Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 11-30-23

Approved 12-07-23

ASEC Minutes

2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 30, 2023

53 Bascom Hall

Members Present: Donna Cole; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz, chair; Terry Paape; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Nola Walker

Guests: AJ Butler, Rob Cramer, Jenny Dahlberg, Lesley Fisher, Al Henriquez, John Horn, Charles Isbell, Allison Lynch, Emily Reynolds, Dom Zappia

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.

The minutes of November 9 and November 16 were approved.

General Reports

Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, reported on the first Academic Staff Chat of the academic year. The topic was “Recognizing Colleagues in the Workplace.” The chat was well attended, and there was substantial discussion on strategies for individual recognition as well as building a larger culture of recognition within schools/colleges/divisions. Albert and Lesley attended a meeting of the School/College Instructional Leaders group. The group has been discussing how instructional titles are utilized across campus, and there are possibilities for partnership between that group, OHR, and ASEC in a potential review of professorial title guidelines.

Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that UW-Madison maintained its 8th place ranking in the Higher Education Research and Development Survey. Vice Chancellor for University Relations Charlie Hoslet will be retiring at the end of the academic year, and a search for that position is expected to be announced soon. Jake and Beth Meyerand met with Meghan Owens in OHR to discuss salary minima for professorial titles. Donna, Alissa, and Nola have volunteered to discuss initial thoughts on the charge for the Ad Hoc Committee on Age in the Workplace. The proposal to streamline scheduling for spring break will go to the Faculty Senate for a first reading at the December 4 meeting.

Liaison Reports

Lindsey Stoddard Cameron reported on the recent meeting of the Campus Planning Committee. The committee endorsed Facilities Planning and Management’s rankings for capital projects, which will go to campus leadership, the Universities of Wisconsin, and the Legislature. The top priority remains the new Engineering building, followed by relocation of remaining departments in the Humanities Building, steam tunnel replacements, renovation of Music Hall, and renovation of Kronshage Residence Hall. The committee also discussed the commitment to plan for the future of centers such as Mecha de UW-Madison. Lindsey reported that the Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) CASI held chair and vice chair elections recently, and a representative of the CASI was also appointed to the DCS Academic Planning Council. Lindsey and Lesley attended an ASEC listening session. Topics included navigating the many resources the university offers, as well as questions related to licensure policies.

Nola Walker reported that the Communications Committee is set to release the next issue of the Cornerstone newsletter in December. The committee is also working with the Assembly standing committees to generate topics for future issues.

Stephanie Elkins reported that the Librarians Assembly Steering Committee is holding an event for General Library Services staff on December 15. They are also working on revising their mission statement and bylaws for the CASI.

Stephanie Jones reported that the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences CASI heard a presentation from Louis Macias, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, on related efforts underway in the college.


  • December Assembly Agenda – for vote

There will be a proposed change to ASPP Chapter 14 on the agenda for a vote. Paul Seitz will also provide an update on the West Campus District Plan. Motion to approve the December Assembly agenda (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.

  • Topics for Guests

OHR: performance management in Workday (concerns from constituents over timing of reviews and the platform); CCOE’s progress in reviewing salary compression as well as reviewing title groups; proposed federal law potentially creating overtime impacts for exempt staff; question of issues with use of business titles and how those might be addressed if they are happening
VPFSA: follow-up on AS Chat about recognition

Recessed at 2:50pm.

Reconvened at 3:00pm.

Guest: Charles Isbell, Provost

Provost Isbell reported that conversations are ongoing regarding the pay plan for university employees as well as funding for a new Engineering building.

The Faculty Interdisciplinary Strategic Hiring (FISH) Initiative is moving forward. The plan is to use the same processes for hiring for this initiative as would be used for general hiring of faculty and staff, except that the initiative would involve potentially dozens of faculty over time crossing disciplines. There will be implementation teams for each individual proposal that goes forward, with a communications person, administrative representation, unit representation, and a project manager to ensure things stay on track. This structure will mostly be used for tracking purposes. As proposals are approved, those initiatives will take shape over several years. Deans are working to pull in the individuals needed to shape these efforts, and Provost Isbell would appreciate feedback from ASEC as to what is being communicated at the departmental level. As proposals are approved, there will be academic staff involvement, as proposals are intended to include information on projected hiring of staff to support the initiative. The interdisciplinary nature of the proposals means there may be future curricular implications as well.

Provost Isbell discussed the structure of department chair appointments and asked ASEC to think about impacts of that process on academic staff. Currently, department chairs in many schools and colleges are elected by the faculty for 3-year terms. The School of Medicine and Public Health, the College of Engineering, and some departments within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are exceptions. The Provost and ASEC may discuss the relationship between academic staff and departmental structure at a future meeting.

Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Vice Chancellor Cramer discussed funding for the FISH Initiative, which will be supported by increased revenue from tuition and enrollment in the last several years. Starting this fiscal year, funds will be allocated for salaries and fringes for a mix of faculty across disciplines and at different points in their career. Proposals are also expected to take budgeting for support staff into account, and one-time monies may be used for any startup or supporting costs.

Vice Chancellor Cramer has had conversations with campus leaders on how our budget model works. There have been reports from previous committees that looked at our budget model in 2014 and 2016 and made recommendations for potential change. Next semester, the intent is to convene several small task forces to look at a variety of aspects of our budget model, including the extent to which tuition revenues follow enrollment/academic home, distribution of indirect cost return in our research enterprise, how the budget model aligns with the Wisconsin Idea, impacts on service units, and data/tools/professional development needed to help people understand the budget model’s capabilities and incentives that it can create. The Budget Committee is also involved in these conversations about the budget model, along with the Administrative Council, and the working groups will be expected to engage broadly with stakeholders.

Chancellor Mnookin is interested in how we move forward with our commitments to sustainability. Vice Chancellor Cramer reported on five general areas of interest in this space: 1) analysis of a path toward net carbon neutrality, 2) reduction in the amount of waste that we generate and our relationship to companies that provide our supplies, 3) how we intentionally expand research efforts in the area of sustainability, 4) how we weave sustainability into more academic programs to match increased student interest, and 5) increasing our STARS rating. The Office of Sustainability and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies are collaborating on these initiatives.

Guests: Dom Zappia, ASM Vice Chair; AJ Butler, ASM Shared Governance Chair

ASM recently passed legislation pushing for the new Engineering building. They are also looking at potential revisions to the hate/bias reporting form. ASM has also been discussing the academic calendar and how to make it work better for students. Understanding that there are statutory limitations, students want to explore possibilities for earlier start dates so that the semester can end earlier. Tied into this is the possibility of a fall break, as well as looking at the final exam period and exam room assignments when many instructors don’t have final exams to begin with. ASM has had conversations about issues related to the conflict in the Middle East. ASM wants to ensure that students have the ability to express themselves and also to get the support they need. Regarding the hate/bias reporting form, students want more direct engagement with students who submit those forms and more transparency on the process. They also want to see streamlining of the process and not have multiple forms needed for multiple offices. It’s expected that legislation will be coming up on this topic December 6. In general, ASM is working with administration to have earlier input into decision-making regarding students. ASM has hosted a series of inclusion town halls for different affinity groups. They have heard feedback from these sessions on increased need for classroom accommodations and the need to help students advocate for themselves to receive those. There has also been feedback on the need to expand ethnic studies requirements.

Meeting adjourned at 4:31 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff

KeywordsASEC Minutes   Doc ID133304
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2023-12-11 14:11:03Updated2023-12-11 14:12:29
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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