October 11

Chancellor Mone joined the UC today to discuss the Board of Regents meeting and budget issues. UW-System requested a $42.5 million increase, and the Chancellor is pushing for a larger percentage allocation of that request for UWM. The Governor continues to indicate that any increase, however, will be tied to “performance-based funding.” It’s unclear what the metrics, goals, and baselines of a performance-based funding model would be. Although many state institutions of higher ed have adopted PBF models, recent research indicates that performance-based funding does not improve academic outcomes. (For example, see the article in Inside Higher Ed, which points to the research of UW-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman who “argues that performance-based funding is rarely effective.”)

The Chancellor also expressed interest in forming a faculty led advisory group on accountability metrics and best practices for faculty engagement of students. He cited the EAB for resources on student retention.

In terms of enrollments, the Chancellor quoted Ray Cross, “aligning our system with what we have and what we will become,” largely in reference to declining high school graduation rates and changing student demographics. For a snapshot of our UWM enrollment numbers please go to the Office of Institutional Research and click on the dashboard for the weekly report, currently showing a 4.1% decline in undergraduate enrollment, a 5.5% decline in new freshmen, and a 4% decline in graduate students. News from UW-Colleges is that they are facing a 12% enrollment decline and have canceled transfer fairs.

After the Chancellor left, members of the UC continued to discuss how the administration needs to articulate a clear vision for moving forward under such difficult budgetary times and is putting off making difficult decisions regarding budget and program cuts. Michael Brandino reported that the SPC committee (Strategic Position Control) has come up with targets for spending reductions by each campus unit, which will be released, along with a plan for the taxing of any remaining carry forwards. The SPC meets as needed on Monday mornings, and invites concerned members of the university community to attend.

The Faculty Senate meeting is coming up on Thursday, October 20th at 2:30pm. The agenda includes the Post-Tenure Review document, preceded by a resolution protesting the Board of Regents PTR policy as going against AAUP guidelines for post tenure review.