Board of Regents

Education Committee Minutes, August 2008

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
August 21, 2008

Regent Davis convened the meeting of the Education Committee at 1:20 p.m.  Regents Davis, Crain, Cuene, Loftus, Spector, and Thomas were present.  Regents Burmaster and Falbo joined the meeting in progress.

1.      UW-Platteville:  Presentation of Campus Academic Plan

Before introducing UW-Platteville Provost Carol Sue Butts to present her institution’s campus academic plan, Regent Davis informed those present that Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch would be arriving soon to express his support for the Western Technical College Liberal Arts Transfer Program.  She apologized in advance for having to interrupt Provost Butts.

Provost Butts began by remarking upon those aspects of university missions shared by all UW institutions:  a commitment to enhancing diversity, to serving as drivers of economic development, and to be seekers of truth and knowledge.  She then enumerated the six areas of undergraduate emphasis for UW-Platteville’s select mission:  engineering, technology management, agriculture, criminal justice, education, and business.  She described
UW-Platteville’s deliberate, mission-driven strategic planning processes, which included broad involvement from student and other governance groups, and continuous assessment across all levels of the institution.  Each new major was developed only in response to key questions about its alignment with Platteville’s select mission, a sound curriculum, demonstrated need, and appropriate resources.  She added that seventy-four percent of UW-Platteville’s undergraduate students studied in the six academic areas named above. 

Provost Butts described several new majors at various stages of development in the program planning pipeline, including microsystems/nanotechnology, forensic investigations, and renewable energy.  She recounted how she was frequently asked why UW-Platteville did not offer nursing, given statewide demand and the institution’s strengths in math and science.  She responds, she said, by emphasizing that nursing would not fit with Platteville’s select mission or its identity.

UW-Platteville’s students, she continued, come largely from small, rural, Wisconsin towns.  Platteville is the only campus in the UW System with a majority of male students, which runs contrary to the national trend, but is explained by the campus’s emphasis in the traditionally male fields of science, engineering, and technology.  She described campus efforts to work with fourth-grade girls and their parents, thus encouraging more girls in STEM fields.  Solid understanding of one’s students, she emphasized, was critical to ensuring that Platteville’s academic offerings would remain mission-driven.

She then described UW-Platteville’s Tri-State Initiative, approved by the Regents in 2004.  The program was currently serving about 900 students in specific, workforce-related academic programs, and there were plans to increase that number significantly over the next ten years.

Provost Butts’ presentation was interrupted by the arrival of Speaker Huebsch, whom Regent Davis welcomed to the meeting.  Speaker Huebsch observed that he was honored to have been asked by UW-La Crosse and Western Technical College to speak to the Education Committee in support of the proposed liberal arts transfer degree.  He noted that he had been working with both schools on this program for several years, and how satisfying it was to see it come to fruition.  He expressed his appreciation for the faculty at both institutions who had worked hard to make the degree a reality.  Most of all, he remarked upon the expanded opportunity for Wisconsin students who want to pursue the baccalaureate degree, so vital to the state’s economic future.

Regent Davis thanked Speaker Huebsch for his support and passion for the UW System, and his recognition of the importance of public higher education to the state’s economic well-being.  General applause accompanied him as he left the room.

Provost Butts resumed her presentation by focusing on UW-Platteville’s various alternative delivery programs, including the engineering degree offered through the UW Colleges that was funded through the Growth Agenda.  These online programs are expensive, she commented, but most of them are funded outside the regular budgetary process as cost-recovery programs.  The average age of participants in these programs is 39, and they enroll more students of color than on-campus programs.  These programs have been successful, including several master’s level degree programs offered in China.

Provost Butts focused on UW-Platteville’s faculty profile, in particular to make note of the large numbers of faculty who have retired in the past decade and, consequently, the large numbers of new faculty who need to be acculturated to Platteville’s mission.  She pointed to several international programs offered to Platteville’s students, as well as the new Confucius Institute, funded by China onsite at Platteville, providing two Chinese professors who teach culture, history, and Mandarin Chinese.  The Platteville Confucius Institute is one of 42 in the United States.  She also addressed Platteville’s efforts to increase diversity on campus through several exchange programs and partnerships with Mississippi Valley State University and the Aldine Independent School District in Texas.  She concluded the presentation with brief descriptions of Platteville’s outreach and engagement programs, including the Nanotechnology Center for Collaborative Research & Development, and the Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement.

Regent Cuene thanked Provost Butts and asked her to elaborate on the Nanotechnology Center.  Provost Butts responded that UW-Platteville is zeroing in on specific areas of this huge field and working with faculty all over Wisconsin to support collaboration.  In response to a question from Regent Loftus, Provost Butts described Platteville’s differential tuition program, approved last spring, which all students will pay and which will fund student projects.  Regent Crain asked how the UW System might be helpful in encouraging more girls in STEM fields.  Provost Butts responded that programs for girls needed to start young (high school was too late) and reach parents too.

Regent Davis expressed her appreciation to Provost Butts, adding that the presentations of campus academic plans helped so much to ground the Regents’ understanding of what happens at the campuses.  Chancellor Markee thanked Provost Butts for all her work.  President Reilly concurred and thanked Chancellor Markee as well.  President Reilly recognized in particular the engineering programs offered by UW-Platteville around the state.  These programs were a lot of work, he acknowledged, but resulted in important partnerships between local campuses and businesses.

2.      UW-Stout:  Program Authorization of B.S. in Computer Engineering

Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin provided some introductory remarks to
UW-Stout’s presentation of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.  While most new academic programs were now placed on the Committee’s consent agenda, she explained, the B.S. in Computer Engineering warranted a fuller discussion given its disciplinary focus and the statewide context for engineering as provided last April in the presentation of the UW System’s Engineering Education Task Force Report.  UW-Stout’s proposal, she commented, addresses the recommendations from the April Report.

UW-Stout Provost Julie Furst-Bowe introduced her campus colleagues, Don Olson, Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Technology, and Rich Rothaupt, Interim STEM Dean.  She provided a program overview of the proposed computer engineering degree, which teaches students to design hardware and software for engineering systems that utilize embedded digital processors. It aligns well with UW-Stout’s mission and polytechnic identity, as well as with national accreditation standards for engineering.  The program is a key component of Stout’s Growth Agenda and will contribute to West Central Wisconsin’s economic development. 

Provost Furst-Bowe delineated the ways in which the program responded to the recommendations of the UW System Engineering Education Task Force Report by meeting regional need, utilizing existing resources, exercising multiple student recruitment strategies, with an emphasis on women and minorities, and providing opportunities to part-time and place-bound students.  She described the program’s collaborations with other UW and WTCS institutions.  She referred to the strong interest and support in the program from regional employers, as evidenced by the numerous letters of support received by Regents.  She addressed the student pipeline, focusing on how the program would reach out to underserved students.  She also reviewed for Committee members the program’s goals, curriculum, resource requirements, and budget summary.  The program will both utilize existing resources and make use of additional funding received through the 2007-09 Growth Agenda budget.

In response to a question from Regent Loftus, Provost Furst-Bowe clarified that the program had already received Growth Agenda funding for the current biennium, and it would not be a part of Stout’s Growth Agenda request for 2009-11.  In response to a request from Regent Davis, Provost Furst-Bowe elaborated on Stout’s efforts to increase participation in its STEM disciplines for women and students of color, which were yielding some success.  She described a relationship with Bradley High School in Milwaukee, summer precollege programs, and the rich data that Stout’s participation in the Equity Scorecard was providing, which she called “eye-opening.”  UW-Stout Chancellor Sorensen added that the campus had hired a new advancement officer who was working to raise more scholarship money dedicated to minority students in STEM disciplines.

In response to questions from Regent Davis, Provost Furst-Bowe described Stout’s innovative, mastery-based math program which has proven successful for all students, especially students of color.  She also noted that progress was being made on developing collaboration with UW-Platteville.

In making the motion to approve the program, Regent Cuene expressed her strong support, seconded by Regent Crain.  Regent Davis also expressed her support for the program but asked that a progress report be delivered to the Education Committee in two years in order to monitor the need and student/employer demand for the program.  She emphasized that her request was made as a means of attending to the recommendations in the Engineering Task Force Report, and not in any effort to cast aspersion on Stout’s program.

I.1.b.:  It was moved by Regent Cuene, seconded by Regent Spector, that, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the B.S. in Computer Engineering at UW-Stout.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

3.      Western Technical College:  Approval of Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program in Collaboration with UW-La Crosse

In moving to the presentation of the Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program, Regent Davis welcomed Western Technical College President Lee Rasch and UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow to the table.  Senior Vice President Martin provided some context for this new collaborative degree program, by reminding the Committee of the similar program it approved eighteen months ago for Chippewa Valley Technical College in collaboration with UW-Eau Claire.  She also pointed to the criteria established by the Regents at that time that would be used in consideration of any similar programs in the future, singling out the need to demonstrate that existing and potential students were not currently being served by existing programs.

In  recommending the Chippewa Valley program to the Regents eighteen months ago, Senior Vice President Martin had indicated that there was only one other region of the state that might qualify, the La Crosse region.  The Western Technical College-UW-La Crosse collaborative proposal under consideration, she continued, is based on the Chippewa Valley Technical College model and meets all the criteria established by the Board.  The new program followed a much more collaborative process, and Associate Vice President Ron Singer and Assistant Vice President Larry Rubin were actively involved in its development from the beginning, as were members of the UW-La Crosse faculty and leadership.  She pointed out that while there are two 1+1 programs that the UW Colleges have at Western Technical College campuses in Viroqua and Mauston, there is no UW College campus in La Crosse, thereby making UW-La Crosse the natural partner for this collaborative degree.

Associate Vice President Singer began by thanking UW System Assistant Vice President Larry Rubin and WTCS Vice President Kathy Cullen and Associate Vice President Annette Severson for their work in shepherding the program through the approval process.  He then presented the details of the proposed Associate of Science Liberal Arts Transfer Degree.  He reminded Committee members of the other liberal arts and science transfer degrees offered by the Wisconsin Technical College System, as well as the Board’s criteria for approval developed in early 2007.  The proposed program meets the Board’s criteria well and Dr. Singer focused on the documented need for enhanced, regional transfer opportunities for students attending Western Technical College.  Over the past 7 years, twenty-five percent of those students transferring to a four-year college from Western Technical College have gone to UW-La Crosse.  Data indicate that many more would choose UW-La Crosse through the new transfer degree program collaboratively designed and delivered in La Crosse.  Regent Loftus asked whether graduates of the new program would be able to transfer anywhere in the UW System and Dr. Singer responded that they could although not every UW institution has seen the curriculum yet.

Dr. Singer also reported that 40% of La Crosse high school students end up at Western Technical College, and that students of color now comprise 20% of the La Crosse school district enrollment.  It is anticipated that the new transfer program will draw more students of color to UW-La Crosse.  He concluded that the new program responds to an unmet need, has been developed through remarkable collaboration by the two institutions, and will make effective and efficient use of the state’s higher education resources with the goal of increasing baccalaureate degree attainment.

Regent Davis thanked Dr. Singer and invited Chancellor Gow to make some comments.  Chancellor Gow extolled the ways in which Western Technical College President Rasch had reached out to him upon his arrival at UW-La Crosse, and the extent to which the two campuses engaged in genuine collaboration focused entirely on what would benefit students.  It was clear to him as a new chancellor that the program needed to be faculty-driven and it was.  He cited his own experience as an undergraduate, in which he “swirled” from campus to campus, and how valuable the new degree program will be to the multitude of students who do transfer.  He also expressed his appreciation for the support of Speaker Huebsch, for this new program and for UW-La Crosse as a whole.  He informed the Committee that he had spoken with UW Colleges Chancellor David Wilson to address the concerns that the new transfer degree program would compete with the UW Colleges.  He emphasized that the new program was very focused on a small enrollment circa 30 students, and that the students and the program would be monitored very closely to ensure quality control.

Western Technical College President Rasch then introduced to the Committee his steering team and described other regional collaborations which had benefited the La Crosse region, including a tri-campus initiative to reduce alcohol abuse and a health sciences initiative.  He mentioned the strong credentials of the faculty who would be teaching the General Studies component of the transfer program, and the focus on student success through strong advising at the heart of the program.

In response to a question from Regent Loftus about the 30-student limit, President Rasch replied that this number was recommended by the steering teams at both institutions in the interest of being sensitive to capacity issues at UW-La Crosse and to ensuring participant success.  Regent Loftus commented on the success of the transfer program between Madison Area Technical College and UW-Madison.  In response to additional questions from Regent Loftus, Chancellor Gow emphasized that the new program would remain focused on capacity at UW-La Crosse and anticipated real gains to the campus’s diversity.  Senior Vice President Martin added that there is nothing in the program that would prohibit WTC students from transferring to other UW institutions, but it remains to be vetted at the other UWs and is focused on UW-La Crosse.

Regents Crain, Davis and Cuene expressed their support and appreciation for the program to both institutions and to Senior Vice President Martin and her staff.  Regent Cuene added that it was a tribute to the collaboration between the two institutions to have Speaker Huebsch come and give the program such an enthusiastic endorsement.  Prior to calling the vote, Regent Davis stated that, for the record, this was the last liberal arts transfer degree in the UW System’s pipeline.

I.1.c.:  It was moved by Regent Cuene, seconded by Regent Thomas, that, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the Western Technical College Associate of Science Degree Liberal Arts Transfer Program. This degree program will be delivered in La Crosse, collaboratively between Western Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse utilizing courses and resources of both Systems.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Following the vote, Associate Vice President Singer introduced Andrew Phillips, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor at UW-Eau Claire to present some preliminary data on the Chippewa Valley Technical College liberal arts transfer degree program, known as the University Transfer Program.  The program’s two goals were to provide students with the option to pursue a Liberal Arts-Associate of Science degree at CVTC, and to provide a pathway for those same students to transfer to a four-year university like Eau Claire.  He described the associate degree requirements and the enrollment figures for its first full year of operation.  While still early to draw conclusions about the program, Dr. Phillips mentioned that enrollment targets for the first year were exceeded, and the number of students admitted for fall 2008 is up significantly from the first year, indicating that the program is growing.  It is too early to determine whether the number of students who are transferring from CVTC to UW-Eau Claire are doing so as a part of the new University Transfer Program, or are transferring in from other CVTC programs, but both institutions are working to refine their tracking of data.

Dr. Phillips observed that early indications also point to students transferring from CVTC prior to obtaining their associate’s degree.  He said that the long-term goal of the program should be to assist students in achieving their goals of earning baccalaureate degrees, however they might choose to do that.  The other lesson both institutions have learned in the first year of the program is that students need strong advising throughout their matriculation at both CVTC and UW-Eau Claire.  UW-Eau Claire now sends its entire academic advising staff to the program orientation offered by CVTC.  The two schools also share a staff person to provide advising year-round.

Regent Davis thanked Dr. Phillips, noting that while the program is only one year old, there is already some good data and the Committee appreciates hearing it.

4.      UW-Milwaukee:  Charter School Contract Extensions

In introducing the topic of the three charter school contract extensions on the

Committee’s agenda, Regent Davis referred to a letter sent by Regent and State Superintendent Burmaster’s Office to President Reilly and on which Regents were copied.  That letter informed recipients that two of the schools on which the Committee would be taking action did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  She noted that
UW-Milwaukee Provost Rita Cheng and Robert Kattman, Director of the Office of Charter Schools, would address the situation of each school and that Committee members would have the opportunity to ask questions and deliberate as needed before acting on the recommended renewals for each school.  Before turning to Provost Cheng, Regent Davis welcomed representatives from each of the three schools, who were available to answer questions and show their support.

Provost Cheng referred to the materials Board members had received regarding the three
UW-Milwaukee charter schools up for renewal, and added that clarification would come from the remarks made by Bob Kattman and the ensuing discussion.  She stated her belief that everyone present was united in wanting to do what was right for urban education in Milwaukee, especially for the city’s students.

Dr. Kattman began by noting that the three schools under consideration by the Regents were each different in their history and the results they have obtained.  The renewal recommendations were also different, and the reports received by the Regents provided candid assessments of each school’s strengths and weaknesses.  The recommendations made for each school by the Office of Charter Schools were demanding and designed to move each school to a higher level.  He added that the renewal recommendations were specific to each school’s circumstances and would be modified somewhat as they were discussed.

Dr. Kattman introduced the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee or the BEAM school for discussion.  BEAM had received its initial charter in 1999 and had opened in August 2001.  In 2005, the Board of Regents renewed the school’s charter for four years.  The school served an almost entirely African-American population in one of Milwaukee’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, in which 97% of children lived in poverty.  BEAM, he continued, was financially sound and had a strong, committed board.  The school’s academic achievement was similar to many Milwaukee Public Schools with similar demographics.  Its performance, however, was below the expectation for UW-Milwaukee charter schools.  In 2007-08, the school failed to meet, for the first time, the proficiency requirement in both reading and mathematics under the No Child Left Behind Act.  He observed that the Regent materials had mistakenly stated that the school did not make AYP in mathematics only for 2007-08.

Because of its academic performance, Dr. Kattman continued, the Office of Charter Schools was requesting that the school receive only a three-year charter renewal.  The renewal contract contained specific language regarding required improvement of academic achievement and allowed the school to be closed if the academic requirements were not met.  The contract language spelled out that the school’s continuation was contingent on making AYP.  If AYP were not made, said Dr. Kattman, the school would only be able to operate for another two years before closing.  He referred to Clause 9.1.1. of the contract as the place where these contingencies and requirements were spelled out, adding that closure would be mandatory, not discretionary, if the school failed to meet the academic growth measures in the contract, including AYP.

Dr. Kattman explained the reasons behind the Office of Charter School’s recommendation that the BEAM school receive a three-year charter renewal.  The school had done a remarkable job of fulfilling its mission to improve the business and economics understanding of its students, as demonstrated by two separate reports.  While academic growth was not at the level it should be, growth was seen in the school’s lower grades.  Finally, stated Dr. Kattman, the school had hired Dr. Willie Jude, former deputy superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools, out of retirement to become BEAM’s new principal.  Based on Dr. Jude’s proven track record with MPS and the other reasons cited, Dr. Kattman urged the Board to allow BEAM to make one last chance to reach appropriate academic levels.

Regent Davis recognized Dr. Jude, who described the BEAM school for the Regents as a “shining house of respect, courage and pride, where learning is our business.”  He cited his intention for BEAM to serve as a model in the central city where all students could succeed, and described the necessary changes already being made since his arrival in the form of a consistent and rigorous curriculum and committed teachers.  He expressed his firm belief that BEAM would make AYP in 2008-09.

Regent Spector moved and Regent Thomas seconded adoption of Resolution I.1.d.(3), approving the extension of the contract with the BEAM charter school for three years, contingent upon it making AYP, and terminating the school in two years if it did not.

Regent Cuene turned to Regent Burmaster, who had joined the meeting, to ask for input from the Department of Public Instruction.  Regent Burmaster asked for clarification of the resolution language, in particular elaboration on when the school would be terminated.  Dr. Kattman responded that, as written in the resolution under discussion, BEAM students would be in the school for an additional three years if approved, including 2008-09.  Regent Burmaster stated her discomfort with the idea that elementary students might spend as many as four years in an inadequate school, and that parents and their children should be given the opportunity to find another school sooner.  Dr. Kattman expressed his concern that families not have to find a new school in May or June, which is when the BEAM school would know whether or not it had made AYP in 2008-09.  That would be very late compared to usual practice in which Milwaukee families normally made decisions about changing schools in winter.

The Committee debated language options for the resolution, expressing the hope that whatever action members took would best accommodate the concerns of those present as well as students and their families.  Regent Spector said that he wanted to make sure Regent Burmaster was comfortable with the language ultimately adopted.  Regent Davis reminded Committee members that they had a responsibility to take action regarding the contract renewal before them.  Regent Crain observed that the full Board would need absolute clarity for its actions the next day, especially in light of the fact that three members of the Education Committee would be absent, including both the Chair and Vice Chair.

Regent Burmaster proposed that the resolution should state that the BEAM contract would expire on June 30, 2009.  By then, it would be known whether AYP was missed a second year in a row.  If AYP were reached, the school’s contract would continue for an additional three years.  If not, the school would be identified as a “school for improvement” in 2010 according to No Child Left Behind, and the contract would expire in 2011 with the school’s termination.  Regent Crain requested that the Board be notified either way in 2008-09, adding that she recognized the enormous challenge the school had before it and, indicating Dr. Jude, that no one person could be solely responsible for a school’s turn-around.  Regent Burmaster reminded those present that the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations, on which AYP was determined, took place in November. 

In order to rework the revised resolution language for the BEAM school, Regents Burmaster and Spector, and Provost Cheng left the room to confer.  In response to a question from Regent Crain, Dr. Kattman said that there was no conclusive information either way that BEAM’s focus on business and economics was coming at the expense of reading and mathematics.  Dr. Jude added that BEAM’s curriculum was designed to integrate the business and economics focus into the reading and math programs.

Regent Davis asked what convinced Dr. Jude to come out of retirement to become principal at BEAM.  Dr. Jude cited the birth of a grandson and his membership on the BEAM board as reasons for staying in Milwaukee.  He noted that he had been intrigued for some time with BEAM’s focus and that he wanted to work to understand and address the reasons why so many central city Milwaukee students could not read.  He cited research demonstrating that if students could not read by grade 4, they would not succeed in school; the readers, in contrast, would.  He stated his high expectations for staff and students, and his commitment to holding the staff accountable as part of his plan for making BEAM successful.  He also mentioned the great support of the BEAM board and that he could already see the excitement in the faces of his staff as they approached the first week of school.

As the Committee waited for the revised language of Resolution I.1.d.(3) on the BEAM school, Dr. Kattman presented the second charter school requiring Regent action.  The Capitol West Academy or CWA, he reported, had received its charter in 2003 and opened its doors in August, 2004.  The school served an integrated school population and, upon enrollment, a large percentage of students were well below the average of students attending MPS, a fact that ran counter to what is often said about charter schools taking away the best students from other public schools.  The school was financially sound as a result of its sponsorship by St. Aemilian-Lakeside, Inc. 

Dr. Kattman characterized CWA as still a start-up school, despite having completed its fourth year of operation, because it did not yet offer every grade, had more limited enrollment, and did not provide student transportation.  In the school’s first year of operation, no students were eligible to participate in the state’s testing program.  Because the student numbers at each grade level remain small, year-to-year achievement results might be based on as few as nine students.  While the school did not meet the AYP requirement in math under No Child Left Behind in 2007-08, the result was based on such small numbers of students that movement of one child into or out of the proficiency level could dramatically change the results.  He described CWA’s board, school leaders, and curriculum as strong, with solid instructional principles appropriate to the school population.  Because of these combined factors, he expressed his belief that, given additional time, the school would be successful.  He therefore recommended to the Committee a four-year renewal but with the same contingencies for making AYP within a particular timeline as requested with BEAM.

Donna Weber, CWA’s school administrator, elaborated on enrollment changes that would strengthen the school and prevent its testing results from being skewed based on low numbers of students.  In the school’s first year of operation, only 30 students were enrolled and none of them were working at grade level.  For the 2008-09 school year, 190 students were enrolled.  She described great parent-teacher relationships and attendance but noted that transportation remained a challenge for many families.  She mentioned partnerships with Cardinal Stritch University and that each of the school’s board members had adopted a classroom.

In response to a question from Regent Cuene, Dr. Kattman noted that the contracts of all three of the schools up for renewal ended this year.  He reiterated the four-year renewal recommendation for CWA but with the contingency that the school would be terminated in two years if it did not make AYP.  In response to a question from Regent Davis about the low number of instructional and administrative staff of color, Ms. Weber assured her that they had been working on increasing those numbers.  Regent Davis urged the school to try something bold and different to increase its numbers, given the importance of students having role models of color.  In response to another question from Regent Davis, Ms. Weber described some of the learning intervention methodologies piloted at the school.  Regent Davis said that the Committee would wait to vote on the Capitol West Academy until it had revised language for Resolutions I.1.d.(2) on CWA and I.1.d.(3) on BEAM.

Dr. Kattman next described the Woodlands School to the Committee, noting its long history as a private school and its more recent history as a UW-Milwaukee charter school beginning in September of 2004.  The school had a veteran and well-trained teaching corps, strong leadership and a committed board.  It was financially sound and its academic performance consistently exceeded that of MPS and, in the upper grades, the state as a whole.  Calling the school a happy place, he noted the satisfaction and hence low turn-over of the teaching staff.  He recommended that the school receive a full, five-year charter renewal. 

In response to a question from Regent Davis, Maureen Sullivan, principal of the Woodlands School, described the ways in which the school was working with students and parents to reduce its achievement gap.  The school has also been working with a reading specialist from Cardinal Stritch University, and has been working on greater consistency in its math program.  Mr. Brad Hoechen, President of the Woodlands School Board, added that the staff was proud of the school’s diversity and sense of community, and that no one ethnic group was dominant.  In response to a question from Regent Crain about the low number of students living in poverty compared to other schools, Ms. Sullivan expressed her belief that many of the school’s families did not declare their need for free and reduced lunch because of the stigma attached to that program.  Regent Crain mentioned the strong need for the school to understand its student demographics, including income levels of enrolled families.

I.1.d.(1):  It was moved by Regent Spector, seconded by Regent Thomas, that upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the extension of the charter school contract with the Woodlands School, Inc., to maintain a charter school known as the Woodlands School.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Regent Spector shared with the Committee the revised language arrived at by himself, Regent Burmaster and Provost Cheng for the resolutions approving the Capitol West Academy and the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee.  Prior to voting, Committee members asked what would happen if the schools failed to meet AYP in 2008-09, but made it in 2009-10.  Regent Davis verified that, if this occurred, the schools would be welcome to apply for a contract extension and that this contingency was a part of the discussion with Regent Burmaster and others working on the revised resolution language.

I.1.d.(2) Revised:  It was moved by Regent Spector, seconded by Regent Thomas, that upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the extension of the charter school contract ending in June, 2009, with the Capitol West Academy, Inc., until June, 2013.  If the charter school does not meet Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act in 2008-09, the contract terminates in June, 2011.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

I.1.d.(3) Revised:  It was moved by Regent Spector, seconded by Regent Thomas, that upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approves the extension of the charter school contract ending in June, 2009, with the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee, until June, 2012.  If the charter school does not meet Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act in 2008-09, the contract terminates in June, 2011.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Following the vote, Regent Crain emphasized that what was important to her was to demonstrate that the charter schools authorized by the UW System had an impact beyond that of any one individual school.  Charter schools should be able to provide evidence that they were innovative and resulted in better ways of educating students which could serve as models to more traditional public schools. 

Regent Davis pointed to the Regents’ parallel responsibility to approve and renew the individual schools over which they had oversight.  She cited the Board’s tendency to ask whether it should be in the chartering business or not every time it had to act on an individual school.  She emphasized that this was not fair to the schools, to UW-Milwaukee, nor to Dr. Kattman, and expressed her belief that the UW-Milwaukee charter schools were being held to a different standard than other Milwaukee schools.

In response to some lingering language questions from Regent Spector, Dr. Kattman responded that the three-year contract for BEAM would go into effect if AYP were made.  If AYP were not made in 2008-09, the two-year contract would go into effect with a 2011 termination.  If AYP were made subsequent to 2008-09 and prior to 2011, the school could come back for Regent consideration of a contract extension.

Dr. Kattman asked that an appendix accompany the Committee’s minutes that would address some of the questions being asked by Regent Spector and thereby provide additional clarification to the revised resolutions passed by the Committee.  Regent Davis agreed (see the attached Appendix A).

5.      Report of the Senior Vice President

Given the late hour, Senior Vice President suggested that she defer two items from her report

until the October meeting:  the update on the Waukesha County educational needs; and the update on the timeline for Plan 2008 and Inclusive Excellence.  She then turned to Associate Vice President Ron Singer to present the Annual Report on Academic Program Planning and Review.

a.       Annual Report on Academic Program Planning and Review

Associate Vice President Singer provided an overview of the academic program planning

and review process, including the ways in which the process had been streamlined in recent years in response to Regent and campus input.  He reminded Committee members that the Regents do not actually see new academic programs until after they have gone through a lengthy process of entitlement to plan, which includes lots of campus vetting, market research, scrutiny of necessary resources, and thorough review by external experts and UW System Administration.  Once approved by the Board, programs undergo further review several years later at the end of which Provosts recommend continuation, modification, or discontinuation and UW System Administration makes the final decision.

Dr. Singer showed a graph of the UW System’s program array, as well as graphs depicting the frequency and number of bachelor degree programs offered at UW System institutions.  In looking at the graphic depictions, he commented, it is clear that there is not a lot of duplication across the System, and that the number of academic programs over time has been remarkably stable.  The lack of duplication was both good and bad, he suggested.  Because programs aren’t offered at each UW campus, more students need to travel elsewhere to get them.  On the other hand, the increase in distance and online learning opportunities alleviates the need for students to travel.

In response to a question from Regent Loftus about the practical use of the annual report, Dr. Singer answered that the report provides an overview of the bigger picture regarding how many and what kinds of programs are offered systemwide.  It also serves to remind continuing, and educate new Regents on the process and the ways it has evolved over time.  In response to another question from Regent Loftus, Dr. Singer agreed to send him a list of those programs which had been dropped, and assured him that these same programs were not being added back into an institution’s array at a later point in time.

In response to a question from Regent Davis about programs that receive funding from the Legislature before they are authorized by the Board of Regents, Dr. Singer observed, and Senior Vice President Martin concurred, that their offices have become more vigilant about looking at budget initiatives going from the institutions to the Legislature in order to make sure they have received Board approval first.

Committee members thanked Dr. Singer for the presentation.

b.      Update on UW Colleges Planning

Senior Vice President Martin next updated Committee members on the UW Colleges planning process.  She reminded the Committee that last March, Chancellor Wilson had reported to the Board on recommendations made by the Commission to Enhance the Mission of the UW Colleges.  One of these recommendations was to seek authority to offer an interdisciplinary baccalaureate degree in applied arts and sciences.  This recommendation, she reported, is being pursued cautiously, following the regular System process for developing new academic programs outlined by Associate Vice President Singer above.  An “Entitlement to Plan Working Group,” chaired by UW Colleges Interim Provost Greg Lampe, is working on drafting a document.  This working group includes representation from the Technical Colleges as well as from other UW institutions.  The draft document will be shared first with the Provosts at one of their fall meetings.  She referred to a question that had been raised by the Board regarding whether granting authority to the UW Colleges to offer a restricted baccalaureate degree would require a change in the State Statutes.  No statutory change would be required, she informed Committee members, if the Colleges were to proceed with seeking entitlement for this degree program.

c.       Annual  Drop Report

Next, Senior Vice President Martin informed the Committee that Regents had been copied on the Report of the 2007 Undergraduate Course Drop Rates that was sent two weeks ago to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance.  Senior Vice President observed that not much had changed since the year before but that she would be happy to answer any questions Committee members might have.

d.      Update on Chapters 17 & 18

Senior Vice President Martin then briefed the Committee on the work of the Chapters UWS 17 & 18 Review Committee, which has been developing revisions to the two chapters in Wisconsin Administrative Code pertaining to student nonacademic disciplinary procedures, and conduct on university lands.  Following an extensive period of consultation with various constituents, the Review Committee has completed a set of proposed draft rules for Regent consideration at the October meeting.  In October, the Board will be asked to authorize submission of the proposed rules to the Wisconsin Legislative Council, which constitutes the first step in the formal review process.  The rules will be discussed and acted on first in the Education Committee, the appropriate venue given how closely the rules pertain to students issues.  After review by the Legislative Council, members of the Board of Regents will hold a public hearing on the rules, approve a final draft (scheduled for May 2009), and submit the rules to the Legislature.  The goal is, she said, to have the revised rules in place by September 2009.  Given the extent of these revisions and the importance of the issues they address, Regents will receive the Review Committee’s recommended revisions in early September so that they will be given adequate time to study them prior to the October meeting.  Regent Spector concurred on the strong need for ample review time for the Regents, given the significance of Chapters 17 &18 and the complexity of the issues they cover.

e.       Recognition of Associate Vice President Ron Singer

Senior Vice President Martin announced to the Committee that Dr. Stephen Kolison of Tennessee State University had been hired as the new Associate Vice President for Academic and Faculty Programs.  She reported that while she was excited about what Dr. Kolison would bring to the UW System, his arrival signaled the departure of Associate Vice President Singer.  Dr. Singer was retiring after 35 years in the UW System, the last seven at System Administration and the previous 28 years at UW-Parkside.  She concluded that he had served the Board very well and that his departure would leave behind a lot of unhappy people in the Office of Academic Affairs, to which Dr. Singer received a standing ovation from the Committee and others present in affirmation of her statements.  Regent Davis noted what a pleasure it had been to work with Dr. Singer and wished him all the best.

Upon completion of the Report of the Senior Vice President, Regent Cuene recounted that she had heard that the Provosts were uniformly unhappy with the UW Colleges proposal to expand its degree offerings.  Senior Vice President Martin responded that she would frame it differently and that additional levels of vetting and input had been added to the proposal process so that Chancellors and Provosts would have ample opportunity to weigh in.  She asked that people keep an open mind about a proposal that was still a work in progress.

6.      Committee Consent Agenda

Regent Davis moved adoption of the minutes of the June 5, 2008, meeting of the Education Committee and the following resolutions as consent agenda items.  The motion was seconded by Regent Crain and carried on a unanimous voice vote.

Resolution One.One.f.(2), approving the appointment of Valerie J. Gilchrist to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Oversight and Advisory Committee of the Wisconsin Partnership Program;

Resolution One.One.f.(3), authorizing implementation of the B.A. in Liberal Studies at UW-Eau Claire; 

Resolution One.One.f.(4), authorizing implementation of the Bachelor’s Degree in

Early Childhood Education at UW-River Falls; and

Resolution One.One.f.(5), authorizing implementation of the M.S. in Clinical

Investigations at UW-Madison.

7.      Full Board Consent Agenda

Resolutions I.1.b., I.1.d.(1), I.1.f.(2), I.1.f.(3), I.1.f.(4), and I.1.f.(5) were referred to

the consent agenda of the full Board of Regents at its Friday, August 22, 2008, meeting. 

At the request of Regent Crain, Resolution I.1.d.(2) as amended, and Resolution I.1.d.(3) as amended were taken off the full Board’s consent agenda to be voted on separately, along with Resolution I.1.c., at the Friday, August 22, 2008, meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:53 p.m.


University of Wisconsin Board of Regents

Education Committee

August 21, 2008 Meeting


Business and Economic Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM)

Beam will receive a three year contract renewal which terminates on June 30, 2012 if the school meets Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind requirements for the
2008-09 school year.  If the school does not meet AYP for the 2008-09 school year, the contract will terminate on June 30, 2011.  If the school does not meet AYP for the 2008-09 school year but meets AYP for the 2009-10 school year, the school may petition the Board of Regents for a contract extension beyond June 30, 2011.

Capitol West Academy (CWA)

Capitol West Academy will receive a four year contract renewal which terminates on
June 30, 2013 if the school meets Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind for the 2008-09 school year.  If the school does not meet AYP for the 2008-09 school year, the contract will terminate on June 30, 2011.  If the school does not meet AYP for the 2008-09 school year but meets AYP for the 2009-10 school year, the school may petition the Board of Regents for a contract extension beyond June 30, 2011.