MADISON – The University of Wisconsin System Task Force on Sexual Violence and Harassment presented its report Thursday to the Board of Regents, recommending all UW System employees and students complete sexual violence and harassment training.
“Our campus communities should be safe and welcoming places to live, learn and work – and there is no room for compromise on this commitment,” said UW System President Ray Cross, who formally accepted the report in its entirety earlier this week. “This report reflects our dedication to addressing the disturbing and persistent problems of sexual violence and harassment in our society, and to identify and implement real, tangible approaches at our institutions to continue tackling these challenges.”
The Task Force, which Cross created in 2014, called for integrating trauma-informed principles into policies and resources as part of the UW System’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence and harassment on campus. The Task Force also recommends training and professional development, survivor resources, policy changes, outreach and partnership, and continual assessment of campus climate.
“The problem of sexual violence and harassment has become deeply entrenched in our society. Even as we advance these recommendations, we are keenly aware that mitigating – let alone eradicating – this problem is a formidable task. That cannot stop us from doing what we can,” said Task Force co-chair Anne Bilder, Senior System Legal Counsel.
The Task Force included representatives from every UW System institution and UW System Administration. It was comprised of students, faculty, and administrators, and was cross-disciplinary, with members from areas such as counseling and health services, legal, Title IX offices, LGBTQ, communications, student services, law enforcement, disability services, and human resources.
Capping a four-month roll-out of the University’s 2020FWD strategic framework, President Cross called on Wisconsin’s leadership to invest in the UW System “for Wisconsin’s future, the future of our sons and daughters, and the future of all citizens across the state.”
The UW System is “uniquely qualified to be a leader in meeting Wisconsin’s needs,” Cross said, and the initiatives contained in the 2020FWD plan will help reinvigorate the state’s economy – an economy that supports everyone.
Cross reminded Regents that the 2020FWD plan increases access and success through the educational pipelines, teaches students to be more innovative and globally prepared, optimizes the university’s efficiency, and builds connections with businesses and communities.
“Let there be no ambiguity or hesitation: we are committed to providing an affordable, world-class education our students expect and deserve,” Cross said.
Regents Approve Proposed Pay Plan
UW institutions compete nationally and internationally to attract the most talented faculty and staff. The Board of Regents unanimously approved a pay plan request that equals a 2% increase each year of the biennium. The request will now go to the Governor and Legislature for consideration as part of an overall compensation package for all State employees.
“This is really important to the university, to us, and the Chancellors and I speak with a unanimous voice,” Cross said.
Regent President Regina Millner reiterated that no tuition dollars would be used to fund the pay plan request; rather, UW System is requesting the plan be funded through the State’s Compensation Reserve.
“Our faculty and staff help make us the great institutions we are, and we cannot overlook the important role they play in maintaining our world-class standing,” Cross said.
Select Tuition Increases Approved
Regents approved tuition changes for non-resident undergraduate and certain graduate and professional programs at seven UW institutions: Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Stout, and UW Colleges.
Millner noted that the nonresident tuition increases range from 1 to 2.5 percent, which still keeps UW System’s out-of-state tuition rates among the lowest in the Midwest, but put the UW more on par with peer universities.
“We also need to remember the UW System offers the only public veterinarian, pharmaceutical, law, and medical schools in Wisconsin – and they compete in a highly competitive national and international market,” Millner said. “Although they are located in Madison, they really represent the whole state and are critically important to producing professionals for Wisconsin.”
As part of her regular report to the Board, Regent President Regina Millner told Regents that the Task Force on Campus Climate, chaired by Regents Eve Hall and Ed Manydeeds, held its first meeting last month. “Teaching and learning are at the heart of the UW System experience, and the UW System must provide a climate where teaching and learning can flourish,” said Millner, who has called for the group to complete its work by the spring of 2017. She also provided a brief update on the work of the Tuition-Setting Policy Task Force, chaired by Regent Tim Higgins.
UW System President Ray Cross highlighted legislative updates from the state and federal fronts. As part of his report on News from Around the UW System, Cross told Regents that UW-Whitewater’s Alumni Mentor Program is matching about 100 highly motivated students with equally dedicated alumni mentors.
In other business, the Board of Regents:
- Approved UW-Green Bay’s Master of Science in Athletic Training;
- Approved UW-Milwaukee’s Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies;
- Approved amendments to RPD 8-1, Authorization to Establish Advisory Councils, and removal of RPD 33-1, Board of Visitors Membership;
- Approved new policy on honorary doctorate degrees that integrates some content from Unclassified Personnel Guideline 11; the new policy provides a fuller explanation of when an honorary degree is appropriate, and documents current practice for honorary degrees;
- Approved a new Naming of University Academic Units policy;
- Approved removal of five obsolete policies from the Regent Policy Documents;
- Approved revisions to the current Regent Policy Document 14-2, to be renamed Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment;
- Approved revisions to RPD 14-8, Consensual Relationships, to promote compliance with new and existing requirements related to sexual violence and harassment;
- Heard the annual report on NCAA Division I athletics from UW-Green Bay;
- Approved the institutional post-tenure review policies submitted by the respective chancellors of six institutions: UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, and UW-River Falls;
- Approved Regent Policy Document (RPD) 20-9, Periodic Post-Tenure Review in Support of Tenured Faculty Development. The policy requires each UW institution to include in its post-tenure review policy a “delineation of the roles and responsibilities of those who will conduct or contribute to the review.” The proposed revision makes clear that there should be an independent review of faculty involved in post-tenure review by the dean, provost or chancellor;
- Approved revisions to RPD 20-9 regarding a timeframe for submission of institutional policies to the Board for approval. If any UW institution does not have a Board-approved policy by April 7, 2017, an interim policy would be in place at that institution;
- Approved a change to the Regent policy on large unendowed bequests/gifts to UW System Trust Funds to increase the threshold for only earnings to be expended on appropriate activities from $250,000 to $1 million;
- Approved UW-Madison’s Master Clinical Trial Agreement with Optimal Research, LLC;
- Approved UW-Madison’s Master Clinical Trial Agreement with Incyte Corporation;
- Approved UW-Madison’s Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Eli Lilly and Company;
- Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to construct the $93.8-million Chemistry Addition and Renovation project;
- Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to increase the project budget of the Engineering Hall Structures Lab Addition project;
- Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for authority to sell a strip of land at the edge of Thiemann Arboretum to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation;
- Approved UW-Madison’s request to increase the budget of the Witte Residence Hall Renovation project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct seven maintenance and repair projects at five institutions;
- Approved UW System’s request to seek enumeration of an additional 2017-19 Capital Budget Project, the UW-Milwaukee Sandburg Residence Hall Renovation project; and
- Recognized the service of two long-time colleagues with resolutions of appreciation: Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs David Miller and Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning Freda Harris.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will next meet on Feb. 2-3, 2017, hosted by UW-Madison.