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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 09-14-20

Approved 10-12-20



Monday, September 14, 2020

3:30 to 5:00 p.m.


Chancellor Rebecca Blank called the meeting to order at 3:33 p.m.


Chancellor Blank acknowledged that the semester is not off to the start that anyone wanted. The number of positive tests and the rate of increase in positive tests has been faster than anticipated and faster than our peers. People are upset and worried about the trend. They have taken the following actions: quarantine multiple fraternity and sorority houses, asked undergraduate students to limit in person interactions, two-week shift to virtual learning, imposed restrictions on Sellery and Witte Halls for two weeks and have worked to quickly test specific populations that are at a significant risk of being infected. This testing is likely to continue to increase the number of positive tests.


The Chancellor reiterated that she believes opening campus this fall was the right decision. In person instruction is a better way for most students to learn. Many students had plans to be in Madison regardless of the mode of instruction. An open campus gives students structure, ability to access some services in person, and access to COVID testing. The hybrid model of instruction UW-Madison is following is the same as virtually all our peers. On campus safety protocols seem to be working as evidenced by no workplace or classroom transmission that is known.


The university has administered 30,000 COVID tests so far and has provided the results of those tests plus off campus testing via a public dashboard that is updated daily.


Student affairs staff and UWPD have been walking through the Langdon neighborhood at night reminding students of the health protocols of social distancing and mask wearing. There have been and will continue to be consequences for students who do not follow UW-Madison rules.


There are currently over 380 students being investigated for not following rules and UW-Madison is reviewing 12 students for emergency suspension.


The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will begin analyzing tests this coming week. There is also a new rapid test system that will begin in partnership as a research project with UW-Madison faculty. Additional contract tracers will be hired.


The next two weeks will be critical to see if numbers of positive cases come down. UW-Madison administration will continue to monitor the data, meet with local officials and consult with UW System and the Board of Regents.


Chancellor Blank and other campus leadership addressed questions about Smart Restart and the campus response to COVID-19.


The joint meeting recessed at 4:31 p.m.


The Academic Staff Assembly reconvened at 4:34 p.m., with Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller presiding.

Automatic Consent Business

The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, May 11, 2020, were approved.



Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, encouraged attendees to send any questions or concerns left over from the joint meeting to her or the Secretary’s office. Jenny thanked the representatives and alternates for attending the meeting and participating in governance during this difficult time. She asked reps and alts to review the activities listed in the report. Chancellor Blank will also be presenting to the Assembly at the October 12 meeting. Jenny recommended attendees look at the resources for both employees and supervisors on the Smart Restart website located at ASEC is also looking at other issues, including improving campus climate and addressing racial and social injustice in the community. ASEC welcomes input from academic staff as ASEC looks to engage these issues in the coming year.


Jenny Dahlberg delivered the ASPRO report. ASPRO is an organization that supports academic staff across UW System. ASPRO recognizes that it may be a hard time to put funds forward toward membership, and ASPRO is currently looking at ways to help and enhance membership at a reduced cost. UW System will be facing challenging budget issues over the next several months, and ASPRO wants to protect academic staff across UW System and advocate for academic staff with the state legislature.


Academic Staff Nominating Committee Member

The Academic Staff Assembly voted by unanimous consent to elect Darren Martin to the Academic Staff Nominating Committee.


Resolution to Support Fair Trade Certification Efforts for UW-Madison (ASA #739)

Tim Dalby moved that the Academic Staff Assembly approve the resolution. Seconded. Motion approved by unanimous consent.


Adjourned at 4:51 pm.


Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff (minutes for joint session submitted in conjunction with Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Faculty)


KeywordsASA Minutes   Doc ID106618
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2020-10-13 11:37:25Updated2020-10-13 14:09:00
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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