Board of Regents

Education Committee Minutes, March 2007

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Kenosha, Wisconsin
March 8, 2007

The meeting of the Education Committee, to which all Regents were invited, convened at 11:55 a.m.  Regents Davis, Spector, Crain, Cuene, Loftus, Semenas, Bartell, Bradley, Burmaster, Connolly-Keesler, Falbo, McPike, Pruitt, Rosenzweig, Salas, Shields, Smith, and Walsh were present. 

A.                 Chippewa Valley Technical College Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program

Education Committee Chair Regent Davis began the discussion of the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program by reminding Board members that in February, the Board of Regents had approved the Criteria for Approval of Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Collegiate Transfer Programs.  Regent Davis noted that these criteria would help the Board move forward in making the kinds of complex decisions required in the area of collegiate transfer approval across Wisconsin’s public higher education systems.

Interim Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin then provided the background for the Board’s review of the Chippewa Valley Technical College program.  She noted that Wisconsin Statutes require that both the WTCS and UW System Boards approve the broadening of collegiate transfer programs in WTCS districts.  In applying the Board-approved criteria to the CVTC proposal, the following principles would apply.  The program would need to: 

  • Enhance credit transfer;
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication; and
  • Draw upon existing strengths and resources of WTCS and UW institutions.

Dr. Martin expressed her belief that the criteria had been met and noted the following: three UW System institutions had reviewed and approved the curriculum for course transfer; the program met a demonstrated long-term need that UW System institutions are not presently meeting; and collaboration between UW System and WTCS programs had been initiated.  Rebecca Martin observed that, in fact, two other proposals were originally considered.  The first would have had CVTC offer the entire curriculum and the second would have been a 1 + 1 collaboration leading to a UW Colleges degree.  The proposal before the Board derived benefits from both models by relying on UW institutions in proximity to CVTC campuses for curriculum that they already offer.

President Reilly then expressed his support for the proposal before the Board and provided the rationale for his recommendation.  He noted that the degree program proposed is in line with the guidelines passed last month in that it:

  1. Makes the best use of the State’s public higher education resources;
  2. Is the most educationally effective of the options in meeting student needs; and
  3. Offers students the most choice and control as to how they prepare for transfer to a UW institution.

President Reilly emphasized that this program is a model for the future, and represented a new age of inter-institutional, cross-System cooperation.

Associate Vice President Ron Singer then went through the proposal in detail, covering

the following: 

  • CTVC would grant the degree.
  • CVTC would utilize its existing resources by offering those courses in the curriculum in disciplines they currently offer for applied associate degree students.
  • The remaining curriculum would be offered by UW institutions, including UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, the UW Colleges and other online options through existing courses and sections.
  • Approximately two-thirds of the 34 courses in the proposed curriculum were currently offered by CVTC as part of its applied associate degree programs, and sections of those courses would be converted to 200-level liberal arts courses, and offered to support the proposed program with existing resources.
  • Approximately one-third of the 34 courses would be offered through existing UW courses.  UW institutions in the area have capacity, except possibly during the fall semester.   This would avoid the need to create new courses at CVTC.
  • Depending on a student’s course interests and high school preparation, students could complete as much as three-quarters of the degree through CVTC courses, the remaining one-quarter would have to be taken at a UW institution.
  • Student would pay the tuition of the institution from which course(s) are taken, similar to what currently is the case with 1 + 1 programs.

Dr. Singer noted that there would be challenges for the future, including the need to ensure that students understand their options, provide seamless student services support, and manage financial aid between institutions.  He added that he is confident that accreditation would not be a problem.

            Regents raised numerous questions and stressed the importance of ensuring that a clear pathway exists from CVTC to UW institutions.  Rebecca Martin assured the Regents that UW institutions know how to develop clear pathways through the 1 + 1 programs between WTCS institutions and UW Colleges.  President Reilly and Associate Vice President Singer also noted that UW institutions are confident that they can handle the additional students enrolling in these programs.

Regent Cuene asked about the cost of adding additional sections at UW institutions and how student services would be provided with less revenue at CVTC.  Dr. Singer stated that there should be no additional costs at UW institutions because there would not be a need for additional sections.  In addition, transfer advisers from the three four-year institutions would meet with students at CVTC.  Regent Burmaster asked for clarification on whether all 14 courses would be available at UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, and UW-Eau Claire.  Dr. Singer responded that it would not just be 14 courses, but a number of courses at each UW institution that would meet discipline-specific degree requirements.

Regents Crain and Smith raised questions about the implications of this proposal for the WTCS Board, UW Colleges, accreditation, and financial aid.  Interim Senior Vice President Martin stated that she recognized these were major issues, but she was confident they could be addressed.  She added that if there is a roadblock that emerges, her office will come back to the Board.  President Reilly added he did not see this proposal as being very different from the proposal approved by the WTCS Board, nor did he see accreditation problems.

Bill Ihlenfeldt, President of CVTC, stated that he has a great deal of confidence in UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, and UW-Stout.  He did raise a concern about what would happen if UW institutions were unable to offer a course needed by transferring students.  He suggested that the Board allow CVTC the prerogative to offer the course under those circumstances.  UW-Eau Claire Interim Provost Steve Tallant reassured the Board that Eau Claire does offer the 14 courses and access at the 200 level is not a problem.  Regent Connolly-Keesler suggested that the Board review the experience with the program in a year.

In response to a request for comment, UW Colleges/UW-Extension Chancellor David Wilson indicated his support for President Reilly’s decision but noted that this is not the response he had hoped for, and stated his hope for further collaboration between the UW Colleges and WTCS institutions in the future.

Regent Cuene ended the discussion by thanking the WTCS and UWSA staff.

I.1.a.:  It was moved by Regent Cuene, seconded by Regent Semenas, that upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the Chippewa Valley Technical College Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program.  This degree program will be delivered collaboratively between CVTC and University of Wisconsin System institutions, utilizing courses and resources of both Systems.  The degree program will consist of a curriculum of CVTC courses in disciplines that it currently offers as part of its applied associate degree programs (approximately two/thirds of the 34-course curriculum), with the remaining one/third of the courses offered by UW System institutions through a variety of existing course options.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

The Education Committee meeting, all Regents invited, adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Regular Business Meeting of the Education Committee

The regular meeting of the Education Committee convened at 2:00 p.m.  Regents Davis, Spector, Crain, Cuene, Loftus, Semenas, and Bradley were present. 

1.                  Approval of the minutes of the January 22 and February  8, 2007, meetings of the

Education Committee

I.1.b.:  It was moved by Regent Crain, seconded by Regent Spector, that the minutes of the January 22 and February 8, 2007 meetings of the Education Committee be approved.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.  

2.         UW System Waukesha Study Update

The Education Committee then received an update on the UW System Waukesha Study.  In their materials, the Regents had received a report, issued by UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Santiago and UW Colleges/UW-Extension Chancellor Wilson, which examined three potential structures:  merging UW-Waukesha into UW-Milwaukee; creating a new, stand-alone four-year campus; and creating a university center at UW-Waukesha.  The report found that the university center would be the most cost-effective option.

President Reilly and UW-Waukesha Dean Patrick Schmitt shared information on the baccalaureate and master’s degree programs already being offered at UW-Waukesha, including M.B.A. programs from UW-Milwaukee and UW-Whitewater, and the UW-Milwaukee Connections program which offers undergraduate degrees in Organizational Administration, Information Resources, and Communications.  President Reilly also noted that across the UW Colleges, 50-70 baccalaureate degrees are offered from UW four-year institutions.

Chancellor Wilson reminded the Committee that UW-Waukesha is not a stand-alone campus, but part of a 13-campus UW Colleges system which has shared administrative costs.  The 13 Colleges share a registrar, as well as staff in areas such as financial aid, information technology, and human resources.  Because of this, there would be no additional efficiencies from joining with UW-Milwaukee.  UW-Waukesha offers top-quality faculty, small classes, the lowest tuition in the UW System, friendly and knowledgeable advisors, and a guaranteed transfer program.  Dean Schmitt added that the campus is committed to change and looking at new models that utilize partnerships.

UW-Platteville Chancellor Markee next discussed his institution’s plans to offer Engineering at UW-Waukesha, and UW-Whitewater Chancellor Saunders described the Whitewater M.B.A. program currently offered at UW-Waukesha, along with discussions that have begun on offering a degree in Education at Waukesha.   Finally, Chancellor Santiago stated that UW-Milwaukee is committed to providing education to Waukesha County in ways that make academic and financial sense.

Assistant Vice President Lynn Paulson provided background information on the financial analysis that was done to arrive at the conclusion that a university center would be the most cost-effective option.  He outlined the assumptions built into the analysis.

Joshua Mann, Vice President of the United Council of UW Students, urged the Board to keep in mind the interests of students who attend UW-Waukesha for the academic mission and services it currently provides.  In addition, Alan Stager, President of the Student Governance Association at UW-Waukesha, said students across the UW Colleges are watching to see how a university center model could impact the services they now receive.

Carla Rutley, Executive Director of the Waukesha County Action Network, said her organization and the UW System both agree that Waukesha County needs greater access to baccalaureate and master’s degrees.  She urged cooperation and better communication with the Waukesha business community as plans move forward.

Lee Esler, a resident of Waukesha County, encouraged the Board to approach the idea of expanding UW-Waukesha in a manner that makes sure students can access a liberal arts education.  He mentioned that the costs to provide mass transit between the UW-Waukesha and UW-Milwaukee campuses may be unmanageable for students and the universities, and he noted that if the campus were to expand, campus neighbors would be unlikely to support the idea of residence halls near UW-Waukesha.

Tom Mihal, a Waukesha County business leader and graduate of UW-Waukesha, said he supports the idea of implementing a university center as one way to serve the community while preserving UW-Waukesha’s core mission.

In response to questions from Regents, President Reilly stated that the UW System would determine additional ways it could meet Waukesha County’s needs by cooperating with Waukesha’s business community to conduct a formal assessment of workforce educational needs, as had been suggested in a letter from State Representatives Zipperer and Nass to Board members.  President Reilly also agreed with Regent comments about the need to improve communication with the business community.

3.                  UW-Stout:  Presentation on Polytechnic Designation

Next on the agenda was a presentation from UW-Stout, which was seeking designation as Wisconsin’s polytechnic university.   Interim Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin noted that the polytechnic designation would build on UW-Stout’s rich history, would strengthen student opportunities, and would enhance both branding and marketing strategies.  She added that the polytechnic designation has the full support of the campus and the community.

UW-Stout Chancellor Chuck Sorensen described polytechnics as comprehensive universities offering professional, career-focused programs in the arts, social and related behavioral sciences, engineering, education, and natural sciences and technology that engage students in active, applied learning, theory and research.  UW-Stout has the educational foundation already in place to become a polytechnic and such a re-focusing of its mission will allow it to serve both the needs of the state in educating its citizens, and as a catalyst for economic development in the 21st Century.  Chancellor Sorensen went on to indicate that the designation would give the university the tools to become a great institution

Chancellor Sorensen introduced Professor Forrest Shultz, Faculty Senate Chair, who described UW-Stout’s program growth plans in the areas of polymer and computer/electrical engineering, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics.  He cited the active learning experienced by students who learn through engagement in real world situations.  He described the technology transfer activities that have a significant economic impact on Wisconsin’s economy, all of which are consistent with a Polytechnic designation.

Professor Schultz then introduced Christine Christofferson, a UW-Stout student.  Ms. Christofferson described how, even as a freshman, she worked with faculty on research, and, as a sophomore, is working on her own research project.  In her brief time at UW-Stout, she has gained a deep appreciation for the hands-on learning experiences provided by the institution.

Chancellor Sorensen concluded the presentation by indicating that the campus has worked for a number of years in its consideration of this designation, including input from external constituents and approval by faculty, academic staff, and student governance groups.

I.1.d.:  It was moved by Regent Spector, seconded by Regent Crain, that upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents supports the designation of UW-Stout as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

4.         UW-LaCrosse: Authorization to Recruit for Provost

Next on the agenda was the authorization to recruit for the Provost and Vice Chancellor at UW-La Crosse.  Elizabeth Hitch has been appointed as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Utah Valley State University.  Regent Davis stated that Provost Hitch has been a great academic leader, noting especially her recent service as Interim Chancellor, and said that she would be missed by many people across the UW System, throughout the state, and at her institution.

I.1.e.:  It was moved by Regent Crain, seconded by Regent Semenas, that the President of the University of Wisconsin System be authorized to recruit for a Provost and Vice Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, at a salary within the Board of Regents salary range for university senior executive salary group one.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.  

5.         Report of the Senior Vice President:  Mid-Year Review of Education Committee Goals

Because of the late hour, the Education Committee decided that the Report on Faculty Research at UW-Parkside and the 2005-06 Minority and Disadvantaged Student Programs Report would be postponed until the April meeting.

Resolutions I.1.a., I. 1.d, and I.1.e. were referred as consent agenda items to the full session of the Board of Regents at its Friday, March 9, 2007, meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.