Recommendations from the Academic Staff Executive Committee for the HR Design Phase I Work Groups

The Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) has provided S&W with a document with the following title: Recommendations from the Academic Staff Executive Committee for the HR Design Phase I Work Groups, dated  April 27, 2012.   The original PDF document is here.   The content has been transcribed below for the convenience of S&W readers.  Transcription errors are possible.  In case of doubt, please refer to the original document.  – Ed.

Introduction

The Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) has spent the recent weeks reviewing the Preliminary Recommendations of the HR Design Phase I work groups. For the purpose of this review, we primarily concentrated on issues that would affect academic staff but also commented on other issues that we found in the documents. Before we go into individual work team recommendations, we have some overarching comments. These concern the lack of data upon which recommendations were based, the considerable investment of money and other resources that implementation of the recommendations would take, and the effects of the recommendations on academic staff. Continue reading

Posted in Academic staff, Compensation, Shared governance, State worker benefits, State-University Relations, The UW-Madison Campus | 1 Comment

The continued marketization of UW-Madison.

This article has been cross-posted from the The Education Optimists at the request of the author. – Ed.

Last year, I wrote extensively about efforts led by former Chancellor Biddy Martin and her administration, donors, and alumni to privatize (or at least semi-privatize) the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  That effort was partially successful, for while Martin and colleagues failed to separate Madison from the rest of the UW System, or gain authority over tuition setting, they did succeed in getting Madison the authority to redesign its human resources system.  This new “flexibility” was praised by many on campus, including staff, faculty, and students, who recognize that the current bureaucracy is not working, especially for those outside of administration.

So, this year the Human Resource Design Project has been advertised as a tremendous opportunity, hard won, and far better than the alternative — the status quo.  Perhaps.  But few reforms are without consequence, and the recommendations recently offered by the working teams in HR Design suggest this case is no exception.   Continue reading

Posted in Academic staff, Classified staff, Collective bargaining, Compensation, Shared governance, State worker benefits, State-University Relations, The University Budget, The UW-Madison Campus | 3 Comments

Keep collective bargaining and the civil service system at UW-Madison.

A year ago, thousands of UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff marched to the Capitol to oppose Governor Walker’s radical attempts to destroy Wisconsin’s 50-year tradition of collective bargaining. Today, the Governor faces a recall, and a federal court has struck down some of the most onerous parts of Act 10. Yet UW-Madison may be on the verge of realizing the Governor’s anti-worker vision on campus. Continue reading

Posted in Academic staff, Classified staff, Collective bargaining, Shared governance, State worker benefits, State-University Relations, The UW-Madison Campus | 1 Comment

WUU releases “Review of Recommendations of the HR Design Project Compensation Work Team”

This document was received together with the press release appearing in the previous post.  Again, reader comments are strongly encouraged. – Ed.

The Human Resource (HR) Design Project has completed the first phase of its process. The initial work team draft recommendations can be found here. Many of the reports are lengthy and discuss very detailed issues related to personnel policies and have a fairly limited effect on the careers of most employees. The most notable exception is the report of the compensation work team. If the recommendations of this work team were enacted, every employee on campus would be affected. Continue reading

Posted in Compensation, State worker benefits, The University Budget, The UW-Madison Campus | Comments Off on WUU releases “Review of Recommendations of the HR Design Project Compensation Work Team”

WUU: “Proposed UW compensation plan may result in greater inequities in pay and a bigger bureaucracy.”

The following press release was received by S&W from the Wisconsin University Union.  Reader comments are encouraged.

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2012
For More Information Contact: David Ahrens: 334 1156/ Steve Bauman: 849-4847

Proposed UW Compensation Plan May Result in Greater Inequities in Pay and a Bigger Bureaucracy

Wisconsin University Union (WUU), an advocacy organization for UW-Madison faculty and academic staff, expressed serious concerns about the Human Resource Design Project’s (HRDP) recommendations for a new compensation system released last week. “The recommendations are based on undefined methods, could lead to substantial reductions in salaries and also require a new bureaucracy to administer”, said WUU spokesperson David Ahrens. Continue reading

Posted in Compensation, State worker benefits, The University Budget, The UW-Madison Campus | Comments Off on WUU: “Proposed UW compensation plan may result in greater inequities in pay and a bigger bureaucracy.”

“We won’t take it anymore”: UW-Madison students mobilize for student loan debt relief.

As students in Wisconsin, we have the right to allocate our own segregated fees for student activities and services that serve the student interest such as student organizations, the Student Union, and University Health Services.  Although recently we have seen a lack of transparency from what are known as “non-allocable” entities (UHS, Wisconsin Union, Rec. Sports, etc.), the state statute upholding this right—the famous 36.09(5)—remains in full force.  Students must protect their right to allocate their own funds even though it is often co-opted and attacked by non-students, including administrators and legislators alike. Continue reading

Posted in College costs, Shared governance, The UW-Madison Campus | 1 Comment

Is this what shared governance looks like?

The following has been cross-posted from The Education Optimists:

For decades, the price of higher education has been rising at colleges and universities nationwide, and relatively few students and families have done so much as sniff.  While occasional concerns about affordability have been expressed, that message has been quite soft when compared to the loud statement uttered by the millions who walk onto college campuses every year, despite rising tuition and fees.  In other words, actions speak louder than words.  Colleges and universities are able to say: if we are truly charging more than you want to pay, why do you keep buying it?

Continue reading

Posted in College costs, Shared governance, The UW-Madison Campus | 1 Comment

Educational experiments and the long view.

All this talk of educational innovation here at UW begs the question, what exactly are we innovating?

I do think that higher education research and teaching, even with a  500+ year tradition of the small class college instruction, 150+ year tradition of the German research university model and the 100+ year mission of US land grant schools, is going to change radically whether we like it or not in the next 50 years, and we should be thinking about the 50-year horizon as much as we do about the 5 year, if we think there still will be a UW as we know it. Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Web-based instruction | 1 Comment

Ex-Stanford professor: “Universities use methods developed a thousand years ago.”

The following interview appeared in German on today’s Spiegel Online.  It is reproduced here in English for the benefit of UW-Madison readers. – Ed.

He was a professer at the elite private university Stanford.  But Sebastian Thrun, expert in artificial intelligence, had enough of the old university ways.  In this interview, he explains why he now only wants to teach via the Web and what universities have in common with ex-girlfriends

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Thrun, you have given up your professorship at Stanford and now want change higher education with the online university Udacity . How do you explain that to your colleagues? Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Web-based instruction | Comments Off on Ex-Stanford professor: “Universities use methods developed a thousand years ago.”

Anecdotes don’t reflect UW reality

“Students should be working 40 hours a week, but these days they are taking off work to hang out with their friends and then are abusing Badger Care and the food pantries. Students need to pay attention to what’s going on around them.” — Fred Mohs, former University of Wisconsin regent and member of the legislative Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibility

This is what I and several other students heard as we sat in the spectator gallery of a state Capitol hearing room. We were floored by the disconnect from reality that Mohs displayed. What’s worse is that it was not an isolated incident. It accurately reflects the task force’s primary mode of action: charting a course via anecdote. Continue reading

Posted in College costs, State-University Relations, The UW-Madison Campus | 1 Comment