Board of Regents

Education Committee Minutes - June 2010



University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

June 10, 2010

Education Committee:  First Readings for UW Colleges – All Regents Invited

Regent Crain convened the meeting of the Education Committee, with all Regents invited, at 1:55 p.m.  Regents Crain, Bradley, Davis, Evers, and Vasquez were present.  Also present were Regents Bartell, Drew, Loftus, Pruitt, Schwalenberg, Smith, Spector, Walsh, Wingad, and Womack.  Regent Manydeeds joined the meeting by phone.

Regent Crain welcomed everyone to hear the first readings of the revised mission and the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) degree of the UW Colleges.  The Education Committee was opened to all Regents, she noted, based on the widespread interest in these two topics.  She explained that the two topics were interrelated:  the proposed baccalaureate degree program could not proceed without the mission revision since it entailed a mission change to the degree-granting authority of the UW Colleges.  The two-reading process was being invoked for the proposed degree program, in keeping with the requirement for two readings of mission revisions.  She reminded her colleagues that neither of these items would be acted on today; rather, they would return to the Committee for second readings pending the outcome of the discussion.

Regent Crain turned to Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin to provide background on the proposed baccalaureate degree program.  Senior Vice President Martin reviewed the process by which the degree proposal was brought before the Board, beginning in March 2008, when the Board spent part of its one-day policy meeting in discussion on the future of the UW Colleges.  Soon thereafter, she said, the UW Colleges began developing a proposal for a limited baccalaureate degree.  She explained that, while the degree planning followed the usual requirements of ACIS-1, the process was different from the beginning and entailed a lot more conversation among the other UW institutions than normally held when campuses proposed new academic programs.  Senior Vice President Martin detailed the process and its various stages, including a number of issues raised by the institutions that the UW Colleges needed to address in moving the proposed degree forward.

In January 2010, Senior Vice President Martin continued, the UW Colleges submitted a revised and more detailed B.A.A.S. proposal, one that responded to the concerns raised by the other UW institutions and was built on a partnership model with several of the comprehensives.  The revised proposal addressed:  concerns about duplication of existing degree programs aimed at adult students on comprehensive campuses; selection of the UW Colleges campuses that would offer the degree according to a rigorous set of criteria; establishment of strong collaborative relationships with UW comprehensive partner institutions; more detailed presentation of the credit repository for prior learning of adult students; protection of the UW Colleges’ critical transfer mission; and overall capacity of the UW Colleges to support the program, in particular the instructional and resource capacity. 

In early February, 2010, Senior Vice President Martin granted the entitlement to the program.  She clarified that the entitlement made clear that the B.A.A.S. degree was a pilot program, to be evaluated at the end of five years as was standard practice with all new programs.  She also issued another set of conditions and expectations to be met moving forward, which were shared with all of the Chancellors and Provosts.  She emphasized that, throughout the process, the UW System had held the UW Colleges to a much higher standard of review than is normally the case with new degree programs.  This was appropriate, she explained, because the proposed B.A.A.S was far more than a new degree program; it was a fundamental rethinking of the mission of one of the UW System’s most distinctive institutions.  The proposal before the Regents, she indicated, had met all of the conditions imposed earlier, was poised to meet additional conditions and expectations set by her office moving forward, and came with the recommendation of both President Reilly and herself.

Senior Vice President Martin concluded her remarks by elaborating on the thinking behind the UW System’s recommendation, focusing on the key role played by adult students in the System’s plans for More Graduates for Wisconsin.  Adult enrollments across the System had dropped significantly since the 1990s.  At the same time, she observed, many for-profit institutions had moved into the state—e.g., Globe, Kaplan, Herzing—and enrollments in these for-profit colleges and universities had grown to over 16,000 students by last year.  While these offerings were priced significantly higher than the cost of UW programs, they did not match the UW System’s quality.  These statistics demonstrated the need and interest among adult students in Wisconsin, and also that the UW System was failing to meet this need.  The More Graduates initiative was designed to help UW institutions reach more adult students through additional programming.  However, she emphasized, none were focused, as the UW Colleges program was, on place-bound adult students in the state’s smaller communities, students who were looking for more than a fully online option for completing a baccalaureate degree.  The System needed to find ways to serve these hard working, taxpaying adults and their families better.  For all those reasons, the UW Colleges proposal came before the Regents with the strong recommendation of the UW System’s leadership. 

Senior Vice President Martin then turned to UW Colleges Chancellor David Wilson to present the revised mission, and Provost Greg Lampe to present the proposed B.A.A.S.

1. UW Colleges:  First Reading of Revised Mission

Chancellor Wilson stated that he came before the Board on behalf of the UW Colleges

faculty and staff, as well as many UW-Extension faculty and staff, to present the first reading of the UW Colleges mission.  The proposed mission change would support the UW System’s goal to bring more adults into the state’s baccalaureate pipeline.  He reviewed some of the key actions taken by the UW Colleges in the last few years, including the establishment and report of the Commission on Enhancing the Mission of the UW Colleges, the Board’s policy discussion in March 2007, and the Employer Needs Survey conducted in the first half of 2008.  The proposed revised mission and baccalaureate degree responded to the findings from all of these reports and exchanges, and were meant to support the goals of the UW System’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin.  He described the mission revision process, including the unanimous support given to the revised mission by UW Colleges governance, both the individual senates at each of the 13 campuses and the UW Colleges Senate as a whole.  In reviewing the proposed mission revision with the Regents, he emphasized that the UW Colleges was in no way abdicating on what had always been the heart of its mission:  providing the first two years of an accessible and affordable liberal arts general education.  Chancellor Wilson stated his belief that the UW Colleges fulfilled this mission better than any institution in the country.  The substance of the mission change, he added, was in the creation of a single, restricted baccalaureate degree that would be offered on a limited number of UW Colleges’ campuses in designated locations to meet local and individual needs of place-bound adults.

2. UW Colleges:  First Reading of Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree

Provost Lampe reiterated the purpose of the B.A.A.S. degree and the UW Colleges’ abiding commitment to its traditional transfer mission.  He described the composition of the proposed degree-completion program, noting the credit requirements for the portion of the degree completed at the UW Colleges, and those that would be completed at the five UW comprehensives institutions which had signed on as partners in offering the proposed degree.  The five UW Colleges campuses selected to offer the degree (UW-Barron County, -Richland, - Rock County, - Baraboo/Sauk Country, - and Marshfield/Wood County), were chosen because they were each located in counties where the degree attainment level of citizens was below the state average.  He also named the five UW institutions that had agreed to partner with the UW Colleges—UW-La Crosse, -Superior, -Stout, -Stevens Point, and –Platteville—and expressed his appreciation for their commitment to collaborate.  He detailed the kinds of courses to be offered, the distinct applied component of the proposed degree, the extent to which the degree was informed both by employer needs and the outcomes of the LEAP or Liberal Education and America’s Promise Campaign of the Association of American Colleges & Universities.  He also shared projected enrollments with the Regents.  He concluded by emphasizing the alignment of the proposed program with the Growth Agenda, and acknowledging that there was significant work to be done in completing the necessary agreements with the five UW partner institutions.

Chancellor Wilson then invited UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow and UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen to speak to the highly collaborative nature of the proposed B.A.A.S.  Chancellor Gow expressed his enthusiastic support for the program, observing its similarity to the partnership UW-La Crosse had developed several years earlier with Western Wisconsin Technical College.  He added that the partnership with his campus still required a hearing before UW-La Crosse’s faculty senate.  He commented that the proposed degree program was a tribute to David Wilson’s leadership and that Chancellor Wilson’s departure for Morgan State University was Maryland’s gain and the UW System’s loss.  Chancellor Sorensen explained the reasons behind his support, including his own start in higher education at a two-year institution, his sensitivity to place-bound students, and his knowledge of the quality offered at the UW-Barron County campus, the program’s partner campus with UW-Stout.

Chancellor Wilson concluded the presentation by stating that the UW Colleges hoped to return to the Board of Regents at a future meeting for a second reading of the proposed degree program.  The Higher Learning Commission would need to review the program, since it involves a mission change.  If all went well, he said, the program might be implemented by fall of 2011.

In discussion, Regents sought clarification on the curriculum that would be offered by the proposed degree program.  In response to a question from Regent Wingad, Chancellor Wilson said that the program was designed to offer a terminal degree to place-bound adults.  Provost Lampe described the multiple conversations held by faculty and staff throughout the UW Colleges and the partner institutions on what the core of the baccalaureate degree should be.  The curriculum was still undergoing discussion focused on ensuring rigor, appropriate sequencing, and the nature of the applied or professional experience that would be a requirement of the proposed degree.  The enrolling students would play a large role in determining the nature of the professional experience for which they were to receive credit.  In response to a question from Regent Bartell, Chancellor Wilson explained the changes the proposed degree program had undergone in the course of the last two years, most significantly in the more limited number of UW Colleges campuses involved and the addition of UW comprehensives as partners.

Regent Loftus expressed skepticism about the proposed degree, eliciting responses from UW System General Counsel that state statutes gave the Board the authority to grant degrees, and from Chancellor Wilson that there was a national discussion on credit for prior learning—an integral part of the proposed degree—that involved thinking beyond the traditional paradigm for how credits are earned towards degrees.  In response to a comment from Regent Loftus, Chancellor Gow reiterated his confidence in the UW Colleges faculty to offer a quality degree.

Regent Evers congratulated Chancellor Wilson, Provost Lampe and their colleagues and emphasized how critical the UW Colleges traditional transfer mission has always been to Wisconsin’s PK-16 pipeline.  He expressed his hope that this transfer mission would not be abandoned with the approval of the new baccalaureate degree.  Chancellor Wilson thanked Regent Evers for his caution and promised that the UW Colleges would not abandon its traditional mission and that the faculty would never allow that to happen.  In response to a question from Regent Womack, Chancellor Wilson described the kind of employer surveys conducted to ascertain the need for the program.

Regent Vasquez commented that while he was originally skeptical about the proposed degree, he had become convinced that the program was addressing a significant need and in truly innovative fashion.  He added that the UW Colleges already had the infrastructure in place to offer the degree successfully.  The proposed program presented the entire System with the opportunity to work towards the aggressive goals set forth in More Graduates for Wisconsin, and he looked forward to seeing the program come before the Regents for a second reading.

Regent Davis expressed her support for the proposed program, noting her pride in the commitment to high-quality education articulated in the revised mission and the responsiveness of the proposed B.A.A.S. degree to the needs of the state and the Wisconsin Idea.

Regent Crain thanked Chancellor Wilson for the presentation and his leadership, and reflected on the amount of work involved by the UW Colleges in putting the proposed degree together.  She, too, expressed her support for the degree moving forward, noting her appreciation especially of the centrality of place-bound students in the proposal.  Chancellor Wilson concluded the discussion by thanking Provost Lampe and his administrative team, UW-Extension Provost Christine Quinn, and the UW Colleges faculty.

The meeting of the Education Committee with all Regents invited adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

Education Committee – Regular Meeting

Regent Crain re-convened the meeting of the Education Committee at 3:39 p.m..  Regents Crain, Bradley, Davis, Evers, and Vasquez were present.  Regent Crain noted that the Committee would have to move through its agenda as expeditiously as possible given the late start

1.      Status Report on Inclusive Excellence

Regent Crain turned to Senior Vice President Martin to introduce the Status Report on Inclusive Excellence.  Senior Vice President Martin reminded the Regents that, over the course of the last year and a half, the UW System Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) had been working to introduce the UW System to the guiding principles, overall philosophy, and transformative potential of Inclusive ExcellenceInclusive Excellence succeeded the UW System’s former strategic plan for diversity, Plan 2008.  Dr. Martin emphasized that it was not another plan, nor did it have a pre-determined timeframe.  It was, rather, an approach, a philosophy, and a desired outcome that included the goals and the progress made under Plan 2008, while, at the same time, requiring a deeper level of engagement with, ownership of, and accountability for making excellence truly inclusive.  Inclusive Excellence was being organized to help UW System Administration and the institutions continue in their commitment to seed and cultivate those efforts that would result in greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and accountability across every level of university life.  It was also an integral component of the Growth Agenda, in particular the second phase, More Graduates for Wisconsin. 

Senior Vice President Martin turned to Vicki Washington, Associate Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and representatives from UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse to provide an update on Inclusive Excellence work at the System and the institutions.  Associate Vice President Washington presented the overview of the process shared with the institutions to guide their plans for developing and implementing various strategies designed to lead to equity and excellence.  Student outcomes, curricula, pedagogy, campus climate, and workforce and student populations were all arenas requiring renewed attention and change in practice to become more equitable, inclusive, relevant, and responsive.  Ms Washington described the four phases of making Inclusive Excellence operational at the institutions, emphasizing that the process asked people to work in ways vastly different from prior modes of operating in the diversity realm.  It was essential that the work involve deeper inquiry, rigorous evaluation and assessment, and effective reporting procedures by which to track progress and ensure accountability.  Resources would need to follow priorities, she said, and rewards would need to be provided to people who took risks.  Widespread engagement and shared responsibility were not only goals but also critical markers of success.

UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells then detailed the process by which Inclusive Excellence was being adopted by his campus.  He highlighted the development of a draft Inclusive Excellence plan grounded in institutional data and in alignment with campus initiatives like the Equity Scorecard, LEAP, and the Climate Study, as well as the subsequent sharing of the plan with a wide range of shared governance groups.  He also detailed the development of key operational plans designed to embed Inclusive Excellence in every unit and division of the university, and by which units would hold themselves accountable.  At UW-Oshkosh, Inclusive Excellence was core to the mission, required widespread engagement, focused on students, and integrated diversity into the definition of excellence.  He shared an Inclusive Excellence Toolkit developed by the Division of Student Affairs that outlined action steps with designated responsible people, timelines and deadlines, levels of priority, and ease or difficulty of implementation.  At the October Board of Regents meeting to be hosted by UW-Oshkosh, Chancellor Wells promised to share with the Regents progress made through the implementation of campus operational plans

The Committee next heard from Barbara Stewart, Associate Dean of Campus Climate and Diversity, and Robert Hoar, Professor of Mathematics and Faculty Assistant to the Provost, at UW-La Crosse.  Ms. Stewart shared UW-La Crosse’s vision for Inclusive Excellence, emphasizing the framework’s openness and that everyone had a place at the table, community members as well as those on campus.  It had become clear quickly to those working to implement Inclusive Excellence, she said, that “all roads led back to retention,” both retention of diverse students and diverse faculty and staff.  Dr. Hoar described the organizational challenge of engaging the entire campus and the response to that challenge through the development of an institutional website.  The website featured the organizational chart of the whole university, including each campus unit and the emerging Inclusive Excellence goals for each unit.  While some units were further along, everyone on campus could use the website to see what other units were doing.  Ms. Stewart outlined the formation of three campus task forces focused on making Inclusive Excellence operational:  Campus Climate and Awareness, Retention of Diverse Students, and Retention of Diverse Faculty and Staff.  The three task forces had recently presented their recommendations to Chancellor Gow; implementation plans for the recommendations would be developed over the summer.

Associate Vice President Washington addressed the Committee with some closing remarks.  She enumerated specific steps that were being taken at the System level to move the work forward and reiterated the three-pronged strategy for Inclusive Excellence, focusing on compositional diversity, culture and climate, and equity in outcomes.  She acknowledged that Inclusive Excellence could feel vague to people yet lessons learned from Plan 2008 made it clear to the System that mandated goals for all UW institutions did not work.  Achieving widespread engagement on diversity and equity work took time.

In response to a request from Senior Vice President Martin, Carleen Vande Zande, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Curricular Affairs and Student Academic Achievement at UW-Oshkosh, described the role of faculty in UW-Oshkosh’s emerging Inclusive Excellence work and the ongoing efforts to build a culture of inquiry that would lead to change.

In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Ms. Washington elaborated upon the lessons learned from the UW System’s previous two diversity plans.  She pointed to the disjointedness of activities and programs, the marginalization of those people and offices working on implementation, and the bad communication across units as aspects of Plan 2008 that did not work.  Inclusive Excellence was not additive and asked people to look closely at their actions and behaviors in all aspects of their institutional work.  Regent Vasquez expressed his concern that people would not fully embrace the understanding that Inclusive Excellence required a real break from business as usual.  Ms. Washington stated that prescriptive plans do not work, that everyone needs to take ownership of the work, and that there was no endpoint for what was envisioned through Inclusive Excellence.

Chancellor Wells shared more from his campus perspective, noting that simply looking at difficult data and bad results would not lead to change.  The hard work was in the responses, the strategies, and the actions taken in response to the data.  For example, he mentioned the institutional goal to expand high-impact practices to more Oshkosh students.  Students of color had to be proportionally represented in those practices.  If they were not, the university could not claim the kind of excellence it was aspiring to. 

Regent Davis expressed her appreciation for the ways in which Inclusive Excellence required deeper analysis of institutional data to inquire why something worked or did not work, adding that this would be critical for the work of More Graduate for Wisconsin and its focus on improving retention and graduation rates.  Senior Vice President Martin agreed, emphasizing that it was the integration of efforts that would be key to the success of both Inclusive Excellence and More Graduates with their focus on cutting the achievement gap in half.  She also cited the LEAP Wisconsin initiative as working in tandem with Inclusive Excellence to insist that quality be woven throughout the System’s efforts to expand the number of baccalaureate graduates.  UW institutions were being asked to delve more deeply than ever into the data collected through, for example, the Equity Scorecard and the Climate Study.  She recalled that, as Provost at UW-Parkside, she had hated the once-a-year reporting required by Plan 2008 because it reinforced the marginalization of the work.  She reiterated the idea that business as usual would not be acceptable, and that the work of Inclusive Excellence was everyone’s job.  She commended the UW-Oshkosh Student Affairs Toolkit for ensuring shared responsibility, and she cited work taking place at UW-Whitewater that also promoted more widespread engagement of the campus’s decision-makers.  She suggested that the Education Committee might feature at each of its meetings an institutional example of the change work being carried out through Inclusive Excellence, and Regents Davis and Vasquez seconded the idea.

Regent Vasquez commented that he would hate to see “buy-in” for Inclusive Excellence without real change in closing the achievement gap.  Dr. Hoar responded that, like many of his colleagues at UW-La Crosse throughout Plan 2008, he could relegate diversity as somebody else’s job; under the framework of Inclusive Excellence, the work was everyone’s job.  Within his own department, Mathematics, this understanding was made operational through a more rigorous assessment of student participation in gateway math courses.  The department was looking closely, for example, at the high attrition rate of  Hmong students after the first math course, asking the students themselves why this was happening, and then developing strategies to ensuring their continued participation in math.  Regent Vasquez shared his vision for what success would look like, and observed that at most UW institutions, the burden for success would rest with white faculty given the slow pace of changing the diversity of the System’s workforce.  Associate Vice President Washington concluded by remarking that the research was clear that Inclusive Excellence benefited all students, not just students of color.

Regent Crain expressed her appreciation for the rich discussion, and thanked the

presenters for the important work they were doing to move forward one of the UW System’s biggest challenges and most strategic priorities.

2.      Committee Consent Agenda

Regent Davis moved adoption of the minutes of the April 8, 2010, meeting of the Education Committee, as well as the following resolutions as consent agenda items: 

Resolution I.1.c.(2), authorizing the B.S. in Forensic Investigation at UW-Platteville; 

Resolution I.1.c.(3), authorizing the M.S. in Freshwater Sciences and Technology at UW-Milwaukee;

Resolution I.1.c.(4), approving the amendments to Chapters 3 and 51 of the UW-Green Bay Faculty Personnel Rules;

Resolution I.1. c.(5), approving UW-Eau Claire’s revised mission statement.

Resolution I.1.c. (6), accepting the proffer from the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for support of scholarships, fellowships, professorships, and special programs in arts and humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, and music.

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

3.      UW-Milwaukee Doctoral Program Authorizations

Regent Crain welcomed UW-Milwaukee Interim Provost Johannes Britz to the meeting. 

Provost Britz briefly described UW-Milwaukee’s growing doctoral program array, including the two Ph.D. programs on the agenda, a doctoral program in Linguistics planned for presentation to the Education Committee in August, and three additional Ph.D. programs on the horizon as a part of the new School of Public Health. 

a.       Ph.D. in Sociology

Provost Britz introduced Professor Kent Redding, Chair of the Department of Sociology,

and Professor Patrick Goldsmith, Director of Graduate Studies.  Professor Redding provided an overview of the program, covering the need and demand for the program, the degree requirements, and the kinds of professional paths students might take as a result of completing the Ph.D.  He described the program’s two foci on social inequalities and social institutions, which involved a strong methodological emphasis and a focused curriculum.  He also mentioned the program’s efforts to embed Inclusive Excellence into the curriculum, student and faculty research, and faculty and student recruitment.  Professor Goldsmith had conducted an Equity Scorecard kind of analysis on the program’s track record for graduate student recruitment and based on that analysis, the Department would no longer require the GRE test for admission since it created barriers for some students and indicated little in the way of the future success of students.  The Department’s seventeen faculty members, Professor Redding concluded, included nine people of color.

Regent Crain expressed her appreciation for the presentation, in particular the program’s impressive commitment to diversity.  In response to a question from UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca, Professor Redding said that the program hoped to fund four doctoral students initially and then grow.  The program’s efforts to bring in extramural research funding had suffered from the lack of doctoral students and the Department was hopeful that the new Ph.D. program would reverse that situation.

I.1.f.(1):  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 Chancellor be authorized to implement the Ph.D. in Sociology at UW-Milwaukee.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

b.      Ph.D. in Freshwater Sciences

Provost Britz next introduced Mark Harris, Acting Dean for the School of Freshwater Sciences, and Val Klump, Director of UW-Milwaukee’s WATER Institute, to present the Ph.D. in Freshwater Sciences.  Dean Harris described the need for the program, the proposed curriculum, and assessment plans, noting that the program brought together multi-disciplinary thinking and expertise from across the institution under the aegis of the new School of Freshwater Sciences.  He reported on the nationally recognized need for a multi-disciplinary approach to freshwater systems and the shortage of trained scientists with understanding across all aspects of freshwater issues.  He detailed the four curricular and research areas that would guide the program, including:  Freshwater System Dynamics; Freshwater and Human Health; Water Engineering and Technology; and Water Economics, Policy and Management.  He outlined the ways in which the program would work to embed diversity in its curriculum and research by focusing on disparities in access to freshwater across social, geographic, and political boundaries, and working with a Milwaukee community health center.  And he indicated the efforts that would be made to diversify the program’s students.

Regent Davis offered advice on reaching out to more diverse institutions to increase the program’s pipeline for students of color.  Dean Harris agreed that more intentional efforts were needed and that having the Ph.D. program up and running would facilitate more concrete and personalized outreach.  In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Dean Harris described the faculty and course resources that would be available to both the M.S. and the Ph.D. programs in Freshwater Sciences, in particular through the long-planned-for conversion of UW-Milwaukee research scientists into faculty.

I.1.f.(2):  It was moved by Regent Vasquez, seconded by Regent Davis, that, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Ph.D. in Freshwater Sciences at UW-Milwaukee.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Regent Crain expressed the Committee’s appreciation to all the presenters of the two UW-Milwaukee doctoral programs.

4.      UW-Oshkosh:  First Reading of Revised Mission

Richard Wells, Chancellor of UW-Oshkosh, presented his institution’s revised mission for a first reading before the Committee.  Chancellor Wells explained that the revised mission was shorter, more focused, and anchored in the strategic vision, values, and learning outcomes articulated as a part of the University’s institution-wide liberal education reform initiative.  The Education Committee expressed its support for the revised mission statement and its anticipation of a second reading later in the year, following the required public hearing.  Regent Crain accepted Chancellor Well’s request that she preside over the public hearing.

5.      UW System Policy for Making Textbooks More Affordable

Senior Vice President Martin presented for the Committee’s action the UW System Regent policy for making textbooks more affordable.  Associate Vice President Stephen Kolison, who was unable to be at the meeting, had led the development and extensive vetting process for this policy.  She reminded the Committee that a year ago, at the May 2009 meeting, the Board had approved a set of interim guidelines for making textbooks more affordable, as a first step in the development of the Regent policy, and these guidelines heavily informed the policy under consideration.  The policy had been vetted at the institutions and incorporated input from a number of campus constituency groups, including Provosts, Chief Business Officers, Faculty Reps, Academic Staff Reps, and campus bookstore managers.  Senior Vice President Martin extended her appreciation to these groups for their input and support.  She reminded the Regents that the development and timing for bringing the policy to the Board had been designed to align with new federal regulations on textbooks. 

Senior Vice President Martin reviewed several key factors taken into consideration by the proposed policy, including:  1) the UW System governance structure; 2) the primary role or responsibility of the faculty and instructional academic staff in selecting textbooks as an integral element in curriculum development; and 3) market forces involving bookstores and textbook publishers.  Pending Board approval, she concluded, the UW System policy would go into effect on July 1, 2010. 

In response to a question from Regent Vasquez, Senior Vice President Martin replied that it would be extremely difficult for the UW System to documents the exact savings from the policy once in place.  System would be assessing the impact of the policy and, yet, the costs of textbooks were not in the hands of System Administration or the institutions but, rather, in the control of publishers.  Federal and state governments have begun to address this aspect of the issue and the Regents would continue to follow these developments.

I.1.g.:  It was moved by Regent Bradley, seconded by Regent Vasquez, that, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the UW System Regent Policy on Making Textbooks More Affordable be approved.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Regent Bradley asked Senior Vice President Martin to extend the Committee’s appreciation to Associate Vice President Kolison for his good work.

6.      Report of the Senior Vice President

a.       Report on Promotions, Tenure Designations, and Related Items

Senior Vice President Martin turned to the 2010 Report on Promotions, Tenure and Related Academic Approval Items.  She reminded Committee members that each spring, the UW System Office of Academic and Student Services compiled data on tenure designations, promotions, and new tenured appointments made at the fifteen UW institutions.  The names of those faculty members who had been newly tenured, promoted, and hired with tenure for 2010-2011 were included in the Regent materials.  She reminded Committee members that, although the decision was made at the institutional level, Regent action became the final step in the process by which faculty received tenure and the Report represented appropriate recognition for the incredible work of the faculty across all UW institutions. 

Senior Vice President Martin added that, for the past several years, her office had also provided the Committee with the results of the tenure and promotion process broken down by minority status and gender.  That supplemental data had been emailed to Committee members earlier in the week.  Time did not permit her to review the material although she did indicate that, as in past years, the data did not reveal any disproportionate representation of women and/or minorities in the group of faculty who did not receive tenure. 

I.1.h.(1):  It was moved by Regent Vasquez, seconded by Regent Bradley, that, upon recommendation of the respective Chancellors and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the 2010 Report on Faculty Promotions, Tenure Designations and Other Changes of Status be approved.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Committee members extended their congratulations to all those UW System

faculty members who had earned tenure, and thanked them for their hard work and commitment to student learning.

b.      Monitoring Low-Degree Producing Programs

Senior Vice President Martin then turned her attention to the newly developed guidelines for monitoring low-degree-producing academic programs.  She mentioned that, at the February 2010 meeting, the Committee had heard a presentation on the 2009 Program Realignment Initiative, which conducted an extensive review of the System’s undergraduate program array.  The initiative also identified those majors that had produced few or fewer degrees over the past ten years.  As a part of the discussion, the Committee asked for follow-up on the low-degree-producing programs.  In the last few months, Associate Vice President Stephen Kolison had consulted with Provosts and Faculty Reps in the development of guiding principles for the monitoring of such programs.  The guiding principles sought to uphold institutional autonomy in determining program array.  They also worked to ensure that the UW System continued to provide the citizens of Wisconsin with a broad range of high-quality academic programs while making the best use of limited resources. 

The guiding principles, she continued, would become a part of ACIS-1, the UW System’s statement of the Regent Policy on Academic Planning and Program Review.  As part of ACIS-1, they did not require Regent action.  The principles set both expectations and practice for how institutions—and the UW System—might deal with low-degree-producing majors, taking into account several factors, including campus mission and context, distinctiveness of majors, and the capacity of the System as a whole to offer any given major.  Senior Vice President Martin thanked the Provosts and Faculty Reps for their input throughout the process.  She acknowledged that the topic remained a sensitive one.  She expressed her confidence, however, that the guiding principles would ensure both institutional autonomy and thoughtful and deliberate stewardship of program array for the institutions and the System as a whole. 

Regent Crain commented that the guidelines seemed rational and she expressed her support for the entire Realignment Initiative.

Before presenting the consent agenda, Regent Crain asked if Committee members needed any further discussion on the UW Colleges, including any modifications Committee member might like to suggest to the B.A.A.S. proposal.  Regent Bradley asked that the support of Chancellors Gow and Sorensen be emphasized in Regent Crain’s summary to the full Board the next day, since there were a number of Regents who had not been present at the earlier discussion.

7.      Full Board Consent Agenda

Resolutions I.1.c.(2), I.1.c.(3), I.1.c.(4), I.1.c.(5), I.1.c.(6),  I.1.f.(1), I.1.f.(2), I.1.g.,and I.1.h.(1) were referred to the consent agenda of the full Board of Regents at its Friday, June 11, 2010, meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted, Rebecca Karoff

Secretary, Education Committee