Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 05-06-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Steve Ackerman, Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, Carol Griggs, Denny Hackel, Angela Kita, Tim Markle, Darren Martin, Ruben Mota, Karl Scholz, Sara Scott, Adrian Treves
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of April 29 were approved.
Leslie Petty reported that the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is in the process of putting together the first draft of the committee’s report. The committee will bring it to ASEC when it is completed.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported that the Committee for Women in the University received a response from Chancellor Blank regarding its request for a task force on caregiving acknowledging the need to constitute such a group.
Guest: Adrian Treves, Chair, Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion
Along with Sara Scott, Tim Markle, and Ruben Mota, Adrian discussed CDAI’s efforts to visit with various shared governance groups seeking support for a resolution to be passed by all of those bodies to move toward a more accessible and inclusive campus for those with disabilities. Included within the resolution is also a request for a central funding model for accommodations, as well as revision of some faculty policies. The resolution points out that there are many aspects of disability access and inclusion on campus, and those aspects impact almost every member of our community at one time or another. There is a desire to be proactive for accommodations instead of merely compliant. The committee asked that the resolution be advanced to the Assembly, and ASEC will consider this for the fall. Revisions to the digital accessibility policy are still in process, and the effective date of the policy is looking to be 12-18 months after its approval. The Faculty Senate also approved revisions to Faculty Document 1071, which outlined accommodations in instruction. This document was overdue for an update to sufficiently keep up with compliance issues. Ruben Mota will also be convening a work group for a similar policy regarding program participants/visitors/guests on campus and wants to involve academic staff in this group. ASEC also recommended involving ASM’s Equity and Inclusion Committee in these efforts.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz invited Dr. Carol Griggs, UHS Director of Operations, to discuss issues related to return to onsite work. Discussion revolved around how efforts in the last year have gone toward protecting people from a virus that we didn’t have any protection against. From a public health approach, this inadvertently creates a fear factor, which also has an impact on mental health. Multiple public health protocols were implemented to mitigate transmission of the virus, and efforts were organized to get to a point to have vaccines available. Now that they are available, public health professionals are shifting the conversation to how we live with COVID and how individuals can protect themselves through vaccination. Public health protocols have been woven into our daily lives, but they have also been in place even before the pandemic. It will be hard but important to shift these perspectives. In the context of remote work, Provost Scholz emphasized UW-Madison’s success as a residential campus while also acknowledging that there should be flexibilities in place. On questions of enrollment, it is looking like we might exceed our enrollment target. At this time, there aren’t plans to allow international students to defer, and it is too early to report on the online undergraduate programs.
Guest: Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
Vice Chancellor Ackerman discussed the challenge of bringing employees back to onsite work in research labs. The general philosophy has always been to set umbrella guidelines and then implement those at a local level. He is talking with the associate deans for research and with center directors about how to transition back to onsite work in August. There will be communication coming soon about getting rid of the 113 square-feet-per-person requirement to allow for greater mobility within labs. They are also looking at travel, knowing that researchers will have to get back into the field. Several sets of school/college/division guidelines for the research professor titles have come through the Office of the VCRGE, and they have been reviewing those. Almost all that have come through have either been approved or soon will be. Regarding the conflict of commitment policy, Vice Chancellor Ackerman discussed the FAQ and a new quick summary document that was added to the website that will hopefully help address some of the questions that still exist around the policy. On the topic of remote work, there are number of logistical matters to consider when approving remote work requests, and it is important to look at the role of the individual. We were very successful in rapidly moving the research environment to a remote model, and part of that success was the foundation that we have built over time onsite. There are ongoing discussions about how the single payroll conversion will impact federal reporting, and the research enterprise will respond to issues as they arise. ASEC also asked for greater clarity in outside activities reporting, as well as for reminders about completing them as opposed to immediately recording non-compliance. Vice Chancellor Ackerman will discuss this with Brian Fox.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on discussions about a draft resolution on remote work. He also attended the Postdoc Diversity and Inclusion Forum and heard discussions about relationships between postdocs and supervisors. A small group worked on feedback for OHR on a draft checklist and PowerPoint that was shared. Tim attended the first shared governance session for Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs finalists today. The next three sessions will be held next week.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, opened nominations for ASEC chair and vice chair. The nominations will be open for two weeks, and the election is scheduled for May 20. Jake reported on the recent meeting of the State Senate higher education committee, at which the committee chair introduced a report that proposes additional mergers within UW System. The report will be brought for a full committee vote on May 7. There is a required cybersecurity training that is to be completed by June 30. ASPRO will be holding a legislative update session on May 13, and it will be open both to members and non-members.
Recessed at 3:52pm.
Reconvened at 3:57pm.
· Single Pay Letter
ASEC reviewed a draft of a letter from ASEC to UW System enumerating concerns about the single payroll initiative. ASEC approved the letter, and Jake will consult with the University Committee about cosigning the letter.
· Review of ASEC Operating Procedures
ASEC conducted its annual review of its operating procedures. No additions or changes were suggested.
· May Assembly Prep
Suzanne Broadberry, District #467 Representative, will be moving approval of the resolution on remote work.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: outline of strategy for change in perspective following up on the presentation from Dr. Griggs
OHR: remote work policy, update on appeals for remote work; concern about burden on OHR staff with multiple campus-wide initiatives in progress
Meeting adjourned at 4:38 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff