Board of Regents

Board of Regents - Education Committee Minutes - September 2009



University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

September 10, 2009

Regent Crain convened the meeting of the Education Committee at 2:17 p.m.  Regents Bradley, Crain, Davis, Evers, and Vasquez were present. 

Regent Crain began her tenure as Education Committee Chair by welcoming the new members and recognizing the exemplary leadership of her predecessor, Regent Davis.

1.  UW-Milwaukee:  Charter School Status Report

a.; Contract Extension for the School of Early Development and Achievement

Regent Crain introduced Dr. Robert Kattman, Director of the Office of Charter Schools at UW-Milwaukee.  Dr. Kattman described the School of Early Development and Achievement (SEDA), which was requesting a three-year extension of its contract.  He acknowledged the school’s principal and associate principal, a Board member, and a parent, all in attendance.  The school had an unusual population, said Dr. Kattman, serving students in three-year-old kindergarten through second grade, and with 30-40% of its students requiring special education.  He described the high number of aids and support staff (physical and speech therapists, e.g.) employed by the school, as well as the per-pupil expenditures, and the funding mechanisms used to meet the school’s funding needs.  He added that all fiscal and contractual requirements were being met. 

Dr. Kattman also explained how each of the school’s students had an individualized plan for learning.  The school still needed a better assessment plan and the Office of Charter Schools was working closely with SEDA to develop such a plan.  Dr. Kattman noted that, having conducted extensive research on the topic, state-of-the-art assessment of children ages 3-6 remained difficult.    Although the school had suffered from weak leadership and administrative turnover for a number of years, it now had a strong principal in place.  In order to ensure stable leadership and the development of a good assessment plan, Dr. Kattman asked for a three-year extension of the contract, as opposed to the full five years allowable.

Dr. Kattman and SEDA principal Dr. Joan Kuehl responded to several questions from Committee members concerning the school’s location, how children ended up at SEDA, and its extensive involvement in the placement of children once they finished second grade.  Regent Evers recognized two colleagues from his office, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), who worked with the state’s charter schools.  He expressed his support for the three-year contract extension and the school in general, adding that this kind of charter school was consistent with the ideas for early childhood education being advocated by President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan. 

In response to a question from Regent Crain, Dr. Kuehl described the community’s recognition of SEDA as a school providing strong early education to children along a whole spectrum of disabilities.  In response to questions from Regent Davis, Dr. Kattman elaborated on the assessment challenges faced by SEDA—and any school—serving children in pre-kindergarten through second grade.  The goal, he said, was to have a replicable assessment system that could be used by other schools with similar student populations.  In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Dr. Kuehl commented on SEDA’s partnerships with other community agencies, which strengthened the support the school provided to students and their families.  The school focused on early interventions and the empowerment of parents to use these same interventions with their children.

I.1.a.:  It was moved by Regent Davis, seconded by Regent Vasquez, 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 School of Early Development and Achievement, Inc., together with amendments to the contract, to maintain a charter school known as the School of Early Development and Achievement.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

b.  Adequate Yearly Progress Status of and Research on UW-Milwaukee Charter Schools

Dr. Kattman then provided an update on several other UW-Milwaukee-authorized

charter schools.  He referred Committee members to material they had received over the summer from DPI, including information on two UW-Milwaukee charter schools and the one charter school authorized by UW-Parkside.  The material contained the AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress assessment of public school performance as mandated by No Child Left Behind.  AYP, he explained, was based on several factors, including participation in annual state testing and proficiency levels in math and reading.  Dr. Kattman reminded the Committee that in August, 2008, it had discussed at length contract renewals for the two UW-Milwaukee authorized charter schools.  The Committee approved contracts for both of these schools contingent on them meeting detailed requirements for making progress, and reviewable one year later by the Education Committee.  In the past year, Capitol West Academy had met AYP in both math and reading.  It was still being followed carefully and now had a four-year contract in place.

Dr. Kattman reported that the Business and Economic Academy of Milwaukee, known as BEAM, continued to face challenges, despite some real progress being made and the strong leadership of its principal, Willie Jude.  The BEAM school did not make AYP in Math in the past year, although it did meet it in English.  Committee members, he suggested, might still choose to continue the charter, based on careful review, when it next came before them.

Dr. Kattman shared several additional updates, saying that the Milwaukee Academy of Science—a school the Office of Charter Schools was not planning to renew—had moved its chartering authority to the Milwaukee Public Schools.  The Office of Charter Schools also chose not to renew the charter for the School of Inland Seas.

Education Committee members discussed the action they had taken on the BEAM school in August, 2008.  At that time, a course of action regarding BEAM’s future operability was spelled out in the event that it did not meet AYP according to a specific timetable.  According to this timetable, BEAM would close in 2011 although the Board could choose to extend the contract pending certain outcomes.  Regent Davis questioned whether the Board’s action taken a year ago had been consistent with its action on other charter schools.  In response to a question from Regent Evers, Dr. Kattman described some of the specific interventions his office has undertaken both to hold BEAM accountable and to help Dr. Jude and the school succeed.  Dr. Kattman reminded the Committee that Dr. Jude was hired just prior to the Board’s action a year ago, and suggested that the two-year time frame given to him to turn the school around may not have been realistic.  In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Dr. Kattman explained how AYP sanctions work, adding that his office would never allow one of its charter schools to miss AYP more than three years in a row and would, instead, revoke its charter at that point.

UW-Milwaukee Provost Rita Cheng and Dr. Kattman shared with the Committee some research projects being conducted by UW-Milwaukee faculty and graduate students on the university’s charter schools.  Provost Cheng described the ways in which that research was disseminated, both through scholarly publications and conferences, and through applied outreach activities that brought UW-Milwaukee faculty and graduate students into the city’s K-12 schools and communities.

Regent Crain expressed the Committee’s appreciation to Dr. Kattman and Provost Cheng.

2.  Program Authorization:  UW-Madison Doctor of Nursing Practice

Regent Crain turned to Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin to provide background on

the UW-Madison Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).  Senior Vice President Martin reminded the Committee that, in the past two years, the Regents had received a strong foundation towards understanding the changing practice requirements for the nursing profession.  Since December 2008, the Board had reviewed the Report of the Nursing Education Task Force and approved DNP degree programs at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Eau Claire, and UW-Oshkosh.  Like the other DNP programs already approved, the UW-Madison DNP was developed in response to changing practice requirements, and to workforce supply and demand issues both statewide and nationally.

Senior Vice President Martin introduced UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, who in turn introduced Dean Katharyn May and Professor Nadine Nehls from the School of Nursing.  Dean May described to Committee members the proposed program.  The Madison DNP was designed to offer both a post-master’s, part-time DNP for those nurses already practicing who needed to advance their credentials, and a post-baccalaureate DNP, comprising a three-year, full-time program.  Madison’s program would focus on adult/gerontology, pediatric, and psychiatric/mental health nursing, and would prepare clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators.  Dean May detailed the Nursing School’s work to recruit and retain diverse student and faculty bodies, to integrate multicultural content across the curriculum, and to improve the school’s climate.  She also emphasized the strong collaboration and cooperation that exists among the System’s DNP programs, both formal and informal.

In response to questions from Regent Bradley, Dean May addressed the ways in which the Madison DNP would work to alleviate practitioner shortages in rural areas, and to promote leadership opportunities for students.  In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Dean May assured him that there was very low attrition of students of color enrolled in the baccalaureate nursing program at Madison, although it remained a challenge to attract more students of color into nursing and the sciences in general.  She described several programs that helped underrepresented students transition from baccalaureate to graduate nursing programs, including the UW System’s collaborative, online BSN@Home program and UW-Madison’s early-entry Ph.D. program.  Nursing, she added, was the most competitive undergraduate program at Madison.  In response to questions from Regent Davis, Dean May reported that 95% of UW-Madison’s nursing students were from Wisconsin, and that the School had worked hard over the last few years to improve its climate for faculty, staff and students of color.  Efforts were ongoing, both in the curriculum and the workplace, to unmask the unconscious biases of the nursing practice, including those embedded in cultural assumptions, language, and limited understanding of the family responsibilities and circumstances of students.

I.1.b.:  It was moved by Regent Bradley, seconded by Regent Evers, that, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Doctor of Nursing Practice at UW-Madison.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

3.  Committee Consent Agenda

The Committee agreed to act on its committee consent agenda out of order so that institutional personnel awaiting the Committee’s action would not have to remain at the meeting for its entire duration.  Regent Davis moved adoption of the minutes of the June 4, 2009, meeting of the Education Committee, as well as the following resolutions as consent agenda items: 

  1. Resolution I.1.f.(2), approving UW-Stout’s revised mission;

  2. Resolution I.1.f.(3), authorizing implementation of the B.S. in Kinesiology at UW-Oshkosh;

  3. Resolution I.1.f.(4), authorizing implementation of the B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship at UW-Whitewater.

  4. Resolution I.1.f.(5), approving the revised faculty personnel rules at UW-Extension; and

  5. Resolution I.1.f.(6), approving the revised faculty personnel rules at UW-Madison.

The motion was seconded by Regent Bradley and carried on a unanimous voice vote.

4.  UW-Whitewater:  Presentation of Campus Academic Plan

The Committee then heard from Interim Provost Chris Clements, who presented the

UW-Whitewater Campus Academic Plan.  Provost Clements highlighted UW-Whitewater’s strong sense of institutional identity grounded in both its liberal arts tradition and professional programs, and its focus on accessibility, hands-on and high-impact learning, and relevance.  An important part of Whitewater’s select mission was to serve students with disabilities, as well as to offer strong online programs.  The institution’s strategic plan focused additionally on building the educator-scholar community, diversity and global perspectives, regional engagement, and professional and personal integrity.  UW-Whitewater sought growth in certain areas of greatest concern to southeastern Wisconsin, like water research, and the continued strengthening of its business education programs through the new degree in entrepreneurship and the development of the Whitewater technology park.  Provost Clements mentioned that the campus’s cultural programming in the performance arts was utilized by the entire region.  She outlined academic program development in certain key areas, including international business, urban education, and sustainability.

Regent Crain thanked Provost Clements for the presentation, adding that there were many great

programs and activities going on at UW-Whitewater.

5.  Report of the Senior Vice President

In order to have time to discuss the Committee’s priorities for 2009-2010, the Committee

agreed to defer presentation of the 2009 Report on Remedial Education in the UW System to its October meeting.

Before turning to the discussion of Committee priorities, Senior Vice President Martin introduced the newly installed Provosts at six UW institutions:  Provost Patricia Kleine at UW-Eau Claire; Provost Julia Wallace at UW-Green Bay; Provost Paul De Luca at UW-Madison; Provost Fernando Delgado at UW-River Falls; Interim Provost Duane Ford at UW-Platteville; and Interim Provost Jeff Morin at UW-Stevens Point.  She also introduced Ken Lee from the Ohio State University, who was spending the year at UW System Administration as an ACE Fellow.  ACE Fellowships are sponsored by the American Council on Education and designed to prepare the next generation of higher education leaders.

Senior Vice President Martin briefly alluded to the 2008 Report on Undergraduate Course Drop Rates, which was mailed to the Regents in August, at the same time it was submitted to the Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, as required by state statute.

Senior Vice President Martin then asked Committee members for their priorities and interests for 2009-2010.  Each Committee member weighed in and a list of topics was identified, including:  Teacher Quality and the UW System’s Teacher Education programs; Effectiveness of Pre-College Programs; LEAP, i.e., the UW System’s work on liberal education, including the Compass Project; Inclusive Excellence; Transfer Issues; The Role of the UW Colleges; The Role of the Comprehensives in discharging the recommendations of the Research-to-Jobs Task Force or their role in Wisconsin’s future prosperity; PK-16 Partnerships; and the UW System’s evolving accountability reporting.

Regent Crain asked for additional input from the Provosts, who suggested that the connections among the diverse topics be made explicit.  This would support efforts by the institutions and System Administration to find a more integrated way to deal with competing priorities and resources.  Inclusive Excellence was raised as an example of an initiative that—by its very definition—sought to integrate ongoing work around diversity, equity, and quality, both for students and the System’s workforce.  UW-Milwaukee Provost Cheng suggested that diversity be viewed as the watermark through everything that System did.  

Committee members agreed that the Chair and Co-Chair would work with the Senior Vice President and staff to further prioritize the list generated.  Regent Vasquez cautioned the Committee not to try to do everything but to be selective so that its time could be spent in focused and thoughtful dialogue and policy development.  The Committee agreed to take up a selected list of priorities at its October meeting.

6. Full Board Consent Agenda

Resolutions I.1.a., I.1.b., I.1.f.(2), I.1.f.(3), I.1.f.(4), I.1.f.(5), and

I.1.f.(6) were referred to the consent agenda of the full Board of Regents at its Friday, September 11, 2009, meeting. 

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.