Greetings, UWGB Colleagues,
We find ourselves in challenging times. To meet these challenges and to turn them into opportunities we will need the engagement of everyone. Please use this space to give your best ideas and ask important questions. I will work to answer questions and I will make sure your views are shared with the various planning and governance groups. This is a fantastic university with an important mission. With your help, we will move through this period and into a bright future.
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller released the following statement via e-mail to employees on Wednesday, February 4, 2015:
As you know, we have initiated the difficult process of taking a substantial reduction in the university budget. In order to manage resources to achieve as much flexibility as possible I am taking the following actions effective immediately:
- A moratorium on hiring for all positions including permanent ongoing, temporary or short-term for all employment classifications, from any fund source. Requests for exceptions should be submitted to the Position Review Committee and approved by the Provost. Student hires are allowed to fulfill duties normally covered by student employees.
- A moratorium on all out-of-state travel (excluding Minneapolis and Chicago).
- Immediately centralize expenditure authority for all funds. Expenditure approval must be made at the Dean or Area Leader level. Expenditures for Student Organizations is exempted.
- Immediately centralize all tuition funded cash balances outside of the tuition pool. This will include balances in funds 131, 136 and 189.
These actions will be in effect until further notice. Exceptions must be approved by the Provost.
I am deeply appreciative of your understanding of the necessity of these measures.
Further discussion of the proposed state budget will take place at a Town Hall Meeting, scheduled for Monday, February 9th at 2:30 p.m. in Phoenix B. I hope to see many of you there.
c: Council of Trustees
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller released the following statement via e-mail to employees on Tuesday, January 27, 2015:
You have no doubt by now learned of the Governor’s proposal to reduce funding for the University of Wisconsin System by $300 million in the coming biennium. The Governor is also proposing to give the University considerably more flexibility in the future by placing it in a state authority. In the coming days we will learn more about the details of both proposals. For now, let me tell you what we know so far.
I attach a document developed by the UW System office that gives the details of the UW System autonomy plan as it is now conceived. I am also attaching communication from President Cross and Regent President Falbo. I encourage you to read these documents carefully. Creating a University Authority has many advantages for UWGB and I support it, as do the other Chancellors. Many details must be worked out before the proposed July 1, 2016 starting date.
Three key aspects of the plan are critically important. (1) Shared governance and tenure will be preserved and managed by the authority board as is the case in most other states. (2) Employees would remain in the Wisconsin Retirement System. (3) The authority would manage employee compensation plans.
The Governor’s proposed budget reduction of $300 million, if approved, represents an enormous challenge for a system still responding to six years of budget reductions. We do not yet know how the reduction will be allocated to the campuses or what processes we will have at our disposal to smooth the reductions over a period of years. However, the reductions will have a significant effect on UWGB and the way in which we do business. Responding to the reductions in the next several months will be a real test of our innovative spirit.
As I mentioned in my recent convocation speech, we will deploy shared governance, UPIC (the new University Planning and Innovation Council) and the university leadership at all levels in developing recommendations to manage the reductions. After the Governor’s speech next week, the Provost will issue a detailed schedule of our deliberations including important milestones (e.g., spring Regent’s meetings and the fiscal year end). The schedule will also include time for town-hall style meetings to encourage broad community discussion.
It is important to appreciate that our reduction strategy must place the university in the best position possible to grow and prosper in a new autonomous UW System. A budget reduction of this size cannot be accommodated with across-the-board cuts or adjustments at the margins. We will have to make very hard choices and undertake a reshaping of our strategy, operations and organization. We are at an important place in our history.
Thank you. I’ll keep you posted as we learn more about these proposals.
Gary L. Miller
UW System statement re proposed budget Jan 27 (pdf)
Outline Governor Budget Proposal (pdf)