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UW System Board of Regents suspends use of back-up appointments (Jul 26, 2005)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 26, 2005                                                                       

Contact: Doug Bradley
dbradley@uwsa.edu
(608) 262-5061

UW System Board of Regents suspends use of back-up appointments

MADISON-The practice of granting back-up appointments for administrative employees within the University of Wisconsin System will be suspended, pending a review of employment policies and practices by the Board of Regents' Business and Finance Committee.

Board of Regents President David G. Walsh and UW System President Kevin P. Reilly ordered the immediate suspension and directed UW institutions to provide information about such appointments for the Board's review without delay.  The suspension will not affect employees' statutory rights.

"Through this review, we will ensure our policies are not only proper, but followed by each UW institution in both letter and spirit," Reilly said.

"At my request, and in consultation with UW System President Reilly, the Board of Regents has directed UW chancellors and the president not to include so-called 'back-up' appointments as part of any employment package until we are confident that our policies match our principles," Walsh added.

Walsh announced in June that the Board, through its Business and Finance Committee, would address employment agreements across the UW System as part of an ongoing assessment of a wide range of salary, compensation and competitiveness issues. He specifically requested that the review include the practice of negotiated appointments and administrative leave. The Board's report is due in the fall.

The UW System's 13 four-year campuses, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges, statewide UW-Extension and central administration, at the Business and Finance Committee's request, are all collecting data on a number of employment issues, including the current use of back-up appointments for faculty, academic staff or classified staff who accept limited administrative appointments within the university. The data will be made public as part of the Board's review.

Walsh also announced that he has appointed Regents Thomas Loftus and Peggy Rosenzweig to serve as Board liaisons to the Wisconsin State Legislature in an effort to improve communication. Walsh has asked Loftus and Rosenzweig to immediately consult with legislative leaders and seek their input on matters to be included in the Regents' current review of employment practices.

"It's important that the public, our elected officials, and our faculty and staff know that the questions raised regarding UW employment policies and practices are receiving our deliberate and serious consideration," Walsh said. "I look forward to working with President Reilly to ensure openness, public accountability, and wise stewardship of the UW System's very limited resources. If this review determines that any policy, practice, or public trust is broken, we will fix it."

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