Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 10-08-20
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, October 8, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg, chair; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Lesley Fisher, Denny Hackel, Kevin Niemi, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.
The minutes of October 1 were approved.
Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, reported that the Office of Human Resources invited governance chairs and secretaries to a workshop for HR reps on processes and best practices around layoffs. Jenny discussed the possibility of working with CEBC to come up with plain language handouts on layoffs and nonrenewals. Jenny met with the governance chairs and discussed issues around spring semester planning. Jake and Jenny will be participating in the fall meeting of the Big 10 Collaboration on Staff Advocacy group on Friday.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the University Committee would be looking further at the dual role waiver process for academic staff. Jake reported on the Mentoring Committee’s Fall Kickoff for the Mentor Match Program, which was an outstanding and well attended event. Jake will be convening the ASI planning group soon to start making plans for next year’s Academic Staff Institute.
Bill Tishler reported on the University Committee meeting, at which the question of faculty members working remotely was discussed. Chancellor Blank gave positive news on graduation rates going up and infection rates going down, as well as preparations for the delayed football season. Turning to the DCS CASI, Bill reported that the CASI recommended more engagement with staff from the dean. There will be an all-staff meeting next week, and the CASI will be holding additional lunch gatherings to discuss issues, including telecommuting and space.
Jenny Dahlberg talked with CEBC about ways to engage on furloughs, layoffs, and family care issues.
Guest: Kevin Niemi, University Research Council Representative
Kevin provided an overview of the University Research Council, which is a committee that is charged in Faculty Policies and Procedures. The committee has grown more assertive in the past few years, and several members of the committee have encouraged the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education to make greater and more frequent use of the committee’s expertise. Vice Chancellor Ackerman has stated that he wants to do more on the various reviews of the centers that report up through the OVCRGE. Kevin was a part of the BioTech Center review during his time on the committee, which he thought led to positive discussions about the direction of the center using interviews with faculty, staff, and graduate students. There will be a need for a mid-term replacement on the committee once Kevin retires, and this person should understand research and be able to advocate on behalf of academic staff.
· November Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the November ASA agenda.
Guest: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer
Mark Walters reported that UW System is looking at a proposal to bring all employees onto a biweekly pay schedule again. The timeline of January 1 may be in flux, and UW Madison will need more time for implementation and change management. The proposal would be for biweekly pay as opposed to semimonthly (i.e. 1st and the 15th of each month). There will be a group convening next Tuesday to talk about how this would work with grants and what it would mean for those who are currently paid monthly to go to a biweekly structure.
Regarding the budget, October is the key month to determining next steps on addressing budgetary gaps. Enrollment numbers are solid, but there will still be budget actions that will need to be taken. Furloughs that were implemented in May are scheduled to expire in October. Many strategies are being looked at. The strong possibility of future furloughs was expressed at the October 5 Faculty Senate meeting, and there is a question of what the timeframe would be if these were to move forward. A progressive structure would likely continue if there were more furloughs. Deans and Directors are working through various budget scenarios, and the impacts to some areas of campus are clearer than others.
On the topic of revisions to the telecommuting policy, OHR wants to engage shared governance in these discussions but encountered a delay due to the recent campus pause. OHR is getting this back on schedule and intends to bring it to ASEC in the future.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointments to the Communications Committee, Mentoring Committee, University Curriculum Committee, and Nomination to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Dalby). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Appointments and Nominations – for vote
Motion to appoint Kelly O’Loughlin and Kevin Kiley to the Communications Committee, Carmen Juniper Neimeko to the Mentoring Committee, and Carol Mitchell to the University Curriculum Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate Kimbrin Cornelius to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Tishler). Seconded. Approved.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: discussion about collaboration continuing to move forward toward a Center for Teaching and Learning excellence, progress on research and teaching professor titles, spring semester planning and what input we are getting about what students want
VCFA: Revenue Innovation Study Group Report, budget impacts
VPTL: concern about students getting more work in remote courses than in-person courses, as well as required contact hours in asynchronous courses; communication and strategy in participatory decision-making
Meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff