Chancellor Martin to Leave UW-Madison for Amherst College

BREAKING: this is the content of the email to all students from the Chancellor, more analysis to come after I’m off work.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I write to inform you that I have accepted the presidency of Amherst
College, and I will conclude my term as chancellor of the University
of Wisconsin-Madison later this summer.

The decision to leave UW-Madison is one of the most difficult
decisions I have ever made. I love this university. I loved it when I
was a student. I was shaped by its lively intellectual culture and by
its great teachers, from Klaus Berghahn to Elaine Marks and George
Mosse. It has been a joy to be back and an honor to serve as its
chancellor. I will miss the extraordinary beauty of the campus,
Madison’s lakes, my view of our students climbing Bascom Hill, the
state’s majestic capitol building and my home at Olin House. More than
anything, of course, I will miss you — the faculty, staff, students,
alumni and supporters of UW-Madison.

UW-Madison is one of the world’s public treasures, and it deserves the
support of every citizen of the state and every branch of state
government, just as the state deserves the benefits of having a great
research university. I am proud of the fact that we have succeeded in
moving the New Badger Partnership forward. The plan passed by the
Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance takes a positive step toward
allowing UW-Madison to adapt to changing circumstances, as it must, if
it is to continue to flourish as one of America’s premier public
universities. That is what the New Badger Partnership is designed to

The future of UW-Madison is bright because of the quality of its
students, the caliber of its faculty, the professionalism of its
staff, the loyalty of its alumni, the generosity of its donors, the
university’s commitment to the people of Wisconsin and the public’s
devotion to the university. The Wisconsin Idea was born at UW-Madison
and has distinguished it for a century. It will always define this
university, and I will always be honored to have been part of it.

I feel lucky to have glimpsed the future of interdisciplinary
scientific innovation in the faculty who now do their work in the
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and in the Wisconsin Institutes for
Medical Research.  I am fortunate to have witnessed the social
interactions that are highlighted and enabled by the new Union South,
to have helped attract the public-private match in support of the
humanities, and to have celebrated the academic successes of so many
faculty, staff and students. I will miss the community-wide
discussions of the books we have read together, student performances
of all sorts, watching football games from the sidelines and shooting
free throws in the Kohl Center. My memories of our victories over
previously unbeaten Ohio State at Camp Randall and again at the Kohl
Center this past year will remain vivid forever. I will never forget
how to Bucky.

It is a privilege to be a Badger.

In the end, I have made the very difficult decision to leave a place I
love for an institution that I have long admired because of what I
consider to be a unique opportunity. I was educated in the liberal
arts at the College of William and Mary, and I am deeply in its debt.
There are a wide variety of forces arrayed against the benefits of the
liberal arts today, yet I believe fervently in the importance of a
national commitment to the fundamentals — a broad and integrated
education in the arts and the sciences. The strength of American
higher education is its diversity, and the continued success of the
American experiment, depends on the accessibility of many forms of
advanced learning. As we consider the future of the United States and
its place in the world, technology, innovation and medical
breakthroughs are all essential, and a great research university with
UW-Madison’s mission will continue to produce them. Great liberal arts
education is also critical to ensuring these very achievements and
guaranteeing that they are continually renewed.

Education and research in the fundamentals of the sciences,
humanities, arts and social sciences provide the foundation on which
so many other forms of learning and practical solutions depend.
Preserving and enhancing these fundamentals is our best hope for
citizens who are prepared to answer questions of meaning and value,
even as they contribute to the global economy, to education, to
scientific discovery, to cultural diplomacy and to a renewal of our
political institutions. We need leaders who understand how these
domains are interrelated, who can think about them in their
complexity, who can push the boundaries of language and other media,
and who care about creating opportunity at a time when economic and
social disparities threaten to tear apart the fabric of our democracy.

Amherst is the premier model of the kind of liberal arts education we
need to nurture and propagate, and I want to play a role in promoting
it. It is among the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country,
as well as being among the most selective; it has shown that
inclusiveness and excellence are complementary, not contradictory. Its
faculty has an unwavering devotion to the intimate art of teaching,
even as its members pursue advanced research across a broad range of
endeavors. The integration of research and teaching is one of
Amherst’s hallmarks. Further, the college seeks to inculcate the ideal
of service and public engagement in its graduates, whatever walk of
life they may pursue. For liberal arts education as a whole, Amherst
College is pointing the way by its actions. The chance to combine my
belief in the transformative potential of the liberal arts with the
presidency of the leading liberal arts college in the country is the
best opportunity I can imagine. I would have left UW-Madison at this
point for no other school and considered no other. I look forward to
teaching Amherst’s students, supporting its great faculty, working
closely with its dedicated staff, engaging with its vibrant alumni
community and leading the college’s ongoing efforts to serve as a
model of quality, diversity and invigorating intellectual exchange.

At a moment such as this, it is hard not to cast a look backward —
and forward. I am delighted that Wisconsin’s great flagship will move
into the years ahead with new kinds of flexibility as it takes
significant steps toward the operational autonomy it needs. I hope
that a future chancellor will pick up the effort as political
circumstances permit. When I arrived in 2008, I drew on what I learned
from you, using that information to articulate a number of goals:
successful recruitment and retention of faculty, which would be
enabled only if we found new ways to ensure we could provide
competitive pay; enhanced administrative infrastructure for this
amazing research enterprise; tuition at the median of our public peers
with significantly increased need-based financial aid; transformations
in undergraduate education to ensure that our students reap the
benefits of studying at a world-class research institution; increased
diversity among students, faculty and staff; a stronger international
presence; invigoration of the Wisconsin Idea; improved communications
and relations with the public; and new developments in our operational
model that would keep pace with rapid changes in higher education
financing. With the increases to faculty salaries at the point of
promotion, assistance with compression issues and the achievements of
the New Badger Partnership, the university will be in a better
position to support its faculty and staff. The organizational changes
to research administration will help ensure that UW-Madison’s
extraordinary research enterprise continues to thrive. Our still
relatively new Office of University Relations has enhanced our reach
and strengthened our relationships.

I am especially proud of our success at increasing the financial aid
available to our students, adding faculty and staff in areas that our
students need, and improving undergraduate education through the
Madison Initiative for Undergraduates. We have increased institutional
grant aid by 226 percent. Though there is still a long way to go, the
Great People Scholarship campaign is poised to generate a great deal
more support. UW-Madison can price itself in way that combines average
tuition with outstanding quality, and I hope it will. The Class of
2016 will include a larger number and percentage of targeted minority
students. Our presence in China and the opportunities it has created
for our faculty, staff and students are a source of particular
satisfaction to me. These accomplishments have been the work of many
hands. They will pay off for years to come.

UW-Madison students: You have been a complete joy. Our interactions,
whether serious or fun, have been a deep pleasure that I will remember
for the rest my life. I will miss you enormously and think fondly of
everything from our book discussions, our interactions on matters of
governance, your indulgence of my dog Oscar, your sense of humor and
your signature jump around.

UW-Madison faculty and staff: I will continue to be inspired by the
quality of your research and scholarship, your dedication to teaching,
your support of our core mission, your commitment to the Wisconsin
Idea and the entrepreneurial spirit that helps make this such a unique
place. I will remember fondly and miss so many in the university and
Madison communities, more than I can possibly say.

Finally, I am happy to point out that by assuming the presidency of a
Division III institution, I can remain an unconflicted — indeed, a
rabid — Badger fan forever, and I look forward both to seeing the UW
take home the Paul Bunyan Axe once again and to seeing Amherst beat
Williams at their 126th meeting this fall.

I thank all of you for your support and your contributions to
UW-Madison, and I wish everyone well.

Chancellor Biddy Martin


New Badger Partnership: Governor to Release Budget as Support for NBP Grows

Well, this is it.  Today at 4 pm CT, Governor Walker is expected to release his 2011-13 Biennium Budget, which could include many of the provisions that Chancellor Martin has advocated for in the New Badger Partnership.  This according to WisPolitics:

The UW System is looking at a cut of about $250 million with UW-Madison taking the biggest hit of the campuses. To help offset that reduced aid, Madison would be spun off from the rest of the system into an independent authority, according to sources.

This is nothing new.  I projected a $250 million cut to the UW System last week.

Support for the NBP is growing, too.

Badger Herald ed board:

As University of Wisconsin Chancellor Biddy Martin watched this state’s government face deeper and deeper financial woes with the approach of the 2011-2013 budget, she could have sat back and asked the Legislature to consider the university’s own difficult financial situation.

She could have asked for less cuts, for provisions that would keep tuition low and financial aid flowing. She could have asked for the now-modest framework laid out in the original New Badger Partnership last fall.

But as budget details began to emerge and the state’s cost-cutting measures spurred a crisis of national importance, something became clear: Now is the time to ask for everything UW needs, and to package that request in a way the state cannot ignore.

The result, tentatively laid out in draft documents, letters and conversations, is a proposal that would give UW public authority status and significantly greater freedom from state oversight. The details currently backed by Martin would separate the university from the UW System, allocate most state funding in a single block grant and allow an independent governing board to set university policy and tuition rates.

Badger Herald LTE on Biddy, “the true champion of transparency”:

On the opposite end of the spectrum has been Martin. She has spent hours on Twitter responding directly to the concerns raised by students who are trying to understand the implications of this new direction. When a memo between Martin and Walker showed the chancellor supporting Madison spinning off from the entire system, she was quick to provide details to the student body about her position. In a recent e-mail, Martin provided her presentation to the Board of Regents. In the e-mail, she made it clear the question of whether or not Madison should separate from the entire system “is not the question that has guided our work.” Instead Martin made it clear that she and the university are doing the best they can to “create innovative possibilities” to “deal with the extreme challenges” that face all of us — students, faculty and staff.

Several Research Professors in a Daily Cardinal LTE:

Even in difficult budgetary times, the state can continue to invest in its flagship university by providing the types of flexibilities sought by Chancellor Martin. We seek your enthusiasm and support for the major impact this initiative will embody, and encourage the Governor, the Legislature and UW System to help us realize the goals of the New Badger Partnership, for the benefit of our students and Wisconsin.

And then of course, we have our very own Adam Johnson.

Stay tuned to the Campus First as we explore the budget bill in depth.


New Badger Partnership: Going Viral?

The folks over at North Park Street alerted me to this video this morning and I thought it was worth posting on here.

While I’ve already gone over some of the criticisms in earlier posts, this video serves as a very brief summary of those points.  And it’s catchy and I just like it.

Disclaimer: After watching it a few times, I noticed some of the language used in the rebuttals is similar to my own commentary on this blog but neither I nor Brandon made this video.  Neither of us would even know where to begin…

Sifting and Winnowing – Guest Blog Post

This is a guest blog post by former ASM Chair and current rally organizer Tyler Junger

Two days ago I, like every other person who’s enrolled in or works at UW-Madison, received an email from Chancellor Martin.  In this message, she forwarded a memo from UW System President Kevin Reilly, Regent President Chuck Pruitt, and Regent Vice President Michael Spector.  If you haven’t read it, the full message can be found here.

A few thoughts on that letter itself.

First, the two presidents and the vice president could have chosen to use some less obviously slanted language in their letter.  Let’s dissect it just a little bit.

I suppose the most obvious place to start is with their insistence that releasing Madison from the UW System is a “radical departure from earlier statements about administrative flexibility and efficiency.”  Let’s make this clear: Chancellor Martin never once promised that UW-Madison would remain part of the UW System.  Quite frankly, she never had the power or authority to do so.  As a matter of fact, System itself demonstrates this when they later say that the chancellor had “made great efforts to promote the need for new management flexibility [that] could be achieved without severing ties with the rest of the UW System.”  Could those efficiencies be gotten without a separation?  I suppose they could.  But that’s not the hand we’ve been dealt.

From everything I’ve heard thus far, the decision to separate Madison from the rest of the UW System was made by the governor and his staff.  It would be foolhardy for Madison to say that we wouldn’t accept the flexibilities that the governor was willing to write into his budget because they dealt with the uncomfortable subject of breaking with the UW System.  As Adam Johnson has pointed out, without some way to use the money we have better, the value of a degree from UW-Madison will decrease substantially over the next few years.  The reputation of an institution is incredibly easier to maintain than it is to rebuild.  Every person who has a vested interest in higher education in Wisconsin should recognize this.  Who would the Madison campus be serving best if they rejected the governor’s offer because of an uncomfortable decision made by him?

Back to the letter.

I’ll say for the record that the language is melodramatic in calling the release of Madison from the system a “fragmentation” of UW System, but that’s neither here nor there.

My next point of contention is whether a release from system would mean that UW-Madison is indeed “destined to compete against other UW campuses.”  Isn’t it the case that they already do?  Whenever UW System receives its allocation from the state, does anyone really believe that the individual institutions just sit on their hands and wait to see how the regents decide to divvy up the money?  To be honest, that can’t be the case.  To believe so would be utterly ridiculous.  There’s already competition among the institutions to receive money from system.  This is, in my opinion, a UW System power play in the most obvious sense; they don’t want to have their control over Madison taken away.  I mean, the point is understandable.  Why would anyone willfully give up authority over the institution that is seen, objectively (and I apologize for the Maditude inherent in this statement) as the most prestigious of all the UW System institutions?  If I were a regent interested in keeping my ducks in a row, I’d completely agree. But I’m not.

Frankly, I hope none of the members of the board are.  They weren’t installed into what’s seen as the crown jewel of the governor’s appointed positions because they’re greedy.  I like to believe that they were put there because they genuinely care about public education in Wisconsin.  I’ll get back to this after analyzing the letter.

Again I’ll say that System is being disingenuous when they say that “[t]his separation [is] a departure from the New Badger Partnership.”  The core principles promoted by UW-Madison’s New Badger Partnership Working Group never said that maintaining connection with UW System was a core principle of the plan.  The chancellor never promised that a release would never be on the table.  Indeed she pointed to many different models of governance that other public institutions have changed to in the recent past as examples of what Madison could become – this includes the University of Virginia, which is the model closest to the public authority that Governor Walker proposed.  As a side note, say what you will about the University of Virginia, but they were recently rated as the best buy among public universities nationally by the Princeton Review, and ranked second in providing “great financial aid,” coming in behind only the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts and beating out Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Yale (3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively.)  Let me repeat that: the model that Madison would be closest to offers the best value of public universities in the country, and offers better financial aid than the private Ivies.

And now we get to my favorite part of the letter.

“[A] number of Regents have asked that we schedule a special meeting of the Board where this specific topic – separating UW-Madison from the other campuses – can begin to receive thorough public consideration.”

My first thought: why has nobody on the board thought of having this conversation before it was thrust upon them?  Do we really expect the inertia of System to carry us through good times and bad?  Why is it that nobody has begun to ask difficult questions in the face of consistent and predictable budget cuts over the last few years?  Do we really need to just sit around, take our lumps, and raise tuition by 5.5% every year for every comprehensive institution, regardless of their individual needs or whatever circumstances they find themselves in?  To me, it seems like the easy way out.  And in my time in Madison, I have never been taught to take the easy way out.

Indeed, just the opposite is true.  There’s no cause and effect relationship between easy answers and right answers.  Sometimes you have to dig deeper.  And our regents have failed to do that.

Here’s my second thought on this Friday’s meeting: there’s an 80% chance that it’s a complete sham.

UW System is pissed that Madison would even propose to be separate from the UW System.  As I said above, such anger is understandable, but it is by no means acceptable.  When the presidents and vice president say that the regents want to meet specifically on the issue of Madison separating from UW System, I think they’re hiding something.  And that’s a problem.

Having been the chair of the ASM Student Council last year, I was necessarily familiar with Wisconsin’s Sunshine Laws – named as such because “sunshine is the best disinfectant” for government secrets (thanks for that one, Justice Brandeis.)  The following is taken from Wisconsin’s 2007 Open Meetings Law Compliance Guide:

“Every public notice of a meeting must give the “time, date, place and subject matter of the meeting, including that intended for consideration at any contemplated closed session, in such form as is reasonably likely to apprise members of the public and the news media thereof.” Wis. Stat. § 19.84(2). The chief presiding officer of the governmental body is responsible for providing notice, and when he or she is aware of matters which may come before the body, those matters must be included in the meeting notice.

So is the following:

“In order to draft a meeting notice that complies with the reasonableness standard, a good rule of thumb will be to ask whether a person interested in a specific subject would be aware, upon reading the notice, that the subject might be discussed.”

Why is this important?  Because I think the regents are pissed.  I think System is pissed.  And I think this meeting on Friday is being convened under false pretenses.  I think that the meeting notice (which includes the following as the only non-administrative item on the agenda: Discussion: Potential separation of UW-Madison from the rest of the UW institutions) is intentionally vague.  I think that there are regents who see this as an opportunity to berate Madison, berate our chancellor, and stop this process in its tracks because they were behind the ball.  That is, quite simply, unacceptable.  If the performance of UW-Madison or the performance of Chancellor Martin become items that are discussed at this meeting, and if President Pruitt had even an inkling that it would come up beforehand, he is bound by state statute to inform the public of that fact.  It’s definitely a matter of public concern.  Want evidence?  Over the past week, there have been thousands of students fighting for the value of their degrees at the state capitol.  And if the regents are trying to scuttle these efforts because they’re jealous, afraid, and unwilling to have a tough conversation, that’s going to hurt every student at UW Madison for years to come.

If that’s the true purpose of this meeting, I can guarantee you one thing – those students will turn right around.  They’ll march down State Street, over Bascom Hill, and they’ll be standing outside Van Hise, ready to make their dissatisfaction known.

I hope that isn’t necessary.  But just to make sure, I’m submitting an open records request to UW System tonight.  I’m asking for all recorded correspondence between the three signatories of the letter to the Chancellor and the other regents and administrators in UW System that make even scant mention of separation or the Badger Partnership since January 7th.  I’ll pay for the request out of my own pocket.  And if there’s any evidence that this meeting was convened specifically to hurt Madison, you’re damned well going to hear about it.

I’m going to end by saying this: I hope that doesn’t happen.  I hope the meeting on Friday really ends up being a frank discussion on the merits of separating Madison from System.  It’s a tough conversation, I’ll concede that.  But since when do we shy away from tough conversations simply because they’re tough?  I’ll admit, the University of Wisconsin-Madison wasn’t part of the UW System back in 1894, but when did we stop asking tough questions and looking for tough answers??  When did we stop “that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing, by which alone the truth can be found?”


-Tyler Junger


We Can’t Repel a Tuition Increase of that Magnitude!

The recently leaked memo from the Chancellor to the Governor’s office includes a seventh page that was left off of our initial reading of it.  On that page, it includes an estimated breakdown of what would occur if we took a $50 million cut to our state funding.  Specifically:

In response to your questions and in accordance with the Governor’s instructions, we have considered how we would accommodate a $50 million base reduction with a 75 percent tuition offset.  Our analysis indicates that a tuition offset of this magnitude would require a 26 percent increase in undergraduate tuition over the course of the biennium.  This projection takes into account the completion of the Board of Regents-approved Madison Initiative for Undergraduates (MIU) phase-in, as well as , the tuition share of “cost to continue”.  We believe a tuition increase of this amount is unacceptable.

Unacceptable?  That’s putting it lightly.

Now, I have it on good authority that Governor Walker has been throwing around budget cuts to the UW System that are similar to those proposed by Governor Doyle half a decade ago.  That’s $250 million over two years! Madison typically consists of 38-40 percent of the system’s budget, so that puts us squarely at the $50 million mark each year.


Moreover, this cut would come from our base funding! Without getting into too much of the nitty-gritty details, the base funding is the hardest to get back, so any cuts to it are likely long term.

So what do we have?

  • A huge cut coming from a Governor who has proven his stubbornness and disdain for higher education (didn’t mention it once in his state of the state).
  • The money cut would be nearly impossible to get back.
  • A cut of that magnitude would equate to a 26% tuition increase (we’re talking UC system raises here!)

So what do we do?

The more and more I think about, the more and more I don’t want Mr. Walker making any more decisions about what goes on at this University.  As is common knowledge at this point, I voted for the guy (I’m unapologetic but at this point, he’s lost my vote), but he knows nothing about what makes the UW great.

I also can’t accept any outcome of these cuts; I don’t want a huge tuition increase, and I don’t want any decrease in the quality of our education.  The only solution I’ve heard to this conundrum?  Give us the authority to handle these cuts on our own.  Now I have no idea what will come out of the Governor’s proposed budget, but if we are to handle huge cuts, we need to be able to handle them in such a way as to side step their impact.

Even the Regent level decision making is suspect.  For years, we’ve been grouped into tuition increases with the other comprehensive schools.  No disrespect to Eau Claire or Milwaukee, but we have our own needs, and we should be able to accommodate them ourselves.

So let’s do this.

No more decisions about UW Madison from the capitol.  Let us make those decisions on a local level. No more micromanaging of the UW from the state.  Let us have the freedom to deal with inevitable budget cuts how we see fit. And no more being grouped into the category of the other UW schools. Let us address our own problems here on our campus.

We have no choice, General Calrissian.

Revelations: The Cloak Has Been Lifted

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.

Think again.

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.

“Sovereign Immunity

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.


Chancellor Asks JFC to Postpone

The twitterverse broke out with news a few minutes ago of Chancellor Martin requesting that the Joint Finance Committee delay its action on the proposed SB11.  Her comment, while not terribly strong, indicates a desire for negotiation:

“Given the impact of the budget repair bill on state and university employees, I urge members of the Joint Committee on Finance, in the strongest possible terms, to delay executive action on the bill until there has been an opportunity for negotiations.

“Before curtailing collective bargaining rights that have been in place for years, I am asking legislators to step back and make a sincere effort to develop more creative solutions.”

You can watch the JFC at this link.

I’m going to an emergency meeting with the Chancellor right now; I will keep everyone updated via the Campus First and Twitter.