Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-17-23
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 17, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Nola Walker
Guests: Jenny Dahlberg, Beth Meyerand, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of August 3 were approved.
Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, reported that he, Donna, and Jake will be meeting with Terry Fritter, Rebecca Forbes Wank, and John Lease to discuss possible university staff collaboration on addressing issues related to ageism. Nominations for the Outstanding Women of Color Awards are now open and are due by Wednesday, September 20. Albert reported that the next Workday Walkthrough on funding positions within Workday will be held September 14. Annual benefits enrollment will open up on September 25 and will close on October 20. The Benefits & Resource Fair will be held October 3.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, discussed the current makeup of the ASPRO Board, which does not include an ASEC member. ASEC discussed whether or not it is important that at least one board member also be a member of ASEC. ASEC will return to this discussion at a future meeting. Jake followed up with Patrick Sheehan on the notion of an advisory board to the CHRO. Once a hiring decision is made for the new Chief of Staff for OHR, that person will be working with Patrick on next steps for an advisory board. The new Assembly districts have been populated, and Jake thanked the Districting and Representation Committee and Lesley Fisher for their hard work in making that happen. Jake and Lindsey met with the three finalists for the Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Administration, and that hiring decision will hopefully be announced soon. A call will go out soon from the SOAS office for nominations for the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Search and Screen Committee.
Nola Walker reported on the Communications Committee meeting. The revamped academic staff newsletter will be launching in mid-September.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported that the Gender Inclusive Bathroom Task Force met recently to discuss costs and code considerations for work that needs to be done across campus. The group is working on a shared rubric for prioritization of projects on campus.
Alissa Ewer reported on the OVCRGE CASI meeting. There was discussion of the state pay plan and questions as to implementation.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the WPM CASI meeting, where she gave an overview of shared governance to new hires that were in attendance. The WPM Director discussed work on the ethics policy and will share updates soon. WPM is making progress on staff vacancies, and WPM HR has put together a presentation for an all-staff meeting to talk about staff retention.
Guest: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Vice Provost Meyerand has a meeting scheduled with Provost Isbell to discuss the report of the working group looking at the hostile and intimidating behavior (HIB) process. She will also be discussingthe recommendations with the Office of Compliance and the Office of Workforce Relations. It should be straightforward to start making changes to the OHR website on HIB that can clarify the informal process and include strategies for navigating difficult behavior more broadly, which the group felt was an important addition to existing resources. Once she has reviewed it with the Provost, Vice Provost Meyerand will bring the report to governance as well. ASEC asked about increased communication within departments about individual cases. There are issues with revealing details of individual personnel actions. The topic of the healing process within a department was out of scope for this group, but they felt it was also important to look at this more closely in the future.
Steve Ackerman’s retirement as Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education should not impact the formation of the ad hoc committee on researcher/scientist issues, and Vice Provost Meyerand is still planning on co-chairing the group. We are awaiting word on who will be the co-chair from OVCRGE and any feedback from the Chancellor’s office on the charge before moving forward.
Vice Provost Meyerand reported that the qualitative analysis of the Campus Climate Survey is almost finalized but has not yet been published. She will talk with the Provost about how follow-up on issues from the survey will occur.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointments to the Mentoring Committee, Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee, and Student Panels; and Nominations to the Distinguished Status Review Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
- Appointments and Nominations – for vote
Motion to appoint Barney Gallagher to the Mentoring Committee, Jason Jankoski to the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee, Emily Tarter to the Student Panels; and to nominate Liam Gumley and Betsy Lundgren to the Distinguished Status Review Committee (Ewer). Seconded. Approved.
- ASEC Retreat Date and Agenda
ASEC will hold a retreat on September 7 to discuss priorities for the year and other topics submitted by ASEC members.
- 2023-24 Academic Staff Chat Topics
ASEC discussed potential topics for this year’s series of Academic Staff Chats. Jake will meet with Vice Provost Meyerand to finalize the schedule in the coming weeks.
- Discussion of Possible Standing Committee on Academic Staff DEIB
ASEC talked about whether or not a standing committee devoted to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for academic staff would make sense to add to Academic Staff Policies and Procedures. There was discussion about a standing committee as a mechanism to keep the recommendations of the ad hoc committee on DEIB front and center. ASEC will continue this discussion over the next few weeks.
- September Assembly Agenda
Vice Chancellor Reesor is confirmed, and Vice Chancellor Cramer will be presiding in the Provost’s absence. A small working group volunteered to discuss possible charge language for an ad hoc group to look at ageism, which could be brought forward to the Assembly.
- Topics for Guests
Provost: holdover topics from previous meeting
VCFA: how we are addressing lump sum back payments for state pay plan on grants that may have ended; update on discretionary compensation fund exercise; update on west campus district plan; his thoughts on next steps in advancing sustainability within the institution
Meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff