University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 05/02/2022
UC members present: Babcock, Halverson, Papp, Sandgren (chair), Tejedo-Herrero, Thibeault
Others: Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, Jane Richard, Jake Smith
Sandgren called the meeting to order at 1:00.
The minutes for the meeting of April 25, 2022, were approved by consent.
Secretary Heather Daniels announced the retirement of Jane Richards, Deputy Secretary of the Faculty, this summer. She also detailed issues that having been coming from departments including code of conduct; incorporating citizenship/professionalism language in the evaluation of research, teaching and service in promotion or PTR; including university staff in departmental governance; and including others in faculty hiring process.
The UC discussed what should be in a briefing document for the new chancellor. They would like to see operational details (e.g., the chancellor presides over the faculty senate), accomplishments (advocate of workplace flexibilities and establishing guidelines in promoting faculty to full professor) and to emphasize the partnerships in shared governance,
Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, made note that the recent Mifflin Street Block Party—despite a collapsing roof—was calmer than last year; several student groups have end of semester ceremonies and celebrations; ASM has new leadership; Reesor’s office has been working on SOAR programming.
Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, gave an update on the many awards and grant competitions that are finishing up. The UC had questions about diversity in the grant awards (could use improvement), and the function of the University Research Council (mainly concerned with the WARF grants). A competition through Schmidt Futures may result in funding up to 20 post-docs studying AI in different fields, not just computer science. The Office of Research Cores is being reviewed as a candidate for updating. The discussion turned to growing research funding, both sources (industry and the Department of Defense) and topics (among them: fusion, AI, swine harvesting for transplants, climate change).
Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, reminded the UC about the main and departmental commencement and ceremonies and celebrations, the chancellor candidate interviews, the CALS dean candidate interviews, the new Vilas faculty associates, and the imminent unveiling of the Divine 9 Plaza that will recognize the contributions of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The chancellor talked about enrollment trends in other UW system schools and possible reasons for a decline besides lower population; her theory is that with higher incomes, especially in Madison and Milwaukee, students are looking at national colleges, not Wisconsin-based. Data is lacking. UW-Madison is not seeing this decline in applications. The chancellor’s last day at UW-Madison will be May 31.
Sandgren adjourned the meeting at 2:43.