Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 05-08-23
ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, May 8, 2023
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Rob Cramer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Recognition of Academic Staff Excellence Award Winners
Debra Shapiro, Professional Development and Recognition Committee member, announced the winners of the 2022-23 Academic Staff Excellence Awards. The winners are Johanna Oosterwyk (Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching), Desiree Bates (Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University), Aaron Dingle (Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research: Critical Research Support), Carol Roan (Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research: Critical Research Support), Dianna Murphy (Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership: Individual Unit Level), Alissa Ewer (Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership: College, School, or Larger University Community Level), Amy Williamson (Robert and Carroll Heideman Award for Excellence in Public Service and Outreach), and Bill Kreamer (Martha Casey Award for Dedication to Excellence).
Guest: Jennifer Mnookin, Chancellor
Chancellor Mnookin reiterated her congratulations to the Academic Staff Excellence Awards winners and expressed her appreciation for academic staff serving in shared governance. The racist video incident has deeply affected our campus, and we are looking at what can we do next to improve climate across the board. The Chancellor recognized that the video caused significant pain to many in our community, including students, staff, and faculty. The Dean of Students Office is continuing to gather information about the incident and is reviewing many bias reports. The Chancellor’s Office received a set of demands from a group of students and has provided responses where possible. There are some areas where we have been able to respond quickly, including enhanced mental health support, some enhanced safety provisions, and efforts to support students who may need more academic flexibility at present. In the past week, there were also remarks from legislative leaders about getting rid of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts on our campuses. The Chancellor expressed her belief that diversity is a source of creativity and strength for UW-Madison, and our excellent DEIB staff are an important part of that process. Since the Chancellor last met with the Assembly in November 2022, several construction projects have wrapped up, including Babcock Hall and the Bakke Recreation Center. Director of Tribal Relations Carla Vigue and the Chancellor were also joined by Ho-Chunk leaders to dedicate the Ho-Chunk Clan Circle, representing the 12 clans of the Ho-Chunk Nation. There was also a groundbreaking ceremony for the new School of Computing, Data, and Information Sciences Building, which is expected to take two years to complete. UW-Madison has announced an enhancement to scholarship offerings for Wisconsin residents in the form of Bucky’s Pell Pathway. Many Bucky’s Tuition Promise students will qualify for this program as well, which provides a pathway to meet students’ financial need beyond tuition and fees and to graduate from UW-Madison debt free. We have also established the Rebecca M. Blank Center for Campus History, building off the work of the Public History Project. Kacie Lucchini Butcher and Taylor Bailey are serving as the Director and Assistant Director respectively. Chancellor Mnookin’s investiture ceremony took place several weeks ago, around which there were several events to celebrate the work of our institution. Chancellor Mnookin also provided hiring updates. Charles Isbell has been selected as our new provost, coming from Georgia Tech where he serves as the Dean of the College of Computing. He will be starting on August 1. Frances Vavrus has been selected as the new Dean of the International Division. Searches for the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and the next Vice Provost for Libraries are in progress. The Vice Provost for Data, Academic Planning, and Institutional Research should be concluding soon. Chancellor Mnookin, the State Relations team, and the Deans are working hard to advance UW-Madison’s priorities for the state budget. There does seem to be support for a pay plan, and UW-Madison has a number of requests in for our capital budget, including the Engineering Building and several other projects. Over the course of this year, Chancellor Mnookin has also had conversations about what elements are key to the success of the university and where there are opportunities for improvement. There are five areas where the Chancellor wants to build future initiatives: 1) ongoing engagement around belonging and free expression, 2) environmental sustainability, 3) the research enterprise, including industry engagement, 4) strategic investments in hiring, and 5) flourishing for students, staff, and faculty as individuals and as part of the institution. One way to think about the last area is compensation and benefits. We have completed an annual budget review of central funds to keep making progress on salaries. Paid parental leave has been discussed for a long time. The Governor put forward a proposal, but it appears that proposal won’t be moving forward. We are looking for opportunities for how we might go forward with a more limited proposal.
Guest: LaVar Charleston, Chief Diversity Officer
Chief Diversity Officer Charleston began by recognizing the impact of the harmful, racist video last week and reiterated the Chancellor’s remarks condemning racism and hate in any form on our campus. The Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) has been thinking about how to best position itself to help create an environment where everyone can flourish on our campus. Eight years ago, we launched the R.E.E.L. Change strategic plan, and we are approaching the end of that plan. We have collected a great deal of data to see what we have accomplished, to understand what areas need more work, and to inform what the next strategic plan will look like. DDEEA’s strategic priorities at present include: 1) building a culture of organizational learning; 2) fostering a culture of belonging; 3) facilitating an effective model of distributed strategic diversity leadership for shared visioning and implementation; and 4) utilizing and maximizing data to inform equity-minded policies, practices, and decision-making. The DDEEA serves as a central resource for campus. The division has hired Catherine Chan as the Assistant Vice Provost for High Impact Practices, and Raul Leon as the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Engagement and Scholarship Programs and Executive Director for the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program. The division is also in the hiring process for an Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Administration, as well as an Executive Director of Communications. The leadership team is paying close attention to the Harvard and University of North Carolina Supreme Court cases and looking at potential impacts to current programs. CDO Charleston provided an update on the Network for Development and Growth of Indigenous Scholars program, which provides resources for our indigenous students. He also talked about areas of progress in campus climate, including the Rebecca M. Blank Center for Campus History, Odyssey Beyond Wars, the Recreation and Well Being No Fee Project, the expansion of the UW South Madison Partnership, results of the student and the staff climate surveys, and others. For the first time, this year’s winners of the Outstanding Women of Color Awards received stipends with their awards. Nominations also recently closed for the Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People. The 2023 Diversity Forum will be held on November 14-15, and the theme will be “Bridging the Divide: Realizing Belonging While Engaging Difference.”
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, April 10, 2023, were approved.
Academic Staff Assembly Standing Committee Election Results (ASA #812)
Secretary of the Academic Staff Jake Smith presented the 2023 Assembly standing committee election results. Stuart Henn, Christy Lowney, and Faye Lux were elected to the Communications Committee. Christina Pier, Cori Splain, and Tori Richardson were elected to the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee. Megan Ackerman-Yost and Max Coller were elected to the Districting and Representation Committee. Moses Altsech, Carmen Juniper, and Justin Sena were elected to the Mentoring Committee. Josh Cutler, Leah Freemon, and Daryl Harrison were elected to the Nominating Committee. Aaron Crandall, Andrew Turner, and Karina Ward were elected to the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee. Jenny Erickson, Mel Freitag, Diane Stojanovich, and Paul Westerman were elected to the Professional Development and Recognition Committee. Terms of office are from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025.
ASEC Vice Chair Donna Cole presented the ASEC report. ASEC has been looking at the progress on conferral of teaching and research professor titles for academic staff. Academic staff who are thinking about going up for these titles and are encountering challenges are encouraged to let Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs Beth Meyerand know about these challenges. ASEC will continue to meet during the summer. Donna thanked Assembly representatives for their service and expressed appreciation for ASEC colleagues Mallory Musolf and Tim Dalby. ASEC is also discussing next steps regarding a potential committee looking at challenges for academic staff researchers and scientists.
Jenny Dahlberg presented the report for the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO). ASPRO represents all academic staff across the UW System. Jenny encouraged individuals to contact ASPRO with issues they want the organization to address. ASPRO is continuing to watch the budget process. Jenny expressed appreciation for current members and encouraged people to join.
Mario Pennella, co-chair of the Retirement Issues Committee, provided the annual report of the committee. Members worked on developing an employee survey to examine employee understanding of resources for retirement. After meeting with many stakeholders, the committee realized it didn’t have the capacity to implement the survey. Coming out of those discussions, the committee is looking at a number of possible recommendations on university services relating to and planning for retirement, including both financial and emotional aspects of retirement.
ASPP Chapter 3 Changes (ASA #814)
Diane Farsetta, Personnel Policies and Procedures Co-Chair and District #605 Representative, moved approval of the ASPP Chapter 3 Changes. Seconded. Approved.
Vice Chancellor Report
Vice Chancellor Cramer expressed his appreciation for Assembly members and those serving in shared governance. The Vice Chancellor reported on the Research Administration Modernization Portal (RAMP) and Workday implementations. He is looking forward to meeting with a significant group of RAMP stakeholders on May 17 to determine progress we have made toward implementation on June 26, including feedback with experiences on training and testing. More RAMP training pages are being built, along with user manuals and job aids. On May 11, there will be a Workday Walkthrough on absence requests and time reporting. We are getting close to the end of the configure/prototype phase. In July we begin the testing and training phase, which will go through March 2024.
Meeting adjourned at 4:59 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff