University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-09-11
University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 09/11/2017
Approved minutes for September 11, 2017 Approved as amended on September 18, 2017
UC members present: Amasino, Litovsky (arrived 1:12), Ventura, Wanner (chair), Warfield
UC member absent: Bowers
Others present: S. Smith, M. Felber, J. Richard, J. O’Meara, H. Daniels, C. Springer, M. Mayrl, M. Bernard-Donals, I. Gerard
Chair Anja Wanner called the first meeting of the academic year to order at 1:00 p.m. and reported that the Madison Advisory Committee on administrative hiring has been formed and charged. Terry Warfield, who will chair the group, reported that materials have been gathered and the group will meet on Friday morning. The System workgroup will have its second meeting the day before (Thursday). Wanner also reported that the ad hoc committee on instructional titles has been charged and will meet soon. Secretary Steve Smith drew the UC’s attention to a draft resolution on climate change/sustainability that will be introduced at the next Senate meeting. Brief discussion about university-related elements in the JFC’s 999 Motion (chancellor qualifications, teaching workload monitoring, and adjustment to pay plan schedule), including report that Regent Petersen might ask for a veto of the chancellor qualifications item since the BOR is already working on it.
Jack O’Meara continued the discussion of JFC actions, noting that the pay plan adjustment is actually good news, although campus still needs to fund it. As written, the chancellor/vice chancellor qualification language runs afoul of FPP. Assembly will take up budget later in the week and Senate the following week; governor still wants this done by “the end of summer” (i.e., September 22, apparently). PROFS may develop a working group on poverty-related issues.
Smith summarized the materials in Box relating to various, mostly housekeeping, changes to Faculty Policies and Procedures. As there is a full agenda for the Senate in October, these will be kicked to November.
Athletic Board outgoing chair Laurel Rice introduced incoming chair Peter Miller and thanked the UC and SOF for their support. Miller outlined his expectations and plans for the next few years. Pay for play will be a big issue soon; UW-Madison remains in the “upper right” quadrant of the admirability/performance graph, but this is always fragile; Board emphasis is on the “y axis” – academics and compliance – leaving the on-field performance to others. Ample discussion, including broader social issues, faculty guest coach program as potential pool for Board members, and press coverage and how to tell our story, especially with regard to academic support of athletes.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick reported on discussions on the topic of “research professors.” This is an idea that has been discussed for a while on campus and could bring several benefits, including stronger retention of scientists, bolstering of research revenue, and increased flexibility for partner hires. OVCRGE has benchmarked peers on this issue and found many positives to potentially build on, especially at U of Michigan, in terms of sensitivity to not encroaching on tenure, research and funding independence, and other aspects. URC will take this up in October; process will also involve provost, ASEC, deans, and others. Ultimately there will be a proposal to the Senate. Ample discussion, including relationship of this to TTC, workload issue, PI status, and soft money. Mailick also reported that she will take the issue of the currently dormant Research Safety and Oversight Committee to the URC at its next meeting, specifically asking them to take over the functions of that committee, as has been discussed for some time. Not only does this seem the logical place for these functions, but it would connect nicely with the IRB working group and similar activities. Mailick introduced Isabelle Girard, Director of Campus Research Cores, who explained the Directory of Resources for Researchers. The UC lauded this online searchable directory of resources and thanked Girard for making it happen. The database currently comprises 78 cores listing about 700 resources, with about 80 more cores in process. In less than 3 months boasts almost 2000 unique users and almost 10,000 page views, which compares very favorably with similar peer resources that have been operating for much longer. Strong positive feedback from PIs. Madison’s database also unique in cross-campus reach (most peers tend to focus on biomedical), which hopefully will foster interdisciplinary efforts.
Dean of the Graduate School Bill Karpus reported that we are ranked #5 in federal fellowships/traineeships. We do well in NSF, top 10 in NIH, 40 NIH training grants, lots of NSF fellowships, and so on, all of which reflects strong mentorship by faculty. Karpus also reported on the CGS career pathways project, which tracks career outcomes of PhD students across all disciplines, and a similar project out of Johns Hopkins that tracks career outcomes of life sciences graduate students and post-docs. Karpus has been asked to approve academic staff (with honorific research professor titles) as major advisors under FPP 3.05.H. and asks the UC if specific policy on terms of conditions of such approvals should be developed. Clear consensus that more guidance on this is needed, including clarification of 3.05.H. itself, which is not completely clear. Consensus also that academic staff do not have the information, connections, qualifications, or accountability to serve as major advisors (although it was allowed that they could probably serve as co-advisors). UC will take this part of FPP to the Senate for discussion and clarification. Karpus will tell requestors that this is on hold until UC can discuss and present to Senate. (If requests are just about being on advisory committee then all that’s needed is departmental executive committee endorsement and Karpus can move forward.) Karpus concluded by seeking UC support for putting together standing committee for awards and fellowships from outside organizations, rather than soliciting ad hoc committee for every competition. UC endorses idea, noting that it would also bring continuity to process and also noting that flexibility should be built in to allow for ad hoc members when specific expertise is needed.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reported, with a straight face, that school has started. She also noted that we are edging closer to a final state budget. Discussion of the “1 good thing and 2 bad things” in the JFC 999 motion (see PROFS above). Change in pay plan timing is the good things; but raises will probably not be allowed to be across the board. On workload, nobody saw this coming. It will mean the eventual need to start collecting workload information from all faculty; we will want to emphasize total workload rather than get into a teaching vs. research argument. Blank reported on the leadership breakfast, which focused on strategic thinking to increase income and allocate it. Discussion about Badger Promise, Stevens Point (which may be closing departments and laying off faculty), DACA, receptions for promoted faculty and major award winners at Olin House, upcoming Boston campaign event, campus sustainability (this will be a priority this year, focusing not just on facilities, but also long-term impact of teaching and research), ASM and student government, and responses to recent hurricanes.
Warfield 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 2:53 p.m. UC discussed an ongoing grievance. The UC unanimously approved one dual role waiver request, contingent on clarification of funding mechanism. The UC considered potential members for the following committees: Union Council, chancellor’s study group on campus KKK connections, UBS Board of Trustees, and the University Library Committee. Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:39 p.m., at which time Wanner adjourned the meeting.