ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, March 14, 2022
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Memorial Resolution for Joanne Conger (ASA #780)
Susan Zahner presented the memorial resolution for Joanne Conger.
Guest: LaVar Charleston, Chief Diversity Officer
Chief Diversity Officer Charleston introduced himself to the Assembly and provided some of his personal background of over 20 years as a scholar, practitioner, and leader dedicated to employing data- and research-informed practices in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). To accomplish excellence in these areas, we have to work toward a culturally responsive climate that intentionally integrates DEIB into all of its functions. The role of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) is helping to provide leadership in this space. The four pillars of leadership of organizational and inclusive excellence, which provide the foundation for DDEEA’s approach, are: 1) asset-based approaches, which entails inventorying and capitalizing on existing strengths, 2) research informed practices, employing empirically based practices for attainment of collected goals 3) organizational excellence, specifically recruitment and retention of highly qualified students, staff, and faculty, and 4) campus and community engagement, with shared action and shared accountability. These pillars build on the existing commitment of the university as expressed by the campus diversity statement. The idea is for DDEEA to serve in multiple ways: as a convener to facilitate collaborations; as a catalyst for a culture of innovation by identifying metrics for continuous improvement; as a consultant to support training and provide a central access point for resources to support schools/colleges/divisions in their strategic planning; and working in community-building and campus engagement to create spaces for organizational learning and affinity group gathering. Now that we have local diversity efforts in place, DDEEA provides a model of shared responsibility and commitment in coordinating cross-campus initiatives. Strategic Priorities for DDEEA include: building a culture of organizational learning for professional development and capacity building of DEIB principles among faculty and staff; fostering a culture of belonging while enhancing recruitment and retention of underrepresented students; facilitating an effective model of distributed strategic diversity leadership for shared visioning and implementation; and utilizing and maximizing data to inform equity-minded policies, practices, and decision-making. Meeting the goals related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is everyone’s responsibility, and success is the ability to work effectively in a collaborative manner.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, February 14, 2022, were approved.
ASEC Chair Tim Dalby reminded attendees that the ballot for ASEC is open until March 17 and encouraged academic staff to cast their votes. Applications for the Spring Academic Staff Professional Development Program close on Monday, March 21. The Academic Staff Institute will be held on April 13, and registration closes on March 29. Those who are interested in serving on the Campus Climate Survey Task Force to review the results of the student climate survey should register their interest in doing so via a short survey. ASEC continues to work with administration to improve compensation, job security, and job satisfaction. A climate survey for staff is coming out from April 12-May 3.
Mallory Musolf presented the ASPRO report. There have been over 60 bills that ASPRO has been tracking during this legislative session. On March 11, Governor Evers signed SB557 into law, which allows UW System to generate new revenue streams to fund System priorities. To help ASPRO members keep track of current and future bills, the ASPRO Board has created a legislative tracker that includes weblinks for the bill’s history page, the bill itself, any amendments, the outcome in the Assembly and Senate, ASPRO’s position on the bill, and whether it was signed or vetoed. There is still a reduced membership rate promotion for new members.
Tetyana Schneider, Co-Chair of the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee, presented the annual report of that committee (ASA #781). The CDCC advises on campus diversity and climate, works collaboratively with and advises the Chief Diversity Officer, and makes policy recommendations. There are four subcommittees dedicated to the goal of ensuring inclusive learning environments. There were also recommendations from a subcommittee reviewing diversity reports from schools, colleges, and divisions. These recommendations included strengthening data infrastructure around diversity, equity, and inclusion; more of a focus on systems when it comes to increasing equity in different disciplines; focusing on assessment and setting long-term targets; a need for resources to implement these; and to have working groups exchange best practices. There have been many discussions about a “Diversity 101” program as well.
Assembly Standing Committee Slates (ASA #782)
Brady Minter, Nominating Committee Member, presented the slates for the Academic Staff Assembly Standing Committees. Those running for the Communications Committee include Faye Lux, Pamela O’Donnell, Corissa Runde, and Miranda Winkelman. Those running for the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee include Joyce Jackson, Dean Ladwig, Dagna Sheerar, and Seng Thao. Those running for the Districting and Representation Committee include Alex Squitieri, David Toland, and Cynthia Waldeck. Those running for the Mentoring Committee include Liza Chang, Christopher East, Tarakee Jackson, Peter Kinsley, and Alissa Oleck. Those running for the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee include Kelley Cuene, Jason Jankoski, Angie Rosas, Scott Wildman, and Chelsea Wimmer. Those running for the Professional Development and Recognition Committee include Nick Ewoldt, Alyssa Phelps, Martha Reck, Bill Tishler, Christopher Yue, and Yangchun Xin. No nominations were added to any of the slates from the floor.
Nominating Committee Slate (ASA #783)
Donna Cole, ASEC Member, presented the slate for the Nominating Committee. Those running for this committee include Josh Cutler, Nicole Jennings, Nathan Jung, and Kelly Krein. No nominations were added to the slate from the floor.
Resolution on an Accessible and Inclusive Campus (ASA #784)
Donna Cole, ASEC Member, presented the Resolution on an Accessible and Inclusive Campus for a first reading. The resolution stemmed from a resolution that was presented to the Faculty Senate from the Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion, as well as a discussion that was held in late 2020 related to a resolution supporting instruction and training on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice and the lack of acknowledgment of disability in that document. The resolution calls for the inclusion of disability within the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and a number of measures designed to raise awareness of disability and ableism. There was discussion of potential suggestions for the document, which will be considered by ASEC before the resolution is presented for a vote at the April Assembly meeting.
Provost Scholz commented on the fact that this was the first Assembly meeting in almost two years where masks were not required. Dane County’s masking order expired as of March 1, with UW System institutions ending their mask mandates by spring break. The CDC’s guidance on indoor masking has also changed within the last couple of weeks. Weekly case counts have declined steeply on campus. We continue to encourage anyone who wants to wear a mask to do so. If instructors wish to request masking in classes, they are able to do so. There was excellent compliance with classroom masking when the mandate was in place. PCR tests and antigen tests will continue to be made available. Students are encouraged to test upon their return from spring break travel. Spring commencement will be held on May 14, and United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be the keynote speaker. Events in Ukraine weigh heavily on our minds, and the university has expressed its views through the AAU and the APLU calling for peace in the region. There have recently been two ceremonies of note: the Outstanding Women of Color Awards and the Administrative Improvement Awards. The following searches are in progress: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Director of the Global Health Institute, the Director of Wisconsin Public Media, the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration, and the Chancellor. These should all be completed within the next two months.
Meeting adjourned at 4:59 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff