Academic Staff Assembly Minutes 05-28-20
1:55 – 4:45 p.m. Thursday, May 28, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Mallory Musolf; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Suzanne Broadberry, Prenicia Clifton, Heather Daniels, Ron Harris, Laurent Heller, Emily Henken, Andrew Hoffmann, Eden Inoway-Ronnie, Liz Jesse, Helena Manning, Karyn Matchey, Anya Nesterchouk, Lindsey Peterson, Christopher Pevey-Harry, Shelly Reindl, Keri Robbins, Jennifer Sandridge, Karl Scholz, Jeff Snell, Matt Stilwell, Jennifer Tishler
The meeting was called to order at 1:57 p.m.
The minutes were approved.
Guest: Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Campus is working hard on planning at all levels to provide a clear vision of where we’re going and also how units will do their own thing within that framework. Guidance went out recently from Steve Ackerman on restarting labs, and a good rubric is in place for review before resuming work. On the administrative side, not much is going to reopen immediately. The other focus is on students coming back. On the budget side, there are continued planning exercises, and they are waiting to see how fall enrollment goes, of which there will be a better sense on June 1. The expectation is that we’ll come close to or hit our expected numbers. Attention is being paid to the state budget in terms of both the next fiscal year as well as the next biennial budget.
There is some possibility to look at gap funding for some units, but they are thinking through the timing of budget check-ins. This work will be happening directly with division heads. The first place to go for bridge funding is through deans/directors. If there aren’t enough resources, then requests would go to central campus. On the topic of CARES funds, our expenses are well in excess of the allotted $9 million. The plan is to use the funding in bulk to plug a small part of the overall budget hole created in response to the pandemic. The Budget Committee will be meeting over the summer, and Vice Chancellor Heller will keep checking in with them, as well as with the leadership of the governance groups. To the question of alternatives to furloughs being looked at, what those alternatives might look like is speculative depending on what the total budget loss ends up being. It would also depend on whether there is a lapse versus a base cut as well.
In response to a question about the possibility of shared parking, Vice Chancellor Heller recommended ASEC inquire with Patrick Kass about this possibility. On the topic of buildings, Vice Chancellor Heller indicated that the Bascom utilities project is looking at a completion date of December 2021. There are multiple phases to the project. Work at the top of Bascom Hill is continuing into next summer, and phase 2—at the bottom of the hill—has begun. The goal is to have that done before the beginning of fall semester. Phase 3 will go down Linden Dr. and will start next year. Hopefully there are not too many building improvements needed in the short term, but there is work to do to make them ready to be occupied again. FP&M will check HVAC and plumbing in buildings as part of their process for evaluating the buildings in this capacity.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz provided an update on fall undergraduate enrollment. The top line result is that, at least measured by deposits, we are down 3.9% this year relative to last year. Based on those deposits, things are in good shape, taking into account that we overshot our enrollment target last year. At present, we are also up nearly 16% with underrepresented students enrolling for fall.
Regarding the recently approved professor of practice title, Michael Bernard-Donals, Heather Daniels, and Jake Smith will meet with Provost Scholz to figure out specifics for next steps. Provost Scholz also raised a question around the academic calendar with ASEC and whether instruction may be able to start earlier than the scheduled start date of September 2. State law is the primary factor here, and any proposal for starting earlier would involve some sort of hybrid model of instruction. Due to space constraints and social distancing requirements, there may also need to be changes to class times to accommodate class sizes.
Guests: Christopher Pevey-Harry, Jeff Snell, and Matt Stilwell, Ad Hoc Committee on Implementation of the Youth Protection Policy
Chris introduced himself and thanked ASEC and Dean Jeff Russell for convening the committee. He also thanked the committee members for their work and their passion for their programs, and he recognized the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance for the opportunity to work with them. This committee was formed to review the Youth Protection Policy that was put in place in May 2019. Concerns were raised by administrators who run those programs regarding the rapidity with which the policy needed to be implemented. Some programs were cancelled or modified, and concerns continued to arise with the quality, availability, and requirements around training. After reviewing the policy and conducting peer benchmarking, the committee came up with a set of general recommendations: 1) include a public caveat when referencing the existing youth protection policy as a resource, 2) determine a locus for compliance functions, 3) establish a variance pathway, 4) establish an advisory board, 5) create a centralized knowledge base and online resource library for program planners, 6) develop program compliance checklists, 7) conduct a full curriculum review of all required trainings, 8) retain a campus youth mental health professional, and 9) adopt phased-in compliance. ASEC thanked the committee for its thorough and thoughtful work in the report and discussed some of the recommendations. ASEC will discuss the report further and then invite Dean Russell to a future meeting to talk about next steps.
Guest: Michael Bernard-Donals, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff
Vice Provost Bernard-Donals talked about some of the more immediate issues facing the next Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff, including implications of COVID, both human and financial. The next vice provost will need to look at professional development programs, pay tools, and hiring initiatives for faculty and staff. That person will also need to look at faculty and staff safety, including intersections between leave issues and coming back to campus (e.g. immunocompromised individuals). The Office of Learning and Talent Development is working on a return to work package, and both Vice Provost Bernard-Donals and the new vice provost will be involved in that. There are also questions of campus access, what it means to come back to work and what workplaces will look like. There are also the teaching and research professor titles. Now that campus guidelines have been finalized, schools/colleges/divisions and VCRGE centers and departments have to come up with their own guidelines as next steps. The Provost Office will likely be involved in working with the units on compliance with the campus guidelines. The incoming vice provost will also have many personnel and misconduct cases that are in process. Vice Provost Bernard-Donals is hoping to work closely with the incoming person on those cases to ensure continuity at a procedural level.
Vice Provost Bernard-Donals and ASEC brainstormed some topics for the next round of Academic Staff Chats, including worklife balance for those with care obligations, building effective rapport and addressing concerns with students in the COVID environment, networking in absence of in-person meetings/conferences, and repeats of the performance management sessions from last year. ASEC will continue to think of topics and provide them to the new VPFS and to Jake.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, reported that the main topics that were covered on this week’s call with the Chiefs, Chairs and Secretaries were topics that Vice Chancellor Heller covered earlier in the meeting.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, took requests from ASEC for prospective guests over the summer, including newly appointed deans and continuing to meet with OHR twice monthly. He also reported on the CASI spring meeting. There were several best practices shared around communication on the furloughs, as well as advice for CASIs that may be in the process of restarting.
Bill Tishler reported on a focus group run by the DCS CASI to talk about issues around telecommuting and returning to campus.
• UW System Blueprint Discussion
ASEC discussed a draft of a statement in response to the recently released UW System Blueprint document. ASEC will return to this topic at the next meeting to finalize the draft.
• Topics for Guests
OHR: Clarity and guidance around workshare, clarity around some units coming back as early as next week, updates on revision to telecommuting policy, flexibility around planned TTC changes (e.g. reporting structure), how furlough payroll calculations are done
Meeting adjourned at 4:57 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff