2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, January 19, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Bruno Browning, Lesley Fisher, Gloria Hawkins, Karl Scholz
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of January 5 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported on the monthly meeting between ASEC leadership and OHR. They discussed paid family leave as a central benefits topic, as well as looking at possibilities for tuition remission for employees, which is coming up both in interviews and employee performance evaluations. Mallory also reported on the recent Academic Staff Chat on strategies for having difficult conversations. The takeaways included respectful treatment as well as resources for addressing situations without involving local HR. This underscores the importance of the HIB Working Group looking at a process flow for handling situations more informally.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the Provost Search and Screen Committee is hosting a listening session for all employees on January 25 from 4:00-5:00. The session will be held via Zoom. Jake also reported the call for the Mentoring Awards through the Office of the Provost. The deadline for submissions is March 10. ASEC will review the candidates for the Vice Provost for Libraries Search and Screen Committee at the January 26 meeting. Registration for the April 4 Academic Staff Institute is now open, and Kacie Lucchini Butcher has agreed to provide the keynote address. Donna and Jake attended the recent meeting of the Big Ten Advocacy Collaboration Group. Topics of discussion included recruitment and retention of staff, as well as issues related to titling, compensation, and career progression.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the latest meeting of the Wisconsin Public Media CASI. WPM is getting close to posting for a new director of radio and is in the middle of looking at reworking scheduling for WPR. There are a total of 22 recruitments currently underway. WPM is also looking at potentially merging finance functions for radio and television.
Tim Dalby reported on the January 11 meeting of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee. The group discussed the OHR policy on the employee personnel file and its relationship to ASPP Chapter 11. A small working group will be looking at potential recommendations to better align these two documents, as well as a potential one-pager for employees about the personnel file.
Alissa Ewer reported on the most recent meeting of the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee (CEBC). The committee heard about an issue from a visitor related to potential salary discrepancies in converting from a 9-month appointment to a 12-month appointment. CEBC has also been discussing the possibility of a pulse survey on how staff are feeling about TTC. They discussed a communication to OHR about equity analysis for salaries. The group also talked about the Staff Climate Survey and is interested in the career planning/progression themes that are coming out of that survey.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz reported that he and others would be giving a presentation on ChatGPT at the Education Committee meeting of the Board of Regents on February 9.
Regarding the student survey on free speech, there is a press release about the results scheduled for February 1 in Oshkosh. There has not been much news on the survey otherwise, though there may be follow-up at the Board of Regents meeting. UW-Madison has results from the student climate survey administered in Spring 2021 that will provide potential comparable results to the System-wide survey.
The Staff Climate Survey results are out, and schools/colleges/divisions are expected to act on those results at the local level. There is focus on the results related to hostile and intimidating behavior (HIB), which continues to pose a challenge to the institution. Considering HIB through the lenses of policy, process, and execution, there may be questions around how the behavior is defined, with HIB being one aspect of overall bad behavior. There are also concerns about the investigation process and the weaponization of the HIB process in general. Having three distinct policies within each governance group also raises challenges. On process, we need to look at how long investigations are taking at the campus level, how to streamline simultaneous HIB and Title IX investigations, and enlist new mediation services through OHR once they are onboard. Regarding execution, we need to look at how we are communicating about HIB. A working group chaired by Vice Provost Beth Meyerand is looking into several of these issues related to HIB.
Provost Scholz reported that he expected there would be a call for briefing materials for the incoming provost, similar to what was provided to Chancellor Mnookin. He will also be available as a resource for the new provost as needed.
Guests: Bruno Browning and Gloria Hawkins, Ombuds Office
Bruno and Gloria discussed what they could related to Ombuds visits that concerned evaluative (i.e. supervisor/supervisee) relationships. They have seen the need for greater supervisory training, specifically how to work with supervisees to identify goals and expectations collaboratively, set benchmarks in terms of how those will be reviewed, and for the process to be used for growth and not in a punitive fashion. It’s also important for supervisors to provide opportunities to their direct reports for professional development to meet those expectations/goals. These have been steady issues since both Bruno and Gloria joined, and it is crucial to continue working on these areas.
The Ombuds have looked briefly at the Staff Climate Survey results but haven’t had the opportunity to discuss them as a group yet. They were pleased that the data were as positive as they were. They were also surprised at the results related to HIB, which are indicative to them that there needs to be greater clarity around the definition and the processes in place to address HIB.
There has been a steady increase in the number of visitors to the Ombuds Office, which is partially attributable to more outreach and more visibility across the institution. A sixth Ombudsperson was hired this year to account for the growth in visits. Ombuds serve in a 0.25 FTE position, which helps both in terms of support mechanisms needed as well as onboarding. The Ombuds help employees advocate for themselves. They are also looking forward to increased mediation resources that they can recommend to the individuals they see.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss the Nominating Committee Slate (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
The transportation subcommittee is hoping to hear back from Margaret Tennessen or Rob Cramer next week on the topics that Donna and Jake discussed with Margaret. The DEIB subcommittee met with Patrick Sheehan and members of the ad hoc committee to discuss OHR’s current initiatives related to the ad hoc committee’s recommendations. Patrick has been receptive to those recommendations and wants OHR to be accountable in moving things forward. The group also talked about potential challenges with Workday in aggregating data, as well as thoughts regarding recruitment and thresholds for diverse candidate pools. They discussed leveraging CASIs to collect info as well. OHR is working on centralized exit and stay interviews. The subcommittee will meet again on January 23. ASEC discussed the CASI subcommittee’s best practices document template.
Picking up on a draft resolution that was considered late last summer, ASEC felt it was important to acknowledge all of the events that have occurred in the last 2-3 years that have impacted academic staff. The group also discussed a potential resolution on staff climate survey data, for which the morale resolution could serve as a springboard. A small working group will continue to work on concrete asks in the resolution, with ASEC as a whole to review the draft again at the next meeting.
Representatives of the Office of Sustainability and the Employee Assistance Office are confirmed. There was discussion of a possible resolution on the staff climate survey for the March meeting. The morale resolution will have a first reading at the February meeting.
VCFA: ATP, question about leadership and whether Joanna Wang’s position will be backfilled, timing of RAMP and possible system overlap, opportunities for governance engagement; transportation (potentially invite FPM to discuss directly); specific plans to raise salaries for those in the low quartiles, communication of strategies and successes, challenges with recruiting student hourlies
Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff