Board of Regents

Study of the UW System in the 21st Century


FULL TEXT OF FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS: STUDY OF THE UW SYSTEM IN THE 21ST CENTURY



Preserving and Enhancing Access to Quality

  1. Distance learning technology is essential for expanding the capacity of the UW System's instructional resources. New technology can extend the reach of UW programs and enhance the efficiency of existing instructional resources. The Board of Regents should assure that the 1997-99 biennial budget recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature set forth a specific funding approach to further develop the necessary technology. Funds will be required for networking infrastructure, investment in up-to-date equipment and software, development of new instructional technology and providing training opportunities for faculty members.

    UW System Administration should prepare a recommendation for the Board's consideration on the investment required, the appropriate funding mechanisms necessary to advance these efforts, and an implementation schedule that outlines how the technology will be used to expand capacity within a specified time frame, including necessary student/faculty interaction and consideration of the student's total needs.

  2. Tuition recommendations sent to the Governor and Legislature should reflect incentives and/or disincentives for reducing attempted credits to graduation. In addition, it is recommended that flexibility be added to the UW System's tuition structure to create incentives for students to successfully complete the requirements for a four-year graduation contract. These changes can only be successful through adequate advising and course availability. A pilot program allowing three-year, four-year, or five-year contract options should be established with selected institutions by Fall 1997, with systemwide implementation the following year.

  3. The Board of Regents through UW System Administration should work with 1) high schools to encourage attendance at UW Centers during the school year; and 2) UW System institutions to make students aware of the availability of summer school opportunities at all UW System institutions, especially those close to the location of their summer employment or home.

  4. The Board of Regents through UW System Administration should work with high schools to consider expansion of available college credits earned while students are still in high school.

  5. The Board of Regents should affirm a policy that when faced with a choice between maintaining the Board's predetermined measures of educational effectiveness within budgetary constraints or providing access to its programs and resources, the University of Wisconsin System must choose to maintain educational effectiveness.

  6. The missions of University of Wisconsin System institutions will be continuously redesigned during the decade ahead to meet evolving student and state needs. Therefore, UW System institutions should be encouraged to create "3+4" programs to allow high school students who demonstrate appropriate competencies to enter the university after their junior year. UW Center-Richland shall be designated as an Integrated Learning Community with the flexibility to develop partnership programs that enhance student access to educational opportunities, including a "3+2" program allowing high school students who demonstrate appropriate competencies to enter the university after their junior year. This will enable students to accelerate their high school education and to reduce the cost of their college education. In addition, a four-year institution should be encouraged to pilot a "3+4" program. Closer collaboration between the university and K-12 schools is also encouraged toward the aim of creating a seamless web of educational opportunity for high school students, including a "4+3" option.

  7. The University of Wisconsin System will establish a goal to use instructional and distance education technologies to develop an enhanced student-centered learning environment and remove time and place as barriers to learning, both on and off campus.

  8. The University of Wisconsin System should concentrate its efforts to expand the use of instructional and distance education technologies on the following four basic policies:
    • Respond to Student Needs. The University of Wisconsin System will have a coordinated systemwide plan that effectively utilizes appropriate technologies to provide high quality learning opportunities and services to students to meet their lifelong learning needs.
    • Facilitate, Review, and Recognize Faculty Contributions. The University of Wisconsin System will facilitate faculty use of instructional and distance education technologies in their teaching and will review and recognize their contributions to an enhanced student-centered learning environment.
    • Foster Internal and External Collaboration. The University of Wisconsin System will use instructional and distance education technologies to increase the cooperation and collaboration among University of Wisconsin System institutions and with appropriate other institutions such as other universities, K-12 schools, technical colleges, public libraries, businesses, and communities in developing appropriate programs and distance education delivery systems.
    • Develop Instructional Technology Resources. The University of Wisconsin System will provide training, support and, at a minimum, access to University-based hardware and software necessary for students, faculty and staff to effectively use technologies in their teaching and learning.

  9. The University of Wisconsin System will undertake the following actions to expand the use of instructional and distance education technologies to support the development of an enhanced student-centered learning environment and remove time and place as barriers to learning, both on and off campus:
    • The University of Wisconsin System will assess the needs of on- and off-campus students and establish a plan to address student needs, in priority order.
    • The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin System Administration, will be given the authority and responsibility to implement the Systemwide Strategic Plan for Instructional Technology and Distance Education.
    • University of Wisconsin System institutions will be directed to:
      • a. Provide that faculty effort expended in developing instructional technologies for the classroom and for distance education is recognized in promotion, merit, and tenure decisions (e.g. equivalent to publications, teaching innovation, etc.)
      • b. Recognize that time spent and documented in development of instructional and distance education technologies applications and in training to use these technologies should be treated as any other part of faculty and staff workload
      • c. Develop a process to insure that faculty effectiveness in improving teaching and learning through the use of instructional and distance education technologies is incorporated into performance review and promotion and tenure evaluations.

    • The University of Wisconsin System will encourage the marketing of its intellectual property.
      • a. The delivery of programs beyond the borders of the state will be encouraged when the out-of-state delivery, in turn, makes access to the program more affordable for Wisconsin citizens and when this delivery may leverage funds.
      • b. Adjustment of non-resident tuition will be allowed and facilitated when documentation of projected out-of-state enrollments shows that out-of-state delivery makes the program more viable and affordable to Wisconsin citizens.
      • c. A non-stock, non-profit organization will be created to support technology-based instructional and distance education innovation.

    • The University of Wisconsin System will establish incentives specifically designed to encourage the start-up of collaborative certificate or degree program initiatives that use instructional and distance education technologies.

    • Policies dealing with a myriad of issues such as transfer of credit, out-of-state delivery, workload, assignment of student credit hours, assessment of segregated fees, common course numbering, common calendar, core and degree requirements, uniform provision of student information (e.g., catalogues), etc. will be reviewed, clarified, or changed to remove barriers and encourage the use of technologies.

    • The University of Wisconsin System will establish and manage a fund to implement the four basic policies. An annual fund of $25 million will be generated from one or all of the following sources:
      • a. Request new state funding
      • b. Base reallocation at the institutions
      • c. Extramural funds (e.g. gifts, partnerships, grants, entrepreneurial activities, etc.)
  10. To evaluate the progress made to enhance a student-centered learning environment and remove time and place as barriers to learning on and off campus:
    • The University of Wisconsin System will define learning needs by clientele group.
    • The University of Wisconsin System will regularly assess student satisfaction and other measures of academic quality related to the use of instructional and distance education technologies.
    • The University of Wisconsin System will assess formal working agreements and pilot projects to explore collaborative strategies.
    • The University of Wisconsin System will regularly assess and report on student, faculty, and staff access to hardware and software necessary to use instructional and distance education technologies.
    • The University of Wisconsin System will regularly provide to the Board of Regents information on how instructional and distance education technology utilization has been incorporated into performance reviews, promotion, merit, and tenure reviews and decisions.
  11. In its endeavor to expand the use of instructional and distance education technologies, the University of Wisconsin System be guided by the following principles:
    • All instructional and distance education technology is student-centered; i.e., it is programmatically driven, it is intended to enhance learning and increase access, it accommodates different learning styles and circumstances, and it enables innovative interaction between faculty and students.
    • Faculty are key to successful utilization of instructional and distance education technologies.
    • Increased attention must be given to using instructional and distance education technologies to meet the lifelong learning needs of Wisconsin citizens.
    • Interinstitutional collaboration is a means to effectively utilize instructional and distance education technologies to enhance learning and increase access.
    • The need for standards, compatibility and collaboration is balanced with recognition of the diverse missions, priorities and local traditions of the University of Wisconsin System institutions.
    • All campuses must have appropriate infrastructure hardware and software to participate in comprehensive and coordinated use of instructional and distance education technologies.

  12. The Board of Regents will develop a modest Distance Education Incentive Fund (DEIF), to be created from new dollars, for the purposes of : (1) acknowledging and rewarding current distance education activities, (2) encouraging development of new distance education activities, and (3) fostering collaboration using distance education technologies. As distance education activities and collaborative efforts grow, there will be a need to increase the size of the Distance Education Incentive Fund.



Keeping College Affordable


  1. The following Board of Regents Tuition Policies are affirmed:
    • Tuition increases should be moderate and predictable consistent with maintaining educational quality.
    • GPR financial aid and graduate assistant support should increase at a rate no less than that of tuition and also reflect increases in the number of aid eligible students.

  2. The Board of Regents should assign responsibility and reward success for UW institutions that successfully increase grants obtained from private sources for financial aid purposes.

  3. The state should provide funding increases for Wisconsin Higher Education Grants (WHEG) that are commensurate with the increased student budget needs of students attending a UW System institution.

  4. The Board of Regents should consider adding tuition sensitivity to the WHEG formula.

  5. The Board of Regents should request that System Administration, working with all UW System institutions, create materials, especially in any interactive electronic format, that will encourage parents to begin saving for college early, help them project the cost of attending UW System institutions and inform them about student aid programs.

  6. In order to increase revenue, institutions should be encouraged to recruit additional nonresident students but not at the expense of access to resident students, and the Board of Regents should examine system policies that discourage recruitment of nonresident students.

  7. The Board of Regents must be prepared to advocate that the state continue to provide funding to cover increases in staff costs. Forcing students to pay the costs through increased tuition will damage Wisconsin's tradition of affordability. Choosing not to pay competitive salaries in a competitive market will damage the System's effectiveness in delivering quality instruction, research and public service.
PART V

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