ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
19 Ingraham Hall
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf called the meeting to order at 3:34 p.m.
Provost Mangelsdorf began the meeting by providing an update to the Assembly on where things currently stand with the state budget. Tenure provides faculty with academic freedom that allows them to do research and teach subjects that may be unpopular. UW-Madison will not accept a tenure policy that is inconsistent with our peers or violates current standards of practice in higher education. Last week the Faculty Senate at UW-Madison passed a resolution asking that all non-fiscal items be stricken from the budget bill and calling on the Board of Regents, President Cross and Chancellor Blank to use all means at their disposal to achieve this goal. Twenty-two scholarly organizations and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have written expressing concern over proposed changes to tenure and shared governance.
Members of the state relations team have been in touch with members of the legislature asking them to amend or remove item 39 of the omnibus motion. Chancellor Blank and President Cross have been making calls to legislative leaders. The Wisconsin Alumni Association is notifying alumni about the issue. Chancellor Blank is also proactively seeking media coverage.
This has taken a toll on everyone’s morale. The administration believes that the current shared governance process on the Madison campus really brings the best ideas forward and improves consensus and decision-making. UW has faced challenges in the past, including bills to remove tenure and defund the university entirely. Public battles force us to articulate what we do and why, and build upon our commitment to the Wisconsin Idea.
Resolution on Omnibus Motion #521 (ASA #574)
Heather McFadden (ASEC) moved to approve the Resolution on UW System Omnibus Motion #521. Seconded.
Robert Newsom (ASEC) moved amend by adding a new whereas clause “Whereas, academic staff are responsible for nearly half of UW-Madison undergraduate instruction, they should be afforded the academic freedoms of pursuing truth, knowledge and inquiry unencumbered by fear of retaliation,” between the fourth and fifth whereas clauses. Seconded. Approved.
Scott Mellor (District #262) moved to amend the new fifth whereas clause and add “as well as many other responsibilities” after the word instruction. Seconded. Motion fails.
Dennis Ray (District #155) moved to amend the new fifth whereas clause by deleting the words “are” through “they”. Seconded.
Eric Giefer (District #484) moved to amend the amendment by putting all the words back in except for the word “undergraduate.” Seconded. Motion fails 25-29.
Original amendment approved.
David Parter (District #482) moved to amend the amended fifth whereas clause by adding “have significant responsibilities for instruction, research, and service; they.” Seconded. Approved.
Amended resolution approved.
Adjourned at 4:16 pm.
Minutes submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Academic Staff