Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 09-21-23
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Nola Walker
Guests: Jenny Dahlberg, Lucien Gerondeau, Charles Isbell, Patrick Sheehan, Scott Wildman, Zach Wyman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of August 31 were approved.
Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, discussed the current status of the state pay plan. Albert will meet with other shared governance chairs next week for the first time this academic year. The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) has a reception on September 27. ASEC members are invited and should let Albert know today if they want to attend. Albert also shared reminders about the upcoming Assembly Skills Workshops, benefits open enrollment period, OHR Employee Benefits and Resource Fair, Professional Development Grant Program, and the Mentor Match Program.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that ASEC has received a request for nominees for the Search and Screen Committee for the position currently titled Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Regarding the possible change to the Graduate School dean reporting line, the Secretary of the Faculty Office will have a draft proposal ready to share in a couple of weeks. The University Committee (UC) Chair will discuss the change at the October Faculty Senate meeting and the UC plans to bring the proposal to the Faculty Senate for a first reading in November and a vote in December. The Faculty Senate will also be considering a proposal to change the way spring break is scheduled. ASEC looked at this proposal last spring, but Jake will share it again in case there is any new feedback. The change would not affect the current academic year. Jake reminded ASEC that feedback on the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration strategic plan draft is due tomorrow. The UC reviewed ASEC’s draft of the shared governance letter and did not make any changes. The draft was sent to campus administration. The first edition of the new academic staff newsletter will be sent next week. Nola and Lindsey will be representing ASEC at the finalist sessions for the Vice Provost for Libraries, which will occur in the first couple weeks of October.
Terry Paape reported on the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee meeting. Lynn Freeman and Patrick Sheehan attended and discussed professional development opportunities and funding mechanisms for staff to participate in professional development.
Alissa Ewer reported on the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee meeting. Cori Splain and Elizabeth Tuschen will co-chair the committee again, and they prioritized which topics they will work on this year.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the Wisconsin Public Media CASI meeting. The committee looked at the first draft of an ethics policy and discussed the recent news surrounding the pay plan.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported on the Districting and Representation Committee (DRC) meeting. The committee will review the new districting logic to place job titles that are currently missing, will review and update language on the DRC website, and will brainstorm ideas to increase representation. Megan Ackerman-Yost and Rebecca Beebe will co-chair the committee this year.
Guest: Charles Isbell, Provost
Provost Isbell discussed the history of creating a promotional track for instructional staff at Georgia Tech, his former institution. As the College of Computing grew, over 50% of all credit hours were being taught by lecturers, but they had no academic home and no mechanism to participate in governance. He created an organization to house lecturers, which eventually became a division with a chair, and then a school (equivalent to a department at UW-Madison). He also instituted a promotional process for instructional staff that paralleled the tenure track process for faculty. Eventually, Georgia Tech adopted this process for the entire university.
Jake shared a brief history of the creation of teaching and research professor titles for academic staff at UW-Madison. ASEC also shared concerns about the low number of staff utilizing these titles, and differences between the campus guidelines and school/college/division guidelines. Provost Isbell suggested a possible review of these policies and encouraged ASEC to let him know what support his office can provide.
Guests: Patrick Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, Office of Human Resources
Regarding the national graduate student landscape, Patrick recognized the pressure other universities are feeling from graduate assistants. UW-Madison has been working to make meaningful improvements to compensation, as well as improving policies and procedures to ensure a safe environment where graduate students can thrive. OHR is continuing to allocate resources to make sure UW-Madison remains competitive in this space, and partners with the Graduate School and deans on these issues.
Patrick is supportive of ASEC creating an ad hoc committee on ageism. It is a good opportunity to determine what more OHR can be doing to support employees. He encouraged ASEC to involve OHR in the committee’s work, as well as the Office of Compliance. OHR would be happy to review and provide feedback on a draft of the committee’s charge.
ASEC brought up renewed concerns about scaling with the TTC salary structure, and possible retention issues stemming from it. There is not a central tracking mechanism for exit interview data, but OHR will look at available data and see what they can find.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nominations to the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Search and Screen Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
- Nominations – for vote
Motion to nominate Margene Anderson, Nicole Aulik, Richard Barajas, Jenny Dahlberg, Kristopher Schroeder, and Michelle Turek to the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Search and Screen Committee (Elkins). Seconded. Approved.
- ASEC Retreat Debrief
ASEC briefly discussed the retreat. Discussions will continue at the next meeting, and they’ll determine which priorities they want to focus on this year.
- October Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed the Assembly agenda and will invite OHR to present.
- Topics for Guests
Chancellor: update on the pay plan and thoughts on addressing pay, especially for lowest paid employees, if the pay plan is blocked; how will leadership continue to communicate support for DEIB; thoughts on the national conversation about the value of undergraduate education and ideas to promote that value in Wisconsin
Meeting adjourned at 4:34 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Lesley Fisher, Deputy Secretary of the Academic Staff