Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-03-23
1:55 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 3, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Nola Walker
Guests: Suzanne Covoloski, Tim Dalby, Doug Erickson, Lesley Fisher, Joseph Halaas, Charles Isbell, Angela Kita, Audra Koscik, Karen Massetti-Moran, Jennifer Mnookin, Julie Scharm, Stacy Smith, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 1:55 p.m.
The minutes of July 27 were approved.
Guest: Jennifer Mnookin, Chancellor
Chancellor Mnookin welcomed Provost Isbell, who started in his new position on August 1. UW has also recruited Diana Harvey into the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications role, and she will be overseeing University Communications and University Marketing as of September 1. Charlie Hoslet will continue in his role as Vice Chancellor for University Relations. Steve Ackerman will be retiring from his role as Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) as of September 15. Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Cindy Czajkowski will be serving as the interim VCRGE. Dean Mark Markel also announced that he will be stepping down from the School of Veterinary Medicine as of July 1, 2024. National searches for both positions will commence soon.
The Chancellor is working intensively on a Native Nations tuition waiver program. She met with Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council leaders to discuss principles for creating a program in this space. She intends to meet with them again in the fall. Work also continues on paid parental leave, and the Chancellor hopes to have updates on this soon.
In response to the racist Instagram video at the end of the spring semester, Chancellor Mnookin offered to meet with members of the Black Power Coalition to respond to their requests. They had a productive and constructive meeting. The group requested other meetings across campus, and the Chancellor’s Office offered to help facilitate those as needed or wanted. She is also charging an ad hoc study group to look at what we can do on campus to foster greater sense of inclusion and belonging, as well as more effective connections to the Madison community. The group will be small, but inclusive of faculty, academic staff, university staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and community members. A report is expected by the beginning of the second semester.
The proposed cuts to DEI positions in the state budget are disconcerting and are part of a larger national conversation in higher education. The Governor vetoed the cuts to the positions but not the overall budget reduction. The amount of the budget reduction was put into an appropriation for workforce-related initiatives. The proposed pay plan also needs to be approved by the Joint Committee on Employee Relations. As part of this conversation, there are opportunities for self-reflection about improvements we can make as an institution while holding fast to our core values of commitment to free expression, strength through diversity, and providing first rate education, research, and service.
Regarding the Dobbs decision and communication beyond the initial message sent after the ruling, the institution has worked hard to find ways that medical students get the full training that they need to provide a variety of services, and that members of our community that have medical needs that can’t be met locally have good information and support to meet those needs.
Guest: Charles Isbell, Provost
ASEC welcomed Provost Isbell, who has spent the last 21 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Provost Isbell is excited to come to a place with its own rich history, as well as the opportunities for change. He discussed his interest in external and internal conversations around the changing landscape of higher education. He has been involved in governance and discussed his history of working to create promotional tracks for non-tenure track faculty.
Provost Isbell’s work has focused on human-centered, responsible artificial intelligence. He is interested in both policy and administrative questions around this as a provost. Other areas he is thinking about are the budget model, professional development opportunities, and how market and merit are used to reward performance. Provost Isbell was drawn to UW-Madison for the opportunity to engage in larger conversations about higher education and emphasized the great things that UW-Madison is able to do with its broad structure.
Guest: Karen Massetti-Moran, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, Office of Human Resources
The Office of Workforce Relations advises schools/colleges/divisions on issues related to academic staff job security, and these issues are usually case-specific. Training will need to take place when we move to Workday. Karen offered to talk to Workforce Relations and highlight job security reviews at an upcoming HR Reps meeting.
Implementation of Workday won’t change how the catastrophic leave program is managed. Similar to today, there will be manual intervention in administering that program. On the topic of ATP, OHR is also working on ensuring that the team is preparing for the possibility of a paid parental leave program and looking at how that might work in Workday. There has been no update on a tuition benefit for employees.
Learning and Talent Development has the highest number of projects in development right now and are working toward bringing some of these programs to fruition. They are also trying to get to a cycle where regular review of the Principles of Supervision and Management course, as well as other programs, can take place. They are focusing on supervisory training to promote professional development opportunities as well, and OHR’s marketing manager is working with Talent Management to highlight career development opportunities. They have also discussed coaching circles for supervisors and promoting professional development opportunities through that. OHR is looking at minimum thresholds for professional development for all employees, with a possible pilot for staff in the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration organization. ASEC encouraged OHR to work with HR reps to support equitably distributing funds for staff at the department/unit level.
ASEC provided feedback on some of the childcare resources offered by LifeMatters and expressed concern about lacking or incomplete resources. Karen offered to take this back to the Employee Assistance Office to address these issues.
Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, reminded members that career counseling is available as an employee benefit. The next Workday Walkthrough will be held on August 10, and continued ATP updates are available via https://atp.wisconsin.edu/stay-informed. All off-campus WiscAlerts will now be coming through the BadgerSAFE app.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that he will be serving as part of a panel interviewing finalist candidates for the Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Administration within DDEEA. He invited ASEC members to share any questions/topics they might have for the candidates. There is an endowment for a new teaching award honoring Lillian Tong, who worked in WISCIENCE. The award will recognize excellence in undergraduate STEM instruction, and recipients will alternate annually between academic staff and faculty. Jake discussed a potential change to the composition of the Campus Planning Committee, replacing the faculty member from the Arboretum Committee with the Arboretum Director or their designee. This will go to the Faculty Senate in the fall. Jake will also invite CDCC and CURAFA to provide an update on their recommendations for a Native Nations tuition waiver program, which they recently presented to the University Committee.
Stephanie Elkins and Julie Hunt Johnson reported on the recent DEIB Subcommittee meeting. The group wanted to follow up on the recommendation of an advisory board for the CHRO. Jake will follow up with Patrick about progress on this. The group also discussed a possible standing committee of the Academic Staff Assembly on DEIB and wanted to keep the recommendations of the ad hoc committee centered in ASEC, including training for ASEC as well.
- 2023-24 ASEC Liaison Assignments
ASEC agreed via unanimous consent to reappoint Lindsey Stoddard Cameron to the Campus Planning Committee and Stephanie Jones to the University Academic Planning Council. ASEC finalized its other liaison assignments with CASIs and the standing committees, and handshake emails will go out next week.
- September Assembly Agenda
ASEC discussed inviting Vice Chancellor Lori Reesor to provide an update on Student Affairs and also discussed the possibility of inviting CIO Lois Brooks to update the Assembly on issues related to the use of generative AI within the institution.
- Topics for Guests
Provost: professorial titles for academic staff and how they are conferred on a decentralized campus; further discussion of promotion programs he helped to put in place at Georgia Tech; generative AI and what resources are we working on for campus; review and discussion of ASEC’s briefing doc; progress on charge for ad hoc researcher/scientist committee.
Meeting adjourned at 4:22 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff