The complex process of writing new tenure policies for University of Wisconsin System faculty took a turn recently that frustrated professors and led some to question whether efforts at UW-Madison to write strong layoff protections will be negated by less robust statewide rules. That’s how the Wisconsin State Journal described in providing lengthy, in-depth coverage.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s opinion page thinks very little of a plan by two Republican state senators to overrule the UW System ban on deadly weapons in campus buildings.
Stacie Christian, director of inclusive excellence for UW-Green Bay, was interviewed by Local 5 News for her reaction to a proposal by two state lawmakers to regulate how local K-12 districts deal with bathroom and locker-room usage by transgender students. Christian pointed out that UWGB has long provided access to private, gender-neutral bathrooms. She also said of the effort to legislate new limits, “Most of the country is moving forward in a different direction.”
Members of the UW System Board of Regents took advantage of Friday’s meeting in Whitewater to publically speak out against an Assembly bill that would make it a felony to conduct research with newly procured fetal tissue. Regents from both ends of the political spectrum including Gerald Whitburn, Charles Pruitt, Michael Grebe and Regent President Regina Millner characterized the legislation as over-reach, saying that ethical, vital, state-of-the-art research, especially at UW-Madison, would be imperiled if the bill passes. The Capital Times has coverage. For more on the fetal-tissue issue, and other items of interest from Friday’s meeting, see the UW System recap.
A busy day of public events celebrating the 50th anniversary of UWGB’s founding opened with a Wednesday morning breakfast program in the University Union’s Phoenix Room.
The University’s first Student Government Association president, Scott Knapp, was the keynote speaker. Now the CEO of Central Maine Community College, Knapp shared memories of his relationship with Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner, the earliest days of the new campus, and being asked to speak at the official groundbreaking for UWGB in November 1967.
Also offering remarks were UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt (who presented Miller and the University a key to the city), and proud Class of 1971 alumnus Sen. Dave Hansen (who presented a flag that had flown over the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison). Ron Pfeifer was emcee.
The invitation-only breakfast was also attended by other early 1970s graduates, current students and student government leaders, longtime community supporters (including Dr. Herb and Crystal Sandmire, friends of UWGB since 1969), emeriti faculty, University officials, the senior member of UW-Green Bay’s faculty (Prof. Kumar Kangayappan), Marge and Ellen Weidner, UW System officials including the deans of nearby UW Colleges, System President Ray Cross and Regent President Regina Millner, Regent Tim Higgins, Council of Trustees and Alumni leadership, and others. First graduate Nancy Ably Deprey ’70 and “most recent graduate” Victoria Zacarias ‘15 were acknowledged for their participation in the campus 50th anniversary video.
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Photos by UW-Green Bay staff members Dan Moore and Kelly Selner
U.S. Representative Reid Ribble is a sponsor of H.R. 3120, the Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act of 2015, a bill he says would help equip farmers to reduce excess nutrient loading that has seen water bodies including the Bay of Green Bay suffer seasonal “dead zones.” H.R. 3120 would create an initiative for states in the Great Lakes Basin to establish “innovative, proactive programs that help farms of all sizes and all commodities to prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.” Ribble has hosted a series of listening sessions and stakeholder meetings prompted in part by highly publicized research – some of it involving UW-Green Bay faculty, students and alumni – showing phosphorous-laden runoff is causing algae blooms and oxygen problems in the bay. If you’re interested in the topic, the Wisconsin State Farmer news site had an ag-centric view of Ribble’s project posted online. The piece quotes experts including local dairyman Gordon Spiers and UWGB watershed specialist Prof. Kevin Fermanich of Natural and Applied Sciences.
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller distributed a short letter with the title “Budget Reduction Update” to UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members this morning (April 21). He shared that the University’s leaders and advocates continue to have constructive conversations with state legislators about the size of the UW System funding cuts and important new flexibilities. He summarized this month’s Board of Regents developments. He also amended his earlier projection that the University might identify and announce its budget-reduction plans by mid-May. Because of the slower-than-expected pace of legislative action on the budget, the Chancellor now believes final decisions will be made no earlier than late June.
Vos says Walker cut similar to Doyle’s
Robin Vos says Walker cut to UW budget is similar to Doyle’s but Dems didn’t protest
It doesn’t look like the Legislature will support Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to grant the UW System autonomy from state oversight and laws, including the setting of tuition rates, key lawmakers said Tuesday. That’s the gist, anyway, of an AP story that quotes Rep. John Nygren, co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, as saying the autonomy proposal “might be on life support.” Others quoted in the story, however, say the flexibility options remain very much alive. Read more.
State Sen. Frank Lasee is among the state lawmakers who argue that Gov. Walker’s proposed reductions for the UW System aren’t as large as UW officials make them out to be. When measured against the totality of the System’s $6.1 billion annual budget, Lasee says, a $150 million cut is a 2.5 percent reduction. (System officials say the more appropriate figure to cite is closer to $1 billion – the amount provided by state GPR taxpayer support – without including tuition revenue, gifts, grants and revenue from auxiliaries including housing, dining and more.) If you’re interested in reading Lasee’s argument, see his guest piece in the Wisconsin State Journal.