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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 04-08-24

Approved 05-13-24



272 Bascom Hall

Monday, April 8, 2024

3:30 to 5:00 p.m.


Provost Charles Isbell called the meeting to order at 3:34 p.m.

Guest: Jennifer Mnookin, Chancellor

Chancellor Mnookin discussed challenges we have faced this academic year including those due to the war in the Middle East and global affairs, legal challenges related to free speech and Title VI, and the budget process that culminated in the legislative agreement reached in December. The administrative hiring cap went into effect across all Universities of Wisconsin on January 1, and guidance about implementing this on our campus will be forthcoming. 43 DEI positions across Universities of Wisconsin will be reimagined over the next two years, roughly half of which are at UW-Madison. This does not diminish our core commitment to diversity.

We are making great progress in access and affordability. 65% of graduates last year graduated with zero debt. Bucky’s Pell Pathway is covering nearly 1000 members of the newest class, and the Wisconsin Tribal Educational Promise Program was announced last semester.

Earlier this semester, Chancellor Mnookin announced a sustainability initiative focused on environmental sustainability. The initiative is a cross-campus effort to advance research and education and make our campus a living laboratory for sustainable practices. She also announced the Wisconsin Research, Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) Initiative to address research challenges that matter to Wisconsin and the world. The first area of focus is artificial intelligence, and there will be additional focus areas. Additionally, Chancellor Mnookin appointed a committee to look at entrepreneurship.

Starting July 1, all faculty, staff, and most graduate students will be eligible for 6 weeks of paid parental leave within a 12-month period.

Chancellor Mnookin provided an update on leadership changes. Brent Plisch is serving as interim chief of the UW-Madison Police Department; Jonathan Levine was recently hired as the new dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine; and searches are in progress for the vice chancellor for research, dean of the School of Education, dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health, and the vice chancellor for university relations.

Guest: Gloria Hawkins, Ombuds Office (Annual Report)

Gloria presented the 2022-2023 Ombuds Report. The Ombuds Office provides UW-Madison employees a confidential, safe place to share concerns without fear of reprisal.

There was a 10.5% increase in cases from the previous year, with a two-hour average per case. 16% of cases were related to hostile and intimidating behavior, which was a 6% decrease from the previous year. 56% of cases were related to evaluative relationships, which has been the topic with the highest number of cases for many years. 53.4% of cases were academic staff.

Automatic Consent Business

The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, March 11, 2024, were approved.

Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) Election Results (ASA #830)

Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff Lesley Fisher presented the 2024 ASEC election results. Richard Barajas, Aaron Crandall, and Diane Stojanovich were elected to three-year terms of office beginning July 1, 2024.


ASEC Chair Albert Muniz presented the ASEC report. The Administrative Quality Satisfaction Survey will be sent to all faculty and staff tomorrow. The Teaching and Learning Symposium will be held on May 16 at Union South.

ASPRO Board President Jenny Dahlberg presented the ASPRO report. Jenny encouraged Assembly members to sign-up for a virtual legislative recap hosted by Kathi Kilgore.

Committee Co-Chair Carol Hulland and committee member Mario Pennella presented the annual report of the Retirement Issues Committee for 2022-2023 (ASA #831). The committee met with human resources leaders from across campus to discuss what they hear from employees regarding retirement. The committee also created a presentation about retirement planning and have presented it at multiple UW-Madison conferences. The presentation includes key needs and best practices for employees, and encourages normalizing retirement as part of the work life journey. It also highlights tools, resources, and program options related to retirement planning.

Resolution in Recognition of the 175th Anniversary of University of Wisconsin–Madison (ASA #832)

Alissa Ewer, ASEC member, moved approval of ASA Document #832. Motion seconded. Approved.

Provost Report

Finalist visits for the dean of the School of Education begin in two weeks. The provost encouraged Assembly members to attend the public presentations and provide feedback on the candidates.

The US News and World Report graduate program rankings will be announced tomorrow.

Meeting adjourned at 4:54 pm.

Minutes submitted by Lesley Fisher, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff

KeywordsASA Minutes   Doc ID137297
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2024-05-14 08:49:56Updated2024-05-14 08:51:00
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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