Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 02-23-23
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 23, 2023
Members Present: Donna Cole, vice chair; Tim Dalby; Alissa Ewer; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Rob Cramer, Susan Tran Degrand, Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, John Horn, Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, Karen Massetti-Moran, Patrick Sheehan, Andrew Turner, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of February 9 were approved.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on the Spring Academic Leadership Meeting, where Chancellor Mnookin discussed some of her major priorities, including mental health and flourishing of both students and employees, free speech and belonging, environmental sustainability, growing research and industry partnerships, and strategic faculty hiring. Jake reported that a call for nominations for the ASM Ginsburg Family Award Selection Committee would be going out soon. Jake also discussed overarching themes from the latest Academic Staff Chat, which was on strategies for having difficult conversations. The SOAS office will launch the ASEC election next week. Deputy Secretary of the Academic Staff Lesley Fisher reported on a recent ASEC listening session. There was discussion about how a CASI for General Services might be established.
Albert Muniz reported on the most recent meeting of the College of Letters and Science CASI. There were three major areas of discussion: building renovation and its potential impacts on many areas, including student housing; threat intervention, in light of the recent Michigan State shooting; and compensation and titling issues post TTC implementation. Albert also reported that the Nominating Committee is in the process of preparing election slates for the Assembly Standing Committees.
Tim Dalby reported on the International Division CASI, who decided on a representative for the shared governance sessions with finalists for the Dean of the International Division. The CASI is working on their recognition and awards processes and looking at climate survey data.
Donna Cole reported on the SMPH CASI. The CASI is in the process of onboarding recently elected members.
- Academic Staff Morale Resolution
ASEC reviewed feedback provided at the February Assembly meeting and discussed revisions to the resolution. A small group will work on integrating changes and present an updated version for ASEC to review at the March 2 meeting in advance of voting on the agenda.
- Paid Family Leave Resolution
Andrew Turner, District 455 Representative, presented background on a resolution asking for UW-Madison to implement a fully paid family leave benefit that applies to all employees. The resolution will be up for a vote at the March Assembly meeting. A similar resolution is also being put forward at the March Faculty Senate meeting.
- March Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed the March meeting agenda, with the addition of the paid family leave resolution. Vice Chancellor Rob Cramer will preside over the meeting in Provost Scholz’s absence. ASEC will approve the agenda at the March 2 meeting.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Cramer had substantial discussion with Kurt McMillen and RSP about the series of activities that need to occur between now and the June implementation of the Research Administration Modernization Project (RAMP). He has also received feedback from research administrators on what is happening in their schools/colleges. The project is increasing testing, with 110 volunteers looking at over 60 business processes. RSP is also in the process of recruiting positions responsible for managing the Huron Research Suite post-implementation. There is a great deal of activity in this space throughout the year, and it doesn’t serve researchers to go live and have things go poorly. The RAMP team is paying attention to the testing results. There have been many questions from research administrators. Vice Chancellor Cramer noted that Cayuse will stay active for a short period after implementation.
Vice Chancellor Cramer reported on the Board of Regents meeting. Regarding bonding for capital projects, the Board requested bonding authority from the Governor two years ago. The Governor included it in his budget proposal, but it was removed by the Legislature. UW-Madison and UW System are working on the best approach to move forward in this space, either in the budget or through standalone legislation. Vice Chancellor Cramer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance David Murphy gave a presentation on this topic to the Board of Regents, and a number of Regents are interested in moving this forward as well. UW-Madison remains the only flagship institution that does not have this authority. The Regents have also requested that campuses assist them in identifying regent policies that may pose unnecessary obstacles. For example, the Board recently raised the threshold for approval of UW-Madison’s grants or contracts from private, profit-making organizations from $1 million to $5 million. The VCFA office is working with the Office of Legal Affairs and UW System to identify additional changes that would benefit UW-Madison while assuring that appropriate controls remain in place.
Facilities Planning and Management is working on a series of maps to show upcoming closures and construction projects. Part of Walnut Street will be closed mid-March for railroad repair, and part of Park Street near Langdon will be closed later in the spring for a project at Memorial Union. There will also be utility work at Engineering Drive, Linden, and Dayton. Vice Chancellor Cramer encouraged ASEC to speak with Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Torstveit about broader communication on these projects.
Vice Chancellor Cramer addressed a question on the next iteration of a compensation exercise for staff. The proposed budget includes a 5%/3% state pay plan, and the proposed effective date for the 5% is July 1, 2023. Campus continues to monitor conversations about this at the legislative level and is advocating for strong compensation, recognizing the impacts of inflation. With respect to the campus budget, there are discussions about next steps for compensation increases as part of the TTC process. We have made progress in this area in the last compensation exercise, as well as some investments in non-101/104 areas. We need to continue those processes and look at possibilities above and beyond state pay plan. The hope is to have campus compensation plans finalized sometime in May when we have a better sense of what the state’s operating budget might look like.
The Governor’s budget proposes a $22 million increase in the UW System block grant for each year of the biennium. The typical allocation for UW-Madison is roughly 40% of those general purpose revenue dollars. The budget also includes a proposed tuition promise for other campuses similar to Bucky’s Tuition Promise, as well as allocations for the Rural Entrepreneur Program and the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project. We will see the Governor’s capital budget proposal next week, which will go to the State Building Commission in late March.
Vice Chancellor Cramer is also looking carefully at training and professional development for academic and university staff to figure out career pathways, recruitment and retention, and the proposed Legislative Audit Bureau review of telework across state agencies.
Guest: Patrick Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer; Karen Massetti-Moran, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer; and Susan Tran Degrand, Interim Director, Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-being Unit, Office of Human Resources
Susan Tran Degrand is serving as the Interim Director of the Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-being unit within the Office of Human Resources. The unit’s mission is to provide high-level consultative support and resources to schools/colleges/divisions working to create healthy, equitable, and inclusive policies, systems, and environments for employees. The unit’s consultative approach is similar to other OHR functional areas but through a non-traditional lens. Historically, a lot of work around equity, inclusion, and employee well-being has been spread out in OHR. After much conversation and data collection, OHR realized there was a need to restructure how it was supporting campus in this space and created this unit as a result. The unit has 6 full-time employees working in the office who are dedicated to these areas, and the unit also partners with Learning and Talent Development in thinking about how to provide tools to assess current HR practices. The website for the unit is now available, and it is centered around shared language and a shared understanding of how the unit will approach this work. The website also provides key resources that the unit has developed or co-created. ASEC expressed appreciation for the ways in which the unit is centering employee well-being.
OHR is paying close attention to the Governor’s proposed budget and pay plan. If the pay plan were to be approved, there would be a short turnaround for implementation.
Moving to the benefits phase of TTC, paid family leave continues to be a top priority, and we are moving forward diligently in partnership with the state and UW System. OHR is working with Chancellor Mnookin to provide background on these areas and is also working closely with ATP on preparation for benefits programming. OHR is also in conversation with UW System about what kinds of tools can be created to build out the review process for standard job descriptions. Considerations include how to engage and collect data from the campus community, addressing market changes, and what the timeline would be. OHR is working on the communication around progression within salary range, and Learning and Talent Development (LTD) is collaborating on resources for supervisors. LTD is also working on a knowledge and skills project to help employees map out career possibilities.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nominations to the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communication Search and Screen Committee and the Wisconsin Union Council (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
- Nominations – for vote
Motion to nominate Brett Chenoweth, Alyson Kim, and Meredith McGlone to the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications Search and Screen Committee (Ewer). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate T.J. Sargent to the Wisconsin Union Council (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
- Topics for Guests
Provost – plans for COVID testing/protocol with the public health emergency ending, update on free speech survey results, Bucky’s Pell Pathway, grad student HIB conversation, communication to deans on how local issues from climate survey are being dealt with; progress on tuition waiver for Native Nations students
VPFSA – chats on professorial titles for academic staff, ad hoc HIB group’s progress, communication to deans on how local issues from climate survey are being dealt with
Meeting adjourned at 4:11 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff