Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 3-19-20
1:45 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: J.J. Andrews, Diane Blaskowski, Heather Daniels, Ron Harris, Alyson Kim, Karl Scholz, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 1:49 p.m.
The minutes of March 5, 2020 were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, reported on his meeting with some of the chairs of the other shared governance groups. Issues discussed included graduate student issues, student representation on the Sustainability Council, and the shared governance values statement and the report that resulted from it. Tim reported that the latest academic staff chat was a virtual chat with remote employees. The chat went well, and the overall theme was inclusion of remote employees in campus activity. He attended the ASM Student Council meeting, which will be conducting virtual meetings going forward. The Amnesty Through Responsible Action legislation passed. He attended the System Reps meeting last week, which covered COVID-19, TTC, and the Youth Protection Policy.
Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the April 6 Faculty Senate meeting has been cancelled. Jake will be meeting with the other Secretaries on March 20 to discuss how large governance meetings (i.e. Assembly, Senate, Congress) will be able to effectively conduct business in a virtual environment. In consultation with the PDRC, announcement of the Executive Education Grant program, as well as the PD Grant approvals, have all been delayed by two weeks. The standing committee elections will not be delayed and will be launched in the next couple of weeks. The ASEC election closed on March 18, and Jake is currently reaching out to all the candidates. The results will be announced soon.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the search and screen process for the Secretary of the Academic Staff position is going forward virtually and on schedule. She also reported that the west end CASI professional development event has been postponed until further notice.
Deb Shapiro reported that the Librarians Assembly will be meeting virtually next week, while the L&S CASI meeting is cancelled. The teaching professor working group held its first meeting recently and expects to have its work completed by mid-April.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
ASEC thanked Provost Scholz for his report at the March Assembly meeting regarding COVID-19 preparations. Provost Scholz also thanked ASEC and everyone who has put in so much work in such a short amount of time to deal with the changes COVID-19 has brought. Provost Scholz mentioned the Chancellor’s message to employees regarding virtual instruction and that the prohibition of gatherings of 10 people or more have been extended through May 15. The current dean searches for Extension, Law, and Letters and Science are all going forward. Slates have been presented for Extension and Law, and virtual options will be available for interviews. Regarding instructional continuity, there are over 140 technologists assembled in the effort to convert courses to an online environment. One of the biggest challenges is around synchronous learning.
Provost Scholz also reported that he raised the notion of a land acknowledgement statement for all governance groups at the campus level, based on his conversation with ASEC and Aaron Bird Bear at the Feburary 27 ASEC meeting. This is under consideration by the Chancellor’s executive committee. On the topic of companies soliciting lecturers to produce work that is sold to students, the Provost raised this issue with Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Steve Cramer. Vice Provost Cramer indicated that this issue has been on his radar for some time and they are addressing it and other similar issues as they arise. On the topic of the Vice Provost position that are open, Provost Scholz indicated that the deadline for applications has been moved to March 30, and the searches are proceeding. All three search committees have been charged. A broad view of campus is crucial for all three positions.
Guest: J.J. Andrews, Co-Chair, Committee for Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid (CURAFA)
J.J. discussed the draft of a letter that CURAFA had approved calling on the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. The committee identified three areas of focus: diversity-based outreach, recruitment, and admissions initiatives; the explicit promotion of diversity and inclusion on UW-Madison’s mission statement and branding materials; and increased support for inclusive and diverse campus communities and climate initiatives. For the committee, the question was one of what is being done to support the students and expand the quality of life for underrepresented populations at UW-Madison. ASEC discussed how the data captured here would be more complex when it came to individuals with multiple identities and inquired to what degree APIR was involved with the report. ASEC will discuss this issue further, along with a draft resolution to endorse the letter, at a future meeting.
Guest: Diane Blaskowski and Mark Walters, Office of Human Resources
Mark talked about how this is a challenging time for everyone at the university due to COVID-19. The policies on telecommuting and the 80-hour leave bank were priorities for OHR. They are working on further distinguishing between essential and non-essential employees. The 80-hour leave bank is a short-term solution for individuals who are unable to telecommute. A longer-term solution is in the works. There will be an extension to TTC. OHR is currently working through what this will look like. The employee/manager conversations are a particularly difficult challenge during this time. As to questions on essential employees, the Chancellor issued guidance, and schools/colleges/divisions need to offer additional guidance in their respective spaces. Diane reported that OHR is evaluating what it needs to do to extend TTC and specifically what workstreams will be extended. The team is still working on the SJD library, as well as a 100% review of FLSA impacts.
- April Assembly Agenda
- ASEC discussed whether to hold the April Assembly meeting and, if so, by what means. Jake will meet with Heather Daniels and John Lease to discuss logistical concerns for all three employee governance groups. The idea was raised of cancelling the April meeting and replacing it with a test session. This will ensure that the May meeting will go smoothly for all. ASEC will return to this discussion next week.
- Diversity Committee Discussion
- ASEC discussed putting this committee on hold for the time being. Jake will continue to reach out to university staff as possible, and ASEC will resume discussion on how to move forward at their May 7 meeting.
- Committee Representative Selection Process
- ASEC suggested further changes to Donna and Mallory’s work on the proposed rubric/guidelines for selection of ad hoc appointees and search and screen committee nominees.
- Topics for Provost and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
- Provost – contingencies for internet outages that interfere with students’ and instructors’ ability to engage with coursework, questions about implications for negative student evaluations of instructors and impacts to job security, how much autonomy instructors have in determining how their courses proceed, what is being done about courses that require in-person contact (e.g. clinical courses)
- Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration – Budgetary impacts from COVID-19, questions on possibility of reimbursement of parking costs for employees who are telecommuting or otherwise unable to report to work, possible use of buildings that might have capacity (e.g. Research Park) as small remote offices, any lessons learned from the efforts made so far to contain the virus on campus
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointment to the ASM Ginsburg Family Award Selection Committee. (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Convene in Open Session. (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
- Appointment – for vote
Meeting adjourned at 4:47 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff