University Committee Meeting Minutes 2015-09-21
approved September 28, 2015
September 21, 2015
UC members present: Broman, Edwards, Litovsky, Meyerand (chair), Wanner, Wendt
Also present: Smith, Richard, Norman, Felber, Daniels, McFadden, O’Meara, and specific guests identified below.
1. Meeting called to order: 1:00 PM.
2. Announcements and updates
a. Meyerand called attention to UW System travel policies to take effect in October.
b. Smith called attention to AAU docs and other materials available to the UC.
c. Wendt will be attending CIC shared governance meeting at end of week.
3. Consent items:
a. Minutes of the meeting of September 8, 2015, approved.
b. Minutes of the meeting of September 14, 2015, approved with amendment to correct spelling.
4. Legislative update (PROFS)
a. Discussion about recent article by Chris Rickert on tenure protections. UC approves a response by PROFS, provided that the response is limited to factual corrections and clarifications and makes clear that the proposal is still a draft and has not been vetted by faculty or approved by the Faculty Senate. The UC feels strongly that is important to recognize that new legislation is permissive.
b. PROFS members met with Regent Behling after UWS task force meeting. Consensus that post-tenure review committee’s report should (and will) recognize regent concerns and be responsive to new legislation, especially with regard to real consequences of reviews. Further consensus that this is in keeping with the committee’s mandate and discussions to date. Campus has opportunity to define what constitutes good productivity, teaching effectiveness, and so on, and will craft policy that holds faculty members to that standard. Ample discussion.
5. Athletic Board update (Mark Covaleski)
a. Covaleski provided an overview of the Board’s composition and activities.
b. Covaleski updated the UC on the progress of last year’s proposal to clarify hiring processes. That proposal was approved by personnel committee, but not considered by full Board. A subcommittee of the personnel committee continues to address the topic. Goal is to maintain recognition of market realities, while further defining the Board’s role in ensuring that academics, compliance, and student welfare are taken into account. Policy will be comprehensive, covering all coaches. The Board recognizes that hiring decisions are ultimately up to the athletic director and chancellor and that the Board does not vote on hires per se, but rather ensures due diligence on moral and legal aspects and authority (academics, compliance, and student welfare). Subcommittee working with Athletics on best way for Board to weigh in on these vital points when hiring decisions have to be made. Discussion.
c. Covaleski updated UC on accomplishments at Big 10 meetings over the summer.
i. Concern (particularly with soccer and other smaller sports) that travel schedules are dictated by television. BTN is considering (and seems to agree with) proposal that some sports be tape-delayed so as not to overly inconvenience student athletes.
ii. Proposal has been made to Big10 (and will eventually go to NCAA) to change policy that considers travel days as days off as travel is hardly a day off for the student athletes.
d. Covaleski indicated that a major topic of the summer and a big issue for this year is expiration of stay on O’Bannon decision (related to licensing revenues for student athletes). Some schools may start paying athletes $5000/year, to be held in trust. In addition to budget concerns, it is not clear how the mechanics of such a trust would be reconciled with state law and institutional policies.
e. The UC presented Covaleski with suggested language on quorum and related issues for the Athletic Board. In addition, the UC recommended that the Board avail itself of the services of its Legal Affairs representative for guidance on parliamentary procedure, open meetings laws, FPP, and so on.
6. 1:24 PM – 1:32 PM: Athletics Board update was interrupted by an evacuation drill.
7. Faculty surveys (Jenn Sheridan)
a. Sheridan provide overview and context of WISELI climate surveys. WISELI is open to collaborating with UC to gauge opinions on changing landscape and uncertainty. Existing WISELI survey is already extensive, but items could be added to gather information UC is seeking. Next (fifth) wave of survey planned for spring 2016. Would likely need UC input by end of December. UC questions could be module to match existing format or separate page. Goal is to make survey as useful to all faculty as possible.
b. Chief Diversity Officer also planning a campuswide survey.
c. UC will discuss and further develop.
8. Edwards moved and Wanner seconded to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. Motion passed: 1:52 PM.
9. Rule waiver requests
a. The UC considered and unanimously approved one appointment-initial tenure clock extension request.
b. The UC considered a revised request to hire a former tenure-track faculty member as academic staff. The committee was convinced that the opening was created to address a real need in the unit, that the recruitment and selection process to fill the position was open and transparent, and that the person selected through that process was chosen due to his qualifications and not because of any connection to the unit or the college. Wanner moved approval of the rule waiver request. Seconded. Approved unanimously.
10. Committee appointments
a. Due to time constraints, the UC postponed naming IRB committee to future meeting.
b. The UC considered nominations to serve on the VCUR search and screen. Meyerand will contact nominees.
c. The UC considered nominations for an ad hoc committee on children in the workplace and advanced a nominee and one backup to the Office of the Provost.
d. The UC considered nominations for the dean of nursing search and screen committee. Recommendations will be sent to campus high-level search coordinator.
11. 2:18 PM: Litovsky arrived.
12. Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. Seconded. Motion passed: 2:19PM.
13. Lifelong learning update (Jeff Russell)
a. Russell provided a handout listing priorities and possibilities for Lifelong Learning during the current academic year.
b. Of the priorities listed, Russell highlighted establishment of a unified campuswide noncredit IT infrastructure and growing noncredit programming across campus.
c. Of the possibilities (or “ideas”) listed, Russell highlighted the creation of a pathway to make undergraduate admission more friendly for adults in local community. He also drew attention to efforts with Corporate Relations to meet with local businesses to determine developmental needs. Whether this campus can meet those needs and/or scale to deliver is a later question.
d. Separately, Russell called the UC’s attention to the ongoing work of the summer term implementation committee (on which the secretary of the faculty sits).
e. Discussion, including on how units should work with the budget office to determine fee structures and how Madison compares to other campuses in terms of “flex-capable” students and pools of candidates for credit for “life experiences.” Mechanisms to “creditize” life learning and deliver appropriate programming require a substantially different learner-centered focus.
14. AAU Sexual Assault Survey (Rebecca Blank, Sarah Van Orman, Lori Berquam)
a. Blank provided background and context of AAU survey. Documents are widely available. Campus seeks to be completely transparent and move things forward collaboratively and expeditiously to further the conversation and address issues. Blank summarized results, which are that incidents are way too high at all campuses, including ours. Nothing new was revealed, but now there is data available. UW has several programs under way and more proposed. Our reporting rate is higher than peers, but still low. Figures are disturbing and highlight how difficult the issue is.
b. Blank, Van Orman, and Berquam all emphasized the need to use this information to advance general conversation on this campus. Fundamental issue is that we have to change behavior. Bystander data is particularly shocking. Empowering people to understand how they intervene is difficult, but imperative.
c. Ample discussion. Tonight program and other campus activities have resulted in higher awareness here than among our peers. Housing has been very involved in addressing topic; incidents in housing are proportional to numbers of residents, but there is significant opportunity there for additional interventions. Ample discussion about reasons for low reporting rates, difficulty of system-wide policies, prevention, alcohol use.
d. Task force has been appointed to work on this.
e. Blank highlighted that we cannot put too much weight on any specific number; bottom line is that they are all too high. She also emphasized that we have a responsibility to both women and men. Judicial processes are inherently limited. Van Orman pointed out that accommodations can be made without reporting or going through judicial process.
f. Campus initiatives, interventions, and programs include, among others: first 45 days; don’t be that guy; Tonight; targeted information for new faculty (and others); emphasis on Friday classes and Mon/Fri exams and assignments; alcohol.edu; student organizations (Badger Step Up); parent handbook; and more. Berquam emphasized that we have to diversify the ways we talk about this, involve all groups, including parents, and repeat information in different ways. Blank added that the parental role, especially with sons, is particularly important.
g. Faculty have a significant role to play and Blank requested UC leadership on a number of possible faculty interventions, including class and assignment scheduling (particularly beneficial to undergraduates) and training and resources on sexual harassment (particularly beneficial for graduate students).
15. Due to time constraints, the UW System information request was postponed. However, UC members should send to Smith any ideas for responses in anticipation of the item coming up again in October.
16. The UC discussed organization of upcoming listening sessions. Main goal is to gather information, not to have panels holding forth. Want everyone to be heard. While some presentation and response from committees will be needed, main point is to listen.
17. The UC discussed the proposal made at its September 8 meeting to create an art acquisition and disposal committee. Following ample discussion, the UC agreed that a need has been identified, although not all members are convinced that a standing committee is necessarily the best solution. Consensus that an appointed (ex officio-based) committee is more appropriate than a traditional shared governance committee. Edwards moved that the UC request a proposal from Einstein, to include (1) the type of committee (ad hoc or standing), (2) its specific charge, (3) the membership (by position rather than individual), and (4) to whom the committee would report. Seconded. Approved unanimously.
18. The UC discussed the recent debate around a survey of UW faculty by a University of Chicago researcher. Based on significant expressions of concern across campus (about confidentiality, anonymity, disclosure, context, consent, conflict of interest, survey design, and much more), the UC agreed that an institutional response from UW-Madison to the University of Chicago is warranted. Edwards will discuss with VCRGE the possibility of direct contact with the Chicago IRB and a possible protest.
19. Litovsky informed the UC that the Committee on Committees would like to make proposals related to the University Research Council. The UC will discuss this with the VCRGE at its next meeting.
20. Meeting adjourned: 3:43 PM.