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Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

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Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:59 pm

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (recently in state budget news) has hired former State Journal environment and science writer Ron Seeley.

Seeley has been one of my favorite local journalists for years and the WCIJ, along with some lucky UW journalism students -- will now benefit from his years of experience. And, obviously, the more in-depth environmental reporting we can get the better we'll be able to respond to all the recent happenings regarding sand mining, taconite mining, groundwater exploitation, factory farming, and much more.

A good day for everybody who hopes their kids and grandkids will actually want to enjoy life in Wisconsin.

http://www.wisconsinwatch.org/2013/06/2 ... or-mentor/
Last edited by snoqueen on Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inverstigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:09 pm

Because he is now employed by the WSIJ, Seeley can no longer teach in UW's School of Journalism and Mass Communication (if the budget bill passes).
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Re: Inverstigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:01 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Because he is now employed by the WSIJ, Seeley can no longer teach in UW's School of Journalism and Mass Communication (if the budget bill passes).


not exactly

In addition, prohibit UW employees from doing any work related to the Center for Investigative Journalism as part of their duties as a UW employee


He just can't do anything related to the center while fulfilling his teaching duties.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:41 pm

So if the Center has hired Seeley (as stated) does that mean whatever work he does for the Center is separate from his work as an employee of the UW because he's paid separately, and as long as he keeps track of which time he's putting into which job he's in the clear? Or what?

I'm assuming one of you UW-knowledgeable types has an answer.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:54 pm

If the budget bill passes in the Senate, with the restrictive work clause included (and Walker signs it, without a line item veto), then administrative rules need to be in place. And that can be problematic. See concealed carry training and certification at the state level and IRS interpretation of the laws governing tax exemption and political activity.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:59 pm

I would assume his required duties as a UW employee are already covered in administrative rules. Since this new law rule doesn't change those duties, I don't see any reason for new administrative rules. Any time he had free after completing his teaching responsibilities would remain his to spend as he wished.

As Sno said it would be nice to get comment from a UW employee but it would seem no different then telling a HS gym teacher he couldn't coach youth soccer after school hours.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:14 pm

A UW employee must submit a form stating what outside activities they work on that relate to their own position. You can't just do what you wish. You are scrutinized by conflict of interest.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:34 pm

Who reviews outside work, and do they give examples of what constitutes a "conflict of interest"?

One would assume Seeley was already aware of this rule and took it into account when he accepted a position with WCIJ. The new rule barring working for WCIJ on UW time wouldn't have any effect on this.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Detritus » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:16 pm

Unless he's teaching a full load, he has a percentage appointment (34%, 50%, something like that). What he does with the rest of his time is his business. Many UW appointments are like that, particularly positions funded by federal grants, which typically forbid someone paid on federal money to write other grants. The solution is to fund the position partially on federal money and partially on some other source. Then you can always say "No, I wrote that grant on the 15% funded by the State of Wisconsin" or whatever.

Nobody tracks their hours in this situation--it's strictly a question of percentages, and is handled through a blindingly stupid system called "effort reporting."

The issue of outside work is a different one, and is taken much more seriously. Something like the journalism center, however, would not be a concern. They're looking for things that make money which, I think jjoyce will agree, is not a category in which one can find journalism.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby DCB » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:06 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:One would assume Seeley was already aware of this rule and took it into account when he accepted a position with WCIJ. The new rule barring working for WCIJ on UW time wouldn't have any effect on this.

Personally I doubt whether the petty and vindictive politicians who wrote the law are going to see it that way.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby rabble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:26 am

DCB wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:One would assume Seeley was already aware of this rule and took it into account when he accepted a position with WCIJ. The new rule barring working for WCIJ on UW time wouldn't have any effect on this.

Personally I doubt whether the petty and vindictive politicians who wrote the law are going to see it that way.

Me neither. And I can't believe Seeley and the Center management didn't think it will generate a response.

Which makes me think they're setting up a test case.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:48 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:One would assume Seeley was already aware of this rule and took it into account when he accepted a position with WCIJ. The new rule barring working for WCIJ on UW time wouldn't have any effect on this.


It does. Previously, a UW employee could work with the center(instructing, mentoring, etc...) as part of their role as a professor. Now it...

would prohibit UW employees from working with the Center as part of their job duties.


Detritus wrote:They're looking for things that make money


They hired him, so I assume he's getting paid. Wouldn't that force him to report this as an outside activity?

He wouldn't have had to report any of the WCIJ work in his outside activities report previously, but now, I believe, he will have to.

This was petty and stupid and pretty much another crap they wanted to take on the UW.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby Detritus » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:55 am

Stebben84 wrote:
Detritus wrote:They're looking for things that make money


They hired him, so I assume he's getting paid. Wouldn't that force him to report this as an outside activity?

Possibly not. Since the center is housed at the UW, it may not be considered "outside" for reporting purposes. There are similar arrangements all over the campus--scholarly journals and associations, specialized study centers, etc., many of them "housed" in somebody's office. There is nothing unusual about this one, a point that I suspect will be made clear in the inevitable lawsuit that will follow the passage of the budget.
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Re: Investigative Journalism Ctr has new staffer

Postby dave esmond » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:36 am

Detritus wrote:
Stebben84 wrote:
Detritus wrote:They're looking for things that make money


They hired him, so I assume he's getting paid. Wouldn't that force him to report this as an outside activity?

Possibly not. Since the center is housed at the UW, it may not be considered "outside" for reporting purposes.


Unless Walker vetos that part of the budget it's getting kicked off campus.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/w ... 963f4.html
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