Board of Regents

Education Committee Minutes - June 2012

Education Committee, Board of Regents
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 7, 2012

Regent Vásquez convened the meeting of the Education Committee at 2:53 p.m.  Regents Vásquez, Evers, Higgins, Tyler were present.  Regent Vásquez welcomed the Provosts to the table.  He congratulated Mark Nook on his selection as permanent Senior Vice President since the Committee had last met.  Dr. Nook responded that it was an honor to be able to continue working with the Regents, the Education Committee in particular, and with the Provosts who represented so well the educational core of the System on behalf of their students, faculty, and staff.

1. Committee Consent Agenda

Regent Vásquez presented the minutes of the April 12, 2012, 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 in arts, humanities, social sciences and music; and

       Resolution I.1.a.(3), authorizing implementation of the B.S.. in Environmental Studies at UW-Parkside;

      Resolution I.1.a.(4), authorizing implementation of the B.B.A. in International Business at UW-Whitewater; and

      Resolution I.1.a.(5), authorizing implementation of the Online Master of Science in Nursing at UW-Green Bay.

Regent Vásquez  provided Committee members with background on the Vilas Trust proffer and the three new academic program proposals under consideration.  Regent Evers moved, and Regent Tyler seconded the adoption of the consent agenda, which passed unanimously.

2. UW-Milwaukee Presentation:  “Building a Healthier Wisconsin”

Regent Vásquez welcomed UW-Milwaukee Provost Johannes Britz to introduce Sally Lundeen, Dean of the College of Nursing, Magda Peck, founding Dean of the Zilber School of Public Health, and Chukuka Enwemeka, Dean of the College of Health Sciences.  The three deans described UW-Milwaukee’s efforts as a health-focused, metropolitan university working to systematically address some of society’s most intractable health and health care challenges.

Dean Lundeen reviewed some of the major trends impacting health and health care in the United States, including spiraling costs and expenditures that did little to systemically change health outcomes for the population.  She explained that while UW-Milwaukee did not provide actual medical care, the university did work with two medical centers that did.  UW-Milwaukee’s strong health focus allowed it to provide leadership through collaborative research, dynamic education, and a broad array of partnerships within and beyond the university.  She observed that in preparing the presentation for the Regents, she had developed with Deans Peck and Enwemeka an inventory of all the work taking place in and among their three colleges.  They were all impressed with the amount of initiatives and the innovation underway.  She described several examples from the College of Nursing, the largest nursing school in the state, including collaborations with several Milwaukee community nursing centers which were producing extraordinary results.  She also highlighted other exemplary, collaborative initiatives from the three colleges, including workforce expansion through the Health@UWM program, the Center for Population Health, the Annual Milwaukee Health Report, a project tracking teen pregnancy, the program in Biomedical and Health Informatics, the Children’s Environmental Health Sciences Center, and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  All of these initiatives indicated the strong foundation UW-Milwaukee had built in its efforts to build a healthier metropolitan region and state.

As a brand new dean, Dean Peck expressed her gratitude for that foundation and presented some of the future work being planned to build on it.  She remarked upon the broadened definition of health at play in the collaborations of the three colleges and the strategic directions guiding their future activities, including what she called “the urban translation across the state” of the work taking place at UW-Milwaukee.  The new School of Freshwater Sciences, like the new Zilber School of Public Health, was opening new frontiers for research and collaboration.  With its partner health sciences colleges, the School of Public Health was focused on addressing the health challenges of Milwaukee’s diverse and most vulnerable populations.  She indicated her interest in partnering more with other UWs in the region, including UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater.

In response to a question from Senior Vice President Nook, the three deans described some of the strategies at their colleges to address rising health care costs, including a focus on preventive care and education, and the translation of research into policy and practice that sought to address structural impediments (e.g., federal restrictions on reimbursement for women’s health care and prevention).  In response to the statement from Regent Vásquez that “the health care industry doesn’t follow economic logic,” Dean Peck replied that the three UW-Milwaukee colleges were working to articulate the continuum of how to keep people healthy through a systems approach towards change.  Dean Lundeen described a new grant the university had received that would look at housing and asthma reduction, taking an environmental approach to an inner city health crisis.

Regent Higgins observed that Wisconsin was a national leader in promoting competition among health care providers, in the face of a health care system that often eliminated incentives for employers and consumers to shop around.  He mentioned several initiatives in the state that were looking at insurance pools to offer quality and cost-savings to health care consumers.  He also pointed to the value of pairing traditional with alternative health care providers, referencing chiropractors he had worked with as an example.  The three deans agreed that such pairings were valuable and that they were working on such collaborations.

UW-Parkside Provost Terry Brown congratulated the deans on their work and said she was looking forward to collaborating more with UW-Milwaukee.  She asked for elaboration on Dean Peck’s statement calling UW-Milwaukee “urban-anchored but translatable across the state.”  Dean Peck replied that the divide between urban and rural was unnecessary.  Access was a critical issue for both groups statewide and Wisconsin needed to find a bridge between rural and urban in order to develop solutions for both populations.  Provost Brown concurred, noting that the driving principle for UW-Parkside’s new teacher preparation program was the belief that what the teacher education did for urban populations was translatable for rural and, indeed, all populations across the state.

Regent Vásquez asked about UW-Milwaukee’s understanding of the cultural factors at play in addressing Milwaukee’s health care problems (e.g., infant mortality and co-sleeping or teen pregnancy), adding that while UW-Milwaukee was “in the city, was it of it?”  Dean Lundeen answered that, in the College of Nursing’s 20 years on the ground with nurses in the community, those nurses became the community and the crafting of solutions took place collaboratively with community members, not independent of them.  Dean Enwemeka added that his college worked to recruit and graduate students from Milwaukee’s inner city who would go back to their communities and work there.  Dean Peck concluded that the three deans were before the Committee on behalf of the health spectrum at UW-Milwaukee, representing the systems approach they were taking to reduce fragmentation among sectors and departments that shared common goals, through a focus on evidence-based science and practice that would inform collaboration and build trust and relationships.

            Committee members expressed their strong appreciation for the presentation and the work being led by Deans Lundeen, Peck, and Enwemeka. 

3. Revisions to the UW System Academic Program Planning, Review, and Approval Process

              Regent Vásquez reminded Committee members of the status report they had heard in April on the proposed revisions to the UW System’s academic program, planning, and approval process.  This month, he said, the Regent materials included specific recommendations for how the new process might work, as well as draft documents on the System’s proposed array management role and a revised Regent Policy Document (RPD) that would align with the new process.  He then turned to Senior Vice President Nook, who recognized members of the Program Planning and Review Working Group present at the meeting, including Carmen Faymonville, Rebecca Karoff, Randy Olson, Carleen Vande Zande, Dev Venugopalan, and Julia Wallace.  He then introduced Associate Vice President Stephen Kolison to walk the Committee through the proposed changes. 

              Dr. Kolison reviewed for Committee members the current components of the System’s program planning and review process.  Observing that the current process had worked well for 20-plus years, as structured it was resource-intensive for UW institutions and UW System Administration.  He described the formation of the UW System Program Planning and Review Working Group, which was charged by Senior Vice President Nook in January to carry out the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Roles of UW System Administration and President Reilly’s response to that committee’s report.  The working group included representation from every UW institution and included provosts, deans, faculty and academic staff. 

              In fulfillment of Senior Vice President Nook’s charge, the group was working to: 

  • assess the roles played by UW institutions, the Board of Regents, and the UW System Office of Academic Affairs in program planning and review;
  • conduct a comprehensive review of the current policies and processes for reviewing and approving new degree programs in the UW System; and
  • propose to UW System Administration new policies and processes that would:  reduce the preparation time needed for institutions to submit new degree program proposals; increase flexibility in the development of new degree programs; reduce UW System Administration’s role in assessing the academic quality of proposed programs; and direct the focus of UW System Administration’s role in program planning and review towards the maintenance of an appropriate array of degree options across the state.

              Dr. Kolison continued that, in their ten meetings throughout the spring semester, members of the Working Group had conducted a comprehensive review of Regent and System policy and requirements for academic programming, as well as the policies and process of other university systems.  The group was now ready to share its recommendations for a revised process, along with a preliminary proposal for UW System Administration’s academic program array role.  In sharing the proposed revisions, Dr. Kolison walked the Committee through a detailed comparison of the current process with the revised process being proposed, including the following elements.  The current entitlement process would be replaced with a letter of intent to plan.  The current authorization process would become significantly different, resulting in a shorter turn-around time from planning to Board approval, a reduced role for UW System Administration in assessing the program’s readiness and quality, and reduced requirements for documentation.  One critical component of the new authorization process was a letter of commitment from the Chancellor or Provost accompanying each new program proposal and providing assurances that the program met the institution’s quality standards, was supported by governance, and had the necessary financial and human resources in place for implementation.  The current joint review (which takes place five years after a program has been implemented) was being eliminated.  Dr. Kolison explained that there would be no change in the way the Regents approved new programs:  they would still come to the Board at the recommendation of the President and the Education Committee would decide whether to authorize or not.  The Regents had before them proposed revisions to RPD 4-12, adopting the revised process, which the Committee would be asked to approve at its August meeting.

              Dr. Kolison then summarized the preliminary components of UW System Administration’s academic program array management role.  Much of this role was not new, he explained, and UW System Administration would continue to:  monitor program array through annual reporting and regular review of institutional academic plans and accreditation reports; analyze degree productivity; and ensure institutional adherence to System guidelines on program suspension and discontinuation and distance education degree program approval.  The System would be more proactive in analyzing array needs, addressing duplication, and exploring gaps in the program array to address changing and emerging workforce and societal needs.  Overall, he concluded, the Working Group’s proposal to restructure the program planning and review process fulfilled each of the charges issued by Senior Vice President Nook and would result in the substantive changes in the roles and responsibilities of UW System Administration recommended by President Reilly and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Roles of UW System Administration.

              Regent Higgins commended Associate Vice President Kolison on his presentation and offered congratulations to the entire Working Group.  In response to a question from Regent Vásquez, Senior Vice President Nook explained why a program would have five years to seek approval once it had been pre-authorized, noting that there were multiple reasons why an institution might need to wait, including faculty or resource issues.  UW-River Falls Provost Fernando Delgado shared the example of a proposed program at his campus, which saw unanticipated departures of two key faculty members.  In response to questions from Regent Tyler about how much time was needed to plan new programs at the campus level, several Provosts shared their experiences.  Dr. Kolison added that UW System Administration did not intervene in the institutional process or timeline and that his focus was on making sure that the process in his office was efficient.

              Regent Vásquez inquired as to what assurances the Regents would have that the revised process would not result in the Board “rubber-stamping” new academic programs.  He acknowledged that the Regents could be too bureaucratic and create hurdles.  However, he commented, the Regents were accountable to the public and the state, and they needed to continue to be stewards of the System’s resources and programs.  Senior Vice President Nook responded that, with the revised process, the Regents would receive similar documentation to what they received currently.  Moving forward, however, the revised process would put quality determinations in the hands of faculty, where they belonged.  He added that both internal and accreditation reviews would play a bigger role than they had under the current process.  Institutions, he stated, “lived and died” on the strength of their academic programs.

              Regent Tyler thanked Associate Vice President Kolison and the other members of the Program Planning and Review Working Group for their excellent work, observing that this was the kind of policy work that made him want to be on the Education Committee. 

4. Report of the Senior Vice President

    a. Updates on UW System Advisory Committees

Senior Vice President Mark Nook informed the Committee that two strong proposals had been received to host the Institute for Urban Education (formerly housed within UW System Administration), and that UW-Milwaukee had been chosen. 

    b. Update on UW-Parkside Teacher Education Program by Provost Terry Brown

               Dr. Nook turned to Provost Terry Brown to update the Regents on UW-Parkside’s teacher education program.  Provost Brown reviewed the recent history of UW-Parkside’s teacher education program, which—following some difficult deliberations—had been suspended in 2010.  She recognized UW-Parkside staff for their outstanding work in redesigning an innovative, 21st-century program to take the place of the previous program.  She outlined the three phases of the redesign process, which would culminate in the implementation of the new professional educator development program in Fall 2013.  The second phase, entailing the curricular redesign, had been completed and in May, the proposed program had been approved by faculty governance.  She emphasized that the program “belonged to the community,” having been designed with broad input from education, community and business leaders in Kenosha-Racine, as well as UW-Parkside faculty and staff.  She mentioned that 130 people had attended a Wingspread meeting convened to discuss the program.

              Provost Brown detailed the process followed in developing the program, as well as the curriculum, which focused on the “realities of living and learning in the 21st century,” including globalization, technology, limited resources, and complex human relations.  In contrast to UW-Parkside’s old teacher education degree, the new offering would be a teacher licensure program, structured to meet individual student needs and offer various pathways to becoming an educator.  The program would focus on the on-going development of educators once they graduated, mentoring them beyond graduation and providing continued professional development.  The new program would be known as the Institute of Professional Educator Development and housed in the new College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies.  Searches for faculty in the fields of curriculum and instruction would be launched in Fall 2012.  UW-Parkside had consulted with DPI throughout the process, and would seek formal DPI approval for the particular licensure areas to be offered. 

              Finally, Provost Brown described the larger academic planning and reorganization initiative taking place at the UW-Parkside, of which the restructuring of the teacher education program was a part.  Earlier in the year, she had updated the Education Committee on this restructuring.  The university’s new academic plan, “Aiming High and Making Excellence Inclusive:  an Academic Plan to Lead UW-Parkside to 2020,” had been approved by faculty governance in April.  The new teacher preparation program would be an important part of UW-Parkside’s overall efforts to be learner-centered and an educational leader in the region and the state.

              Regent Evers recognized the high quality of the redesigned program and commented that his staff had been impressed with all that UW-Parkside had accomplished.  Regents Tyler and Vásquez commended Provost Brown, Chancellor Ford, and the university for their development of a bold program, with Regent Vásquez adding that he had attended the Wingspread meeting and the proposed program was indeed well-received by the community.

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

              Senior Vice President Nook concluded his report by presenting for the Committee’s action the 2012 Report on Promotions, Tenure, and Related Academic Approval Items.  He 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 UW System’s 15 institutions.  He noted 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 faculty across all UW institutions.  Dr. Nook commented that this might be the last time the Committee voted to approve the annual tenure and promotion report given the Committee’s agreement in April that certain action items regularly included on the Committee’s agenda should be delegated to the President for approval, including the annual tenure report. 
I.1.d.(3):  It was moved by Regent Higgins, seconded by Regent Tyler, that, upon recommendation of the respective Chancellors and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the 2012 Report on Faculty Promotions, Tenure Designations and Other Changes of Status be approved.

The resolution PASSED unanimously.

5. Full Board Consent Agenda

Resolutions I.1.a.(2), I.1.a.(3), I.1.a.(4), I.1.a.(5), and I.1.d.(3) were referred to the consent agenda of the full Board of Regents at its Friday, June 8, 2012, meeting. 

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,
Rebecca Karoff
Secretary, Education Committee