Successful alumni return for executive program; budget updates

A successful executive in residency program

Executive in Residence

Nothing makes me happier than to rub shoulders with successful graduates. That’s what I did last week when five graduates came back to campus to participate in the fifth annual Career and Technical Education Executive in Residency Program.

I spent quite a bit of time with the five: Marc Eckmann, a high school principle in Illinois; Jenna Krings, an executive with General Mills; Kari Kull, an administrator for the Manitowoc school district; Shelly Mondeik, a vice president for Northcentral Technical College in Wausau; and Jeff Sullivan, a dean at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

They have all used their UW-Stout degrees, and some have two, to forge very successful careers. I appreciate the time they spent on campus speaking to our students, faculty and staff and inspiring us all to keep achieving.

State budget update, Part 1

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its analysis of Gov. Walker’s budget proposal last week. It caused increased concern among some of our employees over several provisions that affect the system and that are deleted in the governor’s budget.

However, I want to caution against jumping to conclusions. In many cases the deletions were made because the governor proposed creating a public authority for the UW System that would have responsibility for the deleted sections.

Shared governance and tenure provisions are examples of these. The leadership of the Board of Regents has made it clear that, in the event a public authority is created, they would put the exact shared governance and tenure provisions that exist in state law into Board of Regent policy. In other sections, such as sexual assault reporting requirements, federal law also comes into play, and the changes were intended to reduce redundant requirements.

Finally, I want to reinforce what a memo from UW System said last week: The governor’s proposal makes no changes in the benefits available to UW System employees. This includes all retirement benefits.

State budget update, Part 2

The UW System budget will be featured during at least two major meetings this week in Madison. On Tuesday, March 3, the Joint Finance Committee will hear testimony from President Cross concerning the budget as the committee begins its review of the entire budget. Then on Thursday, March 5, the Board of Regents meets in Madison and will hold a budget discussion in the afternoon.

The Joint Finance Committee meeting will be available on WisconsinEye. The Board of Regents meeting will be available here.

Finally, I will hold another budget forum at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Ballrooms B and C of the Memorial Student Center. The forum also will be live-streamed and available online.