Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 05-25-23
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Rob Cramer, John Horn, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.
The minutes of May 18 were approved with one correction.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported that there will be two finalists for the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications position. They will visit campus on June 6-7. Mallory and Jake will be meeting with the finalists along with other shared governance representatives. ASEC discussed potential questions and issues for discussion with the finalists.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that he and Deputy Secretary Lesley Fisher met with Sarina Lotlikar, Communications Committee Co-Chair. The committee has a plan for a soft launch of its academic staff newsletter for Fall 2023. Jake also discussed the nomination processes for committees where the Chancellor has approval authority and the request for multiple nominations for open seats for those committees.
Donna Cole reported on the School of Medicine and Public Health CASI meeting. The CASI discussed new leadership within the group and how succession planning might work going forward. ASEC discussed the addition of leadership transition as an area within the best practices document.
Julie Hunt Johnson reported on the Division of Extension CASI. Jamie O’Donnell was recently appointed as the permanent HR director after serving in an interim capacity.
- Discussion of Committee on Concerns from Staff with Researcher/Scientist Titles
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of a possible charge for a committee, including potential members and responsibilities. ASEC will return to this document at its next meeting.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Cramer discussed a meeting on the Research Administration Modernization Project (RAMP) that was held last week. There was a constructive positive conversation with many questions. Vice Chancellor Cramer debriefed with Kurt McMillen on action items from that meeting. Vice Chancellor Cramer will be getting feedback tomorrow from Vice Chancellor Ackerman and Research and Sponsored Programs on their readiness for RAMP implementation. Issues have been raised around NIH submissions, and the application submission system Cayuse will stay open through September 30, which will help mitigate these issues. Vice Chancellor Cramer heard feedback on several things we need to work through, but the June 26 implementation date still seems achievable. They will keep monitoring how RAMP training is going, and there will be one more check-in before implementation. Nick Tincher updated the Deans Council on RAMP recently, and the deans had many of the same questions that the RAMP team is hearing from the research administration community. The team is putting together FAQs to keep track of changes after implementation. There are also conversations happening about extended hours for support for RAMP during go-live.
On the question of the overall cost of the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP), UW-Madison and UW System Administration present a report to the Board of Regents every six months. When the program was originally approved, the Board approved a $212 million budget for Phases 1 and 2. This was revised down to $202 million, with $131 million for UW-Madison and $71 million for UW System. There are no tuition dollars going into the project. The business case for ATP was not predicated on cost savings but instead the problems with the current HR and finance systems, the number of ancillary systems, cybersecurity concerns, and other challenges. Conversations about potential changes in duties resulting from ATP have already started with some employees at the UW Service Center, who perform many shared services for both HR and Finance. UW-Madison and UW System are working together to map out a future state support model. The shared services team is receiving a great deal of training on Workday and will pivot to supporting Workday. At the individual campuses, the focus is on the design and configuration of business processes. Next, we will start getting a sense of what processes will look like for OHR as well as distributed HR partners in the schools/colleges/divisions. There is an expectation of “hybrid care” for both PeopleSoft and Workday during the first year of Workday’s implementation.
The VCFA organization continues to explore increasing options for housing and dining to support the increased number of students enrolled at our institution. University Housing and the Wisconsin Union have partnered to provide dining discounts at the Union. Longer-term, we want to be thinking about design, capacity, and community partnerships. With respect to the West Campus District Plan, one of the things that the team has heard emphatically is the opportunity for childcare expansion as part of the plan. The West Campus District planning team will hold community open house events on June 20-21. We continue to hear about needs for research space, as well as space for industry partners who want to be closer to campus than Research Park. The team visited Purdue, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State University to see how they have handled similar space issues. There are many questions about parking and transportation, as well as other infrastructure required to support greater density in that area of campus. On the question of an east district plan, the focus is moving Arts and Music out of the Humanities Building. It will be more of a parcel-by-parcel approach, as opposed to the more expansive approach for west campus.
Regarding the state budget, the Joint Committee on Finance will take up the capital budget, both university and non-university, on June 2. It is not yet certain when the committee will take up the operating budget.
- Discussion of Provost Briefing Document
ASEC reviewed the draft of a briefing document for incoming Provost Isbell. There were minor changes made since the last meeting. ASEC will look at finalizing this either at its June 1 or June 15 meeting.
- Topics for Guests
Interim Provost: enrollment update; continued discussion of possible committee on researcher/scientist titles; thoughts on structure of the provost office
VPFSA: award opportunities for research academic staff, emerging charge, HIB (can ASEC see the flow chart), update on one policy for HIB; thoughts on debriefing around the video and impacts on staff; how she thinks about communicating about staff impacts; heard from anyone on professorial titles that have been turned down
Meeting adjourned at 3:58 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff