Board of Regents
Minutes of theMarch, 2011 Board of Regents meeting
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in the Pyle
Center, Rooms 325-326
702 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin
Thursday, March 10, 2011
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Held in the Pyle Center, Rooms 325-326
702 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin
– President Pruitt presiding –
PRESENT: Regents Jeffrey 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 greeted participants and reviewed the agenda for the day. Saying that the day’s meeting is one of the Board’s “deep dive” sessions, President Pruitt said that in the morning, the Board would take a closer look at “Preparing Quality Teachers for the New Urban Education Reality.” The lunch break would be longer than usual to allow time to view the special display of Growth Agenda Showcase Posters in the Alumni Lounge. In the afternoon, the discussion would focus on the 2011-13 Biennial Budget.
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President Pruitt said that the topic, “Preparing Quality Teachers for the New Urban Education Reality,” was suggested by the Education Committee. The “new urban education reality” is a reference primarily to Wisconsin’s, and the nation’s, changing demographics. The students in Wisconsin’s elementary, middle, and secondary schools are an increasingly diverse group, and that diversity manifests itself racially, ethnically, linguistically, and economically. This presents new challenges for teachers, who must adapt their instructional styles or methods to meet the evolving needs of their students. President Pruitt said that the UW System’s teacher education programs prepare the majority of Wisconsin’s teachers. For that reason, the Board needs to pay continuous attention to how to best prepare quality teachers.
It gets even more complicated.
Along with this new demographic reality, there is also a new fiscal reality facing education in this state, President Pruitt said. As recently presented, the Governor’s budget proposes almost $900 million in cuts to the K-12 arena. Many are deeply concerned about what this means to Wisconsin’s tradition of, and commitment to, high-quality public schools for the state’s residents. However, President Pruitt said that the morning’s session would nonetheless need to focus on what the university can control and what the Board can do from within its sphere of influence.
President Pruitt turned to Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin to introduce the morning’s guest speaker and the panel of educators who were present to help the Board gain a better understanding of Wisconsin’s new education reality.
Senior Vice President Martin introduced Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Education Policy Studies at UW-Madison, saying that Dr. Ladson-Billings is one of the nation’s preeminent teacher-researcher-practitioners of teacher education. Dr. Martin said that Dr. Ladson-Billings’ 1994 monograph, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children, is still a staple in American education-school syllabi across the country. She was a proponent of inclusive excellence long before the UW System adopted this concept for its diversity and equity work. Her reframing of the achievement gap as an education gap is a critical paradigm shift. For institutions that prepare teachers, the connection to the K-12 sector cannot be overstated. The state must do better in educating a wider and deeper slice of its young people, Dr. Martin said.
Dr. Martin said that along with Dr. Ladson-Billings, joining the Board would be a panel of educators who are deeply invested in exploring these issues: DeLois Brown, of Ralph H. Metcalfe Elementary, a Milwaukee public school teacher who received her teacher preparation at UWM; James Shaw, Racine Unified School District Superintendent; and Katy Heyning, UW-Whitewater’s Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.
Dr. Ladson-Billings thanked President Reilly and the Board of Regents for the invitation to speak at the meeting. She indicated that her presentation would address preparing quality teachers for the new urban education reality, but that the issue cannot be discussed in a vacuum. She asked if twenty years ago anyone imagined they would carry something in their pocket that would send messages, take photographs, or store music collections; if anyone imagined twenty years ago that they would not have to go to a bookstore to get a book, but instead the book would be available within a matter of seconds on an e-reader; if anyone imagined having thousands of songs stored on a little device or a driving a car that did not need gas. Dr. Ladson-Billings contrasted all of these developments that occurred within the last two decades with present-day classrooms that look very similar to the way they did during the mid-20th century.
Dr. Ladson-Billing asked how “urban” became a dirty word. She explained that the word “city” comes from the Latin word, “civitas” or “civis,” meaning “citizen,” and in many ways cities help define us as civilized. The word “urban” means characteristic of the city, and to be “urban” is to be sophisticated, refined, or elegant. Despite the Latin origins of the word, “urban” has become a code word for degradation, disintegration and chaos. She stated that she wants to see the resurrection of the true meaning of the word “urban,” so that when people talk about urban schools they are referring to the finest schools, and places that everyone should emulate.
Dr. Ladson-Billings indicated that her remarks would have two themes, the first of which is closing the opportunity gap. She stressed that she has moved away from using the phrase, “achievement gap,” and uses “opportunity gap” instead, because many of the children who are struggling in school are not struggling because they lack the intellect or the cognitive skills, but because they lack certain opportunities. She asked how, if students do not have a qualified physics teacher, how they supposed to be good physics students. She emphasized the need to think about ways to close the opportunity gap and ensure that children have the right opportunities.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that the second theme of her remarks was related to creating a vision for the kind of society we want. She stated that it may sound somewhat utopian, but she believes that without a target there is no way to get to where you want to be. She indicated that one of the visions for our society is to revitalize our cities, urban communities and our schools, without destroying the people. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that she is originally from Philadelphia. When people brag about the University of Pennsylvania, she likes to point out that her house used to be where a current campus building is located. She emphasized that in building that university, neighborhoods were destroyed. She said that instead of pushing all the people out and bringing in another set of people, it is necessary to figure out how everyone can participate in the revitalization.
Dr. Ladson-Billings provided some background information regarding college readiness in Wisconsin. When looking at the ACT, the benchmark for whether someone is ready to participate and do well is a score of at least 18 on the English portion of the exam, a 22 in math, a 21 in reading, and a 24 in science. Dr. Ladson-Billings noted that she spent seven years on the UW-Madison Athletic Board, including three years as the campus’s Big Ten faculty representative. That experience provided her with a clear indication that a Wisconsin student athlete is different from athletes at some other well-known universities, because Wisconsin is clear about the minimum ACT score that will be accepted for a student athlete. According to Dr. Ladson-Billings, there is no point in bringing a student athlete to Wisconsin with less than an overall ACT score of 19, because there is only one remedial course offered at UW-Madison. It is important to look at the benchmarks that young people need to meet in order to be successful. She indicated that 31 percent of Wisconsin students meet all four of the ACT benchmarks. Although Wisconsin is better than the rest of the nation, in that nationally only 24 percent of students meet all four benchmarks, 31 percent is nothing to brag about. We would not want to run businesses or industry with 31 percent success rates, she said.
Dr. Ladson-Billings referred to her next slide, which illustrated ACT performance from 2006 through 2010 for Wisconsin and for the nation as a whole. According to the slide, the ACT composite score for Wisconsin students has ranged from 22.1 to 22.3, whereas the composite score for students nationally has ranged from 21 to 21.2. She pointed out that Wisconsin students have done better in comparison to all students nationally, but the difference in scores has not been large. Further, most Wisconsin students taking the ACT exam are white. In 2006, 4 percent of the students taking the exam were black, increasing to 7 percent by 2010. Only 3 percent of students taking the exam were Latino.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that some student groups are more prepared for college than others. Only 27 percent of African-American students and 46 percent of Latino students taking the ACT test met the benchmark for the English portion of the exam. Only 8 percent of the African-American students taking the ACT test met the benchmark for the algebra portion of the exam. Dr. Ladson-Billings asked, given this context, what are the policy implications concerning this opportunity gap.
According to Dr. Ladson-Billings, the first policy implication is to ensure that urban classrooms are staffed with highly qualified teachers. She stated that the phrase, “highly qualified teachers,” has been used since 2002, but that she is not talking about the definition set by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Instead, she suggested that the state has to determine what constitutes a highly qualified teacher and emphasized that it is important that those teachers end up teaching in urban classrooms. Across the nation, urban students are getting the least-prepared teachers. While urban teachers that come to teaching through alternative routes, such as Teach For America, may be bright and eager, it’s not a good practice to flood a school with new teachers who lack teaching experience. The research indicates that the first few years of teaching are the most difficult. Experienced teachers are needed in urban classrooms.
Another policy implication related to the opportunity gap is to guarantee that urban students receive an enriched curriculum. Students cannot be expected to do well on a college algebra test if they have not had good algebra preparation. To provide a student with only “checkbook math,” when it is unlikely the student will ever have a checkbook, is disingenuous and unethical. Students have to have the kind of curriculum that prepares them to function at a four-year or two-year institution.
A third policy implication is to invest in up-front preschool and early childhood education. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that the data indicates that early childhood education is a good investment. She asked if people remembered the Fram oil filter commercials that included the slogan, “You can pay me know or you can pay me later”. According to Dr. Ladson-Billings, as a state we have been happy to “pay later” in terms of a burgeoning prison population at a cost of $35,000 per prisoner per year, rather than to spend $12,000 on a five-year old. The final policy implication related to the opportunity gap is the fight for adequate funding which is particularly challenging right now. It is important to educate the public that quality education cannot be provided for free.
Dr. Ladson-Billings went on to say that there are also policy implications for what she referred to as the “new social vision,” the first of which is to support leadership, innovation and risk-taking at the school and classroom level. She stated that the reason choice and charter schools have become attractive options for people is because there are more opportunities to do some different things. She quoted a former Milwaukee school superintendant who said “we don’t need a system of public schools; we need systems of public schools,” suggesting that not every school has to look exactly the same or do exactly the same thing, but all should be shooting for the same target.
Another policy implication of Dr. Ladson-Billings new social vision is to maximize technology as a tool for both teaching and learning. There is still a digital divide. There are computers in every school, she said, but she asked whether students are using the computers as electronic workbooks, or programming, or playing games. She also asked if teachers are equipped. Schools need to be more technologically integrated, rather than using technology as an adjunct. She said she fears that technology will become what television became in the schools. In the 1950s, when television started to become more common, educators were fearful because they believed that television would take the place of teachers. Instead of being engaged with television and the content, educators fought it and did not win. That same potential exists today with technology, and teachers need to find better ways to engage with technology so that teachers and students can use it in a variety of ways.
An additional policy implication is the commitment of funding to the preparation of teachers who agree to teach in urban districts. Many of the students who attend teacher-education programs do not want to teach in urban schools, because “urban” has become a dirty word. Incentives are needed to encourage teachers to choose to teach in urban communities. Dr. Ladson-Billings cited the revitalization of the Teacher Corps model as an example of a teacher-preparation program in which the university worked in tandem with people interested in and committed to teaching in urban communities.
The final policy implication of Dr. Ladson-Billing’s new social vision is for the Board of Regents to recommit the university to the broad mission of preparing teachers as they did with their June 2001 initiative. Dr. Ladson-Billings asked if there had been any follow-up to that initiative, or how the university had followed through with that initiative. The broad mission of preparing teachers should not reside solely with schools, colleges, and departments of education, but instead should be something in which the university itself engages, particularly in public environments.
President Pruitt next recognized Regent Crain, who asked Dr. Ladson-Billings how the university can get the most qualified teachers into urban classrooms. Dr. Ladson-Billings answered the question with an example, stating that she recently returned from a trip to Stockholm and one thing she noticed about Scandinavia is how valued teachers are. For example, Finnish teachers are supported by the state during the undergraduate degree and masters degree education.
Regent Bartell stated that he was intrigued by a comment Dr. Ladson-Billings’ had made, and asked how teachers can be trained to effectively educate racially, culturally and linguistically diverse students. Dr. Ladson-Billings agreed with Regent Bartell’s observation that this is a very broad criterion, if one believes that students who leave the university are a finished product. She stated that she tells her students that when they leave the university, they will be beginners and beginners make mistakes and will take longer to do certain things. Teacher preparation programs should begin to help young people develop the types of dispositions and attitudes toward life-long learning that will better prepare them for teaching. What makes someone a teacher is that they begin the practice of teaching. There are great teachers who can help bring student teachers along, but it is important to not conclude that students who leave teacher-education programs are “finished.”
Regent Danae Davis stated that she was very glad to be having the conversation, was thrilled to meet and listen to Dr. Ladson-Billings, and thanked her for sharing her wisdom with the Board of Regents. Regent Davis explained that she runs an organization for girls who are primarily people of color and her impression is that unlike when she was younger, the profession of teaching has become another “dirty word.” Of the girls she knows, very few want to be teachers, she said. She assumed that there are not many students of color in college who are choosing the profession of teaching. Regent Davis asked what can or should be done to encourage students of color to view teaching as a more desirable profession.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that this issue is not unique to students of color, as most students do not come to the university wanting to be teachers; the profession has been vilified. She believes that there are a number of professionals who have realized that they would love to teach, but someone discouraged them from entering the teaching profession. There are few pathways into the teaching profession, but Dr. Ladson-Billings said she believes that this is an easy fix, with the development of post-baccalaureate certification programs. She stated that the profession of teaching is usually missing from most school career fairs. Part of career development also has to include the sense that teaching is a career that includes a number of perks, as well as challenges. The challenges of urban schools require a certain level of maturity, and there are a variety of things that can be done to encourage mature people to consider teaching. Dr. Ladson-Billings suggested than internships are a way to provide people with an opportunity to “try out” a job, but there are not many ways to “try out” teaching.
Regent Loftus expressed concern about a future in which recruiting people to go into teaching will be a difficult task, and keeping people in the profession will be equally as hard. Regent Loftus said that his understanding of the current budget-repair-bill legislation was that anything more than a cost-of-living increase for teachers will have to be put to a vote among voters in a school district. He predicted that this will result in years of turmoil and division, with teachers viewed as the enemy and a suppression of wages and benefits going forward. Regent Loftus asked Dr. Ladson-Billings for her comment on the current events in Wisconsin.
In response, Dr. Ladson-Billings offered a quote from Derrick Bell, “just because something is impossible does not mean it is not worth doing.” She added that she is a former history teacher and has a tendency to take the long view. Although the current moment is horrible, she said she is confident of some future victories. What has been happening in Wisconsin, in a peaceful exercise of democracy, will eventually lead to a good outcome. She attributed her outlook to her background, as she is three generations from slavery, two generations from sharecropping, and one generation from legal apartheid, and now the Kellner Family Chair of Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin. Every generation has a task, and the task of this generation is not more difficult than slavery, sharecropping, or segregation. She said she is not an optimist, but she is hopeful.
Regent Vásquez stated that he understood the topic was about teaching and teacher preparation, and notwithstanding the talk about choice schools and charter schools, he said he believes that in the future, the vast majority of urban children will continue to be educated in public schools under the auspices or direction of school boards. He asked Dr. Ladson-Billings for her thoughts on urban school boards. Dr. Ladson-Billings reminded those present that she is originally from Philadelphia and chuckles when people mention mayoral control of the schools as a new idea; the Philadelphia mayor was in charge of the city’s public schools for years, appointing members of the school board. The primary issue for school boards is to learn the difference between policy-making and administration. She said she often reminds school board members that they have only one employee—the school superintendent—and they need to make sure they have the right person for the job. Learning to be board members is the most important thing boards can do.
Regent Womack thanked Dr. Ladson-Billings for appearing before the Board. She stated that what keeps her up at night is not the urban freshman, but instead the urban kindergartner. She asked Dr. Ladson-Billings if she was aware of any “bright spots” around the state as children are prepared for 4K and kindergarten. Regent Womack stated that since 2000, kindergarten has become first grade. There are students entering the school systems at 4K already behind, and it creates a steep hill for those children. Dr. Ladson-Billings agreed that the curriculum for kindergarten has become more rigorous, which is contrary to what early childhood specialists envisioned. Kindergarten is supposed to be about children learning to become civilized and play with the children beside them. She added that in Finland, children are not sent to school until they are seven years old. American society is in a data-driven moment, but she questions whether the data are being read correctly; the nation’s educational system is ranked 14th, but in 1968 the ranking was 16. It is necessary to back up and talk about what it means to be a 4- or 5-year old, and what are reasonable expectations of children in this age group.
Dr. Ladson-Billings went on to explain that she was pleased that Jim Shaw from the Racine School District was also present, as she has been working with the district at no cost, because staff in the district want to improve. The desire to get better is a culture that needs to be built among teachers, but it cannot be done if students are constantly tested and everyone feels threatened. It is important to build cultures in school that focus on schools building citizens so that they can participate in our democracy.
Regent Evers offered a comment about kindergarten, stating that he has visited kindergarten classrooms across the state and believes that the state’s kindergarten teachers are balancing the academics with the emotional and social development of children. He indicated that he wanted to turn the conversation back to something that the Board controls, teacher education programs. He stated that Dr. Ladson-Billings made an excellent point about the need to invest in those programs. Teacher education programs should be an absolute priority for the Board and of UW System. While UW-Whitewater and others have made some significant efforts, he has not seen that effort for all of UW System. To convince young people to consider the profession, there needs to be a financial commitment, as well.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that UW-Madison has a tutoring program designed for people who are not planning to be teachers. It is for students who are studying business or engineering or any number of fields, but need a one credit course. Once these college students are placed in schools to tutor, they start to question why they did not consider teaching and love the opportunity to impact the lives of young people. These kinds of opportunities, which do not include barriers that prevent people from transitioning into teaching, are important. With more resources to develop these types of opportunities, Dr. Ladson-Billings believes the teaching force that has been talked about could be developed.
Regent Spector asked what the Board of Regents should do for UW System as a whole, to further the cause of teacher education and teaching of urban children. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that one of the dreams UW System had was to ensure that every student who came through a UW System school had an opportunity to do and “urban rotation.” At the medical school, they ensure that medical students are place at Good Samaritan Hospital because they need to see a wider range of illnesses. At one time, there was talk about building a dormitory in Milwaukee so that even students at UW-Stevens Point would have an opportunity to complete an urban rotation. That is a very pragmatic example of something that could be done.
A more visionary thing to consider would be to determine, by campus, the areas of specialty on which to focus. Offering an example from the University of California System, Dr. Ladson-Billings said that not every campus may want to focus on urban education, and it is important that the campuses play to their own strengths. She suggested that the Board and UW System could consider the types of specialties that the various UW campuses could offer, and how the Board and the state could support those specialties. She said that her concern is that there is currently duplication among the campuses and someone needs to figure out which campuses are good at which specialties, determine which campuses have the resources, and encourage and support campuses.
President Reilly stated that Dr. Ladson-Billings’ quote from Derrick Bell reminded him of similar quote, “teaching is so hard because it’s impossible.” President Reilly stated that the Board heard a presentation several months ago on the still-developing national movement on standards. Superintendent Evers and his Association of Chief State School Officers and President Reilly and the State Higher Education Executive Officers, have been involved in that effort. In addition, President Reilly stated that there is also an effort to outfit the next generation of teachers with the classroom management skills to teach the children that are in the classroom, and these two movements are operating in silos. He asked Dr. Ladson-Billings if, in fact, these two movements are operating in silos, and if so, how to bring the two movements together.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that there have been several iterations of standards, going back to President George Herbert Walker Bush and before him, President Reagan and the “A Nation at Risk” report. She believes that the standards movement has exploded to the point that it is now impossible because there are so many different standards. Opinions on the move towards common core standards seem to vary based on one’s political perspective; either core standards are great because now everyone will know what to do or core standards are viewed as another example of the federal government telling us we need a national curriculum. National curriculum movements do not always work, as has been the case with the national curriculum movement in the United Kingdom.
Rather than focusing on the standards, Dr. Ladson-Billings suggested focusing on the target. There are essentially two sets of standards, one set of standards for students that will go to college and another set of standards for students who will not go to college, and that has to change. High school students who are not planning to go to college at age 16, because they do not know what they want to do, should not leave high school without the option of attending college.
Dr. Ladson-Billings said that she is often asked by the Student Wisconsin Education Association group to speak to students about classroom management. She suggested that instead of focusing on classroom management, it is important to enjoy being a teacher and recognize that mistakes will be made and there will be struggles. There is no magic bullet with regard to classroom management. The prescriptive ways in which some are thinking about classroom management, outside of curriculum, are troubling. There needs to be more cross-talk between what is it that we want children to be able to do, and how to organize classrooms and schools so that it is possible.
Regent Danae Davis stated that she thought all would agree that it is important to pay attention to, and change, leadership in schools. Leaders set the culture and provide the opportunities. School leaders are or should be accountable for what happens in the school and in the classroom. Regent Davis asked what needs to change in how leaders are trained and prepared, and whether there is a role for the Board of Regents. Dr. Ladson-Billings said that some people are “coerced” into leadership positions because it is the only way they can improve their bottom line. She stated that more opportunities and rewards are needed for teachers other than pulling them out of the classroom and making them principals so they can be paid more. Then the people who choose to become principals would do so because they want to be principals and lead at that level.
In addition, there must be appropriate, ongoing leadership training, preparation and professional development. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that when she was a supervisor of social studies in the Philadelphia public schools, she had a huge responsibility. The district had 280 schools, and she was assigned to 44 of those schools, which include 4,100 teachers and 40,000 students, an impossible job. All of the discussion about what leaders did was about crisis management, and leaders within the district never had an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. She stated that she learned to be a leader in a community group called Leadership Palo Alto, which her institution allowed her to attend. Just as a young person coming out of a teacher education program is not “finished,” a person in the principal’s office is not finished; they need to grow in the position.
Senior Vice President Martin thanked Dr. Ladson-Billings for her presentation. She introduced the other members of the panel: Superintendent Shaw, Dean Katy Heyning from UW-Whitewater, and Ms. DeLois Brown from Metcalfe Middle School in Milwaukee.
Regent Danae Davis suggested the Board celebrate the presentation from Dr. Ladson-Billings as she led the crowd in applauding Dr. Ladson-Billings. Superintendent Shaw added that he wanted to join in the celebration of Dr. Ladson-Billings. To him, the Wisconsin Idea is a very compelling vision of what the role of the university should be in addressing the needs of urban education in K-12 education. Dr. Ladson-Billings personifies the Wisconsin Idea by traveling to Racine, spending her time and resources to help Racine. Every time she comes, she has a major impact on the Racine community. She meets with African American church and community leaders and builds a vision of all children succeeding in Racine. In addition to Dr. Ladson-Billings, professors from UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, such as Professor Carolyn Kelley, Professor Paul Bredeson, Professor Bruce King, Professor Colleen Capper, and as many as eight or nine professors at UW-Madison, own the issue of improving urban education and working in Racine, he said.
Superintendent Shaw expressed his gratitude to Dr. Ladson-Billings and the UW System, as his district also has partnerships with UW-Parkside and UW-Milwaukee, for their efforts and for addressing this topic at the Board meeting. He stated that it was a shame that Wisconsin leads the nation in achievement gaps for African American children. He added that he was pleased that the Board was talking about the issue of urban education, and identifying it as the issue that must be addressed to improve public education in Wisconsin, was an important policy statement for the UW System.
Dean Heyning stated that she was honored to be at the meeting and thanked the Board for letting her and others talk about issues of urban education and try to find ways to work together to support teaching and teacher education in Wisconsin. UW-Whitewater is a large, regional, comprehensive university with the greatest number of initially-licensed teachers in the state. Last year, UW-Whitewater helped more than 460 students obtain their teaching licenses. She said she believes that in order to increase the number of college graduates in Wisconsin, which will ultimately enhance the state’s bleak economic outlook, there needs to be a globally competitive PK-20-and-beyond system, and this begins with highly qualified teachers in PK-12 schools.
At Whitewater, Dean Heyning said, the goal is to take students who are often first-generation college students, and help them become teachers. UW-Whitewater is one of only three UW System campuses accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. In addition, UW-Whitewater’s dual licensure early childhood program is only one of seven in the nation that has received accreditation from the Council for Exceptional Children and National Association for the Education of Young Children. Many of their programs have received high accolades. At UW-Whitewater, they realize that their success must be shared and high quality programs must continue to be responsive.
Dean Heyning referred to handouts provided to the Board and stated that she wanted to speak briefly about three programs at UW-Whitewater that address these issues. First, UW-Whitewater has been actively recruiting students of opportunity, minority students, and students interested in teaching in high need areas, and has been creating new and effective forms of support to assist all of them in their path towards degree and licensure. One of their newest programs is the Future Teachers Program, or FTP, which was launched last summer. The first semester average grade point average for this group of students was just above a 3.0, with one 4.0 and no drop-outs. This program is designed to recruit students who are interested in teaching in urban districts but also help them with their basic skills and testing-taking skills. In addition, the students enroll in a year-long mentoring program and participate in undergraduate research. They started with 19 students last summer, and now have 25 students. The FTP students are now very growing and dynamic part of the teacher education population.
UW-Whitewater also has been working to modify existing programs, to move them into online and hybrid formats to better serve transfer students and students with full-time employment but lacking a degree and/or license. UW-Whitewater recently launched its global education campus platform with the intent to reach out and bring in more non-traditional students, locally and statewide, as well as international students who possess unique and important global perspectives, which will help all UW-Whitewater programs. She cited the ECE4U program as an example. This program is for early childhood paraprofessionals without a license or with only an Associate Degree, who have difficulty coming to campus to take classes during regular school hours. The majority of the program is online, with some weekend courses. UW-Whitewater is very passionate about supporting early childhood education, by producing high quality early childhood teachers for Wisconsin.
Dean Heyning stated that the third program she would mention was the recently-revamped urban education module. This 12-credit sub-minor helps prepare students to teach in urban centers through the exploration of the issues, perspectives, and directions of urban education. The module culminates with specialized fieldwork in an urban school. The module has been growing in popularity, and UW-Whitewater is considering requiring it for all education students as part of an overall curriculum redesign that the school is undertaking this summer.
Dean Heyning concluded by stating that the programs she mentioned were three quick examples of how UW-Whitewater is developing a world-class teaching workforce and addressing the current needs of PK-12 education. Given the current political and fiscal climate, she believes that it is critically important for everyone to have the same commitment that UW-Whitewater has. She added that many of the campuses would say the same thing, and doing many of the things that UW-Whitewater is doing. She asked for a recommitment to improving education throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on the quality of teachers for urban centers.
Senior Vice President Martin suggested that Ms. Brown share her perspective as a teacher. Ms. Brown stated that she wanted to talk about what is needed from teachers in urban communities. She stated that if someone is going to teach, it has to come from the heart. Until recently, teaching was considered a safe haven and teachers believed they could teach until they were able to retire. That is no longer the case. Today, if a student is preparing to be a teacher, it should be because they really want to teach and not be viewed as simply a job.
Ms. Brown also stated that it is important for teachers to get to know their students and their backgrounds and not be afraid. If someone is going to teach in an urban community, they cannot be afraid of the children, of the families, or the area that they live in. Teachers have to come in prepared to take off their boots and work with the children. Student teachers need to practice early, rather than waiting until the last stage of their education to practice in the classroom. Classroom teaching should occur throughout a student teacher’s education. Ms. Brown stated that she liked the dormitory idea that allows student teachers to live near the community and work, which might help prevent situations in which student teachers reach the end of their formal training and realize they do not want to teach. Student teachers also need to be mature. Ms. Brown concluded by saying that she believes that someone should not teach in an urban community if they cannot see their children attending a school in that community.
Superintendent Shaw stated that his concerns were both for the principals and teachers, and the need to have the very best teachers, principals and leaders in our schools. He thinks that the UW System is making efforts in that regard, but more can be done. He stated that he agreed with Professor Ladson-Billings about the need for a shared vision of what good teaching looks like. However, because every child, school, and community is different, the same practices do not apply universally, and there has to be some level of professional judgment. Teachers to have a background in a variety of practices that they can employ, and also have the professional judgment to use those practices based on the needs of the children.
Superintendent Shaw said that he thinks that the issue of measuring that is important. A much more robust definition of good teaching is needed, along with a more robust system of data, so that good teaching can be measured, and teachers held accountable.
Superintendent Shaw stated that even though he has been around a long time, he learns every day in urban education. In the past few weeks he has learned that because of the lack of a definition of good teaching, teachers think they need collective bargaining so that they can have a voice and be heard. Teachers want to be part of the process of defining good teaching, and creating a system of improvement in Racine. The night before the Board meeting, the Racine School Board recognized the importance of teacher involvement through collective bargaining. If professionals are going to teach our children, they have to have a voice in how to improve education. He stated that it is unfortunate that teachers define that solely through collective bargaining, but that is the current situation. In Racine, the school board wisely approved a contract retaining the language the teachers think is important to help them define what good teaching is. It is important to have teacher involvement in identifying good teaching and improved accountability systems in schools.
Superintendent Shaw stated that he was at UW-Madison for six years, and learned a great deal by studying other school districts across the country, including urban school districts that are making progress. People are successfully addressing the achievement gap; all children are learning in some school districts; and the university can help with research to identify best practices for teachers, leaders, school systems and school boards to help urban systems improve.
Dr. Ladson-Billings added a caution regarding the use of value-added tools. She stated that there are many measurement problems with value-added testing. The Los Angeles school district published all of the value-added scores of all district teachers, but the confidence intervals that exist in value-added testing are so large that the range of possible scores is meaningless. Value-added assessments can tell about the very best teachers and the very worst teachers, but nothing about the majority of teachers that fall in the middle. She cautioned that it is important to be careful about the way in which value-added tools are used, because the use of these tools can be demoralizing to teachers. She liked that Superintendent Shaw talked about partnering with teachers to determine outcomes.
Regent Crain stated that she was glad this topic was being discussed, as no issue is more important to her than the quality of public education in the state. The challenges are great, but a lot of what the panel has said has been very helpful. Regent Crain expressed her appreciation to the panel and also stated that she loved Dr. Ladson-Billings’ comment about the responsibility of school board members. In addition, she thinks that all who care about public school systems in the state have a lot of education to do regarding the challenges in public education and the needs of children and families. Having caring, competent people run for school board positions is one of the things that is important to quality education. It is also important to talk about the challenges in public education, as well as the importance of and appreciation for quality teachers.
Regent Vásquez stated that he had a difficult comment and question for the panel. As he was preparing for the meeting and reading through the materials, one worry was about all of the cries for charter and choice schools, and the Governor’s recent actions with regard to the largest urban district in the state. He stated that there seems to be a “disconnect” between the good work the UW System is already doing and the reality of what is happening around the state. He suggested that instead of asking ourselves “what are we doing well,” it is important to ask why this disconnect continues to exist.
Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that a few years ago, she was in Washington D.C. the day before the National Assessment of Education Progress scores were going to be released. She contacted then-Superintendent Burmaster to let her know that the scores would be released the following day, and that she would not be happy with the results. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that Wisconsin has a bi-modal distribution of scores, and the largest achievement disparity in the nation. The disparity in Wisconsin is greater than in Mississippi, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia. She said that this disparity indicates that Wisconsin is doing really well with the group of kids who are the majority culture, but terribly with African American and Latino children. However, it is difficult to sustain a political career being a champion of African American and Latino children.
Dr. Ladson-Billings suggested that people need to realize that Wisconsin is going to become more diverse. The problem is not in Nicolet or Whitefish Bay, where children receive a good education and their parents are happy with the public schools. She stated that the real issue is not all public schools, but urban public schools. On a national basis, it is not all 14,000 school districts but instead the largest 25 urban school districts that are a drag on the entire system, and yet we are unwilling to say that this is where the problem is and where we need to do work. She stated that UW Systems schools are doing great things to train teachers, but these teachers are not always ending up in the high need schools.
Dean Heyning agreed with Dr. Ladson-Billings, and added that UW students are not being educated about this issue. Teacher education students are aware of this issue, but other students, such as those in business education or liberal arts, are not aware of these facts. Every student who graduates from a UW institution should know about this issue.
Superintendent Shaw stated that it is not politically popular to advocate for poor children, black children or Latino children, and agreed that there is not a lot of political capital in advocating for these children. He stated that he is a Wisconsin native who grew up in Milwaukee, was educated at UW-Madison, and works in Racine; he said that his experience in Wisconsin is that people run away from this problem. In Superintendent meetings in the Milwaukee suburbs, during discussions about disaggregating suburban test scores, there was reluctance to disaggregate the scores because the public would see that there were some children in the suburbs that are not succeeding and happened to be African American and poor. At the time, there were not as many Latino children, but the same trend is now seen among Latino children. If Racine is failing or Milwaukee is failing, the response has been to reduce the funding by taking $25 million away from those schools and beat them with a stick until they improve, and when they do not improve, implement a voucher program to give people a choice to escape urban schools. He stated that he believes this is running away from the problem rather than admitting that in Wisconsin there is an achievement gap that is the most egregious education problem facing the state of Wisconsin.
Superintendent Shaw stated that this people cannot pretend that all children, including white middle class children, are unaffected by the failure of other kids to learn. Learning happens in a community, something he learned at the university, because a wonderful university brings people together and they learn more together.
Regent Spector stated that he knows Dr. Shaw very well, has heard him make similar speeches, and that he makes an excellent point. He indicated that he had a delicate question for Dr. Ladson-Billings given her research. He asked what the research shows about the importance of having a teacher of color to help children of color do better in closing the achievement gap. He asked if there was any merit to this idea, or whether this is just politics. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that “there is no racial, ethnic bullet.” There are good black teachers and terrible black teachers. There is a little bit of evidence that African American teachers are more likely to persist with African American children, and are more likely to choose communities serving African American children rather than suburban communities. She added that the same can be said for Latino teachers. The reason to diversify the teaching force is for white children. White children need exposure to and experience with a variety of people. Their education is enhanced. That is part of the reason why people come to the university, to be around different people and learn with and from them. The issue of diversifying the teaching force is the same issue that IMB or Coca Cola or any Fortune 500 company is facing; markets are changing, and a workforce that reflects the market is needed to remain competitive. A diversified teaching force is not about the one-on-one match with students and teachers; it is about the target and determining what type of society we want to be, and the type of communities we want to have.
Regent Loftus explained that he has a nephew in Norway who started school at age seven and graduated from college at age twenty-three. Most boys in Norway also have to provide a year of mandatory military service at age nineteen. He indicated that everything Dr. Ladson-Billings had said was true, and added that in the years he had been observing the Norwegian school system, it had changed dramatically, often taking the best ideas from the United States and implementing them. He added that Olso, Stockholm, and Copenhagen have large political refugee populations and immigrant populations, and he would be interested in how the schools do with educating these new populations. He asked if the United States ever implements any good ideas from anywhere else in the world, or if the borders of our thought are the borders or shores of our country. He also asked for a comment on the recent census and any potential changes in demographics for Wisconsin.
Dr. Ladson-Billings indicated that Americans are great innovators but terrible implementers. Americans have the ideas but are a very impatient people. She stated that she was visiting some schools in Tokyo, and the schools were magnificent. The children were doing all kinds of different things, which was contrary to what she has heard about the rigidity of that Japanese system. Ironically, the Japanese school officials indicated that they learned about open classrooms from the United States and the movement towards more open classrooms in the 1960s. They indicated that the open-classroom concept was a good idea and that Japanese children are well prepared for the secondary school because of the open classroom experience. Finland, which is often identified as a top-performing school system, has only 5.3 million people and is about the size of Wisconsin. It has a 100 percent unionized teaching force, no student evaluations, and no teacher evaluations. In addition, evaluations of schools are kept confidential and not shared with the public. They also have only a 2.5-percent foreign-born population and most of those people are born in Estonia, Russia, and Sweden. The great degree of homogeneity has allowed them to do some great things, but if you ask members of the national school board the reason for their success, they answer by indicating that they trust their teachers. There is a huge bond of what Tony Bright and Barbara Schneider would call “relational trust.” When researchers studied reform in more than 500 Chicago schools, they found that the same reforms did not work in some schools but worked in others because of relational trust; principals trusted teachers, teachers trusted parents, parents trusted principals, kids trusted teachers. When trust was present, reform was possible. Dr. Ladson-Billings stated that her greatest fear in this moment we are in is about a loss of trust. Until schools begin to build that relational trust and people believe that the people in the schools have students’ best interests at heart, struggles will continue.
Senior Vice President Martin stated that these are very complex issues. She suggested bringing the conversation back to the issue for which the Board and UW System has some responsibility, teacher preparation, and talking more how to make this more of a priority for UW System.
Regent Vásquez referred back to a comment that Dr. Ladson-Billings made about students who graduate with a university education not being finished products. He indicated that he agreed with Chancellor Martin, who stated at the previous meeting that there is a heavy emphasis for universities to operate like businesses, but universities are not businesses. However, there are some practices from the business community that universities may want to think about. One of his observations of teacher education programs is that as programs graduate students, they turn to the next incoming group of students and forget about recent graduates. One business practice that might be a benefit is a practice he encountered when purchasing a car. After the purchase, he was contacted frequently and asked how the car was working, and if he was satisfied with the service provided. He observed that there is not a similar attitude with the teacher education program and once students graduate, the focus is shifted to the next class.
Regent Evers offered to answer the question, explaining that the meager research that exists on preparing teachers for work in urban schools mentions residency and longer internships. There are several urban-based universities where it is not unusual to spend two years interning or having residency in an urban school. That is one piece of the puzzle, and it is going to cost money. The University of Chicago has a teacher residency program. The residents work hard, but they are also paid, and learn from master teachers on the job. In his opinion, these are efforts worth the investment.
Dr. Ladson Billings stated that certifications are currently offered on young people’s developmental levels -- early childhood, middle childhood, and early adolescence. That is a generic model that assumes a middle-childhood experience in Rhinelander is equivalent to the middle-childhood experience in Beloit. There may be an opportunity to think about differentiated credentials and offering an urban teacher credential. Such a system would help with the selection process, as someone would not obtain that credential if they did not want that type of teaching experience. In the current system, the proxy for how well students are doing is their grades, but there is no direct correlation between grades and teaching performance in a classroom. In response to Regent Vásquez’s point, she stated that the entire system, and not just at the preparation level, but the way in which teachers are regarded as professionals, does not have that human relations touch. A more human-relations approach is needed for dealing with teaching and teachers.
Senior Vice President Martin asked the other panelists what they thought UW System should be thinking about as they think about placing a higher priority on teacher preparation. Superintendent Shaw stated that the ideas already expressed made sense, and some have been tried but were stopped because of resources. There are older teachers in Racine who were part of master teacher programs and were identified as promising teachers, and the university spent some time to develop them as teacher leaders on the job once they started teaching. The idea of a differential credential, an urban credential, is an important one. It is more challenging to be an urban superintendent than a suburban superintendent. It is a different challenge in terms of parent engagement and understanding the community, and recognizing that and compensating for that is a wonderful idea.
Dean Heyning stated that it very difficult field to attract high-quality students to the teaching field, particularly now. She said had students leaving the program and changing their majors based on what they read in the paper or saw on the news. Students are afraid to go into education and afraid of the support they will have. In addition, they have to pay money to take tests and they cannot afford to pay their rent much lest pay for the tests. There is also a huge achievement gap with students coming in to the program, who she said want to be teachers, but who are not able to take the high-quality math, reading and writing programs to prepare them to take those exams. She needs help encouraging students with scholarships, dedicated funding to pay for test-taking classes, and additional support for students who want to get into teaching. Money is a big piece of it, but emotional support and saying, “we believe in you,” is important, as well. She indicated that she would be grateful for anything the Board and UW System could do.
Ms. Brown stated that she graduated from college in 1978 with a degree in sociology, and obtained a license as a certified teacher eleven years ago from the Milwaukee Public Schools through the MTEP program. Before she completed the program she was placed in a classroom because of her background of teaching in alternative schools. It was challenging, but fun. She stated that her first year in teaching was her best year. Student teachers that enter classrooms today see the politics, the lack of funding to purchase classroom materials, and teachers using their personal funds to purchase things for the classroom; it all discourages them from becoming teachers.
Senior Vice President Martin thanked the members of the panel for their rich set of ideas, and said that with Dean Heyning, they would have a great conduit back to the deans of the education schools, and issues that would be brought back to the Education Committee in June, when teacher education programs would be discussed.
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President Pruitt, thanked Dr. Ladson-Billings and the panelists and then announced that the next session would be the Growth Agenda Showcase. Since it was announced in 2008, the UW System’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin had called for a series of actions that would educate a wider and deeper cut of Wisconsin’s population for life and work in the 21st-century global society. He said that the Showcase would feature some of the work that is taking place at UW institutions, with funding from the UW System Office of Academic Affairs, which had put in place a number of grant programs designed to support the Growth Agenda. President Pruitt said that during of budget cuts and potential changes to the UW System, it is important to share the important work that is being done on our campuses to advance the Growth Agenda. The Showcase would take place in the Alumni Lounge on the first floor of the Pyle Center. Meeting attendees were invited to view the posters and computer installations, and speak with the campus presenters on hand.
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Reconvening the Board meeting after the Growth Agenda Showcase, President Pruitt called upon Regent Smith to present the report of the Business, Finance and Audit Committee. Regent Smith moved approval of two resolutions, which had been approved by the committee. Regent Bradley seconded the motion, and the resolutions were adopted on a unanimous voice vote:
Resolution 9886: That, upon the 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 contractual agreement between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP.
Resolution 9887: That, upon the recommendation of the University of Wisconsin System Administration, the Board of Regents finds that potential conflicts of interest within the proposed contract are managed appropriately such that the contractual relationship does not violate Wis. Stat. § 946.13.
President Pruitt introduced the afternoon’s topic, the Governor’s recommended budget for the 20011-13 biennium, emphasizing that it is unknown what form the final budget may take as it makes its way through the legislative process.
As has been said many times recently, it is clear that the state faces some major financial challenges, and elected officials will face some tough choices. In that context, the University of Wisconsin System, along with all state agencies, will face major challenges.
President Pruitt said that as he has travelled around the state, he has reminded audiences that this is a question of priorities. The Board of Regents does not get to decide about the allocation of tax dollars in the state. But the Board does have a responsibility to ask hard questions about the relative priority of public higher education as compared with other pressing needs in the state. In the early 1980s, the state allocated about fourteen cents of every tax dollar to the UW System. In the last biennium, closer to eight cents of every tax dollar collected by Wisconsin went to support the public university. Under the proposed budget, state support would drop to about 6.1 cents.
President Pruitt noted that it is important to understand the tradeoffs and missed opportunities that may result from this ongoing shift. Citing the long-term need for increased educational access, the need for more college graduates, and the pressing need for more well-paying jobs, the UW System has asked the state to stabilize its commitment to higher education and provide UW institutions with greater management flexibility. Taxpaying citizens and tuition-paying families expect all UW institutions to provide affordable access to a high-quality college experience. In assessing the budget impact, that must remain the top priority and most important benchmark.
To provide a high-quality college education, it is necessary to hire and keep high-quality people, including not only professors, but also advisors, librarians, counselors, police officers, residence hall managers, and many others. These are the people whose everyday work and unflinching dedication determine the quality of UW education and the strength of the UW’s reputation. These are true public servants, and they have earned the Board’s thanks and support.
President Pruitt said that to engage in world-class education and research, all UW institutions need world-class talent. All UW campuses compete with colleges and universities elsewhere for highly specialized talent, yet the UW institutions lack the resources and flexibility to address those competitive market forces. As the Board proceeds with the discussion about the biennial budget, it is important to not lose sight of what is at stake, President Pruitt said.
As President Pruitt was turning to President Reilly to continue the budget discussion, Regent Loftus offered a motion that would set the backdrop for the discussion. The motion would be that the Regents ask that the question of spinning off UW-Madison, dividing the UW System, be removed from the budget bill. Regent Drew seconded the motion, and the discussion continued.
President Reilly reiterated that the UW System is facing some very challenging times. He said that the focus of the afternoon’s discussion would be on how the System can continue to hold true to its educational mission and fulfill its promise as an economic engine for the state, given the current circumstances.
Providing an overview, President Reilly said that as it stood, the Governor’s proposed biennial budget for 2011-13 would cut taxpayer support for UW System’s operating budget by $250 million over the biennium. These cuts would have significant impacts on students, faculty and staff, and education. For faculty, these cuts mean more students in their classes and less contact with each student. For students, these cuts mean fewer class choices and bigger class sizes, and for some, longer time – and greater expense – to complete their degrees. Faculty and staff will have fewer opportunities to keep current in their academic disciplines and strengthen their teaching and research skills. For students, these cuts mean fewer resources and opportunities for out-of-the-classroom learning experiences. For faculty and staff, these cuts undoubtedly mean more vacant positions, and more work, at a time of reduced compensation, for the faculty and staff who remain.
The proposed budget also raises the specter of many other measures that it is hoped the university will not to have to face, such as: hard enrollment caps, deep enrollment cuts, massive displacement of students from their degree programs, the loss of major competitive research dollars for lack of adequate grant-writing staff and time, and thinning of faculty and instructional staff ranks to the point where the remaining over-stretched classroom teachers cannot come close to meeting reasonable expectations of students. However unpalatable they are, these are scenarios that must be considered.
The 30,000 UW employees also will be having difficult conversations. In addition to the $250 million cut to UW’s operating budget, employees will forego more than $90 million in wages, $45 million each year, due to the higher employee contributions to retirement and health insurance benefits. Taken together, that represents $340 million of lost income to UW institutions and employees.
The heart of the University of Wisconsin System mission is “to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training, and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition.” Each employee in the UW System contributes to this mission, including graduate assistants. They teach, grade students’ exams, conduct research, and write articles for national publications. They help many students obtain baccalaureate degrees, while pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees of their own. The dual life of a graduate assistant, as student and employee, is vital to the achievement of the UW System mission. Like faculty and academic staff, UW graduate assistants are paid well below the median of their peers at comparable institutions. This has been the case for quite some time.
The same provisions in the Budget Repair Bill that affect all other UW employees will have a disproportionate impact on these young employees; graduate assistants would see a 170% increase in their monthly contribution toward health insurance premiums. Because the wages they receive are already low, the size of the increase also makes these graduate assistants some of the hardest hit employees in the state under the repair bill. This is deeply concerning.
President Reilly said that all UW employees, faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and graduate assistants, understand that the state must take steps to address aftershocks of a crushing economic downturn; however, that does not lessen their impact on the UW’s educational mission and 182,000 students.
It is important to assess these impacts and determine the best approach to the next step in this budget-making process, working with legislators from across the state. One issue that is already coming up in conversation at the Capitol is the proposed fracture of the statewide UW System. The good news is that Governor Walker recognizes that universities need to do business differently. The university has been asking for new administrative and managerial flexibilities for years, and this Governor understands that for institutions of higher education to do their jobs in this time of limited resources, they must have greater freedom to manage resources and make decisions.
President Reilly said that the Governor’s budget provides these flexibilities to one campus, but all the institutions in the UW System need the same tools. It is best for the whole state of Wisconsin that these expanded flexibilities be exercised within a unified, collaborative, statewide UW System. The good news is that Governor Walker has indicated that he is willing to work with our staff, chancellors, and legislators to provide all UW System campuses with the same managerial flexibility now offered to UW-Madison.
The concerns about the proposed split between UW-Madison and the rest of the UW institutions can be summed up as: wasteful competition, unnecessary duplication of administrative functions and academic programs, and damaged reputation.
With respect to competition, President Reilly said that evidence shows that in states with a separate flagship, students do not transfer as easily, and faculty do not cooperate on joint research as frequently. Resources may be distributed based on politics. If UW-Milwaukee were to spin off – a study of this is proposed in the Governor’s budget – this would only increase the wasteful competition.
With respect to duplication, duplication of infrastructure, equipment, buildings, and degree programs could result from the splitting up of the System. Cost inefficiencies would eventually be passed on to students.
With respect to reputation, President Reilly referred to a recent situation in which a promising candidate was too fearful of the situation in Wisconsin to accept an offer at UW-La Crosse. As to UW-Madison’s reputation has only risen in the 40 years that it has been part of the UW System. President Reilly also drew a comparison to the University of Michigan, which has seen tuition increases and a greater proportion of non-resident students than would be desirable at UW-Madison. Access and affordability are important issues for the citizens of the state, and do not want to see UW-Madison become the University of Michigan.
A unified System offers many real and lasting benefits, including: (1) a single governing body, appointed and confirmed by elected State leaders, which preserves public ownership; (2) systemwide reporting that provides real accountability and measurable progress against common goals; (3) an integrated budget process that avoids outright competition among UW campuses; (4) a lean array of academic programs and efforts to find ways to consolidate administrative functions; and (5) a common UW application and seamless transfer among UW campuses.
Amidst the ambiguities, faculty and staff are being asked to shoulder a big part of the burden, after two years of furloughs and rescinded pay increases. This is one of the major reasons for the flexibilities the System seeks in the budget “block grant” and other parts of the UW’s proposal.
President Reilly asked Senior Vice President Michael Morgan and Associate Vice President Freda Harris to provide a more detailed analysis of the biennial budget. Ms. Harris began by saying that the discussion would include: cost to continue, new initiatives, the budget for the UW System, program revenue funds, statutory language, and other items.
Associate Vice President Harris the proposed budget provides: funding for cost to continue, which includes salary increases and fringe benefits adjustments for provisions that occur during the 2009-11 biennium. For 2011-13, no furloughs are included (GPR was restored), a small amount of funding for utilities and funding for debt service, as well as an increased student technology fee amount. Cost-to-continue funding does not provide: funding for recruitment and retention, funding for staff to support veterans programs and collective bargaining, or funding for chargebacks from the Department of Administration, such as charges for services from the Office of State Employment Relations.
UW System had requested funding for three new initiatives: the Growth Agenda, Research to Jobs, and the two-percent rescinded pay plan from 2009. None of these were funded.
Ms. Harris said that the budget included a reduction a $250 million base cut for the 2011-13 biennium, with $62.5 million of the cut allocated to UW-Madison, $2.4 million allocated to UW System Administration, and $60.1 million to UW-Milwaukee and the comprehensive institutions. In addition, about $90 million is removed due to employees contributing more for retirement and health insurance.
The budget included the proposed UW-Madison authority, which would have a 21-member board of trustees, with 11 members appointed by the Governor. Flexibilities provided to the proposed public authority would include: the ability to set tuition without limits, increased procurement authority with other higher-education entities, authority to manage program-revenue-funded capital projects, pay-plan and personnel-system authority, additional spending flexibility, and elimination of the dual-employment cap. There would be no additional authority provided for the other UW institutions.
Associate Vice President Harris described statutory language changes in the budget bill, including: removal of the exemption for undocumented students who first enroll in fall 2011, increased remissions for veterans, designation of $250,000 from the System Administration budget for a study and a plan for a UW-Milwaukee authority, and elimination of the excess-expenditure report.
Related to the UW System budget are changes in the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB): no financial aid increases for 2011-13, and new enrollments would be ended in the Wisconsin Covenant Program.
Ms. Harris cited several potential effects of the proposed budget: no new funds for the Growth Agenda; impacts on quality, due to budget cuts with no new flexibility; and negative effects on affordability, due to a lack of financial aid increases, underfunding of WHEG, and lack of expansion for TIG for new students.
Associate Vice President Harris said that the next steps in the budget process would be: capital budget recommendations, Joint Finance Committee action, Senate and Assembly action, and the veto stage.
Board members asked several follow-up questions related to Ms. Harris’s presentation and slides, including questions about a potential 5.5 percent tuition increase. Ms. Harris clarified that the proposed statutory language itself does not refer to 5.5 percent; rather, the Governor’s budget summary refers to allowing authority for a 5.5 percent increase. This percentage would include UW-Madison. Regent Walsh asked about employee salary increases in recent years; Ms. Harris provided some approximate numbers, and described the impact of furloughs, all of which essentially amounted to no increase. Regent Bradley asked about the cut to UW System Administration and how decisions would be made about the services that would be affected; President Reilly said that this question would need analysis, in conjunction with chancellors and others.
Regent Bradley also asked about how decisions would be made about quality and how many students can be served; President Pruitt said that decision rules would need to be developed and recommended to the Board. Regent Bradley asked a question related to the potential for a chancellor to lead an analysis on their campus and conclude that the institution can only maintain quality for a certain number of students, when tuition is capped. President Reilly said this should be given great weight. Chancellor Gow noted that campuses have high fixed costs, and not every student partakes of the same services. Tough decisions would need to be made about what could be provided. The campus tried to optimize enrollment as a tool to address cut issues, which is why tuition is such an important tool. Regent Bradley said that institutions have promoted their high quality; but at some point, there must be a point where, in good conscience, educators conclude that quality is diminished, unless there are fewer students. Chancellor Gow said that reducing enrollment does not necessarily same money, because 86 percent of his budget is in staff. Interim Chancellor Lovell said that cutting enrollment at UW-Milwaukee, the access institution, would not make sense.
Regent Loftus said that in some past budgets it became inevitable that the resolution was to cap enrollment, by reducing freshman classes by raising admissions standards for some campuses. Chancellor Shields observed that campuses are much more tuition-driven than whenever the enrollment cuts occurred in the past. Students pay 65 percent of the cost; capping enrollment cuts off a main source of revenue.
Regent Smith asked about the budget request the UW System made with respect to flexibility, and whether that request was addressed in the proposed budget. A small amount of flexibility was provided related to a continuing appropriation for schools of business and laboratory modernization, Ms. Harris responded. Removal of an excess-expenditure report and a change in the procurement threshold were also provided. Under the UW-Madison authority the dual-employment cap was removed; the rest of the System did not receive this.
President Pruitt asked about a comment he had heard related to UW-Madison tuition, to the effect that UW-Madison’s tuition currently subsidizes the other campuses. Ms. Harris said there are some pooled resources within the System, but campuses retain their own tuition authority on the campuses. Over the past few years, UW-Madison has retained every dollar that they put into the tuition pool.
Associate Vice President Miller reported that the capital budget would be taken up by the State Building Commission the following week. The budget will be publicly available later on March 10. He believes it will be an extremely favorable budget for the UW System, sustaining up to 44,000 full-time construction jobs in the state through the work that the projects create. The Building Commission will be presented with an opportunity to really invest in both academic and student-life higher-education facilities. Regent Walsh asked about requirements for UW-Madison related to donors for building projects. Mr. Miller said that UW-Madison places an internal priority on donor money, but the budget does not affect this.
Regent Loftus asked a question about the item in the budget repair bill related to the sale of power plants, and Associate Vice President Miller said that there is no fiscal impact to this portion of the bill.
President Reilly commended Senior Vice President Morgan and Associate Vice Presidents Harris and Miller and their staffs for their work in analyzing the proposed budget. He said there would be continued advocacy for the value of UW campuses and the work they do to spur Wisconsin’s economic resurgence.
On the related matters of flexibility and unity for all UW institutions, President Reilly said the UW System would like to suggest to the Governor and the legislature a way forward that is simple, reasonable, and equitable. He said that there is an approach that is simple, that does not propose wholesale changes to large sections of existing State Law. For example, the System wants to keep the vast majority of language in Chapter 36, including all the shared governance rights of UW faculty, academic staff, and students. The approach will also be reasonable, and not ask for anything more than what the Governor has already shown he’s willing to do as part of his budget provision concerning UW-Madison. Most important, President Reilly said that the goal is an alternative that is equitable for, and offers management tools to, all UW campuses during the 2011-13 biennium. The UW System will put forward a package of statutory changes that gives all UW campuses the necessary flexibilities to manage all the limited resources available, as members of a unified System.
President Reilly referred Regents to their packets, and a budget amendment he would refer to as the “Wisconsin Idea Partnership.” He asked Senior Vice President Morgan to describe the broad aspects of this plan and said that the System would be prepared to deliver specific budget drafting instructions to the Governor and the Legislature so that the plan could easily be incorporated into the budget bill. Saying that the plan might look familiar, President Reilly said that this is because it is based on the flexibilities requested in the UW System’s budget request and documented in a February 15, 2011 letter to Governor Walker. Many of these items reflect flexibilities that the Board has sought for many years, and which provided the foundation for Chancellor Martin’s “New Badger Partnership.”
Senior Vice President Morgan began his remarks by saying that there are substantial budget challenges for the 2011-13 biennium because of the $250 million cut. In the case of UW-Madison, flexibilities should provide ways to address the cut; however, other UW institutions do not have those flexibilities. Therefore, difficult choices will be necessary.
The “Wisconsin Idea Partnership” is a blueprint for flexibilities needed for all UW institutions to be successful. This is not a new idea. It encourages the state to offer the flexibilities the Board of Regents included in September 2010 in its 2011-13 budget request. It enumerates the flexibilities contained in the February 15th letter to the Governor from President Pruitt and President Reilly. The Partnership captures the flexibilities offered by the Governor to UW-Madison, within the existing system structure. The flexibilities would be in the areas of budgeting, tuition and pricing, human resources, capital planning, finance, and purchasing. The principle is that if all institutions are to continue to provide quality education and encourage economic development, all institutions need these flexibilities. The principle has remained consistent since the budget discussion began.
In sum, Mr. Morgan said that the primary purpose of the “Wisconsin Idea Partnership” is to provide the maximum flexibility to all UW chancellors to manage their institutions in the most effective and efficient manner possible, for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, and local communities, in order to advance the Wisconsin Idea. Flexibilities extend to the boundaries of the state, and do not stop with UW-Madison.
Regent Bradley asked a question about the handout provided on the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, and a reference to institutions’ reallocating funding to address their needs. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the request to the state is to provide a block grant to the UW System; each System institution would, in turn, receive a block grant without all of the appropriation guidelines that currently come with the state budget. Chancellors could address the issues and opportunities on their campuses by moving dollars in a way that they could not move them before. There may be policy direction given, but the goal is maximum flexibility. Regent Bradley asked what would happen if there were, in addition, no tuition caps; what would be the chancellors’ roles in setting tuition. Mr. Morgan said that chancellors would bring tuition recommendations to the Board of Regents, which would make a policy decision on tuition; this is no different from the UW-Madison public-authority model, under which that campus would take recommendations to its board. Regent Bradley said that there could theoretically be different levels of tuition across the state. Mr. Morgan concurred that this could happen.
Regent Evers asked if it was known how much revenue the flexibilities would generate, to offset the budget cut. Senior Vice President Morgan replied by saying that moving funding on campus and setting tuition would be very helpful, as would the other requested flexibilities. President Reilly added that more money would be saved over time if institutions could be run in a more cost-efficient, business-like manner. Chancellor Wells provided an example, saying that campuses have saved millions of dollars on utilities over the last seven to eight years, but that savings stays at the state level, and cannot be used to education more students. Also, it must be clear what the accountability measures are.
Regent Danae Davis said that she had the impression after the last Board meeting that campuses are at varying degrees of readiness to take on more authority. Senior Vice President Morgan said that the flexibilities would come to the campuses, with the presumption that the campuses can take on the flexibilities; this would be discussed and worked through with the campuses.
Regent Crain raised the issue of access, asking about flexibility in tuition and whether tuition could rise substantially in some cases; she asked whether financial aid would keep up. President Reilly said this must be approached with care. For those institutions that wanted to raise tuition, part of the conversation would be about their plans regarding financial aid and affordability. There are many types of financial aid. The goal would be to avoid a situation where all or any UW institutions would set tuition above the level at which it is affordable. Regent Crain agreed and said it is important that each institution have a good mix of students.
Chancellor Levin-Stankevich said that differential tuition offers an example of how financial aid was incorporated into the proposals from UW-Madison and UW-Eau Claire, for example.
President Pruitt added that the important point to note regarding the Wisconsin Idea Partnership is the question of who is best able to make a decision about tuition, given campuses’ unique and pressing needs; the decision about tuition levels need not be made at the present time.
Chancellor Cross suggested that accountability is another important component of these discussions. In Virginia, institutions had to meet 12 goals in exchange for flexibility.
Regent Smith asked about the process for introducing a budget amendment to reflect the goals expressed in the Wisconsin Idea Partnership. Senior Vice President Morgan said that much of this work has been accomplished, because of the drafting done for the proposal that would provide flexibilities to UW-Madison.
Regent Loftus, referred to a January memo from Chancellor Martin and UW-Madison’s plans for greater flexibility, asked about other UW campuses’ ability to benefit from the flexibilities. Mr. Morgan said that the cuts are dramatic, and other UW institutions may not have all of the resources that UW-Madison does, but in the current budget proposal, other UW institutions have no tools to address the challenges.
Regent Danae Davis asked about a budget scenario she had seen for allocating the cuts; Associate Vice President Harris said there are multiple possibilities for allocating the cuts, and no one scenario has been determined.
Regent Walsh said that flexibilities are being discussed, but the budget issues are about one thing, which is money – finding money to deliver quality while retaining affordability. There are five revenue sources: donations, program revenue, research, state aids, and tuition. As to tuition, the bottom line is affordability. The Governor and legislature have jealously guarded the control of tuition, because it is a political matter. The calls and emails he has received have been about affordability and control of tuition. He said that he would like to give control to this Board of Regents, because he trusts the Board’s decisions on tuition matters, but it is important to not be naïve about who is going to control tuition. As to state investment, Wisconsin has for generations invested in the facilities of the university; they continue to invest in the future. The one problem with the Madison proposal is that it will balkanize the request for state investment, and leads to tribal warfare. Regent Walsh said that he is very supportive of the flexibilities, and it makes sense to ask for them for the System as a whole; this may be the best platform on which to address the budget issues, except that this does not take into account tuition. Going forward, decision-makers should be persuaded that the Board should have more control over tuition.
Chancellor Martin said that she wanted to create a few false things that have been said. President Reilly had used the University of Michigan as an example, and UW-Madison has said repeatedly that it does not wish to be modeled after the University of Michigan, Chancellor Martin said. Giving their tuition numbers as a reason that Madison should not have separate status is unfair. UW-Madison’s tuition would not be much higher, if higher at all, than the current 5.5 percent plus differential tuition amount.
Chancellor Martin said she is astonished the Board would ask the Board to ask UW-Madison to forego the opportunity to save the quality of an extraordinary research university. Noting that the Wisconsin Idea predates the System by 50 years, Chancellor Martin said that it is not realistic to suggest that the Wisconsin Idea Partnership would give all of the other campuses the same flexibilities UW-Madison would be afforded in the Governor’s proposal; public authority status is the only way that UW-Madison could obtain all of the requested flexibilities. She said she would like every campus to have the flexibilities they need, and there is a prospect of having this added to the budget; unless it is in statute that the campuses get the flexibilities, having them go to System with a promise to delegate them does not do what chancellors need.
President Reilly said that he was glad to hear Chancellor Martin say that UW-Madison does not want to be Michigan. Chancellor Martin said that there can be disagreement, but it is important to argue on facts. It is difficult to hear remarks that imply things that are not the case. President Reilly said that both the System and UW-Madison are projecting toward the future; the tendency in models similar to the public-authority model is for tuition to go higher and the number of out-of-state students to go higher. Also, no one chancellor or president can predict what a Board would do in five or ten years. This is a long-term conversation about the future of the flagship and the System and how well they will serve the state of Wisconsin. Chancellor Martin said that it should not be implied that UW-Madison wants to be like Michigan; the data should be examined. UW-Madison has the realistic possibility of creating sources of revenue that allow it to rely less on tuition than the other campuses. To suggest that it is inevitable that Madison will increase tuition at high rates and become more like Michigan is to forget that UW-Madison has the revenue sources and, with the flexibility to control its own revenue, could possibly rely less on steep tuition resources; that would be the plan.
Chancellor Martin also said that it is contradictory to say that if UW-Madison is on its own, tuition will go up, and to say at the same time that a tuition cap is not desirable. Madison’s commitment to private funding for financial aid is strong enough that during the time she has been chancellor, that aid has increased 226 percent. UW-Madison has the potential to keep affordability a high priority.
Chancellor Martin expressed concern about what she characterized as a disrespectful tone in discussions about UW-Madison’s proposal for greater flexibility for itself and for other campuses. President Reilly said that there was no disrespect intended, and he objected to the characterization. It is important to take the high road in talking through a major public policy issue. He said that the UW System wants UW-Madison to have all of the flexibilities it has sought, and to have them right away, along with all of the other campuses. The System will fight for a model where the flagship is part of an integrated system, with flexibilities for all, and he said he hoped that Chancellor Martin would fight for this, as well. This has worked well for Wisconsin. With the flexibilities, the System can continue to serve Wisconsin well for generations to come. He said that there is disagreement about the means; UW-Madison would like to be a separate public authority, but for reasons that have been discussed, the UW System does not agree that a public authority is the best way to obtain the flexibilities.
Regent Walsh asked Chancellor Martin about her statement that flexibilities for campuses should be in statute, rather than given to the System. Chancellor Martin said that statutory language would assure that the benefits of administrative flexibility and revenue control accrue to the campuses over the long term. She also said that UW-Madison wants a realistic prospect of preserving the strength of a great university that is competing in a market with which no one else is competing. A public authority model, which is not what UW-Madison started out requesting, would prevent program revenue and segregated fees from being swept by the state; this is what provides the flexibility to rely less on tuition. She said she would be happy if the flexibilities were part of a unified scheme, but what is most realistic is what is on the table, with the possibility of having the other campuses gain more flexibility, as well. There is not a disagreement about goals but, rather, about how to get there.
Chancellor Lovell remarked that the current system is broken; there are concerns about quality, tuition, and affordability. The best thing for campuses to do is to diversity income streams. The current system makes this very difficult, because funds are in certain categories and cannot be creatively invested. This is why the flexibilities are so important.
Regent Danae Davis said that the Board of Regents would be remiss in its responsibility as a board of trustees for all of the campuses if it did not fight for flexibilities for all of the campuses. She said that is important to continue to refine the argument and win the argument. The board cannot concede that Madison has to go first, when the other campuses would still lack flexibility. Chancellor Martin responded that the Governor’s budget is already on the table, and it would be reasonable to amend that to add flexibilities for other campuses, rather than to amend the option already on the table as it affects UW-Madison.
Chancellor Gow observed that in the UW-Madison scenario, the institution has its own board. He posed a question about what would happen to the Board of Regents and whether other institutions would also have their own boards.
Regent Drew said that the Governor’s budget proposal has divided the System; he said he was pained by the internal battle. Public higher education is a beautiful idea. The people of the state pay for a high-quality, affordable system; this budget represents movement away from this. The discussion at the current meeting will not have as much effect as the Governor’s wishes will.
Regent Loftus repeated his earlier suggestion that the Regents ask the Joint Finance Committee to remove from consideration in the budget the question of making UW-Madison a public authority and that a Blue Ribbon Commission be established. This is too important a matter to be taken up in the current highly-partisan environment. President Pruitt called a brief recess at 3:00 p.m. so that the motion could be put into writing.
Reconvening the meeting at 3:10 p.m., President Pruitt recognized Regent Vásquez, who sought clarification on the two components of the motion as it had been discussed before the break. Regent Loftus, indicating that the longer motion that had been provided to the Regents would accomplish the same purpose as his proposed motion, withdrew his motion. President Pruitt said that the longer motion clearly articulated a positive way forward.
Regent Loftus moved adoption of Resolution 9888, and the motion was seconded by Regent Walsh. During discussion on the motion, Regent Walsh said that the budget was a huge public issue that demands public discussion, and he expressed confidence that the decision-makers will give this issue a good deal of thought.
Vice President Spector, recalling his service on the Kellett Commission, observed that the result in the legislature is often much better than the initial proposals. The Governor and legislature want to make good public policy. He said that he was optimistic about the process and that the Board should believe that policy-makers have the best interest of the System at heart. Vice President Spector read a quote from Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig that was in a recent edition of the UW-Madison alumni magazine, On Wisconsin. The quote illustrated that decisions about the game of baseball should be made in the best interests of the game, rather than in the best interests of individual baseball teams. Regent Spector said that this is a reasonable analogy; the future of the UW System is a major issue that affects people throughout the state. The Board should consider the whole system, of which Madison is a key component, but only one component.
Regent Crain said that she believes that both UW-Madison and the other institutions are stronger by being part of a system with common goals. She said that she has been disturbed in recent weeks by the fact that such major issues as this have not been fully debated. The ramifications of the separation of UW-Madison have not been fully discussed or understood. More public discussion and debate is needed throughout the state.
Regent Danae Davis commented that she liked the fact that the resolution is what the Board supports. She asked about how public authority status for the entire system would differ from what is proposed by the resolution under discussion. President Reilly clarified that the resolution did not ask for public authority status. Public authorities are individually defined in the statutes that create them; thus, there is no prototype for them. General Counsel Tom Stafford added that the structure and form of the public authority can be what the legislature wishes it to be. In response to a further question from Regent Davis, President Pruitt explained that the intention of the language in the resolution is to express openness to examining and studying different models, their costs and benefits.
Regent Drew urged Regents to vote against the resolution, saying that it was a tepid response to a horrendous budget, which is an assault on faculty, staff, students, prospective students who would have benefited from the Wisconsin Covenant, and undocumented students. The budget does nothing for the Growth Agenda or for access, and it is bad public policy. The Board needs to be stronger in its response.
Regent Vásquez, saying that he would vote for the resolution, said that when he joined the Board of Regents, he joined a system that was protected by state statute for 40 years. There are no guarantees with respect to future legislation; however, the Board needs to govern to the best of its ability and ask UW administrators to make the best decisions they can. He expressed the hope that the resolution would be unanimously supported.
Regent Wingad expressed respect for UW-Madison and said that it is important to focus on the substance of the issue, setting aside the emotional arguments. In considering the issue and talking with student leaders, Regent Wingad said that he concluded that separating UW-Madison from the rest of the System is a bad idea. It is a bad idea for his home campus, UW-Eau Claire; it is a bad idea for the Wisconsin Idea; and it is a bad idea because it has been formulated behind closed doors. Agreeing with Regent Crain, he said that the budget needs to be discussed with the citizens of the state. It is important for the Board to be clear about its position, or there will be confusion; the flexibilities that the institutions seek are separate from the separation of Madison from the System. Also, the Board should send the message that it is firmly against UW-Madison spinning off from the System. Chancellors, Regents, and governance-group leaders should speak with the same voice, advocating for a positive alternative to the proposed budget.
Regent Smith expressed his support for the resolution, for the reasons that had been stated, and also because it provides the opportunity to be on the offense, rather than the defense. He also recognized how important the leadership of President Pruitt, Vice President Spector, and President Reilly has been under the difficult circumstances of this budget process.
Regent Manydeeds remarked that he had been listening for the last couple of meetings, and he was surprised when the Board was so civil, with respect to the potential separation of UW-Madison, at the February 25th special meeting. This may have sent the message that the Board agreed with the proposed split. He said that the Board needs to convey clearly that it does not support the UW-Madison public authority. Although he, like Regent Drew and Regent Vásquez, wished the resolution were stronger, he said he would be supporting it.
Regent Evers asked if the issues that Regent Drew had raised would be raised during the legislative process. President Pruitt said that the present resolution is specifically designed to address campuses’ need for flexibilities. He said the Board has an obligation to make the case with the legislature that the state needs to reinvest in the University System. A range of other points can be made during the conversation. The resolution is designed to suggest at this time a way forward for all campuses.
Regent Bartell, alluding to the manner in which the budget proposal came forward, said that the budget does present an opportunity to obtain the kinds of flexibility and independence for which the Board has been arguing for a long time. The Board should not pass up that opportunity. He said that he thought it was possible to meld the New Badger Partnership and Wisconsin Idea Partnership, and that is what the resolution attempts to do. He raised a question about the authority of a public authority as compared with a differently-composed Board; he said he did not think that having multiple boards governing higher education in Wisconsin would work well. The Board should move forward as constructively as possible, and much more consideration should be given to the proposal. It would be helpful to have a unified front by the time the bill gets to the Joint Finance Committee.
The question was called, and President Pruitt called for a vote on Resolution 9888. The resolution was adopted on voice vote, with one vote in opposition.
Biennial Budget Resolution
Resolution 9888: WHEREAS in 1971 the University of Wisconsin merged with the Wisconsin State Universities to create the University of Wisconsin System (System); and
WHEREAS over the last 40 years the System has evolved into one of the nation’s premier university systems, with over 182,000 students and over $1 billion in research, and into a key contributor to the economy of the State of Wisconsin; and
WHEREAS institutions of the System have experienced a steady decline in state resources needed to provide access to quality higher education in the state; and
WHEREAS all System institutions operate in highly competitive national, and often international, markets for students, faculty, staff, and financial resources; and
WHEREAS, in light of these budget reductions and the competitive higher education market in which all System institutions operate, all System institutions need significant management flexibilities in human resources, tuition-setting, budgeting, purchasing, and capital projects; and
WHEREAS System institutions’ need for increased management flexibilities has long been sought by UW leaders, and most recently affirmed by the System’s Tuition and Financial Aid Working Group and Competitive University Workforce Commission; and
WHEREAS the importance and need for these flexibilities for all System institutions has been championed by business, community, media, and higher education leaders around the state; and
WHEREAS other public universities possess many of the flexibilities that System institutions seek, and other states are proposing increased flexibilities for their public universities in order to manage reductions in public funding and better serve their states; and
WHEREAS the proposed 2011-13 Wisconsin biennial budget bill reduces funding for System institutions by $250 million dollars, and a cut of this magnitude, without flexibilities, creates significant challenges to all System institutions’ ability to provide access to quality higher education for Wisconsin residents, create more jobs, and support communities; and
WHEREAS the budget bill provides for major cuts to all institutions in the System, but allows for increased management flexibilities only for UW-Madison, and further separates UW-Madison from all other System institutions through the creation of a new UW-Madison public authority; and
WHEREAS the creation of one or more separate public authorities would fragment the System and encourage more competition between System institutions; add new bureaucracy due to duplicative administrative and academic structures; and increase the total costs borne by state taxpayers, students, and families; and
WHEREAS fragmentation of the state’s public university system will result in less collaboration between UW-Madison and other System institutions; and
WHEREAS fragmentation of the System will diminish UW-Extension’s ability to make available to every corner of the state the vast stores of knowledge and expertise possessed by System faculty and staff through its presence in all 72 counties, with three tribal governments, and on each System campus; and
WHEREAS fragmentation of the System will eliminate a shared set of policies and procedures that aid research and teaching collaborations between institutions and that make it easier for information and research to be disseminated and partnerships to take hold; and
WHEREAS faculty, staff, and students from institutions throughout the System have voiced concerns over what the creation of a public authority for individual institutions would mean to current governance rights and structures, access for Wisconsin residents, affordable tuition rates, and academic freedom in teaching and research,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents strongly supports amendment of 2011 Senate Bill 27 to provide all institutions the management flexibilities proposed for UW-Madison, within the Board of Regents’ and System’s current governance and statutory framework; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the System Board of Regents will delegate the new flexibilities directly to each UW institution, while ensuring transparency and appropriate levels of board oversight and public accountability; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the System Board of Regents endorses the careful future study of alternative structures for leading and managing the University of Wisconsin System, including but not limited to, public authority status for the entire System; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the System Board of Regents believes that any action that would break up the UW System puts at risk a proven and successful approach for delivering quality, and cost-effective public higher education that has served Wisconsin well for almost 40 years; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the System Board of Regents recognizes that stable state funding, affordable access, a high-quality, appropriately-compensated faculty and staff, and all System institutions working together through a carefully-planned structure, are necessary to achieve the widely-supported Growth Agenda for Wisconsin and strengthen the state’s public higher education system.
President Pruitt urged that it is important to make the case with the public and the legislature, and he called upon Regents for their assistance in this effort.
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As he introduced the next topic on the agenda, President Pruitt briefly congratulated President Reilly on the extension for three more years of his term on the American Council on Education and thanked Chris Markwood and Marv Van Kekerix, for their respective service as interim chancellors at UW-Superior and at UW Colleges and UW-Extension.
President Pruitt then turned Board members’ attention to voter ID legislation, which had been discussed at a previous meeting. He said that Senate Bill 6 was before the Senate and had been amended, but those amendments do not include any provision related to the use of university ID cards. There is also a provision that extends the residency requirement to 28 days. The bill still has a long path through the Assembly committee and the Assembly before it can go to the Governor’s desk. Knowing that the Board has a strong interest in this issue, and the potential effect on students’ participation in democracy as voters in the state, he said that he asked the staff to prepare a resolution on this item. Regent Smith moved approval of Resolution 9889, and the motion was seconded by Regent Danae Davis.
During discussion on the resolution, Regent Drew spoke against the resolution, despite its positive nature. He told of giving a 94-year-old woman a ride to the polls last November. She was a registered voter, and under current law, and no one asked her for a photo ID. He said that Senate Bill 6 on the whole is bad public policy, disenfranchises large numbers of people, and attacks a problem that does not exist to any great degree.
Regent Wingad reported that Regent Loftus had had to leave the Board meeting and had asked Regent Wingad to convey his view that he strongly disfavors Senate Bill 6. Regent Wingad also noted that it is hard to know how students would react to the bill, even if the proposed amendments are made.
Vice President Spector noted that nothing in the resolution prevents anyone else from informing the legislature in separate contexts that they do not agree with Senate Bill 6. He suggested that the most appropriate thing for the Board to do at the present time was to consider those for whom they have a direct responsibility, the students. This would not necessarily suggest that Regents favor the rest of the bill.
President Pruitt called for a vote on Resolution 9889, which the Board adopted on a voice vote, with one vote in opposition.
Voter Id Resolution
Resolution 9889: WHEREAS Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, requires, with certain limited exceptions, that each eligible elector who attempts to register or to vote at the polls on election day present: a) an operator’s license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), an identification card issued by DOT, an identification card issued by a U.S. uniformed service, or a U.S. passport; b) a certificate of U.S. naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years before the date of an election at which it is presented; c) an unexpired driving receipt issued by DOT; d) an unexpired identification card receipt issued by DOT; or e) an identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in this state; and
WHEREAS Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, does not allow a university student identification card to be used as identification for registration or voting; and
WHEREAS Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, increases the Wisconsin durational residency requirement from 10 days to 28 days unless the elector who does not meet this residency requirement formerly resided at another location in this state within the 27-day period preceding an election, in which case the elector may vote at the previous location; and
WHEREAS the aforementioned voter identification requirements are likely to disproportionately disenfranchise certain populations which may lack valid identification, including college students, who research has shown are unlikely to obtain new drivers licenses or photo IDs with their university address, or who may have recently relocated to a campus community prior to an election; and
WHEREAS, the aforementioned voter identification requirements allow an identification card issued by a U.S. uniformed service to be used for voter identification, and the University of Wisconsin, like the U.S. uniformed service, is a recognized governmental entity,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents supports an amendment to Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, and to its companion legislation in the State Assembly that would include university student identification cards as an acceptable form of voter identification; and
BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents supports an amendment to Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, that restores the 10-day Wisconsin residency requirement; and
BE IT THEREFORE FINALLY RESOLVED that, in the absence of such amendments, the Board opposes Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to 2011 Senate Bill 6, amended by Senate Amendment 1, and the Assembly companion legislation.
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The meeting was recessed at 4:00 p.m. and reconvened at 4:10 p.m.
The following resolution was moved by Regent Spector, seconded, and adopted on a roll-call vote, with Regents Bartell, Crain, Danae Davis, Stan Davis, Drew, Evers, Falbo, Pruitt, Smith, Spector, Vásquez, Walsh, Wingad and Womack voting in the affirmative. There were no dissenting votes and no abstentions.
Resolution 9890: That the Board of Regents move into closed session to discuss collective bargaining activities at UW institutions, as permitted by s.19.85(1)(e), Wis. Stats., and to confer with legal counsel regarding pending or potential litigation, as permitted by s. 19.85(1)(g), Wis. Stats.
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The meeting was adjourned at 4:24 p.m.
/s/ Jane S. Radue
Jane S. Radue, Secretary of the Board