First, education is king. Don’t ever allow UW-Madison to be anything but a premier, world-class institution. State and private dollars invested now will be leveraged considerably by virtue of the fact that most of the federal investment will go to expanded research at universities such as UW.
After years of wage freezes, a union representing 225 UW System trade employees negotiated a 1.81% raise for this year, which ended up being less than the 2% raise their non-union colleagues received … “There’s been a range of responses to Act 10,” David Nack, a professor in the UW-Madison Department of Labor Education said. “Workers often want to or need to find a way to effectively represent their interests with their employer. Act 10 doesn’t change any of that.”
New figures show the University of Wisconsin System saw $317.7 million in lost revenue and additional expenses between March and December as universities continue to weather the widespread budgetary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has caused the “biggest financial disaster” the university has ever seen, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. Through federal stimulus money, furloughs, pay cuts for leadership, travel restrictions and targeted budget cuts to different units, Blank said she’s optimistic the financial gap can be resolved over the next two years. But she also renewed her case for giving the university borrowing authority.
Over 200 University of Wisconsin nursing and pharmacy students have volunteered to help administer COVID-19 vaccines at statewide mobile clinics in local high-need areas.
Quoted: “For over six decades, the UW Law School has been privileged to publish and provide a home for the Wisconsin Jury Instructions. This has been a labor of love, grounded in our deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea,” wrote UW Law School Dean Dan Tokaji.
“We are delighted that the jury instructions will be digitized and made free to the public from this point forward, thanks to the diligent efforts of the state courts and many people working with them.”
To have a statue of the late civil rights legend and political trailblazer Vel Phillips, Wisconsin’s first Black secretary of state, outside of the state Capitol building in downtown Madison would mean so much to so many people, including State Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) who would see it every day at her work.
Quoted: Melissa Kono is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who works in community development and is raising a family on a farm. “Work-life balance,” she said, is not a farming staple.
In a panel discussion Monday evening, UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson said he didn’t pursue a plan to lift the ongoing freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition because Republican legislative leaders told him it could jeopardize the system’s budget request.
University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson says Republican leaders in the state Legislature warned him not to include any tuition increases in his first budget request or it wouldn’t “go anywhere.”
Quoted: Committee co-chairman Dr. Jonathan Temte of the University of Wisconsin-Madison agreed.
“Our recommendation should be based on the scientific evidence, the ethical pinnings, and the feasibility,” Temte said. “And on all three accounts, one would say, absolutely. If we are saying we’re going to punish these people yet again — because they are being punished for their crimes at this point in time — this constitutes kind of a double punishment and treating them very, very differently and I’m very uncomfortable with that.”
Quoted: Barry Burden, professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Johnson’s strong allegiance to President Donald Trump, as well as his position within the Senate majority and chairmanship of a powerful committee, positioned him squarely in the national spotlight.
“That combination has been really effective for him for the last several years and has given him a national platform,” Burden said. “And now he’s essentially losing all of that.”
Quoted: But fellow co-chairman Dr. Jonathan Temte, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said politics shouldn’t play a role in public health decision-making.
“It is our purview to make whatever we think is the best recommendation,” he said. “I don’t think it’s ethically acceptable to say we’re going to do congregate living but exclude the incarcerated, because by definition, that’s congregate living.”
At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a spokesperson noted that COVID-19 cases rose in every county in the state following Sept. 1, when students came to campus. “As cases of COVID-19 continue at high levels across Wisconsin, UW-Madison remains committed to doing its part to keep transmission low,” the spokesperson said via email. “Despite a rise in cases early in the fall semester — caught and contained quickly thanks to robust testing and rapid efforts to isolate positive students and quarantine those at risk of exposure — campus experienced a low level of cases after the third week of September.” The university also provided 20,000 free tests to the general public.
The committee, which meets again Friday, also discussed whether to add faculty and instructors at universities and technical colleges to the group including K-12 teachers and staff.
Noted: Trammell was born in southern Nigeria but considers herself a Madisonian after living the majority of her life here, she said. She grew up in the Northport Apartments on Madison’s north side before moving to the south side. She graduated from West High School and got her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She said growing up as a Black child in Wisconsin she never visualized or envisioned herself as a judge. She is the first lawyer in her family and the first judge.
Noted: Torsrud could be the first of dozens of inmates serving life who might get out sooner. The Public Interest Justice Initiative, a joint project between Chisholm’s office and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, was launched in 2019 after the Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School found that more than half the 128 inmates serving life sentences for juvenile offenses were from Milwaukee County.
Michael Backman was 16 years old when he went to prison.
At the time, he could barely read or write, barely understand all the legalese floating around him as he dealt with the repercussions of the day in September 1991 when he drunkenly burglarized a home and killed a man.
A statue of the first Black woman to become secretary of state in Wisconsin could go up in front of the state Capitol building as early as next summer.
A new report shows the University of Wisconsin System paid out nearly $70 million in coronavirus-related refunds to students last year.
Noted: Also Monday, Andrew Petersen, president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the system is having conversations with the federal government about how it can help distribute the vaccine.
The success campuses have had in partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide rapid-result testing to Wisconsinites was an example of how UW’s reach could help with the vaccination effort, he said.
Since 2013, tuition for in-state undergraduate students at UW campuses has been frozen.It’s helped protect students from the rising costs of college tuition, but a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum found this incentive for students is threatening the UW’s ability to be competitive against other universities. “The tuition freeze is a clear part of that, but you also see stagnant state funding, enrollment declines that are greater than other states nationally … all things that were adding up before COVID-19,” said Jason Stein, Research Director for the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
Specifically, the report calls for investing in county-based educators employed through UW-Madison’s Extension division. The task force recommended partnering with UW Extension to help every region of the state understand its assets and create an area-specific development strategy.
Few states controlled tuition at their public universities as tightly as Wisconsin has done in recent years and the handful that did offset the squeeze with some additional state money, according to a new report released Tuesday.
A new report on the financial health of Wisconsin’s state universities and technical colleges found lagging state investment, enrollment challenges and — for University of Wisconsin schools — an ongoing tuition freeze as some of several factors threatening their competitiveness.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved 2% raises across the board for campus chancellors during a closed session Thursday afternoon.
The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents unanimously voted Thursday to approve its 2021-2023 pay plan request, asking Governor Tony Evers to fully fund pay increases for System employees.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is requesting that the Board of Regents approve increased tuition plans for some graduate and professional programs, a process that has taken place every two years since December 2014.
University of Wisconsin System employees would receive 2% and 2.5% pay increases over the next two fiscal years under a plan officials released Monday, but the annual raises require legislative approval and COVID-19 complicates the state budget picture.
Prisons, schools and the University of Wisconsin System are also expected to need more money, adding to the challenges for Evers and lawmakers.
What’s more, the report does not include the projected $1.1 billion cost of maintaining Medicaid services or additional spending on COVID-19 measures or state aid to K-12 schools, the University of Wisconsin System, local governments or prisons.
In Dane County, Wis., home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received nearly 35,000 more votes than the Democratic ticket got four years ago. And in Centre County, Pa., home of Pennsylvania State University, the running mates received 1,800 additional votes over the 2016 count.
Quoted: Joe Lauer, an agronomy professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said farmers were grateful for more normal weather patterns this year after an extremely wet season in 2019.
“There’s a little more peace of mind, if you will, in kind of going through what I just call an average normal production season,” Lauer said. “We’re going to end up with record yields but it’s just kind of easier psychologically to take.”
Shawn Conley, soybean and wheat specialist for UW-Madison’s Division of Extension, said a lack of precipitation throughout the state at the end of summer caused the USDA to lower their forecasted yields to 53 bushels per acre. That’s six bushels, or almost 13 percent, higher than last year.
But Conley said most farmers were happy to have the dry weather.
“That allowed farmers to have a lot of days in the field that they can push through and get their crops out of the field in a timely manner,” Conley said.
Wisconsin schools across the state are facing a shortage of special education teachers, especially in smaller rural districts. A new UW-Madison masters program is working to fill that gap.
Quoted: Patrick Remington, former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, said the best approach to tackling the massive outbreak is working together.
“To beat this virus, we have to be united in response,” he said.
Sporting events at UW-Madison, including Camp Randall Stadium, are exempt because state property is not subject to the county’s orders. Nevertheless, UW-Madison has put in place strict protocols for athletic events and doesn’t anticipate changing those in response to the new order, the university said in a statement.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison plans to continue its hybrid learning model next semester with a drastically increased COVID-19 testing capacity, expecting more than 50,000 tests available weekly.
Enrollment at most University of Wisconsin campuses dropped again from last school year, a reflection of both the declining number of traditional high school students for colleges to recruit and the pandemic’s effect on college students.
On Wednesday the University of Wisconsin announced its campuses will open free “surge testing sites” that provide rapid-result COVID-19 tests to off-campus community members, with the aim of alleviating the high demand for testing across the state.
Testing sites will be set up at every University of Wisconsin System campus, including two-year campuses that are often located in more rural areas of the state. Most sites are scheduled to open up next week.
The University of Wisconsin System will pioneer a new, federally funded testing plan by providing 250,000 COVID-19 tests at on-campus sites as early as Thursday.
Leading the way in the record early turnout are the liberal strongholds of Milwaukee and Dane County, home to the University of Wisconsin and the state capitol of Madison.
While the president has played down the pandemic in his visits, Wisconsin has been setting records for cases and hospitalizations. The state university’s ranked football team, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, had to cancel its Oct. 31 game against Nebraska when multiple players and the coach tested positive.
In Madison, volunteers who would have knocked on doors to remind people to vote are instead holding signs on busy street corners. At night, the Democratic National Committee is projecting reminders to vote onto the sides of buildings at the University of Wisconsin campuses in both cities.
“It is impossible to think that anything that could happen in a school could happen without echoes in the larger community,” UW-Madison pathology professor David O’Connor said. “The question is: how large are those echoes?”
In another sign that the pandemic is causing major constraints on college budgets, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank has announced that the campus would continue with employee furloughs.
“There is not the test infrastructure in the United States to do that,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
It signed an $100 million agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and several local agreements to build “innovation centers” in Racine, Green Bay and Eau Claire.
Facing a coronavirus-induced “budget crisis” that exceeds $300 million, UW-Madison announced on Monday another round of furloughs and pay cuts for the first six months of 2021.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will implement more furloughs for spring semester to help offset revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of unpaid leave, announced in August, ends this month.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with a group of lawmakers and University of Wisconsin officials at the state Capitol Friday, at a time when hospitalizations have soared and daily cases of COVID-19 are at an all-time high.
Birx met Friday with UW System officials, including interim President Tommy Thompson and campus chancellors, to encourage the universities to test all students at least weekly in an effort to identify asymptomatic cases earlier that could help stop community spread of the virus to more vulnerable populations.
Gov. Tony Evers praised University of Wisconsin-Madison officials for taking COVID-19 precautions “very seriously” by closing down parking lots to prevent tailgating and allowing only essential personnel inside the stadium, reversing an earlier decision to allow parents of players inside Camp Randall.
By the end of the summer, Walker found himself in a tight reelection race against state school superintendent Tony Evers, a critic of the deal. Polling showed that few people felt the project would benefit their local economy, so Walker campaigned to show that all of Wisconsin would feel the effect of the “Foxconn bonus.” He was aided in this message by a string of announcements from Foxconn: a promised gift of $100 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; partnerships with local companies; and the purchase of buildings in far corners of the state that would become “innovation centers,” which Walker quickly featured in campaign ads.
Aside from the Marquette poll, there is a new local, statewide poll in Wisconsin this year, the 2020 Election Survey from the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Like Marquette, this poll weights for education. Its latest results are similar to Marquette’s latest, showing Biden leading Trump by 4 points among likely voters, with a 4.5 percent margin of error.
Evers has used his powers to declare three public health emergencies this year. The first came March 12, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second, on July 30, led to the first mask mandate and came as COVID-19 cases were beginning to climb. And the third, on Sept. 22, extended the mask mandate as COVID-19 cases were surging on University of Wisconsin campuses.
Just Recovery will work to identify and support strategies for responding to COVID-19, recovery efforts and building resilience in communities of color by partnering with community-based organizations and local groups, including other government and social service agencies.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison hired a record number of faculty and graduated a record number of students in the last academic year, Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced Monday.
Schools, colleges and universities are exempt from the order, along with outdoor spaces.
Evers has used the powers to declare three public health emergencies this year. The first came March 12, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second, on July 30, led to the first mask mandate and came as COVID-19 cases were beginning to climb. And the third, on Sept. 22, extended the mask mandate as COVID-19 cases were surging on University of Wisconsin campuses.