MILWAUKEE – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents officially welcomed Jay O. Rothman today as the 9th President of the UW System.

Photo Credit: Troye Fox – UWM

“I am truly humbled by this opportunity,” said Rothman, the former CEO and chairman of the Foley & Lardner law firm in Milwaukee since 2011 and member of the firm since 1986. “The UW System has one of the richest traditions in American public higher education, and we all can and should be proud of the System and its family of universities. Our 13 universities – and, more importantly, the people who make us who we are – change the trajectory of lives every single day, drive critical research, improve communities, and quite simply, move Wisconsin forward.”

“I believe our goal should be to ensure that the UW System is the best university system in the country and that will be our goal and our objective moving forward.”

In his report to the Board, Rothman offered a high-level preview of some of his priorities, which include addressing public perceptions of higher education’s value; creating opportunities for thoughtful civil discourse; expanding efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion; building strong relationships with the business community and other stakeholders; delivering education in a cost-efficient manner while also assuring quality; and continued attention to access and affordability.

To keep students as a central focus, Rothman told Regents he has launched a new storytelling series to highlight the “fantastic and diverse individuals who come to UW to learn and discover their purpose.” Over his first 100 days, the UW System will be sharing the stories of 100 students from across the system.

“I think more people need to hear the stories of what drives our students, what supports our students, and what great promise our students hold for the future,” Rothman said.

Rothman also told Regents that the UW System is in the initial stages of a strategic planning process.

“There is no doubt that higher education in general is facing some tough challenges – but I have no doubt that the University of Wisconsin System is well positioned to turn challenge into opportunity,” he said. “In the process, we get to create a new chapter for this great university system.”

Board approves 2022-23 Annual Operating Budget

The Board of Regents unanimously voted to approve UW System’s $6.87-billion annual operating budget for 2022-23.

Sean Nelson, Vice President of Finance, provided an overview of the key takeaways of the budget:

  • The Board’s budget resolution calls for no increase in resident undergraduate tuition in the upcoming academic year for four-year institutions. Governor Evers’ $25 million one-time allocation will “fund the freeze”
  • Average cost of attendance for an in-state student living on campus at UW System’s 4-year universities will increase by 1.7% (or $273)
  • Total segregated fees will increase at 4-year universities by an average $40 per year (2.9%)
  • Room and board rates will increase at 4-year universities by an average $231 per year (2.8%)

Nelson also identified several factors on which the budget is based. He said campuses are emerging out of the pandemic and revenues are starting to rebound. One-time federal funding related to the pandemic has largely been drawn down. The general inflationary impact on goods and services is affecting operations. Pay plan and compensation obligations constrain budgets.

The UW System’s 2022–24 biennial budget request will be presented at the August Board meeting.

Health of UWM vital to health of region, Mone tells Regents

While the challenges facing Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin are great, no single institution is better positioned to help address them than UWM, Chancellor Mark Mone told Regents.

The region struggles with a talent shortage as well as vast inequities that include some of the largest wealth and education gaps in the nation. In southeastern Wisconsin, white students graduate from college at more than twice the rate of Black and Hispanic residents, and white residents’ median annual household income of $75,500 is $30,000 more than Hispanic households and more than double that of Black households.

Mone said UWM is helping address this problem with programs like Moon Shot for Equity, which aims to improve graduation rates for all students and close achievement gaps, and M3, a partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College aimed at enrolling more students in college and helping them succeed.

Photo Credit: Troye Fox – UWM

The new Student Success Talent Pipeline Initiative, funded by a $500,000 Department of Workforce Development grant, is a partnership between UWM and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce to place 100 or more students from underrepresented populations in paid internships with Milwaukee-area corporations over the next two years.

This program will help provide the talent for MMAC’s Region of Choice initiative, in which Milwaukee-area companies have committed to increasing the number of Black and Hispanic workers by 15% and Black and Hispanic managers by 25% by 2025.

“We are the largest provider of talent, with the largest population of diverse students – by far – in this region, with nearly 80% of our graduates entering fast-growing, high-demand areas,” Mone said.

UWM’s student body includes more than 6,000 students of color; 9,000 who are the first in their families to go to college; and more than 1,000 veterans and military-related students. About 5,500 graduate each year, with 80% going into the high-demand, high-paying fields of health, business, computer science, engineering and science.

“It’s not just about the numbers,” Mone said, “It’s about the quality. It’s about grit. These students are battle-tested. The average age of our graduates is 25. They’ve been in and out of the workforce, they have families. They have a work ethic that I would put up against any other urban campus in the nation.”

UWM’s status as one of 146 top research universities worldwide, as recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, also is important to Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s future.

Mone noted that UWM continues to be remarkably successful despite its financial challenges because of the work of its faculty and staff. But declining support from the state of Wisconsin jeopardizes UWM and the state’s educational system as a whole, Mone added. He described faculty lured away by higher paying universities and aging facilities that need upgrades to better serve students. UWM needs greater investment, he said.

“We know that in the state of Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee region goes, so goes the state,” Mone concluded. “We, along with our partners, can expand our impact and strengthen families, communities, and the state. So, I end with two questions: If not here, then where? And if not now, when?”

Graduation and Value of a College Degree

The UW System is a significant talent pipeline supplying Wisconsin’s workforce needs. At a time when some are questioning the value of a college degree, there are also strong arguments that a college degree has never been more valuable both for individuals and society as a whole.

Ben Passmore, Associate Vice President for UW System’s Office of Policy Analysis & Research, presented new data on how the UW System is planning to meet workforce needs by analyzing job trends and assessing the relevance and preparedness provided by UW’s program array.

A roundtable panel discussion, moderated by Laurie Marks, Executive Director of UW-Milwaukee’s Office of Student Experience and Talent, focused on the changing dynamics of the labor market and how universities are working with students to prepare them to have a competitive edge when seeking employment.

Rebekah Kowalski, Vice President, Manpower Manufacturing at Manpower Group, said the rapid pace of change in the workplace is what sets the current environment apart from the past. “Today, we’re sitting in the middle of a crisis we all feel,” she said. “Who isn’t having a hiring crisis right now?”

“We need the help of higher ed to help. The cycle isn’t going to stop. The learning curves are going faster and furious,” Kowalski said. “We need more fluidity, more rapid response times.”

At a time when internships are considered almost as vital as a degree, Chia Vang, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UW-Milwaukee, said more work needs to be done to make these opportunities more accessible for all students, including low-income, first-generation, and under-represented students.

“If students are not exposed to how things work, it can be incredibly difficult. They need to develop confidence,” Vang said. “We need to reassess some of the criteria for experiential learning opportunities and make sure we’re not excluding people.”

Rebekah Paré, Associate Dean for L&S Career Initiative and Executive Director of SuccessWorks at College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison, said students, parents, and employers all need to better understand how various majors align with valuable transferable skills.

“An English degree, a sociology degree, what are you going to do with that? It turns out, amazing things,” Paré said. “Students need to be able to articulate that in a job search.”

Helping to prepare students is the responsibility of institutions, Paré added. She urged universities to make Career Services offices more visible and elevate their services. “This is really transformational,” she said.

Brittany Kulka, Talent Acquisition Manager for Husco International and a UW-Whitewater graduate, said the job search can be overwhelming but every job really needs two skills: the ability to collaborate and critical thinking.

Kayla Juds, a recent UW Oshkosh graduate who will soon start a job as labor and delivery nurse at Aurora West Allis Medical Center, said so many students need help with interviews, resumes, handshakes, and even their closet. She said the biggest challenge is finding a job is finding that “driving passion for what they want to do.”


Regent President’s Report

Photo Credit: Troye Fox – UWM

Regent President Ed Manydeeds provided an update on two current chancellor searches. He noted that a 12-member Search & Screen Committee for the UW-Whitewater chancellor was announced last month, and will be chaired by Regent Amy Bogost. Lynn Gilbertson, Associate Professor and Department Chair in the College of Education and Professional Studies, will serve as vice chair. Members of the committee include campus faculty, staff, student, and community representatives, as well as Regents Hector Colón, Ashok Rai, Jill Underly, and Kyle Weatherly.

He added that President Rothman and the next Board president will charge members with their mission on June 13. A national search will officially launch in July with the assistance of the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The Search & Screen Committee will identify and interview candidates and forward recommendations to a Special Regent Committee. The successful candidate will require approval of the full Board.

Turning to the UW-Platteville chancellor search, Manydeeds said that Search & Screen Committee will be chaired by Regent Cris Peterson. Over the next several weeks, President Rothman will work with Regent leadership to identify committee members. The search will begin this fall and is expected to conclude in early 2023.


Board recognizes service of Interim UW System President

Photo Credit: Troye Fox – UWM

Regents presented interim UW System President Michael J. Falbo with a formal resolution of appreciation for his service. Falbo, a former Regent President, took on the role after

former UW System President Tommy Thompson stepped down in mid-March until Rothman’s arrival on June 1.

Falbo urged Regents and UW System leaders to continue to improve services on all campuses, to ensure student success, and continue the path of collaboration, support, and excellence.

“Create the future,” he said. “Look for new and better ways to serve the students and create the future. Chancellors, continue to provide leadership and take us to the next level. Create the future. To our faculty and staff, renew your commitment to students, and create the future.

“The future is not some place you’re going to, it’s the place you’re creating.”

Regents offer welcomes and a farewell

Three new Regents were welcomed to the Board: Angela Adams, Jennifer Staton, and Dana Wachs.

Adams is chief communications and diversity officer of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago

“Serving as Regent is an awesome responsibility that I look forward to leaning into,” Adams said. “In my day job, we operate from the premise that everyone deserves an opportunity to thrive … Access to education really changes the game.”

Staton is a student at UW-Parkside, pursuing a major in applied health sciences with a pre-physician assistant concentration, a minor in biology, and certificate in community-based learning. She is also a U.S. Army veteran, serving from 2007-2014, including as a combat medic while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staton offered thanks to her home campus, UW-Parkside. “I also say thank you to the Regents who have reached out and welcomed me as a student to this table,” she said.

Wachs, a lifelong resident of Eau Claire, has practiced law since 1985 and currently a partner at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs. From 2013-19, he represented the 91st Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly

“It’s an honor and privilege to be here,” Wachs said. “I firmly believe that the most critical economic engine in this state is this university system.”

Regent Tracey Klein also shared the news that she will be stepping down from the Board. She has served since May 2016.

“The last several years have presented significant opportunities to reshape where we are going as a System. I believe my most important contribution was to assist in the recruitment of the talent that will be its future leadership,” said Klein, who served on the special regent committee that recommended the appointment of President Jay Rothman as well as the search and screen committee/special regent committee that recommended the appointment of Jennifer Mnookin as Chancellor of UW-Madison. “I know the UW System is in strong and very capable hands.”

“Jay is a strategic thinker with strong connections to the Wisconsin business community. His experience in guiding large, complex organizations will serve him well in his new role as president of the University of Wisconsin System,” Klein said. “I know Jay will approach the job methodically and will work closely with our chancellors to propel the mission of the University of Wisconsin System.

“I feel much the same about Jennifer Mnookin, the next Chancellor of UW-Madison,” Klein said. “Jennifer is an elegant thinker and a gifted communicator. She brings important and deep experience in operating within the confines of a large public university system. She is highly capable individual, as well as a proven leader. We are fortunate to have been able to recruit her to lead our flagship university.”

Klein also thanked her colleagues on the Board for their friendship and commitment to the UW System and the state.

Education Committee

The Education Committee heard a report on the Basic Need Insecurities (BNI) facing students both in the UW System and nationwide. Jamie Grisham, Vice Chancellor at UW Oshkosh, told Regents that 30% of college students nationwide experience food insecurity at some point in their college careers, a situation exacerbated by COVID. She said 43% of college students nationally also reported housing insecurity in 2020.

BNI, which often includes gaps in access to technology, can have significant impact on student success, Grisham said. She added there are higher rates of unmet need among historically under-represented students.

Kelly Haag, Vice Chancellor at UW-Milwaukee, told Regents that students on every UW campus report some level of food, housing, and financial insecurities. In addition to offering emergency grants for support, 12 of 13 UW universities currently have a food pantry, with the final one now in development, Haag said.

Joy Evans, a recent UWM graduate, shared with Regents her own experience with BNI earlier in her college career. “I was eating only once a day because that’s all I could afford,” she said. “It definitely had a big impact on my social life.” Evans eventually started a food pantry program at UW Oshkosh and later worked at UWM’s pantry. “I’ve seen first-hand how much students really appreciate the services provided there,” Evans said.

To address the ongoing BNI, Haag said more dedicated funding for emergency grants is needed, as well as support for more case management on campuses. A basic needs survey at the system level also would be beneficial, she said.

In other action, the Education Committee:

  • Approved the total funding request of $13,951,136 in net and unallocated income for the upcoming fiscal year for submission to the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate. These funds support student scholarships, fellowships, academic programs, Vilas Research Professorships, and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships at both UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Music;
  • Approved UW-Eau Claire’s request for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Communication, which would be the first of its kind in the UW System;
  • Approved UW-Green Bay’s request for a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, which will be supported by existing courses offered as part of the existing minor in these fields. The degree program will meet anticipated student demand created, in part, by the elimination of social science majors such as the B.S. in Human Development;
  • Approved UW-Platteville’s request for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, which elevates an existing emphasis in Computer Engineering to a standalone degree. Responding to growing market demand, it will be one of seven ABET-accredited engineering programs already within the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science;
  • Approved UW-River Falls’ request for a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Bachelor of Science in Management, and Bachelor of Science in Marketing. This will elevate successful options in the existing Bachelor of Business Administration program to a Bachelor of Science in program. The development of this program responds to growing demand for additional programs in Marketing, Finance, and Management be offered in Northwest Wisconsin;
  • Approved UW-Whitewater’s request for a Bachelor of Science in Health and Leadership Studies, a transfer-friendly program designed for working allied health professionals with primarily asynchronous online delivery. In Wisconsin, the Education and Healthcare super-sector is expected to add more jobs than any other sector;
  • Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request to rename the Lubar School of Business to the Sheldon Lubar College of Business to align with recent policy changes for name conventions. The name change does not affect the administrative structure of the new college;
  • Approved a Liberal Arts Transfer Program for the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science with Southwest Technical College. Under the program, students will be guaranteed admission to a four-year UW university as a transfer student and enter with junior standing. This will save time toward earning the bachelor level degree, eliminating unnecessary duplication of classes and increased student debt;
  • Approved a Liberal Arts Transfer Program for the Associate of Arts with Chippewa Valley Technical College. With this agreement, the UW System now has in place a transfer program with every WTCS institution in the state;
  • Approved the 2022 Report on Faculty Promotions, Tenure Designations, and Other Changes in Status. More than 400 faculty members have been newly tenured, promoted, and hired with tenure. Regent action is the final step in the multi-step process by which faculty receive tenure;
  • Heard a presentation by D. Kay Eilers, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, and Kelly Haag, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, on UW-Milwaukee’s 2030 student-centric framework;
  • Heard a presentation on the Teach-Lead Wisconsin Initiative, led by UW System PK-20 Strategic Initiatives and Educational Innovation Director Barbara Bales and UW-La Cross Dean of the School of Education Marcie Wycoff-Horn. The initiative seeks to develop strategies to recruit, diversify, and support Wisconsin teachers and education leaders;
  • Heard a report by Johannes Britz, the recently appointed Interim Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, including an end-of-year review and a look ahead.

Business & Finance Committee

Sean Nelson, UW System’s Vice President for Finance, briefed Regents on COVID-related impacts on UW System finances. He noted that over $800 million in pandemic-related expenses and revenue losses have been partly offset by federal relief funds, resulting in a total impact on UW System of $210 million through March 2022.

In other business, the Business & Finance Committee:

  • Approved UW-Milwaukee’s newly negotiated agreement with AT&T, allowing for continued rooftop placement of its equipment at Bolton Hall, with an increase in the license fee paid to UWM. The five-year agreement with additional renewable terms has a total value that may exceed $1 million;
  • Approved a $1.3 million service contract between UW System and Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker for quality assurance services to ensure that implementation of the Workday Software associated with the Administrative Transformation Project (ATP) is done properly, on time, and on budget;
  • Approved an amendment to a service agreement between UW System and Huron Consulting to implement the Workday software for ATP. At a cost of $187,000, the Prism Analytics module will be added to the current scope of work to facilitate the extraction, modeling, and export of data from the Workday platform for use in data analytics;
  • Approved a contract between UW System and Qualtrics to provide an Enterprise Survey Tool that will replace a current product expiring this month. The survey tool will be available for use by all UW System universities, to be utilized by general academic users, institutional researchers, and partnerships with non-academic entities conducting university-related work. The contract cost is $1.3 million over the initial three-year term;
  • Approved an addition to the strategic plan for major IT projects. The Enterprise Analytics Platform will establish a data analytics infrastructure that will enable participating universities to integrate HR data, financial data, student data, and other local datasets to significantly improve data-informed decision-making. A contract executing this work will be presented to approval at a future meeting;
  • Approved a contract between UW-Madison and Foremost Farms, extending a long relationship with the university for the purchase of daily shortages and the sale of excess milk produced by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and used for research and instructional purposes by multiple campus units. The five-year contract estimates annual net revenues of over $5 million;
  • Approved a five-year renewable master research agreement between UW-Madison and Kohler Company. The agreement covers sponsored research projects ranging from materials research, water quality monitoring, smart manufacturing, and diagnostic capacities, primarily with the College of Engineering. The agreement is likely to exceed the $1 million threshold for Board review;
  • Approved an amendment to a current service agreement that increases the project budget to $1.2 million, necessitating Board approval. In the project, Valo Health is obtaining the services of the UW-Madison Reading Center in evaluating retinal images in support of a clinical trial aimed at treating various ophthalmological diseases;
  • Approved a five-year master service agreement between UW-Madison and The Emmes Company, a contract research organization working on behalf of the National Eye Institute to conduct clinical trial services related to retinal disease. The UW-Madison Reading Center will be a key partner. The agreement is likely to exceed the $1 million threshold requiring Board review;
  • Approved a contract between UW-Madison and Oracle for its Exadata database system, which provides the computing infrastructure for the enterprise resource planning systems utilized by UW System. The four-year contract will reduce UW-Madison’s annual expense from over $1.2 million to $940,000, with terms that anticipate and support the future transition to Workday as part of ATP;
  • Approved an exception to Regent policy regarding unendowed gifts to the university, to allow for the partial expenditure of principal of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Discretionary Fund. This action allows the use of $1 million toward the purchase of a proton therapy device for cancer treatment at the Carbone Cancer Center;
  • Approved the continuation of tuition for Illinois residents at a rate equivalent to the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which is a multi-state tuition reciprocity program in which students are charged no more than 150% of the resident tuition rate for selected programs. With no participating institutions in Illinois, this action allows the 10 UW universities that have opted into the program to competitively recruit those students to UW System;
  • Approved revisions to RPD 13-1, governing contract approval, signature authority, and reporting. The amendment clarifies signature authority and establishes reasonable thresholds at which that authority for certain contracts is delegated to the chancellors or system president, increasing operational efficiency while maintaining the role of the Board in providing fiduciary oversight;
  • Heard a presentation by UW-Milwaukee Vice Chancellor Robin Van Harpen detailing how in the face of inflation-adjusted reductions in state support and tuition revenue, UWM’s focus on student success initiatives has led to steady improvements in educational outcomes, including graduation rates.

Capital Planning & Budget Committee

The Capital Planning & Budget Committee approved a request from UW-River Falls to construct the Science and Technology Innovation Center project for an estimated total cost of $116,730,000 ($11,730,000 in General Fund Supported Borrowing and $5,000,000 in Gifts/Grants/Other Receipts.

The new 131,300 GSF building will be home for the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology departments. It will also provide support for agricultural programs and enhance and grow partnerships with businesses and industries through collaborative programming, internships, and innovative product development.

In other business, the Capital Planning & Budget Committee:

  • Approved UW-River Falls’ request to sell a 0.86-acre parcel of land with improvements and a 0.68-acre unimproved parcel of land, both on River Hills Drive. The Regents received the two parcels of land, one of which includes a single-family house, through a donation from a former faculty member. It has been determined the house is no longer necessary and the donor approves the sale of the residence;
  • Approved UW Oshkosh’s request for authority to enter into a long-term ground lease and allow Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) to construct athletic fields to be used for public recreation. The park on the east edge of the UWO campus had historically been used for intramural sports but with construction of the Student Recreation and Wellness center in 2007 and redevelopment of the sports fields and opening of the Rec Plex in 2018, it is no longer actively used by students;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to sell units 1-153 of the University of Wisconsin Parking Condominium to the University of Wisconsin Foundation. The condominium ownership structure was formed to manage the common elements of the parking structure. The Foundation is exercising its option to repurchase the condo parking spaces;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct three All Agency Maintenance and Repair projects:
    • At UW-Eau Claire, Chancellor’s Hall HVAC system will be renovated
    • At UW-Madison, Sellery Hall’s exterior envelope will be repaired
    • At UW-Stout, multiple buildings will undergo energy efficiency renovations
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to design and construct the UW-Managed Elvehjem Building Envelope Reconstruction for an estimated total project cost of $12,094,000 Gift/Grant Funds. The project performs much-needed building envelope maintenance. The building is a contributing structure in the Bascom Hill Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request to design and construct the UW-Managed WARF Building Floors 4, 5, and 7 Renovation project for an estimated total project cost of $5,900,000 Gift/Grant Funds. The renovated space supports critical research programs including the Center for Health Disparities Research, whose director, Dr. Amy Kind, is a recipient of a National Institutes of Health grant totaling $29 million;
  • Approved UW Oshkosh’s request for authority to design and construct the Heating Plant Chiller & Cooling Tower Replacement project for an estimated total cost of $3,465,000 ($2,495,000 General Fund Supported Borrowing and $970,000 Program Revenue Supported Borrowing). This project replaces the 450-ton cooling tower for chiller #3 to a 1400-ton tower plus connecting it to existing towers #1 and #2 piping so the chillers can utilize all the towers for better efficiency;
  • Approved UW-Green Bay’s request for authority for Brown County to construct a road on the UW-Green Bay campus to be owned and operated by the university pending approval by the Department of Administration and State Building Commission. The road will be developed to connect Wood Hill Drive and Technology Way, the site of the recent STEM building built by Brown County. Remaining funds from the 2019 non-state grant used to construct the STEM building will cover the $300,000 cost;
  • Approved UW-Stevens Point’s request for authority to construct the back-up Data Center and demolition of Albertson Hall for the Albertson Hall Replacement project for an estimated cost of $5,329,000 General Fund Supported Borrowing. The project construct a back-up data center in telecommunications space in the Chemistry Biology Building so the existing data center located in Albertson Hall can be decommissioned prior to demolition of the building;
  • Heard a UW-Milwaukee presentation on “Expanding UWM’s Impact: Facilities Matter”;
  • Heard UW System’s Semi-Annual Status Report on Leasing Activity, which included six leases for new space in the last six months. None of the new leases required Board approval;
  • Heard UW System’s Semi-Annual Status Report on UW Solely Managed Capital Projects. Since its inception in 2015, the program has overseen 117 projects with a current total value of $471,529,124;
  • Heard an update on the 2023-29 Capital Plan from Senior Associate Vice President Alex Roe.

Audit Committee

Chief Compliance Officer Paige Smith provided a presentation on the progress of the UW System Office of Compliance and Integrity (OCI) work in Fiscal Year 2022 and proposed Annual Plan for Fiscal year 2023.

In February 2019, UW System hired its first Director of Compliance and launched efforts to develop a systemwide compliance framework to support key focus areas and establish a governance structure across UW System. UW System’s OCI continues to evolve its work regarding risks, compliance obligations, and audit findings to guide UW universities in their compliance efforts.

Smith told Regents that OCI has continued to expand certain areas of specialty in areas of records management, public records, and youth protection.

In other business, the Audit Committee:

  • Heard an overview from Chief Audit Executive Lori Stortz on the Fiscal Year 2022 Audit Plan Progress Report. Stortz also provided a summary of results from recently issued audits including Engagement and Management of Independent Contractors; Information Security Program Accountability; Information Technology Disaster Recovery Backups; Internal Assessment; Report on Self-Assessment; and the Quality Assurance and Improvement Program;
  • Approved the Fiscal Year 2023 Audit Plan;
  • Heard a report from Lori Stortz, affirming the organizational independence of internal audit activity, in accordance with the Institute of Internal Auditors “International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing”;
  • Heard an update from Lori Stortz on changes to UW System Administrative Policy 304, “Fiscal Misconduct.” Changes have been made to clarify definitions and keep the policy consistent and comprehensive.

Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee

Jennifer Abele, Senior Executive Director of UW-Milwaukee’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, led the presentation, “Impact of Innovative Partnerships at UW-Milwaukee.” Abele and co-presenters highlighted a series of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives which support hiring and purchasing from underserved communities and focus on connecting diverse student talent with employers.

The presentation also included an update on industry-focused initiatives using intelligence gained from partnerships to inform the creation of new educational offerings.

In other business, the REDI Committee:

  • Heard a UW-Stout presentation, “Strategic Visioning Energizes Career Pathways and Community Outreach at the State’s Polytechnic University.” Chancellor Katherine Frank highlighted key factors that drive the university’s success. Factors include the robust relationships with business and industry through a broad range of program advisory committees, its industry leading internship and cooperative education programs, and its economic engagement activities through outreach units such as the Discovery Center.


The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will resume its meeting at 8:45 a.m. on June 10, 2022, at UW-Milwaukee