Faculty Senate Update on Budget Reduction/Reorganization Review


In April 2005, the Faculty Senate formed an ad hoc committee to investigate the implications for faculty and academic programs of the Chancellor Hastad's 2005-07 budget reduction and administrative reorganization decisions.  Specific charges to the committee were:


  1. Review of the process followed to develop the budget reductions and reorganization decisions.
  2. Review the implied academic structure of the university relative to curricular and academic issues, personnel issues, resource and budgetary implications, feasibility of the structure, and make recommendations as necessary.


Information regarding the first charge was available during summer 2005, and activities related to the budget reduction and reorganization decisions also occurred during that time; the attached draft summary describes the information and activities.  The process leading to the budget reduction and reorganization decisions did not follow established policies/procedures on governance review of budgetary and reorganization proposals.  Such policies/procedures are necessary procedures in the shared governance of an institution and must not be bypassed.  Governance review of a proposal allows for an informed review of the proposal before implementation or before the proposal is forwarded off-campus; there is evidence that the budget reduction/reorganization decisions might have benefited from an informed governance review.


Sufficient information regarding the second charge was not available during summer 2005 (or even during the fall) for the committee to properly address the charge.  For example, chairs of departments formerly in the College of EESHR indicated that they would not be able to comment on the impact of the administrative reorganization on their departments and programs until the end of the fall semester.  Consequently, it is requested that the committee be allowed to address the second charge during spring 2006.


(Draft Summary)


Budget Reduction Process


The processes followed to develop budget reductions at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse have gradually decreased the role of faculty, staff, and Dean level administration.  Prior to the 2001-2003 biennial budget the primary source for determining the areas for reduction and support was the Joint Planning and Budget Committee.  This committee has seen reduced levels of involvement over the last 4 years.


In Spring 2002, during deliberations over the 2003-2005 biennial budget, the Joint Planning and Budget Committee received information concerning reductions in summary form from the Assistant Chancellor for Planning and Budget.  The $1.1 billion State cut translated to $1.2 million for UW-La Crosse.  Rather than try to adjust spending for the first part of the biennium, the University took dollars out of university reserves. The division and college heads were asked to look at areas where money could be cut starting in fiscal 2003 (2002-2003).  The Chancellor gave the following guidelines for the budget reductions:


  1. cuts should not be across the board,
  2. the instructional mission of the institution should be protected as much as possible, and
  3. that the target FTE for fall 2002 should be 83 less than previously stated (enrollment target for fall includes graduate and undergraduate students).


Involvement of the campus generally included division heads and college deans:


  1. Instructions on cuts were given to division/college heads on January 21, 2002.
  2. The instructions did not give any unit specific dollar amount targets. These suggestions were due back on or before February 15.
  3. Reduction materials were prepared for the Joint Planning and Budget Committee by February 27, 2002.
  4. The input from JPBC was completed and sent to the governance groups by March 27, 2002.
  5. Each governance group had two meetings for discussions, questions and answers.
  6. The governance group’s input was completed and sent to the Chancellor by April 26, 2002.
  7. The Chancellor made final decisions by May 17, 2002.


In Spring 2003, budget adjustment targets were to be considered utilizing the following guidelines as composed by the Chancellor:


  1. Model should include multiple scenarios.
  2. No across the board cuts.
  3. Avoid "nickel and diming."
  4. View the exercise from a campus perspective.
  5. Recognize our role as a "team" player with UW System.  We need to let people know the issues.
  6. Sacrifice "short-term" pain for "long-term" gain.
  7. Communicate regularly with constituents.
  8. Dispel rumors.
  9. Expect to become advocates for higher education.
  10. Look at each vacancy from the perspective, "what will be the return on investment?"  Continue to invest in quality.
  11. To the extent possible, we need to continue "business as usual."
  12. Look for revenue possibilities.


Involvement of the campus generally included input from division heads and college deans:


  1. Each division and college developed adjustments for their areas.
  2. It was expected that the divisions and colleges would share the process with faculty and staff, which was accomplished with various levels from none to full participation.
  3. The proposed adjustments were forwarded to the University Controller for compilation.
  4. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance discussed the proposals as necessary with those submitting the materials.
  5. A budget adjustment proposal document was then submitted to the Joint Planning and Budget Committee for discussion.
  6. The JPBC made recommendations for changes and submitted their adjusted document to the governance groups for input.
  7. Input from the governance groups was submitted to the Chancellor, who after consultation with the Chancellor's staff and others as needed, made the final determinations regarding budget adjustments.


In Spring 2005, the Chancellor suggested that the 2005-2007 budget reductions would follow the same guidelines utilized in the previous biennial budget reductions with the inclusion of the concepts of opportunity and humane treatment.  In addition, the 2005-2007 Phase I budget reductions must come from non-instructional 102 accounts.


Involvement of the campus was generally through input from members of the campus community directly to one of three individuals, the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, or the Chancellor.  The amount of input received, the nature of the input, and from whom the input was received all remain unknown.  The Joint Planning and Budget Committee grew increasingly frustrated as information received by these individuals was not shared nor discussed.  Repeated requests for information concerning position vacancies, staffing, re-organizational plans, current budget status, et cetera were not honored.


On April 4, 2005 Chancellor Hastad made the announcement that the University would undergo reorganization eliminating the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health and Recreation: The positions of Dean of the College of EESHR and Associate Dean for the College of EESHR would not be filled and all academic departments except Educational Studies would move to the College of Science and Allied Health.  In addition, the position of the Director for the School of Education would not be filled and teacher education would move to the College of Liberal Studies; Dean Mason would provide leadership to the School’s activities and the Department of Educational Studies.


See:   http://www.uwlax.edu/budget/chancellorltr0404.htm


This reorganization and the budget cuts associated with it were not discussed by any governance groups, committee structures, and indeed did not include input from the College Deans’ offices. 


The reorganization did not follow the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Policy on University Reorganization dated July 20, 1993 and re-affirmed on May 19, 2003 by Chancellor Hastad.  The University Policy states that the administration at UW-La Crosse will consult with appropriate governance groups prior to the implementation of university reorganization.  The University Policy also states that it is the policy of the Faculty Senate to review proposals/plans for university reorganization at UW-La Crosse before making recommendations to the Chancellor, and that the Faculty Senate procedures include the review of a written proposal/plan for university reorganization that addresses a number of issues, including:  major reasons for initiating the organizational change; improvement in the functioning of the affected units in meeting the units’ goals and mission; staffing, resources, budgetary and academic implications of the reorganization; responses of persons and units directly affected by the reorganization; and, if pertinent, how concerns of external agencies are addressed.


UW Board of Regents Action


Chancellor Hastad submitted a resolution on the elimination of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse College of Education, Exercise Science, Health, and Recreation (and the subsequent university reorganization) for consideration by the Board of Regents during its May 2005 meeting.  As reported in the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents May 2005 Meeting Day One News Summary (http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2005/r050505.htm):


The Education Committee on Thursday tabled a resolution to eliminate the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health, and Recreation at UW-La Crosse.


UW-La Crosse Chancellor Douglas Hastad noted administration, faculty, staff and students were all involved in the decision to eliminate the College during an eight-week period in discussions about looming budget cuts.


But David Glisch-Sanchez, academic affairs director for the United Council of UW Students, told the committee that the student organization is concerned the College was eliminated without shared governance. In her capacity as state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Regent Elizabeth Burmaster expressed concerns about the impact of the proposed elimination on teacher education and licensure.


Following discussion, the committee approved a motion from Regent Gregory Gracz of Milwaukee to place the resolution to eliminate the College on file. The committee agreed that the matter will not come up again until the chair has a chance to do research on the matter and brings it back to the agenda. However, committee members agreed that this matter should move quickly, and noted that tabling the motion was not a way to micromanage what UW-La Crosse is doing in response to state budget cuts.


It is noted that Regent Burmaster was acting chair of the Education Committee during the May Board of Regents meeting.


During the month of May, negotiations occurred between UW-La Crosse, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and UW System.  Under the threat of losing the ability to license teachers, UW-La Crosse agreed to establish a full-time Director of the School of Education at the Associate Dean level within the College of Liberal Studies. 


The Board of Regents again considered the elimination of the College of EESHR during its June 2005 meeting. As reported in the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents June 2005 Meeting Day Two News Summary (http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2005/r050610b.htm):


Regent Jose Olivieri, chair of the Education Committee, summarized the previous day’s discussions and reports to that committee. He noted the committee’s lengthy discussion of concerns expressed by the Faculty Senate about elimination of the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health and Recreation at UW-La Crosse.


Olivieri said the committee voted to approve the Chancellor’s decision to eliminate the college and reassign its programs as a response to urgent budget pressures. He noted that the change would not result in fewer students, programs or faculty members, but would achieve savings through the elimination of vacant administrative positions.


During the Education Committee’s discussion of the elimination of the College of EESHR, both Regent Olivieri and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cora Marrett commented on a long chronology of the UW-La Crosse budget reduction process submitted to them by Chancellor Hastad.  For completeness, this chronology is attached as an appendix to the current report.


Budget Reductions Associated with the Administrative Reorganization of the College of EESHR


On April 6, 2005, Vice Chancellor Lostetter     distributed a UW-L 2005-2007 Biennial Budget Reallocations document to members of the Joint Planning and Budget Committee.  The document contained the following items regarding the College of EESHR. 


Item for Reallocation


Fringe Effect



Biennial Total


EESHR Associate Dean







EESHR                Dean







ESSHR Eliminate Director of SOE







EESHR NCATE Membership Fees














EESHR SOE Restructure







EESHR SOE Restructure













Several observations regarding the above budget reallocation table should be made:


  1. The NCATE Consultant was supported by 128 Learning Communities funds; thus, Item 5 represents a commitment of 128 Learning Communities funds towards the state required non-instructional budget reduction for FY 2006.


  1. Items 6 and 7 represents shifting two PA positions to 128 Learning Communities funds; these positions were supported by a combination of 102 and 128 Learning Communities funds.


  1. Item 3 was an acknowledgement by the university that the Director of the School of Education was not a budgeted position.  For the past two years the position was supported by salary savings dollars, and the university did not intend to/could not continue to support the position in this way. 


UW-La Crosse’s agreement to establish a full-time Director of the School of Education means that the university must allocate an administrative FTE and establish a budgeted salary of approximately $85,000 plus fringe benefits for the position.  This reduces the effectiveness of the university’s non-instructional 2005-07 budget reductions.


Appendix:  Chronology provided by Chancellor Hastad




Chronology of 2005-2007 UW-L Budget Cut Decisions



Feb. 8              Governor Doyle gives his budget address


Feb. 16            Joint Planning & Budget Committee – CBO Ron Lostetter provided a summary of the Governor’s Budget, explained each initiative, answered questions and stated that “cuts” would have to be determined by April.  Provost Liz Hitch stated there would be a meeting February 18 for all System provosts, CBO’s, and System staff to discuss the budget issues.


Feb. 23            Draft of 05-06 Decision Rules sent from System (Freda Harris)


Feb. 25            Administrative Staff (chancellors’) meeting - Draft of Decision Rules discussed


Feb 17-Mar 3   The Dean of EESHR candidates were on campus for interviews.


March 2           Joint Planning & Budget Committee – Chancellor Hastad presented an overview of the Governor’s budget proposal, said he will be working closely with his staff.  Suggestions are welcome.  CBO distributed a System chart on the Governor’s efficiency measures and said cuts will have to be identified by April 15.  It was reiterated that if anyone has ideas or suggestions regarding possible areas to cut, please e-mail the chancellor, provost, or CBO.


March 3           Faculty Senate – Chair Riley said it was a “hastily organized” meeting to continue discussion of two items, one being the EESHR dean search.  There was “much discussion” and the Chancellor listened, responded to questions, and “reiterated that he welcomes suggestions.”


March 8           Chancellor sends e-mail to President Reilly requesting consideration of a different strategy for budget cuts to be presented at March BOR.


March 9           Joint Planning & Budget Committee – Met to generate ideas regarding budget reductions.  Budget allocation decisions rules were distributed, it was stated that the CBO, controller, and HR director are putting together data on current vacancies, provisions, etc.  The Provost commented that more might be learned at the Board of Regents’ meeting on March 10 and said it is helpful for people to provide their perspective and focus on the outcomes on services and programs.  A budget reduction website was established. 


March 10         Billy Clow, chair of Joint Planning & Budget Committee, requested from the chancellor the list of guidelines/ground rules that he gave the Senate and Joint Planning for looking at the budget process.  The chancellor sent Billy the list.


March 10         Faculty Senate – Chair Riley led a detailed discussion with senators about the EESHR dean search with respect to budget reductions.  There was a motion and second by the Senate to insist that the integrity of the academic programs of the College of EESHR be preserved; best way to ensure this is to hire a dean for the college; thus the Senate recommends that the position of dean of the College of EESHR and associated funding not be included in the administrative budget reduction required from UW-L for 2005-2007.  The chancellor was present to hear all the comments.


March 18         Memo of Faculty Senate Chair to Chancellor with Senate-approved motion recommending that the position of Dean of the College of EESHR and the associated funding not be included in the budget reduction for 2005-07 and that the university vigorously pursue hiring a dean for the college.


March 23         Joint Planning & Budget Committee – Handout from Billy Clow, chair, of the 2005-2007 Budget Process Guiding Principles; Provost explained that the cuts would be $1.2-1.3m in the first year of the biennium; CBO and controller distributed and reviewed System’s Principles for 2005-06 Budget Reductions, UW System Distribution of the 2005-07 Governor’s Efficiency Measures, 2005-06 Supplement #1 Allocations from System, and answered questions.  April 15th was the date reiterated as when UW System must receive our budget cuts.  The provost and CBO expressed appreciation for the suggestions/ideas they had received from the campus.  They stated that the chancellor will have the final say in the cuts. 


March 23         Billy Clow, Chair, Joint Planning & Budget Committee, sent an e-memo to the campus about the Budget Crisis, indicating that we don’t yet know the full amount of required cuts and requesting assistance with ideas to assist or help with the budget crisis be sent to the provost, CBO or JPB Committee.


March 24         CBO told Faculty Senate that hoped-for methodology w/System failed


March 30         Joint Planning & Budget Committee – The controller said that April 15 is the only deadline that we are aware of for the budget reductions.  The provost stated that the list of vacancies is being worked on and the chancellor will be reviewing all options.


March 31         Faculty Senate – CBO indicated the campus is in the final stage in getting the campus administrative reduction report ready for distribution.  He expects it to be distributed within a week or so.


April 4             First Chancellor’s message to campus community - employees, Student Association President, UW-L Foundation Board, UW-L Alumni Board, Community Council, President Reilly, Regent Smith


April 5             Tribune headlines


April 5             College of EESHR early morning meeting – Chancellor stopped by.


April 5-6          Campus Listening Sessions (Four 1-hour sessions, attended by approximately 25% of the workforce)


April 6             Joint Planning & Budget Committee – The chancellor said the listening sessions were well attended and he welcomed the opportunity to answer any questions.  The CBO distributed the UW-L 2005-2007 Biennial Budget Reallocations document and answered questions. 


April 12           Bruce Riley, Faculty Senate Chair, requested a short meeting with the chancellor right away to talk about a faculty committee reviewing the academic implications of the chancellor’s budget reduction decisions.


April 12           Faculty Senate Executive Committee (SEC) meeting – Provost learned that the Faculty Senate will be questioning the chancellor’s budget decisions and indicate that he did not go through the official process as spelled out in the Faculty Senate policy. 


April 13           Chancellor, provost, CBO, dean of CLS and dean of SAH met with Bruce Riley, other SEC members, and  Steve Senger to discuss the faculty committee reviewing the academic implications of the chancellor’s budget reduction decisions.


April 14           Chancellor called Pat Brady (early morning) to review BOR involvement in College of EESHR dissolution.  She said she was unaware of any need to go to the BOR but would check with Ron Singer in Academic Affairs.  She didn’t get back to DNH.  Chancellor called Ron Singer (mid-afternoon) to check on same issue; he said there was a chart that indicates the campus must submit written notification to the BOR for approval. 


April 14           Second Chancellor’s message to campus community (same recipients)


April 14           Faculty Senate – The chancellor indicated that both deans (CLS and SAH) were working closely with the departments and individuals affected by the elimination of the College of EESHR.  Both deans explained the efforts made to date and plans for continuing to have a smooth, seamless transition.  The chancellor reiterated that students will not be affected and will probably not even notice the change in administrative leadership to the EESHR programs.  The SEC presented a motion to the Senate to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the implication for faculty and academic programs of the chancellor’s recent administrative budget cuts relative to the Faculty Senate policy on university reorganization, with the committee presenting its findings in early fall, 2005.


April 15           Chancellor called Pat Brady to follow up on the mixed messages.  She said Ron told her in the morning that nothing was necessary but later left a message that said notification to the BOR was necessary. 


April 18           Chancellor sent a memo to Ron Singer requesting that formal notification to the BOR of the college elimination be placed on the May agenda. 


May 1              Note from Don Mash complimenting chancellor on a great job of communicating at a challenging time with his April 14 Update on budget decisions.


May 2 or 3       Tom Grogan from Superintendent Burmaster’s office called.  Chancellor called him back.  They talked about the EESHR elimination and the fact that no students, programs or faculty of the School of Education would be harmed by this situation and that the SOE would be directly under the supervision of the dean of CLS, an experienced teacher educator, with transition assistance from Dick Swantz.


May 4              Faculty Senate Chair sent electronic communication (numerous documents) to the Board of Regents stating concern that there was no university review of the budget reduction decisions (and university reorganization) nor was there apparent consideration of alternative budget reduction plans that faculty put forth.  Also stated is that the Faculty Senate’s action to review the academic implications of the budget reductions is a prudent and necessary action before the BOR approves the elimination of EESHR.


May 5-6           Board of Regents’ meetings at UW-Stout.  Regent Burmaster chaired the Education Committee at which the notification request for college elimination was on the agenda.  She said she couldn’t support the elimination because of PI-34.  David Glisch-Sanchez spoke and said there was no shared governance in the decision because students weren’t involved.  The Education Committee placed the item on file until the chair brings it back to the table.


                        Other conversations took place with Regent Marcovich, Tom Grogan, Cora Marrett, and Ron Singer about next steps.  UW-L, System and DPI will work to resolve the concerns.


May 9              Chancellor met with John Mason, Dick Swantz, and Greg Wegner to discuss what occurred at the BOR meeting.  Dick said he received a call from DPI staff on Thursday morning, May 5, and he answered all their questions.  He thought they might be concerned about the most recent DPI review concerns.  John said he would draft a document explaining what is happening and how we are going to support SOE with the new structure.


May 9              Chancellor talked with Cora Marrett and Ron Singer in the afternoon.  They were concerned because other campuses have the same structure that Regent (Superintendent) Burmaster is questioning and says she can’t support.  The chancellor said he was waiting for a call back from Tom Grogan.  Cora asked to be informed of how Tom wants to proceed so she can call Regent Burmaster. 


May 13            Chancellor, Liz Hitch, and John Mason met with DPI State Superintendent Burmaster, Cora Marrett, and their staffs to discuss concerns related to the UW-L School of Education and its current Remediation Plan, which included having a full-time Director of the School of Education.  Due to the budget cuts the director’s position was planned to be handled by Dean John Mason.  The Superintendent said that if UW-L made arrangements to have a single individual identified as the full-time Director of the School of Education, then she would deem the budget reduction actions related to this issue as reasonable and acceptable.  It was agreed that a revised remediation plan from UW-L to the DPI would be prepared to spell out the details of this arrangement.


May 20            Dick Swantz met with the School of Education.  It was noted that the bylaws of the Teacher Education Governance Committee (TEGC) require that proposals to DPI must be approved by that body.  The group believed that the revision to the remediation plan had to go through TEGC.


May 24            Cora Marrett’s office informed the DPI that Liz Hitch indicated a follow-up meeting with the DPI on May 26 would not be necessary and that the promised revised remediation plan would be sent shortly.


May 26            Dick Swantz contacted the TEGC about feedback he was receiving from them regarding the revised remediation plan and requested a special meeting with the group on May 27 to discuss the response to the DPI requirement that the School of Education have a full-time director.  He sent the TEGC a revised copy of the revised remediation plan for review.


May 27            The TEGC met and passed a motion in support of having a full-time SOE director at the Associate Dean level.


May 31            Provost Hitch met with Dick Swantz, John Mason and Mike Nelson to review the proposed revised remediation plan.  All were supportive of it and submitted that recommendation to the chancellor.  The chancellor sent the revised remediation plan to Superintendent Burmaster. 


June 1              Superintendent Burmaster’s office confirmed acceptance of the revised remediation plan to Cora Marrett.