Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 10-27-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 27, 2022
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole, vice chair; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Rob Cramer, Karl Scholz, Paul Seitz, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of October 20 were approved.
Donna Cole, ASEC Vice Chair, reported on the Research Administrators Conference held on October 25. Kim Moreland discussed challenges related to Research and Sponsored Programs, following up on a meeting that Mallory, Donna, and Jake held with her.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the HIB working group will be holding its first meeting on Monday. The group will go over the charge, which largely revolves around recommendations for potential improvements to elements of both informal and formal processes for addressing hostile and intimidating behavior. There was a meeting to update governance representatives on the student views on free speech survey. The survey is scheduled to be launched on November 14 and to remain in the field for a month. The goal is for a report of findings to be produced sometime in January.
Albert Muniz reported on the most recent meeting of the College of Letters and Science CASI. The main topics of discussion were TTC and the compensation exercise. Dean Wilcots also addressed the implications for L&S of the increased number of incoming students in this year’s class.
Julie Hunt Johnson reported that she connected with the Division of Extension CASI, and she has also talked with the chair of the Athletics CASI about recruitment and elections.
Donna Cole reported that the School of Medicine and Public Health CASI sponsored a town hall meeting for academic staff across the School. There were over 600 people in the meeting.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz and ASEC discussed the topic of engagement between deans/directors and CASIs within their schools/colleges/divisions. Provost Scholz expressed his support for strong relationships between school/college/division leadership and CASIs based on his experience as Dean of the College of Letters and Science. ASEC suggested either written support or a possible video message from the Provost Office to both deans/directors and CASIs. The Provost will discuss CASIs at the next Deans Council meeting on November 9.
Provost Scholz reported that the future of the COVID testing program is still under discussion. The hope is to have things finalized by November for the spring semester.
ASEC reported on its discussions with Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston about the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The report will be on the November Assembly agenda, and ASEC wanted to discuss the report further with the Provost so that he would be prepared for potential questions. Provost Scholz will reach out to the VCFA and OHR about data availability.
On the topic of dean reviews, campus will be instituting an anonymous survey for faculty and staff to complete for deans in their school/college/division. The surveys will be administered by someone outside the school/college/division being reviewed, and there will be full opportunity for participation by staff.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Cramer reported that, at the November 10 Board of Regents meeting, each institution will be reporting on their program revenue balances, tuition, auxiliaries, general operations, and federal indirect costs. Vice Chancellor Cramer talked about an increase in revenue from indirect costs of $215 million. Within campus right now, he is interested in having more conversations around plans for balances within administration and auxiliaries. Segregated fee balances can only be used for the purposes collected and are not fungible. We are looking at those as well due to increased enrollment. Regarding any use of funds for capital projects, we have also been faced with several supply chain issues. For projects like the Bakke Recreation Building or residence hall renovations, amounts are held by the Board of Regents, and in cases where we come in under budget, the Board has the authority to decide where to reassign surplus funds. Facilities Planning and Management is advocating with UW System to access those funds for campus projects. State reserves are also in a healthy place currently, with significant resources that aren’t yet allocated. UW-Madison and UW System need to make the case on resources for our institution and System, particularly given the competitive space that our university works in.
The ATP Group is stepping back to figure out how best to engage the governance groups, and Vice Chancellor Cramer expressed the need to have this process in place quickly.
So far, there have been two rounds of public engagement on the west district campus plan, with three public meetings. It is expected that there will be another round in November, with another public session to follow those November meetings. We continue to work through possible concepts for the west district. Initial sessions were more high level, and the VCFA Office will gather feedback on various specific concepts from a variety of stakeholders, including several partners like Forest Products, the Veterans Hospital, UW Health, with whom we have already had conversations. Their needs are similar to ours, particularly more space for research, meeting, eating, and caregiving.
ASEC posed questions about the recycling and composting programs and whether they were adequately resourced. Campus is currently running a pilot with one of the west side ag research stations to restart composting. ASEC will also talk with the Office of Sustainability about these programs.
Vice Chancellor Cramer reported that the Board of Regents approved 50,000 square feet of leasing space in University Research Park, and he will be working with the Provost, VCRGE, and the deans on prioritizing that space for meeting several needs with a target date of January 2024.
- Progression Discussion
ASEC reviewed a draft document from OHR about progression within salary range. The initial discussion was around the balance between centralized and decentralized authority. ASEC will provide feedback on the document in advance of OHR’s next visit on November 10.
- ASEC Professional Development
ASEC discussed potential professional development sessions outside of standard meeting hours. These sessions would be devoted to establishing foundational knowledge and common language on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. ASEC proposed options including a session facilitated by Alice Traore from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring, as well as the “Breaking the Bias Habit” workshop from WISELI. Jake will inquire with both as to availability, time, and a possible agenda for these sessions.
- November Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed the draft agenda and will vote to approve it at the next meeting.
- Topics for Guests
VCRGE: what has he heard from IRB/RSP, perspective on Delta’s role and where it fits, how it intersects with CTLM; Research Forward 2023 and how the program has been working since 2020; recruitment and retention across VCRGE; research professor title update (CASI ad hoc) and ensuring that campus guidelines are enforced and reviewed regularly
VPFSA: HIB working group update, Dobbs ruling and potential employee impacts related to remote work (strategizing around supporting faculty/staff issues from ruling); early findings from climate survey; update on new liaisons for HIB and future of the program
Meeting adjourned at 4:29 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff