University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 08/31/2020
Minutes for August 24, 2020
Approved August 31, 2020
UC members present: Halverson, Masters, Papp, Sandgren,
Tracy, Wolf (chair)
Also present, besides those mentioned below: Greg Bump, Laura Downer, Michelle Felber,
Charlie Hoslet, Kevin Jacobson, Yvonne Kim, Marc Lovicott, Matt Mayrl, Kelley Meyerhofer, Noel Radomski, Jane Richard, Bill Tishler, Jake Smith,
Eric Sandgren called the meeting to order at 1:03 pm.
Kristyn Masters reported that the Smart Restart website has a new section on caregiving.
Papp moved to approve the University Committee minutes for August 10, 2020. Seconded. Approved.
Michelle Felber from PROFS reported that the Board of Regents met and approved the proposed 3.5% budget increase, which features a 10-point plan that includes a system-wide free tuition program called the Wisconsin Tuition Promise for Wisconsin families earning less than $60,000 annually (Madison created the similar Bucky’s Tuition Promise in 2018 for their students). PROFS produced a legislative update for the New Faculty Welcome.
Kristen Roman, Chief of Police, reported that the police department is involved in the Emergency Operations Center, which is focused on COVID-19. The department has been partnering with housing and student affairs to engage with students on and off campus in regards to public health concerns. They are also working with campus partners around racial equity and launched a website with a plan to increase these efforts as students return to campus.
Every fall, the police department has run an initiative called the “1st 45 Days Alcohol Education and Enforcement” programming to engage with students early in the school year. This year it’s expanded to include the Covid-19 protocols, and students in the Langdon Street neighborhood.
Tracy moved to disband the Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits (Faculty Policies & Procedures 6.34.) Seconded. Approved. This will be on a Faculty Senate agenda this fall.
Tracy moved to recommend the proposed changes to Faculty Policies & Procedures adding an approval mechanism for academic staff to continue serving as graduate faculty post-retirement or resignation. Seconded. Approved. This will be on a Faculty Senate agenda this fall.
Karl Scholz, Provost, was energized from just coming from the New Faculty Welcome with over 150 new colleagues. DesignLab has developed a device to close up the nose part of disposable masks to limit aerosols from getting out. It could be manufactured in large numbers.
There are over 1000 spaces on campus for students to use between in-person classes or virtual classes. Some can be reserved and some are first come, first serve. As the semester gets underway, they will monitor use to see if additional spots are needed.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank provided a COVID-19 update. The dashboard for campus testing will be launched on August 26. Students are tested as they arrive in dorms. There will be multiple testing sites on campus running +/- 6,000 tests a week, with capacity to run 8,000-10,000 tests per week, and plans for running even more. So far, 1.6% of tests are positive. Thirty-five new contract tracers will contact students who live both on and off campus. The administration is working with fraternities and sororities to identify quarantine spaces. Fraternities and sororities have agreed to not serve alcohol at parties and not hold gatherings that violate Dane County health rules. Whether UW-Madison switches to entirely virtual instruction depends on a lot of factors including number positive, percent positive, county numbers, hospital capacity, etc. There are a number of contingency plans.
This past year, 166 new faculty members accepted offers, including 17 cluster hires and 14 TOP hires. Acceptance rate for new faculty was 55-60%. For retention, 40 offers were made this past year (that is the lowest number in the past 5 years) and 29 are staying with a 75% retention rate.
Tracy moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss waivers and grievance. Seconded. Passed at 2:57 pm.
Tracy moved to convene in open session which was seconded at 3:44 pm.
The University Committee asked the secretary to explore the possibility of holding a Senate meeting on September 14 or 21.
Chair Wolf adjourned the meeting at 3:57 pm.