The Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan to give chancellors and other administration more power in making economic and financial decisions for their own universities on Thursday.
Leaders of University of Wisconsin System institutions will soon have several decision making powers formerly reserved for UW System administrators.
The plan was produced by an advisory committee created by UW System President Kevin Reilly to reevaluate the role of chancellors and administrators within the system.
“We have 14 very experienced chancellors.” Giroux said, “With this plan, we’re tapping into that knowledge.”
One of the changes brought by the proposal will alter the maintenance of university degree programs, Giroux said. The UW System will no longer act as a reviewer of specific degree programs of individual universities.
In order to get degree programs accepted, Giroux said, UW System schools previously had to get confirmation from the system as a whole.
For this reason, the degree approval process tended to be unnecessarily drawn out, Giroux said. He said the outside accreditation industries that review the academic quality of UW schools and their specific majors provide an adequate amount of secondary review for these schools.
“There have been a large number of duplicated jobs within the degree program,” Giroux said. “Between the work of the schools themselves and the accreditation industries, there’s already a lot of checks and balances in place.”
In addition to the degree program adjustments, Giroux said the plan will give UW schools more control over the auditing process. Previously, financial and programmatic review audits were conducted by the UW System, he said. These will now be handled by the schools themselves.
During the meeting, regent José Vásquez said he was very supportive of the plan and said it will give universities in the system more room to work on their individual agendas. He said the dealings of each university will not be under as strict of review as they were previously, giving university leaders more freedom.
He said the plan will also give UW schools a better handle over some of the staff and budget losses which will be unavoidable with the strict cuts to public institutions from the state this year.
With the implementation of this plan, Vásquez said the Board of Regents has made the role of its body clearer to the individual institutions of the UW System. He said the board has shown it is equally invested in both the system as a whole and the individual needs of all the universities in the system.
There was more action at Thursday’s meeting than just the passage of the president’s proposal. Former UW-Stevens Point student Jeffrey Decker of Oshkosh was removed from the meeting, Decker said in an interview with The Badger Herald. He spent an hour in jail due to the disturbance.