Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 04-08-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Lesley Fisher, Denny Hackel, Ron Harris, Patrick Kass, Heather Reese, Dan Tokaji, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of April 1 were approved.
Guest: Patrick Kass, Director, Transportation Services
Employees moving to offsite work as a result of the pandemic has impacted overall operations for Transportation Services. They are focusing on how best to support the different phases of resuming onsite work. Normally, the fall parking program would be announced by now. There will be a meeting of the Campus Transportation Committee tomorrow, and the program will hopefully be announced in a couple of weeks. They are looking at a delay to the application process. The process does have some fixed timelines, but will likely be similar to what was done last year at this time. Transportation Services is continuing to look at enhancements to the flex parking program, and there will be planning over the next year in order to understand what the demand is for flex parking before large scale changes are made. Some decisions may not happen until summer, and they are working on ensuring that the program has flexibility to meet different needs. There was approximately $13 million in lost revenue as a result of the pandemic. They are looking at the possibility of a minimal rate increase next fall. They are not looking at changing the funding model, as there is the expectation that they will get back to normal revenue and expense projections after Fiscal Year 2022. Transportation Services continues to work with Madison Metro and Dane County Public Health to understand requirements for distancing on buses and whether we need to supply additional capacity.
There is the question of how parking assignments are distributed. Prioritization is done by each school/college/division. Transportation Services does not rank employees. Each school/college/division determines how it prioritizes according to a number of possible factors. Transportation Services then receives ranked lists, which are fed into an algorithm based on proximity to campus, total number of employees, and total number of spaces. Any college can revise its process at any time. In the future, Transportation Services will be looking at a renewal process for those who want to keep spaces that they have.
An analysis of campus transit was done a couple of years ago. A kind of express backbone bus service across campus started this fall. Madison Metro is also in the process of a redesign, and Transportation services will need to incorporate any changes into the existing routes.
Guest: Dan Tokaji, Dean, Law School
Dean Tokaji indicated that he is very happy to be at the university and loves the culture, including the culture of shared governance. He has found the Law School CASI to be a very useful mechanism for advice on policy. He discussed strengths of the Law School, including: 1) a great tradition of law in action, with emphasis not just on theory and doctrine but also helping students develop practical skills, 2) a strong research tradition that is both genuinely interdisciplinary and extends to a global focus, and 3) a strong tradition of public service from faculty and staff, and inculcating that in the students, including racial, social, and economic justice. The Law School is great among other peer public law schools at keeping things affordable, and Dean Tokaji is working on what can be done to continue to keep debt lower than other peers. He wants to move forward in 3 areas: 1) affordable high quality practical education, with consideration of both economic and racial diversity, 2) building the research profile, and 3) preparing students for great careers and helping them get jobs, recognizing that there are a variety of legal needs around the state and the country. Regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, the hope is to have a training in these areas for all students at some point in their time at the Law School. On the question of how the professor of practice title may be used within the Law School, it is not yet clear, and they are working on how the teaching professor title will be used first.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported that the Mentoring Committee is planning for a wrap-up event for this year’s Mentor Match Program on April 21 at 11:00 am. Tim, Mallory, Jenny, Lesley, and Jake met with Mark Walters and Megan Dzyuba to discuss the Title and Total Compensation Project and the forthcoming remote work policy. OHR is planning on doing a survey in regard to remote work. Mark will be coming to ASEC on April 22 to discuss the policy as well. There have been concerns raised regarding campus communication around returning to onsite work as of August 1.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that there is an upcoming listening session and a survey to provide feedback to the search and screen committee for the Chief Diversity Officer position regarding the desired qualities for candidates. He reported on the announcement about the use of SD/UD grading for the spring semester, which was announced by the Provost Office earlier in the week. Jake is providing feedback to OHR for their survey on remote work, based on discussions with ASEC members and the co-chairs of the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported that the School of Human Ecology CASI will be looking at getting their CASI going again in the summer or fall.
Mallory Musolf reported on the SMPH all staff meeting. Topics included the budget, return to onsite work, SMPH’s timeline for TTC, and the question of whether TTC appeals cover position descriptions as well as the title.
Guest: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer
Mark reported that OHR is moving forward with getting feedback on the remote work policy, along with the principles developed by administration. The policy and the principles will continue to evolve. Communications are signaling that we will be having some individuals working remotely, but there will need to be a remote work agreement. We don’t want to go too far in one direction or the other in terms of onsite vs. remote work, and schools/colleges/and divisions are working on this and figuring out what makes sense for employees. We know that stress and anxiety accompany this, and the thought is to identify transition periods. We also have to make sure we know that the public health requirements we have in place are followed as well. The intent is to collect feedback over the next two weeks and finalize the policy by the beginning of May. The policy is not meant to replace flexibility for occasional remote work. The policy is meant to address standard periods of time that employees are working remotely. The addendum to the existing policy identifies that it is an exception process to work remotely. The new policy leaves that decision within the school/college/division, with work agreements not having to go through the numerous offices that they might have in the past. ASEC provided feedback that there needs to be clarity around occasional vs. permanent remote work arrangements in the policy.
The Title and Total Compensation Project will be implemented on November 7, with communications out this week in Inside UW. OHR has received positive feedback on the delayed implementation date. Some schools/colleges/divisions are wanting to complete employee conversations before then. OHR continues to meet with stakeholders and address any concerns in the process. Employees will have appeal rights to the title, with the standard job description being tied to that. The position description would be a part of that as well.
On policy around vaccines, Interim System President Thompson has stated that we will not require the vaccine of students. It will be strongly encouraged both for students and for employees.
Recessed at 4:06 p.m.
Reconvened at 4:10 p.m.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to Discuss Nomination to the Athletic Board (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
· Nomination – for vote
Motion to nominate Andrew Turner to the Athletic Board (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· May Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the May agenda. Jake will invite OHR to provide updates on remote work, single pay, and TTC.
· Post-COVID Workplace Discussion
ASEC reviewed Jake’s summary of their brainstorming session on this topic from the March 4 meeting. They discussed potential survey questions for OHR to pose in its survey to all employees on remote work. ASEC also discussed the possible need for a town hall on the remote work policy to get feedback.
Meeting adjourned at 4:57 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff