Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 03-18-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Lesley Fisher, Ron Harris, Angela Kita, Tim Markle, Karen Massetti-Moran, Karl Scholz, Mary Thompson, Mark Walters, John Zumbrunnen
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of March 4 were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the first ASEC listening session and discussed scheduling sessions for April and May. The Mentoring Committee held their spring event for the Mentor Match Program, which had good attendance. They are determining whether to do a wrap-up event for this year’s program. He attended the recent PPPC meeting, where there was discussion of concern around the lack of a firm implementation date for TTC leading to mixed messages from schools/colleges about the timeline. They also discussed the status of the teaching professor title in L&S, FLSA impacts as a result of TTC, and finalized updates to ASPP Chapter 14 for approval by the Assembly. Tim, Mallory, Jenny, Jake, and Lesley met with Mark for their monthly meeting and discussed single payroll issues, TTC, and telecommuting policy considerations. At Tuesday’s meeting of the chiefs of staff, chairs, and secretaries, the scheduling process for vaccines was discussed. Vaccinated employees will have permanent green badges, and vaccine clinics for second and third shift workers will be available soon. The current positivity rate is between 0.1-0.2%.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the recent academic staff chat on performance evaluations went well, and there was good feedback on the performance management process and how it is implemented in different areas on campus. The second vaccine town hall occurred early Thursday afternoon and provided a great deal of practical information surrounding administration of the vaccine. Jenny and Jake met with a single payroll stakeholder group on Monday, continuing to provide feedback on complexities around the implementation of this process with respect to grants and sponsored contracts, as well as seeking clarity on how leave tracking will occur. The Athletic Board Selection Committee’s work is proceeding and it should be on track to provide a nominee by mid-April. Jake and Lesley met with a subset of the Communications Committee to go over the committee’s audit of the existing website. Jake and Lesley will be going through the audit and providing recommendations to the committee for next steps.
Donna Cole reported that she met with the Engineering CASI and provided an overview of academic staff governance and the history of CASI to help them resume a more active CASI. The SMPH CASI is readying for a school-wide town hall.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the WPM CASI discussed the integration of UW-Madison’s performance management process into WPM. There were also a number of questions about how parking might change once employees return to campus. At the recent meeting of the Communications Committee, the website audit and the newsletter were both discussed.
Leslie Petty reported that a subgroup of the Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic and University Staff has started collecting data, and the committee is planning on providing an update to the Assembly in May. Lindsey Stoddard Cameron and Russell Dimond will be meeting with the committee in the near future, and the committee also wants to get input from second and third shift staff.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee is looking at the questions from the academic staff worklife survey and generating questions for Karen Massetti-Moran on TTC when they meet with her. The VetMed CASI is discussing drafts of the teaching professor and research professor guidelines for the School.
Bill Tishler reported that the DCS CASI had an engaging conversation about making support of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts part of employees’ performance review. The CASI will be hosting a lunch and learn with academic staff and faculty about serving in shared governance.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz and Chancellor Blank attended a Chairs’ Chat last week, where mental health and planning around summer/fall semester were the main topics. The university couldn’t have made it this far without thousands of people working hard to make it happen, and we want to celebrate both the people at the university and our beautiful setting. We need to make it clear how much every person matters and that they belong, and we need to acknowledge the trauma that people have been through by supporting our colleagues as much as possible. The goal is for instruction to be mostly in-person in the fall. For this to be true, the expectation is that every person who wishes to be vaccinated will have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and that a substantial share of the community will be vaccinated as well. Campus will continue to follow the science in its planning processes. We have learned more about instruction, technology, and teaching effectiveness over this past year, and we will support blended options where it makes sense for the particular course. As UW-Madison is a premiere residential university, emphasis will be placed on in-person instruction.
The transition is critical, with both vaccine rollout and successful campus events during the summer where people are able to gather where possible. With the understanding that a good deal of decision-making is decentralized, discussions are in progress about overarching principles for campus regarding telecommuting, space, and the return to campus. Some autonomy among the schools/colleges/divisions is expected with respect to telecommuting. Remote work arrangements should be reviewed periodically, and support for employee success should not vary based on telework. Telecommuting also provides an opportunity to rethink how space is used on campus.
Summer instruction will be heavily remote. Youth programs are almost all remote. SOAR will be remote, but they are also looking for possible in-person opportunities. There are also efforts to have in-person QuickStart programs as well.
Guest: John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Vice Provost Zumbrunnen discussed the preliminary results of the recent survey that was sent to instructional academic staff and faculty. The survey investigated what the worklife of instructors looks like, and it was created by the same team that worked on the survey that was issued last fall. The Graduate School is working on a companion survey for teaching assistants. There were 1331 responses, making for a 41% overall response rate. The team is working on comparisons with the 2019 WISELI and Academic Staff Worklife Surveys. Preliminary results show 77% of respondents indicating a higher workload and 85% indicating higher stress levels in Fall 2020 as compared to Fall 2019. Increased workload is occurring in the areas of remote technology and student support.
Vice Provost Zumbrunnen also provided an update on a change that campus got HonorLock to make regarding its exam pause feature. When a student takes an exam and the webcam is enabled, if HonorLock can’t identify the student’s face, it will pause the exam. There have been student complaints through focus groups, undergrad surveys, and ASM that the exam pause feature amplifies stress and anxiety, and there has also been feedback that the software appears to have a racial bias as well. The exam pause feature has been turned off by our campus. The advising community has expressed concerns about HonorLock as well, and there have been questions about why instructors are not required to complete training before using HonorLock. There are ongoing conversations around training as well as integrations with Canvas. This is also part of a larger conversation about academic integrity, what have we learned during the pandemic, and whether we have the right tools to accomplish what we want to accomplish.
Guest: Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
Regarding the single payroll initiative, there are still a lot of unknowns after the recent communications and town hall hosted by UW System. UW-Madison OHR is developing more internal communication on this initiative so that employees have more specific resources to rely on (e.g. TSA, W-4, direct deposits). UW System is also in conversation with UW Credit Union to make their budgeting presentations more specific to the employees’ situations. Once there is more guidance from System on how leave balance tracking (including the process for recording when no leave is taken), there will be more specific communication in the MANAGE newsletter as well as other venues. Campus is also looking at options to best ensure correct summer payroll processing for C-basis employees. System is also planning to do more direct communications, and OHR is providing weekly updates to the HR Reps.
Implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project will be delayed from July to sometime in the fall, possibly November. OHR met with UW System today on this, and announcements are expected at the UW System Reps meeting on Friday and in Inside UW and Working@UW in the coming week. OHR is working with both the HR reps and UW System on the timeline, and more communication should be coming in the next couple of weeks. Potential FLSA changes for academic staff are currently being reviewed carefully in terms of mapping to standard job descriptions.
On the topic of revising the telecommuting policy, there are discussions occurring at the leadership level regarding overarching principles for telecommuting. Those principles will inform any changes to the policy.
Recessed at 4:02 p.m.
Reconvened at 4:05 p.m.
· April Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed the draft of the Assembly agenda for April. Jake will invite John Zumbrunnen and Beth Meyerand to present. Vaishali Bakshi will be available to present the report of the Committee for Women in the University.
· Topics for Guests
Provost – Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring; question on relaxing with mask mandate for staff who have been vaccinated; follow-up on conversation with the Deans about issue of belonging
VCFA – displacement with building takedown and how it will impact telecommuting for those who are displaced; discussion about some department services moved to Research Park; other areas of ATP, including the audit; cost of single payroll for UW-Madison
Meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff