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July 1998 Board Meeting Agenda         October 1998 Board Meeting Agenda         Board Reports Index

Meeting Minutes

July 24, 1998

 

Board Members Present: Mike Clumpner, Allen Schraufnagel, Jeremy Shea, Sarah Von Rueden, Steve Van Ess, Brian Johnson, Mary Jo Green, Sister Mary Beth Kornely, Sandra Dercole (for Paul Spraggins).

HEAB Staff Present: Mary Lou Kuzdas, Sandra Thomas, John Whitt, Jane Hojan-Clark, Megan Jackson.

Others Present: Dan Goyette - Marquette University; Crystal Voight - United Council of UW Students; Yvette Hartman - College of the Menominee Nation; Jonathan Wilber - College of the Menominee Nation; Merry Larsen - Legislative Fiscal Bureau; Nathan Peters - UW System; David Dies - WAICU; Shelly Gardner - WTCS Board.

The HEAB meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by Chairman, Mike Clumpner.

Minutes of the April 24, 1998, HEAB meeting were reviewed. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Jeremy Shea and seconded by Steve Van Ess. Passed. Minutes approved.

Report of the Acting Executive Secretary: Jane Hojan-Clark indicated that her appointment of Acting Executive Secretary has been extended until at least the end of November. The system staff is concentrating on a number of current issues: John Whitt is developing a web page which is almost complete and hopes to have it available this fall. The systems manager is dedicating two days each week to work on the year 2000 conversion project. The Department of Administration is providing some assistance from their programming staff.

Board Reports:

#99-1 Status of 1997-98 Applicants and Programs - The Wisconsin Higher Education Grant Program for the Technical College System has fewer awards given but actually more dollars committed. This reflects a $90 across-the-board increase. The Wisconsin Higher Education Grant Program for the UW System shows fewer awards and fewer dollars committed. Wisconsin Tuition Grant has more awards and more dollars in comparison to prior year statistics. All three of these programs reflect adjustments made for the year. Overall spending is relatively the same. Some programs are a little bit down and some programs are a little up. We will be able to carry funds forward to 98-99. The Talent Incentive Program (TIP) statistics include Federal SSIG funds also. The other new component to 97-98 is the inclusion of Tribal Colleges in the Wisconsin Tuition Grant Program.

#99-2 Status of the 1998-99 Applicants and Programs - To date, the Technical College WHEG program has slightly fewer awards and slightly fewer committed dollars for 98-99 than at this time in 97-98. For the UW System, there are slightly fewer awards and slightly fewer dollars committed. The Wisconsin Tuition Grant has more awards and more dollars committed. Vouchering of funds will start at the beginning of next month, so we are looking for schools to submit vouchers for 98-99. We do plan to take snap shots this year to make comparisons.

#99-3 1998-99 MN-WI Reciprocity Program Approved Administrative Memorandum of Understanding - The Memorandum of Understanding has been approved by the Joint Committee of Finance. There was one revision from the original copy that was submitted. The change was made, signed and implemented for 98-99. The primary changes for 98-99 include the tuition gap charge between UW Madison and UM Twin Cities. UM Twin Cities will now be charged the UW Madison rate and will also be charged 5% of the difference which comes to $285 for 98-99. Another change is that the undergraduates of Wisconsin who are attending Minnesota schools pay full-time fees when enrolled for 12 credits or more rather than 15. Staff is considering scannable or possibly electronic applications, and Minnesota is also looking at setting up an electronic system that could be used.

#99-4 Recommended Revisions to Statutes - A list of suggested statutory revisions were presented. The recommendations delete obsolete statutes, restructure sections into working order, clarify the name of the Wisconsin Tuition Grant, separate and alphabetize the WHEG, TIP, and the Handicapped Student Grant Programs. Language references to minority students were also made consistent throughout the document. These changes have been submitted to the Governor, the Senate Chief Clerk, and Assembly Chief.

#99-5 1999-2001 Biennial Budget Issues - The group reviewed several issues. The first issue was the funding request for the various programs. Included in the Board report are the major budget policies, timetable, and figures related to this issue. Budget instructions are pretty straight forward: 0% the first year, 1% the second year can be requested. This will be dependent on revenue growth. Jane Hojan-Clark suggested following those budget requests with a 0% increase the first year and 1% the second year and taking the next two years to prepare for the next biennial period by reviewing the critical question: What is the role of the state in the picture of providing support for higher education? Allen Schraufnagel made a motion and seconded by Sandy Dercole to recommend from DOA, 0% the first year and 1% the second year in line with the recommendation of the Executive Secretary to continue to look at the state's role in education over the next biennial period. Discussion and clarification centered around a report prepared by Tom Mortenson which suggests that, for more than a decade, total funding through the State of Wisconsin for education grants has diminished as a significant percentage of educational costs. Allen Schraufnagel asked Jane to clarify the distinction between the programs that are considered to be 0% and 1% during this biennial period and why HEAB would have that kind of a cap recommended as opposed to the Technical College system and the University system which are obviously coming in with larger requests. Jane Hojan-Clark explained that the HEAB programs are GPR funded. There are no revenue sources that can be drawn from to fund these programs. Higher education is not in a crisis situation today, so it is hard to justify a large increase. Steve Van Ess asked Jane what the situation was during the last biennial budget. Jane said the Board submitted a request that reflected the administration instructions, but after everything was done, it ended up being higher. Historically, it has been higher depending on a lot of other issues. This last budgetary process was very unusual, so she hesitates to base any decisions on this last process. Jane feels strongly that it would not be productive for the board to request over and above the administration requirements. Steve Van Ess proposed an amendment to the motion to recognize that education needs to be top priority; therefore, educational funding needs to be a top priority if additional funds become available. Second by Jeremy Shea. Roll call vote. Passed 9 to 0.

Sandy Dercole requested, if possible, that the TIP grant be given special consideration. First, this particular program serves the students with the lowest income and the highest need. They are trying to improve their lives by getting higher education. Secondly, there are so many eligible students that are not able to receive the grant because of lack of funds. Third, at the end of this biennial budget, TIP on the GPR side will have been level-funded for six years without any increases. In 1998-99, 50% of the SSIG federal funding has been cut. There are two unknown factors: the future of SSIG and the new Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program. This amendment is asking to follow the budget instructions for all programs. Dercole would like TIP to be an exception to the rule. Clarification and discussion. Chairman Clumpner suggested that this be treated as a separate motion as this items deals with the funding request for all programs. The original motion was read: to recommend from DOA 0% the first year and 1% the second year in line with the recommendation of the Executive Secretary to continue to look at the state's role in education over the next biennial period and to recognize that educational funding should be a top priority should additional funds become available. Roll call vote: Passed 8 to 1.

The Mortenson Study - The author seems to have a critical interpretation but, nonetheless, some information can be gained from this study. Some conclusions are drawn that don't factor in a lot of things, so there must be caution in using the information.

Continuing Appropriation - This method of budgeting would provide some consistency in formulas from year to year, however, this would require a more conservative approach. Funds could not be carried back, and if funds were carried forward, it may be viewed as funds not needed. Jane recommended not to pursue continuing appropriation at this time. Maybe in the future it would be more appropriate. Clarification and discussion indicated that general consensus was a need to know more on the topic before making a decision.

Status of SSIG - There are still too many unknowns to determine the status of SSIG and recommends support for continued federal funding of that program. The Board members showed consensus.

WHEG Formula Changes - Overall, there is an increase in awards and a decrease in the dollar amount. There is some concern in the dependent component in the WHEG formula and both the UW System and the Technical College System are studying ways to better serve all students. Simulation data was reviewed. The formula for the dependent student is defined in the statutes and with elimination of this reference, the Board would determine the WHEG formula instead of being defined in statute. This would provide flexibility to determine what direction the formula needed to take. The existing formula could stay in place until the board could approve the changes. Jane recommended to pursue the elimination of the language in 39.435(B)(1) and 39.435(B)(2). (speaks of the dependent component of WHEG). Whatever changes occur in the formula, Jane felt it was important to make sure we hold harmless current recipients. As changes occur, they would have to be gradual changes and if changes are to be made, she would look at implementing them the second year of the next biennial budget. The final budget allocation is not established early enough to implement a new formula in the first year. A motion was made by Allen Schraufnagel, second by Brian Johnson to recommend that the language in 39.435(B)(1) and 39.435(B)(2) (the dependent formula component) be eliminated. Roll call vote: Passed 9 to 0.

Inclusion of Tribal Colleges in WTG - Jonathan Wilber made a presentation in regard to the Tribal College participation in the WTG program. Jane recommends seeking alternative funding for the program as to not deplete our already existing WTG programs. The key is finding alternate funds, and HEAB staff is currently working on seeking other sources. A motion was made by Sister Mary Beth Kornely, second by Sandy Dercole to recommend pursuing separate funding for Tribal grants. An Amendment to the motion was made by Brian Johnson, second by Jeremy Shea to allow continuation of TG funds for one more year to facilitate seeking alternate funds with current TG funding to be eliminated as soon as possible or by the next biennial budget. The Board has the option to revisit at a later date. Roll call vote: Amendment Passed 9 to 0. Main motion suggesting separate funding with the Sunset on use of TG. Roll call vote: Passed 9 to 0.

TIP Minimum Increase - Some sectors say it should go up to $1,000 while others want to maintain the $600. Seem to be split. Jane recommended maintaining the $600 minimum. With additional funding, this issue could be explored again. Clarification and discussion. Motion by Brian Johnson. Second by Steve Van Ess to keep the $600 minimum for TIP. Roll call vote: Passed 9 to 0.

Modification of the Statutory Language - Two other biennial budget issues were addressed. First is the request to eliminate from statute the reference to the $2,300 WTG maximum as requested by the Independent Colleges. All of the programs have a maximum so to eliminate this maximum from one program would create problems for all the other programs. There is a need to have a targeted maximum for each program. Recommend we maintain (continue) maximums for our various programs. There was consensus among the board members to leave as is. The other issue is the language in the statute eliminating the reference to the 122% overaward. Jane recommends removing the percentage overaward because HEAB Staff will continue to monitor it accurately. A motion was made by Steve Van Ess, second by Sr. Mary Beth Kornely to remove the percentage of overaward from the statutes, section 39.30(3m)(b). Roll call vote: Passed 9 to 0.

Other Issues:

Federal Programs Status Report - The House passed their Appropriation Bill. The SSIG is not included in the House version. The Senate is not seeking to terminate any programs. Congress moves forward to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. A tentative timeline for federal activity was presented for the next six months.

Sandy Thomas asked the Board to consider the role of HEAB and the Wisconsin Tribal Education Directors Association in approving special projects. No action was taken as this item was not on the agenda. There was consensus to act on this issue at the October meeting.

1998-99 Election of Board Officers:

New Business - None

Next Meeting Dates:

Adjournment - Motion: Steve Van Ess. Second: Jeremy Shea. Passed.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

 

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