News

University of Wisconsin System “achieves excellence” on many measures - Day 1 Regents meeting news summary (March 9, 2006)

Return to News | News Archive

March 9, 2006

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
March Meeting
Day One News Summary

University of Wisconsin System "achieves excellence" on many measures

MADISON- The University of Wisconsin System has increased access for Wisconsin high school students, while improving graduation rates for UW students, according to the 2005-06 accountability report, presented the report to the Board of Regents on Thursday during its regular March meeting in Madison.

Similar to the way corporations report to their stockholders, the annual UW System report, titled "Achieving Excellence" outlines how the university holds itself accountable annually to students, alumni and Wisconsin citizens as it serves its students and the state of Wisconsin.

"Achieving Excellence allows us to get a better understanding of how we're doing on our goals," said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly. "Not only in quantitative terms, but also in measures of quality -not just what we do, but how well we do it."

The UW System met or exceeded 12 of 20 accountability goals, according to the 2005-06 report. 

Sharon Wilhelm, UW System associate vice president for policy analysis and research told the Board that these included increasing access for Wisconsin high school students; enrolling more students in precollege programs and distance education courses; improving UW graduation rates; fostering critical thinking skills; and having students exceed state and national averages on exam scores for graduate school and professional fields.

Other performance measures that were met or exceeded, she said, include the enhancement of learning with out-of-class activities and cultural events; promoting community service and civic participation among students; maintaining professional development for employees; availability of technology resources; and decreasing the average number of credits-to-degree.

The report outlines mixed results in five areas: academic advising, campus diversity, access to faculty outside of class time, use of electronic media, and maintenance backlogs in classrooms and buildings.

 "It is important to note, though, that budget and enrollment pressures have forced UW institutions to make some difficult compromises," Wilhelm said. "For example, the number of adult, non-traditional students being served has declined for the fourth year in a row, but the UW System has preserved access for students right out of high school."

Three measures - freshmen retention, study-abroad experiences, and access for nontraditional students - indicated room for improvement.

Reilly noted that the report reflects the university's current budget context. For example, state tax support for the UW System is 24 percent of the UW's total systemwide budget - the lowest percentage ever, and down from 52 percent in 1974. More than half of the UW's budget, 55 precent, comes from gifts, grants, and revenue directly earned by UW institutions. And the decrease in state support means the UW relies on student tuition to cover 21 percent of its total budget. In 1974, just 13 percent of the UW budget came from student tuition.

Reilly reminded the Board that just 24 percent of Wisconsin adults have at least a bachelor's degree -three percentage points below the national average of baccalaureate degree holders in state populations, including Illinois and Minnesota.

"I think we all agree that's not where Wisconsin needs to be in terms of higher education," Reilly said. "Improving this rate is a major focus of our accelerated growth agenda."

Reilly said the measures in "Achieving Excellence" also match some metrics being developed that will help the system measure progress on the growth agenda outlined in February. ( http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2006/r060209a.htm)

"A successful growth agenda will increase the number of bachelor's degrees awarded by the UW System," Reilly said. "We'll start now to accomplish this where we can, and we'll make a strong, broad-based, incremental push on this metric over several biennia."

Reilly said that in order for the UW to award more bachelor's degrees, the university will have to enroll more students from low-income families, through programs like the Wisconsin Covenant, as well as more adult and nontraditional students. The Adult Student Initiative, and programs that have resulted from the Board's Committee on Baccalaureate Expansion, should help with progress on these indicators, Reilly said.

Reilly added that the UW will need to retain and graduate more students, and increase the number of students who graduate into areas of high state need, such as nursing, science, math and engineering.

Reilly said a second goal would be to grow the university's financial capacity to support more student enrollments.

"We want to - we must - open the UW doors far and wide," Reilly said.

This will mean increasing state support per UW student, currently at $1,228 below the national average, and working to ensure there are no more cuts to the state's tax support for the UW System, he said.

"We have taken more than our fair share in the last several years," Reilly said. "It's time now to reinvest in strategic areas for the future, and to stop telling our students and families in Wisconsin that they deserve less from their university than students and families in our competitor states.

He added that the UW will move forward with increasing Wisconsin resident enrollment by using additional revenues collected from more out-of-state students attracted through more-competitively priced tuition, and that the UW must increase financial aid.

"Providing more financial aid may sound like something the state can't afford, Reilly said. "But that's not the case. Hard choices need to be made by our elected officials to invest in what we know will move this state forward, not hold it back. Financial aid is certainly, certainly, one of those investments."

The UW System was one of the first state university systems to issue a public accountability report when it began doing so in 1993. Its report differs from other state-level accountability efforts by combining measures that examine the overall university environment and how it fosters learning and success with traditional indicators such as access, retention, graduation, technology, and resource management.

Read the 2005-06 "Achieving Excellence" report

Taxpayer's Protection Amendment could mean tough choices about UW tuition, access

A proposed amendment to the state constitution could have left the UW System with an additional loss of more than $200 million if it were in effect for the current budget, according to an analysis given to the Board of Regents on Thursday by professor Andrew Reschovsky, of the UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Reschovsky reviewed how the proposed amendment would limit state spending to a formula based on the consumer price index and population growth, and would also replace a system of representative government with one based on citizen referenda.

"It's a very dramatic and significant change," he said.

He noted that university tuition and fees would be exempt from the dollar amounts counted as revenue in the state, but that the bill's language is unclear as to what extent.

Reschovsky said it is "almost inevitable" that the proposed formula will allow spending to grow at a smaller rate than the overall economy. Such limits on state spending would mean a "downsizing of the ability to provide services in the state and certainly at the university level," Reschovsky told the Board.

Reschovsky said such problems would get worse each year, as costs rise faster than inflation. Future Regents could face tough decisions about whether to dramatically increase tuition, or to drastically reduce enrollment, to manage slimmer budgets, he said.

Reschovsky said if the amendment passes in the state, it would send a signal that Wisconsin, and in turn, its public university system, is no longer competitive.

"State appropriations are, I think, critical to maintaining and enhancing the state's competitive position," he said.

Regents queried Reschovsky on the impacts of similar legislation on higher education elsewhere, on its effects on K-12 funding, and on the state's economic future.

The Board will hear from one of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Glenn Grothman, at Friday's meeting.

View a presentation on the Taxpayer's Protection Amendment

Students offer suggestions for UW spending priorities

Members of the United Council of UW Students, a statewide lobbying organization that represents students on 24 UW campuses, presented suggestions for 2007-09 budget priorities to the Board of Regents on Thursday.

In a presentation entitled "One state. One university. For all. -  A Plan for Access and (E)Quality in the UW System", Guillermo Cuautle, Jr, United Council vice president and a student at UW-Milwaukee, explained the development of the Council's budget priorities, noting that affordability and access are not necessarily the same.

According to researchers, accessibility can be defined as the systematic removal of financial, social, and institutional barriers for low-income families, he said. But Cuaulte said affordability is concerned with relief relative to need, and may not acknowledge more-complicated factors that affect students from low-income families.

UW-La Crosse student Ryan Kockler urged the Board of Regents to address both these issues by adopting low tuition/high aid as a central tenet in its 2007-09 biennial budget request.  Kockler suggested that the Board request increased state and taxpayer support for three major financial aid programs in the UW System: the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant, the Lawton Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant, and the Advanced Opportunity Program.

UW-Madison student Katrina Flores proposed that the Board of Regents request an additional $8.25 million to address the needs of students of color and low-income students. She said the increase could be used to encourage individual campuses to reach goals toward reducing the gap in graduation rates between white students and students of color. She also suggested that the Board expand the work capacity of the UW System Office of Academic Diversity and Development. Finally, Flores encouraged the Board to continue with efforts to extend domestic partner benefits to UW System employees.

Jennifer Schmidt, a student at UW-Fond du Lac, expressed concern about the UW's ability to attract and retain faculty. Schmidt urged the Board to request $30.6 million in state funds to close the gap between UW faculty pay and that of peers across the nation. Schmidt also encouraged a request of $400,000 to continue funding the Initiative on the Status of Women. 

David Glisch-Sanchez, United Council Academic Affairs Director, pushed the Board to avoid what he called a "safe" budget.

"I encourage you to propose a budget that incorporates some stretch goals, ones that reflect the priorities of students and outlines the reasoning for why the state should help in meeting those necessities," he said.

The presentation prompted questions and concerns from some regents. Regent Jesus Salas of Milwaukee asked Glisch-Sanchez how the United Council would suggest Regents address financial aid challenges. Glisch-Sanchez suggested that Regents change the way they talk about financial aid in terms of affordability. Regents also expressed concern with United Council's decision to oppose any tuition increases, even if it means reducing student enrollment because of financial shortfalls.

Regent Danae Davis of Milwaukee responded to the United Council's budget priorities by noting that those with a deep interest in the university agreed with the student priorities.

 "We as regents, chancellors, and campus leaders couldn't agree more," she said. "If we don't want to increase the gap [between access and affordability], we need to work together to influence those who do have an impact on the issue." 

Regent Judith Crain of Green Bay added that United Council should work to raise awareness among students about their budget priorities.

Business, Finance and Audit Committee

UW-La Crosse proposes "big idea"

In response to President Reilly's call to "think big," UW-La Crosse presented a bold idea on Thursday for a self-funded tuition program that campus leaders believe would increase the overall enrollment of students, including those from low-income families.

"It's not a cost, but an investment with big returns," said UW-La Crosse Chancellor Doug Hastad.

The UW-La Crosse Growth and Access Agenda calls for increasing revenue at UW-La Crosse by reducing nonresident tuition, Hastad said. At the same time, he said, resident students would see a gradual increase of tuition over eight years.

In combination, Hastad said more resident and nonresident students would be enrolled at the campus, and their tuition would pay for providing financial aid to those students with the most need. This approach would increase the number of degrees awarded, and increase the number of diverse students within the campus community, Hastad said. 

Donald J. Mash, executive senior vice president of the UW System, said UW-La Crosse's reputation as a very selective institution gives it the opportunity to enact a bold plan to grow financial capacity. UW-La Crosse will have an increased capacity for students due to a new academic building scheduled for completion in 2009, and the idea has been broadly accepted by the campus, the La Crosse community, and local legislators, he noted.

"This sort of proposal will put discussion forward," Mash said.

The UW-La Crosse Growth and Access Agenda was met with initial reservation from some Regents, including a concern raised by Regent Gerard Randall of Milwaukee that the program did not include specific plans to target students of color. Regent Peggy Rosenzweig of Wauwatosa noted that the model closely resembled that of private universities.

Chancellor Hastad encouraged Regents to look at the UW campuses as individual institutions, with different goals and abilities. 

The Business, Finance and Audit Committee will hear additional growth ideas from several UW institutions over the next few months, and will choose plans for inclusion in its 2207-09 budget proposal this summer.

The committee also heard a report on the Federal budget process from Kris Andrews, assistant vice president for federal relations. The annual federal budget has increased in dollar terms, but discretionary spending has been cut significantly to accommodate rapid growth in other expenses, Andrews noted.

Andrews said President Bush's proposed fiscal year 2007 budget includes a $3.5 billion cut for the U.S. Department of Education, which is currently the primary source of funds for the UW System campuses and students.  This follows a $12 billion cut in student loan programs passed in February 2006. Under the President's proposal, Pell Grants would remain at the same level for the fifth consecutive year, forcing students to take out more student loans, Andrews said. The proposal would eliminate the low-interest Perkins Loan program, and end Upward Bound and Talent Search, programs aimed at disadvantaged students.

The President's budget does include grants for eligible students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and critical foreign languages. It also includes investment in research at three federal agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Office of Science at the Department of Energy, and the core programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

All UW institutions are engaged in some form of federally funded research, and Andrews noted that an investment in increased research collaborations across the UW System will enhance learning and career opportunities for students while attracting more federal dollars. Stronger research hubs in the UW System would also create greater economic opportunities for the state of Wisconsin, she added.

"Making research dollars available for the state's comprehensive campuses would make better use of the skills and talents of the faculty at those campuses and could increase federal funds," said UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells.

Andrews recommended that the Regents work to protect student financial aid, support initiatives that will bolster U.S. competitiveness in science and technology, and seek state funding in support of research and public service activity at all UW System institutions. 

"The backbone of our financial aid comes from the federal government," Andrews said.

UW-Madison currently has $760 million in research funds, with $580 million of it coming from federal funds, according to Graduate School Dean Martin Cadwallader.

The growth of research funds at UW-Madison has leveled off, and the key to retaining and attracting new research, Cadwallader said, is faculty. He said that UW-Madison has decreased its ability to retain faculty, thereby losing the research grants that faculty have obtained.

"Everything else goes with faculty: grad students, funding, quality" Cadwallader said. "We're being targeted by other universities, we're being raided.  This is a wake-up call. We need to make sure that we don't take research funds for granted. Once we lose the position we have, it will be almost impossible to recover."

Regent Randall called for the Regents to support faculty, to find ways to increase faculty retention, and for the university to be aggressive in pursuing research dollars. Cadwallader agreed to provide more detailed information regarding number of faculty and research dollars lost, as well the effect on undergraduate education.

Audit Update

Ron Yates, director of the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit, provided committee members with a status report on the major audit projects his office is conducting; an update on Legislative Audit Bureau projects affecting the university; a report on audit activities, plans and resources Systemwide; and Office of Operations Review and Audit planning for 2006-07.

Committee members commended director Yates and his staff for their efforts. During the presentation of proposed project plans for 2006-07, Committee chair Regent Charles Pruitt of Shorewood asked if the proposed Textbook Rental audit could also address issues of price gouging and price inflation. Yates said it could.

Regent Thomas Loftus of Sun Prairie asked if the proposed Differential Tuition analysis could help to analyze the results of the action the Board took last month to reduce nonresident tuition at all campuses, except UW-Madison. Director Yates and Associate Vice President Freda Harris explained that the UW System would be using another process to thoroughly analyze the results of those actions to ensure that the expected results (i.e., increases in the numbers of non-resident students and increased support, and seats, for resident students) would occur.

"We need to be sure that whatever monies are generated from the reduction in non-resident tuition are used to increase access for Wisconsin students," Loftus emphasized. "We've taken some hits for our actions last month, and we need to be able to prove the wisdom of our decision."

Regent Randall asked that the committee consider an audit of UW Division I and Division II coaches' contacts to make sure that coaches are being held accountable for student academic success, including retention and graduation.  General Counsel Pat Brady said a process was already underway to examine coaches' contracts, but Randall wanted additional assurances. Director Yates promised to follow up with him to see how such an audit could be conducted.

Nick Cluppert, a student at UW-River Falls, spoke to the committee about the campus' efforts to conserve energy. Chancellor Don Betz said that it is a part of the campus culture to "turn out the lights."

Cluppert said students dedicated $1 million of a new building project to ensure that the building is eco-friendly. It uses multiple strategies to be more energy efficient, including enhanced use of sunlight, natural materials, and white roofing material, he said. Cluppert said actions taken during winter break save energy, including reducing building hours and lowering temperatures. He challenged all campuses to take steps to reduce energy consumption.

In other business, the committee:

  • Authorized the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning to establish differential tuition to support a desktop computer workstation program for students.  The program will replace an existing laptop computer program and was created collaboration with architecture students;
  • Accepted the 2006 non-routine proxy proposals for UW System Trust Funds;
  • Received the Annual Endowment Peer Benchmarking Report;
  • Received a report on trends in gifts, and grants and contracts;
  • Received copies of the complete Taxpayer Protection Amendment (TPA);
  • Asked that Regent President Walsh communicate directly on the Board's behalf to the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) regarding recommendations in the LAB's recent letter report on felons in the UW System; and
  • Heard the Report of the Vice President.

View a presentation on the UW-La Crosse Growth and Access Agenda

Education Committee

Committee approves Resident Assistant policy on activities

Resident Assistants in the UW System would have the same rights to lead or participate in activities on campus as other students, under a policy approved unanimously Thursday by the Board's Education Committee.

"As long as RAs do not overstep legal and ethical bounds, they should remain free to pursue their own educational and social development through involvement in both on-campus and off-campus groups, to the same extent as every other student," UW System President Kevin P. Reilly in a statement to the Board.

The systemwide policy, if approved Friday by the full Board of Regents, would provide direction for all UW campuses in establishing guidelines for the kinds of activities in which resident assistants can participate. Resident assistants, sometimes known as housefellows or resident advisers, are students who live and work in campus residence halls and are paid to supervise other students.

The policy as approved by the Committee reads:

Resident Assistants are expected to work with student residents to create an open, inclusive, and supportive residential community. At the same time, because RAs are students themselves, they are encouraged to participate in campus activities and organizations. As such, RAs may participate in, organize, and lead any meetings or other activities, within their rooms, floors or residence halls, or anywhere else on campus, to the same extent as other students. However, they may not use their positions to pressure, coerce, or inappropriately influence student residents to attend or participate.

Reilly, who recommended the new policy to the Board, said that campuses would be required to include information about the policy when training new RAs, and that each campus would need to develop a process through which students can complain if they believe an RA violates the policy.

The complaint process would allow students who live in residence halls a way to express their opinions if they believe their rights are not being respected.

Reilly's statement said the policy is intended to balance the responsibilities that resident assistants have as university employees, with the opportunities offered to them on campus as students themselves.

The statement noted that the policy would be applied in conjunction with existing rules and regulations that guide the kinds of activities and speech in which students, faculty and staff can engage on campus. Those include speech that creates a discriminatory or hostile environment, activities that may interfere with access to facilities or education, proselytizing or certain kinds of political speech.

Members of the committee congratulated those who worked to develop the proposal for their professionalism on a difficult topic.

Larry Rubin, UW System assistant vice president for academic affairs, noted that the policy was developed after a working group of residence hall staff and students from around the system developed a set of principles to guide the process.

Rubin reminded the committee that a resident assistant's room functions as both an office and a campus home, and that RAs are considered "on call" almost anytime they are in their room or assigned residence hall.

The resident assistant activity policy was developed after a UW-Eau Claire resident assistant was advised that leading a Bible study session for other students was not considered in line with the campus's policy, Rubin said. He added that the case drew state and national interest, including attention from a national interest group, Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), state legislators, and U.S. Congressman Mark Green (R-Green Bay).

Read a news release about the policy

Waukesha Study Initial Report

Expanding higher educational opportunities for the benefit of students and the Waukesha-area economy is the work of a University of Wisconsin System steering group, the Education Committee learned Thursday.

Executive senior vice president Don Mash presented an initial report from the steering group that has been studying the higher education needs and opportunities in Waukesha. The full report is available at http://www.wisconsin.edu/waukesha.

The steering group has included officials from UW System, the Board of Regents, as well as executive leadership from UW-Milwaukee, UW-Waukesha, and UW-Extension, Mash said.

Mash said the steering group is working with Waukesha-area leaders to study the area's educational and economic development needs, with the goal of adding value to the county, metropolitan area and the state.

"Leaders are developing a vision for their county - as I've listened to it, it's a very ambitious vision," Mash said. "If that vision, as it develops, can be realized, then that county is going to flourish, the Milwaukee area will benefit, and of course, the state of Wisconsin will be better for it as well."

Mash noted that the word "merger" is often used to describe the group's work, but that merger is just one means to an end.

"We put that aside for the time being, and focused on needs and expectations there, and how those might be met," Mash said. "The initial study report did not rule out merger."

Mash said the group identified five areas UW would work with partners to pursue to serve the seven-county area: providing gateway programs to the baccalaureate degree; providing noncredit education and training; expanding bachelor's degree offerings; and expanding master's degree opportunities.

Presenters noted that Waukesha County has high demand for education and training areas like science, technology, engineering, sales, and nursing. The UW System is working with Waukesha leaders to decide how best to meet degree and research goals, and how they should be funded, Mash said. He noted that a "research center of excellence" would also contribute to the area.

"The possibility of more research collaboration between the university and companies [in Waukesha County] is exciting to many," Mash said. "We're looking at trying to engage as many higher education partners as there are willing and able to bring more education programs and research activity to that area. "

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said that, like UW System, he is working with neighboring counties to make Waukesha County more efficient during a time of dwindling resources. The same is true for expanding baccalaureate degrees, he said.

"We're going to have to do it together - that's the future," he said. As an example, Vrakas noted that UW-Waukesha already cooperates in many respects with UW-Milwaukee. "There's already a natural linkage. It's already there -- we just need to make it better."

Vrakas, who said he voted for the concept of "merger" when he was in the Legislature, expressed concern about whether the county will continue to fund UW education in the area. Currently, the facilities of UW-Waukesha, like other freshman-sophomore UW Colleges campuses, are funded by the county in which it is located. Educational and operating costs for the campus are funded by the UW System.

"If we're going to offer 4-year degrees, then we should take care of the campuses in the way we do the others," he said, adding that he believes that the university is likely to save money in the long-run by changing how operation of the campus is funded.

The Waukesha County Action Network, a private-sector community organization, became involved in the study after it developed a list of broad public policy issues on which it would work, said WCAN official Bronson Haase.

"We put public higher education at the very top of our list," Haase said.

Haase said it is a priority to immediately provide citizens with easy access to baccalaureate degrees in the area, and to create a Waukesha County research park, which he said could stimulate "dynamic economic growth." These actions would serve the area's growing workforce and students, who do not currently have access to a UW four-year experience in the Waukesha area, he said.

Among the reasons for UW to expand in the area is the success that private institutions, such as the University of Phoenix, are having in reaching students in the Waukesha County, the third-largest county in the state, Haase said.

Haase asked the committee to consider, as part of the upcoming budget process, requesting funding to create a four-year campus on UW grounds, as well as a research center.

Mash said he expects the steering group to continue to work with Waukesha-area partners to develop the concept of a multi-institutional "university center." He said a "university center" would require funding from some source, but the group is still discussing whether a Board of Regents budget initiative is ripe, and what the initiative would be.

"We have not chosen to dwell at this stage in these conversations about the UW System's reduced financial capacity," Mash said. "We're trying to determine what we want to do, and then get about the business of determining how best to do it."

Mash added that the steering group will deliver another report on its work, but a timeline as not been set.

"Timing is everything, and the time is much more now to take a look at this," Regent Michael Spector of Milwaukee said of collaboration in the area. "There's a difference of opinion, perhaps, in how we proceed, but we're getting those things on the table."

Read the initial Waukesha Study report

UW uses technology to increase student access and improve education

As part of the Report of the Senior Vice President, the committee learned about ways the UW System is expanding how it uses instructional technology to serve "net-generation learners," those students who are more comfortable than previous generations in using technology, as well as adult students and distance-learners.

Ed Meachen, UW System associate vice president for information and learning technology, told the committee that more than two-thirds of classes offered in the UW System use some form of course-management software to enhance classroom-style learning. This kind of instructional technology lowers costs to educate students, and at the same time, maintains or improves student learning outcomes, Meachen said.

"One of the ways we can reinvent education is to put technology at the heart of education - use technology to reinvent the delivery system," he said.

Meachen also introduced Rita Cheng, provost and vice chancellor, and Andrew Petto, lecturer in the Department of Biology, who use IT at UW-Milwaukee as part of the campus' "Early Warning System." The system allows advisers and instructors to monitor student academic performance and to intervene if students need additional support. Petto also uses technology to enhance students' understanding of course material and to provide the prompt feedback that students need to succeed, he said.

The Committee also heard an update from Regent Spector about the input being gathered from faculty and academic staff regarding a proposed policy on discipline.

In other business, the Committee:

  • Authorized UW-Madison to implement a master's of science in Agroecology;
  • Tabled votes on motions that would authorize UW-Stout to implement a bachelor's of science and a master's of science in Information and Communication Technologies;
  • Approved revised Faculty Personnel Rules for UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh;
  • Approved the appointment of June Martin Perry to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Oversight and Advisory Committee; and
  • Authorized UW-La Crosse to recruit for a chancellor.

View a presentation on the Use of Technology to Increase Student Access

View a presentation on the Early Warning System

Physical Planning and Funding

The Physical Planning and Funding Committee on Thursday approved several actions related to capital projects within the university.

Assistant Vice President for Capital Planning and Budget David Miller reported that the state Building Commission in February approved about $98 million for projects. Funding for those projects includes $22 million in General Fund Supported Borrowing, $67 million in Program Revenue, and $9 million in Gift and Grant Funds. 

Miller also reported that Governor Doyle presented the 2005 Design and Construction Awards, which recognize excellence in state building projects. One of those awards went to a firm for work on the UW‑Oshkosh Taylor Hall Renovation, while another was given for the Heating Plant Boiler Controls Upgrade at UW-Eau Claire. In addition, an excellence in construction award was given for the Chancellor's Residence at UW-Platteville, and a Special Recognition Award was given for the Camp Randall Renovation Project at UW-Madison.

Assistant Vice President Miller also previewed campus 2007-09 Capital Budget requests, which ask for more than double the amount of state support the UW received in the last capital budget. The Regents adopted criteria for ranking major projects in December. Those criteria will be used in the next phase of 2007-09 capital budget planning, Miller said.

Miller also reported that the 2005-07 Classroom Renovation /Instructional Technology Improvements project funds were very limited, so they were allocated to institutions where recent funding was not provided, and where funding will not be available during the next few years to construct or significantly renovate classrooms. Institutions include UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW-River Falls, and UW-Stevens Point, as well as $1 million for UW-Madison to install telecommunications cabling as part of their 21st Century Telecommunications-Phase 2 project.

Action items approved in committee will be considered by the full Board on Friday. The actions would:

  • Grant authority to increase the budget of the UW-Madison Camp Randall Stadium Expansion/Renovation Project using gift funds to improve circulation and safety issues;
  • Grant approval for UW-Madison to transfer the name Fred A. Ogg from the current Ogg Hall to the New Residence Hall at 835 West Dayton Street;
  • Grant authority to plan the UW-Madison Warehouse Remodeling Arts Relocation project, which will renovate space to be used by art programs;
  • Grant authority to purchase the newly constructed Southwest Hall at UW-Platteville. This six-story residence hall will house 380 students and relieve existing residence hall space shortage and provide for student population growth due to the Tri State Initiative;
  • Grant authority to sell the American Suzuki House property at UW-Stevens Point.  Sale proceeds will be used to partially meet campus budget reductions;
  • Grant authority to purchase property at UW‑Stout.  This land will eventually be developed into a parking lot to meet parking needs of the north campus.;
  • Grant approval to construct various maintenance and repair projects at UW-La Crosse, UW Madison, UW-Oshkosh, Parkside UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Whitewater; and
  • Adopt of a revised policy related to naming or dedicating University Facilities that will shorten the length of time needed to obtain a naming approval.

###

The Board of Regents will resume its March meeting at 9 a.m., March 10, in Room 1820 of Van Hise Hall on the UW-Madison campus.


Related: Read March. 10 (day 2) news summary