Chancellor Tom Harden and HR Director Sheryl Van Gruensven took the opportunity of Tuesday’s meeting of the campuswide Chancellor’s Leadership Council to remind supervisors they have the authority to grant alternative work schedules on a case-by-case basis. The issue is front and center, in at least a few cases, because the indefinite closing of the Leo Frigo I-43 bridge has played havoc with work-family schedules by adding a half hour or more to some employees’ one-way commute. Both Harden and Van Gruensven encouraged supervisors to be flexible if office coverage and workload issues allow. The 2009 policy spells things out at www.uwgb.edu/hr/policies/.
The University of Wisconsin System announced Wednesday the first degree programs that will be offered under its innovative UW Flexible Option starting in Fall 2013. The System is expected to be the first public university system in the nation to offer this kind of competency-based, self-paced learning option. The UW Flexible Option is designed for nontraditional adult students who often come to college with substantial learning acquired in a variety of venues. It will allow students to earn college credit by demonstrating knowledge they have acquired through coursework, military training, on-the-job training, and other learning experiences. It was announced Wednesday that UW-Milwaukee will offer four degree programs and one certificate program. UW Colleges will provide an array of general education and liberal arts courses in the new format, in core fields such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, business, English, Spanish, geography, and others. UW Colleges will also work to provide the Associate of Arts and Science degree via the UW Flexible Option, which may also meet the general education requirements of four-year degree programs launched by other institutions. Several other UW System institutions, including UW-Parkside, are working to develop Flexible Options for their degree programs, and additional offerings should be ready by Fall 2014. You can read the full UW System news release.
Media coverage of Wednesday’s UW System announcement
Here’s a link to Wisconsin State Journal coverage of this week’s update from UW System officials on progress involving the new UW Flexible Option initiative: http://host.madison.com/news/state-and-regional/uw-milwaukee-to-offer-flexible-degree-programs/article_1dd7845e-c0af-5548-aa59-6e4601ca20da.html
During a visit to UW-Green Bay on Friday, UW System President Kevin Reilly met with members of the media to talk about Gov. Walker’s proposed budget. Reilly told reporters he is concerned that other UW schools could be hurt if UW-Madison is split from the rest of the system. “How can we, at a time when we need to be putting more and more of our money that we do have under the core educational mission, avoid spending dollars on red tape bureaucracy, hoops that we have to jump through for the state,” Reilly said. For more, click here.