Ward asks for vetoes of WCIJ, HR Design provisions

Interim Chancellor David Ward today sent two letters to Gov. Scott Walker requesting vetoes on provisions in the 2013-15 budget bill.

The bill is on Walker’s desk after passing the Assembly and the Senate this week. Walker is expected to issue his vetoes and sign the bill next week.

Ward is asking Walker to use his veto pen on two amendments, one related to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the other the HR Design project. The provisions were added to the budget during the legislative Joint Finance Committee’s deliberations.

Ward is seeking a veto of language in the budget bill that would prohibit the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from utilizing space on the UW–Madison campus and bar UW employees from doing any work related to the WCIJ as part of their official duties.

In addition to the important work the collaboration has yielded and the opportunities it provides to students, Ward cited a concern about the legislature restricting the university’s ability to partner with outside entities on teaching and research.

“The best and brightest researchers – and entrepreneurs, and families, and investors in Wisconsin’s economy – cannot function when a government body holds more sway over their decisions than years of careful experience,” Ward writes in the letter.

Ward would also like the governor to veto a provision delaying the implementation of the HR Design personnel system for two years.

Pushing back the implementation of the new human resources framework will delay the university’s ability to make timely and effective hiring decisions, implement enhanced systems for employee development and performance evaluation, and install a new strategic diversity plan for hiring and employment activities, among other important changes, Ward writes.