Update on budget repair bill, UW System

• Chancellor updates faculty, staff on state budget

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden circulated an e-mail message late Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 16) in which he thanked faculty and staff members for their continued fine work and briefed them on developments related to the state budget. The message is archived here.

• Faculty Senate OKs resolution opposing budget-repair bill

The UW-Green Bay Faculty Senate, at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, discussed and approved a resolution critical of certain aspects of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. The resolution questions the move to limit collective bargaining, and argues that Wisconsin teachers including University faculty are being asked to shoulder a disproportionate share of proposed budget cuts. You can find the “Resolution on Budget Repair Proposal” at the governance website.

• Academic Staff Committee opposes bill
Meeting earlier Wednesday afternoon, the UW-Green Bay Academic Staff Committee endorsed its own resolution in opposition to SB-11, the budget-repair bill. The Committee’s resolution said academic staff compensation here already lags compensation at peer institutions and in the private sector, and the proposed bill would only increase those disparities. We’ll have a link to an archived copy of the full statement in our next LOG, later Thursday.

• Demonstrations on campus Thursday noon

The Student Government Association is planning a “teach-in” demonstration on Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 17) to protest the budget-repair bill. Students, faculty, and staff have been invited to attend. The gathering will be held outside on the plaza adjacent to the University Union. (As of this writing, that is expected to be the plaza area atop the Student Services Building.) The UWGB College Republicans have indicated they expect a small gathering in support of the budget repair bill at the same place and time.

• Visitor parking will close mid-day
In order to accommodate the anticipated crowds for the outdoor gatherings, Public Safety has decided to close the University Union Visitor Lot from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 17.) Vehicles parked in the lot before that time may be unable to exit the area between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Drivers should plan to park in an alternate location during this time.  There is also a possibility of traffic delays on Leon Bond Drive, so alternate parking lots should be considered.

• Concerns over UW System split

Leaders of the UW System have sent a letter to Gov. Scott Walker urging him to keep UW-Madison under the authority of the UW System. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the letter comes after UW System leaders “heard that elements of Walker’s proposed 2011-13 biennial budget might separate UW-Madison from the UW System.”

• UW System seeking more flexibility
An article in Milwaukee Magazine examines the issue of flexibility being pushed by the UW System. System spokesman Dave Giroux is quoted in the article saying, “This is not a new issue for us. What’s new is the urgency.” One expert interviewed for the piece says more flexibility will lead to higher tuition. Read the entire article.


Possible changes to budget repair bill

Union leaders and legislators spent much of the day Wednesday looking for ways to change Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. Walker said he is willing to make changes but he added, “We’re just not going to fundamentally undermine the principle of the proposal.” Read more coverage.

• Wisconsin protests featured in Chronicle of Higher Education
The website for The Chronicle of Higher Education featured a front-page article on the protests in Madison. The article focuses on impact the budget repair bill would have on higher education in Wisconsin. It includes thoughts on “a candid discussion about the legislation” between State Sen. Mike Elllis (R-Neenah) and about a dozen UW-Oshkosh professors. Read more.

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