A spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the governor has “zero plans” to change the Wisconsin Retirement System. Read the State Journal’s story.
Advisory committees consisting of regents and local stakeholders could help foster better communication between the UW System Board of Regents and local campuses, Interim Chancellor David Ward on Wednesday told the Legislative Task Force on UW Restructuring. Read more.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel makes the case for more administrative flexibility in a staff editorial. “We support giving the campuses more flexibility to govern themselves. And that includes establishing a local governing board,” the editorial states.
UW System President Kevin Reilly also delivered testimony to the Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities in which he said, “Without adequate state support, the quality of a UW education will slip. Without sufficient and smart investments in need-based financial aid, affordable access to our campuses will shrink, and our economic engine will stall.” Read the text of his remarks.
The Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibility heard from three chancellors — including UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells — this week about giving campuses more flexibility. This Oshkosh Northwestern account quotes Wells as saying the focus need to be campus-centric “and the UW System can support us to be even more entrepreneurial and they can hold us accountable.”
The state Department of Administration announced budget lapses required of state agencies on Friday, with the UW System taking the biggest hit — $46 million — with the vast majority of the cuts coming in this fiscal year. The Wisconsin State Journal offers this account.
Public universities need to develop a new strategy to remain competitive and advance their vision, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s David Ward told the UW System Board of Regents on Thursday. Read more.
The Faculty Senate Monday passed a resolution in support of public funding for higher education, calling on Gov. Scott Walker and the state Legislature to reduce the budget cut targeted at the UW System. Read more.
UW System President Kevin Reilly and CEOs from System campuses — including UW-Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward — say students will suffer the unintended consequences of budget lapses that weigh disproportionately on UW campuses. They say: “There is still time to reconsider the methodology behind this midyear budget lapse and redress its inequities. By doing so, state leaders can send a message to all UW students and their families that higher education is a higher priority in Wisconsin.” Read their Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column.
This week a new state compensation plan was submitted to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations. Click here to read three important messages regarding the state compensation plan. The first is from Robert Lavigna, UW-Madison director of human resources. The others include a message from Michael Huebsch, secretary of the state Department of Administration, and another is from state Office of State Employment Relations Gregory Gracz.
The membership of a task force to study the UW System’s structure and possible administrative flexibilities was completed Monday when Gov. Scott Walker named its final two members, including UW–Madison Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell. Read more.
The Office of Human Resources at UW-Madison says the implementation of state legislation will affect employees enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance program.
Aug. 1 update: A Wisconsin State Journal story over the weekend indicated employees would see a pay reduction in January 2012 because of higher health insurance contributions for those on state health plans. Campus benefits experts say there is no pay reduction scheduled. Instead, the story refers to an upcoming change to the state group health insurance uniform benefits. Starting in plan year 2012, subscribers and their dependents will be required to pay co-insurance for non-preventive services. More details are available on the campus Payroll & Benefits Services website in the News section link “Changes Coming to State Group Health Insurance.”
Bob Lavigna, director of the Office of Human Resources, details the the impact of the biennial state budget and budget repair bill on employee benefits and collective bargaining in a memo sent to all UW-Madison employees on July 5. Read more »
Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday signed the state’s $66 billion spending plan for 2011-13, making 50 vetoes along the way. Read the governor’s veto message.
Here is a roundup of some of the media coverage of the signing:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker signs budget bill, vetoes just 50 items
Associated Press: Wisconsin governor makes 50 vetoes in state budget
Wisconsin Radio Network: Wisconsin has a new budget
WISC-TV: Gov. Walker signs budget into law
UW Health has requested a gubernatorial veto of a state budget provision that attempts to designate funds of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics as state funding. UW Hospital and Clinics does not receive state funds. Read more »
The $66 billion spending plan passed Thursday by the state Legislature for the next two years includes important administrative flexibilities for UW System institutions and preserves a critical state broadband network. Read more »
UW-Madison will be able to continue all current networking affiliations, including membership in WiscNet, under an agreement included in Wisconsin’s proposed state budget. Read more »
In an editorial, WISC-TV editorial director Neil Heinen says a provision in the state budget to eliminate the WiscNet broadband network should be amended so it won’t hinder or jeopardize UW research, harm Mad City broadband and cause major cost increases for schools and libraries.
“Whatever short term budget gains were envisioned by restricting the UW System’s ability to participate in existing network consortia are clearly offset by the long term effects of a less competitive and robust UW System research component to say nothing of an immediate loss of a 32-Million dollar federal grant,” Heinen says.
Read the full editorial here.
Bob Lavigna, director of the UW-Madison Office of Human Resources, sent a message to all employees regarding programs that allow employees to convert sick leave to pay for health insurance after retirement.
I am writing with an important update on the status of the two programs that allow employees to convert sick leave to pay for health insurance after retirement. We know there is great interest across the campus in the status of these two programs — Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit (ASLCC) and Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credit (SHICC).
ASLCC allows retiring employees to convert all of their unused sick leave into a dollar amount to pay retiree health insurance premiums. Since this benefit is provided by statute, it would require legislative action to change it. There is no language in the biennial budget bill currently before the Legislature that would change ASLCC. Even if ASLCC were changed, statutory provisions prevent those changes from being imposed retroactively.
Read more »
In a campuswide message, Chancellor Biddy Martin discusses Friday’s legislative compromise that will help campuses develop better, more effective ways of operating. She also terms the agreement in the Joint Fiannce Committee a “promising first step.”
The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee was expected to take action Friday on the budget for the University of Wisconsin System. An agreement reached by the committee removed a proposal to create a public authority to govern UW-Madison, but does offer varying degrees of administrative flexibilities.
Here’s a roundup of news coverage of the agreement:
Associated Press: Budget deal keeps Madison campus in UW System but gives it, other campuses more flexibility
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:UW-Madison to stay in system, budget panel says
Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison independence idea officially dead, legislators float alternative
Capital Times: Campus Connection: Some freedoms from state oversight to be granted to all UW campuses
Campus Connection: Higher education game changer?
WisPolitics Budget Blog: Madison won’t be split off, but flexibilities will be offered to all UW campuses
WISC-TV: Budget plan keeps Madison campus In UW System: Committee approved budget measures
As state lawmakers continue the budget process, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin says she is optimistic that legislators on both sides of the aisle have heard the call for greater flexibilities for UW-Madison, as well as for all other UW System institutions.
“I’m confident that some of the important items that could improve the way we operate — something that I’ve been advocating for months — will be part of the budget,” Martin says.