University Committee Meeting Minutes 2016-06-27

approved July 11, 2016
June 27, 2016
Members present: Bowers, Broman, Litovsky, Wendt (chair)
Members absent: Amasino, Wanner
Others present: M. Felber, S. Smith, J. Richard, H. Daniels, J. Smith, M. Mayrl, J. O’Meara

Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m. Minutes of the meeting of June 6, 2016, approved. Michelle Felber indicated that things are pretty quiet in the PROFS office, but there is a meeting scheduled with Mark Pocan, a Board meeting to be held before the next UC meeting, and a candidate forum is being planned for the end of July. The UC discussed updates, cleanup, and clarifications to FPP, a project that will continue at a future UC meeting. 

Outgoing OHR director Bob Lavigna and incoming interim director Mark Walters distributed a handout about the Title and Compensation Study. Lavigna provided background and organizational information about the study’s goals, sponsors, and approach. Ample discussion throughout. Walters walked the UC through a condensed version of the RFP for the study, including criteria, phases, and resources. Feedback requested from the UC on the entire process, but especially on RFP, to be submitted through the campus faculty representative to the working group, Sue Babcock. The UC thanked Lavigna for his service and wished him well in retirement.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick discussed the potential move of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) out of the VCFA into the VCRGE. The UC will appoint an ad hoc committee to make a recommendation on the matter to the UC, which will present its recommendation to the Senate at the September (rescheduled October) meeting. This matter would not require a first reading. Mailick reported that no arguments have thus far been brought up against this possible move in the several conversations on the topic across campus; only concern expressed has been how to guarantee resource problem will not recur. Not possible to guarantee that either way; there’s no organizational fix. Smith and Mailick will work on charge letter and appointments will be made by end of week (pending selection of members in closed session). Mailick concluded her time with the UC discussing COGR report and ways to lower administrative burdens of research. All aspects of research enterprise will conduct self-assessment on how to reduce burden of research in light of these (nationally vetted) standards. Much discussion. IRB survey will be ready to roll out in first week of semester (as UC suggested). 

Chancellor Rebecca Blank and the UC discussed the summer meeting schedule, Brexit, and the newly appointed VCFA and Arts Institute director. Blank informed the UC of an upcoming facility donation and that the Admissions Director is leaving. The UC updated the chancellor on plans for the campus post-tenure review policy. Blank and Mayrl discussed the final report from the committee considering the 105 proposals received on campus climate. Five proposals forwarded to chancellor to act on now; 2 or 3 ideas are essentially already in process; and at least 1 (house fellow training) is already implemented. Blank’s impression is that this was a really good set of proposals, with very clear things to do; some worries about capacity. Proposals that have been advanced go to clearly defined places and thus are doable and likely more effective than if one office were doing it all. Mayrl indicated that the committee tried to pull out common themes, and the advanced proposals represent about twice as many individual proposals. Ample discussion. The committee report represents a body of work with reasonable proposals that we can roll out over fall, over and above what is already happening; overall focus on community building. Strong positive UC support. Blank concluded this topic with an expression of the need to develop a communication plan back to campus; this is a very ambitious agenda and we want people to know that we’re taking it seriously and have committed resources. Wendt presented the chancellor with the Shared Values statements on shared governance passed by the four governance groups. Blank promised to look it over and respond. Litovsky asked what feedback the chancellor has received on the vote of no confidence. Blank said the dueling op-ed battle seems to have stopped, perhaps because it is summer. Vicious attacks back and forth could create a serious morale problem during a budget year. Best approach is to reaffirm work that is being done. While everyone need not agree on details, it would be helpful to coordinate conversations on messaging. Recommendations from review of communications strategy (on tenure and climate) by outside group included one which focused on fact that biggest negative was things faculty did (purely from a communications standpoint). Administration not going to try to muzzle faculty, but trying to make sure that there is a mix of messages. Ample discussion, including possibilities of inviting System president to UC and perhaps an open forum. 

Litovsky moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 2:59 p.m. Secretary Smith provided an update on a pending faculty personnel matter to be considered by the Board of Regents. Three dual role waivers, one clinical initial tenure clock extension, one tenure clock extension, and one track transfer were approved unanimously. UC members were assigned to committees, including the usual UC member positions as well as search and screens for Director of Human Resources and Police Chief. The UC approved the membership of an ad hoc committee on the placement of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and a working group to review campus post-tenure review policies prior to Board of Regents submission. The UC nominated four faculty members and four alternates for the new shared governance Budget Committee and provided suggestions for chancellor appointments to Honorary Degrees committee. The University Committee considered and responded to two grievances. Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 4:27 p.m.

Wendt adjourned the meeting at 4:28 p.m.

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