MADISON – The Board of Regents’ Education Committee engaged in a broad discussion about the supply and demand for engineers in Wisconsin as well as possible recommendations on how to efficiently and appropriately expand the University of Wisconsin System’s array in engineering.
Several chancellors and local business owners presented their cases for and against the expanding the UW System’s available engineering programming to additional institutions.
UW System President Ray Cross suggested that the committee charge UW System Administration with working with the interested institutions on exploring collaborative opportunities, with the intent of bringing forward recommendations at the Board’s next meeting in February.
“It’s a way of leveraging the system to meet the needs of employers in the state without significant additional charge,” Cross said.
Regent Gerald Whitburn, acting chair of the committee, said the matter would be brought before the full Board on Friday.
In other action, the Education Committee:
- Approved the proposed UW-Stout Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design and Development-Art;
- Approved two revised Regent Policy Documents, both pertaining to persons with disabilities: RPD 4-10, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability, and RPD 4-1, Copying and Recording of Instructional Materials or Lectures; and
- Approved UW-Green Bay’s request for an addendum to its mission.
Business and Finance Committee
The Business and Finance Committee approved a two-year master research agreement with TempoQuest, Inc., wherein the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center will work to develop Weather Research and Forecast Modules in accordance with agreed upon research project specifications. The agreement is expected to generate revenue to the University of approximately $1 million over the life of the agreement, which runs through August 31, 2016. The work will be overseen by Dr. Allen Huang and Dr. Bormin Huang.
In other action, the Business and Finance Committee:
- Reaffirmed its adoption of the Investment Policy Statement for the UW System Trust Funds; and
- Approved an exception to Board policy that requires non-endowed gifts in excess of $250,000 to become Board-designated endowments; the exception is being requested by the Chazen Museum of Art at UW-Madison and seeks to allow expenditure of the full $478,750 amount of the bequest.
Research, Economic Development & Innovation Committee
Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch spoke to the REDI Committee regarding UW System activities that help align educational pathways with the state’s economic and workforce development initiatives.
“The partnership that we have established between the UW System, the state of Wisconsin, local government, K-12 education, our technical college system and the private sector is fantastic. But I also think there’s much progress that can continue to be made in the future,” Kleefisch said.
She added that what Wisconsin needs are more “evangelists,” to spread the word about Wisconsin’s advantages and to encourage greater investments.
In other action, the REDI Committee:
- Received updates from several 2014 UW System Economic Development Incentive Grant recipients; UW-Madison reported on its Igniter—An Engine for Technology Commercialization project, and UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay reported on their Collaborative Engineering Technology Program;
- Heard a report from Lisa Johnson, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, on current initiatives and programs, including WEDC’s efforts to collaborate with the university and with state businesses to foster entrepreneurial activities and business innovation, and efforts to speed the time from idea to product commercialization across the state; and
- Heard an update on the 2015 Economic Development Incentive Grant process and proposals.
Capital Planning and Budget Committee
The Capital Planning and Budget Committee approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to construct the Grainger Hall Collaborative Learning Classroom project at an estimated cost of $495,000 Gift Funds. This project will convert two existing classrooms in Grainger Hall into an active learning classroom and provide modern instructional technology and wheelchair access.
In other action, the Capital Planning and Budget Committee:
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to seek enumeration of three additional 2015-17 Capital Budget Projects:
- UW-Extension’s Continuing Education/Outreach E-Learning Building, which requested enumeration of $6 million funded by $1.5 million Program Revenue Supported Borrowing and $4.5 million Program Revenue Cash for the purchase of an office building to serve as the home of the UW-Extension Division of Continuing Education, Outreach, and E-Learning (CEOEL);
- UW-La Crosse’s Fieldhouse, which requested enumeration of $34 million funded by $20 million Program Revenue Supported Borrowing and $14 million Program Revenue-Cash to construct a 124,000 GSF fieldhouse and a 2,500 GSF soccer support facility; and
- UW-Madison’s South East Recreational Facility (SERF) Replacement, which requested enumeration of $87.5 million funded by $45 million Program Revenue Supported Borrowing and $42 million Gift Funds to demolish the existing SERF building and construct a four-story 250,800 GSF facility to provide recreational sports program space and a competition natatorium at the same location as the existing SERF;
- Approved UW System’s request for approval of eight All Agency Maintenance and Repair projects with an estimated total cost of $7.3 million at six campuses; these projects focus on programmatic renovation, facility maintenance, utility upgrades, and energy conservation;
- Approved UW-Superior’s request for authority to adjust the campus boundary to include two parcels whose future acquisition will create an opportunity to reorient parking layouts and provide a gateway entrance to the campus;
- Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to increase the budget of the Elizabeth Waters Residence Hall Renovation project by $3,375,300 Program Revenue-Cash to match recent bid results for that project; and
- Heard an update on UW-Superior’s Master Plan.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will resume its meeting on December 5, 2014, at the Gordon Dining and Event Center on the UW-Madison campus.