse Regent, such that they would only represent their respective areas. The fact that the Board has been neutral on this question in the past makes it a difficult decision. President Pruitt responded that he would expect and hope that Governors would appoint Regents who represent the entire System, regardless of where they live. This has been the tradition. The mix in the legislation helps provide reassurance that the Board will continue to advance the Wisconsin Idea.
Regent Pruitt called the question. After a voice vote, a roll-call vote was requested. Resolution 9891 was adopted, with Regents Bartell, Bradley, Crain, Stan Davis, Drew, Manydeeds, Pruitt, Smith, Spector, Walsh, Wingad, and Womack (12) voting in favor of the resolution, and Regents Danae Davis, Evers, Falbo, Loftus, and Vásquez (5) voting in opposition.
WHEREAS, Wisconsin Statutes vest the primary responsibility for governance of the University of Wisconsin System in the Board of Regents; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Regents’ responsibilities include enacting policies and promulgating rules for governing the System, setting systemwide priorities, and planning for the future needs of the state for university education; and
WHEREAS, the effect of the Board of Regents’ policy-setting, rulemaking, and planning responsibilities reaches to the borders of the state and beyond; and
WHEREAS, members of the Board of Regents bring to their service on the Board knowledge and awareness of the unique areas of the state in which they reside; and
WHEREAS, with the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, the Board of Regents would receive new flexibilities to help our campuses manage their resources more effectively and better serve the 182,000 students who attend our institutions, and elected leaders need to be sure that the Board of Regents will use those flexibilities to the benefit of all the people of Wisconsin;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UW System Board of Regents supports 2011 Senate Bill 28 and 2011 Assembly Bill 39, legislation that would amend s. 15.91, Wis. Stats., to provide for the appointment to the Board of Regents of at least one citizen member who resides in each of Wisconsin’s congressional districts.
Closing his President’s report, President Pruitt said that the morning’s agenda would include a presentation on the latest UW System Accountability Report, “Investing in Wisconsin’s Future,” as well as the history of academic freedom.
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President Reilly shared news from around the UW System. Starting with UW-Stout, he reported that Provost Julie Furst-Bowe has been selected to participate in the Fulbright Specialists Program. As part of this short-term program for senior administrators, Julie would be be working with a new university in Azerbaijan for two-week periods in April, July, and November, helping their administrators establish policies, programs, and planning and assessment processes. Provost Furst-Bowe has been extensively involved with the Baldrige efforts at UW-Stout and serves as a senior examiner for the Baldrige Awards program, and the Academic Quality Improvement Project.
President Reilly acknowledged recent award-winners. Last week, 16 women were honored as this year’s winners of the UW System Outstanding Women of Color in Education Awards. This annual award, which was initiated back in 1994, is presented to students, faculty, and staff to recognize their contributions to diversity and the status of women within the UW System. UW institutions have a longstanding commitment to promoting diversity, and the contributions and dedication of these outstanding women of color provide a fine model for others to follow. Their efforts enrich the UW experience for everyone. The award is co-sponsored by UW System’s Women’s Studies Consortium and the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.
From UW-Madison, President Reilly shared the news that limnologist Stephen Carpenter was awarded the 2011 Stockholm Water Prize, the world’s most prestigious award for water-related activities. Dr. Carpenter, who directs the UW-Madison Center for Limnology, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and is considered one of the world’s most distinguished authorities on lakes and fresh water ecosystems. He is a former president of the Ecological Society of America, and his research, embodied in five books and nearly 300 scientific papers, is among the most cited in all of environmental science. Dr. Carpenter will be presented with the award by King Carl Gustav of Sweden in a ceremony in Stockholm in August. Congratulations to Dr. Carpenter, Chancellor Biddy Martin, and the UW-Madison community.
Three small southeastern Wisconsin companies and the region’s economy will benefit from a grant received by the UW-Parkside. President Reilly said that these companies, based in Racine and Kenosha, will conduct research and development with UW-Parkside on innovative new products using a $323,000 grant from the WiSys Technology Foundation’s Wisconsin Small Company Advancement Program, also known as WisCAP. Combined with company support, total funding for these projects will likely top $680,000, President Reilly reported. The grant will fund the hiring of researchers and UW-Parkside students to co-develop new products with the companies. President Reilly congratulated Chancellor Ford and the UW-Parkside campus community.
President Reilly congratulated the UW-Madison women’s hockey team, which defeated Boston University, 4 to 1, to claim their fourth national championship in six years. The Badger women outshot Boston University, 36 to16, in the championship final. The team’s 37 wins also set a new record for the most wins in a single season in NCAA women’s hockey history. Four players from the team were named to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four All-Tournament Team.
President Reilly congratulated the UW-Whitewater men’s wheelchair basketball team, who claimed their ninth national championship and sixth title in nine years. The Warhawks defeated the Illini, 66-54, in the championship final, to finish the season with a very impressive 23-1 record. President Reilly congratulated the Warhawks, Head Coach Jeremy Lade, Chancellor Telfer, and the UW-Whitewater campus community.
For the second year in a row, a team from UW-Stout claimed the national championship of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The Rube Goldberg competition challenges students to create a machine that turns a simple procedure into something complex. The resulting machines are then judged on creativity, complexity, and functionality. This year’s challenge was to make something that would water a plant. UW-Stout’s machine, called “The Westing Estate,” achieved that seemingly simple goal in 135 steps, all while telling the story of a haunted Louisiana mansion. The team’s creation included a church, mine shaft, gazebo, gardens, water pump and water wheel, two catapults, and about two dozen steel ball tracks.
President Reilly stated that longtime benefactors Dave and Marilyn Karlgaard recently established two new scholarship funds in mathematics and physics at UW-Eau Claire, recognizing the university’s focus on applied learning and research opportunities. Dave Karlgaard, a 1967 UW-Eau-Claire graduate, who co-founded and serves as CEO and president of an Internet technology consulting firm, noted that math and physics are critical to science-related careers. Each scholarship will be endowed over a five-year period by Karlgaard Family Foundation grants of $100,000.
The Center for Economic Research at UW-River Falls, working with the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation, launched a brand new Economic Dashboard that makes data on key economic indicators readily accessible to both businesses and individuals, President Reilly said. The Economic Dashboard report, which focuses on Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties, will be updated and released monthly. It allows business owners, for example, to easily track total employment rates, or residents to follow local housing market data. Dr. Logan Kelly, an economics professor at UW-River Falls and the driving force behind the report, says it is a matter of providing a service that most businesses have neither the time nor the resources to do. This is another example of how universities and their local business communities can work together to mutual benefit.
UW-Stevens Point is planning to bestow its first-ever honorary doctorate in May, according to Chancellor Bernie Peterson. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Member of Congress Melvin R. Laird would receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Chancellor Patterson notee that Laird’s long and varied record of public service and his commitment to developing leaders among the youth of Central and Northern Wisconsin were key factors in the decision to honor him. Mr. Laird served Central Wisconsin as a state senator and congressman, and was then appointed U.S. secretary of defense by President Nixon and later served as adviser to the White House. Since 1964, the Laird Youth Leadership Foundation has provided more than 400 Laird scholarships to high school students from Central and Northern Wisconsin who exhibit exceptional leadership qualities and scholastic aptitude. Twenty current Laird scholarship recipients attend UW-Stevens Point.
The graduating seniors in the UW-La Crosse College of Business Administration scored higher than 90 percent of students nationwide on a test measuring students’ subject knowledge in business. Seniors graduating in May 2010 took the Education Testing Service Major Field Test for the Bachelor’s Degree in Business last spring. The test compared students from about 600 business schools across the nation. The results were showed that UW-La Crosse students were well prepared and nationally competitive. Students’ highest scores were in economics, finance, information systems, international issues, and quantitative business analysis. President Reilly congratulated Chancellor Joe Gow and the UW-La Crosse campus.
President Reilly reported that UW-Oshkosh’s mobile app, the first in the System to become available for multiple platforms, including the Android market and iPhones, is now available for download. The free app, developed in-house by the university’s Integrated Marketing and Communications team, provides news feeds from UW Oshkosh Today, the campus’s news source, and the student newspaper, The Advance Titan. It also provides access to UW-Oshkosh’s YouTube channel videos and Twitter feed, and makes it easy to find events, people, and other campus information, from building plans to emergency resources.
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President Pruitt introduced the topic of the history of academic freedom in the UW System, saying that the topic had gained attention in recent weeks due to a public-records request for certain emails in the email account of Professor Bill Cronon. President Pruitt called upon Regent Loftus to lead the discussion.
Regent Loftus referred Regents to a document in their packets related to the history of academic freedom in the UW System and, specifically, Board actions related to academic freedom. He thanked Tom Stafford and Erin Kastberg from the Office of General Counsel, Jane Radue and Jessica Lathrop from the Board of Regents Office, and Rebecca Karoff of the Office of Academic Affairs for their research and guidance in preparing the document. He said that this was a significant task to tease the information out of 100 years’ worth of minutes.
Regent Loftus thanked Regent Crain, chair of the Education Committee, for allowing the topic of academic freedom to be discussed in the Education Committee the day before, when Professor Bill Cronon happened to be in attendance at the meeting. Regent Loftus asked Regent Crain to summarize the discussion in that committee. She explained that Professor Cronon was present because, included among the academic programs the committee was approving on its consent agenda, was the undergraduate major in Environmental Studies, a program developed by Professor Cronon. Coincidentally, on the Education Committee’s agenda were amendments to UW-Madison’s faculty personnel rules, including a new section on academic freedom. That new section was added a year ago by the Madison Faculty Senate and only by coincidence was it on the April agenda.
Because Professor Cronon was present, the committee asked him to address the committee briefly. He characterized academic freedom as a foundational principle of American Higher Education, with a particularly significant history in Wisconsin through the case of Professor Ely, which set the standard nationally.
He also spoke of his particular case, which exemplified the need to balance two competing public goods, that of open government, as demonstrated by the Freedom of Information Act, and that of academic freedom. He pointed out the tension between these two public goods, each of which held its own special place in the American public sphere. Professor Cronon concluded that upon study of the Freedom of Information Act, there was nothing in the law to safeguard academic freedom. He suggested that the UW System think carefully about this fact, because his situation could produce a chilling effect on him and other academics with respect to their freedom to pursue unfettered scholarly inquiry, in the classroom and beyond. Regent Crain remarked that it was a useful discussion for the Education Committee to have had.
Regent Loftus, thanking Regent Crain, said that not only do the actions of the Board of Regents count, but the words in the Board’s minutes count very much. Much of what is thought of as academic freedom is based on words by chancellors or presidents, reflected in the Board’s minutes over time. By accepting the prepared document and putting it in the record, the Board is saying that a threat to academic freedom on one campus is a threat on any campus; the document summarizing the history of academic freedom is a document for the University of Wisconsin System. He reflected on the giants in the arena of academic freedom. Statements made in the past have often been during troubling times in American history. The Regents have come to the fore, regardless of which governor appointed them, or in which area of the state they resided. While it is not possible to be more eloquent than those who came before, Regent Loftus said that it is important to reaffirm in the present era that academic freedom is paramount in the University of Wisconsin System. The issue is now arising in the digital age. He asked Regents who would like to make a statement to do so, to contribute to the record.
Regent Loftus highlighted point #5 in a letter from Senior University Legal Counsel John Dowling to the requestor of Professor Cronon’s emails, and asked that the Regents recognize that records determined to be “intellectual communication among scholars” were not provided in response to the public-records request. In explaining why such intellectual communication was withheld, Mr. Dowling’s letter to the requester stated, “Faculty members like Professor Cronon often use e-mail to develop and share their thoughts with one another. The confidentiality of such discussions is vital to scholarship and to the mission of this university. Faculty members must be afforded privacy in these exchanges in order to pursue knowledge and develop lines of argument without fear of reprisal for controversial findings and without the premature disclosure of those ideas. The consequence for our state of making such communications public will be the loss of the most talented and creative faculty who will choose to leave for universities that can guarantee them the privacy and confidentiality that is necessary in academia. For these reasons, we have concluded that the public interest in intellectual communications among scholars as reflected in Professor Cronon’s e-mails is outweighed by other public interests favoring protection of such communications.”
Regent Loftus asked that the Board’s discussion of academic freedom at its April 2011 meeting become part of the historical record, with the notation that email, a type of communication that earlier did not exist, was now being addressed. Noting that in a July 1962 statement by then-University Vice President Fred Harrington, Mr. Harrington described Madison as the people’s university, Regent Loftus completed his remarks, and the floor was opened for Regent discussion.
Regent Bradley remarked that reaffirming academic freedom was one of the most important things that the Board of Regents could do. In the digital age, there is a lot of information available, but almost all of it is somebody’s “spin.” The result is that universities become the last place where fact-based analysis is available. The right of people to analyze the facts must be respected and not penalized. Regent Bradley applauded Regent Loftus and all others who worked on the academic freedom issue.
Regent Drew thanked Secretary Radue for the quick-turnaround “term paper” on academic freedom and said it was an outstanding document. He praised the response from Legal Counsel Dowling to the public-records request, commenting that the request was “dubious,” and saying that the UW-Madison response only enhanced the reputation of the University of Wisconsin System as a bastion of academic freedom.
Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin, on behalf of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin System, thanked Regent Loftus for bringing this important issue to the table and thanked the Regents for the important conversation. It is not possible to overstate the chilling effect felt by faculty on all UW campuses or the importance of academic freedom to the UW System’s mission.
Regent Vice President Spector expressed the view that the public-records law is a good thing and should be followed wherever possible. At the same time, the intimidation aspect of the present records request is one that cannot be ignored; Professor Cronon had mentioned his worry about using email at all, and this is not good. Vice President Spector suggested that an opportunity for good legislation has presented itself, and legislators could review the public records law and consider adding another exception, to recognize a situation that could not have been envisioned when the law was passed. For its part, the Board must recognize how important this issue is to faculty and the UW institutions.
Regent Vásquez said that he enjoyed reading Attorney Dowling’s response to the records request; the response reflected good, logical thinking. Regent Vásquez suggested that the response letter not simply be filed, but that it be used, and perhaps that it become a guiding document for the Board.
Regent Crain remarked that, while it may be self-evident, it is important to note that the public-records and academic-freedom issue is an issue because the University of Wisconsin is a public institution. A private institution would not have this issue.
President Reilly thanked Regent Loftus for bringing the issue to the table. He said that part of what is at issue is an institution’s identity as a public university in the digital age. Budgets for the university demonstrate that the UW is becoming more private. Laws related to making information public relate to the university’s efforts to turn information into knowledge that will benefit future generations. He said that a university can indeed be a public university in the 21st century, but this is only true if a Board like the current Board of Regents is willing to stand up and affirm the importance of academic freedom.
Chancellor Wells also thanked Regent Loftus. He said that academic freedom, exercised responsibly, is the cornerstone of everything the university does. The single greatest threat to academic freedom is the rise of incivility on and off campus, particularly in the classroom. Recalling the systemwide civility workshop held at UW-Oshkosh, Chancellor Wells said that it is important to continue to discuss civility issues, and possibly to invite author P.M. Forney, the guru of civility in the country, return to speak further about these issues.
President Pruitt added his thanks to Regent Loftus, saying that he had thought in recent months about how the university stands on the shoulders of its predecessors. In closing the discussion, he quoted from 1994 Board of Regents Resolution 6787, which called upon the academic community “to guard this precious legacy, to consider differing points of view, and always to engage in ‘that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found’”.
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President Pruitt introduced the discussion of the latest UW System Accountability Report, “Investing in Wisconsin’s Future.” The report represents the UW’s commitment to providing its stakeholders with a detailed assessment of the university’s performance. It is important not only to the UW institutions, but also to the university’s many diverse stakeholders, from students and their families, to legislators, to taxpayers who have an investment in the UW System. This report helps to demonstrate that the UW is delivering on their investments and expectations. President Pruitt said that Heather Kim, Associate Vice President in UW System’s Office of Policy Analysis & Research, would lead the presentation, following brief remarks by President Reilly.
President Reilly reminded Regents that this year marks the 17th annual publication of the accountability report. UW System’s journey in accountability reporting started back in 1993, when the System was the first statewide system of higher education to publish an annual accountability report, focused on consistent measures of access, degree completion, professional preparation, and stewardship of resources. Two years ago, this report underwent a major revision of format. It was revamped to reflect the UW System’s Strategic Framework and the goals of the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin. The title of the report, “Investing in Wisconsin’s Future,” captures how the UW’s strategic priorities aim to benefit the people of Wisconsin.
The report is intended to provide Wisconsin residents with a clear picture of how we’re making progress toward the goals that have been set. President Reilly said that for external stakeholders, the report offers a clear-cut framework, measurable goals, and an honest assessment of progress toward goals. Beyond traditional measures, such as enrollments, retention rates, graduation, and resource management, the report also evaluates the UW System’s impact on Wisconsin communities through civic participation, community outreach and engagement, and economic development.
Associate Vice President Kim presented the report, referring Regents to a series of slides. Dr. Kim said that she would provide a brief overview of the history of accountability reporting in the UW System, present several improvements to the systemwide and institutional reports, summarize the UW System’s progress, and respond to questions.
As to the history of accountability reporting, Dr. Kim said that the first accountability report, “Accountability for Achievement,” was published from 1993 through 1999. The second phase, “Achieving Excellence,” was published from 1999 to 2008. The current report, “Investing in Wisconsin’s Future,” was started in 2009.
Regarding reporting improvements, Associate Vice President Kim identified the sections in the current report and the 22 accountability indicators spread among seven core strategies. She described how the information is presented within the accountability report. Further improvements were made based on the Board’s feedback; also, reporting has been more closely aligned with the UW System’s priorities. Among other areas, she highlighted greater focus on minority and disadvantaged populations, as well as access to transfer students. She also described higher standards for using plus or minus signs to summarize results and progress.
Reporting on progress, Dr. Kim said that during the prior year, the UW System met its goals for14 indicators, had mixed results for four indicators, and did not achieve the goal for three indicators; one new goal is in progress. Enrollment, estimated contribution to Wisconsin’s earnings, and revenue were the three goals that were not met.
With respect to enrollment, Associate Vice President Kim said that UW System enrollments reached an all-time high in fall 2010, both in headcount and in full-time equivalent students; however, the enrollment headcount was below the standard by only 156. Enrollment of students of color increased overall, to almost 12 percent in 2010; however Southeast Asian and Hispanic enrollment rates increased, while enrollments rates of other students of color either stayed the same or declined.
A “closing the achievement gap” indicator was added in the new report. The new goal is to reduce the achievement gap by half by 2015 among under-represented minorities, lower-income students, and for all races and ethnicities. The achievement gap in retention rates for underrepresented minorities has narrowed, compared to the baseline cohorts, from 11 percent to 6 percent. The gap in retention rates for lower-income students remained the same, at 5 percent. The achievement gap in graduation rates among under-represented minorities remained unchanged, at 23 percent; for lower-income students, the gap increased slightly, from 12 to 13 percent. Dr. Kim said that, apparently, there is still much work to be done in this area. However, the status of this goal is “in progress” until the target year of 2015.
Another new indicator, “access for transfer students,” shows a more-than 5-percent increase in 2010, compared with the previous year. The proportion of new students of color has noticeably increased over the years, Dr. Kim said.
Dr. Kim said that the accountability report includes much good news. She cited improvements in providing study abroad experiences, increases in the number of degrees conferred and the number conferred in STEM and health fields, continuation of low administrative costs, continuation of low levels in the number of credits to degree, increases in the number of collaborative degree programs, and engagement in a wide variety of partnerships.
Some challenges remain, she said. The estimated contribution to Wisconsin’s earnings decreased, compared to the previous graduating class, due to declining wages during the economic downturn. Also, with decreasing state appropriations, the System did not achieve the goal of increasing overall revenue by 5 percent. While there has been progress overall on the goal of producing more graduates, the rates of access, retention, and graduation for most students of color remain below those of white students. The UW System continues to strive to close the opportunity gap, as well as the achievement gap, among disadvantaged students.
In closing, Dr. Kim said that accountability is becoming more important than ever in higher education in these times of limited resources. With greater flexibilities gained through the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, new accountability measures will be needed. She posed questions for discussion, including how accountability reporting should be refined and enhanced and what goals may need to be revisited in light of budget cuts.
President Reilly thanked Associate Vice President Kim for the hard work involved in the accountability reporting. President Pruitt then called upon Regent Danae Davis, who praised Dr. Kim for the phenomenal work that had been done in improving the report. Regent Davis stressed that the reports should be made available to Regents more in advance of the discussion at the Board meeting. With respect to legislative and gubernatorial input regarding accountability measures, she cautioned that the Board should not lose focus on those measures that are important to the Board. Specifically, this includes the core strategy related to closing the achievement gap. Regent Davis said she was pleased to see the reduction in the achievement gap regarding retention and would look forward to reductions in graduation rates.
Regent Falbo asked about the availability of interim goals and measurements so that progress toward graduation rates can be adequately measured before 2015. Senior Vice President Martin said that interim measures are reviewed each year. She provided examples from UW institutional reports related to retention, indicating that four campuses have already met goals in this area.
Regent Drew, noting that the UW’s administrative spending is 50 percent of the national average, commented that System Administration would still be cut in the budget. He also pointed out that the UW System is below the national average in state tax dollars spent per student, ranking 41st among the states. This, too, was evidently not considered when the state budget was prepared. The current state budget will propose challenges in maintaining some of the progress reflected in the report. A reduced ability to offer competitive compensation packages will pose difficulties for recruiting qualified faculty and staff. At a budget forum at UW-Milwaukee, sponsored by the Milwaukee legislative contingent, the chairman of the UW-Milwaukee Faculty Senate spoke about the devastating impact of the state budget on teaching assistants. He said that the Faculty Senate would take up a collection for the teaching assistants; this is both wonderful and pathetic. Regent Drew summarized his remarks by saying that the accountability report was a great report, but that the current budget would pose tremendous challenges to maintenance of the growth agenda.
Regent Bartell, stressing the importance of the accountability report, asked about the mixed result related to preparing students. Dr. Kim responded that the data in this area are from a national report and are self-reported by students. She and Senior Vice President Martin said that this is an indirect measure, related to students’ own reports of their critical-thinking skills, and is not a measure of what they actually learned.
Regent Danae Davis asked about how to determine what efforts are effective to fill various gaps related to employing faculty of color, so that these efforts can be employed elsewhere. Dr. Martin said that good ideas are regularly shared across the System. The climate study also yielded important results for improving the climate for faculty and staff of color. However, the compensation-package issues that Regent Drew raised are an issue in attracting and retaining faculty of color.
President Pruitt thanks Associate Vice President Kim, Senior Vice President Martin, and President Reilly for their work in presenting the accountability report.
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Regent President Pruitt called upon Regent Crain to present the report of the Education Committee. Regent Crain noted that the Board had already heard about the discussion with Professor Cronon, and she would report on the remaining areas of committee business.
Regent Crain briefly mentioned items that were part of the Education Committee’s consent agenda, including requested approval of five new academic programs, all of which appeared to the Committee as very strong and represented important contributions to the program array of the proposing institutions and the UW System as a whole.
Regent Crain reported on the committee’s review of Regent Policy Documents (RPDs), which will become a regular part of the committee’s meetings. Senior Vice President Martin provided excellent context, both on the larger task at hand and the particular RPDs that came before the Committee for review. The RPDs on the current agenda were described as “low-hanging fruit,” time-specific and no longer applicable to the work of the Board of Regents or the System; they will be archived.
Regent Crain said that the Committee heard from Provost Mittie Nimocks who highlighted some of the particular strengths of UW-Platteville. Three students spoke about their work to design and build, at the request of community clients, adaptive devices that would help special needs children learn more effectively in their classrooms in the public schools. One project involved developing an eye-tracking device, and another, a visual tracking light board. The students demonstrated both of these designs. The learning outcomes for the students were impressive: problem-solving, teamwork, community engagement, and understanding of people who were different than they were.
Regent Crain said that the UW System is just past the midpoint of its partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on the LEAP Campaign, which stands for Liberal Education and America’s Promise. The UW System was the first pilot partner named by AAC&U in this campaign and has become a national model in this work focused on strengthening the quality of undergraduate education so that students are prepared for work and life in the 21st-century. A letter from the President of AAC&U, Carol Geary Schneider, extensively praises UW System for its work to advance the LEAP Campaign, and with it Inclusive Excellence.
Rebecca Karoff of UW System Academic Affairs; UW-Oshkosh Provost Lane Earns; and Jeff Merrick, Professor of History and Associate Dean at UW-Milwaukee, each described components of the System’s work on LEAP. What LEAP gives to the System is a unifying framework for quality, with consensus outcomes for what our students should know and be able to do upon graduation from our institutions. Increasingly, the work has made explicit what was always implicit, the shared purposed of LEAP and Inclusive Excellence to ensure access to high-quality educational experiences. LEAP and Inclusive Excellence are playing visible roles in the More Graduates for Wisconsin initiative, as well.
Regent Crain said that it was clear to the committee that much of the power of the UW System’s LEAP work comes from the fact that the work is being done in a coordinated fashion as a system, with System Administration working collaboratively with the institutions. Regent Crain said that there are now five other states or systems that have signed on, with another eight on the verge of joining. The UW System remains the model.
The committee had a great discussion on the challenges of doing this work in a budget-constrained environment, but also the ways in which this work can and should be done by everyone. The participation of the provosts in the discussion was very thoughtful and helpful. The committee talked about the need for better communication to people outside the academy, in particular to parents and others who worry the most about whether students will get jobs upon graduation. The presentation made clear that a liberal education is exactly what students need in order to compete in the global economy.
Regent Crain moved adoption of Resolutions 9892, 9893, 9894, 9895, 9896, 9897, 9898, 9900, 9901, 9902 and 9903 which were unanimously approved by the Education Committee. The motion was seconded by Regent Walsh. The resolutions were approved unanimously by the Board on a voice vote. Resolution 9899 had been removed from the Education Committee consent agenda during the committee meeting.
Resolution 9892: 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 approves the request to the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for $4,982,718 for fiscal year July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, subject to availability, 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.
Program Authorization (Implementation) B.A./B.S. in Environmental Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Resolution 9893: 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 B.A./B.S. in Environmental Sciences.
Resolution 9894: 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 B.A./B.S. in Environmental Studies.
Program Authorization (Implementation) B.S./B.A. in Microsystems and Nanotechnology Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Resolution 9895: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the B.S./B.A. in Microsystems and Nanotechnology Engineering.
Program Authorization (Implementation) B.S. in Health, Wellness and Fitness, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Resolution 9896: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the B.S. in Health, Wellness and Fitness.
Resolution 9897: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Master of Public Health.
Resolution 9898: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the amendments to the UW-Eau Claire Faculty Personnel Rules.
Resolution 9900: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 17-9, the Implementation Plan for “Design for Diversity.”
Removal of Regent Policy Document 17-10 “Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity”
Resolution 9901: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 17-10, “Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity.”
Removal of Regent Policy Document 28-1 “Report of the Regent Study Group on the Future of the University of Wisconsin System”
Resolution 9902: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 28-1, the “Report of the Regent Study Group on the Future of the University of Wisconsin System.”
Resolution 9903: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 28-2, “Academic Restructuring: Partners in the Process.”
Removal of Regent Policy Document 28-3 “Report of the Study of the University of Wisconsin System in the 21st Century”
Resolution 9904: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 28-3, the “Report of the Study of the University of Wisconsin System in the 21st Century.”
Regent Crain then separately moved adoption of Resolution 9899, approving amendments to the UW-Madison Faculty Personnel Rules. The resolution was removed from the consent agenda because the Education Committee had extensive discussion on the rules. Regent Walsh seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the Board on a voice vote.
Resolution 9899: That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the amendments to the UW-Madison Faculty Personnel Rules.
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Regent President Pruitt called upon Regent Smith to present the report of the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee.
Regent Smith reported that Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services at UW-Platteville, highlighted the growth of the campus and described several examples of how the institution will benefit from the flexibilities provided by the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
Regent Smith said that the committee was provided with an overview of the goals and objectives of the enterprise risk management initiative; the types of risks found in higher education and the methodology used to effectively identify risks were highlighted. The systemwide effort has been piloted by four UW institutions: UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside,UW-Superior, and UW-Whitewater.
Trust Funds Director Doug Hoerr presented highlights from the annual benchmarking studies. Annualized annual returns for UW Trust Funds exceeded those of peers in the one, three, five and ten-year periods ending June 30, 2010. Mr. Hoerr highlighted asset allocation differences and noted fees are in line with peers. While we follow a typical methodology in establishing our spending rate, our 4-percent rate appears somewhat more conservative than the “all institution” average of 4.7%.
Regent Policy 31-10 provides the proxy voting policy for UW System Trust Funds. Senior Portfolio Analyst Tom Reinders reported that the dominant social issues for the 2011 season included the environment and sustainability, human rights, equal employment opportunity, and corporate political contributions. The committee approved the non-routine shareholder proxy proposals.
The committee is responsible for accepting bequests of more than $50,000. The committee accepted four bequests with a total value of $2,623,400.
Regent Smith reported that Joshua Smith, Assistant Director of the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit, discussed highlights of a recently-completed review of short-term loan programs and their administration at UW System institutions.
The committee began its review of Regent Policy Documents, taking action to eliminate the Regent policy with respect to the use of staff leave time related to bone marrow and human organ donation; delegate authority to the Chancellors for the approval of “limited status” unclassified appointments; revise a policy to require that an Annual Trust Funds Forum be held only if the committee is informed that interested parties would like to present their concerns to the Board; and delegate additional unclassified personnel authority to UW System Chancellors for certain position titles.
Associate Vice President for Financial Administration Julie Gordon provided an update on UW System activities to address concerns raised by the Legislative Audit Bureau as part of its annual audit of the UW System’s financial statements.
Senior Vice President Michael Morgan provided the standard update on the current status of the UW System Human Resource System project. He reported that the “cutover” began two days before, and all processes have been set in motion to make that happen successfully. He also reported that because the changes in deductions for health care and retirement contributions included in the Budget Repair Bill are not yet law, the changes would not be included in the first paychecks calculated by the new HRS.
On behalf of the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee, Regent Smith then moved adoption of Resolutions 9905, 9906, 9907, 9908, 9909 and 9910. The motion was seconded by Regent Wingad and approved unanimously by the Board on a voice vote.
Resolution 9905: That, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the 2011 non-routine shareholder proxy proposals for UW System Trust Funds, as presented in the attachment.
Resolution 9906: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System and the Chancellors of the benefiting University of Wisconsin institutions, the bequests detailed on the attached list be accepted for the purposes designated by the donors, or where unrestricted by the donors, by the benefiting institution, and that the Trust Officer or Assistant Trust Officers be authorized to sign receipts and do all things necessary to effect the transfers for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin.
Let it be herewith further resolved, that the President and Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellors of the benefiting University of Wisconsin institutions, and the Deans and Chairs of the benefiting Colleges and Departments, express their sincere thanks and appreciation to the donors and their families for their generosity and their devotion to the values and ideals represented by the University of Wisconsin System. These gifts will be used to sustain and further the quality and scholarship of the University and its students.
Resolution 9907: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 20-16, “Bone Marrow and Human Organ Donation Leave for Faculty and Academic Staff”.
Resolution 9908: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents amends Regent Policy Document 20-18 to allow the UW Chancellors the authority to approve limited status for unclassified appointments.
Resolution 9909: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the attached revised Regent Policy Document 31-13 “Investment and Social Responsibility.”
Delegation of Certain Unclassified Personnel Flexibilities Permitted Under RPD 20-8: Academic Staff Title and Compensation Plan
Resolution 9910: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents endorses the President's delegation to the UW chancellors, as permitted in RPD 20-8, the authority to approve the use of unclassified titles for the Director Unspecified, Administrative Officer, and Special Assistant series; to create new positions with the Dean (academic) title; and to approve each institution's unclassified staff pay plan distribution plan.
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Regent Pruitt called upon Regent Bartell to present the report of the Capital Planning and Budget Committee.
Regent Bartell reported that Resolution 9911 requests authority to adjust the scope and budget of the UW-Madison LaBahn Arena project. This project constructs a three-level addition to the Kohl Center that includes an ice sheet for men’s and women’s hockey practice and women’s hockey competition, spectator seating, locker rooms, and support space. It will also include locker and team room support for the men’s and women’s swimming programs and will have a skyway connection to the Southeast Recreation Facility.
The additional scope and budget represents the conversion of the Nicholas Suites into a club seating area, with the potential to add as much as $400,000 in revenue annually; to construct and furnishing a new team dining room; add a therapy pool to the training room facilities; and remodel the women’s basketball locker suite. The project will be accomplished with $5.8 million in gift funds.
Authority to Sell Approximately 1.6 Acres of Land to the UW-Platteville Real Estate Foundation, UW-Platteville
Regent Bartell described Resolution 9912, which requests authority to sell two parcels of vacant land totaling about 1.6 acres to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Real Estate Foundation, Inc. for $110,000. The foundation is working with the city of Platteville to develop additional student housing and these two parcels, when combined with other foundation-owned land, could comprise a viable site for future housing, which is badly needed by the campus.
Regent Bartell said that Resolution 9913 requests authority to construct nine all-agency maintenance and repair projects at six institutions, totaling $6.2 million, including $2.2 million of gift/grant funds. These projects include window replacements, space remodeling and renovation, and utility upgrades. About two-thirds of these costs apply to UW-Madison projects
Regent Bartell moved that the Board adopt as consent agenda items Resolutions 9911, 9912, and 9913, which had been approved unanimously by the Capital Planning and Budget Committee. Regent Drew seconded the motion, and the Board adopted the resolutions on a unanimous voice vote:
Resolution 9911: That, upon the recommendation of the UW-Madison Chancellor and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority be granted to increase the project scope and budget of Hockey/Swim (LaBahn Arena) project by $5,814,000 Gift Funds for a revised total project cost of $34,096,000 ($25,096,000 Gift Funds and $9,000,000 Program Revenue Supported Borrowing).
Authority to Sell Approximately 1.6 Acres of Land to the UW-Platteville Real Estate Foundation, UW-Platteville
Resolution 9912: That, upon the recommendation of the UW-Platteville Chancellor and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority to sell approximately 1.6 acres of vacant Board of Regents-owned land to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Real Estate Foundation, Inc. for $110,000.
Resolution 9913: That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, authority be granted to construct various maintenance and repair projects at an estimated total cost of $6,507,300 ($2,173,200 Gifts and Grants and $4,334,100 Program Revenue-Cash).
Regent Bartell reported that the committee heard an excellent presentation about UW-Platteville Master Planning and Implementation, its new 501(c)(3) real estate foundation, and its capital campaign. Director of Physical Plant Pete Davis discussed the campus space needs and in academic and student life facilities. Assistant Chancellor for Advancement Dennis Cooley described the purpose of the recently-formed Real Estate Foundation, Campus Planner Doug Stephens explained the development of the institution’s master plan.
Associate Vice President David Miller provided additional information about the 2011-13 capital budget. He reported that the Building Commission’s recommendations fully funded all of the projects in the Board of Regents’ requests and added one project slated for 2013-15. Regent Bartell said that for the first time he could remember, there are no unfunded carryover projects which would set back the plan in 2013 and beyond. Now planning can continue for 2013-15 with confidence that projects will be funded in future biennia. Mr. Miller added that the UW System’s increased percentage of total General Fund Supported Borrowing demonstrated the Governor’s and Building Commission’s appreciation of the need for improved academic facilities across the System.
Regent Bartell said that he believes the UW System’s success in the capital budget is due in large part to Associate Vice President Miller and his Capital Planning and Budget staff, as well as the System’s government relations staff, who worked very hard on this budget. Regent Bartell also said that his belief in the value of maintaining a unified system has been reinforced. A fair, informed, reasoned decision on the timing and priority of capital projects throughout the System can best be addressed on a systemwide basis.
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Regent President Pruitt then called upon Regent Womack to present the resolution of appreciation to UW-Platteville for hosting the April meeting. Regent Womack said she was deeply honored to read the resolution. She said she would like to share the podium with Regent Walsh who, she knew, based in particular on a meeting at Platteville in October, had provided valuable advice to Chancellor Shields and his cabinet.
Regent Womack thanked those involved in planning the Board of Regents meeting. She mentioned by name a student ambassador who called her in advance of the meeting, another student who greeted her at lunch the day before, a student who escorted her to her car, and others who greeted her at breakfast that morning. The planning, coordination, and collaboration involved in preparing for a Board meeting are hard work. Regent Womack said that the Regents appreciate the hard work and effort. She then read the resolution, which was approved by acclamation:
WHEREAS, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is pleased to have held its April 2011 meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, an educational, economic, and cultural catalyst serving Southwest Wisconsin and the Tri-State area; and
WHEREAS, the Regents were honored to be part of the “Celebrate UW-Platteville” events, seeing first-hand the incredible Pioneer spirit shown by faculty, staff, and students throughout the campus; and
WHEREAS, the Regents were pleased to witness how UW-Platteville is working to control its own destiny by creating innovative ways to raise capital in support of its multi-faceted educational mission; and
WHEREAS, the Regents commend UW-Platteville’s efforts to develop the “360-degree student” by encouraging students to engage in collaborative research and community involvement; and
WHEREAS, the Regents congratulate Dennis J. Shields on his investiture as UW-Platteville’s Chancellor and thank him and the campus for inviting the Regents to participate in this signature event in the campus’s 145-year history;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the UW Board of Regents hereby expresses its gratitude to Chancellor Dennis J. Shields and the entire University of Wisconsin-Platteville community for sharing their hospitality and providing an enlightening, entertaining, and instructive experience.
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President Pruitt called for communications, petitions, or memorials. Regent Drew asked that the assembly observe a moment of silence for a UW-Milwaukee student, Patrick Martin, who just two days prior had fallen to his death after a reported binge-drinking-related episode. Regent Pruitt said that two other students at UW institutions had passed away in recent days, and he expressed the Board’s deepest condolences to families and friends. The Board then observed a moment of silence.
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The Board recessed at 11:38 p.m. and reconvened at 11:57 p.m.
The following resolution was moved by Regent Spector, seconded, and adopted on a roll-call vote, with Regents Bartell, Bradley, Crain, Danae Davis, Stan Davis, Drew, Evers, Falbo, Manydeeds, Pruitt, Smith, Spector, Vásquez, Walsh, and Wingad voting in the affirmative. There were no dissenting votes and no abstentions.
Resolution 9915: That the Board of Regents move into closed session to consider UW-Oshkosh honorary degree nominations, as permitted by s. 19.85(1)(f), Wis. Stats.; to consider appointment of a UW-Superior chancellor, as permitted by s. 19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats.; to confer with legal counsel regarding pending or potential litigation, as permitted by s. 19.85(1)(g), Wis. Stats.
The following resolution was adopted during closed session:
Resolution 9916: That, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, Renée M. Wachter be appointed Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, effective on or about July 1, 2011, at a salary of $195,000.
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The meeting was adjourned at 12:22 p.m.
/s/ Jane S. Radue
Jane S. Radue, Secretary of the Board