Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 09-08-22
1:55 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8, 2022
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole, Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, Beth Meyerand, Lori Reesor, Kelly Rupp, Karl Scholz, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 1:55 p.m.
The minutes of September 1 were approved.
Guest: Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vice Chancellor Reesor reported on the return of the students for the fall semester. There has been feedback that the start of the semester is different and better, with a more “normal” sense of returning to campus. There were numerous highlights from Wisconsin Welcome, though there has been some feedback about a long move-in time before classes started.
Vice Chancellor Reesor’s office also learned about a series of campus chalkings on September 7. The messages targeted several Jewish student groups for racism. Campus will be addressing this, and the goal is to get a statement out as soon as possible.
The report from the Student Climate Survey is expected sometime in October. There is a draft of the recommendations that needs to be finalized. There has also been a great deal of focus on the exhibition for the Public History Project and related events.
Vice Chancellor Reesor addressed several student initiatives, including education programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion. There is an increase in the number of in-person sessions for the Our Wisconsin program, and the VCSA office is working on creating more cultural competencies for leaders of student organizations. It is great that a number of these organizations have dedicated diversity, equity, and inclusion officers, and there is more intentional education in this space. Vice Chancellor Reesor is also working closely with Vice Provost John Zumbrunnen and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring to ensure collaboration on classroom inclusion. ASEC asked about access to the curriculum that students have as part of Our Wisconsin, and Vice Chancellor Reesor will provide information to Jake to share with ASEC.
The Wiscard Office feels strongly that they cannot mail Wiscards due to security issues. ASEC asked about office hours accommodating more schedules outside of standard business hours for non-traditional or professional students.
Regarding COVID protocols, students are asked to isolate and to notify their instructors if they test positive. ASEC asked about the messaging that has been conveyed to students around COVID expectations. Vice Chancellor Reesor will follow up with Jake Baggott in UHS on this.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz responded to a question about an update on impacts from the Dobbs decision. There have been no further updates since the August 11 ASEC meeting where this topic was discussed. The decision does not affect any services that University Health Services provides.
Related to the deans’ working group on staff diversity, there is not a prescribed work product that is expected, though improved recruitment and enhancement of diversity for staff are large parts of the discussion. Associate Deans for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are meeting and sharing best practices more across campus than was happening previously. There is also a great deal of work that has gone into a potential dashboard, and discussions with the Chancellor still need to happen on efforts that have been made to date. There are some other potential best practices coming out of the Qualtrics survey that the College of Letters and Science used, which lends itself more easily to gain a perspective on what is and isn’t happening in the College. A synthesis of information from this survey will be shared with the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee when it’s ready.
Provost Scholz asked those who were present at the Leadership Breakfast to provide their feedback. The opportunity to hear from the Chancellor about her priorities as well as the substantial time to break into small groups and brainstorm initiatives were both appreciated. Feedback that was taken from the breakfast is in the process of being synthesized.
Provost Scholz and ASEC discussed observations on the start of the semester, remote work, and the launch of the Public History Project. Regarding the Public History Project, there are questions about what next steps might be. There has been a great deal of discussion on remote work as a retention and morale issue.
Guest: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Vice Provost Meyerand invited Assistant Vice Provost Kelly Rupp to discuss progress on reviewing and analyzing results from the 2022 Staff Climate Survey. This was a joint project between Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. The survey was open from April 12 to May 11. There were approximately 17,000 people eligible to participate, including academic staff, university staff, postdocs, and limited appointees. The survey received 6,480 responses, and a team has been working over the summer to analyze the data. Academic Planning and Institutional Research is leading that work, and results will first be reviewed with project sponsors. University Communications will create infographics around the results, and the results will eventually be shared more broadly with the university community. There will be some limits on what is shared in order to maintain confidentiality of the responses. Next steps will include recommendations for action based on the survey results, as well as determining a timeframe for future survey deployment.
Vice Provost Meyerand provided an update on use of academic staff professorial titles. Currently, there are 7 professors of practice, 10 research professors (4 assistant, 5 associate, 1 full), and 25 teaching professors (14 assistant, 5 associate, 6 full).
Regarding hostile and intimidating behavior, Vice Provost Meyerand is in the process of putting together a charge for a working group on HIB policies and processes. ASEC suggested that having someone from DDEEA to look at policies from an equity lens would be helpful. The HIB working group is one of the most important initiatives for Vice Provost Meyerand’s office over the next year.
The company that was recommended to provide the DEI curriculum for our institution merged with another company and will no longer supply the program to anyone. Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston has been looking at alternative options used by other institutions, and he will be reporting back to the Provost with proposed next steps.
In addition to HIB, ASEC also discussed a number of issues with Vice Provost Meyerand of importance to academic staff, including paid family leave, as well as the impacts on morale resulting from lack of clarity on progression resulting from TTC.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nominations to the Dean of the International Division Search and Screen Committee and Appointments to the Retirement Issues Committee, Student Panels, and the Wisconsin Union Council (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Nominations and Appointments
Motion to appoint Sherry Holcomb to the Retirement Issues Committee; Meghan Chua and Kaley Grunwald to the Student Panels; and Jenny Faust to the Wisconsin Union Council (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate Elise Ahn, Richard Barajas, Weijia Li, and Martin Rouse for the Dean of the International Division Search and Screen Committee (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported that there will be an orientation for UW System Reps this year. The System Reps have also discussed the possibility of having UW System President Rothman present on a regular basis for the joint sessions.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reviewed a draft of a letter in support of the LGBTQ+ Committee’s request for a full-time position to serve as a liaison for faculty and staff LGBTQ+ resources. ASEC approved the draft and Jake will provide it to the University Committee to add their support. The Assembly Skills Workshop has been rescheduled for Wednesday, September 28.
Julie Hunt Johnson reported on the most recent meeting of the College of Engineering CASI. Topics included challenges related to progression, as well as a discussion of required DEI training within the College.
· October Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the October Assembly agenda. Jake will invite UWPD Chief Kristen Roman and Public History Project Director Kacie Lucchini Butcher to give presentations to the Assembly.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: Progress on his priorities that he shared in the summer, follow-up on DEI discussion from today’s meeting, moving curriculum for DEI for faculty and staff forward
VCFA: carryover topics from August, Oshkosh outsourcing proposal, feedback from public meetings on West Campus District Plan
Meeting adjourned at 4:23 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff