The UC welcomed three newly elected members of the committee: Jasmine Alinder, John Boyland, and Marcia Parsons. Ron Perez, interim Dean of the Zilber School of Public Health, joined us to discuss the steps the School is taking to meet accreditation requirements. Accreditors are coming in October and will make a decision in June. The UC chair report included an update on the work of the Integrated Support Services (ISS) committee, charged with finding ways to better organize IT, HR, and other business functions across campus. We then grappled with the working draft of the post-tenure review document (see link below) and discussed some small revisions to be made before it is sent to the Codification committee. We doled out a few committee appointments for UC members and began a discussion about how the university can better communicate our new R1 status in a way that affirms our commitment to teaching and that shows the benefits to students in the classroom.
Link: Post-tenure review
We meet with Chancellor Mone to discuss ongoing budget issues and also discussed the post tenure review policy that is being developed for fall.
We also meet with Andy Gronik, President of Stage W. He discussed different potential initiatives such as advancing urban farming, water, air quality hand and hand with creating jobs.
Provost Britz joined us and discussed preserving the research base at UWM. The UWM operating budget in the year ending June 30 was $31 million lower than the year before, accomplished with a combination of one time and base cuts. The campus did not have to exhaust its safety net of reserves to the extent expected earlier in the year. There will be additional budget cuts in 2016-17 as mandated by Act 55, and the campus is currently calculating whether it will be necessary to plan for $20 million in cuts as was done this year.
The committee awaits more detailed budget analyses of where the cuts were taken, by division and employment category. The committee is particularly concerned that our capacity to raise research funding will be impaired if the size of the faculty shrinks.
Another world university ranking system ranks UWM gives UWM a world rank of 322. See http://www.webometrics.info/en/search/Rankings/university%20of%20wisconsin%20milwaukee.
Kyle Swanson and Laura Pedrick joined us to discuss the strategic enrollment management task force. The modeling team modeled projections for high school class side, tuition, etc. to determine where interventions (and investments) should be made. See http://uwm.edu/cemat/sem/ for more detail. The goal of enrollment management is to stabilize and grow enrollments and tuition revenues.
We had pie in honor of Margo Anderson’s last UC meeting of her term.
The UC discussed changes to external grant funding support for graduate RAs being suggested by Mark Harris. In particular, it is being suggested that grants request funds for the in-state tuition for RAs, and not for the non-resident tuition remission. This will be accompanied by other changes payment of tuition for TAs/PAs/ RAs by individual schools and colleges. The UC also briefly discussed the potential problems regarding post-docs working more than 40 hours a week while being paid a salary below ~$48,000; the federal government will be requiring these individuals to be paid time and a half for overtime.
The UC met with Chancellor Mark Mone for updates on campus issues.
The UC also worked through the draft of the post-tenure review policy. Changes discussed will be incorporated into the policy, and it will soon be ready for consideration by the Faculty Senate.
This document describes the process for strategic position control.
We discussed the Regents meeting, including the delayed release of the 2016-17 operating budget materials. We met with Chancellor Mone and Provost Britz. The Regents have mandated the campus provide post tenure review policies for approval by the end of the Fall semester. The chair provided the committee with the Regent policy, the current documents, and preliminary language for revision. The committee will review these materials this summer and prepare draft documents in preparation for their submission to the faculty and approval by the Senate in the fall. Institutional research data indicate there are about 800 faculty at UWM. About a quarter have been in rank for about 10 years or more, either as associate or full professor
Adrienne Bass joined us to provide updates on several activities including homecoming, a speaker series, and the annual Alumni dinner. She also discussed the Panther Advocate Group, which had a good turnout for the annual visit to Madison last month. The UC continued to discuss how course duplication could be handled more effectively, and how the current and proposed budget model is a disincentive to sharing and consolidating course across units. Statistic courses are a good example, and working this out might create a best practice model that units could follow to remove the budgetary disincentive. The UC also discussed what recommendations are being developed to assure research is supported at UWM during the steep budget cuts that undermine our ability to retain our R1 status.
The committee met with Mark Mone and Tom Luljak. We discussed the media communications for the campus and responses to the inaccurate information about the campus in a press release from the Governor’s office on May 10, 2016. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Politifact evaluation labeled the claims “Pants on Fire” in a column posted online on Friday, May 13, and printed in the Sunday paper. The Governor’s office released a similar statement about UW Green Bay on May 11, 2016.
Later we received news that the Academic Staff Senate met and voted to support a Resolution of No Confidence in UW System President and Board of Regents, 21 yes, 1 no, 5 abstentions.
The UC met from 1:00 to 2:15 and heard reports from members and the provost on the budget and student numbers for next year. We adjourned early for the 2:30 PM faculty meeting.
The big news of the days is that that meeting of the full faculty achieved quorum for the first time since 1994. At this historic meeting, the previously-distributed resolution expressing no confidence in the Board of Regents and UW System President Ray Cross was overwhelmingly passed. With this resolution, the UWM faculty have publicly taken a stand defending public higher education in the state of Wisconsin.
The Faculty Senate convenes for its final meeting of the year at 2:30 PM, Thursday, May 12, where we hope to know more about the impact of the faculty resolution. The R1 celebration follows at 4:30 PM in the Union Concourse (Ground Level) (remarks at 5:15 p.m.).
We met with Profs Nick Fleisher and Richard Leson to discuss introducing a resolution on actions by UW System and Board of Regents at a faculty meeting that will be called for May 10th at 2:30 pm in AUP 170. The link to the agenda and resolution draft is here. The primary issues that have prompted this meeting are faculty concern with the lack of advocacy from the Board and Regents and System administration for providing accessible and affordable quality education to WI citizens, and defending the university budget. Recent actions by the Board have also weakened tenure protections and threaten academic freedom and governance. Such actions threaten the climate of open and free exchange of ideas and undermine the faculty role in academic programming. We see high quality public higher education as a public good and thus call upon the faculty to attend the meeting on May 10, and in particular to defend UWM and its dual missions of access and research. Similar meetings are planned for other campuses in the system. The UW Madison Faculty Senate met on May 2 and passed a similar resolution. Details of the Madison action can be found: https://www.secfac.wisc.edu/documents/2630BoRfinal.pdf
We also reviewed the new Faculty Senate Roster to identify potential nominees for the Rules committee in preparation for the May 12 Senate meeting. The UWM Tenure and Post-Tenure Documents will be formulated in the coming months. John Riesel was also elected as UC chair for 2016.