Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 01-05-23
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, January 5, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Lesley Fisher, Christy Lowney, Beth Meyerand, Karl Scholz, Becca Raven Uminowicz, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of December 8 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported on the recent meeting of the ASPRO Board. The board discussed a revamp to the website and ideas for recruitment of new members, including working with the UW System Reps. ASPRO is also looking at remote work and ensuring that flexibilities remain System-wide. Mallory also reported on the first two Academic Staff Chats, which were on isolation in the workplace. Both social isolation and professional isolation were themes in the chats, each of which take multiple forms. Mallory, Jake, and Beth Meyerand debriefed and plan to talk with OHR about more possibilities for bringing people together.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that Patrick Sheehan was hired into the permanent position for Chief Human Resources Officer. Jake will be meeting with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the OVCRGE CASI, and the African-American/Black Extension Resource Group over the next two weeks to talk about academic staff governance participation. This year’s Academic Staff Institute will be held on April 4. This semester’s ASEC listening sessions will begin on January 25 and will run roughly every two weeks through mid-May.
Tim Dalby reported on the December meeting of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee (PPPC). The Office of Strategic Consulting and OHR are collaborating on updating or revising several outdated OHR policies. PPPC reviewed some of the policies that were ready for feedback and will continue to do so as they are made available to the committee. PPPC also discussed the staff climate survey. Tim also reported on the recent meeting of the International Division CASI. Topics included improvements to workplace environment, awards processes, and onboarding processes.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the Communications Committee met after having been on a hiatus. The committee has a template and design for the new academic staff newsletter, and members have formed two subcommittees for content and technology.
Julie Hunt Johnson reported on the Division of Extension CASI, which discussed certain challenges around the outreach specialist title for some academic staff in the division. The CASI will also be involved in orientation for new Extension staff.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported that the Districting and Representation Committee is very close to finalizing its first run at revising districting logic based on new TTC titles. The committee will meet on January 23, and there will be subsequent engagements with ASEC and the Assembly.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
ASEC discussed the notion of formal communication from the Provost Office in support of CASIs, similar to the annual letter in support of shared governance participation. Provost Scholz was amenable to the idea and will work with ASEC on this communication.
Provost Scholz discussed the recent news about Yale, Berkeley, and Harvard Law Schools withdrawing from the U.S. News and World Report rankings. There are several factors that go into the ranking process. The UW Law School had cracked the top 30 two years ago but fell into the mid-40’s this year due to differences in the weighing of bar passage rates relative to other schools in the state.
Regarding the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Patrick Sheehan is taking the recommendations seriously, and Provost Scholz reflected that several of the individual recommendations will likely be driven by OHR. Academic Planning and Institutional Research is also working on documentation around permissible and impermissible use of race/ethnicity data.
Responding to a question about a possible career services task force, Provost Scholz indicated that there is no update on this, and that the plan is to keep a decentralized model in place for the time being.
Provost Scholz discussed the intersection of free speech and belonging. With specific respect to the LGBTQ+ community in the wake of both campus and national events, Provost Scholz discussed OHR’s hiring of a LGBTQ+ resource for employees, and the WISELI survey and staff climate survey are also giving us more insight into support that campus can be providing.
Guest: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Vice Provost Meyerand discussed the results of the staff climate survey. The survey shows areas for improvement in some schools/colleges/divisions. There is a question of what the expectation is for central administration to work with individual schools/colleges/divisions to make those improvements in climate. Vice Provost Meyerand plans to speak with these areas and offer both her services in conjunction with those of the Office of Strategic Consulting. It is clear from the survey that individuals with disabilities are another group experiencing greater challenges, and there is a question of how COVID plays into that as well. ASEC recommended that Vice Provost Meyerand reach out to Ruben Mota to examine those data. ASEC also recommended several staff to help with the further qualitative analysis of survey responses.
The HIB working group created a subcommittee that is digging into the website and looking at potential to create a broader site on difficult behavior and how to address it, for which HIB would be one part. Vice Provost Meyerand has met with Patrick Sheehan regarding this redesign, and she will be meeting with Megan Dzyuba about resources from OHR to work on this.
Regarding mediation services, it is Vice Provost Meyerand’s understanding that there is someone lined up for the position and they will hopefully be starting soon. That position will be a part of OHR.
- February Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the agenda. Jake will check in with LaVar Charleston, Missy Nergard, Joshua Schiffman, and Kacie Lucchini Butcher as possible guests for the February meeting. Gavin Luter will also be presenting on the UniverCity Alliance. ASEC discussed going back to a possible resolution on staff morale, and a draft will be put forward for review at the next ASEC meeting.
- ASEC Planning Subcommittee Reports
Donna and Jake met with Margaret Tennessen in Facilities Planning and Management to discuss concerns that the subcommittee had regarding parking and transportation issues. Margaret will take those issues back to Cindy Torstveit and Patrick Kass and provide answers in advance of Vice Chancellor Cramer’s next visit to ASEC. The CASI subcommittee finished the draft of a best practices document. The next CASI Session will have this as an agenda item and CASIs will receive the document in advance. The DEIB subcommittee has worked on a draft of various resources intersecting with the ad hoc committee’s recommendations. Patrick Sheehan will also be meeting with members of the ad hoc in the near future to talk about OHR’s initiatives in progress, and the subcommittee will meet with three members of the ad hoc committee on January 23.
- Topics for Guests
Provost: transition, update on student free speech survey, further thoughts on staff climate survey results
Ombuds: more in-depth discussion of evaluative relationships issues where possible, reaction to climate survey results, onboarding/support mechanisms, will they work with mediation services that OHR is hiring
Meeting adjourned at 4:06 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff