Prof. Shelton comments on ‘Key Wisconsin legislator calls for further regrouping of UW campuses’

In a statement, interim UW System President Tommy Thompson said he is already working to centralize certain administrative programs that would save the system money in the long run. He opposed Roth’s call for regional consolidation, saying “our universities are strong when they are accessible and connected to their communities.”

“A proposal to regionalize them threatens these critical connections by adding bureaucracy that will impede their ability to respond to community needs and depress local fundraising and business support facilitated by campus leadership,” Thompson said. “I believe the regional approach would be a step in the wrong direction.”

Jon Shelton, AFT-Wisconsin’s vice president for higher education and a professor at UW-Green Bay, expressed concern over Roth’s idea to further consolidate campuses, arguing the data on projected enrollment declines is unclear at best.

“We are in a moment where faculty and staff on every campus are working hard to ensure greater access to higher education in our state, but this report calls for the Board of Regents to restrict that access by consolidating campuses regionally,” Shelton said.

 

Source: Key Wisconsin legislator calls for further regrouping of UW campuses

Prof. Shelton comments on ‘Republican Report On Higher Education Calls For Regionalization Of UW System Campuses’ | Wisconsin Public Radio

The report directs the Board of Regents to “continue the successful 2017 consolidation” of the state’s two-year colleges by “further consolidating the campuses of the UW System into four geographic regions, plus UW-Madison.” The regions, and subsequent campuses, would include:Northwest region: UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout and UW-Superior.Northeast region: UW-Green Bay, UW–Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point.Southwest region: UW-La Crosse and UW-Platteville.Milwaukee region: UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater.The report states that members of the Board of Regents should consolidate administrative and budget functions along with academic programs within a particular region.

Jon Shelton, a professor at UW-Green Bay and a member of the Board of Regents faculty representatives, said the report is unclear about exactly how campuses other than UW-Madison would become regional entities. Shelton said UW-Green Bay has been growing its enrollment in recent years, particularly by reaching out to growing Latino and Somali populations in the area. 

And if you were to regionalize it in this way, what you would see is, I think, the loss of the ability for campuses to truly serve their local community,” said Shelton.

Source: Republican Report On Higher Education Calls For Regionalization Of UW System Campuses | Wisconsin Public Radio

Gov. Tony Evers appoints new UW Regents, securing control of board long led by GOP appointees | State & Regional | wiscnews.com

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday appointed a medical group CEO to the UW Board of Regents, tipping the political balance of a board long led by Republican appointees who passed policies for University of Wisconsin System campuses opposed by many faculty and staff.The appointment of Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Green Bay-based Prevea Health, potentially sets the stage for the first contested election for board president in nearly a decade. Whoever emerges as board president will likely play a major role in selecting the next System president.

Source: Gov. Tony Evers appoints new UW Regents, securing control of board long led by GOP appointees | State & Regional | wiscnews.com

UW System President in Op-Ed: Wisconsin needs investments in our universities

By Tommy Thompson, President, University of Wisconsin System, April 28

You’ve probably heard about what happened at Van Hise Hall at UW-Madison this month: two concrete slabs broke off the façade and crashed to the ground in front of the main entrance. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed.

Unfortunately, it is an example that illustrates the need for more investment to upgrade the aging facility infrastructure across the University of Wisconsin System – even though Van Hise Hall wasn’t on our priority list.

Take Albertson Hall at UW-Stevens Point, which I toured recently. The fire suppression system is woefully outdated. Pressure from compromised structural integrity has caused windows to crack and shatter. Flooring and wall paneling is buckling. Repairs have been put off so long that it would cost as much to renovate the structure as it would to replace it with a new energy-efficient building that will last for decades.

How about the Humanities building at UW-Madison? It suffers from water leaks, poor air circulation, severely deteriorating concrete, outdated classroom space, and, let’s face it, an unappealing architectural style. Or Cofrin Library at UW-Green Bay, which lacks fire control, has a deteriorating exterior, has limited technological capabilities, and houses aging mechanical systems that have exceeded their useful life.

All of these buildings were constructed quickly and cheaply to accommodate the rush of students after World War II. At this point, it makes no sense for taxpayers to throw any more money into saving them.

We also need investment to build Wisconsin’s future. With phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center at UW-La Crosse, we’ll have technology-rich classrooms and labs along with modern mechanicals for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and other high-demand programs. A new engineering building at UW-Madison could mean the addition of 1,400 undergraduate and graduate engineering students – and future Wisconsin engineers. In 2020, UW-Madison graduated 900 engineering students to compete for 9,000 jobs. Ensuring Wisconsin can compete in science, technology, engineering, math and health care – fields in which we have seen a nearly 50 percent increase in graduates in the past 10 years – requires modern labs that are efficient and effective in delivering education students want and Wisconsin needs.

Let me dispel some myths about the need for this important investment.

First, despite the pandemic, our universities remain open and our students overwhelmingly have experienced college life in person. Even in a different environment, it was important to welcome students to campus. This fall, we are preparing to get back to pre-pandemic levels of in-person instruction.

Second, while online education will become increasingly important, traditional university students are still looking for a campus experience. They want to attend classes in person, meet in study groups at the library, attend social and cultural events at student unions and venues, and participate in intramural athletics. The residential university is not going away.

Third, federal stimulus funding currently can’t be used for capital projects. Our universities need to use the stimulus to help cover the $534 million in estimated losses from the pandemic.

Other than its people, Wisconsin has no greater asset than the public universities that make up our University of Wisconsin System. With 37,000 graduates each year and a 23-to-1 return on investment, there are few better investments. Failure to meet this challenge will result in even greater deterioration in our state than a few crumbling slabs of concrete.

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The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

 

Comprehensive Program Review is this Wednesday, April 28

During the academic year 2020-2021, UW Green Bay was asked by UW System to conduct a comprehensive program review of its academic programs.  We are approaching the final phase of this review and ask you to provide your comments and feedback as we finalize the report for submission to UW System in May. Information on the program review process and the draft report can be found on the Provost’s Website.

An open virtual forum for discussion will be held on Wednesday, April 28 from 3 to 5 p.m. Join us here on Microsoft TEAMS! If you are unable to attend the open forum but would like to comment, there is a link to a feedback form on the website.

Reminder: Payroll schedule change coming in July, town halls ahead

Payroll Schedule Change Coming in July

UW System employees paid monthly will move to a biweekly payroll schedule beginning in July 2021.

How You Can Learn More

Visit the Single Payroll resources web page for frequently asked questions, budget planning information and the 2021 payroll schedules.

Take the Following Action

  • If you have automatic payments set up (for example, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.), review your monthly budget and prepare for biweekly paychecks. You may want to adjust your automatic payments to match your biweekly paycheck amounts.
  • Watch for emails beginning in May that will provide reminders and information on contributions and withholdings that may be impacted by the new biweekly schedule.

Single Payroll Town Hall Meetings

Consider attending an upcoming Town Hall Meeting.  For event details including event passwords, access codes, and accessibility accommodations, visit the Single Payroll resources web page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 8:00-9:00 AM: For 9-month and summer contract employees

Thursday, May 13, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM: For 12-month contract employees

Monday, May 17, 2021, 1:00-2:00 PM: Open session for all employees paid monthly

Savings & Spending Plan Workshops

UW System is partnering with UW Credit Union to help you plan for your paycheck changes. The Savings & Spending Plan (Budget) Workshops are available to help you create a plan that works for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 8:00 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 5:00 PM

UW System RFP for a unified web conferencing tool

The UW System has been conducting an RFP for a unified web conferencing solution for the entire UW System. The RFP evaluation committee has announced the recommendation to issue a Letter of Intent to Zoom as a replacement for Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

While the contract negotiations have just started, the license proposed in the RFP will cover all faculty, staff, and students for both administrative and academic use. The plan is for Zoom to be implemented for Fall 2021. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra contract ends June 30, 2021. Please note that MS Teams will continue to be offered and supported at UWGB even after Zoom is available. For summer courses we are recommending that instructors utilize MS Teams.  More information will be shared with instructors on this soon.

Since we are only at the “intent to award” stage there are many decisions that still need to be made before the transition to Zoom is complete. The Division of Information Technology (IT) and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) will continue to monitor these developments and share information with you throughout this transition.

Title & Total Compensation Project – 2021 Implementation

The University of Wisconsin System has embarked on a complete redesign of its current classification and compensation structure. The goal of the Title & Total Compensation Project (T&TC) is to modernize the existing title and compensation programs which will, in turn, attract and retain the best talent for the organization.

After a lengthy delay due to COVID-19, it has been announced that the new title structure will be implemented in November of 2021. The full title and standard job description library is currently posted on the UW System Title & Total Compensation Project website.

To prepare for this implementation, we expect that employee-manager conversations will begin in July of 2021. During these meetings, employees will discuss their proposed mapped title with their manager. Employee feedback and questions are appropriate, valid, and expected during these employee-manager conversations. Training for managers will take place in June, 2021.

If you are interested in learning more about the Title & Total Compensation Project, please consider attending one of our upcoming virtual open forums:

No need to RSVP, just mark your calendar to attend utilizing the links above! We will also be recording the sessions and will make those available on the HR Connect blog.

More details about the Title & Total Compensation Project will be communicated to employees in the HR Connect weekly email newsletter and blog throughout the summer and early fall. In addition, information can be found on the UW System Title & Total Compensation Project website.

On behalf of the campus project team and leadership, I would like to thank you for your continued engagement as we take the next steps in this initiative. Please contact Human Resources at hr@uwgb.edu or ext. 2390 if you have questions.

UW-Green Bay’s Kelly House wins campus research communication prize in WiSys Quick Pitch

Press Release from WiSys, April 14, 202

UW-Green Bay’s Kelly House was recognized for excellence in research communication during the WiSys Quick Pitch on April 7.
The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public via three-minute presentations.

Kelly House
Kelly House

House, a psychology and First Nations studies student, took first place and a $300 prize for the presentation “Origins of Imposter Syndrome in Indigenous Communities.”

“I would like to commend Kelly and the other students for their excellent presentations,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “It is great to see the breadth of research activities at UW-Green Bay as communicated by their impressive students.”

House is now eligible to advance to the virtual WiSys Quick Pitch State Final on May 26 to compete against student researchers from across the UW System.

This year’s campus-level WiSys Quick Pitches are taking place virtually due to continued concerns about the pandemic. The UW-Green Bay competitors presented during the same showcase as students at three other UW System schools—UW-Eau Claire, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls. Winners were selected from each campus.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch Program or to watch the student presentations, visit wisys.org/quickpitch.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

 

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Craig Sauer

WiSys | Marketing & Communications Associate

608-316-4039

@WiSysCraig