ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, September 12, 2016
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Vice Chancellor Laurent Heller called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m.
Automatic Consent: The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, May 9, 2016, were approved.
Memorial Resolution: Paul Williams read a memorial resolution for Art Hove.
Guest: Elizabeth Foste, President, Madison Academic Staff Network
Elizabeth announced the organization’s upcoming breakfast on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, from 8-9 am at the University Club. The event is free for members and $10 for non-members to join and attend the event. More events will be organized for the fall semester.
Guest: Kathi Kilgore, Lobbyist, Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO)
Kathi gave the history of this organization. It was started by the Assembly in 1989 to give academic staff a voice at the capitol. The issue at that time was decoupling academic staff and faculty salary increases and benefits. The organization is preparing for the next state budget. They are beginning to meet with legislative leaders, members of the Joint Finance Committee, legislators who have UW campuses within their districts and members of the Board of Regents. One of the issues ASPRO has been advocating for is a positive pay plan for academic staff. Membership in ASPRO supports the hiring of a lobbyist for academic staff issues.
Guest: Steve Smith, Secretary of the Faculty (Changes to Academic Calendar)
Steve stated that the academic calendar is restrained by federal law, state law, UW System rules, UW-Madison faculty legislation, and past practice. An ad hoc committee was formed to look at a number of problems including final exams conflicting with commencement, late start of the spring semester, fall semester starting on Friday, lengthy grade submission period, and semesters being different lengths. The recommendations include creating 69 days of instruction over 15 weeks, shifting the faculty contract to being and end a week earlier and to start the 4 week summer session one week earlier, shortening the exam period by one day (this already currently happens) and having grades due 72 hours after the last exam instead of 144 hours after the exam. The Faculty Senate is expected to take up these changes at their October meeting held on September 26.
Standing Committee and Other Reports
Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) – Kevin Niemi, Chair of ASEC, introduced himself to the Assembly. The Assembly received a copy of the report from ASEC. During the summer, ASEC made many appointments and nominations including to the new budget committee. There are a number of Deans’ reviews being conducted by the Provost Office, and the RFP for the consultant for the Titling and Total Compensation study has been released.
Kevin made the following announcements. A budget forum open to campus will be held on Wednesday, September 14 from 3:30-5 pm in Gordon Dining and Event Center. All university staff, faculty and academic staff are invited to attend the Employee Shared Governance Reception on Tuesday, October 11 from 3-5 pm in Varsity Hall, Union South. Chancellor Rebecca Blank will give brief remarks around 3:15 pm. The announcement for this year’s academic staff chats was sent last week. This year’s topics include Professional Development (9/29), Performance Evaluations (11/2), Job Security (1/31) and Advocating for Yourself (3/6). All chats are from 11:30-1:00 in Union South. If a chat is full, please sign up for the waitlist. Additional chats for popular topics were added last year.
ASEC Committee Member
Mallory Musolf was elected as a new member of ASEC through June 30, 2017.
Resolution Calling UW System President and Board of Regents to Action
Robert Newsom (ASEC) moved the Academic Staff Assembly approved ASA document #615). Seconded.
Motion by David Parter (District #482) to amend the first resolved clause to read “to join us and continue together to rededicate ourselves.” Seconded. Approved.
Motion by Eric Giefer (District #484) to amend the second whereas clause by changing “recommit” to “continue recommitting”. Seconded. Motion failed.
Amended resolution passed on a hand vote of 40-15.
Report on 2015-16 Academic Staff Assembly Business
Kevin Niemi, ASEC chair, reviewed the 2015-16 Assembly business report.
Vice Chancellor Report
Laurent Heller introduced himself to the Assembly. He remarked that shared governance at UC-Berkeley is mostly about faculty and students. There was no formal shared governance structure for staff. He is very excited and impressed about the opportunities for staff here in governance.
He has worked in higher education for his whole career starting at Harvard University doing database administration and then financial and grants management. He went to UC-Berkeley about 12 years ago and worked for the School of Law.
He encouraged academic staff to attend the budget forum on Wednesday, September 14 from 3:30-5:00 in the Gordon Dining and Event Center. Academic staff could have an important voice, and he and other administrators want to hear thoughts and comments from academic staff. Regina Milner, president of the Board of Regents, will talk about the Board of Regents budget proposal. Charlie Hoslet will talk about the outreach effort. The forum will be recorded and available online.
UW-Madison is in pretty good shape financially. It has a strong balance sheet, low debt and some assets. Over the last decade, growth of expenses has been at 3.5%, which is good compared to peers. UC-Berkeley was over 5% and some institutions are as high as 7%.
Revenues have only grown at 3.5% during that time period. UW-Madison’s peers have growth of 4.5-5.5% or more. UW-Madison needs to grow its revenue in order to remain competitive. The compound effect of 1% on our budget is very large.
Adjourned at 4:57 pm.
Minutes submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Academic Staff