33rd Faculty Senate

Vol. 33, No. 13

March 11, 1999

I.  Roll Call.

Present: Bange, Betton, Duquette, Egle, Grant, Haupert, Host, Kraemer, S. Krajewski, LeDocq, Majak, L. Nelson, Nyatepe-Coo, Prucha, Roskos, Snowberg, Stroud, P. Taylor, VanVoorhis, Vogt, Willey, Wingate.

II.  Approval of Minutes.   There were no minutes available for consideration.

III.  Reports.

A.  Chancellor's Report: Chair Bange explained that Chancellor Kuipers would be arriving later in the meeting but that at present there was no Chancellor's report.

B.  Provost/Vice Chancellor's Report: Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Hastad announced that administrators from UW System were currently visiting campus.

C.  Chair's Report: Chair Bange called the attention of senators to materials distributed at the meeting.  Statistics on UW-L's retention of women and minority faculty were provided by Mr. Al Thompson, Affirmative Action Officer, in response to questions raised in discussion of Plan 2008 at the previous Faculty Senate meeting.  A variety of materials were also provided by the Student Senate: a copy of a memo to Chancellor Kuipers, reporting that the Student Senate had voted to urge all university employees to use voice mail and email; a draft document of an instrument for evaluating instruction generated by the Student Association's Academic Affairs Committee; and a press release about the relationship of potential tuition increases to funding higher salaries for professors.  Materials relevant to the agenda have also been distributed: copies of correspondence sent to Chair Bange, Chancellor Kuipers, and Dr. Hope Hagar from individuals concerned about the proposed elimination of the Master's of Social Work (MSW) program, directed by Dr. Hagar.   Concluding his brief report, Chair Bange stated that the Mar. 25  meeting of the Faculty Senate is cancelled, but that the Senate will meet on April 1 and April 8.   The major item scheduled for the April 1 meeting will be discussion of Plan 2008.  [Note: the March 25 meeting was rescheduled later in this meeting due to time demands.]

IV.  Proposed Elimination of the Master's in Social Work (MSW).  Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Hastad made a presentation of the administration's rationale for elimination of the MSW program.  He provided a copy of a letter sent to Chair Bange of February 10, 1999 and a fact sheet with pertinent information.  Direct quotations and specific information below are from these materials.  First, he noted that there are only 9 students enrolled in the program in its first year of operation, and only 21 students have applied for admission for the 1999-2000 academic year, despite attempts to improve recruitment; he concluded that there is little demand for the program.  Secondly, he observed that with Dr. Hagar's declaration of retirement this spring, there are no faculty, instructional staff, or a program assistant on the payroll for the 1999-2000 academic year, and that a plan to hire 4 FTE probationary faculty plus a program assistant this year "is excessive" because tuition revenues are not being generated in the program to support these faculty.  These searches are not in progress.  Even with 25 students enrolled and $104,200 currently budgeted to support the program, we would have a short fall of approximately $110,000.   He concluded that this "would further erode an already finite university resource base."   He reviewed enrollments at competitive MSW programs in the region: UW-Madison, UW Milwaukee, UW-Eau Claire, and University of Minnesota all have ample pools of applicants.   UW-L's program is in fact a degree granted by UW-Milwaukee and offered at UW-L through an agreement with that institution.  Finally, he reviewed his communications with various concerned parties at UW-L, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-System as he developed the proposal to eliminate the program.

Chair Bange then opened the floor for questions from senators.   At this time a number of senators asked questions of Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Hastad and of Chancellor Kuipers, who had arrived at the meeting during his presentation.   During this period, it was established that a letter had been sent to program applicants, informing them that UW-L was considering elimination of the program, to give them the option of making other plans.   Both Hastad and Kuipers agreed that the university would take steps to enable students currently enrolled in our program to complete their degrees.   Dr. Hagar's letter of intent to retire was handed to the administration in July of 1998.  Concern was expressed about the fiscal motivations for proposing the elimination of the program and the brevity of the program's existence prior to the proposal to eliminate.

Chair Bange recognized concerned persons attending the meeting so that they could speak about the proposal.  Two local social work professionals, a local physician's assistant, and the parent of a current applicant to the program spoke in favor of maintaining the program.  Chair Bange then asked Dr. Hope Hagar to make a presentation of her perspective on this issue.  She addressed points made in the administration's proposal.  In particular, she stressed that UW-Milwaukee's admissions process had thus far disadvantaged the UW-La Crosse satellite program.  She reviewed the history of the program, including commitments made by various administrators over
the last four years, and also discussed current staffing needs.

After she concluded her remarks, it was moved and seconded that the Faculty Senate recommend the elimination of the MSW program.  In discussion of the motion, many senators spoke about the necessity for effectively managing our limited resources and stressed that UW-L cannot afford to maintain such a costly program when so many other needs exist on campus.   Concern was expressed over the process by which the elimination proposal appeared before the Senate; it was suggested that the Academic Priorities Committee should have reviewed the proposal.

M/S/P (20-0-1 by show of hands) to move the question.

M/S/P (12-8-1 by roll call) that the Faculty Senate recommend the elimination of the MSW program.

Those senators voting in favor of the motion: Duquette, Egle, Host, Kraemer, LeDocq, Majak, Nyatepe-Coo, Prucha, Roskos, Stroud, Willey, and Wingate.

Those senators voting against the motion: Betton, Grant, Krajewski, Nelson, Snowberg, Taylor, VanVoorhis, Vogt.  Senator Haupert left the meeting before the vote was taken; Chair Bange abstained.

Chancellor Kuipers made a brief statement thanking the Senate for its attention to this issue.

V. Old Business.  There was no old business.

VI. New Business.  There was no new business.

VII. Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Laura L. Nelson, Secretary