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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 09-11-23

Approved 10-09-23



272 Bascom Hall

Monday, September 11, 2023

3:30 to 5:00 p.m.


Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Rob Cramer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.

Guest: Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Vice Chancellor Reesor discussed recent events in the news impacting students and the community. On Wednesday, September 6, the Madison Police Department arrested a suspect in the recent assault on a student. Vice Chancellor Reesor encouraged students to continue to look out for and take care of each other. Regarding the pier collapse at Memorial Union, there were only minor injuries, and the pier has been removed. There will be an investigation into what happened and a review of safety protocols. We ended last semester in a difficult way with the circulation of a racist video. Vice Chancellor Reesor and others in Student Affairs met with leaders of the Black Power Coalition throughout the summer to work with them on their initiatives. Student Affairs is also working to lift up engagement efforts and provide additional programming and support for underrepresented students. A review of cultural centers is already underway. The Student Affairs organization is divided into four areas: Health and Wellbeing, Identity and Inclusion, Student Advocacy, and Student Leadership and Community Engagement. Vice Chancellor Reesor announced that a new Center for Interfaith Dialogues has been established within the Identity and Inclusion area. The name of the Center for First Year Experience has been changed to the Office of Student Transition and Family Engagement, which better describes the role of that office in serving transfer students as well as first-year students. In the Student Leadership and Community Engagement area, UW Conferences and Events moved last year under the Wisconsin Union. Vice Chancellor Reesor talked about the role of Student Affairs enhancing and supporting the mission of the university by focusing on areas of wellbeing, involvement, and belonging. As we think about the fall, significant areas include continued need for mental health support, increased requests for classroom flexibility and disability accommodations, and a focus on free speech, civility, and belonging, as well as a need for constructive dialogue and restorative practices. Approximately 10% of UW students were affiliated with the McBurney Center in 2022-23, which is a 132% increase in the last 5 years, and greater than 90% of affiliated students have a nonapparent disability. Student Affairs is working with the Division of Teaching and Learning to look systemically at how to provide better support for both students and instructors in these areas. Mental health continues to be a challenge, with anxiety, stress, and depression continuing to be top concerns. We have one of the largest and most diverse mental health services staff in the country, with sessions offered in multiple languages. We continue to grow the number of embedded counselors in the schools/colleges/divisions as well. We have also expanded UWill, which is our telehealth program. Student Affairs is working on a model of building trust as a foundation of community, with three components: competency, consistency, and character. Beyond that, there is emphasis on the importance of listening and acting based on student feedback, as well as not underestimating the power of reaching out to students and the difference that can make.

Guest: Brady Minter, Past President, Madison Academic Staff Network

Brady gave an update on the Madison Academic Staff Network (MASN) and announced that the network has new leadership on the Board. Kristin Cooper is the new Board President. MASN is a professional organization that serves the community of UW-Madison academic staff. The group provides information about issues pertinent to academic staff members and provides networking opportunities for members and guests. The MASN Fall Breakfast will take place on September 28 at Union South, and all are invited to attend. MASN is in the final planning stages for several events throughout the fall, including a tour of the Arboretum, a tour of the Bakke Recreation Center, and a book discussion on this year’s Go Big Read selection. Brady encouraged attendees to get involved and to visit

Automatic Consent Business

The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, May 8, 2023, were approved.


ASEC Chair Albert Muniz presented the ASEC report. The fall cycle for the Academic Staff Professional Development Grant Program will be announced this week for activities from January-June 2024. Nominations are open for the Outstanding Women of Color Awards, and those nominations are due by September 20. Assembly Skills Workshop sessions will be held on September 25 in person and September 26 virtually. The annual Employee Benefits and Resource Fair will be held on October 3 from 10:00am-4:00pm in Union South. The Academic Staff Mentor Match Program will issue a call for participants this week, and Albert encouraged attendees to participate. ASEC continued to meet throughout the summer and welcomed Provost Isbell to UW-Madison.

Jenny Dahlberg presented a report on behalf of the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO). ASPRO started at UW-Madison but has grown to represent all academic staff across the UW System. ASPRO membership supports lobbyist Kathi Kilgore at the Capitol to represent the needs, wants, and future of academic staff with state government. Several bills are anticipated to come to the floor soon, including the Wisconsin/Minnesota Tuition Reciprocity Bill (Senate Bill 161/Assembly Bill 140). This bill would require differential tuition earned by any UW System institution to be returned to that institution. Those differential tuition funds are currently deposited back to the state’s general fund. For 2021-22, approximately $13.6 million of tuition from Minnesota students was sent back to the general fund. ASPRO is in support of this legislation to provide helpful resources to the campuses. As of last Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCER) is waiting for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis of the proposed state compensation plan. Kathi has met with six of the eight members of the JCER and will meet with the other two soon. Hopefully we will know more in October. A survey was sent out to ASPRO members, as well as non-members in the Assembly, to get more information on how ASPRO can modify its activities to best serve academic staff.

J.J. Andrews, co-chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid (CURAFA), provided the annual report of the committee for 2022-23 (ASA #815). The committee’s mission is to build a scholarly and diverse undergraduate student population by initiating, monitoring, and advising on policies related to student recruitment, admissions, and financial aid. The committee identified four topics impacting these areas. The first was a tuition waiver for Native Nations students. CURAFA, the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee, and the Native Nations Working Group worked together to research and make recommendations around a tuition waiver program. The second topic was UW-Madison’s ranking among Big Ten institutions in competitive financial aid/scholarships. The committee recommended campus leadership continue its effort to increase institutional grants and scholarships to increase our ranking for providing awards among Big Ten universities. The third topic was the Division of Enrollment Management’s responses to feedback received from students and stakeholders about the negative impacts of overenrollment. CURAFA members agreed that Enrollment Management’s responses to overenrollment issues have been appropriate, and the committee will continue to monitor these issues to see if new policies or procedures may be needed. The fourth topic was student placement test scores and academic readiness. CURAFA will continue monitoring trends of increased enrollment in developmental math courses in the wake of the pandemic.

Albert Muniz, ASEC Chair, presented the report on 2022-23 Academic Staff Assembly business (ASA #816). The Assembly voted on eight resolutions and changes to Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP). The summary document provides information on the outcome of these voting items. Albert highlighted the resolution on academic staff workplace conditions and morale. This is something that continues to have ASEC’s attention, and ASEC intends to bring this up with our new Provost. It is also inextricably linked to the results from the Staff Climate Survey.

Resolution for the Creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Ageism (ASA #814)

Nola Walker, ASEC member, introduced the resolution for a first reading by the Assembly. ASEC has heard anecdotal concerns about how ageism may manifest in different ways. Because it is a complex issue that intersects with several areas of campus climate, it was brought for a first reading. The resolution itself authorizes the creation of an ad hoc committee to look into this topic. ASEC intends to bring the resolution back to the Assembly for a vote at the October meeting. There was a discussion about ageism as something that can impact both older and younger employees and a question about whether the committee might look into impacts in instruction and research. Representatives and alternates were invited to submit feedback or comments to ASEC or the Secretary’s office by September 26.

Vice Chancellor Report

Vice Chancellor Cramer welcomed 34 new representatives and alternates of the Academic Staff Assembly and expressed his appreciation for returning Assembly members as well. Initial enrollment information indicates a combined 9,100 first-year and transfer students for this year, which is closer to our target enrollment numbers. We have more than 27,000 undergraduate students returning this fall. Looking at Fiscal Year 2022-23, UW-Madison finished the year in a fairly strong fiscal position, because of both enrollment and research growth. We will be going to the Board of Regents in October to present the program revenue balances for the last fiscal year, which occurs annually in the fall. Looking into this fiscal year, the Board of Regents approved the budget as projected. On the capital budget, the new Engineering Building was the top priority for capital projects. It was not enumerated in the budget, and UW-Madison continues to work with supporters to identify a path forward to getting the building enumerated. There are several other projects and utility work that are important for our institution as well. We are waiting for the Joint Committee on Employment Relations to approve the state pay plan, with a 4% increase effective July 1, with retroactive payment to be made as a lump sum. We also continue to work with UW System on possibilities for a paid parental leave program. Vice Chancellor Cramer highlighted safety efforts on campus. UW Police Department (UWPD) stood up a threat review team that looks at incidents that occur around the country and determines what we can learn from those. UWPD is implementing faster notification when there are active threats on campus. The BadgerSafe app provides threat alerts and other safety information. UWPD can also provide in-person training on active threats. Vice Chancellor Cramer touched on the fall academic leadership summit and discussion of successes and challenges of the institution. He emphasized there have been no changes in scholarship policies as a result of the Supreme Court decision in the North Carolina and Harvard cases. The legislature reduced the overall UW System general purpose revenue budget by $15.9 million in each of the next two years. Governor Evers vetoed the language related to staff working in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging areas but was not able to eliminate the reduction in funding. Our share of that reduction is about $7 million per year. Reduction of support for higher education was also a topic of discussion. There was excitement around successes in enrollment and increases in research expenditures. Vice Chancellor Cramer also highlighted campus sustainability activity, including our goal of achieving a Gold STARS rating in 2025. We will be kicking off a study this fall of how we can decarbonize our campus by 2048 or sooner.

Meeting adjourned at 4:46 pm.

Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff

KeywordsASA Minutes   Doc ID132022
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2023-10-10 12:59:45Updated2023-10-10 13:01:05
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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