The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved the UW-Madison HR redesign plan and slightly increased the cap on out-of-state freshman enrollees Friday.
The regents, with two voting no, decided to approve the plan, mirroring the decision of UW Madison’s Faculty Senate on Monday.
The plan has drawn criticism from some for not taking into account university workers’ rights. The same objections were raised Friday, with some members of the audience applauding two regents and a faculty member who spoke in their support.
Regent President Brent Smith invited one audience member to speak to the regents at their meeting, which Smith said was an unusual move for such a meeting, as they typically take public input at other times.
UW sociology professor Chad Goldberg, the audience member who spoke, said he opposed to the plan because he said it would harm workers’ rights.
“I cannot in good conscience support this HR plan even in its revised form,” Goldberg said. “Despite some improvements, one of its principal aims remains the enhancement of managerial flexibility. The flip side of that flexibility is an erosion of the employee rights, protections and job security that hamper employer discretion.”
The state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations now must approve the plan, along with a similar one for other UW System schools, before it can take effect.
The regents also approved increasing the out-of-state enrollment cap from 25 percent to 27.5 percent, although one of the main purposes of the increase is to allow more in-state residents to attend UW as well, the state’s flagship university. UW surpassed the 25 percent number this year by .8 percent.
The original plan would have increased that number to 30 percent, but the regents’ Education Committee amended it in their Thursday meeting to 27.5 percent. But that number does not include Minnesota students; with them counted, UW has about 37 percent of its students coming from outside of the state.
They also added a paragraph that would require UW to take about 200 more in-state freshmen students than average, which would be funded by increasing the out-of-state cap, since out-of-state students pay more in tuition.
The regents voted unanimously to approve this measure.
Regent John Drew supported the amended resolution in the Thursday meeting and spoke about the benefits of having a gap. He did not support the original increase to 30 percent in the Education Committee on Thursday.
“The UW System exists first and foremost for the benefit of Wisconsin residents,” Drew said. “I think it is a good thing that we have a cap on non-resident enrollment. It is, in some ways, a guard against the natural tendency to try [to] maximize revenue, and it provides a balance to the needs of our in-state students.”
The regents also approved a new salary range for the UW and UW-Eau Claire chancellors. Both institutions are currently searching for a new chancellor, and the pay range has not been updated in a few years.
The current salary range for the UW chancellor is from $369,907 to $452,109. The regents decided to up it to one starting at $427,500 and ending at $522,500.
UW’s athletic department also gave its first annual report to the regents, presented by the department’s director, Barry Alvarez, who will soon be coaching the Wisconsin football team during the team’s third consecutive Rose Bowl appearance. The report is the first of its kind and part of a new system-wide required annual report from each institution of its athletic programs.
The regents were pleased with the report’s depth, and UW System President Kevin Reilly wished Alvarez luck as he tries to coach the team tovictory on Jan. 1.