University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 04/05/2021
Minutes for March 29, 2021
UC members present: Masters, Papp, Sandgren, Tracy, Wolf (chair)
Others present: Michael Bernard-Donals, Greg Bump, Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, Yvonne Kim, John Lucas, Matt Mayrl, Kelly Meyerhofer, Jack O’Meara, Jane Richard, Jake Smith
Chair Wolf commenced the meeting at 1:00
Minutes of the meeting of March 22, 2021 were approved by consent.
PROFS’ Jack O’Meara stated that Governor Evers signed into law a bill on the definition of extension duties, and CPA bill, both which have been monitored by PROFS. The PROFS steering committee took positions opposing a bill to limit transgender athletes, and a bill concerning federal funds for abortions. A state budget forum on May 7 will feature panelists Jason Stein (Wisconsin Policy Forum) and Wisconsin State Senators Dale Kooyenga (R) and Jon Erpenbach (D).
The UC reviewed the Faculty Senate agenda items and had a short wordsmithing session on the Associate Professor to Professor policy document that will go before the Faculty Senate in May.
Kristen Roman, UW Police Chief, and Louis Macias, Executive Director of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion with the UW Police Department, briefed the UC on the department’s Racial Equity Initiative (REI). It was launched in June 2020 in response to the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests and the resulting sense of urgency around policing (see https://uwpd.wisc.edu/uwpd-racial-equity-initiative-update/The initiative is guided by the 20-odd person Police Advisory Council and will provide a community-informed dashboard designed to show measureable actions in support of racial equity.
In a broader view, the department’s highest priority is to (re-)build relationships that were damaged by the COVID-19 and/or the protests. One of these efforts is a co-responder pilot project with UHS and student affairs to handle mental health calls. They are looking forward to meeting all their partners again in person. They are also conducting departmental training in de-escalation, mental health, and fair/impartial policing.
Junko Mori, Chair, Archives Committee presented the committee’s annual report which touches on the collections and staffing, but also lays out the case for the Archives Committee to integrate functions into the University Library Committee. The Archives Committee was created when the University Archives was independent from the libraries, but it’s now a part of the General Library System (GLS). Recent hires to the University Librarian and University Archivist provided a good opportunity to examine the structure of the committee. The proposal will parallel the administrative structure. It was unanimously approved by the Archives Committee.
Sean Fain, chair of the University Library Committee (ULC), confirmed that the ULC accepts the integration of archives. The membership of the ULC will be updated in Faculty Policies and Procedures now. The ULC is working on updating functions to adequately represent the archives and current practice; these will be presented at a later date. The ULC annual report focuses on the GLS strategic plan and communications.
Lisa Carter, Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian, gave highlights of the libraries annual report. The university provided additional collection development dollars, and a few grants were secured for special projects. The UW Press is now housed in Memorial Libraries. After several advanced studies on converting space, some libraries were consolidated (Astronomy and Math were integrated into the Physics Library).
The libraries continued to provide most services during the COVID-19 pandemic, though with a reimagined service profile and modalities. The libraries were one of first spaces to reopen to people, with interlibrary loan, a COVID-19 testing site at College library, and pick up by appointment. The 5% budget reduction will affect services and staffing.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank is cautiously optimistic about testing results, though the variants popping up are concerning, and vaccines to University Health Services (UHS) continue to be in short supply. Still, most of campus should be vaccinated by summer, and all units should plan to return to campus between August 1-23. A workgroup is developing a remote work policy. Commencement will be held in two ceremonies on the same day (May 8), one for undergraduates at noon, and one for all graduate students at 4:00.
Papp moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss waivers and grievances. Seconded. Passed at 3:02 pm.
Masters moved to convene in open session. Seconded. Passed at 3:42 pm. Two dual role waivers were approved. Chair Wolf adjourned the meeting at 3:44 pm.