News & Events - University of Wisconsin System
June 10, 2004
University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
June 2004 Meeting
Day One News Summary
Regents approve annual budget, tuition rates
MILWAUKEE—In keeping with the state biennial budget guidelines passed last year, tuition will increase throughout the University of Wisconsin System next academic year following approval by the Board of Regents at its June meeting in Milwaukee on Thursday (June 10).
Members of the UW System Board of Regents discuss the university's 2004- 05 annual operating budget and 2005-07 budget proposals at its June meeting at UW-Milwaukee. (Photos by Deb Generotsky and Alan Magayne-Roshak, UWM Information and Media Technologies)
“It is not a happy decision, but it was necessary,” said Regent Roger Axtell of Janesville, “I hope we never have to go through this again.”
The 2004-05 budget, which will take effect July 1, follows the 2003-05 state biennial budget approved by Gov. Jim Doyle and both houses of the Legislature. The budget raises tuition by $350 per semester at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, and $250 per semester at all other UW campuses.
Regent Fred Mohs of Madison noted that while the regents were not required by law to approve the tuition increase, the consequences of a larger budget cut were unacceptable.
“This is only tolerable if we continue to provide a quality education,” Mohs said.
Regent Nino Amato of Madison said he could not support the proposed tuition increases at the current levels, and suggested the regents could send a message by voting against the budget as proposed.
“If we voted this down, it would mean going to the Legislature to make our case (for adequate state support),” Amato said.
Regent Peggy Rosenzweig of Wauwatosa added that just as students supported the concept of tuition increases during the 2003-05 budget negotiations, it is important that the regents support the students’ position in favor of rebuilding the university’s budget in the 2005-07 state budget.
Regent President Toby Marcovich of Superior agreed, noting that the board must not allow the Legislature to completely replace state support for Wisconsin’s public university with student tuition dollars.
“That’s not our policy, and it won’t be our policy,” Marcovich said.
The board approved the annual budget 12-4, in a roll-call vote.
Regent Mark Bradley of Wausau noted that in approving the budget, the university has fulfilled its obligation to assist the state in reducing its financial deficit.
“I hope that it would be recognized in 2005-07 that we did uphold our end of the bargain in 2003-05,” Bradley said.
The annual budget approved Thursday also includes the second phase of the $250 million in state funding cuts to the UW’s operational and instructional budgets.
“This is not a new budget request,” said UW System President Katharine C. Lyall.
The budget includes a 1 percent pay increase for all UW System employees, including chancellors and provosts, which follows a zero percent increase this past year. It also contains no new initiatives and a reduction in funding for utilities ―despite a more than $10 million shortfall in utility funding going into this year. It also includes an additional $5 million cut in state funding that will lapse for this year and be restored to the UW’s budget next year. The campuses also are required by regent policy to reallocate $14.5 million for instructional technology.
“This state is paying more than $25,000 per year to house each inmate in Corrections and a quarter of that ―about $6,000 a year ―to educate each UW student,” Lyall said this week. “I think that is a troubling statement of priorities, given that our graduates are the future professional workforce and taxpayers of Wisconsin.”
Total tuition and segregated fees for resident undergraduates at comprehensive campuses will range from $2,285 per semester at UW-Stevens Point to $2,577 at UW-Green Bay. Resident undergraduates at the UW Colleges will pay an average of about $1,950 per semester in total fees and tuition. At UW-Milwaukee, the per semester cost will be $2,915, while tuition and fees for UW-Madison resident undergraduates will be $2,931 per semester.
Also on Thursday, the Board unanimously approved a resolution presented by Regent Jesus Salas of Milwaukee to recommend that the Legislature allow undocumented students to qualify for resident tuition rates.
The Board of Regents consider the impact of the university's 2004-05 operating budget and priorities for the 2005-07 state biennial budget.
The resolution asked the Legislature to consider allowing such students to qualify for the in-state rates if they attended Wisconsin high schools and fulfill other residency requirements, regardless of the immigration status of their parents or guardians.
Regent Vice President David Walsh of Madison said he supported the resolution for several reasons, and the concept fit with the system’s commitment to access.
“It’s while they’re here that’s important, and they ought to be given the opportunity,” Walsh said.
Regents review 2005-07 budget priorities
Chancellors from UW System campuses listen to a regents discussion Thursday about the university's current and future budgets.
Responding to Gov. Jim Doyle's 2005-07 state budget directions, which ask agencies to conduct an exercise examining what a 10 percent administrative cost cut across the UW System would look like, the Board of Regents on Thursday decided to schedule a special July meeting to examine the proposed System budget.
The board seeks more information about the budget so it can "paint pictures in terms of consequences" for state legislators on the impact of more funding cuts.
"Ultimately, this enterprise is in jeopardy of running out of resources to do what we do," said Regent Fred Mohs.
A preliminary draft of the UW System's 2005-07 biennial budget, which the regents saw for the first time at their Thursday meeting, was crafted to align with Doyle's state budget priorities, specifically education, health care, children, economic development and increased federal funding.
But the regents called for more information to help them explain to legislators exactly how further tuition increases, less financial aid, and diminished academic services will affect the average student.
Freda Harris, UW System associate vice president for budget and planning
State support for the UW System has decreased to only one-quarter of its resources, said UW System President Katharine C. Lyall. All other categories of the budget are designated by the source for a particular use. Federal funding, for example, typically supports research initiatives. Only state support and tuition are "what we actually use to educate students," said Freda Harris, UW System associate vice president for budget and planning.
Equally alarming, several regents said, is the dwindling amount of financial aid available to the state's neediest students. In the present budget, financial aid was funded with a one-time transfer of money from the UW System's auxiliary services, the money students pay for nonacademic services. For 2005-07, restoring financial aid for students in the lowest-income quintile would amount to $4.9 million.
"It might be helpful to remind the Legislature of their commitment to balance tuition increases with increases in financial aid," said Regent Peggy Rosenzweig.
UWM student Brett Belden
UWM student Tony Rodriguez
Brett Belden and Tony Rodriguez of UWM's Student Association were among those who urged the Board to reject tuition increases in the 2005-07 budget, saying that, because of record enrollments, more budget cuts will erode the quality of their educations.
In UWM's College of Letters and Science alone, the student/adviser ratio is 730 to 1, Belden said, and class sizes continue to grow.
"Help the state reprioritize and use the leverage this board possesses to oppose the governor's budget instructions," Rodriguez said.
In this session, the regents also heard from Nancy Ives, UW System associate vice president for capital budget, who presented an overview of the capital budget for the next six years. The six-year plan takes into account 167 major projects, including the demolition of 28 buildings. Seventy percent of the facilities at UW campuses are older than 30 years, Ives said.
Students, regents support merits of diversity plan
The Board of Regents on Thursday endorsed guidelines to direct the second phase of Plan 2008, the university’s plan to increase diversity systemwide, following explanation from Cora Marrett, senior vice president of academic affairs.
Marrett explained that the guidelines call for a focus on addressing the achievement gap between UW System students of color and white students, as measured by retention and graduation rates from UW institutions.
Showing continued support of improving diversity at UW campuses, the board approved the guidelines, with one amendment to require annual reporting to the board and a report about Phase II plans in December. The changes illustrate the board’s concern and sense of urgency in addressing the achievement gap.
Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity was developed in 1998 to advance educational excellence and diversity through expanded opportunity across the University of Wisconsin System.
Following the adoption of Plan 2008, each UW System institution developed an individualized institutional diversity plan focusing on race, ethnicity and economic disadvantage. The first major report on Plan 2008 was presented to the Board or Regents in Fall 2001. In April 2004, Academic Affairs reported on the mid-point evaluation of the progress that has been made, and the challenges that remain.
The Phase II guidelines ratified Thursday draw on the lessons learned from Phase I.
“Each campus will formulate a Phase II plan that focuses on narrowing the achievement gap that is appropriate to their particular mission, student population and other circumstances,” Marrett said. UW institutions then will develop means of assessing their initiatives, redirect resources and make program changes based on those assessments.
“Reducing the achievement gap deserves consideration because it relates to students success, bears on our interest in expanding the state’s number of baccalaureate degree holders, affects recruitment because success in graduating students (not simply enrolling them) enhances the attractiveness of an institution, and closing the gap seems clearly within our reach,” Marrett said.
Regent Jesus Salas pointed out the importance of other Plan 2008 priorities, such as pre-college education and faculty and staff diversity.
Presentations by four UW students, introduced by Stephanie Hilton, president of United Council of UW Students, supported the progress already made by Plan 2008 initiatives.
Guillermo Cuautle, multicultural issues director of the UWM student association and a transfer student from UW-Rock County, discussed a class he took at UW-Rock County, “Intercultural Communications.” The class was taught by Professor Patricia Clasen and was part of the campus’s Plan 2008 programming.
“The class was amazing and educated me on things such as merging cultures, reasoning for many cultural biases, personal identity, and many other fundamental ideas on intercultural relationships,” Cuautle said.
Angie Gomez of UW-Parkside pointed out how student of color organizations can be a “key component in retaining students of color by organizing social and educational programs, as well as serving as a support network” They also demonstrate to students the benefits of teamwork and how compromise works to benefit an organization, she said.
Nick Cluppert of UW-River Falls eloquently discussed how students faculty and staff came together after the campus discovered a public threat against African American students.
“If we want the students in the UW System to have the best possible education experience, we need to continue to pursue the goals set out by Plan 2008,” Cluppert said.
Significance of scholarships stressed at Regents lunch at UWM
How important are scholarships? “There is no greater feeling,” said UWM senior and scholarship recipient Twanna Watson, “than to know that someone sees such great potential in you and has such confidence that they are willing to invest so much in your college education without even knowing you personally.”
Watson and fellow UWM scholarship recipient Zachary Correa delivered similar messages about the significance of scholarships during a Board of Regents luncheon on Thursday.
“I find it difficult to put into words how much of a tremendous effect it has had,” said Correa, a School of Business Administration sophomore. “Without my scholarship, my education would have been limited, and I would not be standing before you today.”
Their remarks to the regents were introduced by Milwaukee business executive Art Smith, a co-chair of the university’s current scholarship campaign.
“Today, a college student needs to work full time for five months to earn enough for tuition. Wisconsin summers just aren’t that long,” Smith said. “It’s no wonder, then, that 75 percent of UWM students have a job while attending school and that the average debt of a graduating bachelor’s degree recipient is $17,605.”
During the lunch, regents were treated to a performance of the UWM Men of Song, a choral group from the university’s Milton and Lillian Peck School of the Arts.
A highlight of the performance was their rendition of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” sung from bended knee, to retiring UW System President Katharine C. Lyall. (Download video)
Incoming UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago also presented Lyall with a proclamation thanking her for her leadership to further the international stature of the UW System and support to make UWM’s Milwaukee Idea a reality.
Regents hear possible plans for space acquisition
UW-Milwaukee officials presented an update Thursday on possible acquisition of the Columbia St. Mary’s (CSM) property and buildings to the Board of Regents joint Business & Finance/Physical Planning Committees.
Monica Rimai, UWM interim vice chancellor for administration, noted the benefits the university could see if the 11-acre property were added to the existing 92-acre campus.
Incoming UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago and Interim Chancellor Bob Greenstreet commend retiring UW System President Katharine C. Lyall for her service and leadership at a ceremony on Thursday.
Space is becoming an issue at UWM, a campus that now includes 25,000 students and 3,300 faculty/staff members, Rimai said. The CSM property would increase the gross square feet of space available by 20 percent. The property includes buildings that could be renovated into classroom and student residential space for less than the cost of new buildings, she said.
Rather than being an expansion, the additional space would help meet the university’s current needs, Rimai said. She pointed out, for example, that one campus building, Enderis Hall, now houses three colleges and schools, which have a 50,000-square-foot deficit in the space they need. University-wide, more than 50 departments have requested 475,000 square feet of additional space. She also noted that applications for student housing are increasing, with 4,100 such requests going unfilled for 2004-2005.
Students are being impacted by the fact that student services are crowded into nooks and crannies all over campus, she added.
The need for additional space is directly related to UWM’s goals of increasing student retention and graduation rates, attracting high-profile faculty and research funding, training more students to respond to state employment needs and relieving pressure on the neighborhood.
UWM is continuing a feasibility study looking at student needs, growing programs responsive to state needs and neighborhood concerns. The university is also studying options for financing the project, Rimai said.
Business and Finance Committee
Attendees listen to a presentation Thursday during a joint meeting of the regents' Business and Finance and Physical Planning and Funding Committees.
The Business and Finance Committee of the UW System Board of Regents approved a resolution Thursday to allow UW-Waukesha to use interest income from the Sherman Property Trust Fund for three $1,000 annual scholarships for students taking classes at the Waukesha campus’s Biological Field Station.
The Sherman trust allowed the campus a good deal of discretion in how the money was used, UW-Waukesha dean Brad Stewart told the committee. The late Gertrude Sherman’s relatives had indicated they felt using money for scholarships would be appropriate, he added.
The committee did strike wording regarding use of the principal from the resolution, indicating concerns about allowing UW-Waukesha to access the principal without further discussion with the Board of Regents.
The committee also combined two resolutions making technical corrections to language in Regent Policy Documents to clarify who has signing authority for grants, contracts and leases and making the dollar limits of those with such signing authority consistent.
The committee also heard a report from Ron Yates, director of the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit, on the extent of credit card debt among UW students and the policies of UW institutions on credit card solicitation.
Yates indicated that statistics on credit card use and debt for UW System students are in line with national figures.
He noted also that credit card companies’ right to contact students is protected to an extent by the First Amendment, though campuses could regulate on-campus solicitation. Credit card companies also obtain student names for direct mailings through directory information that is available under the Wisconsin Open Records Law and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Yates said students have the right to opt out of such listings, and recommended that universities make sure students are informed of that right.
A number of UW System institutions have adopted formal and informal policies on credit card solicitation. Committee members discussed whether a system-wide policy on such solicitations would be beneficial. Because of different campus demographics, committee members concluded that it would be better for campuses to set their own policies under general guidelines to assure practices are consistent within institutions and with state and federal laws.
The report also recommended that UW institutions make financial education for students a priority, with possible funding coming from institutions’ affinity card programs.
Physical Planning Committee
The Board of Regents Physical Planning Committee gave a unanimous nod to all resolutions Thursday, except the authorization of a proposed residence hall development at UW-Madison, which will be voted on separately at the full meeting of the board on Friday.
The development project on North Park Street in Madison will include two buildings, one housing office space and parking, and the other a 425-bed residence hall. The campus is seeking permission to lease the property from the developer during construction with an option to purchase them by 2006, when the project is set to be completed. Financing of the project will increase the cost of living in dormitories at UW-Madison by $220 a year
While some balk at the additional cost, on-campus housing is still less expensive than private housing, said Alan Fish, associate vice chancellor for facilities, planning and management at UW-Madison.
The new residence hall will feature double-occupancy rooms that are twice the size of current rooms, with a bathroom shared by two rooms (four occupants). Each floor will provide common space and a kitchen.
The new layout is a model the university is interested in adopting for all new student housing for the next 20 years, Fish said.
“In the past, a dorm room was a place to sleep and study,” he said. “Now it’s a social center, a living room, and students bring more stuff with them to college.”
The idea is to break up the large Madison campus into smaller communities that would include student housing in close proximity to restaurants, offices and other development uses.
The North Park Street development, together with another on Dayton Street, will replace on-campus residence space lost when UW-Madison razes the 40-year-old Ogg Hall in 2007.
Regent Gerard Randall of Milwaukee cast the dissenting vote on the project, saying he felt the costs will ultimately be higher than they are expecting.
In other action, initial approval was granted for:
- Conveyance of land from UW-Green Bay’s arboretum to the state Department of Transportation to improve road safety conditions at the main south entrance to the campus.
- Lease space at the Newman Center at UW-Oshkosh from the UW-Oshkosh Foundation to centrally locate multicultural student services.
- Creation of a biochemistry spectrometer laboratory by remodeling a vacant suite in the basement of the UW-Madison Biochemistry Building.
- Expansion of the campus boundary at UW-Stout;
- Construction of program revenue maintenance projects through UW System; and
- Construction of classroom renovation/IT improvement and expansion of program capacity at UW System.
--Laura L. Hunt
The Education Committee of the UW System Board of Regents opened its Thursday meeting with a presentation from John Wanat, UWM provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs, about enrollment at the Milwaukee campus.
“UWM is increasingly attractive to Wisconsin high school graduates,” he pointed out in his presentation, “Enrollment Issues at UWM―A Work in Progress.” Data shows UWM’s share of those grads has grown from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent over the last decade, Wanat said.
“Also, while we are getting a bigger share of the pie, the pie is getting bigger,” Wanat said. The baby “boomlet” will cause a spike in the numbers of students graduating from high school and entering higher education over the next few years, he added.
Wanat illustrated how, all factors remaining equal, UWM cannot accommodate growing demand without increased funding. In answer to a question from a regent, he confirmed that improving student retention rates also increases pressure on the university’s ability to retain quality of instruction and services to students.
The committee also discussed UWM’s shortage of student housing, including possibilities for expanding the number of residence hall rooms. Wanat’s presentation explored the steps UWM has taken to increase diversity in the student, faculty and staff ranks, and UWM efforts to recruit, retain and graduate students of color. Black and Gold Committees have been established in UWM schools and colleges, and detailed plans are due in fall and winter of this year.
Also on Thursday, Ron Singer, associate vice president of academic affairs, UW System, outlined the UW System Strategic Plan on International Education. He was joined by Jeremy Irwin, a recent UW graduate who studied in Japan as a student; Adrian Sherman, director of international programs, UW Whitewater; and Luoluo Hong, dean of students, UW–Madison.
Singer emphasized the importance of integrating international education into all fields of study. Because data shows that higher household income makes it more likely that a student will study abroad, several regents emphasized the importance of developing foreign internship programs so that students can “earn while they learn.”
Sherman, who researches ethnic and gender issues of study abroad participation, reported that there is a much higher percentage of women who study abroad in comparison to men, and those in academic areas such as the sciences and engineering also are less likely to have an international study experience.
In addition, the tendency for U.S. students to study in the U.K. or Australia, means they are not developing “a global perspective, but an Anglo one,” Sherman says.
Hong discussed the impact of international students who attend UW schools.
“The mere presence of international students on campus doesn’t mean that the other students benefit,” she said. The key is having staff assigned to the task of facilitating those “teachable moments” that bring all students together in a living/learning environment.
Regent Elizabeth Burmaster extolled the Board of Regents, and Regent Roger Axtell in particular, for their advocacy of study abroad and foreign language for Wisconsin students.
“We have to ensure that the next generation is globally literate—the economy and world peace depend on it,” she said.
The Education Committee members also informally thanked Regent Fred Mohs for his service to the committee.
In other actions, the committee:
- Approved an announcement of the proffer from the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust estate for support of scholarships, fellowships, professorships, and special programs in arts and humanities, social sciences and music;
- Approved a report on promotions, tenure designations and related academic approval items;
- Heard a first reading of a collaborative Ph.D. program in Medical Informatics between UW-Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin;
- Approved a B.S. in Management Information Systems, UW-Parkside;
- Approved a B.A. in Digital Arts, UW-Parkside;
- Approved an M.S. in Occupational Therapy, UW-Madison;
- Approved a B.A. in Women’s Studies, UW-Milwaukee;
- Approved an M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, UW-Stout; and
- Approved a UW System Appointment to the Natural Areas Preservation Council.
The Board of Regents will continue its June meeting on Friday (June 11) beginning at 8 a.m. in the Wisconsin Room of the UWM Student Union at UW-Milwaukee.
The UWM Office of University Communications contributed to this report.
Photos by Deb Generotsky and Alan Magayne-Roshak, UWM Information and Media Technologies.
Video of UWM Men of Song created by Greg Walz-Chojnacki.