Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 04-13-20
ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
B-10 Ingraham Hall
Monday, April 13, 2020
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
B-10 Ingraham Hall
Monday, April 13, 2020
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, March 9, 2020, were approved.
Guest: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer
Mark discussed the new COVID leave policy that went into effect as of April 1. Leave and eligibility have been expanded to better align with federal policies. COVID leave has been switched from an 80-hour leave bank to having a deadline for usage of May 1, so that individuals can use that leave if they are not able to work due to issues related to COVID. Administration is also working to address fiscal concerns. Hiring can proceed on jobs posted prior to the end of March as long as new employees can be onboarded and I-9s can be completed following Safer at Home rules. Any job postings after April 1 should only be for essential vacancies, which are determined at the divisional level in conjunction with broad guidelines provided by OHR. There are also some exceptions for positions funded by grants. Pay adjustment or salary freezes have not been implemented. OHR is receiving many questions about next steps after May 1. They are exploring different options, including furloughs. They are looking at all of the impacts and implications on employees and on campus before making any final decisions. Regarding data collection on employee status during the pandemic, they are hoping to get a better picture of how many people are working onsite, how many people are telecommuting, and how many are unable to telecommute. OHR is not using that information to determine future strategies; it is only for them to have an understanding of what’s happening on campus and how to better support employees in those various areas. Regarding the TTC Project, there are still many activities that are in process. There will be at least a three-month delay in the implementation of the project. One of the major components is the conversations about standard job descriptions between supervisors and employees. Those discussions can continue provided individuals are comfortable having them virtually, but OHR recognizes that many of these won’t be able to take place during this time.
ASEC Election Results (ASA #732)
Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff, provided the ASEC election results. Tim Dalby, Mallory Musolf, and Leslie Petty have been re-elected to ASEC. Their terms will start on July 1, 2020, and their terms will end on June 30, 2023.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, thanked members of the leadership team for their communication and decisive action during this time. Tim and Jake continue to meet with leadership and bring forward concerns from academic staff and encouraged reps to keep sharing issues and suggestions with ASEC. Assembly standing committee elections are in progress and will close on April 17. Tim also thanked everyone for their participation in the massive effort in dealing with changes wrought by COVID-19. He highlighted the contributions of instructional staff, DoIT Academic Technology, the Division of Continuing Studies, L&S Learning Support Services, and the Teaching Collaborative for the effort to move courses into alternative delivery methods.
Delivering the ASPRO report, Jenny Dahlberg mentioned that the original emergency budget proposal in the Legislature had language allowing the Joint Committee on Finance to remove the 2% pay increase. That provision is no longer in the package that was released today. The Senate will reconvene in May or June to take up other bills. Future state budget discussions would normally be starting soon, but the pandemic has altered planning dramatically, so delays are anticipated.
Jay Botsford delivered the annual report of the Committee for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People in the University. Jay highlighted some of the successes of the committee in recent years, including data and story collection to drive forward transgender health benefits coverage, the establishment of a policy regarding all-gender restroom access, removal of ex-domestic partner language that was showing up in HRS, and continued conversations with OHR regarding gender selection for benefits going for. The committee is continuing work in all of these areas as needed, as well as expanding social programs with virtual options and looking at other areas of concern regarding housing beyond all-gender restroom access.
Tetyana Schneider delivered the annual report of the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee. Tetyana thanked everyone who collaborates with the CDCC in the work of its committee. The committee’s structural relationship with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement is highly important. CDCC worked on a recommendation regarding ensuring inclusive learning environments in and beyond the classroom. Work in this space included using Starfish to its full potential and reviewing school/college diversity and inclusion reports. Work continues on collaboration on planning and evaluation of the Diversity Forum and conversations with ASM about diversity and inclusion efforts.
Provost Scholz began by thanking the university community for its work during this difficult time, and for coming together in remarkable ways to navigate these challenges. UW-Madison has a COVID-19 website that links from the homepage that provides the most updated information. More than 200 people helped us to pivot from largely face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery modes. This move took place over the course of 12 days. Programs have come together and continue to share best practices. Students will also have the option to choose a grading option of satisfactory disruption (SV) or unsatisfactory disruption (UV). All in-person instruction has been cancelled for the summer. Summer instruction will take place via alternative delivery methods. There are over 700 courses with over 1,000 sections being offered for this summer, and enrollments appear to be on track.
The Office of Financial Aid is helping to support students. Emergency grants are available for all students, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, regardless of whether the student is already receiving financial aid. More than 3,000 grants have been awarded to date.
All campus events have been cancelled through June 30. Campus has come together to work on responding to the COVID-19 situation. Highlights include: converting facilities for use by students that need to remain on campus, for quarantined patients, and to temporarily house healthcare workers and first responders that don’t want to risk infecting their families; the College of Engineering designing and distributing specifications for manufacturing of the Badger Shield, which is a medical face shield; the School of Pharmacy creating industrial supplies of hand sanitizer; and collaboration on a vaccine with planned clinical trials in the fall. The magnitude of this challenge is beyond anything most of us have dealt with in our lifetimes. Provost Scholz expressed gratitude for Chancellor Blank’s leadership and thanked attendees for all that they have done during this time.
Adjourned at 5:02 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff