Faculty Senate Minutes 2022-03-07

Minutes approved 04-04, 2022

Chancellor Rebecca Blank called the online meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. with 155 voting members present (109 needed for quorum). Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus Norman H. Beachley (Faculty Document 3001), Professor Emeritus Jost Hermand (Faculty Document 3002), Professor Emeritus Olvi Mangasarian (Faculty Document 3003), and Professor Emeritus David Slautterback (Faculty Document 3004).

Chancellor Rebecca Blank reminded the Senate that campus is removing masking requirements as of March 12 as both UW-Madison and Dane County case levels continue to fall. Masks and testing will continue to be available the remainder of the spring semester. The university will continue to monitor cases closely and will reimpose a masking mandate if necessary.


The Wisconsin legislature has been considering several bills that would affect UW-Madison. Senate Bill 557 would allow campus to invest cash reserves in short-term investments; Assembly Bill 775 would allow planning for a new engineering building; and Senate Bill 605 would allow health sciences professional schools to begin their semesters prior to September 2. Two bills in the legislature (Senate Bill 409 and Assembly Bill 884) would restrict academic freedom and freedom of speech on campus. Chancellor Blank has asked Governor Evers to veto those bills.


Commencement will be on May 13 and 14 this year with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, current ambassador to the United Nations, as the keynote speaker. The Chancellor acknowledged the ongoing situation in Ukraine and indicated that UW-Madison has expressed support for its Ukrainian students and all those affected by the conflict.

University Committee Chair Eric Sandgren announced that the Women’s Faculty Mentoring Program has been renamed the Women, Trans, & Non-Binary Faculty Mentoring Program by their advisory committee to reflect the program’s commitment to support women, trans, and non-binary faculty on their path towards tenure.

Missy Nergard, Director of Sustainability, provided an update on sustainable procurement. They have been working on a zero-waste initiative, which falls under sustainable procurement, and had six undergraduate students prepare a campus assessment on campus waste. UW-Madison is joining the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council. There is also a UW System working group looking at similar programs at peer institutions and other organizations.

In response to the request of the Faculty Senate for the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) to divest from fossil fuels, Mike Knetter, CEO and Executive Director of WFAA, reported that a work group will explore an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) framework for WFAA. He stated that their fossil fuel holdings are minimal, and they feel their best way to advance social change is through their mission. They have raised millions for environmental initiatives on campus and plan to launch a new project to support the university’s sustainability priorities. They also issued a statement.

The minutes of the February 7, 2022 meeting were approved by consent. Also approved by consent were changes to Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP), standardizing membership information for the Health Care Advisory Committee and Retirement Issues Committee (Faculty Document 3005). Paul Kelleher (District 82, Medical History & Bioethics) presented the Health Care Advisory Committee annual report for 2020-2021 (Faculty Document 3006), and Cliff Robb (District 43, School of Human Ecology) and Carol Hulland presented the Retirement Issues Committee annual report for 2018-2020 (Faculty Document 3007). There were no questions on these reports.

University Committee chair Eric Sandgren moved approval of the 2026-2027 academic calendar and the proposal to maintain a 5-year “rolling academic calendar” (Faculty Document 2997). The motion was approved.

Professor Adrian Treves (District 107, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies), chair of the Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion, moved approval of a resolution on an accessible and inclusive campus (Faculty Document 2998). The resolution was seconded, amended, and approved.

Professor Mathew Hitchman, faculty senator for District 64, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, moved approval of a motion to support an academic staff resolution on the state pay plan distribution (Faculty Document 2999). The motion was seconded and approved.

University Committee member Lauren Papp moved approval of an amendment in FPP 7.16.D.4 to clarify the appeals timeline for promotion from associate professor to professor (Faculty Document 3000). The motion was approved.

Chancellor Blank adjourned the meeting at 4:36 pm.

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