Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 06-29-23
2:15 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Rob Cramer, Jenny Dahlberg, Lesley Fisher, Allison Lynch, Karen Massetti-Moran, Haley Rogers, Paul Seitz, Patrick Sheehan, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:16 p.m.
The minutes of June 15 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported that the scheduled meeting between ASEC leadership and OHR had to be postponed until July 5. Albert and Donna can provide an update at the next meeting. Mallory expressed her gratitude for everyone’s service over the past year.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, provided an update on the state budget, which was passed by the Senate on June 28 and is expected to be passed by the Assembly as well. Jake provided an update on the recently announced Supreme Court ruling in the Harvard and University of North Carolina cases. Jake and Lesley are planning on outreach in the coming months to areas that don’t have active CASIs to try to generate more interest and support for CASIs. There were further discussions at the last University Committee meeting regarding the reporting line for the Dean of the Graduate School. A working group will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of a potential shift in reporting relationships with the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Mallory, Donna, Albert, and Jake will be meeting with Patrick Sheehan and Susan Tran Degrand to discuss next steps on a possible committee to look at ageism. Jake provided the ASEC duties list for review in advance of new members starting in two weeks. ASEC discussed and provided suggestions for revision.
Guest: Paul Seitz, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (Staff Climate Survey Data)
Paul provided an update on the qualitative analysis of the results from the 2022 Staff Climate Survey. Quantitative results have been made available through an online dashboard and have also been provided to individual schools/colleges/divisions. There will be further discussions about how to address local issues once the new provost arrives. The current plan is to run the survey again in 2025.
There were 6,480 staff who participated, which represents a 38% response rate among academic staff, university staff, and limited appointees combined. Participation was roughly equivalent as a percentage between academic staff and university staff. The results of the survey will help the institution have a better understanding of staff experiences around climate. Like the quantitative analysis, the qualitative analysis was completed in collaboration with Data, Academic Planning, and Institutional Research (DAPIR). One of the questions that respondents received was about two things that campus can do to improve overall climate. Among academic staff, the top two answers were improved compensation and improved remote/flexible work. Analyzing sentiment around remote work, 86% of respondents indicated either satisfaction with remote work flexibilities or a desire for more. A full report with qualitative data analysis will be coming to the website soon.
The Office of Strategic Consulting is assisting in looking at the process for running the survey. Administration is also looking at how to communicate positive changes stemming from the 2022 survey in advance of the 2025 iteration.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Cramer provided an update on the state budget. The budget includes a pay plan of 4% in the first year of the biennium, effective July 1, 2023, and a 2% increase in the second year. Patrick Sheehan is working with UW System and the Office of State Employment Relations as to how this will be implemented. If Governor Evers approves the budget, then UW-Madison, UW System, and the Department of Administration will submit materials to the Joint Committee on Employment Relations for the final approval of the compensation plan. There will be backpay retroactive to July 1 in the form of a lump sum, and employees’ standing in January 2023 will dictate eligibility. OHR will be working with individuals who may not have completed required trainings to ensure that they have the opportunity to do so. The more complicated piece is the $32 million cut over the biennium, which is linked to a reduction of 188 positions across UW System having to do with diversity, equity, and inclusion. UW-Madison and UW System have requested a veto of the provision regarding the 188 positions. The Board of Regents has deferred consideration of the operating budget at next week’s meeting. On the capital budget, we are pleased that the replacement for the Shell was included, with $50 million of state dollars allocated to that project. UW-Madison will continue to work toward approval for a new Engineering building through separate legislation. We will also continue to pursue projects related to the Humanities relocation, exterior and mechanical systems for Music Hall, renovations to residence halls, and other necessary utility work. Regarding a new Engineering building, UW has received support not just locally but from a number of organizations around the state.
The Research Administration Management Portal went live on June 26. The administrative council received an update today. Feedback has been generally positive about training and about the office hours that have been offered to troubleshoot issues. Any critical issues that arose early in implementation were resolved quickly. The top issue we’re watching is the “horsepower” for the cloud system that we are using, as we are the largest user of this system. Schools/colleges/divisions are also addressing workflow issues as they arise. System users have advocated for extension of the office hours. There are already discussions about extending these, as well as how to adjust the support model in the long term.
There were approximately 200 people in attendance at the latest round of feedback sessions on the West Campus District Plan. Online feedback will be available until July 19. Themes include affordable housing, sustainable development, the necessity for child care in that area, and the need for more research space. Parking and traffic congestion continue to be issues in that area as well. UW will go to the Board of Regents meeting in October with a request to demolish the BioTron building, and we are thinking about what research space may be possible in that area. The VCFA’s team is continuing to work with Brenda Gonzalez on discussions about housing. When the Campus Transportation Committee reconvenes in the fall, they will be looking at parking issues related to the project.
Guests: Patrick Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, Office of Human Resources
UW-Madison remains committed to pursuing a paid parental leave policy. While it was removed from the budget, there have been continued conversations with executive leadership at the campus and System levels on how to implement such a policy. The hope is to have more detail around next steps in early fall.
The state budget contains a 4%/2% pay plan with an effective date of July 1 for the 4% increase. This pay plan will need to go to the Joint Committee on Employment Relations for final approval, hopefully sometime in mid-August. OHR is anticipating looking at 2022 compliance for the January 2023 pay plan and reaching out to those who didn’t complete training obligations at that time, so that those individuals will have the chance to be eligible. The new Workday system will also capture training due dates and supervisory/HR dashboards for compliance as well.
Patrick followed up on the issue of centralized exit and stay interviews. OHR had a debrief with job rotators to collect feedback on implementing stay interview guidance with supervisors and conducting exit interviews at a central level. Patrick suggested inviting Lynn Freeman and a group of rotators to a future meeting to discuss progress on these interviews.
Regarding comparability of services through care.com and LifeMatters, Patrick has talked with Joshua Schiffman about conducting an analysis of LifeMatters. The analysis revealed that it largely provides the same type of support as care.com. He will be providing a white paper with the analysis, and there will be communication through Working@UW that highlights these services. ASEC suggested getting feedback from users about their experiences.
On the topic of learning opportunities in the areas of free speech and belonging, OHR and Learning and Talent Development are interested in exploring potential opportunities in this space with a focus on employee learning.
OHR is working on strategic planning across its units and articulating the scope of each of those units. Once that is complete, the OHR website will be updated with that information to give employees a clearer sense of where to go for help with particular issues. There has also been increased focus on recruitment marketing.
- Topics for Guests
Interim Provost – grad school dean reporting line, “operationalizing belonging” language from recent L&S communications, ad hoc researcher/scientist committee; reflections on role and transition to new provost
OHR – will be providing update and asking for input on communications/resources on TTC Phase 2
Meeting adjourned at 4:44 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff