49th Faculty Senate

49th Faculty Senate
January 29, 2015 – 3:30 PM
Robert C. Voight Faculty Senate Chambers – 325 Graff Main Hall
Vol. 49, No. 9
Roll Call
a. Present: M. Allen, J. Anderson, C. Angell, K. Beyer, L. Caya, G. Cravins, M. Current, T.
Docan-Morgan, N. Eschenbaum, R. Fowler, T. Gendreau, P. Haried, D. Hart, K. Hunt, S.
Kelly, T. King-Heiden, J. Kirsch, W. Maas, R. McKelley, M. Rott, B. Seebach, J. Shanks,
K. Terpstra
b. Excused: B. Shrestha
Minutes of December 4 approved
a. Chancellor (Joe Gow):
i. Chancellor Gow opted to reserve his comments for the roundtable discussion.
b. Provost (Heidi Macpherson):
i. UW-L will be hosting a System Development meeting in May in partnership with
UW-Platteville and UW-Baraboo.
ii. Heather Schenck (Chemistry & Biochemistry) was recently named a Regent's
iii. UW-L's Eagle Alerts Program has received a Regent's Diversity Award.
iv. The 20th Annual Faculty Research Day held on January 23, was well attended.
v. In addition to extensive budget work, the Joint Planning and Budget Committee
will be working on UW-L's Mission, Vision, and Values Statements in
preparation for the upcoming HLC Accreditation visit.
c. CFO (Bob Hetzel):
i. CFO Hetzel opted to reserve his comments for the roundtable discussion.
d. Student Senate Liaison (Amy Keel):
i. Rep. Keel reported that the Student Senate had their first meeting of the semester
on 1/28/15, and they plan to launch an awareness campaign for issues at the State
level affecting students.
ii. Student Association President Kaylee Otterbacher shared with the Faculty Senate
that students from around the state have been in Madison over the semester break
working in support of the continuation of shared governance.
e. Faculty Representative (Georges Cravins):
i. Rep. Cravins opted to reserve his comments for the roundtable discussion, except
to note that he was pleased to see people currently so united as a System.
Faculty Senate Chair (Bradley Seebach):
i. Chair Seebach requested a brief update on some of the major Search and Screen
proceedings happening on campus. Provost Macpherson provided the following:
1. Finalist candidates for the CBA Dean's search will be visiting campus
starting on Tuesday, 2/3/15.
2. The CLS Dean's Search & Screen Committee is currently doing Skype
interviews and will soon be narrowing down the pool to the candidates
they want to bring to campus.
3. The Search & Screen Committee for the Director of Academic Advising
search will be bringing candidates to campus around the same time as the
CLS Dean's finalists.
ii. Chair Seebach encouraged those present to attend the state legislative open forum
that is scheduled for 2/13/15 from 3:00-4:00 PM in the Ward Room, Cartwright
Center. The forum is being sponsored by UW-L's Political Science Department,
Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Council, Joint Legislative Relations Committee,
and the UW-L Student Association.
Roundtable Discussion of State Budget and Policy Changes:
a. Chancellor Gow started the discussion by describing the process by which he learned of
the proposed cut to the UW-System budget. He pointed out that, while cuts to UWSystem have been made by governors from both political parties, the proposed $300
million cut is the highest; however, the governor has indicated that he would be willing to
talk about that number. The Chancellor also mentioned that the idea of the UW-System
turning into a public authority would require a lot of discussion and planning, as it would
involve questions regarding tenure, faculty workload, and shared governance.
i. Question - General impact of budget cuts: A question was raised asking the panel
to identify the most likely impacts. CFO Hetzel responded by stating that if UWL's share of the $300 million cut is apportioned the way it has been previously,
that would mean an approximately $6 million cut to UW-L's budget. His office is
already discussing possible strategies for accommodating such a cut, and that
they are looking for solutions that will achieve the goal of absorbing costs
without a detrimental effect on the quality of education. He identified S&E
budgets and non-instructional positions as possible sources of cuts, but that an
institutional dialogue will need to happen.
b. Provost Macpherson indicated that the administration was also looking into ways to grow
current revenues, including measures to increase student retention. She stated that there
are currently no conversations at UW-L about eliminating tenure or freezing promotions.
c. A general discussion ensued that included possible long-term worst-case scenarios, the
need for more dissemination of information to the public about the decline in state
funding over the past 15 years, and a description of the possible effects of UW-System
becoming a public authority.
i. Question - Pay plan: Specific questions about the effects of the cut on the
impending pay plan were raised. CFO Hetzel responded that they were currently
working on a pay plan of 1%, but the plan still needs more discussion. He noted
that becoming a public authority would allow campuses the flexibility to set their
own pay plans if the funds were available.
ii. Question - Status of building projects: CFO Hetzel stated that the cuts would
have no effect on Cowley Phase 1; however, he noted that all project revenues
have ground to a halt until the budget is finalized, so the Wittich Renovation and
the Rec Addition are both currently on hold.
iii. Question - Removal of the legislative mandate for shared governance: A question
regarding the need for the removal of shared governance from state statutes was
raised. Provost Macpherson indicated that it was part of the process for rolling
UW-System into a public authority. Student President Otterbacher noted that
Wisconsin is in a somewhat unique position in having shared governance as part
of state statute, but it is a position many students believe is worth fighting for.
iv. Question - Long-term effects of budget cuts: A discussion regarding the cost of
an education at a UW-System school in 2017 if current proposals are realized
ensued. Many expressed concerns about the current affordability of higher
education and its effects on middle class families, and how decreased state
funding could exacerbate this problem.
v. Question - Impacts on hiring and retention: It was noted that the suggestion of a
large budget cut paired with the proposed move to a public authority was already
having a detrimental effect on hiring and retention.
Joint Promotion Committee:
a. Due to time constraints, this item was moved to a future meeting.
Discussion of UW System Policy and Title IX Compliance:
a. Due to time constraints, this item was moved to a future meeting.
VII. Old Business:
VIII. New Business:
Adjournment at 5:00 PM
Respectfully submitted,
Janet Kirsch