Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 02-24-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 24, 2022
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Shane Hubbard; Stephanie Jones; Mallory Musolf; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Rob Cramer, Kevin Graeme, John Horn, Alex Peirce, Karl Scholz, Patrick Sheehan
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.
The minutes of February 10 were approved with one correction.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the recent L&S CASI meeting. Issues discussed included concerns around masking, TTC, and the decreased usage of rolling horizon appointments. There have been a couple of ASEC listening sessions since the last meeting. Issues raised included advocacy for increased salaries, ongoing issues with TTC titles, and rolling horizon appointments.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, provided ASEC with an overview of rolling horizons as denoted in Academic Staff Policies and Procedures. ASEC was asked to review a resource intended to help supervisors in determining salaries for new hires. ASEC will provide feedback by March 1. Jake is coordinating with ASEC to determine attendees for shared governance sessions with the finalists for the Chancellor, VCFA, and CALS Dean searches. Jake reported that ASEC’s draft of the briefing document was sent at the end of last week to be integrated into the final draft of the document that goes to incoming System President Rothman. Jake will be meeting with OHR on Friday morning to discuss proposed timelines related to appeals that result from standard job description changes that are implemented as a result of OHR review. A call went out for interest in serving on the selection committee for the ASM Ginsburg Family Award. ASEC will review candidates next week.
Donna Cole reported that the SMPH CASI is continuing to discuss communications related to the promotion of the research professor title within the School.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee met and offered feedback on the same resource on salaries for new hires that Jake mentioned in his report. The School of Veterinary Medicine CASI held a well-attended forum on benefits. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences CASI discussed concerns over breadth of salary ranges at its latest meeting.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the Wisconsin Public Media CASI met last week. A new subcommittee related to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been incorporated into the CASI. The CASI will also have the ability to choose representatives for search and screen committees within the division.
Bill Tishler reported on the UW Extension CASI. Topics of discussion included questions about institution-wide communications, remote work agreements, and anonymity on survey responses.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost; and Patrick Sheehan, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer
Provost Scholz discussed the Chancellor’s recent announcement that masking requirements will be lifted for UW-Madison as of March 12. Case counts are continuing to decline both on campus and around Dane County. Public Health Madison and Dane County and UW System campuses are both eliminating the requirements for masks. Individuals should continue to wear masks if they wish to. Vice Provost John Zumbrunnen’s office has provided additional communication for those in the instructional space.
While there have been concerns expressed, there has also been positive feedback received about the dropping of the requirements. Some instructors and graduate assistants have expressed concerns regarding the power dynamic in requests for masking related to grades, as well as advising and office hours. Provost Scholz also reemphasized communication around local standards and policies with respect to employees operating outside of the Madison area.
Provost Scholz received a question during his report at the February Assembly meeting related to the use of rolling horizon appointments. Patrick Sheehan reported that there has been a substantive decline over the last several years. When campus was going through budgetary issues ten years ago, there were questions raised as to how layoffs and non-renewals might intersect with the conferral of rolling horizon appointments. Patrick emphasized that these appointments are still a job security mechanism that is available within the institution, the details of which can be found in Academic Staff Policies and Procedures. Questions were raised as to equity in their conferral and how appointments might follow an individual when changing jobs. There was further discussion on the tension between flexibilities in the face of potential budget cuts and mechanisms for retention of employees.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer provided an overview regarding future strategies for facility needs. With the trendline for enumerated state supported borrowing increasing for other System campuses but holding relatively steady for UW-Madison, we need to think about other ways to address Madison’s needs. As of 2019, 40% of the buildings were 50 years or older with respect to renovation age. Our reinvestments are falling behind peer institutions. We need to think about steps to get to a better mix in renovation age for our facilities, including conducting facility condition assessments, analyzing space utilization, using smart building operational tools to meet sustainability/resiliency goals, and incorporating diverse voices throughout these processes. For financial strategies, we are looking at the real estate initiative and bonding authority, in addition to increasing our efforts in existing spaces for gifts, grants, and public-private partnerships. Leveraging existing funding delivery options, as well as pursuing targeted demolition where appropriate, is also necessary. Part of leveraging existing options is the partnership with University Research Park (URP) as part of the real estate initiative. The Board of Regents recently approved the transfer of two parcels to Research Park. The next step is to release a “request for qualifications” for a planning partner to work with URP, Facilities Planning and Management, the university community, and the Madison community on the uses of those parcels. It will likely take several months to interview potential partners, with an engagement process and a return to the Board of Regents for further approvals. One suggestion that was raised was to think about ways in which potential caregiving facilities could be integrated into some of these spaces.
Regarding building condition assessments, FP&M worked with the Department of Administration through state enumeration for a series of building envelope projects. Drones are a part of the toolkit to assess building envelope for our buildings. Within current Board authority, if a building project is fully funded by gift/grant dollars, Madison has control over the building project. For other building projects, the question is how we progress given the existing constraints.
The ShopUW+ team is meeting on March 7 with a number of stakeholders to put together a focus group on improvements. ASEC member Jenny Dahlberg will be one of the members.
Regarding the Administrative Quality Satisfaction Survey, concerns were expressed about anonymity of responses. This is something that administration is being attentive to. For those units with fewer than 10 responses, the data will be aggregated so as to be non-identifiable to the individuals in those areas. There were also concerns expressed as to how academic staff were denoted on the survey as an employment category. There was feedback to potentially have some small groups to debrief on issues related to the survey as well.
A question was posed related to the role of shared governance executive committees in the review of the institutional data policy. Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer will look into ongoing engagement on this policy.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointments to TTC Appeals Panels and the Information Technology Committee (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Appointments – for vote
Motion to appoint Tammy O’Brien and Teri Ott (Finance) to the TTC Appeals Panels (Musolf). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to appoint Jay Ray to the Information Technology Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· ASEC Orientation
ASEC held a brief orientation session with its newest member, Shane Hubbard. The group discussed best practices for participation on ASEC.
· ASEC Planning Subcommittee Updates
The CASI subcommittee met with Jake to discuss ways that the Secretary’s Office and ASEC could provide further support to CASIs. Jake and Lesley are in the process of collecting information from CASIs to build a central hub for that information accessible by all CASIs. The group also brainstormed a number of other ideas to bolster CASI support and engagement. The communications subcommittee met to discuss further plans for the academic staff newsletter.
· March Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed the draft agenda and will vote to approve it at the March 3 meeting.
· Topics for Guests
Provost – new challenges; engagement with other provosts at peer institutions; follow-up from ASA on remote work, including balance points, what is happening at peer institutions, and communication with the deans
VPFSA – data for professorial titles, mediation services, thoughts on ad hoc committee on administrative burden from faculty, DEI curriculum, supervisor training
Meeting adjourned at 4:46 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff