Transfer students, advisers and faculty would benefit from a set of proposed revisions to credit transfer policies developed by a joint committee of the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System, the Board of Regents heard at the start of its May meeting on Thursday (May 6).

The joint committee has worked for the past year to revise transfer policies so students would benefit from a more seamless educational experience when transferring between the two systems, UW System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cora Marrett told the board.

“We did not start from scratch last fall, however,” Marrett said. “The relationship between the two systems is extensive and ongoing.”

Larry Rubin, UW System assistant vice president for academic and student services, and Deborah Mahaffey, WTCS vice president for instruction, student services and economic development, presented to the board the proposed changes, which would:

  • Enable UW institutions to transfer technical college credits earned in occupational/technical courses on a course-by-course basis;
  • Increase to 30 the number of general education credits students may transfer to UW institutions from technical college applied associate degree programs; and
  • Permit students who complete the WTCS liberal arts associate degree at MATC-Madison, MATC- Milwaukee, or Nicolet Area Technical College, to satisfy university-wide general education requirements at any UW institution.

Rubin said the changes would “open up a lot of additional opportunity for transfer between the two systems.”

Mahaffey noted that many of the changes were extensively reviewed by interested faculty, a process that “takes time, but it is bringing people together.”

Regent Jose Olivieri of Milwaukee noted that one clause in the proposed policies would allow students transferring from UW Colleges campuses to satisfy both university-wide requirements and additional breadth requirements within specific schools or colleges, but did not guarantee the same fulfillment for students transferring from a WTCS Associate Degree program. Olivieri told the board he would be in favor of amending the proposals to allow the same requirements to be fulfilled for both UW and WTCS transfer students.

Rubin noted that the proposals as presented would allow for continued review by faculty, at the same time, allowing the changes to proceed, giving new flexibilities to students as soon as Fall 2004.

The board postponed action on a resolution to approve the proposals to Friday (May 7). Several regents noted the complex nature of revising credit transfer policies and said they appreciated the additional time for review.

Russian university notes appreciation for UW-Extension partnership

In recognition of a growing partnership with UW-Extension, a professor from a Russian university on Friday presented a letter of appreciation to the board.

UW-Extension Chancellor Kevin Reilly introduced Dr. Youri Filippov, professor at Kuban State University in Russia, who after studying the activities of UW-Extension, has engaged his colleagues at home in developing a similar outreach program.

Filippov acknowledged high appreciation for UW-Extension’s contributions toward helping his university pursue community development programs, and presented Board of Regents President Toby Marcovich of Superior with two flags from his home state in honor of the board’s cooperation and friendship.

“We hope for a continuation of our relationship for many years to come,” Marcovich said.

Read the Letter of Appreciation pdf

Regent committees approve additional Camp Randall funding

UW-Madison will be able to increase the budget for improvements to Camp Randall Stadium by $7.8 million, but will be asked to raise additional private funds, according to a resolution the Physical Planning and Funding and Business and Finance Committees approved on Thursday.

Alan Fish, associate vice chancellor for UW-Madison’s Facilities, Planning and Management, told the committees that the additional funding was needed to cover spikes in prices for construction materials and complex renovation plans that resulted in higher-than-expected construction bids. At the same time, Fish said the Athletic Department has been successful in selling 100 percent of the club seats available at Camp Randall Stadium at premium prices, bringing in $560,000 per year in unexpected revenues.

The additional funding would be paid for through program revenues. “We are very confident this is the best business plan we can put together to support the program revenue,” Fish said.

The committees approved an amendment suggested by Regent Gerard Randall of Milwaukee that the Athletic Department put as much as 50 percent of any new project-specific fundraising toward reducing the amount of state bonding for the renovations. Fish noted that approval would be contingent on reporting back to the board about progress in raising the expected $3.9 million in private funds.

In other business, UW System Vice President for Finance Debbie Durcan told the committees that the university is experiencing a “serious utility shortfall,” that could run between $11 and $13 million for the 2003-04 academic year.

Durcan said the university has experienced utility shortfalls for four consecutive years. She noted that the Legislative Audit Bureau found that previous actions to correct the shortfalls through cost rollovers were a violation of state statutes and the constitution, so the Joint Finance Committee is not expected to approve rolling the shortfall to the next fiscal year.

Rob Cramer, secretary of the State of Wisconsin Building Commission and Administrator of the Division of State Facilities Management, reported on some of the causes of the cost increases over the prior years and the opportunities campuses are taking to reduce costs. The committees noted that energy conservation will continue to be a high priority for the university, but steps must be taken to correct the current structural deficit.

In reviewing several action options, the committee approved a resolution introduced by Regent Eileen Connolly-Keesler of Oshkosh that directs UW System Administration to request funding from the state Joint Finance Committee to cover the 2003-04 shortfall. The resolution is a combination of the first and second options for action presented to the committee, and would not require any additional charges to students.

“I think we all agree that we don’t want to put this on to students,” Connolly-Keesler said.

Business and Finance Committee hears review of child care, Clery Act

The board’s Business and Finance Committee approved a resolution on Thursday that would change tuition policy to allow the board to consider enrollment and competitive factors when setting non-resident tuition rates. The resolution will be up for full board consideration on Friday.

The committee also heard an update on the activities of child care centers across the UW System. Ron Yates, director of the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit, reviewed the status of regent child care policies, which specify that each UW institution “should set a goal of seeing that top quality, low cost child care and extended child care services, preferably campus based, are available to the children of students, faculty, and staff.”

Yates told the committee that 22 children’s centers and preschool laboratories serve the child care needs of the university community, and at the same time, provide instruction and academic support, research, public service, and outreach. The centers continue to work to increase affordable access, enhance services, adopt creative enrollment management strategies, and seek additional funding, he said.

Yates noted that some centers may be able to substantiate a greater GPR contribution, and take greater advantage of available federal grants, parent subsidies or fundraising opportunities. In addition, in some instances children might benefit from increased efforts to collaborate with other departments or agencies, Yates said.

Yates also reviewed the UW System’s compliance with the federal Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, also known as the Clery Act, which requires higher education institutions to provide students, and in some cases, university employees with financial, institutional, and security information. He said the intent of the Act was to provide students, their families, and employees with information to assess the benefits, obligations, and risks associated with attending an institution of higher education.

Yates said UW institutions have made a good faith effort to collect and report crime data. He noted that the review recommended institutional implementation of approaches to make information more accessible and easier for students, families, and employees to use.

The committee also:

  • Approved a resolution to allow the UW-Madison Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to contract for exclusive merchandising rights and a facilities rental agreement;
  • Heard a report on total gifts, grants and contracts for the nine-month period ending March 31, 2004, during which time funding was $886 million, although the increase over the prior period may be overstated due to timing issues, Durcan noted;
  • Heard a report on a UW-Madison Laptop Program scheduled to begin in the fall of 2004. The program is for students who are in the Finance MBA program, and is similar to UW-Milwaukee’s laptop program for students in the School of Architecture; and
  • Heard an update on a Legislative Audit Bureau Administrative Audit of the UW System. Durcan noted that the bureau plans to update its analyses with data from 2004 to provide the best possible analysis and to improve the relevance of the report. The UW System expects a draft in June.

Six-year campus development plans introduced to Physical Planning and Funding Committee

Nancy Ives, UW System assistant vice president for capital planning and budget, presented to committee members on Thursday a brief overview of the UW System campuses’ six-year development plans. Ives explained that each of the 15 UW institutions is required by statute to submit the plans, which are presented to the board for information purposes only.

Ives outlined the major themes of the campus plans, which include the need for building projects at all campuses over the next six years due to an aging infrastructure, as well as the need for more classroom space to meet the requirements of current teaching and learning methods. Ives emphasized that the scope of building projects is being matched to campus enrollment plans. The committee will consider building plan recommendations at its June meeting as part of the 2005-07 capital budget discussion, Ives said.

Ives also reported to committee members Thursday that the State Building Commission approved $7.5 million for various UW projects at its April meeting. She included an update of the Kenilworth Project, which is on track to be ready for board action in September.

United Council of UW Students President Jeff Pertl expressed interest in continuing to work with the board and UW System staff to keep students involved in the approval of projects they fund, especially student unions and recreational facilities.

In other business, the committee approved the following actions for consideration by the full board Friday:

  • Constructing a residence hall at UW-La Crosse;
  • Leasing facilities and granting easements along Park Street as part of UW-Madison’s East Campus Development Plan;
  • Increasing the scope and budget of the UW-Madison Engineering Centers Building, in part to meet additional fire safety requirements;
  • Creating dining space at UW-Madison’s Kohl Center;
  • Issuing a Request for Proposal for student housing at UW-Platteville;
  • Designing a locker room addition for the Hunt/Knowles athletic facility at UW-River Falls to better serve the summer training camp needs of the Kansas City Chiefs; and
  • Constructing a lodging addition at UW-Stevens Point’s Central Wisconsin Environmental Station.

Education Committee hears new program proposals

The Education Committee on Thursday heard first readings of several new proposed programs at UW System campuses. The readings were for information only, and the committee did not take any action. The programs include:

  • M.S. in Occupational Therapy, UW-Madison;
  • B.A. in Women’s Studies, UW-Milwaukee;
  • B.S. in Management Information Systems, UW-Parkside;
  • B.A. in Digital Arts, UW-Parkside;
  • M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, UW-Stout.

In other business, the Education Committee:

  • Approved the UW-Milwaukee Charter School contract extension;
  • Approved the revised mission for UW Colleges; and
  • Authorized to recruit a chancellor for UW-River Falls and a provost for UW-Oshkosh.

The Board of Regents will continue its May meeting beginning at 9 a.m. in Room 1820 in Van Hise Hall on the UW-Madison campus.