University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-05-01
University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 05/08/2017
May 1, 2017
UC members present: Bowers, Broman, Litovsky, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
UC member absent: Amasino
Others present: S. Smith, S. Ventura, J. Richard, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, H. Daniels, C. Springer, M. Bernard-Donals, T. Warfield, M. Mayrl
Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and introduced the two incoming UC members (Ventura and Warfield). Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith informed those who will be continuing into next year of the summer schedule. A departmental request for observers to return for a follow-up executive committee meeting was approved. The minutes of the meeting of April 24, 2017, were approved. Jack O’Meara updated the UC on the PROFS Steering Committee meeting and new legislation on speech. PROFS President Burstyn will be reaching out to Professor Don Downs to coordinate on a response/position on this legislation.
Continuing Studies Dean Jeff Russell discussed the possibility of a blanket dual role waiver for summer sessions. Russell summarized the various committees and groups that have been working on the summer term and referred the UC to summary document. One recommendation of the summer term steering committee was to streamline requests for dual role waivers for researchers and scientists who want to teach in the summer. The UC generally liked the idea, but wanted to make sure that summer faculty teaching is not displaced. Ample discussion also raised the question of workload and ensuring that Academic Staff are not overworked or forced to teach. Some form of monitoring of workload, as well as other requirements such as minimum qualifications, effort reporting, etc. was recommended. Once a plan is in place (envisioned for Fall 2017 for Summer 2018 teaching), communication effort needed to make sure that departments are aware of the waiver, and to make sure people know this is not to displace faculty but rather to address areas of need and AS expertise, and that it should follow all fiscal, HR, and other requirements. Secretary of the Academic Staff Heather Daniels indicated that she has developed a form for requesting PI status that could be adapted. UC concurred that a form that provided basic information requested for dual role waivers, included acknowledgment of required elements and attention to workload, and was signed off by the individual and dean’s office would be appropriate. Russell will work with Daniels and Smith to develop form, adapt for OSOF website, and return to UC in summer to finalize. Once implemented, usage could be monitored by OSOF and reviewed after a year or two by UC. Russell then provided a general report on summer term efforts to date: Summer 2017 has 34500 credit hours enrolled (last summer was about 32500); DCS and the summer committees have benchmarked against many other programs; progress is encouraging, but still not quite at hoped-for growth rate. Discussion throughout was ample and included early-start programs, scale, bottlenecks, facilities, and student input. Russell concluded by letting the UC know that summer term director Sarah Barber will be taking a year off. Following Russell’s departure, the UC discussed other possible dual role waiver policy exceptions, for independent/directed study and short-term teaching. Many of the same concerns as with summer term exceptions were raised. Consensus that a form was the right way to go with these exceptions as well, which Smith will work on developing along with the summer form.
Dean of Students Lori Berquam, after a brief discussion about the Mifflin St Block Party, presented information on the revamping and reinforcing of the Wisconsin Experience, an expression of what it means to go to school here and what the university represents. As discussed at an earlier meeting with Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Steve Cramer, the Wisconsin Experience effort represents a lot of sifting and winnowing effort document distributed by Berquam [see also the Dean of Students webpage) by various campus stakeholders to concretize UW-Madison’s vision for the total undergraduate student experience, rooted in our values of shared governance, the Wisconsin Idea, and fearless sifting and winnowing. The four concepts expressed in eight simple words (empathy & humility, relentless curiosity, intellectual confidence, purposeful action) constitute the “magic sauce” that will help attract “the most sought-after undergraduates in the world.” Senior leaders, ASM, and others are pleased with the words and the concept. Next step will be a major marketing plan to get the Wisconsin Experience out “everywhere.” Much discussion; UC very supportive. UC interested in how campus translates these high-level goals into what is actually happening (good and bad) on campus. Discussion about the future of this effort, how to get buy-in and participation, dissemination and diffusion plans. Berquam also discussed events in ASM over the last few, tumultuous weeks. Ample discussion ensued. UC agreed with Berquam that it is in everyone’s interest to find ways to encourage student involvement, help develop leaders, and try to understand student positions.
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Steve Cramer continued the discussion from the previous week on credit hour policy and implementation and the connection to syllabus policy and practice. Ample discussion included pragmatics, requirements, process, learning outcomes, syllabus practice, and implementation of policies. UC consensus that the credit hour policy should go to the Senate for informational purposes, perhaps along with the annual UAPC report. Strong support for creation of templates and boilerplate for syllabi, as well as guidelines. In response to a question from Wendt about reviews of the Honors Program, Cramer said that there has not been a review so much as a re-articulation. The Honors Committee worked over the past year on a set of outcomes for honors. These (5) general elements represent the first significant commonality across our decentralized and dispersed set of honors programs. Cramer will share with UC next time he attends and they will reported out to the UAPC. Next steps yet to be determined. Discussion.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank attended the AAU meetings in DC last week, where NIH Director Francis Collins spoke about the federal budget and the recent bump in NIH and some other funding. Collins also discussed proposed cuts to indirect costs, about there will be much discussion forthcoming. Campus will produce a document on indirect costs. Also discussed was NIH imbalance in awards to senior researchers. Also at the AAU meetings, a poll on perception of big universities was presented; we are still more “favorable” than many other institutions (67%), but used to be viewed even more positively (85%). Blank also met with the Washington Post while in DC, following up on the AAU Sexual Assault survey and what campuses are doing to address those finding. She also met with Paul Ryan and others and gave testimony on overregulation to a panel chaired by Ron Johnson. At the state level, a new bill has been introduced on speech. It is clear something will pass, but there may be changes. Two biggest worries from campus perspective: universities cannot comment on public matters and the bill mandates certain types of discipline. Discussion followed. Blank announced the new head of the Arboretum and summarized the rush towards commencement with a sample of her upcoming activities: women’s hockey team coming to Olin; entrepreneurship awards on Thursday; Odyssey graduation on Wednesday (low income); undergraduate chancellor’s awards. The UC called the chancellor’s attention to the desire in the Officer Education Committee’s annual report for more leadership representation at ROTC events. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 2:53 p.m.