Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 04-29-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: J.J. Andrews, Suzanne Broadberry, Lotus Buckner, Lesley Fisher, Denny Hackel, Ron Harris, Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, Darren Martin, Karen Massetti-Moran, Karl Scholz
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.
The minutes of April 22 were approved.
Deb Shapiro reported on the recent meeting of the TTC Governance Advisory Committee. The group looked at materials for the next round of forums with materials on promotion and progression.
Mallory Musolf reported that a meeting on Project Distance Education Plus occurred with System faculty reps on a funding model for this project to incentivize online education. Academic staff reps did not have a similar meeting, and this project will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the academic staff reps.
Bill Tishler reported on a lunch-and-learn on Division of Continuing Studies shared governance involvement that was sponsored by the DCS CASI.
Guest: J.J. Andrews, Co-Chair, Committee on Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid (CURAFA)
J.J. presented the annual report of CURAFA to ASEC. Each year, the agenda for the committee is set early in the fall semester, and the committee usually focuses on one key topic. This year, there were several topics, including a test-optional admission process, recruitment and enrollment for students from underrepresented populations, international and out-of-state admissions, American Indian and Native Alaskan students, and financial aid adjustments during the pandemic. Regarding test-optional admissions, the committee analyzed the data, which seems to be moving in a positive direction in terms of equity. Last year, the committee discussed the impact of climate issues for underrepresented students. The committee complimented Enrollment Management for the increases seen in all underrepresented groups. International and out-of-state enrollment is down, likely due to the pandemic, though the committee would also like to see a study of external obstacles to enrollment. American Indian and Native Alaskan enrollment is very low, partially due to how these enrollment data are tracked. The low figures stress the importance of relationship-building among tribal populations. Regarding financial aid, the committee feels more communication is necessary to ensure students realize that financial aid is a resource throughout the year and not solely at the time of enrollment. Going forward the committee plans to take a closer look at student debt.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz reported on early enrollment figures. Students have until May 3 to deposit, so it is still early to tell at this point. Patterns to date indicate hitting the goal of 7,610 for freshmen enrollment, and there will be more information available in the coming weeks.
On the topic of vaccine use outside of the current emergency use authorization, it remains to be seen whether the vaccine might be required for certain positions in the future. The Badger Badge will be available in the summer, and that or something similar to it will also be present in the fall. Access to certain areas may be predicated on having a green badge, which can be obtained either via testing at one of the campus testing sites or with a vaccination on file with University Health Services. With vaccinations, cost of testing should decrease since fewer tests will be needed. The contract with Shield T3 will end after graduation, after which the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab will be processing testing on campus. Testing sites will use nasal swabs instead of saliva testing. This week, there is also a much higher number of vaccines available on campus.
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning John Zumbrunnen is leading the efforts for the new Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring. Some colleagues from DoIT and the Division of Continuing Studies may be joining the center, and there may be some changes in the Collaborative for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching in this process as well. Vice Provost Zumbrunnen has made good progress so far, but the planning for this is still in the early stages.
Provost Scholz asked ASEC what the most important issues for academic staff are currently. Issues include: the draft remote work policy and conversations about staff having worked effectively from home for the last 15 months, combined with concerns about returning to onsite work; the implementation of single payroll by UW System, with concerns about employees receiving less pay on a monthly basis for 10 months out of the year, as well as impacts to the research enterprise at UW-Madison; the implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project and its interconnections with the previous two issues; diversity, equity, and inclusion regarding academic staff, with attention to higher level administrative roles and continued advocacy at those levels; caregiving and workplace flexibilities, with the importance of existing flexibilities; and emphasis on ways all of these issues are connected, as well as the number of things that academic staff have been bombarded with over the last year and wanting to reduce burden wherever possible.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the town hall that was held on the draft remote work policy. There was a great deal of feedback received that mirrored the feedback from ASEC and others. Tim attended a meeting of the shared governance chairs last Friday. Adrian Lampron was elected as the new ASM Chair. ASM discussed their latest proposal for COVID relief for students. The last ASEC listening hours session focused on questions regarding the availability of infrastructure and tools for possible hybrid working environments.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on the last Academic Staff Chat of the semester, which was on obstacles and solutions for research academic staff. Winners of the Academic Staff Excellence Awards for 2020 and 2021 were recognized at ceremonies on Monday. Jake and Tim will be attending shared governance sessions for finalists for the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs position, and Jake asked ASEC to provide their availability for similar sessions for finalists for the Chief Diversity Officer position in late May and early June. Jake shared a letter from the University Committee to the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education regarding the Conflict of Commitment policy that asks for both offices to provide a clear and direct mechanism for questions and feedback on the policy. ASEC agreed to co-sign the letter with the University Committee.
· Chair Election Procedures
Jake reviewed the election procedures for ASEC Chair and Vice Chair with ASEC and provided a list of duties for each role. Nominations will open on May 6, with the election taking place at the May 20 meeting. ASEC will also review its operating procedures at the May 6 meeting.
Guests: Lotus Buckner, Director of Talent Management, Office of Human Resources; Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, Chief of Staff, Office of Human Resources; Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
OHR has received a great deal of feedback on the draft remote work policy. They are still sorting through the feedback and are waiting until mid-May to finalize the policy. OHR is also working on tools for employees, supervisors, and the HR community to support the policy, as well as an automated workflow process. OHR also released a survey to get insights on remote work, as well as the onsite experience. That survey closes today and has received 7,000 responses so far. OHR will use these data to get a good pulse of employees’ feelings on issues around remote and onsite work.
Regarding single payroll, a timeline has been provided for both 9- and 12-month employees, and OHR has received many concerns about the transition in July. There have been discussions on a possible short-term loan program to roll out in June, with interest-free loans to cover that two-week transition time period, particularly for lower paid employees. There will be a forum for 9-month employees next week. There remain many questions about the workload associated with payroll for grants, and there are regular discussions about these issues with UW System. They are trying to schedule a meeting about trainee grants. Jim Thompson from the Office of Strategic Consulting is interviewing HR reps on how processes will need to change in general, and there may be a need to do this in the grants space as well.
The April forums on the Title and Total Compensation Project were well attended, with 1,122 views so far of the forum, either live or recorded. There were an additional 130 attendees for the late-night session. OHR is rolling out manager training to schools/colleges/divisions. ASEC asked OHR about connections between TTC and remote work and suggested that there are opportunities to have subject matter experts provide input about whether or not certain jobs could function effectively in a remote environment.
Recessed at 4:05pm.
Reconvened at 4:08pm.
· May Assembly Agenda – for approval
ASEC decided to move forward with a letter to UW System on single payroll. ASEC discussed a proposed resolution on remote work and added it to the agenda. Motion to approve the May Assembly agenda (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: how things are going with online undergraduate program; how recruitment is going for online students
VCRGE: OVCRGE’s thoughts on remote work policy; mechanisms for input on research safety policies during the pandemic; conflict of commitment; perspective on single pay
Meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff