Revelations: The Cloak Has Been LiftedPosted: February 16, 2011 Edit: 2 am, February 17th. I wrote this in a fit of passion and the language is strong. I’ve had time to rationally think everything through and I think my feelings are more aligned with Erik Paulson’s. Read his comment down below (it’s long) for that. I was just trying to express my professional disappointment in the entire process; I feel that I have been slighted by administrators whom I trusted. So if some of this reads as a little bitter, it probably is.
Boom. Whether members of ASM have been in support of the New Badger Partnership or in opposition, we have been conversing the past few months as if the fate of this was in the hands of the governor and the Chancellor didn’t really know what would happen.
Earlier tonight, a document was posted on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online dated from JANUARY 7th from the Chancellor to the head of the Department of Administration outlining the Chancellor’s proposal for the Badger Partnership. Here are my highlights and comments that I feel are most important. I’ll update more tomorrow for sure.
First, a preface. I’m NOT opposed to most of the details in here. In fact, if things happened identical to what the document said, we would have a fairly good system, I feel.
WHAT I AM PISSED ABOUT is that we we’re deceived. Chancellor Martin, Dean Berquam, Vice-Chancellor Bazzell, among others have each personally and directly misled top ASM leadership repeatedly.
This is a BLATANT slap in the face, as we had been operating under the idea of “good faith” conversations regarding this proposal. Clearly, “good faith” left the picture long before ASM held a forum for the Chancellor, and before our Working Group really even met with them.
Words cannot describe my immense dissatisfaction on behalf of students. We have been duped.
“I appreciate knowing that Governor Scott Walker wants to provide flexibility and intends to propose public authority status for UW-Madison.” -Wow, this is quite the bombshell with all members of administration playing dumb since we started asking in December and through the time that this was sent. We were either lied to or misled the entire time. I. Am. Livid.
So next she goes into various changes that will affect our governance:
“Institutional Governing Body” (Board of Trustees essentially)
“Members: Would be appointed by both the governor and UW-Madison. The majority of members would be representative of UW-Madison constituencies.”– this is great news actually. The Chancellor has used constituencies consistently to refer to the Shared Governance groups on campus so this mean students on the body. the ambiguity is whether these students are appointed through ASM, elected, or what.
“Current powers by the Board of Regents that would be adopted by UW-Madison include, but are not limited to:
- Authority to enact policies and promulgate rules to govern UW-Madison
- Authority to allocate funds and adopt a budget for UW-Madison
- Authority to promulgate rules under ch. 227
- Police authority
- Condemnation authority
- Authority to set and manage tuition”
So obviously, this contains one of the most controversial provisions: the right to set and manage tuition. On the upside, students would have a voice in this decision due to the composition of the board, however whether we want that or not is debatable within ASM.
UW-Madison would maintain the existing level of GPR appropriations in the form of a block grant which would increase at a rate of 2 percent per year in future biennia.” -This is surprisingly good news. It was understood that the UW would be slashed in the GPR funding but this seems to indicate that funding is stable at its current level so the massive state defunding of higher ed wouldn’t happen. This is a good thing.
Continued sovereign immunity protection is vital to avoid significantly greater liability exposure for UW-Madison” – My reading is that this protects us from sweeps of our auxiliary funds to balance the budget as the state frequently does and affected our segregated fees last time.
“9. Shared Governance
In keeping with the relevant terms of Chapter 36, UW-Madison would keep its shared governance structure for faculty, academic staff, and students.”-awesome news. This guarantees we keep our seat at the table. This is arguably the most important part of our role on campus and we need to ensure it survives through everything.
Now here is where it gets messy. In Section Two, the document goes over Human Resources policy and has massive implications for the Budget Repair Bill.
“The governing body would create its own independent human-resources system and structure, separate and distinct from the current state system. The governing body would have complete authority to :
- Recruit, assess, hire, appoint and promote employees;
- Establish, maintain and modify a job classification and titling system;
- Set and adjust compensation, based on market, performance and other relevant factors;
- Administer UW-Madison automated payroll and human resources systems (agreements with UW-System may be required)
- Create systems to effectively address employee performance and disciplinary issues.
…as applicable, UW-Madison would be the sole collective bargaining agent during negotiations with recognized organizations.”
So the first part is nothing new; a new way to reward teachers based on merit, and allow a more specified system for hiring employees (and from someone going through the process of hiring a full time employee right now, the state’s titling systems SUCK. This actually is a big administrative benefit)
Although, there is also good news for Grad Students. This maintains collective bargaining rights on campus and make it BETTER for the TAA. Just a little bit at least.
More to come in the next day as I’m sure to field calls from a number of administrators and I will be sure to relay our immense anger at being deceived. This is ridiculous and unacceptable. Stay tuned for updates.
Once again, words cannot express my frustration right now. I promise you, students, I will not rest until I get answers for why Chancellor Martin misled us. This I promise, and if I fail, I will resign my post on Council. This is the defining issue of my tenure and it needs to be addressed, and addressed NOW.