University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 05/01/2020
Minutes for April 27, 2020
UC members present: Campagnola, Halverson, Sandgren, Ventura, Warfield (chair), Wolf
Also present, besides those mentioned below: Greg Bump, Michelle Felber, Amol Goyal, Yvonne Kim, Matt Mayrl, Jack O’Meara, Kelly Meyerhofer, Lauren Papp, Noel Radomski, Jane Richard, Jake Smith, Bill Tishler, Jason Yackee
Chair Warfield called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.
Wolf moved to approve the University Committee minutes for April 20, 2020. Seconded. Approved.
President Cross met with the faculty representatives (including Wolf) on Friday with an update around COVID-19.
The UC discussed who would be on the UW System Faculty Representatives group. Erica Halverson agreed to be a back-up representative for the next two years. There will likely be a long-term representative, probably associated with PROFS.
Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Faculty, reviewed the Senate agenda. It has three voting items: one is the grading period change, second is a resolution regarding Our Shared Future, and a third is a resolution supporting DACA-recipient employees (see also below).
Michael Bernard-Donals, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff, presented results of a survey of department chairs conducted by Mark Rickenbach, who served as the Provost fellow last year. In particular, it identified the parts of the job that chairs were comfortable with, compared to the parts of the job they understood as most important. The duties in the category of “important but least comfortable” included managing resources, retaining faculty, culture and climate, engaging with staff, and planning (both long-term and short-term). The survey has informed the chairs chats that Bernard-Donals has been holding, which have been well received and well attended. On average, they reported spending 63% of their time on chair duties. Department chair terms are quite variable between schools and colleges.
Karl Scholz, Provost, has received a variety of requests for students to return to campus facilities. Clinical rotations and practice rooms have been the most requested. Up to this point, he has been telling people no. The University Committee discussed.
Scholz is putting together teams on academic affairs and instructional design, and welcomed additional nominations from the University Committee. They also discussed what to tell faculty about how to prepare for this fall.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reported that Steve Ackerman is working on a plan to reopen research projects. There is a group looking at campus testing for COVID-19; the cost and availability of tests remains a concern.
Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, reported this was the first time the Emergency Operations Center has been fully activated, and not just particular aspects of it. Most of the campus buildings remain essentially closed. The conference centers and housing have provided facilities to state and local agencies during the crisis.
In regards to finances, the $100 million shortfall is a conservative figure.
Heller met with the Budget Committee and will through the summer. They provided him with a good idea of what is happening in departments/units.
The Procurement to Pay project, designed to make purchasing easier, is to replace an aging software system, but is facing delays due to COVID-19.
Alfonso Morales, Chair of the Immigration and International Issues Committee, shared a resolution to support DACA employees, and is similar to one passed in 2016 supporting DACA students. It will be on the May Faculty Senate agenda for a vote.
Sandgren moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss a grievance and appointments. Seconded. Passed at 3:01.
Sandgren moved to convene in open session which was seconded at 4:03 when Chair Warfield adjourned the meeting.