Money on the mind

Spring Faculty Meeting


Alicia Dougherty, Assistant News Editor

Over a $110.4 million budget initiative was discussed in Tuesday’s All Faculty Spring Meeting. 

Chancellor Dwight Watson hopes for a reconstructed budget with the state legislature and the Joint Finance Committee focusing on myriad UW-W initiatives. The big items included funding for a $59.4 million dollar renovation of Winther Hall, a $39 million initiative for the Wisconsin Tuition Promise, and $10 million toward student mental health services. Other notable initiatives included funding for student loan forgiveness, $2 million of funding stipends for student teachers, and an unspecified amount for the Fresh Water Collaborative. Additional discussions about these initiatives will be discussed by the faculty and external affairs committee.  

Interim Associate Provost Joan Cook and Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Support Programs Kenny Yarbrough discussed their ongoing work for the Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative Project to encourage growth and focus on equity, diversity and inclusion.

“The overall goal is to transform our campus efforts to address equity, diversity, and inclusion from individual efforts that are somewhat spread out across campus and to try to pull them together into an integrated institutional priority,” said Cook.

A progress brief was given by Yarbrough about the various updates on campus-wide initiatives.

The discussion was then turned to Interim Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs Taryn Carothers, who discussed federal COVD-19 funding for the university.

According to Carothers, if the projected numbers for the next relief package are correct, total relief for the university will total to about $31 million. However, despite the number being closer to the need of the university, it is still not enough. 

“We’ve had expenses, lost revenues, unfunded pay plans, and state funding lapses which do exceed those state and federal funds that have been made available,” said Carothers. 

Watson said most of the federal funding is going to “shoring up expenses.” Carother’s  also expects a “downstream impact” of the pandemic for the next two years due to students’ economic hardships. 

The next item was a presentation by Associate Professor Wade Tillett on a set of shared metrics measuring the productivity and efficiency of a program. The presentation pitched several different methods of measuring data for a program’s productivity. 

A strict set of guidelines are in place.

“A program’s productivity is not boiled down to a math formula,” Interim Provost Greg Cook explained.

There was much covered by the time Faculty Senate Chair Tracy Hawkins convened the March 30 meeting.