UWM Faculty Senate Resolution Demanding UW System President Ray Cross Protect and Respect Shared Governance

On February 15, 2018, the Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee unanimously approved this resolution.

WHEREAS UW System President Ray Cross has publicly declared his support for shared governance, promising at one point on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus to resign his position if he failed to protect shared governance;

WHEREAS it has now been publicly disclosed that President Cross disparaged and intentionally circumvented shared governance in decreeing that the University of Wisconsin System be restructured, having emailed Regent Gerald Whitburn that he was “Getting hammered by the ‘shared governance’ leaders because they weren’t involved in the process; however, had they been involved we wouldn’t be doing anything!!”

WHEREAS shared governance is ultimately responsible for implementing UW System President Cross’s hasty, top-down decision that the UW Colleges be broken up and merged with four-year, comprehensive, and research universities;

WHEREAS shared governance is an essential mechanism to guarantee the accountability, transparency, and high quality education we have come to expect from the University of Wisconsin System;

WHEREAS shared governance was instrumental in helping UWM to achieve its R1 status by starting new PhD programs and raising the university’s research profile;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, hereby demands that President Cross honor his earlier pledge to protect and respect shared governance in all relevant administrative decisions regarding the UW System and its campuses.

 

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Protect the Role of the Humanities in Public Life!

From the National Humanities Alliance:

The most recent Presidential Budget Request calls for the elimination of

  1. the National Endowment for the Humanities;
  2. the elimination of the National Historic Records and Publications Commission, a critical source of grants for preserving our heritage and making it accessible to the public;
  3. the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), along with other cultural agencies;
  4. and the elimination of Title VI and Fulbright-Hays!

Take action to oppose these proposals!

Join us at these exciting upcoming events!

IMPORTANT: TODAY, Friday 2/9: ORGANIZING EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW.

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EVENT 1: AAUP Organizing and Training Event with Monica Owens, Department of Organizing and Services, AAUP National

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9th 

9 AM- 12 Noon

Location: Curtin 175

            Agenda

            9-11 am             Recruitment strategies and chapter organizing

            11-12 noon     Student allies

Bring 3 friends! Monica Owens, based in Washington D.C., is an organizer with wide-ranging experience, specializing in campaigns and advocacy for K-12 and higher education.

 

EVENT 2: Roundtable discussion

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12th

12:00 PM

Location: UWM, Honors House 196

Open to all UWM and UW-System faculty, staff, and students

 

EVENT 3: Bagel hour lunch with graduate students

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th

12:00 PM

Location: UWM, Center for 21st Century Studies, 9th floor Curtin Hall

Open to all graduate students

 

EVENT 4: Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities, followed by reception

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th

4:00 PM

Title: Does the U.S. Need Public Universities?

Location: UWM Golda Meir Library, 4th floor conference center

Free and open to the public

 

 

UWM AAUP Applauds the College of Letters and Science’s Decision to Include Academic Staff in 2018 Pay Plan

By Nicolas Russell, UWM AAUP

In November 2017, UWM’s College of Letters and Science announced that its fixed-term Academic Staff would be excluded from the UW Pay Plan and would receive no salary increases. This decision struck many in the College of Letters and Science as completely unjustified given the pay plan guidelines and more broadly given the vital contributions of UWM’s fixed-term Academic Staff to the University’s mission.

UWM’s AAUP Chapter, in collaboration with faculty and staff from other UWM governance groups, argued that, in excluding Academic Staff from the UW Pay Plan, the College of Letters and Science was not adhering to the pay plan guidelines, as specified in the pay plan memo sent to UWM’s Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and Academic Deans by Provost Johannes Britz (8 November 2017). The Provost’s guidelines specified that “non-budgeted positions for 50% FTE or more [were] eligible for a pay plan increase.” The only case in which they could be excluded was if the school or college had an established and published pay schedule (referenced in appointment letters) that states that non-budgeted employees are not eligible for pay plan increases. The College of Letters and Science has no such pay schedule for non-budgeted positions.

UWM’s AAUP Chapter argued, moreover, that UW-Milwaukee has been increasingly relying on fixed-term Academic Staff to fulfill its mission. The Academic Staff Committee (Academic Staff Document 103 – Sept. 2016, p. 3) found that 80% of Instructional Academic Staff are on fixed-term contracts, including many long-term employees who have been repeatedly rehired to meet ongoing instructional needs at the University. These employment practices are not generally consistent with UWM and UW-System policy: many of these Instructional Academic Staff members should already have received probationary or indefinite status. As tenure lines and positions with “indefinite status” have disappeared, fixed-term instructional academic staff have become a de facto part of UWM’s core faculty and essential to fulfilling its mission, but the university treats these positions as provisional. Excluding fixed-term Academic Staff from the current pay plan would have constituted a failure to recognize the essential work that they do in the College.

In December 2017, we were happy to hear about the supportive response from the College of Letters and Science. The College acknowledged that excluding fixed-term Academic Staff from the current pay plan was a mistake, and it changed its policy to include them.

The victory for equity in this case resulted directly from engaged collaboration between tenured/tenure track faculty and instructional academic staff. This kind of collaboration makes us stronger in defending our collective interests.
We invite all faculty, staff and graduate students to join us at our coming organizing workshop: February 9, 9-12, Curtin 175.  We are stronger together!

 

UWM Chancellor Mark Mone on the Proposed Tax on Graduate Tuition Remissions

 

To our region’s graduate students and everyone who is impacted:

UW-Milwaukee is quite concerned about current legislation that includes provisions that remove the deduction for interest paid on student loans. Adoption of this legislation would significantly increase the tax liability of our – and all – graduate students. This is not acceptable.

We are advocating for changes to the tax reform bill so students are not adversely affected. Keeping graduate education accessible and affordable is among our highest priorities.

We have been in direct contact with our Congressional representatives this week on Capitol Hill. We shared a statement from one of our graduate students regarding the bill’s impact and Congresswoman Gwen Moore included that statement in her speech to the House of Representatives.

We have joined forces with the UW System and federal relations lobbyists for Marquette, UW-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin to collectively make the case against the provisions of the tax reform bill. Last month, our University Relations office and Graduate School prepared an advocacy letter with resources and information that our students and greater community have used to communicate their concerns. Further, our distinguished professors issued a letter to the UW System, our Board of Regents and our congressional delegation.

In the week ahead, we will reinforce our lobbying efforts after the Senate and House conference committee is appointed to work out a compromise.

More broadly, we are concerned by how this bill could affect graduate education and many other elements of higher education. We join you in solidarity for the sake of higher education as we know it.

 

Help Save Graduate Education

From the AAUP:
The tax bill passed by the House of Representatives threatens to devastate graduate education by reclassifying tuition waivers as taxable income–a move that, if it becomes law, would result in an untenable financial burden for many graduate students. It would also repeal the current Student Loan Interest Deduction, which would result in an increased cost of roughly $24 billion to student borrowers over the next decade. The Senate Bill did not include these provisions.
You can help stop these provisions from becoming law. 
As the House and Senate work to reconcile their bills, it’s vital that you tell your Members of Congress that you oppose the House version. Call or write your Members of Congress today through this advocacy link provided by the National Humanities Alliance: http://p2a.co/ZkGXFz8.
Download a sign to hang on campus here.
Learn more about the proposal to tax tuition waivers here: http://www.nhalliance.org/senate_passes.
Local opportunities to protest the grad tax:
FightTheGradTax
ProtestFlyerGradTax
Meet up with others passionate about democratic public education:
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