The College Assembly met on Feb. 22, 2017.
Tim Casper, vice president of Institutional Learning and Effectiveness, gave an overview of the Governor’s Budget Proposal and its potential impacts on the College. Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) staff are analyzing the impacts on all the colleges.
Casper explained that some of the proposals will not be included in the final 2017-18 Budget. For example, non-fiscal policy items may be removed. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will begin voting on the proposals in mid-to late-March and complete their deliberations in mid-May. Then the Legislature will debate the budget proposal and approve the final document in June before the fiscal year begins on July 1.
Currently, the budget proposal includes a tuition freeze for technical colleges through 2017-18. It also contains Wisconsin Grant increases for the next two fiscal years and a $5 million increase in General State Aids.
The proposed budget includes “substantive changes” to how Performance Funding factors are applied. Previously, colleges could choose seven of the 10 factors. This budget proposal would require colleges to be assessed on all 10 factors. It also reduces the amount of data used in the formula from three years to one year.
Another change in the proposal would increase the number of transferable credits from technical colleges to the University of Wisconsin from 30 to 60 credits. New WTCS data collection and reporting requirements may mean increased costs since some required data is not currently reported.
Finance Council Loop Out
Mark Thomas, CFO/Vice President of Administrative Services, commented that the Governor’s Budget Proposal would likely have no negative impact on the college’s financial picture. Thomas reported that since the state budget won’t be finalized until after the District Board has approved the College budget, adjustments might have to be made after that.
Finance Council Policy and Procedure Recommendations for Cost Savings
Laura Osinski, Finance Council co-chair, looped out the Council’s draft of the following eight recommendations for cost savings in the 2017-18 budget:
- Catering and Non-Travel Food
- Cell Phone Stipends
- Dues, Memberships and Subscriptions
- Instructor Curriculum Pay
- Instructor Special Assignment
- Substitute Instruction
- Personnel – Health and Dental
The draft document shows four changes to previous policies and three new policies. There are no recommended changes to the Substitute Instruction policy. Expense changes recommended by the Finance Council to date result in $1,635,000 estimated savings over the previous budget.
Osinski also shared the Issue Analysis Sheets for policies under consideration. She asked Assembly members to provide feedback on the documents. The Finance Council plans to bring its first presentation regarding these policies to the March 8 Assembly meeting and possible thumbing on March 22.
Student Senate Update
Five Student Senate members attended the Wisconsin Student Government Legislative Seminar Feb. 19-21. Student Senate President Alex Hipler met with Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) to discuss Madison College issues and student concerns.
Student Senate elections will be held March 2-7. There are 30 applicants for 15 seats.
Assembly Co-Chair Report
Laura Osinski reported that some changes will be made to the Shared Governance Bulletin in coming weeks.
Topics on the Assembly’s next agenda will likely include Education Spotlights on the Position Allocation Process and the Grants Office, first reading of the Emeritus Policy, the IT Investment Policy and the Finance Council Policy and Procedure Recommendations for Cost Savings in FY 2017-18.
The Assembly will meet on Wednesday, March 8, 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Truax Room D1630C.
Published March 1, 2017.