Day Two News Summary

Admissions Update/President’s Report

UW System President Katharine Lyall presented an update on the status of admissions during her report at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting.

Lyall informed the board that UW institutions have admitted about half of the 5,500 full-time students authorized by the board last month when it lifted the suspension on undergraduate admissions.

“The process is proceeding briskly,” Lyall said.

Full Text of President Lyall’s Report

Minority and Disadvantaged Student Report

Amid discussions of definitions of minorities and minority recruitment, the board accepted the 2001 Minority and Disadvantaged Student Annual Report.

During its discussion, the board reviewed the definitions used to describe minority students and the goals of Plan 2008, the UW System’s 10-year plan to increase diversity at every campus.

Cora Marrett, senior vice president for academic affairs, explained that definitions of minority students in the annual report are established by state statute, which requires the UW System to report on them each year to the governor and state legislature.

Regent Fred Mohs questioned the use of race in admissions but said he enthusiastically supports Plan 2008 because it promotes inclusiveness and does not call for using racial preferences in the admissions process.

UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley said the flagship university’s goal is to continue to improve recruitment of students of color, until the proportion of entering minority students at least matches the proportion of Wisconsin high school graduates of color who are qualified for admission.

“Race is relevant,” Wiley said. “I don’t think we’ll ever stop paying attention to it. But we have never admitted anyone on our campus, or anywhere in the UW System, who is not qualified. But we do recruit qualified students of color.”

Background materials

Deferred Maintenance

The board also discussed deferred maintenance of UW buildings. For the 2001-03 biennium, the UW System’s backlog of deferred building maintenance is estimated at $800 million, according to Nancy Ives, assistant vice president for capital planning and budget.

Regent Roger Axtell said the board’s Business and Finance and Physical Planning and Funding committees should hold a joint meeting next month to discuss how to alleviate that backlog. He wondered if UW buildings were safe with that level of deferred maintenance.

Ives and UW-Platteville Chancellor David Markee emphasized that UW buildings are safe, despite the backlog of maintenance projects. Ives added that the UW spends about $115 million a year on ongoing cyclical maintenance needs.

Items Approved

In other business Friday, the board:

  • Accepted the annual reports on orientation programs and information provided to students on sexual assault and sexual harassment;
  • Approved the requests to the William F. Vilas Trust Estate for support of programs and scholarships at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee;
  • Approved bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs in theatre arts at UW-Oshkosh and UW-River Falls;
  • Approved the UW trust fund proxy voting guidelines;
  • Authorized the UW-Madison Memorial Union elevator repair project ($493,000 to be paid with program revenue);
  • Authorized UW-Stevens Point’s acceptance of about 12 acres of land, three existing buildings and a new cabin from the UW-Stevens Point Foundation at the Treehaven Field Station near Tomahawk.

Background materials

Next Meeting

The Board of Regents will hold its next meeting May 9 and 10 at UW-Fox Valley in Menasha and UW-Fond du Lac.