September 20 Academic Staff Senate Meeting


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Over the last few years, enrollment has been declining at UW-Platteville. As such, there is a structural deficit in the university budget. The main goal of this fiscal year is to determine why UWP keeps under-spending and what is preventing UWP from having an adequate and realistic budget plan. UWP is hesitant on hiring new staff, as retaining said staff can be an issue. When questioned if layoffs were on the horizon — as staff has decreased when compared to previous years — Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, Paige Smith, admitted that in order to “right-size our budget in the next five years, it would require between 170 to 300 employee reductions.”

On the topic of COVID-19, numbers were brought to the table: about 70% of university employees are fully vaccinated and, of the students that responded to a survey, 42% of students are vaccinated, 11% are unsure about getting vaccinated, and 47% are assumed to not be planning on getting vaccinated. About 38% of the student body did not respond to the survey. Additionally, in terms of student testing, the university has seen “very low positivity rates,” especially since mandatory testing is currently not in place. If a person is symptomatic or asymptomatic, they can be tested in Hugunin Hall on campus.

Lastly, it is with the recommendation of the COVID-19 university response team that fall 2021 commencement be an in-person event this December. It was proposed to Chancellor Dennis J. Shields and is currently pending approval. It is estimated that around 600 students will be affected by this decision.