University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 05/11/2020
Minutes for May 4, 2020
UC members present: Campagnola, Halverson, Sandgren, Ventura, Warfield (chair), Wolf
Also present, besides those mentioned below: Michaela Aust, Greg Bump, Michelle Felber, Yvonne Kim, Kristyn Masters, Matt Mayrl, Jack O’Meara, Kelly Meyerhofer, Lauren Papp, Noel Radomski, Jane Richard, Jake Smith, Amanda Todd, Bill Tishler
Chair Warfield called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.
Wolf moved to approve the University Committee minutes for April 27, 2020. Seconded. Approved.
UW System President Ray Cross met with the system faculty representatives (including Wolf) on Friday with an update around COVID-19. UW System has received gift funds for assisting instructional staff with improving online courses.
Ventura reported that all 4 divisional committees have looked at and incorporated guidelines that recognize equity, inclusion, and diversity to evaluate academic achievement in tenure decisions. These are ready to go this fall.
Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, provided updates. They regularly met with student governance groups through the spring semester, and many of the shared governance committees continue to meet. Student Affairs has seen an increase in instructor and staff reports of students who may need support. Some academic units have surveyed students to gauge mental health. Mental health support is online, with some telehealth. There have been a number of oral and graffiti anti-Asian bias incidents. An online Badger at Home festival the week before finals that featured performances, trivia contests, and other virtual events. It was very well received. SOAR will be held virtually this summer.
Charlie Hoslet, Vice Chancellor for University Relations presented the integrated communication plan, focusing on incoming or potential students, who have many questions, such as will housing costs be prorated and will instruction be all online. Some questions can’t be answered at this point, but University Relations and Enrollment Management offer more personalized touches, including 1:1 chats, phone calls, small discussion panels, etc. A new website (excellence.wisc.edu) emphasizes both the UW legacy (highly regarded faculty, research, and the Wisconsin idea) and the UW as a force for change (such as contributing to community programs).
Karl Scholz, Provost, asked the University Committee to weigh in on not extending the SD/UD policy for the summer term. There are existing policies individual students can use if they need to due to COVID-19. The University Committee was in agreement with the plan.
Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, reported that Karl Martin has been appointed the Dean of Extension. The Law School and L&S dean searches are moving forward. The furlough policy was announced last week, and employees have expressed appreciation for the progressive approach. Units are seeking Department of Workforce Development approval for workshare programs.
Governor Evers announced he was lapsing funds in the current fiscal year for agencies where he could. The total is $70 million, and UW System is being asked to return $46 million, or approximately 2/3 of the total. The chancellor pointed out that a disproportionate 2/3 of the lapsed funds are being borne by system although it makes up 25% of state budget.
The chancellor is using ad hoc working groups to prepare for the fall semester, such as testing and protocols for reopening. In addition, the chief of staffs for the Chancellor, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Administration are meeting twice a week with the Secretaries and shared governance chairs to discuss similar topics. She promised to engage with shared governance as decisions are made about the fall semester.
Sandgren moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss appointments. Seconded. Passed at 2:50.
Sandgren moved to convene in open session which was seconded at 2:59 when Chair Warfield adjourned the meeting.