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Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 10-08-18

Approved 11-12-18

272 Bascom Hall
Monday, October 8, 2018
3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Vice Provost Michael Bernard-Donals called the meeting to order at 3:34 p.m.  

Automatic Consent: The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, September 17, 2018, were approved.

Guest: Chancellor Rebecca Blank
Chancellor Blank thanked everyone for their service to academic staff governance.  She provided an update on educational outcome statistics. Time to degree completion has fallen to 4 years and 4 days; the goal is to eliminate the 4 days. This statistic is highly correlated to debt. Graduation rates in general went up with a freshman retention rate above 95%. This past year’s graduating class was the largest, and this year’s incoming class is also the largest and included a record-setting number of applications. There are over 6800 freshmen and over 1100 transfers. 47 states are represented and 44 countries. There are over 3600 Wisconsin freshmen enrolled at a time when high school graduation rates are declining. The university is now enrolling more Wisconsin high school graduates than before. There was also an increase in the number of under-represented minorities in this class.

This past summer UW-Madison has taken in Cooperative Extension and Public Media with leadership transitioning first. These entities were originally created by UW-Madison. We are still in the midst of employee transition with the goal of transitioning employees on July 1, 2019.

This past year, the university had some additional funds to invest. They have allocated money centrally to specific items. One is expanding student access through the Badger Promise and Bucky’s Tuition Promise. The Badger Promise for first generation transfer students, funding tuition and fees for one or two years. Bucky’s Tuition Promise guarantees four years of tuition and fees through scholarships and grants for Wisconsin families in the bottom half of the Wisconsin income distribution. This is part of the University’s commitment to help low-income Wisconsin students to come here. The UW Foundation campaign has raised funds for an additional 3400 scholarships.

The university is working on growing staff and faculty excellence. There were about 1700 academic staff hired this past academic year. Most important is the issue of compensation. Everyone performing satisfactorily will receive a 4% salary increase this year. In addition, there will be the same amount of central funding for compensation adjustments as last year including $4 million for staff, $3 million for faculty and $4 million for bonuses. Departments and units have been directed to use this additional money strategically to bring employees up to market and/or to retain them. The Title and Total Compensation study will be particularly helpful for understanding staff compensation levels.

Extramural funding was falling when she arrived. There has been an increase in these funds during the last two years, by 8% one year and 4% the other year.

The Chancellor discussed other areas where there has been new investment. She restarted the cluster hire program that will fund 70-75 new positions, primarily faculty but also some senior research staff. The UW2020 has funded innovative research projects. There has been a heavy investment in graduate student stipends. Stipends have increased 25% over the last five years. This increase this year was 13%, and UW-Madison is now at the median of the Big Ten.

It is a budget year.  Until elections are concluded, things will remain quiet.  The Board of Regents submitted its proposed budget.  They requested $108 million in new state funding along with a very large capital budget request.  The biggest capital request for UW-Madison was the expansion and renovation of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Guest: Nick Ewoldt, Professional Development and Recognition Committee (Committee Overview)

The Professional Development and Recognition Committee (PDRC) is primarily involved in recognizing excellent academic staff. They give out the Professional Development Grants to provide professional development opportunities for academic staff. The average award is between $800 and $1000, and the grants fund half of the costs. Last fall 54 grants were funded with an average of $962. In the spring 58 grants were funded with an average amount of $1200. Acceptance rates for the grants is around 50%.

There are also Executive Education Grants. These grants are provided by the School of Business Executive Education program and fund attendance for five academic staff at the 2-3 day course of their choice. Applications are due in April.

The PDRC also chooses the winners for the Academic Staff Excellence Awards. There are nine awards: Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching; Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University; Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research – Independent Investigator; Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research – Critical Research Support; Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership – Individual Unit Level; Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership – School, College, or Larger University Level; Robert and Carroll Heideman Award for Excellence in Public Service and Outreach; Martha Casey Award for Dedication to Excellence; Ann Wallace Career Achievement Award.  The committee also selects nominations for the UW System awards: Academic Staff Regents Award for Excellence (Individual and Program); Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award. These applications are due in January. Those receiving a UW-Madison Excellence Award are given a plaque and $5000. The website for the Secretary of Academic Staff Office is a great resource.


Kevin Niemi provided ASEC’s report.  A written report was distributed at the door. October 9 is the Benefits Fair, and there will be an academic staff governance table. He mentioned that the Provost has talked with ASEC about the program productivity monitoring Board of Regents policy revisions.

Jenny Dahlberg provided the report for ASPRO. ASPRO works across the UW System. Mallory Mulsolf, Kevin Niemi and Jenny all serve on the board. They are working to increase ASPRO membership. Membership fees go toward hiring a lobbyist to represent the academic staff at the state capitol.

Lauren Hasselbacher and Patrick Sheehan presented the UW-Madison Consensual Relationship Policy.  This policy was mandated by the UW Board of Regents in December 2016.  The policy presented to the Assembly is very similar to the Board of Regent policy with some small additions to make it UW-Madison specific. One example is expanding the definition of instructor to include graduate assistants.  

Resolution of Support Continued Central Funding for Compensation for Academic Staff (ASA #692)

Jenny Dahlberg (ASEC) moved that the Academic Staff Assembly approve the resolution. Seconded. Motion approved.

Vice Provost Report
Michael Bernard-Donals reported that UW-Madison now has an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. The center is meant to support development of under-represented faculty members, but is really a resource for anyone serving in an instructional role. So far over 200 people have signed up. The Vice Provost for Diversity website has a link.

There are also continuing efforts to prevent hostile and intimidating behavior on campus. There were workshops for leadership in the spring. Based on feedback from those sessions, the curriculum was revised this summer. Workshops are being offered this fall and spring. In the spring, there will be workshops for English Language Learners and those working 2nd and 3rd shift. There are 12 workshops or so scheduled this fall with additional sessions offered in the spring.

There are many questions about how human resources managers, supervisors, etc. address the behavior with the policies we have now.  Michael is working with Patrick Sheehan, Steve Smith, and Heather Daniels to develop process documents for how to use the policy.  He hopes to have this guidance issued before the end of the academic year.

The Chancellor has been promoting a new Target of Opportunity program for faculty. The previous program provided 2 years of central funding for faculty salaries. They have done some research on what obstacles may exist to hiring more under-represented faculty. To address these obstacles, the new program has a much longer funding window. Michael recently discussed with ASEC what a similar program would be for academic staff and university staff. He encouraged people to send their ideas to ASEC.

Michael shared that he, Patrick Sheehan, Steve Smith, Brian Vaughan, and Heather Daniels are working on a website that provides guidance for HR managers, associate deans, and supervisors on all types of misconduct cases. This website would provide information on the definition of the conduct, link to applicable policies, and provide information on what to do and where to go for assistance.

Adjourned at 4:32 pm.

Minutes submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Academic Staff

KeywordsASA Min   Doc ID35974
OwnerLesley F.GroupThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
Created2013-12-12 09:14:40Updated2020-07-13 15:06:48
SitesThe Office of the Secretary/ Academic Staff
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