UW System Clipsheet

February 22, 2011

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Board of Regents

"Campus Connection: Regent calls on Martin to oppose split from UW System," Capital Times, Feb. 21.

A member of the UW System's Board of Regents is calling on Chancellor Biddy Martin to "withdraw her support" for UW-Madison being spun off from the rest of the UW System. Tom Loftus, who has served on the Board of Regents since June of 2005, made the statement in a letter (see full message below) e-mailed to The Capital Times...

UW System

"University of Wisconsin leaders oppose splitting UW-Madison from system," Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Feb. 20.

University of Wisconsin System administrators and chancellors are frustrated with a proposal to remove the system's flagship school, UW-Madison, from the system. Gov. Scott Walker confirmed to chancellors in a meeting Thursday that he has a plan to separate UW-Madison, undoing the merger of the system that took place 40 years ago. Details of how the split would play out are scarce, but those that have emerged, such as two separate governing boards, seem disastrous to some. "Two competing boards for very limited resources," said Bernie Patterson, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point chancellor. "Chancellors of comprehensives (all four-year UW schools besides Madison and Milwaukee) will be pitted against Madison for every penny we can scrape out of the budget"...

"On Campus: UW-Madison chancellor takes to Twitter to answer questions about possible split from UW System," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 21.

UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin took to Twitter Monday night to answer questions about her mission for more freedom from state regulations - known as the New Badger Partnership - and the possibility of UW-Madison splitting from the rest of the UW System. Here are some selected questions and answers, in 140 characters or less...

"Chancellors: More local control would help," Leader-Telegram, Feb. 18.

Five years ago, when Brian Levin-Stankevich began his tenure as the UW-Eau Claire chancellor, university officials were planning a new student union building to replace Davies Center. Today, ground still hasn't been broken on that project. Last fall, UW-Stout officials opened the much-anticipated Jarvis Hall. While UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen is proud of that building, he's frustrated it took a dozen years from the planning phase to completion of the facility. The lengthy timetable for those building projects serves as one of many reasons UW System universities would benefit if cumbersome restrictions were lifted to allow each university more autonomy over campus decisions, Sorensen and Levin-Stankevich said...

"University model for UW autonomy," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 20.

Virginia is often cited as the example to examine a state's top universities seeking more autonomy from lawmakers, but a move in 2005 that gave those schools more freedom gets different grades from those who have studied it. A recent Wisconsin Policy Research Institute report says Virginians praise the changes and argues they are a model that could help the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A former University of Virginia president says Wisconsin's system works better. And Virginia lawmakers voted to tweak the state's relationship with the universities because of a sharp jump in tuition since the last revision six years ago. It's this mixed evaluation that worries former University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor John Wiley about the possibility that Gov. Scott Walker will propose splitting UW-Madison from oversight by the regents who run the UW System...

"New Badger Partnership: Q&A pt 2," The Campus First, Feb. 22.

So, lost in the activity at the capital is the important question of what becomes of UW-Madison and the System with the new budget. I’ve heard from sources in the Walker camp that Madison will likely have the Public Authority model that UW-System originally asked for. Apparently, the Governor decided that it would be too much for the entire system to go that route without a test case, which led to Madison’s choice. Seeing it from that perspective, it makes perfect sense to have a trial run, and to do it with the school most able to do it, before committing all students down that path. With that said, many people argue that all of system should go down that path instead of just one school; I agree with you. We all should, but if the only way to achieve that is to allow a successful test run first, isn’t that still a good deal?...

"Leadership divided over possible University of Wisconsin System split," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 20.

Some top Wisconsin university officials fear that if UW-Madison splits from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System it will result in unnecessary duplications, competition for limited resources and skyrocketing tuition. Those were some of the circumstances that led state university campuses to merge 40 years ago, creating the UW System...

"UW-Madison needs a new deal," Op-ed, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 19.

Now is the time for the University of Wisconsin-Madison to forge a new partnership with the state to strengthen its position as an educator, job-creator and a pre-eminent research institution. To ensure its vitality in the 21st century, the university needs more flexibility to be effective so that it will remain an economic engine that can help lead our state out of its economic dilemma. UW-Madison needs to build a new business model that enables it to react more efficiently and with greater effectiveness...

"Two-tier, two-caste systems," Column, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 20.

The Madison campus apparently wants to secede from the University of Wisconsin System, becoming a more privatized hybrid - still sucking up tax dollars, just fewer. Let's be clear what we're talking about here: UW-Madison essentially as an independent, elite school, even if this would be done under "public authority status." Everyone else - continuing with the Civil War analogy - becoming, well, Alabama (apologies to Alabamans). California, my birth state, has a two-tier, four-year public university system. There is the California State University system and the more exalted, hard-to-get-into, chi-chi University of California system...If you're getting the impression that "two-tier," as Wisconsin used to have, means two different types of colleges, you wouldn't be far off. When I was growing up, struggling folks with good-but-not-great-grades went to Cal State. Brainiacs and those with money went to UC...

"Transparency key for partnership," Editorial, Daily Cardinal, Feb. 21.

...While Martin's intention to give UW-Madison "public authority status," a separation from the UW system with its own independent governing board may have seemed obvious to some, her memo seemed like a slap in the face to many and a far cry from the "flexibility" she's been calling for. The reality is, Martin has been speaking in ambiguities for months and while she's always been good at communicating her goals, she botched it this time...

"Faculty, alumni group divide on splitting UW," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 18.

The faculty and an alumni group of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have different takes on discussions that would split UW-Madison from the rest of the UW System. Elected leaders of the UW-Madison faculty Friday questioned their support for the plan that would free their campus from following some rules covering other state workers because of a separate plan by Gov. Scott Walker that reduces the power of state workers' unions...The Wisconsin Alumni Association released a statement endorsing Martin's plans after she confirmed that she would be OK with splitting from the system's oversight...

"Proposal could spin off UW-Madison," WLUK-TV, Feb. 20.

Governor Scott Walker's two-year budget proposal has not even come out yet, but some are already voicing concerns about a plan concerning the state's universities. Specifically, one that could spin off the University of Wisconsin-Madison. School leaders are asking the governor not to separate that school from the rest of the UW System. They say it could create unnecessary competition that would hurt the state's colleges. UW Chancellor Biddy Martin said in a letter, she has been promoting flexibility for more than a year, but never wanted the school to be pulled out of the system... (Video clip)

"And don't take the name with you, Bucky," Blog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 21.

Perhaps it's the most trivial issue to consider in the matter of separating the University of Wisconsin-Madison from all the rest of the University of Wisconsin system, but, just curious, who gets to keep the UW name? Gov. Scott Walker's apparently going to propose the split-up, but it's clear he's simply granting what UW-Madison has been asking for. Madison feels its constrained by state rules and appears not to want to be tied to the rest of the system. Which, actually, makes the name thing more than trivia...

On Campus

"Making a difference," Racine Journal Times, Feb. 22.

Amanda Barber is a political science major at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Somers. Barber, 29, of Kenosha, recently talked about the important activities she participates in as a student...

"Panelists debate proposed budget bill at UWMC," Wausau Daily Herald, Feb. 22.

The impact of the governor's budget repair bill came under scrutiny at a student-organized panel discussion Monday at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County...

"On Campus: Fledgling faculty unions would dissolve under Walker's bill," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 21.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill would effectively end all fledgling efforts to form faculty unions on University of Wisconsin System campuses. Faculty were just granted the right to collectively bargain two years ago. His bill calls for a repeal of that law. That differs from many other state workers, whose rights would be severely curtailed, but not completely revoked...

"Midwest Dairy Challenge held in Menomonie," Wisconsin Ag Connection, Feb. 22.

The seventh Annual Midwest Dairy Challenge attracted 68 students from 16 universities and colleges to the event hosted by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls this month...

"UW-Parkside students participate in mascot finals ," Racine Journal Times, Feb. 22.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside students Dana Calamia, Alex Mena, Brent Schultz, Matt Smanski and Steve Wesner spent part of January in Florida with the university’s mascot Ranger Bear. The mascot and his “Ranger Security” crew competed in the Universal Cheerleaders Association Mascot National Championship on Jan. 14 at Disney World in Orlando...

"UW football: $5 spring game admission will fund School of Nursing capital campaign," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 22.

Fans will have to pay $5 to attend the University of Wisconsin football team's spring game, starting this year, with proceeds going to different campus initiatives. This year's spring game, to be held on April 23 at 1 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium, will benefit the School of Nursing's building project, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez announced on Monday...

"FluGen lands $7.8 million shot of investment capital," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 21.

FluGen Inc. has landed $7.8 million that should help bring one of its leading technologies into human clinical trials this year. Knox LLC of Las Vegas, the investment vehicle for a wealthy University of Wisconsin-Madison alum, led the company's latest round of fund-raising...

"UW-Madison short course honors supporters," Wisconsin Ag Connection, Feb. 21.

Two long-time aids of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Farm and Industry Short Course were honored for their support and dedication to the program over the years...

"In support of activism," Cornell Daily Sun, Feb. 21.

...By decrying an issue that affects more than just a campus community, U.W.-Madison students are exemplifying their university’s rich history of political activism. Speaking out in support of an issue reaching beyond the confines of campus is a lesson Cornell students should take to heart...

"UW Health investigates doctors who wrote sick notes for protesters," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 22.

UW Health is investigating reports of doctors writing sick notes last weekend to excuse Capitol protesters from work, and the Wisconsin Medical Society has criticized the doctors' actions...

"Professors to walk out of classrooms Tuesday," Daily Cardinal, Feb. 22.

Public Representation Organization of the Faculty Senate, a membership organization consisting of UW-Madison faculty, has scheduled a march to the Capitol Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in response to the budget repair bill. The group will meet on Bascom Hill and join with UW Faculty Organizing for Change and the Teaching Assistants' Association in the march. While it is not a union, PROFS is comprised of UW-Madison faculty who advocate for their rights before the governor, state legislators, members of Congress and members of the Board of Regents...

"Faculty will march on Capitol with students and TAs," Badger Herald, Feb. 22.

In a show of solidarity with University of Wisconsin teaching assistants’ and students’ continued demonstrations of opposition to the budget repair bill, some professors said they will begin to reschedule classes and meetings today...

"Campus Connection: Not all UW students are fans of protesters," Capital Times, Feb. 22.

...Not everyone on the UW-Madison campus is pumped up about all the protesting that's going on...Meanwhile, a group of faculty leaders and the student government at UW-Madison, among others, are urging the campus community to join a rally and march to the Capitol on Tuesday...

"Campus Connection: UW-Madison provost asks campus to engage in debate," Capital Times, Feb. 20.

UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca sent an e-mail to members of the campus community Sunday morning asking people to "engage in this debate" that's taking place just down the road in the Capitol and around the Capitol Square -- and which is reverberating across the nation...

"TAA plans third teach out, faculty may participate Tuesday," Badger Herald, Feb. 20.

Members of the Teaching Assistants’ Association voted to endorse a third teach-out for Tuesday classes and said University of Wisconsin officials cannot provide a guarantee that tuition remission will not be eliminated should the budget repair bill pass...

"UWMC to hold Transfer Fair," Wausau Daily Herald, Feb. 22.

...Students can learn more about colleges to which they can transfer to from UWMC. Representatives from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, Cardinal Stritch, Carroll University, Concordia University, Marian University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Viterbo University will be available to speak to students and members of the public...

"Bells ring, protesters 'sing'," Dunn County News, Feb. 20.

The bells of UW-Stout’s clock tower were chiming 12 o’clock when throngs of students, faculty and staff from all directions could be seen striding purposefully across campus to gather in front of the Robert S. Swanson Library Learning Center. Soon, a syncopated chorus of “Kill the bill” and “Union busting’s got to go” filled the fog-laden air Thursday as more than 300 made known their acute displeasure with Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate collective bargaining for all but the state’s police and firefighters’ unions...

"Petition presented to Sen. Harsdorf from UWRF Faculty Senate," Pierce County Herald, Feb. 19.

About six carloads of people arrived at State Senator Sheila Harsdorf's rural River Falls home about 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, to present a resolution passed that morning by the UW-River Falls Faculty Senate. The resolution protests Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget-repair bill...

"Can we say 'Norma Rae'?," Dunn County News, Feb. 21.

At noon on Thursday, UW-Stout students, faculty and staff converged on the square in front of the Robert S. Swanson Library Learning Center to protest Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most of the state's employee unions...

State

"A career of public service in Wisconsin no longer seems a good bet," Minnesota Public Radio, Feb. 22.

I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, majoring in human development and family studies with a minor in social work. After college I plan on working for local or state government as a licensed social worker. At least, that was my plan. Coming into college, I knew I wanted to help people in my career and be an active participant in bettering the quality of life in my state. After four years at UW-Stout, I have acquired approximately $45,000 in student loan debt. I expected to make $20,000-$25,000 a year out of college. Although the pay would be low, I knew I would be provided with good benefits and a comfortable retirement. If it passes, Gov. Scott Walker's deficit recovery bill may make me reconsider my plans. I believe this is true for many students across the state...

"Questions on one union's contract in Wisconsin," Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22.

A vice president of the instructors' union at the Milwaukee Area Technical College is criticizing the speed with which the union and the college's board ratified a new contract -- amid debate in Wisconsin over a proposal to end most collective bargaining rights for public employees, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported...

"Wisconsin revolts: A stirring video chronicle," Extra Credit, Feb. 21.

We want to commend University of Wisconsin–Madison staff member and former student Matthew Wisniewski for his superb video chronicle of the protests in Madison and recommend it as essential viewing to understand why Madison just witnessed the largestp rotest in its protest-rich history...

"Wisconsin risks losing its best public employees," Column, CNN, Feb. 21.

...If Walker's bill passes, and salaries and benefits continue to be slashed by local governments with no negotiations necessary, it will be the most effective teachers, the best managers and the most successful university professors who will be the first to leave their jobs for the private sector...

"Keep public universities public," Column, MNDaily, Feb. 21.

...The component of Walker’s bill that deserves our attention as students is the proposal to separate University of Wisconsin-Madison from the UW system. This proposal is a step toward the quasi-privatization of a public entity and would lead to higher tuition for college students statewide. Madison students could see their tuition rise as much as 26 percent in just two years...

"Billionaire brothers' money plays role in Wisconsin dispute," New York Times, Feb. 21.

Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights...What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch...

"In Wisconsin, union-busting as GOP strategy," Column, USA Today, Feb. 21.

...Whether they know it or not, the state's 14 Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to deny Republicans the quorum they needed to ram through a bill that would emasculate all of the state's public employee unions (except the three that endorsed Walker) are part of a bigger fight. They're at the front of the political war Republicans launched since winning control of a majority of the nation's statehouses in November, including victories in the one-time union strongholds of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.This turnabout has emboldened GOP governors to push legislation that could cripple Democrats in state and national elections...College students and public unions are pillars of the Democratic base. Wisconsin's ID law would suppress voter participation among students...

"Labor group calls for general strike if budget bill is approved," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 22.

The 97-union South Central Federation of Labor voted Monday night to prepare for a general strike that would take place if Gov. Scott Walker succeeds in enacting his budget repair bill, which would strip most bargaining rights from most public employee unions. The strike would call for union and non-union workers in large swaths of the workforce to stop working, said Carl Aniel, labor federation delegate from AFSCME Local 171...

"Walker warns state workers layoff notices could come next week if bill isn't passed," Associated Press, Feb. 22.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker warned Tuesday that state employees could start receiving layoff notices as early as next week if a bill eliminating most collective bargaining rights isn't passed soon. Walker said in a statement to The Associated Press that the layoffs wouldn't take effect immediately. He didn't say which workers would be targeted but he has repeatedly warned that up to 1,500 workers could lose their jobs by July if his proposal isn't passed...

"Walker rejects compromise as Capitol protests continue," WISC-TV, Feb. 21.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he won't negotiate over his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from nearly every public employee...

"Hundreds of extra police called to Madison," Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 22.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Wisconsin have been sent to Madison to assist with security at the State Capitol. Some 600 officers were lining the halls of the Capitol Tuesday morning to provide extra security as the Assembly and Senate prepared to begin sessions...And the United Council of University of Wisconsin Students is calling for a student walkout at noon Tuesday...

"Higher ed crucial to shipbuilding," Eagle Herald, Feb. 22.

...Our story is an excellent case study of how companies can use continuing education to help grow jobs in the state of Wisconsin. UW-Marinette teamed up with Marinette Marine as well as a dozen other shipbuilders and design agents nationwide, and with the University of South Alabama, to pursue federal funding to develop shipbuilding design courses both locally and online. Course development was funded by UW-Marinette, the University of Wisconsin-Extension and more than a quarter million dollars in grants administered by the U.S. Navy...

"MATC fast-track contract raises instructor's objection," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 20.

Within hours of learning Gov. Scott Walker had proposed a bill slashing collective bargaining rights and benefits for public employees to help fix the state budget, leaders of the union representing teachers at Milwaukee Area Technical College called an emergency meeting to put a new three-year contract on the fast track...

"Wisconsin power play," Column, New York Times, Feb. 20.

...For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy...

National

"Wanted: A dependable backer," Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22.

With increases in state support for higher education hard to come by, some leaders of public universities are arguing that the federal government -- if not now, then eventually -- may be best suited to pick up the slack...Examples abound of state disinvestment in higher education. When Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan last week proposed cutting state support to the University of Michigan to $255 million, it meant that the state could potentially account for less than 5 percent of the total budget of its flagship institution, based on this year's expenditures...

"The changed landscape," Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 21.

...But lest anyone doubted that November's election significantly altered the landscape for federal higher education policy making, Saturday's passage of the 2011 continuing budget resolution -- and the debate over it -- provided strong evidence that things have changed...The targets include many programs important to higher education: major ones like Pell Grants first and foremost (to the tune of a roughly 15 percent cut in the maximum grant) and scientific research (hundreds of millions from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation), and smaller ones like the U.S. Institute of Peace (see related article)...

"Economy shuffles Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges," USA Today, Feb. 22.

The economy may be bouncing back, but college-bound students in search of an affordable education face a bumpy ride. Federal stimulus money, which helped many public universities hold tuition down, is about to dry up. Some private schools, including Williams and Dartmouth, are paring financial aid. House Republicans have proposed cutting the maximum Pell Grant given to needy students...

"Schools tout efforts to keep tuition in check," USA Today, Feb. 22.

As colleges and universities begin setting tuition for the upcoming academic year, a few schools are already touting their efforts to keep costs down...But colleges also recognize that families are struggling. Nearly two-thirds of incoming students reported that the "current economic situation significantly affected my college choice," says an annual survey of more than 200,000 full-time first-year students attending four-year colleges. It was released last month by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute...

"$10-million grant program will support state efforts to boost college-completion rates," Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 22.

Complete College America announced on Tuesday a $10-million competitive grant program to spur more states to boost college-completion rates. The nonprofit organization is inviting all 50 states to take up the Completion Innovation Challenge by submitting proposals for $1-million, 18-month grants. The grant program is financially supported by the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation...

"Salaries edge up for senior administrators, but not at public colleges," Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 21.

Senior administrators' salaries have begun to rebound from the economic downturn, according to an annual report released this week by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The gain was driven by increases at private institutions, where leaders' median salary increased by 2 percent last year. Pay at public colleges stayed flat...