University Committee Meeting Minutes 2023-11-13
Minutes for November 13, 2023
UC members present: Bernard-Donals, Jones, King, Tejedo-Herrero, Thibeault (chair), Zweibel
Others present: Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, Julie Scharm, and Jake Smith
Chair Thibeault called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm.
The minutes from November 6, 2023, were approved by automatic consent.
UC member Ellen Zweibel reviewed data with the University Committee regarding the usage of UHS by graduate students. Graduate students use UHS more than undergraduate students and graduate students with state group health use UHS more often than graduate students without. This makes the issue of some graduate students paying twice for health insurance more complicated. Ellen is interested in exploring whether waiving fees for the first semester is a possibility. Barb King also wondered about whether fees payments could be spread throughout the semester via automatic deductions from payroll.
UC chair Susan Thibeault and Graduate School Dean Bill Karpus met with the Academic Staff Executive Committee regarding the Dean of the Graduate School reporting line. The only new questions asked were about staff layoffs due to a restructuring.
Ann Sheehy, chair of the Athletic Board, provided their latest annual report. For the areas overseen by the Academics and Compliance committee, student athletes are setting academic records. The cumulative gpa of a student athlete last year was 3.235. They have a 6-year graduation rate of 91%. The student wellness, they are expanding mental health services for student athletes including embedding providers in teams.
The finance, facilities and operations committee reviewed a clean financial audit and approved the operating budget. The sports liaison program continues in the personnel committee, and they participated in the hiring of 4 new coaches in the last year.
In response to questions about concerns regarding travel schedules with the new schools joining the conference, Chair Sheehy reported schedule creation is ongoing. The faculty representatives have been discussing this and given input. There are efforts to minimize travel already such as pairing games when traveling to the coast. This will continue to evolve. The academics and compliance committee will approve variances for student athletes or teams. They are required to have a plan for making up academic work before an approval is issued.
Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, reported that the Ben Shapiro event went smoothly. They ended up turning away people, because the hall was full. There was some discussion on how to make sure students got priority for tickets when it is a student event.
In regards to the Israel/Hamas conflict, students from that area of the world or with ties there report similar issues of not feeling safe on campus and wanting stronger messages from the administration. They are interested in more education about what is means to be Jewish and Palestinian.
Tejedo Herrero motioned, and it was seconded and approved, to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss waivers at 2:14 pm. One dual-role waiver was approved.
Bernard-Donals motioned to reconvene in open session at 2:17 pm. It was seconded and approved.
Thibeault adjourned the meeting at 2:28 pm.