Government Relations

UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2005-2006 Session

Pending Legislation

AB 439

UW Compensation Reform

Full Description

Read testimony by Margaret Lewis

(Suder) The bill provides that before adjusting any UW senior executive group salary range or establishing or adjusting a housing allowance or benefit, transportation allowance or benefit, paid vacation or other leave or sabbatical benefit, reimbursed or compensated daily living expense benefit, entertainment allowances or benefits, or any other compensation or fringe benefit provided to UW senior executives, the Board of Regents must hold at least ONE public meeting on the issue and allow members of the public to comment at the meeting.

Referred to the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee.

UW System Position

OPPOSE: The current draft is overly broad and could interfere with the negotiation and hiring processes of executives.

The Attorney General’s agreement with the Board of Regents already requires that notice be given to the public on salaries, pay, or compensation issues before the Board of Regents. The public is welcome to comment at any Board meeting on agenda items. Current law requires that all Board of Regents or Board of Regents Committee meetings be properly noticed according to the Open Meetings Law including publishing notice in the state’s official newspaper the Wisconsin State Journal.

Members of the Board of Regents of the UW System hire the 15 Chancellors and President to run the UW System. They set salaries that are competitive with regional and national peer groups in order to attract and retain individuals with the management and fundraising expertise necessary to run the eighth largest public university system in the country.

Although setting executive salaries is not popular with the public, the members of the Board of Regents are in the best position to know what the market is relative to other institutions. The policy of the Board and the state should be to keep Wisconsin competitive with regard to our peers in order to attract leadership who will return the state’s investment in them many times over with excellent management and fundraising skills.