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A statue of Abe Lincoln sits on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. 

PHOTO BY SAIYNA BASHIR

University of Wisconsin schools would be required to monitor teaching workloads for faculty and other instructors under a budget provision passed Wednesday evening by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.

Gov. Scott Walker included the measure in his original budget proposal, but it was removed several months ago by the committee co-chairs as they sought to weed out non-fiscal policy items in the two-year spending plan. Lawmakers reintroduced it as they put their final touches on the budget. 

Under the measure, the UW Board of Regents would be required to set a policy for faculty and academic staff teaching workloads. Instructors would be required to report the number of hours they spend teaching to UW administrators, and would be rewarded for teaching more than the standard academic load. Those reports would be made public.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the policy amounts to micromanaging the university system, calling it "troublesome." 

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The motion also prohibits UW schools from having a policy that would only allow faculty members, tenured employees at other universities or people with terminal degrees to be hired as the UW System president or the chancellor or vice chancellor of a UW institution. 

Also included in the wrap-up package is a policy barring the Board of Regents from transferring funds to the UW-Oshkosh Foundation without approval from the full Legislature. That policy comes after the news last month that the private foundation declared bankruptcy following a scandal involving former administrators and real estate investments. 

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.