MADISON — The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will hold its regular monthly meeting Dec. 6-7 in Van Hise Hall on the UW-Madison campus.  Please view the full agenda for the meeting.

On Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in 1820 Van Hise, Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen will receive a resolution of appreciation for the part played by the Assembly in passing a successful biennial budget for 2001-03. The board approved a resolution in September, thanking both the Senate and the Assembly, but Jensen was unable to attend that meeting.

Next, the board will begin its work by hearing two presentations in 1820 Van Hise. All regents are invited to attend.

Ric Porreca, senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will speak to the board on the pros and cons of “cohort tuition.” This is one of several future tuition options the board will discuss during this month’s meeting as part of its yearlong consideration of ways to build the UW System resource base and increase support for student educational quality.

With cohort tuition, each entering class of undergraduate students pays the same level of tuition for four or five years. The tuition charged each class, or “cohort,” would be higher than what’s charged now, but such an approach would enable students and their parents to predict tuition costs with greater certainty. It might also tend to encourage faster degree completion.

Next, William Cerbin, professor of psychology and assistant to the provost at UW-La Crosse, and Lisa Kornetsky, director of the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development, will make a presentation to the board on the scholarship of teaching and learning. This is part of an ongoing series of presentations on issues related to quality.

At noon, the board will hear from Vincent Tinto, distinguished university professor and chair of the Higher Education Program at Syracuse University, on “Improving Retention and Graduation: A National Perspective.” This luncheon meeting will take place in 1820 Van Hise, and interested persons are welcome to attend as observers.

At 1 p.m., the discussion of future tuition options will continue for 30 minutes as an all-regents-invited session in 1820 Van Hise. The purpose of the presentation is to provide board guidance to UW System staff in terms of which of the options, if any, have initial support and should be studied further. Options that receive further study will be brought back in the spring for final consideration as part of the next or subsequent biennial budget proposals.

In addition to cohort tuition, the board will discuss four other ideas for possible future consideration:

  • Charging for tuition on a per-credit basis, rather than charging a single amount for all full-time students (whether they take 12 or 18 credits). This approach could increase revenues, and would equalize the cost per course for full-time and part-time students.
  • Charging lower-than-normal non-resident tuition for the children of UW System alumni who now live in other states. This approach would enhance the state’s brain-gain efforts and also encourage alumni philanthropy.
  • Charging higher tuition based on higher family income, and lower tuition based on lower family income, using a progressive scale. If revenue adds to, rather than replaces, state funds, this approach would increase revenue while providing more equity based on one’s ability to pay.
  • Charging tuition for professional and other niche programs targeted at adult learners at a level that makes the programs essentially self-supporting. This approach would encourage institutions to offer more courses for the adult market, especially working adults whose tuition is reimbursed by employers.

According to an executive summary provided to the board, the goal of the “Building Our Resource Base” series is to seek additional revenues for a margin of excellence in the UW System, rather than to simply replace tax dollars with tuition revenues.

“Unpredictability in state support for public higher education makes it imperative that other sources of funding be developed,” says the summary. “Each of these [five] options has pros and cons, and some degree of risk or uncertainty in terms of actual revenue enhancement that might result.”

At this week’s meeting, the board will consider a phased-in conversion to a per-credit tuition and fees structure for UW-Stout, as well as a differential undergraduate tuition initiative at UW-Whitewater in support of supplemental advisory services. Both changes would take effect starting in 2002-03.

Regular committee meetings will convene during the afternoon, as follows:

Education Committee, 1820 Van Hise, 1:30 p.m.

  • Discussion: Student Retention, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Tuition Options
  • Announcement of 2001-02 sabbatical awards
  • Annual program planning and review report
  • Clarification of the board’s position relative to the state’s High School Graduation Test
  • PK-16 Council progress report
  • Approval of a charter school contract between UW-Milwaukee and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, establishing the Youth Leadership Academy, Inc.
  • Rename UW-Milwaukee’s School of Allied Health Professions the College of Health Sciences
  • Authorization to recruit a new provost and vice chancellor at UW-Stevens Point

Business and Finance Committee, 1920 Van Hise, 1:30 p.m.

  • Continuation of “Building Our Resource Base — Tuition Options Discussion”
  • Phased conversion to per-credit tuition at UW-Stout, starting in 2002-03
  • Higher differential tuition for UW-Whitewater undergraduate students, starting in 2002-03
  • Report on continuing appropriations and its use in serving adult students
  • Report on state-imposed costs added to resident undergraduate tuition in 2001-02
  • Physical Planning and Funding Committee, 1511 Van Hise, 1:30 p.m.
  • Discussion: 2003-05 capital project ranking criteria
  • Design report: Biotechnology Building Addition, UW-Madison
  • Design report: Chamberlin Hall Renovation, UW-Madison
  • Design report: Marshfield Dairy Phase I, UW Madison
  • Remodeling: Medical Science Center Cardiology Lab , UW-Madison
  • Design report: Residence Hall, UW-River Falls
  • Parking lot improvements, UW-Superior
  • Authority to construct: $10 million UW System classroom renovation/instructional technology improvements program, affecting 13 campuses and UW-Extension

The full meeting of the board is scheduled for Friday morning, starting at 9 a.m. in 1820 Van Hise. In addition to committee reports and related actions, board President Jay L. Smith and system President Katharine Lyall will both present reports. A summary of the recent, highly successful Wisconsin Economic Summit II is also planned.

Pending an expected decision to cancel the January meeting, the next meeting of the Board of Regents is scheduled for Feb. 7-8, 2002, in Madison.


Kevin Boatright
(608) 263-2227 or