Faculty Senate Minutes 2021-04-05

Minutes approved 05-03, 2021

Chancellor Rebecca Blank called the online meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. with 167 voting members present (113 needed for quorum.) Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus John Fett (Faculty document 2936), Professor Emeritus J. Rogers Hollingsworth (Faculty Document 2937), and Professor Emeritus Howard Weinbrot (Faculty Document 2938).

The 2021 Hilldale Awards were presented to four faculty members representing their divisions: Arts and Humanities Division: Professor Sabine Gross (German, Nordic, Slavic+), Biological Sciences Division: Professor Michael Fiore (Medicine), Physical Sciences Division: Professor Robert Mathieu (Astronomy), Social Sciences Division: Professor Susan Ellis Weismer (Communication Sciences and Disorders).

Chancellor Rebecca Blank is watching infection rates closely, including the growing number of variants, though she expects fall 2021 will look more like fall 2019 than fall 2020. Fall courses will be taught mainly in person, and employees currently working from home are expected to return by the end of August. There will be a new policy for remote work. Face masks, distancing, and limits on group gatherings will be in place through summer and probably fall. COVID-19 testing will be available, but not required for those vaccinated. Vaccine dosages on campus remains limited, and people are encouraged to seek other options. If you are vaccinated off campus, upload your record to MyUHS to turn your Safer Badgers app’s Badger Badge eternally green.

Two in-person commencement ceremonies will be in Camp Randall on May 8: one for undergraduates and one for graduate students. Graduates and officials will be required to wear masks, stay socially distanced, and have a green Badger Badge to enter. Families and friends may participate virtually through the live-stream.

Title and Total Compensation Project (TTC) will go into effect fall 2021. TTC will facilitate market comparisons for jobs for academic staff and university staff. 

A task force to consider academic policies for the spring 2021 semester recommended, and the University Committee approved, that students will be able to change their spring 2021 courses to SD (Satisfactory-Disruption) or UD (University Disruption-No Credit). Transcripts will also contain a notation for the spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 semesters about the global pandemic. 

University Committee Chair Kirsten Wolf reminded faculty to vote in faculty elections. She also announced that the latest draft of the Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor would be sent out to Senators for feedback.

Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE), provided an update on the research enterprise. The OVCRGE provided no-cost extensions on their awards upon request and provided funding through the Pandemic-Affected Research Continuation Initiative and the COVID-19 Dissertation Degree Completion. Faculty donated PPE and biosafety cabinets to UW Health, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, and Exact Sciences. Over 70 grants related to COVID-19 have been funded so far. The National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD) survey ranked UW-Madison 8th again in the nation. Next year’s data shows a 5.3% growth. There are several WARF special initiatives this year including Understanding and Reducing Inequalities Initiative ($2 million), Promoting Industry Collaboration Initiative, and Research Forward, which replaces UW2020. UW2020 made over $144 million in additional funds generated by the original $31.7 million investment in these research projects. 

Chancellor Blank and Vice Chancellor Ackerman addressed a couple of questions.

The minutes of the March 1, 2021 meeting were approved by consent. Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Steve Ackerman presented the University Research Council annual report (Faculty Document 2939), Senator Tom Purnell (District 55, English) presented the Archives annual report (Faculty Document 2940), Professor Sean Fain (Medical Physics) presented the Library Committee annual report (Faculty Document 2941), and Professor Adrian Treves (Institute for Environmental Studies)  presented the Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion annual report (Faculty Document 2942). There were no questions on these reports.

University Committee member Eric Sandgren moved to change the membership of the University Research Council (Faculty Document 2943). The change was approved.

Professor Fain moved to change the membership and name of the Library Committee (Faculty Document 2944). The changes were approved.

Senator Purnell moved to approve dissolving the Archives Committee (Faculty Document 2945). The removal was approved.

Senator Purnell moved to rescind Faculty Legislation II-500, Archives Policy (Faculty Document 2946). This was approved.

University Committee chair Kirsten Wolf presented a first reading of a revision of Faculty Document 1071 (Faculty document 1071 Rev). Questions and comments were received.

University Committee chair Kirsten Wolf presented a first reading of Policy on Election day absences (Faculty document 2947). Questions and comments were received.

The meeting adjourned at 4:47 pm.


Heather Daniels
Secretary of the Faculty