Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-31-23
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023
55 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Alissa Ewer; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Nola Walker
Guests: Alisha Arnold, Jenny Dahlberg, Nikki Davis, Lesley Fisher, Charles Isbell, Karen Massetti-Moran, Patrick Sheehan, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:04 p.m.
The minutes of August 24 were approved.
Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, reported on this year’s academic leadership summit. The Chancellor talked about successes and potential headwinds for the year, as well as leadership transitions. Participants got together in small groups to brainstorm strategies about increasing public awareness and confidence in higher education. Albert is setting up a meeting with the other shared governance chairs for mid-late September. Albert also discussed the committee ASEC is proposing to form around ageism. Initial thoughts on the charge for the group would involve data/information collection and situating the group’s charge as exploratory. Another idea would be to review any materials around hiring processes and to see what best practices can be found.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the Academic Staff Assembly Orientation would be held on September 8 in Union South, with a virtual follow-up session to be scheduled after the September 11 meeting. Assembly Skills Workshops will be held on September 25 from 3:30-4:30 and September 26 from 10:00-11:00. Jake talked about the inaugural Teaching and Learning Welcome for academic staff instructors held on August 29. Early feedback suggests that the event was well received, and Jake expressed his appreciation to colleagues in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring and the Office of Human Resources for the work they did to make it successful. Jake sent the call for nominations for the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Search and Screen Committee. He also sent a separate call to clinical faculty encouraging their participation.
Donna Cole reported on the first Big 10 Collaborative on Staff Advocacy meeting of the year. Many institutions are seeing substantial leadership transitions. The group discussed different engagement practices with administration and continued to discuss how hybrid/remote work is taking shape across different institutions.
Guest: Charles Isbell, Provost
Provost Isbell announced that John Zumbrunnen has been named as the new Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He will retain his title of Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning but will also be focusing strategically on academic affairs more broadly.
Provost Isbell reported on the recent academic leadership summit. The biggest takeaway is the unifying idea of what the Wisconsin Idea means in this century and focusing on innovating for the public good. It will be important to think about the extent that academic staff are tied into all aspects of those, as well as the pressures and resources for growth. The Chancellor also engaged participants in questions around public opinion of higher education institutions. There was emphasis on the importance of community engaged scholarship and also thinking carefully about our relationship to our fellow UW System campuses.
There was brief discussion of the history of how the teaching and research professor titles came about for academic staff, and there will be further discussion at a future meeting.
Guests: Patrick Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, Office of Human Resources
Patrick announced that a new Chief of Staff for OHR has been hired. Lucien Gerondeau, formerly of the Office of Strategic Consulting, was selected for the position and will be starting on September 5.
There are no plans yet for a meeting of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations to consider the pay plan. Right now, it looks as if the earliest would be the beginning of October. OHR is still establishing strategies for refreshing salary data and looking at what to do for those over their salary maximum. They are looking at making an exception one additional time and allowing a base increase for those up to 10% over their salary maximum. Those who are over that percentage would receive the pay plan as a lump sum. OHR recognizes the importance of establishing a consistent cadence of updating salary ranges. Upon implementation of the pay plan, any retroactive salary is done as a lump sum. Karen has a meeting with RSP and the Budget Office to talk about strategies to manage impacts to grants.
The Compensation Center of Excellence is now fully staffed and can start leveraging the market data that it has. The plan is to do analysis on an annual basis, and that has been done for this year. There is a question of timing going forward. The team will conduct analyses regardless of whether there are compensation exercises and will also conduct analyses of how those exercises are implemented across campus over time. The title review process is also under discussion, and OHR is trying to align any title updates with salary range updates.
- ASEC Retreat Agenda
ASEC’s retreat will take place on September 7. The group discussed ideas for the retreat around teambuilding and priorities setting.
- Review of Shared Governance Letter
ASEC reviewed this year’s iteration of the employee shared governance participation letter and provided suggested edits. Jake will send their version to the faculty and university staff governance groups for review.
- September Assembly Agenda – for vote
ASEC reviewed the resolution forming an ad hoc committee on ageism and decided to have a first reading for Assembly members to provide more feedback. Motion to approve the September Assembly agenda (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
- Topics for Guests
Provost: continued conversation on professorial titles; information on promotional tracks he helped put in place for non-tenure track faculty at Georgia Tech
OHR: further discussion of ageism committee; thoughts on national grad student landscape and how it relates to our campus and academic staff working with grad students
Meeting adjourned at 4:43 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff