Board of Regents

Education Committee Minutes - June 2011

MINUTES

EDUCATION COMMITTEE, BOARD OF REGENTS

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

June 9, 2011

Regent Crain convened the meeting of the Education Committee at 1:33 p.m.  Regents Crain, Evers, Spector, and Vásquez were present; Regent Davis joined the meeting in progress.  Regent Crain welcomed the Provosts to the table.

1.      Committee Consent Agenda

Regent Crain presented the minutes of the April 7, 2011, meeting of the Education Committee, as well as the following resolutions as consent agenda items: 

Resolution I.1.a.(2), approving the annual proffer from the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for support of scholarships, fellowships, professorships, and special programs arts, humanities, social sciences, and music;

Resolution I.1.a.(3), authorizing implementation of the Online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership and Communication at UW-Eau Claire;

Resolution I.1.a.(4), authorizing implementation of the Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business at UW-Eau Claire;

Resolution I.1.a.(5), authorizing the implementation of the Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Studies at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Milwaukee;

Resolution I.1.a.(6), authorizing the implementation of the Collaborative Online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management at UW-La Crosse, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Superior;

Resolution I.1.a.(7), authorizing the implementation of the Online Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership at UW-Platteville;

Resolution I.1.a.(8), authorizing the implementation of the Online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management at UW-Platteville; and

Resolution I.1.a.(9), authorizing the implementation of the Online Master of Science in Distance Education Leadership at UW-Platteville.

Regent Crain turned to Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin to make some general comments about the seven new academic programs the Committee was being asked to approve.  Senior Vice President Martin assured the Regents that the new programs had undergone the same rigorous review that all new programs were given throughout the collaborative authorization process between the Office of Academic Affairs and the proposing institutions.  She highlighted some of the distinguishing features of the new programs:  of the seven, five were online programs, indicative of changing practices in the delivery of higher education degrees taking place across the System and the country; and two of them were collaborative, indicative of efforts to be efficient and to reduce unnecessary duplication.  Collaborative programs, she pointed out, spoke to the productivity and quality that came when the strengths of individual institutions were joined in partnership with one another, and as part of a unified system.  She also informed the Committee that a corrected budget for UW-Oshkosh’s contributions to the B.A. in Japanese Studies, to be offered in partnership with UW-Whitewater, was being distributed.

Committee members asked a number of questions about the proposed academic programs.  Regent Vásquez asked about the impact on quality and the efficacy of student learning in fully online programs, especially in terms of a loss of human interaction.  Senior Vice President Martin responded that there was a lot of research on the topic, including UW research demonstrating that the quality of student learning in fully online programs was equal to—and for some students—even better than with traditional programs.  She also commented that, despite the perceived loss of human interaction, the online environment included a lot of interaction through online discussions and exchange built into the curricula.  In response to a follow-up question about how students could learn about diversity when they were enrolled online, Dr. Martin answered that—somewhat surprisingly—online dialogues allowed for greater frankness and safety for many students in encountering diversity.  She added that many online programs targeted adult learners, who were in the workforce and seeking degree-completion programs.  The focus, motivation, and needs of these learners differed from traditional-aged students. 

In response to a question from Regent Evers about the language proficiency required for the Japanese Studies degree, the Japanese language professor from UW-Whitewater replied that the students in the program would need an intermediate-to-high level of proficiency for successful completion of the program.

Regent Crain expressed her appreciation to the institutions for all the work that went into developing these new programs and bringing them to the Board of Regents.  Regent Vásquez moved adoption of the consent agenda, and the motion was seconded by Regent Evers.  The consent agenda passed on a unanimous voice vote. 

2.      UW Colleges:  Second Readings of the Revised Mission and the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree

In introducing the second readings of the revised mission and the Bachelor of Applied

Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) degree at the UW Colleges, Regent Crain reminded Committee members that the first readings had taken place a year ago.  She then turned to Senior Vice President Martin to provide background on the B.A.A.S..

Dr. Martin reviewed the lengthy process by which the B.A.A.S. degree was developed, noting that the new mission statement was needed to accommodate the expanded degree authority sought by the UW Colleges.  She elaborated on the additional steps the UW Colleges had been required to take in bringing the B.A.A.S. degree forward, which included extensive review by the other UW institutions, as well as the Office of Academic Affairs, resulting in multiple exchanges and further revisions before the first reading was even allowed to take place.  Included among the areas the UW Colleges was required to address were:  concerns about duplication of existing flexible degree programs aimed at adult students on comprehensive campuses; establishment of strong collaborative relationships with the UW comprehensive partner institutions; selection of the UW Colleges campuses that would offer the degree according to a rigorous set of criteria; more detailed presentation of the credit repository for 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 the year since the first reading, Senior Vice President Martin continued, all conditions and expectations had been met by the UW Colleges.  As required by statute, a public hearing was held on the mission revision.  The UW Colleges had worked diligently with six comprehensive collaborating partners to meet the required conditions and ready the B.A.A.S. for implementation.  Six separate Memoranda of Understanding had been signed by the UW Colleges and each of the partners, and approved by the governance bodies at each of those comprehensives.   Dr. Martin stated that, throughout the process, the UW System had held the UW Colleges to a much higher standard of review than was normally the case with new degree programs.  She called this higher review standard appropriate, given that the new degree program constituted a fundamental rethinking of the mission of one of the UW System’s key institutions.

The proposal before the Committee, Dr. Martin concluded, had met all of the conditions imposed over the last three years and she was pleased to bring it to the Regents with both her recommendation and that of President Reilly.  They both believed that the B.A.A.S. would be a strong addition to the UW System’s program array, with a particular role to play in educating place-bound adult students as a part of the strategic plan outlined in More Graduates for Wisconsin.  The consent agenda, she said, revealed efforts underway at many UW institutions to increase the enrollment of adult students.  This was important because adult enrollments across the system had dropped significantly since the 1990s, for a variety of reasons, including the increased competition faced by the UW System from the many for-profit institutions that had moved into Wisconsin.  Senior Vice President Martin then turned the podium over to UW Colleges Provost Greg Lampe.

Provost Lampe began by acknowledging the many people who had made the second readings of the UW Colleges revised mission and B.A.A.S. degree proposal possible, including his colleagues at the UW Colleges, former Chancellor David Wilson, and the Provosts and faculty senates of the partner institutions.  He then summarized the timeline and context for the degree’s development, first conceived of by former Chancellor Wilson, and growing out of the Regent-led discussion on the role of the UW Colleges in the UW System.  The proposed B.A.A.S. was developed in response to the question, “what should a 21st-century degree look like.”  Also underlying the development of the degree was an employer needs survey done by the UW Colleges.  In fact, said Provost Lampe, the survey helped shape the degree by identifying the “must-have” skills indicated by employers for their workforce needs.  The skills identified complemented nicely the essential learning outcomes of the American Association of Colleges & Universities, the UW System’s partner in the LEAP Campaign.

Provost Lampe then reviewed the mission revision process that took place concurrent to the development of the B.A.A.S..  Following the first reading of the mission before the Education Committee in June 2010, the UW Colleges convened a public hearing, as required by statute.  The public hearing was well-attended and resulted in a strong endorsement of the new mission statement.  The B.A.A.S. degree, emphasized Provost Lampe, was designed to allow place-bound and under-served adult learners the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree and contribute to local workplace and community needs, while retaining the UW Colleges’ traditional transfer mission.  The degree would serve many low-income, first-generation, and minority students.

Provost Lampe described the key elements of the B.A.A.S., noting that it was a degree-completion program requiring certain credits from the UW Colleges and others from the six partner institutions.  He enumerated the pairings of a UW Colleges campus with a comprehensive:  UW-Baraboo/Sauk County with UW-La Crosse; UW-Barron County with UW-Superior and UW-Stout; UW-Marshfield/Wood County with UW-Stevens Point; UW-Richland with UW-Platteville; UW-Rock Country with UW-Platteville; and UW-Waukesha with UW-Parkside.  The UW Colleges would provide the core of the degree, built on AAC&U’s LEAP principles, and including 15 credits worth of a professional experience comprised of an internship, service learning, or prior experiential learning.  The UW partner institutions would provide additional credits in global studies, cognitive skills, and electives.  Overall, the proposed B.A.A.S. would reinforce the goals of the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin.

Provost Lampe concluded his formal remarks by outlining the next steps, subsequent to the Board’s approval, including review and approval of the proposed mission change by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), accreditation by the HLC of the B.A.A.S. degree, and the implementation process, which he hoped would result in the degree being offered by Fall 2012.

In response to a question from Regent Evers, Provost Lampe elaborated on how the experiential learning would be provided and assessed, including a one-credit course for all students in which they would learn to document their experiential learning.  Mark Nook, Provost from UW-Stevens Point, added that the UW System had recently convened a task force on Prior Learning Assessment.  The B.A.A.S. degree would benefit from the task force’s final report, which contained information on how to assess such learning.

Deborah Ford, Chancellor from UW-Parkside, spoke in support of the B.A.A.S. and of her enthusiasm in partnering with UW-Waukesha.  She described the unanimous vote of her faculty senate in deciding to participate.

In response to a question from Regent Vásquez, Provost Lampe addressed the ways in the UW Colleges would help place-bound, already-employed students to participate in the required experiential learning component.  In response to another question from Regent Vásquez, Senior Vice President Martin explained that—as specified in the resolution before the Regents—the B.A.A.S. could only be offered at the six UW Colleges campuses and their six partner comprehensives, at least for the first five years.  If, after five years, expansion was desired, the UW Colleges would have to come back to the Board for approval.

Provost Nook described the initial apprehension felt by his campus in being approached by the UW Colleges as a potential partner.  Since that time, however, changing circumstances in his university’s program offerings and a closer look at the B.A.A.S. had changed his campus’s understanding of how the partnership would be mutually beneficial to both institutions, and allow UW-Stevens Point to serve students it wanted to serve in the region but had not yet reached.

Regent Crain observed that when the B.A.A.S. had first been proposed, she did not really have an opinion either way.  Now, however, she was very impressed with the degree program and felt it would play an important role in the UW System’s program array, and at a time when the state’s environment for higher education was undergoing substantive change.

I.1.b.(1):  It was moved by Regent Vásquez and seconded by Regent Evers,

that, upon the recommendation of the Chancellor of the UW Colleges and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents approve the revised mission statement of the University of Wisconsin Colleges.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

I.1.b.(2):  It was moved by Regent Vásquez and seconded by Regent Spector, that, upon the recommendation of the Chancellor of the UW Colleges and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Chancellor be authorized to implement the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, to be offered regionally on six of the thirteen UW Colleges campuses and in partnership with six UW comprehensive universities.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Regent Crain suggested that, given the substance of these two actions, Resolutions I.1.b.(1) and I.1.b(2) be offered for separate votes to the full Board at its Friday meeting rather than on the consent agenda, despite the fact that they had been approved unanimously.  Committee members agreed with that suggestion, and expressed their congratulations to Provost Lampe and his colleagues at the UW Colleges for all their hard work leading to the passage of the B.A.A.S.

3.      Transfer Policies and Practices

Regent Crain introduced the three topics that the Committee would next address under the

umbrella of transfer policies and practices.  She clarified that the Committee would be asked to take action on the revised UW System undergraduate transfer policy, contained in the Academic Information Series documents, known as ACIS 6.0, 6.1, and 6.2.  At a future meeting, the Committee would review revisions to the Regent policy on transfer.  Before turning the presentation over to Senior Vice President Martin, Regent Crain welcomed Kathy Cullen, Vice President for Teaching and Learning, and Annette Severson, Associate Vice President for Instruction, from the Wisconsin Technical College System, an important partner, she noted, to the UW System in student transfer.

Senior Vice President Martin began by commenting that everything the Committee had already been discussing thus far in its meeting spoke to the fact that the world of higher education was in a period of extreme flux, and nowhere was that flux reflected more profoundly than in the arena of transfer.  She enumerated the three parts of the transfer discussion:  an overview of UW System transfer data by Associate Vice President Heather Kim; the report of the Wisconsin Transfer Equity Study, which she would provide to the Committee; and the presentation of the revised UW System undergraduate transfer policy by Associate Vice President Larry Rubin.  Together, she said, these agenda items would provide important focus on—and insight into—student mobility and the large numbers of students who were transferring into and out of UW institutions.  Further, the revised transfer policy brought before the Committee represented her office’s best efforts to address the changing practice of UW institutions; to be more demographically astute and student-centered in their approach; and to make the System’s transfer policy be responsive and accountable to Wisconsin in the second decade of the 21st century.

a.       Overview of UW System Transfer Data

In presenting the overview of UW System transfer data, Associate Vice President Heather Kim said that it would provide important context for the two presentations to follow.  She then presented data on transfer student enrollment, transfer student characteristics, and transfer student outcomes, remarking that this was all information regularly published by her office, the Office of Policy Analysis and Research.  Summary data included the following.  In 2009-10, more than 17,000 students successfully transferred into or within UW institutions, more than in any previous year.  Intra-UW System transfers were the largest source of transfer students, followed by transfers from out-of-state institutions, the WTCS, Wisconsin private institutions, and international institutions.  The second-year retention rate for Fall 2008 new transfer students was 74%; the six-year graduation rate for Fall 2003 new transfer students was 61%.  Intra-UW System transfer students had higher second-year retention rates and six-year graduation rates than transfer students from other sources.  Full-time new transfers had higher retention and graduation rates than those who entered as part-time students, as did students who entered as upperclassmen as opposed to freshmen.  Finally, reported Dr. Kim, new transfer students of color tended to have much lower retention and graduation rates than their white counterparts. 

b.      Transfer Equity Study Report

Senior Vice President Martin then briefed the Committee on the Wisconsin Transfer Equity Study, a collaboration among the UW System, the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), and the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education (CUE), that took place between Fall 2008 and Fall 2010.  CUE, she reminded Committee members, was the UW System’s partner in the Equity Scorecard Project and the Transfer Equity Study was an outgrowth of that work.  Dr. Martin reviewed the national and state contexts for the work, in particular President Obama’s and the More Graduates for Wisconsin goals for college completion.  She described the project’s overarching goals as closing the long-standing gap in transfer and baccalaureate attainment between students of color and their white peers, and creating an organizational culture marked by shared responsibility for equitable outcomes for students of color.  In addition to system-level leaders from CUE, the UW and WTCS, participants included campus leaders from the UW Colleges, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Sheboygan, and the Fox Valley and Milwaukee Area Technical Colleges.  The project was organized into a system team, which studied the ways in which policy could be enhanced to promote transfer for more students of color, and institutional teams, which focused on campus practice by identifying the “choke points” or barriers in the transfer pathways within or between institutions.

Senior Vice President Martin then reviewed some of the high-level data that served as the point of departure for the Study.  For example, while in 2002 the UW Colleges sent 23% more students to four-year UW institutions than WTCS, WTCS sent more than twice as many students of color.  Such compelling data helped the project participants understand that changes were needed in both policy and practice, and that further inquiry was required into the context and causes, bolstered by additional data disaggregated by race and ethnicity.  Through additional data inquiry, the system and institutional teams realized that enhancing the UW System’s transfer partnerships with WTCS would be critical for the UW to meet its goals to diversity its student body.  With the help of CUE, the system team used a benchmarking tool designed to track cohorts of students through key curricular milestones and, finally, to graduation.  Dr. Martin shared with the Committee some of the student data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, generated by the benchmarking tool.

Dr. Martin imparted the system team’s key findings for the project, along with the recommendations made to address them.  These included:  strengthen the System’s accountability reporting on transfer outcomes for students of color; set intra-system “equity benchmarks” for transfer; strengthen articulation for technical programs, especially those programs serving a critical mass of students of color; extend transfer process accommodations to WTCS; and craft common legislative and public messages about the study.  She explained that implementation of several of these recommendations was already underway, including through the revised transfer policy the Committee would be asked to approve in the next segment of the meeting.  She concluded by sharing some of the lessons learned from the Transfer Equity Study.  One of the most important lessons she cited was that, cross-educational sector collaboration yielded many benefits, and was especially critical in the context of Wisconsin’s evolving political, economic, and demographic environments.

In response to questions from Regent Vásquez about the preparation of students of color as a potential cause for barriers to transfer, Senior Vice President Martin explained that, while the Transfer Equity Study did not examine student preparation, the UW System had many good developmental programs in place to meet students where they were, whether they entered as freshmen or transfers.  She expressed her hopes that Wisconsin’s adoption of the new Common Core would raise performance for students.  Regent Evers concurred, adding that nationally and federally, policy-makers were moving towards higher expectations for high school students to be “college and career ready” upon graduation.

Regent Davis commented on the policy shift implicit in some of the study’s recommendations, in particular those that sought a more “transfer-centric culture,” with improved articulation agreements between the UW and WTCS, and a shift away from viewing students through a deficit-minded lens.   Dr. Martin added that the study also sought to shift thinking toward the view that students who transferred were “successes,” and that it encouraged campuses from each sector to encourage students to complete two years in one place before transferring, since the research demonstrated that those students had better outcomes. 

c.       Revised UW System Policy on Transfer

Associate Vice President Larry Rubin introduced the proposed revisions to the UW System’s policy on undergraduate transfer.  He began by explaining the reasons for, and the process by which the existing policy—contained in the Academic Information Series documents, known as ACIS 6.0, 6.1, and 6.2—was reevaluated through the work of a review committee convened by Senior Vice President Martin.  He reviewed in detail the recommended policy changes in ACIS 6.0, the main document guiding transfer in the UW System.  They included:  a change in the section on admission requirements to align with the Board’s freshman admission policy; the extension of certain accommodations to all transfer students that had previously been available only to transfers internal to the UW System; and an expanded section on credit for prior learning.  The final significant policy recommendation, said Dr. Rubin, involved a change in the number of general education credits that WTCS students could transfer to UW institutions, removing the existing 30-credit limit and enabling UW institutions to accept more of these credits—if they choose to.  This change would provide the campuses with the flexibility to develop more robust articulation agreements with WTCS.

Dr. Rubin summarized the changes made by the review committee to the two other transfer documents, ACIS 6.1 and 6.2.  The committee recommended the discontinuation of 6.1 because its provisions were being incorporated into the revised ACIS 6.0, and modified ACIS 6.2 to make it consistent with the changes recommended in 6.0.  He also described the extensive process by which the proposed policy changes were vetted with UW campuses.  The campus responses were largely positive, except on the recommendation to remove the 30-credit limit on general education coursework.  The UW Colleges, in particular, were concerned with issues of mission duplication with WTCS, and several campuses had reservations regarding the quality of coursework transferred from WTCS and how well WTCS students did after they transferred.  After additional vetting, a sentence was added reiterating that faculty at each UW would determine if and how WTCS courses would transfer, based upon the quality and comparability of the coursework.  Dr. Rubin added that systemwide data provide evidence that WTCS transfers do relatively well compared with other transfers, e.g., in terms of GPA, retention, graduation. 

Dr. Rubin concluded his presentation by sharing important updates to the Transfer Information System (TIS), the UW System’s primary vehicle for communicating official transfer information to students and advisors.  The development of a software program for TIS had long been planned that would add the capability for students to get a report on how their credits would apply toward any degree at any UW institution prior to transfer, thus enabling them to make well-informed decisions about what courses to take and how they would count toward their degree objectives.  A successful pilot of the software was completed in the last year in partnership with UW-Madison.  Over the next few years, pending funding, the System hoped to expand the reach to the other UW baccalaureate degree-granting institutions, enabling them to provide these reports to students for their academic programs as well.

Regent Crain expressed her appreciation to Dr. Rubin for the clarity of his presentation.  She then recognized Provost Lampe, who read a statement on behalf of the UW Colleges in opposition to the proposed policy revision.  The opposition concerned the proposed revision to ACIS 6.0, alluded to by Dr. Rubin,  which lifted the previous UW System cap of 30 transfer credits granted for general education coursework offered within a WTCS applied associate degree program.  Provost Lampe said that, if approved, the revised policy would fundamentally shift the mission of WTCS occupational programs from a focus on vocational programs, to becoming transfer institutions, which he believed would result in the creation of a de facto community college system in Wisconsin.  Such a decision, he emphasized, should require more discussion and consideration by policy-makers throughout the state.  He reminded the Committee of the different revenue sources from which WTCS districts budgets were composed, including property taxes meant to provide vocational education to support local needs for skilled workers, and which enabled the technical colleges to charge lower tuition rates.  Removing the transfer credit limit would allow local property tax to be the primary funding source of the pre-baccalaureate foundation.  The entire situation could have significant implications for future UW System funding and result in increased competition at the city, county, and state levels.  He reiterated his request that the 30-credit cap remain in place so that the Board of Regents and others could engage in a discussion of the long-term policy implications of such a change to the residents of Wisconsin, WTCS students, the WTCS mission, and the UW System.

In response to a question from UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca, both Senior Vice President Martin and Associate Vice President Rubin clarified distinctions made in the revised policy between the transfer of credit for students who have associate degrees, and those who do not.  Dr. Rubin added that another review committee had been convened to reevaluate the standards and requirements for the associate degree systemwide, especially in terms of how it met requirements for general education.

Fernando Delgado, Provost at UW-River Falls, spoke in support of the proposed revisions, which he felt would improve transfer pathways for students.  The revised policy would strengthen local control of decisions regarding transfer and comparability of credits, and he was confident that his faculty governance would ensure institutional quality control in deciding which credits students could transfer in and which they could not.  Julie Furst-Bowe, Provost at UW-Stout, and Kathleen Enz Finken, Provost at UW-La Crosse, also conveyed their support for the revised policy, citing the numerous, carefully developed articulation agreements they already had in place, and the fact that  transfer students at their institutions performed well.  Provost Enz Finken said she understood the funding issue raised by Provost Lampe and she expressed her hope that more attention could be paid to it moving forward.

Regent Vásquez stated that, while he would support the proposed revisions, he was sympathetic to the concerns raised by Provost Lampe.  Having served on the boards of both the UW and the Technical College Systems, he believed that the state was wise to develop two separate systems.  He would not want to see the WTCS promote itself as the “new front door” to UW four-year institutions and would perceive that as problematic encroachment, confusing to the public and the Legislature. 

Regent Davis expressed her support for the revised transfer policy, adding that it should help remove some of the barriers for students of color identified in the Transfer Equity Study.  She also expressed her appreciation for Provost Delgado’s remarks on the benefits of local control.

In communicating his support for the revisions, Lane Earns, Provost at UW-Oshkosh, pointed to the success of the NEW ERA model of collaboration across educational sectors.  Like his provost colleagues, he approved of the language added to ACIS 6.0 providing quality assurance through local control.  He remarked that he hoped WTCS would continue to insist on master’s level qualifications for its faculty.

Regent Crain commented that she would support the resolution for the reasons shared by others.  She said that over the last six years since she has been on the Board, she has developed a deep appreciation for the UW Colleges and the important role they play in the UW System.  Before calling for the motion, she suggested that all concerned would want to watch carefully how the implementation of the revised policy unfolds, in the UW System and the state’s other educational sectors.

I.1.c.(3):  It was moved by Regent Davis and seconded by Regent Vásquez that, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents endorses the revisions to Academic Information Series 6.0, 6.1, and 6.2, the UW System’s policies on undergraduate transfer.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

Regent Crain suggested that—given its import, and like Resolutions I.1.b.(1) and (2)—Resolution I.1.c.(3) be offered for a separate vote to the full Board at its Friday meeting rather than on the consent agenda, despite the fact that it had been approved unanimously.  Committee members concurred.

4.      Regent Policy Document Review:  RPD 14-1 – Nondiscrimination in Oratorical Contests

Regent Crain informed the Committee that its next action would move forward the ongoing review of Regent Policy Documents or RPDs. 

I.1.d.:  It was moved by Regent Vásquez and seconded by Regent Davis that, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of the Board to remove from the Regent Policy Documents RPD 14-1, “Nondiscrimination in Oratorical Contests.”

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

5.      Presentation by UW-Milwaukee – “Strategic Initiatives to Position UWM for the Future”

Regent Crain welcomed Interim Provost Britz to introduce to the Committee some of the strategic initiatives underway at UW-Milwaukee.  Provost Britz described UW-Milwaukee’s “Digital Future:  Planning for 2025” initiative, a multi-year, campus-wide conversation focused on emerging technologies and the influence of digitization on the university’s operations.  Digitization, he reported, would impact everything in, and with huge consequences for, higher education:  from libraries to classrooms, from student learning to teaching to research, and all other aspects of university operations and services.  He pointed to some of these consequences:  digitization had the potential to be less expensive; digital space would replace physical space; and more people would meet and convene digitally. 

Provost Britz commented on the conversations being held on campus, some of them led by nationally recognized higher educators engaged in cutting-edge practice on emerging technologies and the use of open-source knowledge and content in course materials.  The initiative had already resulted in a number of recommendations to move the campus forward into the digital future.  These would be shared with various campus constituents in coming months, a financial analysis would be conducted, and, it was planned, many of the recommendations would be implemented in 2011-12.  Provost Britz ended his presentation with a short video on newly designed UW-Milwaukee “apps” that would soon be available for public consumption.  He then introduced Patrice Petro, Vice Provost for International Education at UW-Milwaukee.

Dr. Petro reported on another of UW-Milwaukee’s strategic initiatives, “Advancing Internationalization with Innovation and Collaboration.”  Dr. Petro had led the “Advancing Internationalization Task Force,” convened throughout 2008-2009.  The Task Force focused on enhancing collaborations across campus, and creating networks and a shared purpose for internationalization among the university’s teaching, research, and outreach functions.  She highlighted the relevance of the work to the UW System’s Growth Agenda.  She then pointed to signature features of the university’s work, several of which were implemented as recommendations from the Task Force. These included:  the UWM International Council, which provides ongoing strategic planning for internationalization; the Global Studies B.A. degree, which has 310 declared and intended majors as of 2011; the university’s innovative program with Chongqing, China, a cooperative education partnership among the College of Engineering, Chongqing University, and Briggs & Stratton.  UW-Milwaukee offers 14 world language programs as part of its efforts to ensure the global competence of students, and these programs have seen a 57% enrollment growth since 2000.  Participation in study abroad has also been growing.

Follow-up discussion included a question from Regent Davis to Vice Provost Petro about the participation of students of color in study abroad.  Dr. Petro responded that the university was paying attention to this and the Provost had developed a scholarship fund for students of color to go abroad.  While much more progress was needed, the issues was a priority for the university.

The Committee expressed its appreciation to Provost Britz and Vice Provost Petro for their presentation.

6.      Report of the Senior Vice President

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

Senior Vice President Martin presented for the Committee’s action the 2011 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 2011-2012 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.  Copies of the supplemental data were distributed to Committee members.  Dr. Martin stated that the patterns for tenure and renewals were very similar to those of past years, and while progress remained slow, faculty of color continued to move into tenure and more senior faculty ranks.

I.1.f.(1):  It was moved by Regent Vásquez, seconded by Regent Davis, that, upon recommendation of the respective Chancellors and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the 2011 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.      LEAP/Inclusive Excellence at the Institutions:  UW Colleges and UW-Extension

Senior Vice President Martin then turned to the Committee’s regular feature on LEAP/Inclusive Excellence at the Institutions.  The UW Colleges and UW-Extension, she said,  have together been developing a shared Inclusive Excellence framework for their combined institutions, with impressive results.  She introduced Stephan Hiroshi Gilchrist, Chief Diversity Officer for the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, to explain the framework. 

Dr. Gilchrist shared with the Committee both the guiding questions and the guiding framework for how the UW Colleges and UW-Extension were approaching Inclusive Excellence.  The two institutions believed that Inclusive Excellence was synonymous with the Wisconsin Idea, and therefore central to their missions.  The framework comprised six institutional dimensions of Inclusive Excellence:  governance and administration; recruitment and success; climate; community engagement; scholarship and research; and curriculum, co-curriculum, and pedagogy.  Multiple groups and task forces were set up to address the different dimensions.  In implementing the overarching framework across all the units of the two institutions, the various groups had to establish the baseline for where they were, and develop priorities, goals, and action steps for where they wanted to go.  Along the way, those individuals responsible for the work were identified; focused attention was placed on what knowledge, skills, resources, and mindsets were needed for faculty and staff to meet their goals; and a clear picture was formed of what success would look like.  It was also recognized early that different units within the UW Colleges and UW-Extension had different needs altogether (e.g., Public Broadcasting as opposed to UW Colleges academic departments).  While the guiding questions might be the same for the distinct components of the institutions, implementation would proceed quite differently.  He observed that an additional beauty of the framework was that it also allowed for the clarification of institutional priorities in the current context of diminished resources.

Senior Vice Martin expressed her admiration for the framework, in particular for its integration of Inclusive Excellence with LEAP.  Regent Davis commended the framework and the work that had gone into it, and said she especially liked the professional development/core curriculum piece established for students, faculty, and staff alike in working toward the skills, mindset and knowledge needed to achieve Inclusive Excellence.

c.        U.S. Department of Education Program Integrity Regulations

Senior Vice President next briefed the Committee on the new Program Integrity Regulations, which had been released in October 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education.  Beginning in July, she reported, all postsecondary education institutions participating in Title IV student aid programs would be required to comply with the new rules.  The Rules were intended to strengthen federal student aid programs at for-profit, nonprofit, and public institutions by:  protecting students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices; providing consumers with better information about the effectiveness of career colleges and training programs; and ensuring that only eligible students or programs received aid.  The new rules addressed gainful employment, incentive compensation, student credit hours, and high school diploma verification.  The rule that required the most attention, Senior Vice President Martin continued, was one on distance education.  The rules were enormously cumbersome, and were taking up a great deal of staff time at System and the institutions.  UW System Administration was working with the institutions to help facilitate the entire process and ensure that the institutions would be in compliance.  She assured Committee members that they would receive further updates.

d.        Two Annual Statutorily Required Reports

Dr. Martin observed that she had planned to make some comments on the two annual statutorily required reports emailed to the Committee in May, the Minority and Disadvantaged Student Report and the Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.  Given the late hour, she asked Committee members to contact her with any questions they might have.

e.        Transitions

Senior Vice President Martin concluded her report by recognizing Associate Vice President Larry Rubin, who was retiring in July after many productive years in the UW System.  She thanked him for his countless contributions and unwavering focus. 

Regent Crain also expressed her appreciation to Dr. Rubin for his years of service to the UW System and the Board of Regents, which was followed by applause.  She expressed her deep regret that Senior Vice President Martin was leaving to take a new position at the Education Delivery Institute in Washington, DC, and noted that at least the Committee would have Dr. Martin for one more meeting, in July.

7.      Full Board Consent Agenda

Resolutions I.1.a.(2), I.1.a.(3), I.1.a.(4), I.1.a.(5), I.1.a.(6), I.1.a.(7), I.1.a.(8), I.1.a.(9), , I.1.d., and I.1.f.(1) were referred to the consent agenda of the full Board of Regents at its Friday, April 8, 2011, meeting.  Resolutions I.1.b.(1), I.1.b.(2), and I.1.c.(3) were referred separately to the full Board for its action.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Rebecca Karoff, Secretary, Education Committee