Budget decision feedback

Budget decision feedback
Redactions have been made to protect private information and minor edits were made to
remove the submitters identity.
What was the purpose of CCOET? The distribution of budget cuts was defined early in this
process. Why wasn't the execution of the reductions left to the division heads?
In other words, if you tell "division X" to cut expenditures by 10%, than tell them that. Don't tell
them how to do it.
I just wanted to reach out to you to make sure that, whatever decisions are made, those decisions
will make since for soft money offices like mine. Of specific concern was the plan to have a waiting
period before being able to hire academic staff. All of my staff are grant funded and it would be
significant disruption to my projects if I had to wait four months to hire replacement staff. Further,
not being able to hire people would actually cost the university money, since it would not be
earning indirect on grant money spent on the staff salary and fringe. That was my main concern
that I wanted to convey. Thank you for your time.
I’m sure that many will express concerns about Item II. iii of the CCOET Report (p. 13: “Gather all
aspects involving a student’s academic trajectory under one administrative line”). The text
presents an argument about 1) efficiencies to be gained by consolidating reports to a single
administrative line and 2) effectiveness to be gained by coordinating efforts.
This would presumably include gathering Undergraduate Admissions, Center for International
Education, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Registrar, and Career Planning and Resource Center
under one administrative report within the Provost's office. Such reorganization will enhance
consistent messaging and should be accompanied by transparent flow of student information
through the Student Success Center, shared advising records, and so on. This process should be
data driven and outcome measured. These core functions could be augmented by placing
programs such as learning communities, targeted/undecided intensive advising, bridge programs,
cultural centers, diversity and inclusiveness centers, TRIO programs, Panther Academic Support
Services, Student Success Center, Military and Veterans Resource Center, Accessibility Resource
Center and the Office of Undergraduate Research under the same administrative line, while
retaining the individual identity of each of these valuable programs. This would allow scarce
resources to be applied in the most effective manner consistent with mission-related outcomes.
It must be recognized that this implementation will require moving additional support staff (e.g.,
UITS) as well as the offices themselves.
Leaving aside whether this approach would actually yield cost-savings or retention increases, I
would suggest that the kinds of programs being grouped together could be more strategically
selected. Without speaking for other units, I would like to clarify that the Office of Undergraduate
Research is an undergraduate student-facing part of the research infrastructure of the campus
and is administratively part of the Office of Research, reporting to the Vice-Provost for
Research. Because the OUR works directly with faculty, supporting their research and grantwriting, there is a clear strategic advantage for the OUR remaining part the Office of
Research. While clearly focused on undergraduate student success, the OUR [Office of
Undergraduate Research] is not a student academic support center in the same way that most
(though certainly not all) of the units in this list.
I would be happy to provide more information about the structure, efficiency, and successes of
the Office of Undergraduate Research if such information would be helpful.
I have a comment regarding the recommendation for “Increasing Courses Offered during Nonpeak Times, which appears on pages 33-34 of the CCOET Report.
Courses at non-peak hours generally have lower enrollments than courses offered at midday, and
courses with lower enrollments are the first to be cut; thus, there is no incentive for any instructor
to take the risk of scheduling courses during non-peak times.
I am curious as to why campus is recruiting for the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Assistant to the
Provost for Budget and Planning, position.
The CCOET Final Report on page 14 recommends a simplification of the senior level campus
administration. In light of the current critical fiscal situation UWM faces at this time, why is the
campus recruiting for this position?
My only feedback I have right now concerns the Graduate School.
Given the recent award of an R1 status to UWM, it seems rather counterproductive to eliminate
the Graduate School. Secondly, mentions of duplicative services occurring in schools and colleges
v. the Graduate School are minimal at best. Further study would show that placing all of the
services the Graduate School offers into each school and college would not only increase the time
and cost it takes to do business and provide student services, it would also add to the overall
bottom line in an even larger payroll expense.
A centralized Graduate School provides students with the services they have said they needed
and want. Our programs here are growing. From professional development opportunities to
centralized recruiting, an annual Fellowship celebration to a campus-wide Open House, each year
we have brought in students who would not have looked at UWM previously. We are proud of
the work we are doing here, continue to do and look forward to growing further.
I strongly urge leadership to consider not only keeping the Graduate School in its current
structure, but to also invest in and grow the services we provide for students. Our graduate
students make up ¼ of the current student body; I encourage the additional investment in them.
First, I’m disappointed as a longtime UWM community member that objections from faculty
seemed to roadblock any significant ideas regarding reorganization or funding. With tenured
faculty holding the power that they do, and CCOET being largely led by deans and department
heads, there was a generally committee-wide reluctance to taken on anything that would be “too
hard” or controversial. That, it seems to me, is antithetical to what CCOET was called to do. I’d
also say that — at least from my perspective on the CCOET “support team” — that I was surprised
by paltry attendance from many fellow members. (There was also — and this was certainly true
in open forums as well — a kind of “Not in My Backyard” response from members; budget cuts
are for other people, it seems.) The chairs did a great (and fairly under-recognized job) of keeping
discussions in the realm of the possible, but were maybe a little too ready to declare ideas
affecting faculty as too difficult or too long-term to be vetted in depth.
Second, I was surprised at how often the suggestions coming from CCOET members seemed to
forget that students constitute our chief mission (and nearly our sole source of income). I don’t
mean to suggest that we are solely a customer service organization now, but our service to
students, learning, and graduation shouldn’t come second to the university’s ability to provide
employment. I don’t think it would be bad practice for every department — or every area with
an operating budget — to provide an annual statement on how the work done in that
department/unit/center/etc. contributes to student graduation.
Third, as an academic staff member and someone conversant in governance, it seems to me that
once you remove the “too hard” stuff (that is, those that might impinge on faculty rights,
employment, or livelihood), you’re left with cost-savings that must come from a reduction of
services to students (see paragraph 2) and/or the reduction of academic staff and University staff
positions. I’m not opposed to that, so long as this can be done strategically or by letting go underperformers while retaining strong-performers, etc., and that governance is kept apprised of these
activities. Also, faculty should be made aware — and feel the burden — of what they lose by
cutting our already lean administrative and programmatic staff. In a gesture towards shared
sacrifice, faculty should not expect the work of lost academic/university staff to be taken up by
those already over-worked staff who remain.
Finally, I’d like to mention that very little in the CCOET suggestions (or at least in the immediately
actionable suggestions) is particularly strategic. Managing through attrition and retirements will
create an atmosphere of winners and losers, as would any across-the-board cut irrespective of
departmental budgets. Re-aligning campus priorities and re-organizing campus offices around our
core mission functions is a good step, but not necessarily a costs-saving step. More could be made
of tying departmental course offerings to student demand, maximizing course enrollment while
shrinking the cost of instruction (due to offering two full sections of a class rather than five
partially full sections, for example). This will be hard to do, and may require investing in thirdparty software to achieve, but currently there’s no penalty for running a course that is only a third
full. This, like many recommendations both great and small, relies upon buy-in at the faculty and
department level, which in turn requires the attention of administration.
Thank you, Academic Staff Committee, for giving me the opportunity to participate in CCOET
representing my fellow staff. It was a responsibility I did not and do not take lightly. I’d be happy
to follow up with the committee or its members in person if you have any further questions for
I do not believe that the proposed restructuring of the College of Letters and Science as outlined
in the CCOET Report will provide an effective solution to UWM’s ongoing budget crisis. The
College is the heart and soul of UWM and weakening that structure will weaken the University as
a whole. One of the great strengths of L&S is the diversity of disciplines and academic programs
the College supports. I know that that diversity is extremely important to the success of the
anthropological enterprise in general. I know that our program, as well as any other
interdisciplinary program, would be negatively affected by a weakened L&S. This may translate to
a loss of extramural revenue that might offset any potential gains due to downsizing. I understand
that we have reached a point where hard choices must now be made. However, before we tinker
with the core of our institution I would like to see other cost reduction strategies targeted
including a concerted effort to reduce administrative overhead at the campus level.
I want to take this opportunity to comment on the CCOET Final Report.
While I think we need analysis to determine the cost of education (research and everything else)
I think the first chart on the cost per Student Credit Hours (SCH) is misleading.
I looked what was included in the data for the “Support Costs” which includes development costs
and some research support. This means if a school is doing a high level of development work
and/or a high level of research then it will be reflected in a higher costs per SCH.
This is comparing apple to oranges.
I work with these numbers every day across several schools. I would be happy to assist in a better
Regarding the recommendation about combining the Writing Center and Tutoring on p.31:
I would not recommend combining them.
These services have been separated at UWM in the late 1990s or early 2000s as they are on most
large campuses throughout the country.
Both the Writing Center and PASS follow national guidelines: PASS follows learning center
standards are written in the CAS Standards. Both are well respected nationally.
The populations are different:
The Writing Center serves all levels and PASS serves student in the first 2 year courses.
We have not found referrals to the other center to be a problem, especially with the decision to
have the centers in close vicinity in the library first floor East Wing. Students are well served by
both centers.
Both staffs are lean, so I don't see a budget savings. Both contribute to student retention saving
UWM tuition dollars.
I am writing to submit my feedback about the CCOET Report. First, I would like to provide some
context about my work that ties into the major concern I want to raise. I have worked at UWMilwaukee’s School of Public Health. Since I began with UWM’s SPH, the organization has seen
immense growth. Faculty numbers have grown from two in 2010 to 25 today. Student enrollment
has increased twentyfold (from 4 to 89). We added two PhDs and five masters’ degrees. I take
pride in this growth.
I was to rally multiple stakeholders around a goal to achieve Council on Education in Public Health
(CEPH) accreditation. I am happy to say that we have achieved almost everything necessary, and
I anticipate CEPH will approve our accreditation in 2017. We are in the last stages to submit a
comprehensive self-study in May.
I am reaching out to you because upon scanning the CCOET Report, I was disheartened to see the
presumptive combination of the School of Public Health with the College of Health Sciences,
particularly because I worry about implications this may have for our pending CEPH accreditation.
I have heard in the past few days that the Chancellor and Provost will not combine SPH and CHS
at this time. That is good. However, this important and good news does not change the fact that
the view of many on campus is that a merger makes sense - so much so that CCOET slashed our
names throughout its report (CHS/SPH).
I worry that the existence of this report - and our Interim Dean being relegated to submission of
a minority report to question the presumed combination of our School with CHS - will have
unfavorable consequences with the accreditors. Whenever I heard the topic of combining CHS
and SPH discussed, someone (sometimes me, in the case of the Academic Staff Senate) mentioned
the implications this would have on our accreditation goal. The School of Public Health CANNOT
become CEPH-accredited under the umbrella of any other school or college. It's very important
to me that our School has the support of the university to become CEPH-accredited. My concern
comes from a strong sense of duty to our alumni and students.
I realize there are details about how a merger might fit with CEPH-accreditation, which have
surfaced during the calls for feedback from CCOET. It's important to me to provide detailed
explanation about what is possible and why I think it would not make sense at this juncture. While
it's possible we could accredit our master’s program under the umbrella of CHS, this would
alienate students enrolled in our doctoral programs, not to mention our three recent PhD
graduates. Accrediting an MPH program requires much less work than we put in over the past six
years. For example, the five tracks of our master’s degree are unnecessary. Only one track is
required for MPH accreditation. It would also require a separate application to CEPH to request a
self-study of our MPH, changing the time frame we have communicated to students about which
of our MPH cohorts will "count" as graduating from a CEPH-accredited program.
I understand that it's possible that the two could combine by the Zilber School of Public Health
"taking in" degrees from CHS. While this is technically true, it would certainly have implications
for accreditation, too. I am leading two work groups for the CEPH self-study (academic programs
and students), and there are sections we would have to write to cover these degrees.
I am not a fundraising expert, by any means, but I also want to mention that the Zilber Family
Foundation's generosity has supported UWM to build this school. They donated millions of dollars
for construction of a facility, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars to support student
scholarships. These gifts were meant to support the university's goal of school wide CEPH
Not to discount the importance of living up to our partner agreements, but honestly, I am most
concerned because I recruited students into our programs with the promise of school wide CEPH
accreditation. Public health students are talented individuals pursuing important careers, and I
believe their professional success will equate to improved population health in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, and beyond. It has been a privilege for me to get to know them and to support them
in their career development. I want UWM to provide the best opportunities for them to succeed
in their careers.
The best way to support students in the School of Public Health is to support the School's CEPHaccreditation.
If possible, I would appreciate a redacted CCOET report that does not slash SPH/CHS throughout
the document. If the CCOET Report comes up during our site visit, which I think it might, I would
like to be able to communicate to CEPH Councilors that after clarification about what a combined
CHS/SPH would mean for accreditation, the university committee took action to correct its
Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback.
The CCOET Final Report makes reference to the web-based retention platforms being utilized by
UW-Milwaukee on page 29. Currently UWM utilizes both Mapworks and the Student Success
Collaborative. Both tools offer the ability to communicate to and about students, provide a
network of referral resources, and generate tailored reports. While these tools have overlapping
features one is not a replacement for the other.
Mapworks utilizes pre-college data, in-progress academic performance, and student survey data
factored into an algorithm to provide a fluid student risk that examines the holistic student
experience. Non-cognitive aspects (sense of engagement, integration, and motivation) are the
focus of the Mapworks surveys and are utilized by student affairs professional and student staff
along with academic advisors to have intentional conversations with at-risk students.
The Student Success Collaborative (both in its current platform and fall 2016 platform) utilizes
pre-college data, UWM course and major specific historical data, and in-progress academic
performance to generate a fluid risk that examines the academic experience. This tool allows
academic advisors to have important conversations with students about their academic choices
and options based on how similar students have performed.
Together these tools offer the best of both realms of student success. The Student Success Center
received demonstrations of the leading web-based retention platforms in the industry and are
confident Coupling the non-cognitive data provided directly from the student with the predictive
academic data, UWM can provide a network of care that comes from a deep understanding of
our students.
I am very concerned about the current status of the Academic Opportunity Center, American
Indian Student Services, Southeast Asian American Student Services, and African American
Student Services given my belief that these programs facilitate our recruitment and retention
efforts. In addition, those programs provide academic support for low-income students. After
review of the Report, I am left wondering if those departments will exist in the future. I was glad
to see that there was clarity as to the status of the Roberto Hernandez Center based upon the
recommendations made in the Report. I have been a strong supporter of all of these programs
and have first-hand knowledge of the positive impact they have on our diverse student body.
Thank you in advance for addressing my concerns.
I am writing in response to the CCOET report. It is vital that the Graduate School remain intact at
the university.
It is essential that the Graduate School processes are kept centralized. This centralized model
allows one school to provide the oversight for all of the schools and colleges. There is a
tremendous amount of planning, processing, implementing and assessing that is held in the
Graduate School. Their important work allows the rest of the colleges and universities to work
more closely with their students.
I am fortunate to work as an Academic Advisor that works with doctoral students. My role within
the college relies heavily on the Graduate School. They are the gatekeepers of our policies and
procedures from admissions processes all the way through to graduation.
As a result of the severe staffing shortages in the Graduate School, my work takes a much longer
in terms of getting back to students and faculty. This is not best practice.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to voice my concern.
I vote that the Graduate School remain a “school”.
Hello Academic Staff Committee,
Find attached a letter for your consideration. This letter represents a coordinated effort from the
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health staff, copied here. We were not able to finalize this letter
until today. We sincerely hope that you can take into account this feedback at this time. (One of
my colleagues will send the attached letter to the University Personnel Committee, too.)
(please see attached letter)
Consolidation of Career Centers is a bad idea and will only hurt the Lubar School of Business
students. Over the past 21 years we have built the Lubar Career Services Center from nothing to
a thriving Center serving the needs of the 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students of Lubar.
The Lubar Career Services Center is much more than just a career center, it is also an integral part
of the academic framework of Lubar. Members of the Career Services Center staff teach four
sections of the Bus 300 Career and Professional Development course. Each major at Lubar has a
specific section of the course, as course content is adjusted based on the specific major. Also, all
applications for internship academic credit are reviewed by the Director of Career Services, who
must approve the internship before academic credit is granted. Additionally, with a dedicated
Career Center in Lubar, there is a close relationship with Lubar faculty and the Career Services
Center staff.
Every quality business school in the country has their own Career Services Center. It is vital to
accreditation. In fact, in recent accreditation reports, the Lubar School of Business Career Services
Center has been cited as one of the strengths of the Lubar School.
The countless functions coordinated by the Lubar Career Center are major contributors to the life,
pride, and wellbeing of the Lubar School and business students. No one can overestimate the
excitement throughout the Lubar community on the day of the annual Lubar School of Business
Career Fair. From maintenance people who make the building look its best, to academic advisors
who help with registration tables, to the many student volunteers who help take employers’
materials to their respective tables, to all the students who attend the Fair in their business suits,
the Career Fair is a great day for the Lubar School. In each of the past three years we had at least
75 employers in Lubar Hall, with employer tables spread throughout three floors for the Career
Fair. In each of the last five years we had at least 600 business students attend the Career Fair.
Other events coordinated through the Lubar Career Center include Accounting Night, multiple
Career Forums each semester as part of the Career and Professional Development course,
Etiquette Luncheons and Mock Interviews as part of the course, as well as numerous employer
events and meetings.
The Lubar Career Center is of tremendous importance in the recruitment and retention of
business students. Having our own Career Center is highlighted in every presentation to
prospective students. The value of having a dedicated Career Center is of upmost importance
when talking to parents of prospective students, who are most concerned about employment
outcomes. Retention of students is increased with a dedicated Career Center. Students are able
to form strong advising relationships with advisors. They are able to ask difficult questions
because of the trust they have found in the advisor. Retention is improved as students have
increased opportunities for internships as well as full-time employment, because they frequent
the Career Services Center. Retention is also improved as the Lubar Career Advisors work closely
with the Academic Advisors when assisting students. Also, being a specialist, the Lubar Career
Advisors know and understand the academic curriculum.
The Lubar Career Services Center provides outstanding career preparation for business students.
Any centralization of Career Services would severely damage the quality of services provided to
business students. The Lubar Career Center is key to Lubar operations, academically,
professionally, for recruitment and retention, internships, and permanent placement.
Lastly, since we are looking at ways to save dollars, there would be no significant dollar savings by
eliminating the Lubar Career Services Center. As indicated by the CCOET report, advisors would
be “dedicated” for certain degree programs. We have three professional staff in the Lubar Career
Services Center. To come close to providing the necessary services, at least three staff would have
to be dedicated to Lubar.
Academic Staff Committee
Response to CCOET Report
February 29, 2016
When the CCOET Final Report was delivered to the campus community on February 15,
Chancellor Mone asked the Academic Staff Committee (ASC) to provide comments and
suggestions about the report. This document is a compilation of feedback provided by members
of the ASC and by individual members of the academic staff who delivered their comments to
Overall Feedback
Given the scope and the impact of the CCOET proposals, the Academic Staff Committee
believes transparency will be paramount in the next stages of analysis and decision making to
address the budget crisis.
As representatives of UWM academic staff, the Academic Staff Committee needs to be
engaged in evaluating and implementing the administration's proposals concerning both
Primary and Secondary Options. This document will focus on the Primary Options: Position
Control, Administrative Organization and Balance, and Campus Academic Reorganization.
Building on the valuable work that CCOET has done, the Academic Staff Committee calls on
UWM administration to weigh recommendations and to find a strategic approach that
addresses budget issues while still fulfilling the University's mission of instruction, research,
extended education and public service.
Position Control
Regarding the Position Control process, the Academic Staff Committee finds that there are too
many unknown variables at this time to assess the full impact of implementation.
Regarding the Resource Allocation Group, the Academic Staff Committee requests:
 transparency in the creation, charge, and function of the Resource Allocation Group
 clarification of how critical hires would be determined and how duties for vacant
positions would be redistributed
The Academic Staff Committee requests clarification regarding circumstances under
which “fast track” hires would be approved. Units are worried about how this process
could affect urgent, core-mission staffing needs, accreditation, etc.
Potential benefits of Position Control:
The use of position control can lead to more consistent hiring practices. All governing
bodies must be involved in the process and in developing standard practices.
Position control can, while creating a leaner organization, help to streamline and
eliminate duplicative positions.
Having position control in a single area can hold all units to a common set of consistent,
objective standards.
The Priority Referral Program may mitigate the expenses of recruiting academic staff for
approved positions.
Potential risks of Position Control:
The CCOET report highlights problems associated with position creation but focuses on
centralizing the decision making process, with the potential for more negative than positive
outcomes at the unit level.
The use of a single campus entity is not strategic at the unit level.
This is purely budget-driven and may not be responsive to strategic academic initiatives
related to the mission of our university.
As positions are eliminated, not approved, or redistributed, remaining positions are
subject to expansion in duties without compensation or consideration of impact on
The change in position control to a single entity is not temporary and may exist long after
its purpose for budgetary assistance is no longer needed.
The impact of the position control is likely to have disproportionate impact on academic
Administrative Organization and Balance
The Academic Staff Committee endorses CCOET's recommendation of ensuring a studentcentered approach to reorganization and firmly believes that administrative reorganization can
make us a more effective and nimble university. However, the selection of metrics to evaluate
our effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and transparency must be made carefully to ensure
valid measurement of outcomes.
Potential benefits of CCOET proposals for Administrative Organization and Balance:
A well-implemented reorganization process would allow for a fair and objective
evaluation of positions at all levels.
With reduced staffing, the need to critically evaluate current as well as new projects and
programs would be heightened.
Shared services can increase talent pool available for any given project.
Potential risks of CCOET proposals for Administrative Organization and Balance:
There is a lack of strategic vision in the exact nature of the reorganization of
administration, making it difficult to assess impact.
Shared services could lead to a loss of expertise in units that make unique contributions
to our student services, research, instruction, and public services missions.
Shared services is likely to have a disproportionate impact on academic staff and can
increase workloads to unsustainable levels.
Campus Academic Reorganization
The Academic Staff Committee recognizes the potential for synergies with respect to strategic
campus academic reorganizations. What is needed now is a thorough cost-benefit analysis of
proposed reorganizations. Administration needs to involve faculty, staff and students in the
analysis process to foster interdisciplinary research, instruction and engagement.
Potential benefits of Academic Reorganization:
The creation of clusters or the merging of schools and colleges may help break down
existing silos and address any disparities in our existing structure.
Past proliferation of schools and colleges aligned with UWM’s past vision of continuous
growth in enrollments. We can create a new array of schools and colleges that more
closely aligns with UWM's new strategic vision that is responsive to student demographics
and the economic environment.
Potential risks of Academic Reorganization:
The clustering of support services may rearrange workload without streamlining
processes and/or gaining efficiencies.
We need a better cost-benefit analysis to determine the full impact of campus
reorganization. The academic clusters may only have potential cost savings (if any) and
no immediate savings.
We need processes in place to ensure that reorganization is mutually beneficial to the
units involved.
Secondary Options
Because many of the recommendations in the Secondary Options section of the CCOET report
were contradictory and/or too numerous for the Academic Staff Committee to fully vet, we
submit only a few selected comments.
The faculty workload policy was glossed over in the CCOET report, yet it is a serious
concern for faculty and academic staff, as shown in comments submitted to the CCOET
web survey. It seems possible that CCOET may have glossed over this in anticipation of
faculty pushback. Yet, this is clearly a sound, financially viable approach to addressing the
budget imbalance, as evidenced by schools and colleges that have already changed their
faculty workload policies. The University Committee should be tasked with developing a
stronger policy and Deans should be held accountable for following the policy, e.g. all
UWM faculty would teach a 2/2 load.
We agree with the proposal to hold schools and colleges to a standard for workload.
However, we also recognize that a flexible workload model can be helpful to align with
the various strengths of faculty/staff related to both the teaching and research missions
of the university. A flexible model would allow us to optimize productivity in all areas.
The CCOET report does not propose a strategy for closing and/or merging programs that
do not have adequate enrollments and/or are not fiscally solvent.
Collapsing/merging/consolidating administrative, multicultural and/or student success
units must be done thoughtfully rather than in a fit of diversion/deflection/desperation.
Realignment is a viable and perhaps overdue option; however, it must be done
strategically. How might restructuring diminish the benefits of current alignment? Would
it be prudent to shift the Office of Undergraduate Research away from research and align
it with all other High-Impact Practices (HIPs)? Forethought and planning must be
priorities. Which student populations would be further marginalized by deep cuts or
elimination of services? What effect would that have on recruitment and retention?
Our comments are deeply rooted in a commitment to the University's stated mission of
instruction, research, extended education and public service. Since the bulk of the UWM's budget
is invested in human resources, it follows that staffing will need to be reduced—either by attrition
or non-renewal/layoff—in order to adequately address our budget shortfall.
The CCOET report appears to primarily deal with how to handle a reduction in staffing. What is
needed now is a strategic plan to build broad consensus about how the campus organizational
structure can be adapted to better support our mission, our changing economy and our diverse
student population.
Dear Chancellor Mone,
We, as the chairs of the Academic Services and Advising Leadership Committee, Enhancing
Advising Committee, and Advisors and Counselors Network at the University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee would like to take the opportunity to provide feedback and factual corrections to the
CCOET document.
We appreciate the large undertaking of work for this group and the openness of the Chancellor
for the University community to provide feedback. The transparency of the process is imperative
to achieve the highest levels of success for the final implemented decisions.
First, it is clear from the entire document that academic staff will carry the heaviest load of nonrenewals and layoffs. This potential reduction in the number of staff that support students will
have a negative impact on all student metrics including, but not limited to, enrollment, retention
and six-year graduation rates.
There are suggestions in this document of changes to academic advising which are contradictory
to suggestions made in the CEMAT approved Working Group on Undergraduate Advising (WGUA)
Recommendations document. We are concerned that the lack of members of the advising
community represented on the CCOET team created conflict between the recommendations of
the two groups that will need to be reconciled.
The CCOET document section on position control states (Process, page 7), ‘The process for
implementation of position control must ensure that practices align with the new budget model.’
The budget model rewards for the number of admitted majors. This could change how advisors
interact with their students and the declaration of major. What was not revealed in the budget
model was the ‘reward’ for undecided students or where they are housed. This would have a large
impact on the distribution of positions as well as budgetary dollars.
Related to Section III: Gather all aspects involving a student’s academic trajectory under one
administrative line, we have specific concerns.
We agree that clearer lines of communication need to exist to provide students the strongest
support as they move through their academic career. Having many people involved who may give
contradictory advice does not help a student progress or give them the sense of support. The
concept of a coordinator of advising was supported by the WGUA’s recommendations and this
recommendation was approved by CEMAT.
Further, we agree that the use of data from the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research
and communications with Student Affairs partners is critical, however, we caution the methods
suggested to achieve this goal. It appears that this document makes a push for a single centralized
advising unit. It is the belief of these advising community groups that this move would have a
detrimental effect on student success. The WGUA document supported the idea of decentralized
student advising offices.
1. Advising in the schools and colleges allows for academic advisors to be experts in their
specific areas. Many degree programs have specialized course sequencing and
accreditation requirements. To have general advisors for every area would water down
the knowledge base of the advisors and potentially hinder a student’s progression. This
expertise would include knowledge of graduate program requirements, job outlook, job
shadowing requirements or necessary certifications. Every advisor cannot be
knowledgeable of every degree and career outlook.
2. As stated earlier, the budget model rewards schools and colleges for declared majors as
well as degrees conferred. Advising is inherently tied to the declaration of the major as
well as the progression toward degree.
3. The creation of school/college clusters believes there will be a cost savings in shared
services such as offices of student affairs. These savings will be negligible. Caseloads for
academic advisors are much higher than NACADA, the national body for academic
advising, promotes as standards of best practice. The synthesizing of offices will not
reduce the number of academic advisors needed.
On page 30, there is mention that WGUA, referred to as “Advising Working Group” recommended
centralized and consolidated advising for campus. The WGUA final recommendations do not state
that advising be consolidated and centralized on campus. There are several references to
centralizing advising functions across campus, utilizing shared notes systems, creating a central
advising information resource, streamlining advisor professional development and training, but
there was not mention of creating a central advising office. The research done by the WGUA
members (in which it sought to understand and draw comparisons to similar-sized institutions)
brought the group to the conclusion that advising should remain within the schools/colleges, but
that in general, advisors should be supporting students similarly regardless of their school/college
affiliation. Therefore, the reference made, as is within the CCOET document, is inaccurate. While
there is support to have faculty advisors involved in the advising students receive, it is clear that
there needs to first be an established expectation for the faculty advisor role and subsequent
training and professional development for both faculty and professional advisors alike.
Therefore, we ask that the WGUA Recommendations be considered in conjunction with the
CCOET document in order to make the best decisions possible to support student success. We
believe these two documents are at odds with each other and cannot both be adopted
unilaterally. We offer our services to the Chancellor and his administration to help make decisions
to meet budgetary needs along with the needs of the students here at UWM.
By now I imagine you have heard an earful about the proposal to merge the Zilber School with
the College of Health Sciences. This possibility has been on and off the table for years. It would
have been something worth considering a couple years ago.
However, we are currently very close to the accreditation finish line and to seriously entertain this
idea now would mean putting a stop to the process, cancelling our application and site visit....and
then starting over on a much larger task. From my perspective, that would be foolish because it
could kill our chances of having an accredited school and undermine our credibility with the
community and future funders.
If there is any question about the facts about the accreditation requirements or processes, I
strongly urge you to check with the accreditors directly - the information is publicly available on
their website (http://ceph.org/)
I know that you have a very difficult task ahead of you....I am emailing to ensure that you have all
the information you need at your disposal. Please feel free to call if you would like to discuss.
Dear University Committee,
Regarding the CCOET report, I would like to offer the following feedback, which is based on a
single principle: we must consider sacrosanct everything that pertains to our ranking as an R-1
university. A higher ranking is good for both student enrollment as well as faculty recruitment and
retention. With this principle in mind, I find the following areas discussed in the report as worthy
of serious consideration:
1. Continuing Education: While Continuing Education is important, we cannot afford it in times of
drastic budget cuts. Its removal will have no effect on our ranking and status. Either we shut down
the program or we raise the fees to a level where it becomes self sustaining.
2. Credit Plateau: By increasing the undergraduate credit plateau to 13 credits, it is estimated we
can generate additional $8 million to $9 million annually in tuition revenue.
3. Phone lines: As a campus we can switch to a VOIP system (I suggested this many years ago on
ITPC but we weren’t granted the flexibility at the time by the state).
4. Close Campus over Winter Break: we can take this path as long as it doesn’t mean furloughs for
everyone and the savings are realized from heating/electricity alone. Telecommuting can be
added as an option during this period. This won’t affect our research standing adversely. The
research units that request to remain open may be allowed to do so.
5. I would avoid a major restructuring of the university at this point because its effect on our
research status is uncertain. Also, too many changes at once may result in unforeseen problems.
If a reorganization is actively being considered, it must pertain to administrative consolidation
with clear savings, not splitting existing units at this stage.
6. I would also advise against suggestions for removing/reducing course buyouts for faculty
because it directly links with our research status. In the past I have myself benefited from campus
fellowships that helped me complete research and writing projects, resulting in well-cited papers
and books.
7. Centers and institutes enhance our research profile and visibility in the academy. Unless a
center has been inactive in the past, we must be extremely cautious in making changes there.
8. International Student Enrollment: UWM may not be as competitive as Madison in getting outof-state students but outside the country it’s the American brand that sells well. With Microsoft
CEO as our alum, we can run TV ads in targeted countries. For example, I’ve noticed during my
field research in India that many private universities run continuous ads during the enrollment
season, and TV ads are much cheaper in places like India and Brazil.
9. Athletics may be asked to become completely self-sustaining. Changes here won’t affect our R1 status.
I am offering some comments on the CCOET report based on my experiences and UWM and
knowledge of present budget realities. As a member of the CCOET team, I recognize the work
involved in developing the options under consideration. At the same time, with the advantage of
a few weeks of time to reflect on the reports, I have some comments on to options offered.
The report suggests various options for cutting expenditures across the university in the face of
unprecedented and immediate budget cuts, several years of frozen tuition and declining
enrollments. The urgency means that the options should be assessed in terms of both cost savings
and time to implementation.
Two recommendations seem to address this need:
1. Implement campus-wide position control for a couple years transitioning to unit-level
transition to controlling salaries by budget control. This is critical since most of the
university budget is for salaries. This essentially shrinks the workforce until our expenses
align with our resources, after which strategic growth may be possible.
2. Develop shared services in areas in which savings can be realized while providing high
quality services. This allows for economy of scale but will require care to provide service
to distributed needs – perhaps begin with units with a physical proximity or similar needs.
This strategy will probably take a year or two to implement but can be applied across a
range of functions.
On the other hand, the various ideas for re-arranging academic units are rather sketchy. The
savings seem relatively minor for the amount of disruption that they would entail once we move
beyond the clustering of units for sharing services (a more structured version of the shared service
idea). It may be possible to incorporate the two small new schools (SFS and ZSPH) into larger units
(essentially schools within colleges) but more extensive changes are likely to take some time. The
report does not consider the work done at the school/college level (or its value) to build
partnerships and promote its programs outside the university. An over-consolidation would lose
the uniqueness of many of these efforts, essential given the diverse audiences with whom the
university interacts.
Unfortunately these measures seem unlikely to close our deficit (unless we get some modest
tuition increases). This leads to the need to reduce the range of activities at the University. We
must make all efforts to minimize faculty layoffs and the closing of departments. I recommend
that deans be given flexibility to reduce funding to centers and college-level offices to preserve
our academic program diversity, and that upper administration support these efforts. Although
not addressed in the report, we also need to start discussions about how UWM would go about
closing departments or programs in light of immediate budget shortfalls. This will clearly be
contentious but we need to begin this discussion now.
Finally, I think that we are fully committed to UWM as an urban public research university that
serves the community through its teaching and research activities. The University is strongly
engaged in the community and has built an outstanding research profile (as reflected in the recent
Carnegie ranking as a RI Research University). The report does not consider the impacts of the
options presented on these activities.
Some specific recommendations (or non-recommendations) that appear to run counter to this
vision of the university is:
There is an urgent need to bring graduate assistantship stipends to levels that are
competitive so that we can recruit strong students who are major contributors to both
our teaching and research missions. The comment by the Committee of UWM
Distinguished Professors (p. 53-55) makes this point, but the it is not addressed in the
The suggestion to bring the Office of Undergraduate Research into a unit that is primarily
concerned with student recruitment and retention (p. 13-14) fundamentally
misrepresents the activities of that office. It is closely linked to students’ academic
experiences and development as scholars, and it should remain within Academic Affairs.
It can contribute to the recruitment and retention of students, but that is not its primary
The recommendation to review the RGI is a good one, but I would stress that the full
return on a given year’s investments is not known for 3-4 years. Also, funding for this
program has been reduced for a couple years to help address the budget situation (as
suggested on p. 29). This and other internal support programs should be regularly
reviewed, but they should also be reconfigured to support research development for
interdisciplinary and team science projects as well as inter-institutional research teams.
(See TTRUTT and Research Excellence reports for more on this point.)
The call to reorganize the Graduate School (p. 18-19) may appear attractive but essentially
reverses a shared service that has made some real advances in recent years in areas such
as international recruitment, development of an online application process that can
accommodate programmatic differences (starting in April), etc. The argument seems to
be that there is a current duplication of services – I would suggest exploring this issue to
see if it can be addressed. The option of dispersing all the functions to each school and
college would increase costs and require additional outlay from all schools and colleges
(and probably lead to a move to once more consolidate these services).
Once again the preposterous notion of breaking out the functions of the Graduate School to the
schools and colleges has been put on the table. I have been an employee of the Graduate School
in varying forms. I have seen this issue come up again and again, and each time it appears to have
been put forth by persons who have no real concept of the work that we do here, other than
being annoyed by the fact that we are tasked with upholding the rules and regulations enacted
by the Graduate Faculty Committee.
It’s especially interesting in this current version, how most of the CCOET recommendations
involve combining university resources and departments, but the Graduate School is the only
thing being considered for doing the exact opposite of that.
How does duplicating the functions of the Graduate School in every school and college save
money? Talk about redundancy! If you ask the people we work with in the graduate programs on
a daily basis, you will find that they rely heavily on the services we provide, and do not have the
knowledge or personnel to add more duties to their already heavy workloads. Parsing out the
Graduate School functions would require a lot of extra hiring to handle the work.
It would be a tremendous disservice to the university and the student body to dissolve the
Graduate School. I urge you to not make that mistake.
Please be certain to continue to ask for staff raises.
Just spoke with Mail Services. Their best guess is all the separate USPS P.O. Boxes for UWM are
about $12,000 - $15,000 a year. He just paid a few of them, but a large number are up for renewal
the end of June. He says our mail P.O. Box 413 can handle the volume just fine now. In the old
days, departments asked to get a quicker sorting to their mail bags by having their own P.O.
Box. With volumes dropping the way they have, everyone gets their mail just as quick, having
their own private box or through the main UWM Box 413.
He acknowledges that the box owners will have the expense of new letterhead with their change
in P.O. Box, but he guesses in the long run that would be way cheaper than re-renting their private
boxes every year. Especially since rental costs go up every year.
I’m sure it has been passed along already, but on the off-chance it hasn’t, I thought I would point
out that Page 25 regarding the School of Continuing Education erroneously says:
Continuing Education Building
The lease for this building is an unnecessary cost. Additionally, main campus usage of Continuing
Education is hindered from building strategic partnerships among faculty and staff by being so far
away. What are the lease terms? Is it possible to back out? CCOET suggests looking into this and
relocating Continuing Education units to other areas of campus.
In fact, the building is owned by the School (now Unit) and is not a lease that can be broken. I’m
very surprised that this oversight was included in the report and also disheartened that upper
level administrators continue to operate under this erroneous impression. On an editorial note,
one could argue that a Unit that actually didn’t lose millions of dollars last year (and actually ended
up a little ahead of break-even) is a little more “necessary” than others that did lose millions of
dollars. Furthermore, most barriers to strategic partnerships are not due to location, but due to
the reticence of the other Schools to centralize their continuing education efforts where they
would be more efficiently administered, ie. The School of Continuing Education.
Again, I just wanted to point out the error about how the School of Continuing Education location
has been described.
On page 27 of the CCOET report, 5th paragraph down, I did what the committee didn't do. I asked
U.I.T.S. Telephone Services/Network Services THEIR suggestions for saving money:
If people have a departmental cell phone and a desk phone, eliminate the desk phone.
You may be able to save money by switching from a desk phone to a departmental cell, but cell
plans vary. Call this number for cell plan information 229-7353.
A desk phone for $21 a month includes unlimited local calling. It does not include long distance
or voice mail. Voice mail is $6 a month.
People who only get a few calls a day probably don't need voice mail, they can use an answering
machine instead.
Departments interested in cutting back on land line phone usage, looking for suggestions, can
contact Telephone Network Services at x5800.
Also on page 27, 3rd paragraph down. Guess what? The current UWM 2015-2016 Campus
Directory IS the final copy. The new owner of the publishing vendor has ordered stopping the
publication of all university directories nation-wide.
What does this mean to UWM? University Relations rec'd a check for $10,000 yearly, which was
the contract amount we were reimbursed by University Directories for the sale of advertising
space in the book.
The new budget model does not count minors, double-majors, or certificates in its accounting
practices. The effect of this is to not only discourage interdisciplinary academic programs, but to
punish them in practice. Also, the subvention fund is heavily weighted to administration, to the
detriment of revenue-generating academic programs.
I wanted to take a quick chance to comment on the CCOET report. This is my opinion, NOT the
stance of my College.
I support the centralized position control. I helped to institute such a model at my last
employer. If done correctly, it can be highly effective and help to allocate precious resources in a
strategic manner. It also helps to have a neutral third party look at the competing interests and
set priorities.
I am happy to help set up such a system at UWM if you like.
I just received an email stating that today is the last day for submitting comments to your office
about the COCET report. This email serves that purpose & intent.
I suppose it was coincidence that last Thursday afternoon, an org chart was presented at the
Multicultural Network mtg. To say the least, I was quite surprised to see such a chart for the first
time. Since then I’ve spoken to leaders to ascertain where the organizational chart originated and
I was told it came from Academic Affairs. Therefore, the following respectful and hopefully
constructive comments address the `proposed’ changes depicted in this organizational chart.
In short, the organizational chart treats the RHC in the same manner as it treats the other
multicultural centers and we have NEVER been categorized in similar ways. We have not been
treated similarly because;
--In 2015, the RHC [and its’ precursor, the Spanish-Speaking Outreach Institute] celebrated its’ 45anniversary and in 2010, we had a large celebration for our 40th anniversary, where we launched
our PALM Scholarship Fundraiser. I have provided Provost Britz with a copy of the DVD that was
sent to chronicle the creation of the SSOI and which we screened for the first time at our 40th
Anniversary. No other center has such a history, a history that is rooted in the Latino community
of Milwaukee, for they were the impetus and force behind the creation of the SSOI and
subsequently, the RHC. In my judgement, the community has a large stake in the viability &
existence of the RHC and they should be afforded the opportunity to voice their concerns
regarding the future—as depicted in the organizational chart--of the RHC at UWM.
--No other Center/office has a tenured faculty member as its Director—the most similar unit to
the RHC on campus is the Black Cultural Center and this Center is not in the proposed
organizational chart—e.g. similarly to the BCC, the RHC should not be in the proposed
organizational chart.
--No other office/Center in the organizational chart is an academic program—we are the only
ones—and no other Center currently reports to the Provost Office.
--No other office/Center in the organizational chart is responsible for teaching courses—we do
and Latino Studies 101 has been taught since the Fall of 2006, averaging 45-students per
semester, for a total of nearly 900-students. Yet, the RHC has never been given the tuition
revenue from the course.
--No other office/Center in the organizational chart is responsible for the coordination of an
academic program--the Latino Studies Certificate Program—whereas the RHC has this
--No other office/Center in the organizational chart has established nor has raised funds for a
scholarship program: now totaling nearly $140,000 in the endowment.
--No other Center has, nor has had, an community outreach mission that includes academic
programs like the Latino Nonprofit Leadership Program, LNLP, which has graduated 11-classes,
totaling 188 alumni, for this 8-month certificate program. A relatively large number of graduates
have pursued undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional degrees after completing the
--No other office/Center in the organizational has had a Director that has been so extensively
engaged in community engagement and service efforts as has the RHC director.
-- No other office/Center in the organizational has had a Director that has been so engaged in
university governance as has the RHC Director.
All of the above distinctive components of the RHC are delineated because individually, or as a
group, have contributed to the recruitment, but particularly, the retention of Latino students on
the UWM campus. The proposed organizational chart diminishes the contributions of the RHC
and devalues the above efforts by treating it as if it is does the same things the other offices
do. The above are quite significant and distinctive dimensions that have taken much time and
effort to reach the level of accomplishments that the RHC has reached.
I understand that the university faces significant budgetary pressures and that we will and must
operate differently than how we have operated in the past. I offer these comments in the spirit
of making your decision a more informed one and one that encompasses the unique aspects of
the RHC. My hope is that the above dimensions of the RHC are maintained in the new structure,
for each and every aspect has positively contributed to the wellbeing and success of Latino
students at UWM and to the development of the Latino community, as well as the broader
I hope and wish that I have an opportunity to discuss these proposed changes personally with
I thank you for the time, effort, and interest you afford my comments.
One other point in favor of the language of increases in net revenue rather than the language of
cuts-- cuts are not necessarily gross revenue neutral, and may in fact result in a decrease in net
revenue resulting in a death spiral as further cuts are required to accommodate the reduced
We are working on a death spiral equation to fit an extreme example (a switch from a 2-2 teaching
load to a 5-5 teaching load) and will send it when finished. What we hope is to apply the equation
to less extreme cases with an estimate of error.
Here is my Death Spiral Paper, part 1. The death spiral results from a single-minded focus on
increasing net revenue from units by cost-cutting as opposed to increasing gross revenue. HiA is
currently taking the path, quite successfully, of increasing gross revenue as a means of increasing
net revenue. However, if HiA is forced in with a failing unit as part of reorganization, my
expectation is that the administrative powers over HiA will focus on cost-cutting rather than
increases in gross revenue due to the fact that attempting to increase gross revenue requires risk.
In that case, HiA, and all its promise, will enter the death spiral described in the attached paper.
A classic mistake in managerial accounting is sometimes called “death by accounting” or the “cost
accounting death spiral”
(see appendix A at end of this document)
The death spiral with which we are concerned is analogous to the classic scenario. In the present
case we are concerned with a higher education organization that is subjected to a reduction in
state-supported budget. Here the fundamental issue is to increase net-profits by either reducing
costs, or by increasing gross revenue. We will first describe a scenario in which administrators are
focused single-mindedly on cost-cutting. As we shall see, this single-minded focus on cost-cutting
results in a death spiral scenario in which repeated reduction in costs results in organizational
Suppose that X and Y are units in a Research Level 1 institution, Z. Suppose X is an administrative
cost center in the institution, and Y is an academic profit center. Suppose that Y actually makes a
Y to function. Y's gross revenue is tuition and fee revenue produced from the sale of student
credit hours (SCH). Y produces gross tuition and fee revenue from which it pays its direct costs,
and the net revenue or profit Y produces is used by X to pay its direct costs. Suppose heretofore
some portion of X's direct costs were paid by state budget, and some by net profit produced by
Y. Given a reduction in state budget, the amount X requires from Y increases so Y is told to
decrease costs as a means of providing a larger surplus and thus more net revenue to X to make
In order for Y to produce its revenue, it has both variable costs and quasi-fixed costs. The variable
costs are wages paid to part-time or ad hoc instructors. The quasi-fixed costs are the permanent
faculty salaries; we term them only quasi-fixed costs since they may be reduced in extreme cases.
If quasi-fixed costs are not reduced (for example, by laying off permanent faculty), then the
variable costs must be reduced. The constraint on this cost reduction is that it must be
accomplished without reducing Y's gross revenue, else the goal of the cost reduction will not be
realized, that is, no extra net revenue will be produced which X needs to pay its costs.
Suppose that the constraint is not satisfied, that is, the variable cost reduction does reduce gross
revenue (e.g. course sections taught by ad hocs are eliminated.) It would then appear, from the
point of view of an administrator focused single-mindedly on cost-cutting, that further cuts will
be needed to support X. These further cuts, ceterus paribus, will result in further gross revenue
reduction. The death spiral has begun and will continue until only the gross revenue supported
by the quasi-fixed costs is produced. Again, from the point of view of an administrator focused
single-mindedly on cost-cutting, reduction of the quasi-fixed costs, that is, layoffs of permanent
faculty, must begin and then continue in a death spiral until the gross revenue produced is
insufficient to support either Y or X. Assuming X is not able to begin consuming another academic
unit W, and assuming that X is of fundamental importance to Z (and was worth all this trouble in
A Possible Solution that has been suggested but which Fails to Prevent the Death Spiral
One possible reaction to this case is to counter reduction in revenue resulting from decreased
variable costs, by increasing revenue resulting from the quasi-fixed costs. However, as described
below, this reaction will itself lead to a death spiral and organizational death.
While other variable costs might be considered (e.g., telephone service), they are negligible.
Each reduction in SCH resulting from not hiring an ad hoc instructor must be balanced by a
corresponding increase in SCH supported by the quasi-fixed costs. In short, if you layoff ad hocs,
you require permanent faculty to produce more SCH. A straightforward manner of accomplishing
this is to have the permanent faculty teach the sections formerly taught by the ad hocs who have
been cut. A constraint on this solution is that the product capacity of the quasi-fixed costs is not
limitless, that is, there is a limit to how many sections the permanent faculty can teach. The
following describes one case demonstrating the limits of the product capacity,
and increased net revenue generation, of the quasi-fixed costs. It is important to note that an
assumption of this case is that the overall gross revenue remains flat, with an increase in netrevenue
Permanent faculty efforts are distributed among teaching, research, and service in a traditional
40%, 40%, 20% workload allocation. Although permanent faculty are goal oriented and thus very
often work a number of hours far greater than 40 per week, they are expected to work at least 40
hours per week. Accordingly, we use workload for a 40 hour week in this example.
The 40%, 40%, 20% workload allocation over 40 hours per week results in an hourly workload
allocation of 16,16,8 hours each week. That is, the normal hourly workload distribution is 16
hours of teaching, 16 hours of research, and 8 hours of service each week.
Assume unit Y has 8 permanent faculty. Assuming that teaching a 3-credit course section requires
a minimum of 5.3 hours week, the capacity of a single permanent faculty is work load for 3
sections per week or 3 sections per semester overall. Also assume that an ad hoc instructor is paid
$4,000 per section. Suppose the current teaching load for permanent faculty is 4 sections per year
(or workload effort of 2 sections per semester.) If we add 2 additional sections per year
to the permanent faculty workload, there will be 16 additional sections per year taught by
permanent faculty, and 16 fewer sections taught per year by ad hocs. Since ad hocs are paid
$4,000 per section, we realize cost savings of 16 * $4,000 or $64,000 per year. Since we assume
that overall gross revenue is flat, we have an increase of net-revenue realized by cost-savings of
$64,000 per year. Thus, an additional $64,000 is available from Y to support X.
At this point, relative to the initial hourly workload allocation for permanent faculty, and the
constraint that teaching a 3-credit course section requires a minimum of 5.3 hours week, the
permanent faculty are at capacity. Any further variable cost reductions will require a change in
hourly workload allocation for permanent faculty. But since the additional $64,000 net-revenue
generated by the initial round of cost cutting is likely to be considered inadequate for X’s
At this point, permanent faculty are teaching 6 sections per year. Suppose that were increased to
8 sections per year, or 4 sections per semester. The faculty hourly workload allocation must be
adjusted to account for this increase. Suppose it is deemed important to preserve research time
for permanent faculty and service workload will be reallocated to teaching workload. The
workload allocation is now (16 + 5.3 = 21.3), 16, (8 - 5.3 = 2.7), that is, each week the permanent
faculty spend 21.3 hours teaching, 16 hours in research, and 2.7 hours in service.
After the required dismissals of ad hoc instructors, this reallocation results is a cost-savings of 16
Again, since we assume that overall gross revenue is flat, we have a total increase of net-revenue
realized by cost-savings through two initial rounds of cost cutting amounting to $128,000 per year.
Let us suppose that the magnitude of reduction in state budget is great enough such that the
additional $128,000 net-revenue generated by the two rounds of cost cutting is considered
Let us assume that the service workload of 2.7 hours per week is a minimum. Further workload
reallocation will require research workload to be reallocated to teaching workload. This will be
possible without change to gross revenue only if Y’s revenue is not dependent on the research
workload allocation. Let us assume this is the case. Suppose that the teaching workload of
permanent faculty is increased to 10 sections per year. Assuming sufficient variable costs (ie., ad
hoc instructors) remain to be cut or dismissed, we will see a cost-savings of an additional 16 *
$4,000 or $64,000 per year. The hourly workload allocation for permanent faculty is now (21.2 +
5.3 = 26.5) , (16 -5.3 = 10.7), 2.7, that is, each week the permanent faculty spend 26.5 hours
After three rounds of cost cutting, the total cost reduction (or net-revenue increase) is $192,000
per year. At this point faculty are teaching 5 sections each semester. Assume the normal load of
an ad hoc is two sections per semester. We have eliminated 12 ad hoc instructors, since we have
48 sections per year formerly taught by ad hocs that are now taught be permanent faculty, and
Suppose at this point we have dismissed all ad hoc instructors, that is, we have eliminated all of
the variable costs. It seems reasonable that since X and Y are units in a Research
Level 1 institution, Research workload cannot be reduced further, and we are at teaching capacity
for the permanent faculty in Y. Any further cost cutting will require cutting quasi-fixed costs, that
is, the elimination of permanent faculty. Assuming we do not lump all SCH into fewer
sections, any such cut will require reduction in sections taught, and there will be a reduction in
gross revenue. Unless the revenue from the sections eliminated is less than or equal to the quasifixed
permanent faculty person, there will be a reduction in net revenue available to support X. If the
revenue loss equals the quasi-fixed cost savings, net revenue remain flat. Only if the revenue lost
is less than the quasi-fixed cost savings will net revenue increase, though gross revenue decreases,
Since three initial rounds of cost cutting provided only an increase of $192,000 per year from Y to
X, and supposing the magnitude of the reduction in state budget is great enough such that the
$192,000 is considered inadequate for X’s purposes, such further cuts to quasi-fixed costs will be
Given the conditions required for the quasi-fixed cost savings to provide a net revenue increase,
sections producing less revenue, which tend to be upper class or graduate level sections, will be
cut. This continued spiral will then eliminate sections required for all but the undergraduate
courses, resulting in elimination of graduate programs, and finally death of the Research Level 1
institution Z. It may, however, live on as some kind of non-research focused institution.
The problem with the forgoing attempted solution is that it emphasizes cost-cutting for Y in a
single-minded approach. In a sequel, I will discuss an alternate approach that emphasizes netrevenue
In cost accounting and managerial accounting, the term death spiral refers to the
repeated elimination of products resulting from spreading costs on the basis of
volume instead of their root causes. The death spiral is also known as the
To illustrate the death spiral let's assume that Product X is a simple, high-volume
product that requires little manufacturing attention. If the accountant spreads the
company's manufacturing overhead costs based on volume, Product X will appear
to have high overhead costs. (In reality, Product X causes very little overhead cost
especially when compared to the company's many complex, low-volume
products.) If management responds to Product X's allocated high overhead costs
and 1) seeks a price increase which causes the customer to move the production to
a competitor with a lower price, 2) outsources the production, or 3) drops the
If the company does not reduce its fixed overhead to correspond to the decreased
manufacturing volume and the accountant continues to spread the overhead costs
—including the cost of excess capacity—on the basis of volume, the remaining
products will have to be assigned more of the overhead costs. If management
again reacts to the new, higher, allocated costs by seeking price increases which
cause a loss of sales, outsources production, or drops the products, the company's
manufacturing volume will again decrease. If fixed costs are not decreased
accordingly and the accountant again spreads the overhead on the basis of a new,
even smaller volume, the entire company could die from the high fixed costs and
Attached is a draft phased retirement plan to induce faculty retirements that several of us on
APBC have been tossing around. It's based on the UNC system model - formal retirement and
then re-hiring with a fixed-term contract at 50% rate. The devil with this will be in the details (of
course), but it seems consistent with state law. I've requested review of this by HR to get their
thoughts regarding the legality.
Is this something that you would wish APBC to pursue? It probably wouldn't go into effect this
spring, but would provide a structure going forward to ease the transition into retirement.
Phased Retirement Program for Tenured Faculty
I. Purpose
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Phased Retirement Program is designed to provide an
opportunity for eligible full-time tenured faculty members to make an orderly transition to
retirement. The goals of the Program are to promote renewal of the professoriate in order to
ensure institutional vitality and to provide additional flexibility and support for individual faculty
members who are nearing retirement. The Program is entirely voluntary and will be entered into
by a written agreement between an Eligible Faculty Member and the institution.
Faculty members who enter the Phased Retirement Program retain the adjunct equivalent of their
current professorial rank and the full range of responsibilities and rights associated with that rank
as described in Chapter 5 of the UWM Policies and Procedures (with the exception of permanent
tenure). In addition, departments and schools are encouraged to extend full departmental rights
and benefits to faculty in the program on those matters not specified in Chapter 5. Enrolling
Eligible Faculty Members may elect to begin receiving all benefits they have accrued under the
Wisconsin Retirement System, but they are not required to do so.
II. Eligibility and Approval
A. The Program is available only to full-time tenured faculty members. Non-tenured and
tenure-track faculty are not eligible for the Program.
B. Except as set forth in this Section II and Section III below, the Program is available to all
full-time tenured faculty members who:
1. Have at least five years of full-time service at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee;
2. Are age 57; and
3. Are eligible to receive retirement benefits through WRS.
C. The Program contemplates actual retirement and reemployment of participating faculty
as an equivalent rank adjunct on a part-time basis for a limited period. For purposes of
the Program, "normal retirement age" is 57 years of age for WRS members with 30 years
of service. When a faculty member has achieved the above-listed age, he or she will have
reached "normal retirement age" and, therefore, need take only the break in service prior
to entering the Program as specified by Wis. Stat. § 40.26(5).
D. Tenured faculty occupying full-time administrative positions are not eligible to participate
in the Program until they vacate such positions. Thus, only individuals under faculty
appointment involving teaching, research and service are eligible to participate in the
Individual faculty members are responsible for providing to UWM all information
necessary for it to determine their eligibility as to age, service at the Institution, and
retirement benefit eligibility within WRS. For these purposes, the Institution shall
determine an applicant's age and service longevity with reference to the August 1st date
that follows submission of an application for participation.
Eligible Faculty Members may elect to enter the Program for the number of years
specified by the Institution for all participating faculty.
Despite the above, Eligible Faculty Members do not have an absolute right to participate
in the Program. Rather, departments, schools or colleges may limit participation in the
Program based on various conditions. One condition is that financial exigencies prohibit
enrollment in the Program. The second condition is that further enrollment in the
Program will substantially weaken academic quality or disrupt program sequence.
Further, a department, school, college or the Institution may each establish a cap or limit
on the number of Eligible Faculty Members who may enter the Program.
An application to enter the Program must be submitted to the Eligible Faculty Member’s
department or unit head. It is subject to the conditions noted above, development of a
mutually agreed upon "work plan", and final approval by the chief academic officer.
However, if the limitations do not apply and a final "work plan" is agreed upon, the final
decision to enter or not enter the Program rests with the Eligible Faculty Member.
Once made, a decision to enter the Program (signified by the Eligible Faculty Member’s
signing and non-revocation of the Phased Retirement Application and Reemployment
Agreement and Release) is binding.
III. Terms and Conditions
A. Phased retirement under the Program is subject to the following terms and conditions.
1. Phased retirement under the Program may be for a period of not greater than
five years.
2. Upon entering the Program, Eligible Faculty Members give up tenure. Program
participants must adhere to WRS valid termination requirements under
Wisconsin Administrative Code § ETF 10.08 and break in service regulations as
per Wis. Stat. § 40.26(5). They terminate full-time employment and contract for
a period of no more than half-time (or equivalent) service to UWM at the
equivalent adjunct rank once the required break in service has expired. Half-time
responsibilities may vary among departments. Participants can work no more
than 0.5 FTE and work no more than 20 hours per week in any given semester.
3. The enrollment period for the Program begins with the fall semester, with actual
participation to commence at the start of the next academic year (provided an
Eligible Faculty Member’s application is approved). Participants must formally
terminate employment with UWM at the end of spring semester. Teaching,
research and service assignments during the period of phased retirement are
individually negotiated by the Eligible Faculty Member and the appropriate
supervisors and/or personnel committee(s). The details of such half-time service
(a "work plan") must then be set forth in a UWM Phased Retirement Program
Application and Reemployment Agreement (the "Agreement").
4. In conjunction with the Agreement to be executed under the Program, an Eligible
Faculty Member must also execute a waiver of rights and claims under the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (the "ADEA") and other laws (the "Release").
5. After the Agreement and Release are drafted, the Agreement is signed by the
appropriate administrators, and the Agreement and Release are delivered to the
Eligible Faculty Member, the Eligible Faculty Member shall have forty-five (45)
days within which to consider the Agreement and Release. Eligible Faculty
Members are encouraged to carefully review the terms of the Agreement and the
Release and to consult an attorney prior to executing such materials. However,
Eligible Faculty Members may sign the Agreement and Release before the end of
the 45-day period, if they so choose.
Once an Eligible Faculty Member signs the Agreement and
Release, he or she also has the right under the ADEA (if he or she
so chooses) to revoke the Agreement and the Release at any time within seven
(7) calendar days of the date both documents are fully executed by all parties.
Revocations must be in a writing personally signed by the Eligible Faculty Member
and must be effected by personal delivery or posting by United States mail to the
office or official to whom the prior application to participate in the Program had
been submitted. An election to participate in the Program then does not become
final until after the 7-day revocation period has passed without the Eligible
Faculty Member's revocation.
If an Eligible Faculty Member elects to revoke the Agreement and Release within
the 7-day revocation period, the Agreement is void. Moreover, in such
circumstances, the Eligible Faculty Member will continue in his or her same fulltime employment status as the Faculty Member held immediately prior to the
execution of the Release.
6. Participating Faculty Members will receive a salary equal to their percentage
employment (no more than 50%) multiplied by their nine-month full-time salary
they received immediately prior to phased retirement.
7. Participating Faculty Members will remain subject to relevant UWM Policies and
Procedures. In addition, without expressly or constructively terminating any
Agreement, UWM may place a Participating Faculty Member on temporary leave
with pay and/or reassign a Participating Faculty Member's duties during or as a
result of any investigation or disciplinary action involving the Participating Faculty
Member. Such authority shall be invoked only in exceptional circumstances when
the Participating Faculty Member's department or division head determines that
such action is in the best interests of UWM. Further, nothing in the Program or
these guidelines shall in any way be interpreted to provide a Participating Faculty
Member with greater rights, claims or privileges against UWM regarding
continued employment than otherwise provided in the UWM Policies and
Eligible Faculty Members who elect into the Program will retain their professorial rank
and the full range of responsibilities, rights, and general benefits associated with it, except
for tenured status.
Faculty Members participating in the Program are eligible to participate in the following
employee benefit plans or programs:
1. Release from teaching duties during spring semester after signing agreement;
2. Lump sum payment of one month’s salary during Winterim (February 1 pay
period) after agreement is signed;
3. UWM will cover employee portion of health insurance costs for the phased
retirement period. For participating Faculty members who choose less than a
50% appointment, UWM will match Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credits
used by the employee to fund health insurance dollar for dollar.
4. Faculty member will retain all current office and lab space for 5 year period or
until faculty member terminates phase retirement.
IV. General Provisions
A. Nothing in the Program precludes a participating faculty member from terminating his or
her phased retirement at any time upon the mutual agreement of the parties.
B. Eligible Faculty Members participating in the Program do not enjoy the benefits of tenure.
They may not serve on committees that require members be tenured. Otherwise,
participants have the same academic freedoms and responsibilities as other faculty
members and have access to all grievance and appeal procedures available to nontenured members of the faculty who are not participating in the Program.
C. Participating faculty members are expected to maintain high levels of professional
commitment to their Institution.
Mark, Johannes, (Tim and Sandra),
These are a few of my thoughts, not only in response to the CCOET document, but also more
generally with respect to the situation the School of Freshwater Sciences finds itself at this point
in its evolution.
The School of Freshwater Sciences is new. We are small. We are also at the cusp of our growth
potential in terms of how we can help UWM gain national recognition, enhance programs and
diverse student outcomes, and expand enrollments campus-wide.
Most of the suggestions that I see coming from the CCOET discussions address potential cuts and
efficiencies through consolidation.
SFS is already an efficient operation, but we also have untapped economies of scale that can be
reaped, but only through expansion, not contraction.
A number of the suggestions enumerated within CCOET have to do with SFS joining other Schools
and/or Colleges without much regard to programmatic alignment. This strikes me as too
simplistic for several reasons:
SFS is a Graduate Research School. There is no question that UWM’s elevation to Research
1 ranking was due in part to the SFS. Our faculty have the highest per capita research
funding levels on campus and have held that position for many years. This is not a boast.
This is our job, and if we were not at the top we would not be fulfilling our duty and
SFS is functionally, physically and academically unique both within UWM and across
academic institutions nationally. Our operation is the most complex of any comparable
unit within the UW System. We operate a large research facility that runs around the
clock, 365 days a year. We operate a research vessel on the Great Lakes year round. We
have aquatic research and animal husbandry facilities that are unique nationally and that
maintain continuous life support for 100’s of thousands of live organisms – many raised
at “food quality” standards. And yes we have eaten our research. We are also 6 miles
away from the main campus, but also in the city’s heart on the inner harbor.
SFS does not have an undergraduate program. This means that any metric tied to SCH
will put SFS in a different light, often a negative one.
Our development office is young. Our alumni are younger, and few in number, but
growing quickly. We are on the verge of launching a major $20M Capital campaign. Much
of our appeal in this campaign relates to our uniqueness - the fact we are young as a
school, the strength of our research, and the importance of our graduate training degree
programs. No other institution of higher education within Wisconsin fulfills our mission.
No other institution, period, - whether academic, private sector, governmental, or NGO –
can fulfill this mission.
Lumping schools and colleges based upon whether they are ‘science’ or ‘letters’ or ‘health’
appears to me to be based upon current administrative structures and is very ill-defined.
Realignments should be based upon programmatic alliances. We, for example, have far more in
common with economics than physics, and as much in common with public health as with
chemistry. To me realignment needs to be more granular. We should be examining the University
at the level of programs, individual departments or parts thereof, and individual scientists and
faculty. I have already had several discussions with individuals interested in making a move who
have come forward without coaxing.
As you know, locally there are a couple of major federal initiatives around water that Milwaukee
is pursuing and SFS must be in a position both perceptually and in fact to assist.
We have brought UWM and SFS to a position of prominence in freshwater and Great Lakes
science. We have created a highly interdisciplinary environment, located within unique, first rate
research facilities, and served by an outstanding staff. We have untapped instructional capacity
that can make UWM a destination not only for graduate students, but for undergraduates as well,
and appeal to a national spectrum of high school students, transfer students and summer
Here are a few examples of where we could grow UWM in reputation and enrollment.
 Earth and Freshwater Science:
For example, and this is only an example and not one in which we have engaged in
any discussions, nor have examined in any detail as to its feasibility or interest. That
said then, Geosciences, unlike SFS, has an undergraduate program and approximately
100 undergraduate majors. It also has a long and excellent track record in training
hydrologists, largely as the result of less than a handful individual faculty who also
have a long association with the WATER Institute and the SFS.
This alliance could
synch SFS with Geosciences (and possibly some in other departments) with a goal of
doubling or tripling the number of undergraduate majors in Geoscience and recruiting
more undergraduates in general to UWM. SFS could greatly augment the water side
of the undergraduate curriculum, including using UG immersion experiences. This is
an example of an alliance based upon programmatic enhancement rather than some
poorly defined notion of administrative consolidation.
 Undergraduate Immersion
• A hallmark of UWM and SFS is our location on Lake Michigan, and this represents a
major competitive advantage in the recruitment of undergraduates when that
location is teamed with an early experience in freshwater studies. Not only is this an
attractive concept for students, but it also will assist them in picking an
undergraduate major.
Individual courses to semester long programs could provide a novel, but
comprehensive curricula that would emphasize, e.g.: Basic freshwater science, the
cultural history of the Great Lakes region, the formation of environmental policy, the
valuation and economics of natural resources, and applied field work. Built with
UWM undergraduates in mind who have not necessarily picked an undergraduate
major. Possibly modeled after semester abroad programs.
 Summer Institute
• Designed to attract students from around the country to participate in intensive field
and laboratory courses. Taught singly or in pairs, courses would be shorter 3-4 weeks
in duration allowing students to gain course credits quickly and flexibly. We have
already initiated this with our first summer program in 2016.
 Freshwater, Architecture and Urban Planning
• We have had several discussions with SARUP about this collaboration. This alliance
would bring two strengths of UWM together programmatically for training and
education, and allow the unencumbered flow of students between the two
schoolsJoint programming would bring additional students to both programs at both
the undergraduate and graduate level. I do not see, however, a concatenation of
the administrative structure of these 2 schools.
They are very different.
Interdisciplinary Areas of Interest could include:
Hydrology in the urban environment: understanding urban catchments, high
density urban watersheds, water course management and design
Rivers, lakes and waterfronts – shoreline and lakefront development
Green infrastructure, storm water management, water conservation
Aesthetics and design
The dynamics of fluids
 A UW System-wide School of Freshwater Sciences
Wisconsin has a long and respected tradition of environmental leadership and
innovation, and programs within the University of Wisconsin System reflect the
state’s commitment to an environmental ethic. Under the rubric of a
“Freshwater Idea”, a parallel to the “Wisconsin Idea”, SFS could explore
cooperative programs across UW System campuses, to give faculty members at
those campuses with relevant research interests, both access to and advising
responsibilities for graduate (PSM, MS and PhD) students through SFS, and
expanded research opportunities. For these faculty, SFS represents a resource
that has been largely untapped in terms of its true potential. Preliminary
discussions that have already taken place, e.g. at UW-Green Bay, have been met
with enthusiasm right to the top of the university’s administration. This
“Freshwater Idea” can serve as the vehicle for the expansion of these types of
interactions, in keeping with the call for the need for such broad based initiatives
by the National Science Foundation, the National Ocean Partnership Program,
the National Institutes of Health, and other national and international agencies.
There are a number of excellent graduate environmental programs within the
UW System that have freshwater ties. The majority offer a terminal degree at the
Masters level and address portions of freshwater spectrum within their local area
of interest. These programs have faculty with freshwater interests and expertise
who could become engaged in the SFS doctoral program. Scientists at within the
SFS have a long-standing interaction with many of the faculty within UW System,
and students have been drawn to Milwaukee to take advantage of UWM’s
unique resources for freshwater research, particularly the R/V Neeskay and our
location on Lake Michigan. This “Freshwater Idea” could further enhance these
opportunities, providing additional course work and field training experiences for
graduate students, and synergistic graduate committee advising opportunities
for faculty throughout the UW System.
Thank you for the message today about the date change for the campus budget meeting. I know
there has been a great deal of activity during the past few weeks as the stakeholder groups have
processed the CCOET report.
The faculty at the Zilber School of Public Health have been engaged in a number of conversations
about the CCOET report and how we can contribute to moving the campus forward. As a result, I
have been asked to transmit the attached statement from the Zilber faculty to provide you with
additional information to consider in your decision-making. Please let me know if I can answer
any questions or provide any additional information.
Thank you for your leadership during these challenging times. (see attached letter)
Thank you for the message today about the date change for the campus budget meeting. I know
there has been a great deal of activity during the past few weeks as the stakeholder groups have
processed the CCOET report.
The faculty at the Zilber School of Public Health have been engaged in a number of conversations
about the CCOET report and how we can contribute to moving the campus forward. As a result, I
have been asked to transmit the attached statement from the Zilber faculty to provide you with
additional information to consider in your decision-making. Please let me know if I can answer
any questions or provide any additional information.
Thank you for your leadership during these challenging times.
University Committee Response to the CCOET Report
The University Committee received a number of responses from faculty and faculty groups
regarding the CCOET report. In addition to using those as input for its own response, the UC
decided to include the responses verbatim. In that way, all faculty who submitted a response to
the UC can be assured that their comments were directed to the CCOET sponsors.
Below are the responses that were sent to the UC by the faculty.
Dear University Committee,
I’m writing in response to the CCOET report’s recommendation to campus leadership to consider
reorganizing the Graduate School, which, as I understand it, has now been circulated to
governance groups for input. As you consider your response, I hope you can take some stock of
our perspective at the department level.
I’m in one of the largest graduate programs in the College with about 150 students and 70 TAs.
We have five different programs, each with a separate admissions committee and curriculum, at
both the MA and PhD levels. We also have a certificate program and a coordinated degree. This
is a lot to manage, and we do it with a single program associate who makes about $30K a year.
She is incredibly efficient and among the most reliable administrative staff I’ve encountered
anywhere on campus, but she’s busy all day every day just managing the details. The CCOET
recommendation presumes that there must be substantial duplication of effort between the
Graduate School and the departments, but I can’t think of a single function in our department
where that’s true. In fact, the Grad School and the departments have divided the labor on key
tasks in ways that seem to me extremely efficient already. Let me give you a few examples:
In admissions, the Graduate School receives and evaluates all transcripts, and collects all test
scores and fees, which the department never has to handle. Conversely, the department receives
all letters of recommendation and writing samples, which the Graduate School never has to
handle. These are both big jobs, and we’ve sorted them out with no overlap or duplication
For graduation, the department tracks specific program requirements, while the Graduate School
oversees the more general credit requirements pertaining to the MA or PhD. Each of these jobs
requires careful work and good record keeping to avoid mistakes, but it’s different work with
different records. We are not in fact evaluating the same things, but dividing the labor efficiently
according to our areas of expertise to cover all the graduation criteria.
For recruiting, the graduate school centralizes important efforts such as data collection, the
organizing of the Open House, and various training and networking opportunities, which grad reps
like me can use in department-level efforts to improve applications rates, enrollment rates, and
retention rates. This is an effective division of labor: data collection and event planning on this
scale are simply beyond even large departments like English.
I could say similar things about other areas: fellowships and awards, requests for exceptions,
policy revisions, credit transfers, grievance procedures. All these take a great deal of work, but we
already have sorted out different roles efficiently. I cannot think of a single area in which UWM
could gain even a small amount of cost savings over the long term by downsizing the Graduate
But I can think of several ways in which downsizing will hinder or harm graduate study. Downsizing
will shift new burdens to departments, and if we can’t hire more staff to shoulder those burdens
morale and efficiency will suffer, and administrative staff who already are overtaxed and
underpaid (like mine) will simply leave. Downsizing will limit and perhaps end centralized
recruiting and retention efforts, which I regard as a signal success of Marija’s leadership so far.
Downsizing will send a signal that an R1 university prefers to invest its resources somewhere other
than research. And downsizing will require a period of chaotic reorganization that simply will not
yield any financial gains, and may in fact entail surprising long term costs.
I’d be happy to talk more if you have any questions. Thank you for your hard work and careful
attention to these difficult matters, in these difficult times.
Dear Drs. Arora, Schwartz, Brondino, Reisel, Anderson, McLellan, and O'Connor,
Thank you for serving UWM! Your role on the UC is especially needed these days.
Recently Chancellor Mone named the UC as a body to organize a response to the recent CCOET
The report recommended a merger between the Zilber School of Public Health and the College of
Health Sciences.
Before UWM commits to such as merger, I recommend the following for the best outcomes to
preserve the financial and access/research missions of UWM 1. The involved schools - Zilber and CHS, be provided decision-making authority in vetting the
pros and cons of the merger. The faculty of these schools are in the best position to propose
consequences of the merger and act in the interests of their schools toward financial stability.
2. The decision on whether to merge is based in part on sound financial projections, that include
short-term and long-term impacts. Given that the merger is motivated by expected cost-savings,
the magnitude of the cost-savings should be calculated based on reasonable scenarios. In
addition to any short-term impacts, long-term impacts should be included. Nuances that can be
informed by the faculties (Zilber and CHS) should be fully accounted for. One example is that a
free-standing School of Public Health may have better ability to recruit and retain students, which
has long-term financial benefits. Another example is that a School of Health Sciences and Public
Health may suffer (versus a free-standing School of Public Health) in the important accreditation
(by CEPH) that is instrumental in obtaining governmental grants and student applications. I am
sure that the College of Health Sciences faculty can speak to other nuances that must be
anticipated when considering financial gain and loss.
3. The financial projections are weighed against any deleterious consequences on the research
and access missions of UWM and the specific missions and visions of the Zilber School and the
College of Health Sciences.
Thank you for considering my recommendations.
And it is my understanding that the Zilber faculty are together organizing for a collective response
to the suggested merger.
Hello, it seems that moving tasks out of departments and colleges to graduate school makes sense
and allows the graduate school to better support our graduate programs.
I agree with what Johannes said: any structural reorganizations should be approached with great
caution and with consultation. Most of the reorganizations of long-existing structures are not
likely to yield much savings and are on the contrary likely to yield a lot of squabbling.
With regard to the budget model, this is off topic, but cross-listing can be encouraged by funding
above 100%. The proposal was to share the SCH, but better still would be share a larger pie. This
would incentivize co-operation. (e.g. rather than 75%-25%, use 75%-30%).
Reorganization of schools and colleges
The Lubar School of Business should remain a single unit. The Lubar School has both the lowest
administrative cost on campus (as noted in the CCOET report), as well as exceptional comparative
productivity in terms of cost per credit, average section size, student credit hours delivered per
instructional faculty, and both undergraduate and graduate degrees produced per instructional
faculty. Therefore, the Lubar faculty does not see how any efficiencies would be gained, nor does
it recognize any logical synergies that would come from a merger with any other units (those
suggested in the report or otherwise). Indeed, as the most efficient school on campus, combining
our unit with another could actually reduce our efficiencies.
Equally important, we have great concern related to how a merger would diffuse our mission,
complicate our accreditation, affect school culture, and impact faculty and staff morale.
Related to productivity and efficiency, we suggest that campus administration consider the
1. Campus should regularly conduct a cost/benefit analysis with schools and colleges to
review academic programs and individual courses for possible restructuring or
elimination. In this fiscal environment, these difficult and unpopular decisions are
ultimately necessary business decisions.
2. Campus should encourage schools and colleges to move to non-departmentalized
models, where possible, to gain maximum operational efficiencies. As noted in the
report, the Lubar School has the lowest administrative cost on campus, in part due to our
non-departmentalized organizational structure.
3. Decisions about any possible reorganization should consider recommendations from the
Shared Services Project, which is currently examining opportunities for efficiencies in
human resources, accounting & finance, purchasing and technology.
Shared services
While there may be some operational efficiencies to be gained in certain areas of shared services,
the Lubar School is strongly opposed to a shared services environment that would compromise
the needs of our students. Specifically, we oppose centralized career advising and centralized
academic advising.
Career services: Preparing students for successful careers in business is a central element in our
mission. The Lubar School is in the best position to serve the discipline-distinct internship and
placement needs of our students through a staff of dedicated career advisors who have well
established connections with our business faculty, employers, and alumni. In addition to providing
traditional business school career services, the Lubar Career Center staff teaches major-specific
sections of our Business 300: Career and Professional Development course, among other schoolspecific career activities and initiatives. A business school-based career office – a best practice
within quality business schools -- is critical to serving our students and preparing them for
business careers.
Academic advising: Especially as student success and retention are increasingly important topics
on our campus, business school-based academic advising allows for “expert” advising, meaningful
advisor-advisee relationships, a sense of “place” for students, and a more personal and focused
advising relationship, rather than an impersonal “one stop shop” that may not address the
student’s distinct needs within their major. It is extremely important to note that many of our
programs offer specific state or national certification, and our advisors’ knowledge of CPA, CFA,
SAP, and other certification requirements cannot be easily translated by centralized advising staff
that need to have knowledge of many programs. We can advise to the unique needs and
programs of our business students most effectively through a dedicated business advising staff,
and move our students through to graduation most efficiently by retaining academic advising
within the unit.
Dear University Committee,
I would like to contribute feedback regarding the final report of the CCOET advisory group to the
Chancellor, particularly with regard to options for academic reorganization (part III). I appreciate
the thoughtfulness that went into the preparation of this report. I note that CCOET members
correctly identified a number of reasons for caution about top-down reorganization (p. 17),
including potentially severe impacts on campus climate.
In my primary role as a faculty member in the College of Letters & Science, I am concerned about
the restructuring options that would define artificial separations between the natural sciences,
social sciences and humanities, while undermining academic and research excellence. As a
workhorse of liberal arts education, L&S has been an anchor of interdisciplinarity on our campus.
I would be alarmed to see the natural sciences subtracted from this pool of collaboration.
I have welcomed students from biology, geosciences, global studies and other fields into my
classroom. My participation in interdisciplinary NSF-funded and other extramurally funded
team projects working with natural and applied sciences has helped bring overhead into the
university, and helped train environmental studies students in useful qualitative methods. At the
same time, my collaborations with colleagues in the humanities has been tremendously
productive for my research. Environmental studies requires interdisciplinary conversations that
stretch across not only the natural and applied sciences, but also the humanistic sciences, arts
and humanities.
A strong STEM education must not be a straitjacket. Our students will be better equipped to
innovate, take on leadership roles and solve the problems of the twenty-first century if they have
access to a whole range of disciplines to support development of creative and critical thinking
skills. The current structure of L&S does this very well.
I strongly applaud the CCOET report's recognition that "academic reorganization is most likely to
be successful if it grows from a grassroots faculty level", and hope that many of my colleagues will
recognize the importance of cross-fertilization between the natural and social sciences, as well as
the humanities. If L&S undergoes major structural changes, we will need to put additional funding
into interdisciplinary research centers to ensure that this continues.
My experience with administrative duties over the past year supports some insight into options
put forward on graduate education at UWM. In particular, I have been impressed with the
importance of checks and balances that ensure the consistent application of UW System
mandates and university-wide policies determined through shared governance processes.
Because different graduate programs are variously hosted, some in departments, some in
schools/colleges, there is variety in how graduate grade appeal and academic misconduct
processes are handled at the lower levels. The Graduate School oversight on "step 3" student
academic appeals and academic misconduct appeal hearings does a good job of guaranteeing that
student complaints are fairly heard at a step removed from the programs themselves.
In the event of a decentralization of GS functions, large colleges such as L&S might absorb the
"Step 3" processes without incurring potential conflicts of interest, but thought must be given to
how it would be handled in smaller schools, such as the professional programs where "Step 2" is
currently done at the school/college level already. Shifting this workload directly to our legal
office or academic affairs could be the most natural solution, but it might also be an expensive
one. Faculty oversight should be maintained, since first-hand understanding of the
distinctive conditions, standards and experiences associated with graduate education and
graduate mentorship is essential to interpret many sensitive cases.
Similarly, the required graduate program reviews and university governance processes benefit
from the presence of dedicated leadership as well as coordination by trained staff. Shifting these
responsibilities into SecU, for example, would add significant extra workload requiring further
investment in that support unit. The costs associated with these functions would be moved
between units, rather than reduced.
Since SecU is not set up to handle management of graduate fellowships, Chancellor's awards, REA,
etc. that are allocated centrally, not all governance and administrative processes could be easily
moved there. If these were shifted back to the Office of Research, it would amount to a
partial reversal of the recent reorganization that divided graduate education from research just
two years ago.
On a campus with nearly 5,000 graduate students, oversight of graduate student issues is a
significant task that goes well beyond the more uniform"student services" associated with
undergraduate education, because graduate students are integrally involved in our
multifaceted research and teaching mission.
Any reorganization plans must reflect and enhance our new "Research 1" Carnegie institution
rating, because we can ill afford to throw away the advantages that this confers. The CCOET
report was produced before the 2015 rankings were released, and the document does a thin job
of recognizing many things we are currently doing well. It has taken us 50 years to build vibrant
PhD programs and vital infrastructural support to research activities that have put us in the top
tier of schools across the nation. We should be safeguarding these infrastructures and enriching a
culture of academic excellence to attract strong and capable students to our campus. Anything
else would undermine student experience, and our mandate as a doctoral urban research
university that can adequately serve the needs of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.
Thank you for your efforts to put all of these comments together for the consideration of campus
Graduate Faculty Committee Statement Regarding CCOET and the Graduate School
Having considered the CCOET report’s comments on the possibility of downsizing and
decentralizing graduate services, the Graduate Faculty Committee comes down strongly on the
side of maintaining a strong and effective Graduate School. To support our view, we offer the
following three comments.
First, we understand the urgency of the budget situation. If there are situations where actual and
substantial duplications of effort are occurring, we support improved coordination between the
Graduate School and schools, colleges, or departments. As for the Graduate School itself, recent
reorganizations seem to have succeeded. From the perspective of this committee, the Graduate
School is more efficient and well-coordinated than ever before.
Second, we are not aware of a precedent here or elsewhere in which decentralization resulted in
cost savings. Other institutions that have pursued decentralization, such as the University of
Minnesota, have seen costs increase significantly. While we understand in theory how
centralization can save costs, we remain unconvinced that decentralization typically does so. We
expect downsizing of the Graduate School to increase rather than decrease duplication of effort,
and hence costs.
Third, given that UWM recently was designated an R1 research university, and given that our
Chancellor recently affirmed the university’s research mission, we regard a strong and effective
Graduate School as a key to future research innovation and growth.
We urge the University Committee, other governance bodies, and the Chancellor and Provost to
support the Graduate School and to maintain its current structure, both because it already
functions efficiently and effectively, and because it will provide the research leadership and
infrastructure UWM needs to build for the future.
Excerpt 1
Of these possibilities I think option II is unworkable so I won’t say anything more.
Lumping SFS with Engrg and Architecture (option III.) would be counterproductive because there
is no real overlap with architecture and the culture of engrg. is quite different from sciences. This
would be a difficult marriage.
Option IV is getting better, but again joining with Engrg and natural sciences would be difficult. A
different flavor of “School of the Environment” might be the best. I would leave SARUP out (they
are a strong school in their own right) and fold together various units across campus that are
actually environmentally focused. This has the capacity to grow UWM as a whole by attracting
more students to our already strong water/environment focus.
Excerpt 2
This is an idea that comes up time and time again and is a disaster waiting to happen each time.
If service units are forced to pay for themselves they ALWAYS die. Could any of us afford to put
the full cost of our machine shop on a grant? No way. How will we maintain our research vessel
and all the other facilities if every little thing needs to be back charged? To me this is EXACTLY
the reason that the University charges 47% overhead on external grants.
On my last machinist-intensive project I partnered with a colleague at the U Washington in Seattle
which has a self-sustaining model for their machine shops. They wanted over $100K just to do the
necessary machining and that did not account for the trial and error design work that goes along
with building one-off research instrumentation. The SFS machinists built essentially all of it for the
cost of materials and in addition, I did not have to hire a design engineer to make CAD drawings.
Hello University Committee:
I read the CCOET report in full when it was first released and declined to send reaction because
the report is so undigested and inconclusive that there was nothing to react to in a constructive
or positive way.
It seems to be a collation of ideas that were discussed, with a superficial breakdown of the
"plusses" and "minuses" attached to the various ideas. Nowhere was there a breakdown of
realistic savings or advantages for the ideas in a comparison table or chart or graph. Everything
was hypothetical and detached from actual people or actual results. The data was suspect (in the
sense that some departments had to get the committee to make corrections to the data because
it had been done incorrectly).
I don't have faith that the numbers are correct or that the CCOET has done much beyond collating
various penny-pinching ideas that can be used as cover by the administration when actual policy
is made and implemented ("See, it is in the CCOET recommendations, and everyone was invited
to participate!!"). However, it fails to provide any view of strategic planning that would help the
institution shape its future.
When primary savings are made by simply not filling positions of the faculty and staff who retire,
move to a better job, or are fired, you don't end up with a strong, resilient institution. You end up
with whatever is left after the blood letting.
Dear UC members,
I am writing in response to the CCOET report and the recommendations put forward by the
committee. My work is interdisciplinary by design and personal propensity. I am also engaged in
the American Indian Studies program, the Honor's College, the Master's of Liberal Studies, and
the Center for International Education. My research and publications records have benefited
from a CIE Fellowship, two C21 Fellowships, and another C21 transdisciplinary Fellowship. All of
this is to say that my trans/interdisciplinary engagements were a direct result of the many creative
and innovative thinkers on this campus that do not conform to the general representation of a
silo constrained university (page 16). The CCOET report relies too heavily on the
misrepresentation of a few. I have witnessed how the disciplinary and research center structures
have enhanced broad and collaborative scholarship at this university. I firmly believe that the
proposed fracturing of L&S will not reap the financial benefits that CCOET suggests will materialize
with reorganization for two main reasons. 1. The realignment will take time and money while
creating greater uncertainty and antagonism. 2. The presumed benefits are based on numbers
that reflect indeterminate projections rather than actual projections from verifiable sources. The
proposal for promises of incentives (page 18) for faculty and staff venturing into the restructured
(clusters and realignments [pages19-21]) university may benefit them. But those rewards pose
the risk of being interpreted as punitive measures against faculty and staff who continue to see
value in the current structure. CCOET has noted many of the potential liabilities for restructuring
(page 17) but their focus on “revenue” (page 16) does not take into consideration the symbolic
capital that a liberal education brings to our students as well as the benefits to the reputation of
our research university. CCOET emphasizes the “values” of the university as paramount to any
decision going forward. I do worry when one of those values is “revenue”. It becomes more
troubling when that “value” is calculated on a student hour basis (page 18) as though all courses,
all students, all classes can be assessed equitably with this model.
I am also deeply concerned about the proposed restructuring of the Graduate School (page 18).
As an R1 institution we need the Graduate School to continue their hard work of making all
graduate programs address a standard of professionalism and quality research training while
promoting a university-wide program of excellence in discovery and innovation. It may seem to
be more efficient to dissolve the Graduate School in favor of silo solutions (page 19) but such a
strategy cannot foresee the extra work involved in coordinating across disciplinary requirements
and maintaining standards of excellence across the university. The current structure assures all
of us at the university that all graduate programs follow a unified vision of graduate training,
I have one other major concern. I am dissatisfied about the approach CCOET has taken toward
diversity. I was somewhat encouraged by the sentiment that the minority cultural advising
centers will remain as separate entities (page 30). I agree with the CCOET report that those
advising centers affirm the importance under-represented minorities place in finding comfort in
a familiar and welcoming environment. However, I do worry that the rhetoric of targeting underrepresented minorities for admission to the university may stray from a worthy exercise in
“inclusion and access” and drift toward a “cash cow” strategic enrollment revenue machine
(pages 33-36). I would also like to see a more concerted effort to attract diverse faculty. Perhaps
the Global Inclusion and Engagement office can have (or affirm) a primary goal of cultivating,
maintaining, and enhancing diversity (page 31). If so, we may find that “target of opportunity”
strategies are beneficial to students, faculty, staff, and the university. I fear the suggestion to
break up GIE in favor of silo solutions to promote diversity is doomed to fail. I believe a universitywide mandate to promote diversity is necessary for success.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the CCOET report.
The idea to keep 10 schools and 4 clusters. The logic of why the clusters are constituted the way
they are for combined services was not explained. I do not believe it was intentional to suggest
Reviewing the centers makes sense. Clear guidelines should be in place to indicate the merits for
Do not mess with the Credit Plateau - We can not stick it to students any more. They are financially
under strain, and we make our offering even worse, given the neighboring states sweetening their
Global Inclusion and Engagement - The chancellor's cabinet can be reduced. This is a valuable
suggestion that will save money without significant impact on the core mission on the university
(as expressed int he doc.)
Dear University Committee,
Regarding the CCOET report, I would like to offer the following feedback, which is based on a
single principle: we must consider sacrosanct everything that pertains to our ranking as an R-1
university. A higher ranking is good for both student enrollment as well as faculty recruitment and
retention. With this principle in mind, I find the following areas discussed in the report as worthy
of serious consideration:
1. Continuing Education: While Continuing Education is important, we cannot afford it in times of
drastic budget cuts. Its removal will have no effect on our ranking and status. Either we shut down
the program or we raise the fees to a level where it becomes self sustaining.
2. Credit Plateau: By increasing the undergraduate credit plateau to 13 credits, it is estimated we
can generate additional $8 million to $9 million annually in tuition revenue.
3. Phone lines: As a campus we can switch to a VOIP system (I suggested this many years ago on
ITPC but we weren’t granted the flexibility at the time by the state).
4. Close Campus over Winter Break: we can take this path as long as it doesn’t mean furloughs for
everyone and the savings are realized from heating/electricity alone. Telecommuting can be
added as an option during this period. This won’t affect our research standing adversely. The
research units that request to remain open may be allowed to do so.
5. I would avoid a major restructuring of the university at this point because its effect on our
research status is uncertain. Also, too many changes at once may result in unforeseen problems.
If a reorganization is actively being considered, it must pertain to administrative consolidation
with clear savings, not splitting existing units at this stage.
6. I would also advise against suggestions for removing/reducing course buyouts for faculty
because it directly links with our research status. In the past I have myself benefited from campus
fellowships that helped me complete research and writing projects, resulting in well-cited papers
and books.
7. Centers and institutes enhance our research profile and visibility in the academy. Unless a
center has been inactive in the past, we must be extremely cautious in making changes there.
8. International Student Enrollment: UWM may not be as competitive as Madison in getting outof-state students but outside the country it’s the American brand that sells well. With Microsoft
CEO as our alum, we can run TV ads in targeted countries. For example, I’ve noticed during my
field research in India that many private universities run continuous ads during the enrollment
season, and TV ads are much cheaper in places like India and Brazil.
9. Athletics may be asked to become completely self-sustaining. Changes here won’t affect our R1 status.
Dear Members of the University Committee,
As the campus considers the possibility of cutting or otherwise altering the place of centers on
our campus, I write to advocate for continuing UWM’s commitment to sustaining the Center for
Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies is a United States Department of Education
National Resource Center, the only such center on the UWM campus. In 2015, CLACS celebrated
its 50th century of continuous funding from the U.S. Department of Education through Federal
Title VI funding. This Title VI funding puts UWM in an elite group of 22 research universities that
possess a federally supported National Research Center with a focus on Latin America.
CLACS is unusual in that it serves students and faculty from 5 different professional schools and
19 different departments, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences and the
business school. CLACS engages undergraduate students through its Certificate in Latin American
and Caribbean Studies and B.A. in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. [email protected] Studies (LACUSL).
A B.A./M.A. (3-2) degree program in Latin American and U.S. [email protected] Studies & Translation is
projected to start enrolling students in Fall 2016.
CLACS annually distributes tens of thousands of dollars in fellowships, scholarships, and grants to
UWM undergraduate and graduate students. Without CLACS, UWM students would not be able
to qualify for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships in Brazilian Portuguese and
Quechua, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support the study of lessertaught languages. (Students at UWM and UW-Madison are the only students in the UW System
who qualify for FLAS Fellowships.)
In terms of public outreach, CLACS provides a vital link between our campus and the growing
[email protected] communities of Milwaukee and greater Wisconsin. Annually, CLACS organizes more than
thirty-five educational and public programs ranging from events geared toward K-16 teachers to
UWM’s Annual Latin American Film Series, which will mark its 38th anniversary this April.
Support for the teaching and research mission of faculty takes many forms including course
development grants, faculty research/travel grants, and study abroad programs. The existence of
CLACS at UWM was one of the principal reasons why I accepted a position as an assistant
professor of history and global studies at UWM in 2001. The support I received for my research
through CLACS was essential for the completion of my monograph and subsequent tenure as an
associate professor. Participation in community outreach and K-16 outreach/teacher training has
been central to my mission as an educator and scholar at UWM, and a source of much joy as well.
As a CLACS faculty member, I have presented to MPS students, teachers from across the state,
and hundreds of attendees at Milwaukee's "Mexican Fiesta" on topics ranging from the history of
chocolate and pictographic writing to the contemporary politics of migration. I simply cannot
imagine a future at UWM as a scholar and teacher concerned with Latin America without the
support of CLACS and its staff members, who are legendary for their professionalism and leading
figures in the world of Latin American and Caribbean Studies on both a national and international
If UWM is to remain a thriving university in the early 21st century, we cannot afford to turn our
backs on our state’s and our nation’s growing [email protected] population. The beautiful public celebration
of CLACS’s 50th anniversary in December 2015, which was hosted in the Zelazo Center, was a
powerful reminder of the deep connections that CLACS has forged between UWM and the city’s
diverse communities of people of Latin American and Caribbean descent and more broadly among
students, scholars, and community members who care deeply about the future of the Americas.
CLACS is a unique resource for UWM—a tradition of which we can be justly proud, and a source
of crucial support for students, teachers, and researchers that we cannot afford to squander at a
time when our connections to the wider Americas are becoming ever more vital for our success
as a university, city, state, and nation.
Hi UC Faculty Representatives,
Some input I would like to make about the CCOET report:
I do not think the number of colleges should be considered as important a concern as the ratio of
administrative roles per employees. When I first began work at UWM (more than 2 decades ago),
business-financial management and HR administrative processes for the employees were shared
across several colleges (e.g., for the 3 colleges located in Enderis Hall). So it wouldn't necessarily
require a reduction in the number of colleges, to make a decision to merge administrative services
across the colleges. ** But ** these colleges have grown considerably in employees over the
years. So it would appear especially appropriate to consider what type/extent of administrative
work is associated with the management/administration needed for the employees, and
figure out what the optimum ratio of administrators-to-employees would be in order to
accomplish the necessary work to manage their business/HR processes. Do we have knowledge
about what faculty-to-administrator ratios could be most efficient and effective?
On a similar note, what metrics are being examined to consider what faculty-to-student ratios are
sustainable? Certain professional schools and graduate education of course will need to operate
with higher ratios, but how are such metrics being considered in the decisions about positions
and faculty/staff hires? The particulars of educational objectives / learning outcomes to be
attained certainly impact across-program differences in what faculty-to-student ratios are
appropriate, but also it would seem there must be information out there about what faculty-tostudent ratios are typically sustainable for business practices in higher education?
Page 21 (highlighted part)
IV. Advanced Departmental Restructuring This arrangement is similar to arrangement III, but with
more individual department relocation or reformation in the process. • School of Health
Combines ZSPH, CON, and elements of the CHS • College of Education and Human Development
Combines SOE (reducing from 5 to 3 departments), adds Kinesiology, Communication Science and
Disorders, Health Informatics and Administration, and Bioinformatics program from CEAS •
College of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) Combines, CEAS, SFS, and L&S
Natural Sciences • College of Urban Public Policy Combines HBSSW, and Departments of Public
and Non-Profit Administration and Educational Policy and Community Studies • College of Liberal
and Fine Arts Combine PSA, L&S Humanities and Social Sciences Department • College of Business
Combines School of Business and SOIS • School of the Environment Combines SARUP with
environmental studies programs from across campus
In response to the highlighted part of the report,
The faculty of Ed Pol and Community Studies have not had a chance to have detailed discussions
around this issue of a move out of SOE. There appear to be two views, currently.
While some faculty feel strongly that moving the Ed. Pol department out of SOE will dilute
foundations of Education knowledge and and understanding of multicultural awareness for
students across the SOE; other faculty feel fairly positive towards the idea of a move out of the
SOE to be part of a College of Urban Public Policy.
However, as I said, we have not had a chance to discuss this in detail as yet.
Critical Research Investments for UWM
Report of the Research Excellence Panther Team
February 2016
UWM is Wisconsin’s urban, public research university. It serves the region through its educational
programs, research activity, and engagement with the community. Its underlying strengths as a research
university are critical to its larger mission because research excellence attracts the scholars who bring the
insights that inform outstanding instruction and the depth of understanding that drives effective
engagement. Research includes a broad range of creative activities throughout the university; all share
an underlying commitment to scholarly excellence.
The recent Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education placed UWM among the Doctoral
Universities-Highest Research (R1) Universities. This recognition reflects the University’s success in
developing an exceptional research profile with national and international recognition. This
accomplishment was the result of sustained, exceptional work across our research spectrum and
institutional investments in research support.
In the face of ongoing budget challenges, the institution must prioritize its future investments to continue
to advance its research mission. To slow progress at this point could fundamentally change the course of
the university and negate the commitments and accomplishments of literally decades of work. Chancellor
Mark Mone asked an ad hoc Research Excellence Panther Team to recommend key investments for
advancing UWM’s research infrastructure and productivity. The team included members of the Top-Tier
Research University Thematic Team (TTRUTT) from the campus strategic planning work, augmented by
other faculty and staff members (Appendix A). In developing its recommendations, the team reviewed
past research plans (Appendix B) and discussed current needs for sustaining and enhancing the
University’s research activities. The team met twelve times between August 2015 and February 2016.
Past reports identified about 75 potential actions, and the TTRUT team highlighted about twenty (see
reports listed in appendix B). This report identifies the most critical actions in which UWM needs to invest
its time and resources to enhance its research activities.
The team identified six recommendations. All are important, but the most critical is to increase graduate
student stipends to competitive levels.
1. Increase graduate student stipends to competitive levels
National data indicate that the average stipend levels for both teaching assistants (TA) and research
assistants (RA) are approximately $15,000 (50%, 9-month rate), and considerably higher in some programs
(particularly in natural sciences and engineering disciplines). Many of our students are initially supported
on TA positions with current salaries of $11,838 (master’s) or $13,732 (doctoral). The Chancellor Graduate
Student Awards were designed to help mitigate this gap, but are not sufficient to bring stipends to
competitive levels. The result is increasing difficulty in attracting high-quality students. This threatens
both our instructional and research success because of the critical role of graduate students in these
The team’s primary recommendation is to implement the recommendations of the 2012 study on
graduate assistantships. The major points are to:
1. Establish a base stipend rate for all assistantships of $15,000 (50%, 9-month rate);
2. Make stipends equivalent for all assistantships (TA, RA, PA) within a program;
3. Recognize that some programs will require additional resources due to competition with other
universities (this can be implemented through a salary increase or a supplementary fellowship),
and that the supplements need to be based on national data;
4. Review stipend levels every 2-3 years to ensure that we are competitive with national averages;
5. Provide fellowship funds to all programs for recruiting outstanding students.
The team recognizes that RA stipends were adjusted in 2013 and TA stipends increased (most recently for
Fall 2015), but strongly recommends the full and immediate implementation of the recommended
changes. The estimated cost is $1.25 M.
Three additional recommendations emerged from discussions:
1. The “Program Assistant” or PA title should only be used when a student is providing intellectually
and disciplinarily appropriate administrative or academic support to a unit. Graduate students
performing largely clerical or other work that could be done without an advanced level of
expertise should be employed through other mechanisms (such as student hourly or limited term
employee appointments).
2. Tuition paid by graduate assistantships should be distributed to the units in the same manner as
other tuition payments, as envisioned in the new budget model.
3. A tuition rate of $4000 per semester should be adopted for graduate RAs and PAs to be collected
from external awards or the appointing units (if the students are not funded by a grant). Once
implemented, tuition increases should be indexed to changes in the in-state (instructional
portion) graduate tuition. We are undecided about whether (a) tuition for graduate TAs should
be treated in a similar way or (b) graduate TA tuition should be waived.
2. Reconfigure and increase funding for internal support programs
Several past internal studies have highlighted the need to develop larger research programs at UWM,
including both interdisciplinary i topics and “team science” projects. These are difficult to support because
they generally span academic units and require sharing of resources. At the same time our internal
support programs are almost exclusively used for projects with one or two PIs.
The team recommends reconfiguring the internal support programs to address this campus need and to
increase funding over the next several years. The proposed array of internal programs (including two new
ones) would be:
Faculty Research Travel (currently restricted to Arts and Humanities, $25-30k/yr): increase
funding to make this available to all faculty and research staff. Target level: $200-400k/yr to
provide travel support on an annual or biannual basis.
• Research and Creative Activities Support (currently $225k/yr due to short-term budget cuts):
increase to $360k/yr to support approximately 20 projects.
• Research Growth Initiative (currently $1.6-2M/yr due to short-term budget cuts): retain for
projects with 1-3 PIs with an ongoing funding of $3M to support about 30 projects.
• Collaborative Grant Development (new): support for developing large multi-investigator
proposals, including those with regional collaborators. Funding would ramp up to $250-400k/yr
to support development of about 10 proposals.
• Research Center Growth Proposal (new): support to develop selected teams and centers in critical
areas with the potential for sustained research excellence. The goal would be to initiate two
teams per year for 3-5 years at the level of $200-500k/yr, so approximately $3M/yr would be
needed when fully implemented (which would take 3-5 years).
Fully implemented, these programs total about $6.6M compared to $3.7M allocated in the current budget
(if short-term budget cuts cease). The recommendation is to reconfigure the current funding, and phasein additional support over several years if the new programs are successful.
3. Assess our research progress and investments using a clear set of campus metrics
The University lacks well-developed processes or mechanisms for assessing its research progress over
time or the impact of investments. This is not unusual. UW-System, for example, has traditionally counted
external research funding as its sole metric. Increasing calls for more accountability have led to
broadening in metrics that measure university performance, as reflected in the current effort by UWSystem to develop an expanded set of performance metrics. Beyond these pressures, UWM needs a more
robust approach to monitor its progress over time and to assess how we use our resources.
The team recommends the adoption of a set of campus-wide research metrics that balances both inputs
(RAs, funding) and outcomes (publications, creative activity, graduated students). The metrics need to
capture the breadth of research activity that occurs on our campus. A draft list of basic metrics on the
quantity and impact of research activity is presented below. (See the TTRUTT report for a fuller discussion
of metrics related to research outcomes.)
Basic metrics of research activity (both inputs and outputs)
Number of articles, book chapters, books, conference publications, exhibits, live performances,
recorded work, and original creative works
• Number of citations
• Number of publications in “top journals” (and similar)
• Number of PhD and “thesis” masters students graduated
• Number of patents, licenses, and startup companies
• Dollar amounts of research and public service expenditures from external support
• Number of faculty and scientists
• Number of national academy members and faculty awards ii
• Number of post-docs and RAs
• Number of undergraduates involved in research
• Research-based community metrics (needs development); possible examples are
o Number of community partners (particularly those lasting for five or more years)
The team notes that some of these metrics will require a campus commitment to report information (such
as number of articles, books and creative performances), and to put systems in place to gather other data
(such as citations).
4. Increase funding to the Library
UWM’s scholarly activity depends heavily upon Library and information resources, and these resources
are increasingly in digital formats. Our current acquisition budget is approximately $3.4M; this should be
increased to $7-10M, the level of peer urban research universities. This should include expanded access
to online resources and building base collections in areas of new or expanding research activity.
5. Change HR policies to accommodate more flexible research positions
UWM needs policies and process to allow more flexibility in hiring researchers. Three needs that are
difficult or impossible to satisfy under our current HR systems are:
The ability to hire researchers on 3-5 year appointments in a timely manner.
The appointment of research positions primarily funded by external awards (“soft money”).
The adoption of a “Research Professor” title (actually an academic staff position) for researchers
whose responsibilities are limited to research. It could be used as a “working title” aligned with
Scientist appointments. We recommend this because the research professor title would have a
broader application than in the sciences, is widely recognized within academia, and would be
more defined (and thus attractive) to potential hires. Performance reviews would focus on
research preeminence due to the expectations related to such a position.
We recommend developing or changing current policies and procedures to meet these needs. A working
group may be needed to determine if there are additional issues related to research appointments.
6. Reconfigure post-award activities
The current arrangement of post-award grant management places the responsibility on the PIs and their
local budget office. This has resulted in a variety of problems because of the complexity of grant
expenditure requirements, and the potential mismatch of available staff support to research needs
(consider a PI who receives the first federal award in a unit).
The team recommends developing a shared service model for post-award budget support that retains the
distributed nature of local support with a centralized office that can shift staff time as needed, provide
more uniform processes and training based on best practice, and provide better service for investigators.
We recognize that other changes will be required, including (1) development of a common grant
management tool for campus-wide adoption, and (2) better controls on the use of Purchase-cards linked
to award budgets.
The Research Excellence Panther Team strongly recommends establishing a team to facilitate
implementation of these recommendations. The implementation team should also consider the other
key recommendations of the TTRUTT report on improving the research infrastructure at UWM and how
they could be implemented.
Members of the Research Excellence Panther Team would like to form the core of the implementation
team because of their background in developing the recommendations and the broad perspectives
represented by the members.
Appendix A: Members of the Research Excellence Panther Team
Ewa Barczyk, UWM Libraries
David Crass, Research Cyber Infrastructure
Sheila Feay-Shaw, Music
Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska, Physics and Graduate School
David Garman, School of Freshwater Sciences
Mark Harris, chair, Geosciences and Office of Research
Hemant Jain, Business
Katherine Kober, Office of Sponsored Programs (Office of Research)
Kathleen Koch, Research Initiatives (Office of Research)
Michael Liston, Philosophy
David Petering, Chemistry
Nigel Rothfels, Office of Undergraduate Research
Rachel Schiffman, Nursing and Office of Research
Brian Thompson, UWM Research Foundation
Cindy Walker, Educational Psychology
Dietmar Wolfram, SOIS and Research Policy & Advisory Committee
Appendix B: Internal UWM reports
The team members drew upon their collective experience and those of colleagues. Many had participated in past
internal studies that provide some of the background for the team’s recommendations. Some are listed below
(with the sponsoring agent). These reports can be accessed through the Office of Research website
2005 Self-Study Report (for UWM Accreditation – see section on Criterion 4: Acquisition, Discovery and
Application of Knowledge
2006 Research Growth Strategies (Graduate School, Provost)
2011 Strategic Planning for Research (Graduate School)
2012 Preliminary Report of the Graduate Assistantship Working Group (Provost)
2013 Report of the Research Futures Study Group (Provost)
2014 Report of the Top-Tier Research University Thematic Team
2014 UWM Strategic Plan (draft)
The Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (2004) report
Facilitating interdisciplinary research provides a useful definition: “Interdisciplinary research is a mode of research by teams or
individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more
disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are
beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice.”
This metric speaks to the university’s ability to recruit and retain the most competitive faculty members. The memberships and
awards capture a range of disciplines: American Council of Learned Societies Fellows, Beckman Young Investigator Awards,
Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Career Awards, Cottrell Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, Getty Scholars in Residence, Guggenheim
Fellows, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, Lasker Medical Research Awards, MacArthur Foundation Fellows, Mellon
Foundation Distinguished Achievement Awards, National Academy Members, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows,
National Humanities Center Fellows, National Medal of Science, National Medal of Technology and Innovation, Newberry Library
Long-term Fellows, NIH MERIT (R37) Awards, NSF CAREER Awards, Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, Presidential Early
Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows, Searle Scholars, Sloan Research
Fellows, Woodrow Wilson Fellows
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