Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 11-18-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 18, 2021
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Stephanie Jones; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Rebecca Blank, Heather Daniels, Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, Karen Massetti-Moran, Matt Mayrl, Jane Richard, Anna Vembu Julian, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.
The minutes of November 4 and November 11 were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the recent meeting of the chiefs of staff, chairs, and secretaries, which followed up on issues raised at the Assembly related to TTC and morale. He attended the Personnel Polices and Procedures Committee meeting, which continued its discussion of ASPP and Title IX. Tim met with Aaron Fai of the Badger Anti-Racist Coalition to discuss work on an anti-racist rubric for campus units. Jake will invite Aaron to meet with ASEC in the spring.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on communication that the mask mandate was extended to January 15, 2022. Jake reminded members about the special meeting on November 23 to review nominees for the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Search and Screen Committee. He met with Karen Massetti-Moran to provide feedback on the appeals process as well as communication on salary ranges and market matches, for which there will be more discussion with ASEC. Jake, Mallory, and Lesley met with Mark Walters for their monthly meeting, which revolved around TTC issues and the vaccine mandate. Jake and Lesley have been meeting with the Districting and Representation Committee to work on changes related to TTC and Assembly Districts. We are in a good place with minimal disruptions to district representation, and DRC will look throughout the next few months at any potential further changes that may be beneficial.
Donna Cole reported on the School of Pharmacy CASI, which recently held its first meeting of the year. The SMPH CASI also met to discuss issues including titles, salary ranges, and space models.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the School of Veterinary Medicine CASI will be focusing its activities in the spring semester around benefits and assessments of faculty/staff wellness.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the Wisconsin Public Media CASI discussed the pending kickoff of a search for a new WPM Director, as well as review of remote work agreements and discussions of TTC and scaling. The Librarians Assembly will be staying virtual through the spring and will be hosting events on networking in a virtual world.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported on the Division of Continuing Studies CASI meeting. The DCS CASI now plays a role in recommending emeritus status for eligible DCS academic and university staff.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nominations to the Nominating Committee and the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Musolf). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Nominations – for vote
Motion to nominate Tianlu Yuan to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· December Assembly Meeting Agenda
The December meeting will be held in person. The Ombuds Office will be delivering their annual report, and Mark Walters and Karen Massetti-Moran will be presenting and answering questions. ASEC discussed a resolution related to how state pay plans will work for employees at the top of their salary ranges.
· Topics for Guests
Karl: Update on UWS President search and screen
Steve: priorities VCRGE is investing in with increase in WARF dollars; update on review of remote work plans for employees; impact of TTC, next phase of UW2020 program
Beth: HIB analysis update
Guests: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Office, and Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
OHR has been receiving a lot of communication related to the implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project, including questions regarding the salary ranges. More communication will be going out to highlight issues that have been discovered, as well as providing more education on market methodology, highlighting different market areas, how pay is set, and the market matching project. Salaries are benchmarked against R1 and Big 10 institutions via CUPA, and data from Willis Towers Watson is used for private industry benchmarks. OHR is also working on the website to make it more manageable for users, but there is also information that can’t be provided due to signed agreements and anti-trust laws that are in place.
OHR is working with HR leads in the schools/colleges/divisions on what the priorities should be in addressing TTC-related issues. IT is a top priority at present. The team is going back through market matches and will come back to OHR with recommendations to address issues. The sponsored programs area and the research area are also high priorities.
Out of the 21 job groups, 51% are below market midpoint. There is a lot of work to do in terms of long-term strategy, but the data also validates the viewpoint of staff being behind market. Overall, 60% have more room to grow in their current salary range, and in some job groups it goes as high as 90%.
Scientists and researchers were pulled out of scope for the process due to disciplinary differences and comparability to faculty. OHR is going back to look at these salary ranges, but this will take time.
ASEC encouraged more communication about the issue log that OHR is working through, as well as concerns about academic staff knowing when to appeal as opposed to their concerns being addressed by OHR. OHR continues to look at concerns related to shifts in FLSA status and re-emphasized that individuals’ employee categories stay the same even if their FLSA status changed. Regarding questions on scaling, a similar methodology of small/medium/large was used for titles in the Unclassified Title Guidelines prior to TTC. If units feel that their scope is off regarding scaling, HR units should bring those issues to Karen Massetti-Moran and Patrick Sheehan. ASEC also encouraged OHR to reiterate what the project was intended to do when it was initiated 5 years ago.
Guest: Rebecca Blank, Chancellor
UW-Madison has extended its mask mandate until January 15. With numbers going up in the state and the county, the decision was to push this out past the holidays and see how things progress before finalizing decisions about the spring semester. UW-Madison will be complying with the executive order for federal contractors, for whom vaccines are mandated. This mandate will be in effect starting in early January, and there will be mechanisms for medical and religious exemptions.
A campus climate survey for all students recently wrapped up. The results should be released next semester. There will be a grand opening for the South Madison Partnership Building in February, and there is a great deal of community outreach happening there. UW has one of the highest graduation rates that we’ve seen, and 92% of this year’s graduating seniors have participated in at least one high impact experience (up from 90% in 2005).
Chancellor Blank is no longer on the search committee for the UW System President search. Provost Scholz has taken her seat on the committee. The committee is closing in on its first round of interviews.
Chancellor Blank’s top priorities for her remaining time in the position include the real estate initiative and wanting to get Regent approval for some parcels, as well as an increase in the monetary threshold for approval of industry contracts (currently set at $1 million). Chancellor Blank and Interim System President Thompson are also working with the Department of Administration on changes to the building process based on recent issues with the Chemistry Building.
On the topic of morale, there have been a number of activities welcoming people back to campus, and administration has put more than twice as much money in the bonus pool than previous years. There has also been greater availability of hybrid work arrangements where they were not previously in place. ASEC expressed its concerns around the number of changes that academic staff have had to go through over the last couple of years, and Chancellor Blank welcomed continued conversations around thoughts to improve morale.
Meeting adjourned at 4:37 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff