Faculty Senate Minutes 2023-03-06
Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. with voting 149 members present (99 needed for quorum). Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus Gerald Edwin Bisgard (Faculty Document 3071), Professor Emeritus Kelly H. Clifton (Faculty Document 3072), Professor Emeritus Marshall F. Finner (Faculty Document 3073), and Professor Emeritus David A. Wieckert (Faculty Document 3074).
There was a moment of silence for Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank. Campus is planning to celebrate her legacy and honor her this summer.
Chancellor Mnookin shared that Bucky’s Pell Pathway was announced at the Board of Regents meeting. This will cover the full cost of attendance, including summer classes and study abroad programs, not just tuition and fees for Wisconsin residents whose families are Pell eligible. It is a last dollar scholarship and should provide a pathway for Pell students to graduate from UW-Madison debt free. Chancellor Mnookin is exploring tuition waivers for Wisconsin residents who are members of the Native Nations of Wisconsin and is beginning the consultation process with Native Nations leaders this spring.
There are multiple leadership searches taking place. The search for the provost is underway with finalist visits during the first week of April; public presentations will not be streamed. Finalist visits for the dean of the International Division will occur this week. The vice chancellor for strategic communications position has been posted.
Governor Tony Evers released his budget proposal. It includes additional funds for UW System and compensation increases for state and university employees, with a general wage adjustment of 5% on July 1, 2023, and an additional 3% on July 1, 2024. He proposed targeted funding for the Missing-in-Action Recovery and Identification Project, UniverCity Alliance Program and Extension’s Rural Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Initiative. In the capital budget, he recommended approval of all of UW-Madison’s requests including the new Engineering Building, restoration of Music Hall, relocation of the Art Department and replacement of the Shell. He has also proposed a statewide family and medical leave program. UW-Madison will see what develops with that proposal before developing anything locally.
Chancellor Mnookin reported on her listening and learning tour this fall. The Wisconsin Idea was the most mentioned item that people want to preserve. There are five areas where there is potential to build some initiatives: free speech/belonging, environmental sustainability, investing in the research enterprise, strategic investments in faculty hiring, and student and employee flourishing.
Dean Bill Karpus shared that enrollment in Ph.D. programs is steady, and there is an increase in master’s student enrollment. The Graduate School has launched several new initiatives to diversify the graduate student population including bridge programs, summer research opportunity programs, and the Partnership Program in Graduate Excellence. Graduate School data, including peer institution cross admissions, can be found at grad.wisc.edu/data. The Graduate School has invested over $17 million in supporting graduate students this year.
Professor Lauren Papp, University Committee chair, provided senators with an update on the scheduling of spring break. Several nearby school districts hold spring break the last week of March. The scheduling of UW-Madison’s spring break could be changed to align with this; however, more work needs to be conducted before any change would be proposed. If your department is in favor of this idea, please contact Heather Daniels, secretary of the faculty.
The minutes of the February 6, 2023 meeting were approved by consent. Changes to Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP) standardizing membership information for the LGBTQ+ Committee (Faculty Document 3075) were approved by consent.
Professor Steph Tai (Law, district 44) presented the LGBTQ+ Committee annual report for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3076). Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, University Committee member, presented the PROFS annual report for 2021-2022 (Faculty Document 3077). A faculty senator asked about the availability of PROFS membership rosters. There were no other questions on these reports.
Professor Lauren Papp, University Committee chair, moved approval of the 2027-2028 academic calendar (Faculty Document 3070 rev). The motion was approved.
Professor Karl Broman (Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, district 20) moved approval of a resolution urging implementation of paid family leave benefits for UW-Madison employees (Faculty Document 3078). Several faculty senators provided supportive comments of the resolution. A faculty senator asked about leadership’s plans to respond to the Family Leave Report and Recommendations. The motion was seconded and approved.
Professor Li Chiao-Ping, University Committee member, presented a first reading of a proposal to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to update the membership of the Faculty Consultative Committee on Financial Emergency, replacing the Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits member with the faculty chair of the Budget Committee (Faculty Document 3079). A vote on this item is anticipated at the April meeting.
Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, University Committee member, announced the removal of the proposal to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 5.10 and 5.20 to provide departmental executive committees the authority to allow university staff to vote and participate in departmental meetings (Faculty Document 3080) from the agenda. The University Committee would like to gain more information on department meeting topics and voting items, and on accreditation requirements, before proceeding. An update is anticipated in the fall.
Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin adjourned the meeting at 4:50 p.m.