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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 12-14-15

Approved 2-8-16

272 Bascom Hall
Monday, December 14, 2015
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf called the meeting to order at 3:42 p.m.  Chancellor Blank began speaking prior to quorum being reached for the meeting.

Automatic Consent: The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, November 9, 2015, were approved.  

Guest: Rebecca Blank, Chancellor
Chancellor Blank reported that the campus faced a $86 million deficit effective July 1, 2015.  More than half of the deficit is being closed through budget cuts or budget redirection.  There will be an additional $11 million next year in budget cuts.  Approximately 35-45% of the deficit will be covered through tuition increases for professional schools and out-of-state undergraduates.  In October, the Board of Regents approved a 4 year pilot program that removes the cap on out-of-state enrollment.  In exchange, UW-Madison will enroll at least 3600 Wisconsin freshman.  The additional revenue from additional out-of-state students will help close the rest of the budget gap.  The Chancellor expects out-of-state enrollment to grow between 50-150 students in the next few years.  

There were changes to tenure and shared governance.  The legislature left much of the shared governance language intact.  Shared governance is one of the reasons people come and stay here.  Chancellor Blank does not expect changes in the current shared governance process as a result of the changes in statute.  The shared governance chairs are working on a statement reaffirming the campus’ commitment to shared governance, and the Chancellor intends to sign it.  

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement is working on a climate survey for faculty, staff and students.  This will happen next fall.  The survey will help identify the places on campus that seem less inclusive.  

The biggest problem facing UW-Madison is the accumulation of bad news.  University administration is doing everything it can to retain faculty.  

The key long-term question at hand is how we work together to build a university that is resilient and stable in the current environment.  The university needs a stable financial base.  There are a number of ways to work on this.  The university needs to have market rates for out-of-state and professional students.  Chancellor Blank is working with the legislature to have a conversation about in state tuition levels and making the case of the importance of state support for higher education.  UW-Madison administration is finding ways to generate new revenues by expanding learning opportunities for mid-career professionals, offering more professional master’s degrees, and increasing summer session offerings.  There are a number of reasons to expand summer session offerings: to serve UW-Madison students better, bring other students here for the summer, and provide a margin for support for departments/programs that they don’t currently have.

In the area of fundraising, the UW Foundation publically launched a 7-year campaign and have announced several transformative gifts.  This does not mean that UW-Madison does not need state funds.  Money raised through private donors are not discretionary funds.  They want to add to the margin of excellence, not support the core of the university.  Many of the gifts are not spendable, but are endowment gifts.  These gifts generate income that can be spent at approximately 4.5% a year.  The campaign will count all gifts regardless of when they are paid out (like bequests).  Approximately 10-20% of the amount raised could be a bequest.

Standing Committee and Other Reports

Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) – Heather McFadden thanked the Assembly for donating non-perishable items to The Open Seat, the new UW-Madison student food pantry.  She also reminded academic staff about the upcoming nominations deadlines for the UW System Academic Staff Awards and the UW-Madison Academic Staff Excellence Awards.

Ad Hoc Committee on Assembly Engagement - Tim Markle reminded the Assembly about the new Ad Hoc Committee on Engagement.  While the committee did not have time to have a discussion during the meeting, the Assembly’s input is crucial in determining what is going well and what could be done better. Immediately after the Assembly meeting, committee members will be holding a short, 15-minute small group discussion around two main questions: what is working well and what could be done better?  Committee members will be in the middle and back of the room, and Assembly members can proceed directly there following the end of the meeting.

Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) – Kevin Niemi reported that the ASPRO lobbyist Kathi Kilgore has been extremely busy.  There are specific bills on some retirement changes including changing the calculation of your retirement amount from 3 to 5 years and increasing the retirement age.  ASPRO asked the legislature to request an actuarial study about effects of these two bills on Wisconsin Retirement System.

In regards to the Tenure Task Force, the process language in program discontinuation, curtailment, redirection or modification does not include academic staff.  ASPRO sent a letter to the Tenure Task Force asking that academic staff be added.

Standing Committees Annual Reports

Jenny Dahlberg reported that the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee met monthly last year.  They spent the majority of their time reviewing the survey results from the April 2014 survey.  Academic Staff Assembly document 561 is the summary of those survey results.  They also participated in writing several other resolutions during the last year including job security (ASA 556), merit-based pay adjustments (ASA 564), lifting or removing the Category A maximum (ASA 571).

Resolution on Dangerous Weapons in Campus Buildings
Kevin Niemi (ASEC) moved approval of the resolution on dangerous weapons in campus buildings.  Seconded.  Approved.

January Assembly Meeting
The Assembly voted to cancel the January Assembly meeting.

Adjourned at 4:38 pm.

Minutes submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Academic Staff

KeywordsASA Minutes   Doc ID60592
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2016-02-09 15:32:57Updated2020-07-13 15:08:41
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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