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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 10-11-21
ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, October 11, 2021
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs Beth Meyerand called the meeting to order at 3:33 p.m.
Guest: Matt Mayrl, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor
Matt Mayrl attended on Chancellor Blank’s behalf, as she was not able to attend the meeting. The Chancellor has committed to visit the Assembly in either November or December. Matt thanked the members of the Assembly and ASEC for their work in governance and gave additional acknowledgment to the new representatives and alternates in the Assembly. For COVID-related operations in the fall semester, there has been reliance on three central pillars: 1) a requirement to test every 7 days for students and employees who have either not reported their vaccination status or are unvaccinated, 2) a strong campaign to drive vaccination rates up, and 3) the mask mandate implemented at the end of August. On testing, campus continues to operate large scale test sites. Test processing continues at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, and testing is required for those who are unvaccinated. There was a coordinated campaign over the summer encouraging people to get vaccinated. At this point, UW-Madison has 93% of its students vaccinated, 95% of all employees, and 99% of faculty, which helps us continue to operate in a safe manner through the fall and into the winter. The emergence of the Delta variant drove the decision to reinstate a mask mandate. This mandate has been extended through November 26, and campus has seen good compliance. The Chancellor continues to meet weekly with a medical advisory team to review case numbers. A surge was expected, and in the second week of the semester we saw increased numbers, followed by several weeks of continual decline in numbers. University Health Services is beginning to offer booster shots for those who have been vaccinated with Pfizer and are 6 months past their second dose.
UW-Madison welcomed our largest class ever this fall, including the highest number of new Wisconsin freshmen in over 20 years. We continue to maintain a strong commitment to the state, enrolling a higher share of WI high school graduates than in recent memory. On diversity and inclusion efforts, Matt reiterated excitement about LaVar Charleston’s recent appointment as the new Chief Diversity Officer. He was formerly Assistant Dean for Diversity in the School of Education and has a long history of scholarship in this field. In summer 2020, Chancellor Blank also set a goal to raise $10 million for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus. That goal evolved into the Raimey-Noland Fund, and to date, over $40 million has been raised for the fund. It is expected that this fundraising will continue into the future. On compensation, there are $2 million allocated in the faculty block grant, $4 million for the discretionary compensation fund for staff, with an additional $1 million to bring staff up to minima established by the Title and Total Compensation Project, and $5 million in one-time bonus funding. These are in addition to the state pay plans that are scheduled to go into effect in January 2022 and January 2023.
Regarding today’s announcement about the Chancellor’s transition to a leadership role at Northwestern University, the Chancellor has had a long and productive tenure here, especially in comparison to the national average for other Big 10 schools, which is 5-6 years. She is the longest-serving UW-Madison Chancellor since Irving Shain and is the second longest-serving of any Chancellor currently in the Big 10. There are no details at this time on the timeline or composition of the search for a new Chancellor. The Chancellor will be here and stay active through the end of the academic year to continue efforts around revenue innovation, TTC, and investments in the research enterprise.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, September 13, 2021, were approved.
ASEC Chair Tim Dalby acknowledged Indigenous Peoples Day and the Ho-Chunk community, and asked attendees to reflect on the Our Shared Future statement. He provided reminders about the deadlines for the Academic Staff Professional Development Grant program and for the Executive Education program. Academic staff are encouraged to apply for both programs. ASEC is working on its goals for the year, which fall into three areas: increasing diversity, clearer communication coming out of ASEC, and increased support for CASIs. ASEC continues to work with the Office of Human Resources regarding issues related to TTC, including how appeals will work and how promotion and progression will work in the new system.
Jenny Dahlberg presented the ASPRO report. ASPRO has registered objections to Assembly Bill 413/Senate Bill 409 relating to anti-racism and anti-sexism student instruction and training for employees in the UW System. ASPRO wants our academic colleagues to maintain the authority to decide the content of courses they are teaching. ASPRO has also registered objection to Assembly Bill 382 regarding UW System tuition and fees, as ASPRO feels it is important that tuition and fees are set by the Board of Regents and the students. ASPRO registered in favor of Assembly Bill 568/Senate Bill 557, relating to revenue investment in UW System.
Donna Cole presented the report on 2020-21 Academic Staff Assembly Business (ASA #765). The Assembly voted on 7 resolutions and policy changes. The summary provides information on the outcome of those resolutions.
ASPP Chapter 13 Change (Electronic Meetings) (ASA #766)
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, moved approval of Academic Staff Document #766, ASPP Chapter 13 Change (Electronic Meetings). Seconded. Approved.
ASPP Chapter 14 Change (Electronic Meetings) (ASA #767)
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron, ASEC member, moved approval of Academic Staff Document #767, ASPP Chapter 14 Change (Electronic Meetings). Seconded. Approved.
Vice Provost Report
Vice Provost Meyerand expressed her appreciation for all that academic staff have done in the last 18 months. Her office continues to accept school/college/division-level guidelines for the teaching and research professor titles. The following have approved guidelines for use of teaching professor title: the School of Business, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Law School, the College of Letters and Science, the Nelson Institute, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine and Public Health, the School of Human Ecology, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The following have approved guidelines for use of the research professor title: the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Letters and Science, the Nelson Institute, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine and Public Health, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. To date, there has been limited use of the titles, although units may be waiting for rollout of TTC. Vice Provost Meyerand’s office will be tracking utilization and wants feedback if there are roadblocks to use of these titles. The campus guidelines for use of the professor of practice title have been approved, and schools/colleges/divisions are now able to create their own specific guidelines around this title. Vice Provost Meyerand is also working with Assistant Vice Chancellor Charleston to roll out DiversityEdu, which is a curriculum to provide employees with a professional development experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The goal is to have this available by the end of fall semester. An ad hoc committee will develop a second level of training to follow this one, and Vice Provost Meyerand will work with ASEC to help appoint members to this committee and draw on academic staff experience in these areas. She is also working with colleagues over the course of this year to improve processes around hostile and intimidating behavior, including better navigation through the informal resolution process.
Meeting adjourned at 4:28 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff