Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 10-06-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 6, 2022
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: LaVar Charleston, Beth Meyerand, Kelly Rupp, Karl Scholz, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of September 29 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported on the Resource Fair that was held on October 3. Academic staff governance had a table and had higher engagement than in previous years. Several questions related to HR matters were received, which were directed to HR personnel present at the fair.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on issues brought up at the most recent ASEC listening session, which included potential disparities in the use of lab manager and research specialist titles, as well as concerns related to parking costs. Jake provided updates from the October Faculty Senate meeting related to including university staff in the annual preference balloting for department chairs. ASEC planning subcommittees will begin scheduling meetings during Assembly weeks. The annual letter in support of shared governance participation should go out soon.
Albert Muniz attended the recent meeting of the Nominating Committee and introduced himself as their ASEC liaison.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the Librarians Assembly meeting. There are several projects in progress, as well as a special exhibit highlighting sound recording called “Press Play.” The professional concerns subcommittee continues to schedule listening sessions where concerns can be expressed.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz discussed the Chancellor’s listening/learning tour to formulate her priorities. ASEC talked about the priorities that were provided to her in a briefing document before she arrived. They also discussed the importance of continuing the work of the Public History Project and of creating a tuition program for Native Nations students.
Regarding admissions and enrollment, we have had a challenging process due to an unexpected 3% increase in yield rates after decreases in previous years. Our public flagship peers also experienced a similar phenomenon. There needs to be a balance in admissions between the early and regular admissions cycles, and colleagues in Enrollment Management are working hard to ensure this balance.
Provost Scholz expressed his appreciation for the work that went into the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. There was discussion of the challenges on data in this space and ensuring that employees’ information is protected from a legal standpoint. There is the question of how we can have access to deidentified data for business purposes. An important consideration is that, if there are specific initiatives that we want to take, then we also need to be specific about the data needs for those initiatives. Regarding the recommendations of the report that intersect with the Staff Climate Survey, the aspiration is to have Tableau visualizations at the campus level, as well as the school/college/division level and the departmental level, assuming there are sufficient numbers of responses to ensure deidentification. It is not yet clear what information will be presented as part of that visualization. Academic Planning and Institutional Research does analysis by gender on compensation as well. ASEC reemphasized the need for a focus on academic and university staff alongside the work already happening with faculty and students. Development of supervisory training and work on preventing hostile and intimidating behavior will also help with staff climate issues.
Guest: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Vice Provost Meyerand confirmed that any approvals on school/college/division guidelines for academic staff professorial titles need to be approved at the campus level by her office, and in the case of research professors, in conjunction with Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Policy and Compliance Nadine Connor. ASEC and Vice Provost Meyerand discussed potential ways that her office could communicate more broadly about the availability of these titles, given their limited use to date.
Members have been identified for a small working group on the hostile and intimidating behavior policy and process. The charge is primarily around the process. The group will look several areas, including reviewing and clarifying the informal process as it’s laid out on the HIB website, recommendations for centralized vs. decentralized investigations, suggested improvements to the investigation process, better communication to all parties on expectations, processes for reporting, disposition for non-findings, and overlaps between HIB and Title IX filings.
Vice Provost Meyerand responded to a question related to a proposal for mediation services related to HIB. Interim Chief Human Resources Officer Patrick Sheehan is working on the funding, as the person providing these services would likely be in OHR. The idea would be that this individual could intervene early to prevent situations from escalating. Regarding reconciliation of relationships after HIB investigations are concluded, the Office of Strategic Consulting has helped departments in addressing and repairing climate issues.
Guest: LaVar Charleston, Chief Diversity Officer
Deputy Vice Chancellor Charleston reported that there have been two recent leadership hires within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement. Catherine Chan is our new Assistant Vice Provost for High Impact Practices, and Raul Leon is our new Assistant Vice Provost for Student Engagement and Scholarship Programs and the Director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program. The division is still working on its search for a new Director of Communications, and it also launched a new search for an Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Administration. A new Director of the Posse Program will be hired soon, and there will be a search for a new Director of the PEOPLE Program in the future as well.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Charleston discussed the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He emphasized the necessity of this work for staff. He has been talking about this need with associate deans for diversity across campus as well. We are at an important point of transition with a new Chancellor, which allows us an opportune time for reflection as we move to the next phase after the R.E.E.L. Change initiative. The recommendations of the report are consistent with what we need, and it is expected that data from the staff climate survey will provide helpful data as well. Deputy Vice Chancellor Charleston talked about the report being instructive as we look at new policies to help create more inclusive environments. The division is working on a plan to collaborate more with OHR and more across campus., including on how to provide workforce reports that illuminate disparities. One of the priorities is data-informed decision-making, and staff will be elevated in the next strategic plan for DDEEA as well. DDEEA is also building capacity to do more assessments. DDEEA has taken more of a role as a convenor with associate deans across the institution to ensure that efforts are not duplicated.
Related to statements from leadership on hate/bias incidents, every situation has its own unique factors that influence communication, and as such it is difficult to have a one-size-fits-all approach to this process. There is also the challenge of getting all the information in a timely fashion to address the incident.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Charleston discussed the challenges with the Diversity 101 program that had been previously selected for UW-Madison, which will not move forward. He discussed the potential solution to build our own program in keeping with the institution’s values and commitment to the Wisconsin Idea. There has been feedback that students would like to see faculty and staff going through similar programs that they participate in at the beginning of the year. The program would need to cater to the needs of faculty and staff and ideally achieve synergies on our values across the UW community. He will bring a more detailed proposal to ASEC for more feedback.
- October Assembly Meeting Prep
Albert will introduce the resolution on the Public History Project for a vote. Donna will provide the summary of the Assembly’s business for 2021-22.
- November Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed and discussed the November Assembly agenda. ASEC will vote on the agenda at the November 3 meeting.
- Topics for Guests
Chancellor: update on listening/learning/understanding tour; what she has heard so far related to staff; timeline on strategic vision; relationship building with System and the legislature; follow-up on resolution for Public History Project
OHR: status of the remote work survey; timeline for progression/promotion; update on how HR units on campus, including OHR, are doing; update on title appeals
Meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff