Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 05-21-20
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Steve Ackerman, Diane Blaskowski, Denny Hackel, Ron Harris, Brett Hoover, Angela Kita, Karyn Matchey, Kim Moreland, Leigh Orf, Jason Otkin, Karl Scholz, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, reported that the Academic Staff Assembly meeting on May 11 had over 300 people in attendance. He helped in setting up the public presentations for the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning search. He reported on the PPPC meeting, where furloughs and other questions from the Assembly meeting were discussed. Tim attended bystander intervention training and recommended it to anyone who hadn’t registered for it. He also attended the listening session with the Board of Regents and Ray Cross regarding the proposed UW System Blueprint document.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, discussed the summer meeting schedule with ASEC. ASEC will roughly keep its same schedule for the summer. Jake will also schedule OHR through the summer to continue its discussions with ASEC on COVID and TTC. Regarding the office, the deputy secretary position will be backfilled as soon as possible.
Jenny Dahlberg reported on the shared governance sessions with the finalists for the Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs.
Donna Cole reported on the shared governance sessions with the finalists for the Dean of the College of Letters and Science. She also thanked Jenny for her work facilitating the Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs sessions. Donna reported on the SMPH CASI meeting, at which there was a very good discussion with both the Dean’s Chief of Staff and SMPH HR.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
In response to a question from ASEC regarding the $1 billion fund announced by Governor Evers for COVID testing and contact tracing, Provost Scholz mentioned that it was a relatively recent announcement and a request from UW-Madison or UW System has not yet been made. Regarding how to gauge who might return to offices and who can successfully continue to telecommute, this is a first order issue, particularly for immunocompromised or individuals who are otherwise designated as high risk. Discussions are continuing to occur at the leadership level and there is an emphasis on having as little density as possible in terms of people on campus. It is doubtful that there will be additional compensation for working onsite, and those who can do their jobs remotely will likely continue to do so for the immediate future. Regarding planning for fall and instructional staff, there is recognition that something may need to be done for instructional staff in terms of compensation for the planning that will need to be done to prepare for alternative delivery in the fall, but it is not certain at this time how that might take shape. On the question of the new Title IX rules that were announced from the US Department of Education, there is no news yet as to more specific impacts to campus. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Office of Legal Affairs are working through these details now and how current procedures may need to be adapted.
Guest: Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, and Kim Moreland, Director, Research and Sponsored Programs
Vice Chancellor Ackerman commented that we are living in different times and are planning on things being this way for at least a year. It will take everyone working together in the community, both professionally and personally. When closing down happened in March, it was about protecting the individuals. Campus is now looking at Phase 1 of resuming research, with the primary goal being to increase research on campus safely. The associate deans for research will be working with center directors and department chairs to develop plans, and many decisions will need to be made at the local level, since that is where the work is happening. They hope to get guidance out soon, after feedback from OHR and the Office of Legal Affairs. The question is how to open up in both a fair way and a controlled way. There will be guidelines on physical separation, airflow, and recommended square footage in rooms. Exceptions to these should be rare and require appropriate PPE. A reopening date for research would be no earlier than June 1 and requires coordination with Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Planning and Management, and others.
Regarding furloughs, a challenge for the campus is how we will fill the budget deficit without losing employees, which we don’t want to do. The approach that was decided was to furlough almost everyone. They recognize the impact to individuals on grants. Another approach was to determine furloughs based on salary and funding line, which is a complex situation. The infrastructure that our campus provides is one of the things that allows us to conduct research (e.g. data support, building services, custodians, administration, etc.), and those funding sources may be unclear, which could generate workforce discrepancies.
On the topic of the “lone wolf” researcher versus more “team-based” research, VCRGE supports both categories to the best of its ability. There have been discussions about what may happen with gaps in funding in the future, and there are discussions with the AAU and the AALU to do cost extensions, and VCRGE will continue to advocate for that. With federal grants, it is not certain what that gap is going to be. There are better estimates with regard to graduate students in terms of bridging an additional semester of support. A lot of this comes back to whether research is funded in congressional appropriations bills, which will be a critical factor.
As they have looked at how to raise research, there is a committee with the associate deans for research working on that issue. They have had many discussions and surveyed peers at other universities, which are doing it in different ways (e.g. percent of programs, building-by-building). The guideline for UW-Madison will be based on square footage per person working. The majority of the University Research Council supported this guideline.
Guest: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Diane Blaskowski, Director of Employee Services, Office of Human Resources (COVID and TTC Updates)
OHR is continuing to deal with furlough activity but is moving into looking at return to work. Furlough letters should have gone out to employees, and Diane and her team have been working hard to make that happen. There are gaps and process issues still to work through, and a campus-wide email was sent on May 20 to explain some of the changes that have been made, including proration for part-time positions to make things more equitable, and a change to the policy to allow furloughs to be taken immediately before or after Memorial Day and retaining holiday pay. This will apply to Labor Day as well. July 4 won’t come into play, as it will be a floating holiday. Regarding reporting, OHR is working to put together a mechanism for employees to see what their furlough balance is, as it is not a bank like vacation or sick leave. Another issue OHR is looking at is the ability for academic staff to take furloughs in increments other than only 4- or 8-hour increments. If an employee leaves UW-Madison, any furlough obligation would be taken out of that employee’s final paycheck. On the topic of whether future measures could include something that would not affect our lowest paid employees, Mark reported that, since we don’t know what fall will look like yet, multiple options are being discussed, but they are trying to protect all faculty and staff. Concerns have been relayed on the complexity of entering furlough leave. If academic staff work more than 32 hours in the week they are furloughed, they will inadvertently float into overtime status, due to being made non-exempt for that week in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. They are trying to work with supervisors on timely approvals so that furloughs fall into the expected paycheck.
On the topic of returning to work on campus, leadership has signaled that if an employee is successful working remotely, there shouldn’t be a hurry for them to return, and this is being strongly signaled to supervisors. There will be a very phased approach for bringing employees back to campus, with approvals on why they need to return. There will be many steps for review on this. From a telecommuting aspect, both the ability and the necessity for working remotely have changed. The telecommuting policy needs work, and shared governance will be involved as HR looks at policies around telecommuting.
The TTC team is still finishing its quality assurance process and has almost completed the salary structure. Forums were originally scheduled for mid-May, but they have been moved to June. The forum will be a recorded session with updates on the progress of the TTC Project. Since it will be recorded, people will be able to view it at a time of their choosing. There will be more forums as we get closer to a definitive implementation date.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointments to Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Budget Committee; Campus Diversity and Climate Committee; Disability Access and Inclusion Committee, GLBTQ People in the University Committee, Information Technology Committee, Retirement Issues Committee, Student Panels, Committee on Women in the University and Nominations to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee, Athletic Board, Area Review Committee-Admin/Student Services, Area Review Committee-Biological/Medical Sciences, Area Review Committee-Humanities/Social Sciences, Area Review Committee-Physical Sciences/Engineering, Distinguished Prefix Review Committee, and Labor Codes and Licensing Advisory Committee (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Tishler). Seconded. Approved.
• Appointments and Nominations—for vote
Motion to appoint Zach Smith to the Budget Committee; Elise Ahn and Liz Valentine to the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee; Sara Scott to the Disability Access and Inclusion Committee; Jay Botsford to the GLBTQ People in the University Committee; Elizabeth Harris to the Information Technology Committee; Carol Hulland to the Retirement Issues Committee; Jim Franzone, Kim Peterson, and Mike Pflieger to the Student Panels; and Elizabeth Sadowski and Suzanne Swift to the Committee on Women in the University (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate to Mary Condon and Meredith Luschen to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee; Lavar Charleston to the Athletic Board; Dianna Murphy, Greg Putnam, and Mary Jo Wilson to the Area Review Committee-Admin/Student Services/Libraries; Melgardt De Villiers, Mary Hayney, and Christopher Snyder to the Area Review Committee-Biological/Medical Sciences; Ritt Deitz, Ronald Kuka, and Debra Pierce to the Area Review Committee-Humanities/Social Sciences; Ilia Guzei, Seth McGee, and Milo Westler to the Area Review Committee-Physical Sciences/Engineering; and Tim Gattenby, Daniel Den Hartog, Jamie Henke, and Dianna Murphy to the Distinguished Prefix Review Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to appoint Sarah Carroll, Susan Tran Degrand, Gideon Elliott, Felipe Gacharna, Aminah Haneef, Tamie Klumpyan, Kathy Krasny, Russell Kutz, Leslie Petty, Angie Rosas, Jana Valeo, and Jake Smith (ex officio, non-voting) to the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
• Chair Election Procedure
Jake reviewed the duties of the ASEC Chair and Vice Chair, and announced that nominations would be accepted for these roles through June 3 and at the meeting on June 4, when the vote will be taken.
• Topics for Guests
Provost: Update on fall enrollment numbers
VCFA: gap funding for units, whether auxiliary or research; how CARES funding will be distributed and what shared governance involvement in that process looks like; other measures being considered as alternatives to furloughs; possibility of sharing parking; completion date for Bascom utilities project; question on ventilation systems or building access and improvements; general updates on budget loss projections
VPFS: Major new issues for incoming Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Meeting adjourned at 5:08 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff