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Regents Reflect on New State Budget, Offer Commitment to Meet Funding Expectations (Nov 9, 2007)

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November 9 , 2007

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
November Meeting
Day Two News Summary

Regents Reflect on New State Budget, Offer Commitment to Meet Funding Expectations

MADISON – The Regents began their second day with a report from Regent President Mark Bradley.  After Bradley recognized special guests from the Wisconsin Leadership Academy, comprised of faculty and staff from UW Colleges and UW-Extension, he offered recognition of Jesus Salas, and Salas’ contribution to the Regents, and to the Latino community. 

Bradley then offered his assessment of the overall state budget, reminding colleagues that new state funding will require the university to uphold its commitment to accountability.

“In building support for the Growth Agenda, we raised Wisconsin’s aspirations, encouraging business leaders, politicians, students and others to embrace a bold vision for the future – one focused on higher-paying jobs, faster-growing businesses, and a richer quality of life in all respects. With those high aspirations come equally high expectations,” said Bradley.

Bradley noted that UW’s participation in the national Voluntary System of Accountability is one way that the UW System can demonstrate that new state investments are being used wisely.

“This is exactly the framework we need in higher education – one that allows our customers and investors an objective look at the UW System’s measurable performance. Students and parents deserve to know which institutions are delivering the best educational results. Legislators, taxpayers, and private donors alike deserve to know whether we are producing the return-on-investment they expect,” explained Bradley.

UW System President Kevin Reilly talked about the Wisconsin Covenant Program, and the recent announcement that Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation would donate $40 million to endow the Covenant Foundation.  He introduced Great Lakes CEO and President Richard George to speak about the new Covenant Foundation. 

George reiterated Great Lakes’ desire to partner in Wisconsin’s goal to expand educational opportunities for Wisconsin’s youth.

“We looked at the Covenant as an integral part of what we’re trying to do,” said George. “We are involved throughout the state in a number of community-based and faith-based organizations, where, one on one, we are trying to touch students and families and let them know that post-secondary education is a reality, if they are academically prepared. If they are committed, there will be financial resources available to fulfill their dreams.” George explained that the company wanted to help send a message to working families and their children, that college is a viable option, and to "provide some economic substance" for that message.

In a related effort, Reilly reminded Regents about the upcoming public launch of KnowHow2GO Wisconsin on Nov. 16. KnowHow2GO, a national multimedia campaign targeted at prospective college students, is “complementary to the Covenant’s key themes -- that college is possible, and preparation is essential,” Reilly said.

UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Linda Bunnell provided a brief status report on a committee she chairs that is reviewing allocable segregated fees. According to Bunnell, students and staff on the committee are circulating draft recommendations to student government leaders, chancellors and other interested parties for comment. Following the committee’s next meeting on Nov. 27, the recommendations and public comments will be transmitted to President Reilly.

According to Chancellor Bunnell the committee's work has been a “listening compromise, containing a general directive: that we adhere to state policy that applies to the University, and its students.” Added Bunnell, “A lot of work and hours have been put in by everyone.”

UW System Executive Senior Vice President Don Mash described progress on the strategic planning process, Advantage Wisconsin.  He introduced UW System’s new Advantage Wisconsin website, and took questions from several Regents. Mash suggested that “there must be a sense of urgency about addressing the issues necessary to ensure a bright future for our state” and said of Advantage Wisconsin: “It will focus our collective efforts and add value to the critical work of our campuses.” 

The discussion concluded with Reilly and Mash offering thanks to all the participants of Advantage Wisconsin for their efforts.

After hearing reports from the Business, Finance and Audit Committee, the Physical Planning and Funding Committee, and the Education Committee, Regents adopted the following resolutions:

  • authorization for UW System Trust Funds to accept and recognize new bequests of $50,000 or more;
  • authorization to recruit for a chancellor at UW-Whitewater;
  • authorization to construct the Lot 36 parking ramp expansion at UW-Madison;
  • authorization to adjust the project budget and construct the Biochemistry II project at UW-Madison;
  • authorization to expand the campus boundary and purchase a parcel of land for parking purposes at UW-Stevens Point;
  • authorization to accept a gift of land to benefit the Schmeeckle Reserve nature Conservancy at UW-Stevens Point;
  • authorization to adjust the project scope and budget, and construct the Jim Dan Hill Renovation project at UW-Superior; and
  • authorization to adjust the project scope and budget of the Rothell Student Center project at UW-Superior.

The Regents then went into closed session.

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The Board of Regents will hold its next full Board meeting on December 6-7, 2007, on the UW-Madison campus.


Related: Read Nov. 8 (day 1) news summary