MADISON – Eleven University of Wisconsin four-year campuses took part in a recent survey of young alumni that was conducted by the American Council on Education, and the UW System Board of Regents heard the results on Friday.

“What I’m about to give you is complete and unambiguous good news,” said Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at ACE.

Terry Hartle

Terry Hartle Terry Hartle talks to the UW System Board of Regents about “The Future of Higher Education in the Changed Political Environment”

Hartle told Regents that when it comes to satisfaction with their educational experience at the UW, 98% of young alumni reported a “favorable” impression of their alma mater.  About 94% of young alumni surveyed agreed that it was worth all the time and money invested, and 85% reported that they were “effectively prepared with the knowledge and skills they needed.”


Calling such positive numbers “stunning,” Hartle added, “This is just an extraordinary endorsement of what an awful lot of hard-working people on your campuses have been doing.”

UW System President Kevin P. Reilly noted that the positive assessment of their college experience provided by these young alumni reaffirms the value that UW provides to the state, and should be more widely communicated.

Hartle also provided the Board with his perspectives on the current national landscape for higher education.

He noted that the Obama administration “believes more intuitively” than any other he can remember that higher education provides the best hope for economic progress, and it has invested significant funding into scientific research and student financial aid over the past two years. On the other hand, Hartle added, that strong interest in higher education also translates into more regulations.

Public opinion, meanwhile, is somewhat mixed on higher education, Hartle said. While the public generally “admires and respects” institutions of higher education as gateways of opportunity, that respect is tempered somewhat by concerns that higher education validates “elitism” that the public does not trust.

“One of the risks for American colleges and universities is that we don’t appreciate the level of discontent and fear that the average American might be facing,” Hartle said.

Regents approve 2% pay plan recommendation

The Board of Regents unanimously approved a recommendation for a 2% annual pay plan increase for UW’s faculty and academic staff for each year of the next biennium, as brought forward by UW System President Kevin Reilly.

Al Crist, Associate Vice President of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity for UW System, noted that the recommendation is “a keep-even request at best,” but is also mindful of the Competitive University Workforce Commission’s findings earlier this year that salaries for UW faculty and staff trail most of their peers.

Regent Michael Falbo, who was a member of the CUWC, reminded Regents that a significant part of the commission’s membership was drawn from Wisconsin’s business community and the commission unanimously supported efforts to address the salary gap. “I think they were greatly surprised at our lack of flexibility and lack of ability to reward people for performance,” Falbo said. “We need to do something.”

The UW System is required to submit a pay plan recommendation at this stage of the state’s biennial budget process.

Raymond Cross confirmed as new Chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension

In closed session, the Board approved the recommendation of Dr. Raymond Cross as the new Chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension.  Since 1998, Cross has been President of Morrisville State College, a residential Agriculture and Technology College of the State University of New York (SUNY).

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved a resolution of appreciation for host campus UW-Madison;
  • Approved the Revised Faculty Personnel Rules from UW-Oshkosh;
  • Accepted five bequests and/or gifts with a total value of $2,972,000;
  • Approved a resolution reaffirming the existing Investment Policy Statement (IPS);
  • Approved a resolution granting the President of the UW System authority to approve changes to the UW System Tax Sheltered Annuity Program’s annual program participant fee;
  • Approved a resolution granting UW-Madison authority to recruit a Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at a salary that may exceed 75% of the UW System President’s salary;
  • Approved UW-Extension’s request for authority to lease space located at 5602 Research Park Boulevard Madison, Wisconsin, for the Division of Continuing Education;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s acceptance of seven land parcels pursuant to the Real Property Exchange Agreement between Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the Board of Regents;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to plan the West Campus Cogeneration Facility Addition and Chiller Installations project;
  • Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for authority to lease space for the School of Public Health;
  • Approved UW System’s seven additional projects in the 2011-13 Capital Budget: UW-Stout: Harvey Hall Renovation – Phase II; UW-La Crosse: Storage Facility; UW-Madison: Materials Distribution Services GLS Storage Addition; UW-Madison: University Ridge All Seasons Golf Practice Facility; UW-Whitewater: Drumlin Hall Remodeling; UW-Whitewater: Young Auditorium Dance Studio Addition; UW-River Falls: Health and Human Performance/Recreation Building – Planning (2013-15 Advance Enumeration request); and
  • Approved UW System’s request for 11 All Agency Maintenance and Repair projects at five UW System institutions.
Photo Credit: Bryce Richter, UW-Madison


The UW System Board of Regents will hold its next meeting Feb 10-11, 2011, at Van Hise Hall, in Madison

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