Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 07-13-23
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Nola Walker
Guests: Alisha Arnold, Lesley Fisher, Stuart Henn, Anna Vembu Julian, Eric Wilcots, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:03 p.m.
The minutes of June 29 were approved.
Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, reported on the July 5 meeting between ASEC leadership and Chief HR Officer Patrick Sheehan. They discussed the status of the state budget, administration of pay plan, and updates on efforts around parental leave. The Legislative Audit Bureau is expected to finish their audit of remote work in fall 2023. Albert reminded everyone about the 175th anniversary celebration, which will be held at Memorial Union on July 26. Albert, Donna, Mallory Musolf, and Jake met with Patrick Sheehan and Susan Tran Degrand, Director of the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-being, to brainstorm ideas around addressing issues related to ageism, including data collection and partnering with university staff. ASEC will discuss next steps and possibly forming an ad hoc committee to look into these issues further.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that Chancellor Mnookin is creating an ad hoc study group on black inclusion, which will be co-chaired by Angela Byars-Winston and Alex Gee. The group will include academic staff, university staff, faculty, students, and community members, and it is expected to complete its work toward the beginning of 2024. Jake will be reaching out to ASEC members and standing committee members about staffing a booth at the October 4 Employee Resource Fair at Union South. Jake is working with the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee on reviewing OHR policies as they are updated in the Policy Library. ASEC will also review policies related to compensation structure and pay upon appointment, salary adjustments, and children in the workplace. Jake reported that Diana Harvey was announced as the first Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications, and she will be starting in her new role on September 1.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported on the gender-inclusive bathroom working group. They are surveying locations across campus and prioritizing renovations. The group will be meeting again on July 14.
Alissa Ewer reported on the July 10 meeting of the OVCRGE CASI. Vice Chancellor Stave Ackerman reported on turnover in director leadership at some of the research centers, which appears to be natural turnover but could have impacts on staff. There was also discussion of the RAMP implementation, for which communication seems to have been good so far.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the Librarians Assembly Steering Committee. Members’ terms are not staggered and they are looking to address this in their forthcoming elections.
Guest: Eric Wilcots, Interim Provost
Interim Provost Wilcots met with Vice Chancellor Ackerman and Vice Provost Beth Meyerand to review the draft charge for the ad hoc committee on researcher/scientist concerns. There was discussion about which Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research might co-chair with Vice Provost Meyerand. Interim Provost Wilcots provided feedback on the charge, including allowing the working group to bring up other issues as its work proceeds, partnering with OHR and DAPIR in collecting data, and how best to evaluate, assess, or otherwise review existing policies and training opportunities. They are thinking about a potential deadline of May 1, 2024 for the submission of the recommendations with a midpoint check-in on the group’s progress. ASEC will be meeting with Vice Chancellor Ackerman on July 27 to discuss next steps as well.
There is a group of administrators and University Committee members looking at the possible impacts of a change in reporting line for the Dean of the Graduate School, with the goal of socializing this idea with the Faculty Senate sometime in the fall semester. ASEC encouraged engaging with Graduate School staff on possible pros and cons as well, with a focus on the importance of coupling graduate education and the research enterprise.
There was a question in relation to communications in the College of Letters and Science teaching and learning space around the concept of “operationalizing belonging.” Interim Provost Wilcots talked about how we wrestle with this as a campus. L&S senior staff is working on concepts of belonging at its upcoming retreat. This also ties in with the Chancellor’s initiative around flourishing and looking at what that means on a practical day-to-day basis.
Guests: Alisha Arnold, HR Director and Program Officer, Office of Human Resources; and Anna Vembu Julian, Communications Manager, Office of Human Resources
When the Title and Total Compensation Project was implemented in November 2021, OHR published a website with the standard job description (SJD) library and salary range info for all positions. Descriptions were used to match jobs to the labor market, and positions for academic staff, university staff, and limited appointees were in scope. The library is important both for us and for peer institutions. OHR has been working through challenges with the SJD library. OHR worked with their new web operations manager to help the site load more quickly, to make it more accessible via mobile devices, and to revise the navigation/search functions. OHR is also addressing feedback about accessing the site in general. Looking at page view analytics, the SJD library is the most-visited page on the OHR website, but people also give feedback that it is difficult to locate. In addition to these issues, OHR is building out the Compensation Center of Excellence and figuring out where its compensation tools are best accessible as well. OHR has revised the website with plain language in mind and relocated the SJD library to the top of the “Pay” section on the OHR website. OHR is also working on highlighting a benefits estimator tool, so that employees can see the value of their total compensation in addition to salary. The health and retirement contributions tool links back to UW System resources. They are also looking to highlight the sick leave credit conversion program, with the idea of routing more nuanced questions to the OHR benefits team. They will add a video on progression and promotion, which parallels the content presented at the 2023 Academic Staff Institute.
- ASEC Orientation
There was a brief orientation on ASEC duties and shared governance processes. Orientation will continue at the July 27 meeting.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss an Appointment to the Information Technology Committee; and Nominations to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
- Appointments and Nominations – for vote
Motion to appoint Lisa Johnston to the Information Technology Committee (Paape). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate Mee Her, Mao Thao, and Matt Zeller to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Paape). Seconded. Approved.
- Topics for Guests
VCRGE: proposed ad hoc researcher/scientist committee; update on RSP; how is the leadership team communicating with staff about potential change in reporting line for the Dean of the Graduate School
VCFA: plans to address state budget cut of $16 million in the first year of the biennium; update on approval of pay plan through JCER (and contingencies if not approved); how DEI representatives are being supported across campus; any updates on moving new Engineering building forward
Meeting adjourned at 4:39 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff