Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 01-21-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 21, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Alex Frank, Lesley Fisher, Karen Massetti-Moran, Missy Nergard, Karl Scholz, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of December 8 were approved. The minutes of January 7 were approved with corrections.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, attended the Mentoring Committee meeting on February 8. The committee received positive feedback about their December event, and they will be holding another in March with Samantha Becker on the topic of social identity. At recent meetings of the chiefs of Staff, chairs, and secretaries, there have been discussions on issues that have arisen with the spring testing plan. Enforcement of the policy for building access has been delayed to February 1. Checks at buildings will evolve depending on building traffic and density. The Safer Badgers App is now available on Google Play, and loaner devices are available for those who need them. Tim and Jake attended the DCS CASI meeting on the 12th to discuss ideas around visibility and activities of the committee. Tim attended the PPPC meeting, at which there were discussions around changes to Chapters 13 and 14 of ASPP.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that meetings of the TTC Shared Governance Advisory Group are set to resume next week. He sent a call for nominations to all academic staff for the search and screen committee for the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. Current Vice Chancellor Ray Taffora will be retiring in the summer. The revamped districting website has gone live, and Jake thanked Lesley Fisher, DRC, and DoIT for their hard work in making this happen. Jake had a meeting with new Director of Total Rewards Karen Massetti-Moran to discuss academic staff governance and issues surrounding the TTC and single payroll projects. Jake also met with the CEBC co-chairs to discuss ideas for surveying academic staff.
Deb Shapiro attended the recent meeting of the Librarians Assembly, where the main concerns were around the implementation of and messaging about the single payroll conversion. The group is also seeking more information about budget reduction exercises. They also received an update from Nola Walker about the activities of the Sustainability Advisory Council.
Mallory Musolf attended the OVCRGE CASI meeting. Vice Chancellor Steve Ackerman was in attendance and discussed testing plans. There were questions about whether vaccinations would be mandatory, ALRA, and conducting a self-study.
Jenny Dahlberg attended a meeting of the CALS CASI. The CASI’s overall structure and budget exercises were the main topics of discussion.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the WPM CASI is still working on some structural issues. There is a committee that has been established on editorial policy issues, and there was also discussion on the process and communication around promotions and title changes within WPM.
Bill Tishler reported that the DCS CASI discussed its role in nominations for academic staff excellence awards. Bill will also be meeting with the Athletics CASI next week. At the most recent meeting of the University Committee, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller discussed costs around deferred maintenance as well as building accessibility.
Donna Cole reported that the SMPH CASI is working on engaging with leadership to provide feedback on possible budget reductions.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz responded to the question of whether classroom teachers would be designated as essential with respect to receiving the vaccine. The state is entering the Tier 1B phase, and yesterday, individuals 65 and older were also added to that tier. There are discussions about how to navigate this with respect to vaccine supply. In-person instructional staff are a priority. Vice Provost Steve Cramer is working on a list of those individuals, and the university is also looking at staff who play an integral role in a variety of areas, including but not limited to housing, dining, custodial, library, trades, student affairs, and more. Pfizer vaccines are coming in weekly shipments, and UHS is doing a great job of distributing them.
Provost Scholz also addressed the question of what happens if a staff member needs to enter a building but hasn’t been able to get a test. Previously, the date for enforcement of the testing protocol was January 25, but there will now be an extra week grace period before building access is monitored, due to higher rates of testing rejections than anticipated. The Provost appealed for those who need to get a test to do so as soon as they are able.
The Provost reported that SMPH has completed its guidelines for use of the teaching and research professor titles, and L&S, Education, Engineering, and the OVCRGE are all in progress. He will discuss this issue with the deans as well. With respect to the professor of practice title, there is a committee that came up with draft campus guidelines. There have been further discussions of whether the title should have the possibility of progression. This title is intended for individuals who have been successful in a particular field outside of the university and bring their expertise to campus. Provost Scholz will discuss the draft with the committee next week, and hopefully the guidelines will be completed by the end of the academic year.
Guests: Missy Nergard and Alex Frank, Office of Sustainability
Missy and Alex presented ASEC with an update on the activities of the Office of Sustainability and the activities of the Sustainability Advisory Committee. The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education provides a framework for rating sustainability on university campuses called STARS. Universities supply data to STARS and receive a rating between bronze and platinum. It is not a generic metric; rather, it is tailored to the missions of higher education and includes curriculum and research considerations as well as environmental successes. UW completed its first assessment at the end of 2019 and received a silver rating. More important than the rating was what we learned about our progress and about areas for potential improvement. This led to the creation of the Sustainability Advisory Council. The goal of this group is to identify areas where we are lagging, hear from the greater campus community on where to focus our efforts, and ultimately deliver recommendations to the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration by the end of the summer on campus priorities for advancing sustainability. The council is grateful to have Nola Walker as its academic staff representative, as well as reps from other shared governance groups. The next round of public listening sessions will be in March.
The Office of Sustainability is also in the beginning stages of looking at a climate action plan. In 2019 Chancellor Blank signed the Climate Resilience Commitment to reflect a holistic approach to sustainability. The Office serves as a project management center for this, which includes resilience assessment and climate action planning, as well as exploration of energy sources in tandem with conscientiousness around land holdings, human rights, and other intersections with energy and technology. The Office is thinking about how to work on a variety of issues with students, both current and incoming, and there have been discussions about how to collaborate on social media and how to amplify BIPOC voices. There has also been consideration of our footprint on our campus, which is a reflection of our values and priorities. The Office piloted a new process for building design, and the state ended up adopting this framework for all building projects. It is designed on 12 principles and ensures we are building a campus with learning and research as integral to the physical design of a building.
Academic staff can get involved through Sustainability Advisory Council email updates, pulse surveys, and listening sessions. There is also a community of practice, a newsletter, and a variety of certifications, including a sustainability course attribute for instruction.
Guests: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
Mark introduced Karen Massetti-Moran as OHR’s new Director of Total Rewards. She has the compensation and titling unit, benefit activities, international faculty and staff services, payroll and HRS in her portfolio, and she is taking over from Diane Blaskowski.
On the topic of spring testing protocols, there were supervisor and employee forums this week regarding the protocols both for students and employees. The protocols have been slowly implemented over the last 2-3 weeks, and they are making adjustments daily to try to improve things in the actual administering of the tests as well as the appointment process. The compliance date is being delayed to February 1.
Regarding TTC, OHR is in the process of identifying a new implementation date. A decision will be coming soon, and there is the possibility of a July timeframe. Karen brings knowledge of the project from her previous role at UW-Milwaukee. She has been spending time talking with change management teams and the other TTC teams about what needs to be done, particularly in the areas of communication and reengagement, as well as what materials employees need for their title conversations, and what the timeline looks like. It is important to have a process where there is engagement with governance and forums for employees. The biggest area to focus on is communication to ensure that the campus community feels supported, and that we’re able to complete the project. ASEC inquired as to why July might be a possible timeframe, particularly with the proposed implementation of the single payroll initiative at that time. Single payroll activities will be happening more centrally, and the individuals working on TTC and single payroll won’t necessarily be the same. They are looking at a 3-month window for mapping conversations, though for C basis employees, this might be delayed to August when they are back on contract. UW System is on board with a July timeframe. OHR is meeting with the deans next week. ASEC reiterated concerns about moving forward with both of these projects on a July implementation timeframe.
Mark provided an update on the status of revisions to the telecommuting policy. Because the policy should be revised to fit within our campus strategic plan for the future, the decision has been made to wait on the policy itself, so as not to rush it without addressing the strategy around it. Regarding an employee survey similar to the ones in August and October, OHR is waiting until a little later in the semester to see how things are going before launching another survey. Finally, Mark had mentioned at a previous meeting that he hoped to have news on the ALRA proposal. Conversations about this are occurring with our partners at UW System, and there will be more news in the near future.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to Discuss Appointments to the Athletic Board Selection Committee and Nominations to the Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Nominations – for vote
Motion to nominate Emily Hall, Nicholas Hill, and Debra Shapiro to the Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· February Assembly Agenda
ASEC discussed the agenda and will vote to approve it at the next meeting.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: update on how the start of the semester is going, update on testing, possible use of something like turnitin.com in the research space
VCFA: ATP vendor announcement and updates, concerns for P2P for research delaying approvals, deferred maintenance costs, cost of testing
Meeting adjourned at 4:56 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff