ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, April 10, 2023
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Guest: Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vice Chancellor Reesor provided an update on the Division of Student Affairs. Chancellor Blank created the vice chancellor position five years ago, and the division was reorganized into four units: Health and Well-being, Identity and Inclusion, Student Advocacy, and Student Leadership and Community Engagement. Areas of key focus in Student Affairs include enhancing student success; infusing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; fostering a culture of wellbeing; and strengthening the Student Affairs infrastructure. Mental health continues to be at the forefront of Student Affairs’ efforts, which reflects a major national challenge in our society as well. The number of UW mental health appointments continues to grow on an annual basis. Anxiety and stress are the top concerns presented by students utilizing mental health services through University Health Services (UHS). UHS serves undergraduate students and has also seen a growth in services for graduate students and professional students. UHS has one of the largest and most diverse mental health services staff in the country. Staff support for multilingual services has also increased. Student Affairs is promoting a collective care approach where community well-being is a shared responsibility. We have also seen an increase in need for student accommodations, some of which is tied to mental health services. The McBurney Center continues to see increased demand for its services, both from new student applicants as well as continuing students. More staff have been added to the McBurney Center, and they are also looking at strengthening the relationship between McBurney and our testing center. Student Affairs is continuing conversations around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The Division is hearing about the need for more spaces on campus to honor and recognize underrepresented identities. There are also tensions between free speech and belonging, and Student Affairs is building more programming, support, and educational opportunities around these difficult conversations. Registered student organizations are starting to bounce back from a dip in engagement during the first year of the pandemic. One challenge in this area is rebuilding institutional memory within these organizations. RecWell facilities continue to do well, and the interest in the new Nicholas Recreation Center has been outstanding. The Bakke Center will open on April 24 and will also include more programs and services that focus on well-being. Regarding student support, the Division has seen an increase in student-of-concern reports, which has enabled Student Affairs to reach out to students to check on their well-being and follow up as needed.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, March 13, 2023, were approved.
Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) Election Results (ASA #810)
Secretary of the Academic Staff Jake Smith presented the 2023 ASEC election results. Albert Muniz, Terry Paape, and Nola Walker were elected to three-year terms of office beginning July 1, 2023.
ASEC Chair Mallory Musolf presented the ASEC report. This year’s Assembly standing committee election will open on April 11 and will close on April 25. One of ASEC’s priorities has been raising the visibility of Committees on Academic Staff Issues (CASIs). ASEC has finalized a CASI best practices document with the help of CASIs. ASEC also worked with the Provost Office on a communication sent by Provost Scholz to the deans in support of collaborating with CASIs. Mallory also expressed both gratitude for Provost Scholz’s leadership and best wishes in his new role as President of the University of Oregon.
In the absence of Kathi Kilgore, who had an unexpected conflict arise, Jenny Dahlberg presented a report for ASPRO. Jenny and Kathi met with the UW System Reps group on April 7 and held a brief session on ASPRO’s mission and recent efforts. ASPRO is watching what is happening with the biennial budget process, as well as bills related to course numbering and transfer credits. There is also a bill related to tying tuition increases to the Consumer Price Index, which ASPRO currently opposes. ASPRO is in support of a bill related to the reciprocity agreement with Minnesota and direct receipt of those tuition dollars by individual campuses. It looks as though all policy items, such as paid family leave, will be removed from the Legislature’s revised budget proposal.
Megan Ackerman-Yost, Chair of the Districting and Representation Committee (DRC), presented an update on the committee’s efforts regarding districting according to revised titles from the implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project (TTC). Districts are primarily organized by job titles, with school/college/division affiliations as a secondary consideration. When the titles were updated through TTC, the DRC found that the current districts did not consistently demonstrate a meaningful relationship with the updated titles, which hampered the ability of the committee to create accurate district definitions. This year, the DRC focused on updating the districts to ensure this consistency and working with DoIT colleagues to update the automated implementation of the districting logic. When the revised districting logic is implemented, academic staff will retain the ability to move to a different district if they feel they would be better represented by a particular district.
Resolution on the Staff Climate Survey (ASA #811)
Donna Cole, ASEC Vice Chair, moved approval of the Resolution on the Staff Climate Survey. Seconded. Kevin Graeme, District 532 Representative, moved amendment of the twelfth clause of the resolution to read, “Be it further resolved that the institution will develop key performance indicators (aka measurables) that are reviewed and approved by governance and that schools/colleges/divisions will develop strategies to meet those key performance indicators” Seconded. Motion not approved. Vote taken on the resolution. Approved.
Provost Scholz mentioned that this will be his final Assembly meeting before leaving for the University of Oregon after a 30-year career with UW-Madison. The Board of Regents recently approved its first resident undergraduate tuition increase in over a decade. UW-Madison students will see a 4% increase in Fall 2023. There will also be a small increase in student segregated fees. The Board of Regents also approved tuition differential increases for undergraduates in the School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the School of Nursing. College of Letters and Science Dean Eric Wilcots has accepted the position of interim provost as of April 24 and will be serving in that role until a new provost is appointed. UW-Madison had four finalists for the provost position visit campus last week, and it is expected that a new provost will start in late summer. Frances Vavras has accepted the position of Dean and Vice Provost of the International Division and will be starting at the end of July. The Chancellor’s investiture ceremony will be held at the end of the week, and there are a variety of related events celebrating the work of the institution throughout the week. Provost Scholz expressed his appreciation for shared governance as one of the aspects that makes UW-Madison special, and he expressed his gratitude to Assembly members for all that they do.
Meeting adjourned at 4:55 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff