October 13, 2015

This week, we had a long discussion about budget cuts and how program evaluation, reorganization, and efficiencies might occur, much of it while the Chancellor was with us. Some 15 years ago, a campus wide program array review examined the overall academic program array and made recommendations to maintain, expand, or restructure programs. We discussed both the impact of and the flaws of this past process. The consensus was that the central nature of that process helped focus everyone’s attention on larger issues of governance and planning. We discussed how that process might also include the other large units on campus, e.g., Student Affairs, University Relations, Financial and Administrative Affairs, and be integrated into ongoing faculty committee work on campus.

As an element of these issues, and in response to ongoing morale problems of faculty, we discussed the disparity between market rates for faculty and administrative staff, and the particularly dismal salary situation for faculty, especially full professors. UWM is on the low end of salaries for university professors. See the Chronicle of Higher Education. http://data.chronicle.com/240453/University-of-Wisconsin-at-Milwaukee/faculty-salaries/

The university committee recommended that Chancellor Mone make clear that the budget cuts will force us to make dramatic changes in administrative structure, campus organization and programs. One of the very few positive aspects of these activities is that we have an opportunity to reinvent UWM. We want to open this discussion in the faculty senate and encourage and charge the faculty to develop some recommendations to submit to CCOET. John Reisel noted that there are many potentially promising, but still incomplete ideas bubbling up about combining resources to improve programs on campus. We need to encourage people at the grass roots with ideas to step forward and make suggestions.

Academic Staff Committee Representative Kathy Miller-Dillon joined us to discuss academic concerns, including the challenge to indefinite status by the UW system and Regents level and the loss of jobs. Margo Anderson will be serving as the UC Rep to the ASC this month.