University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved as amended 03/13/2017
UC members present: Amasino (arrived 1:30 pm), Broman, Litovsky, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
UC member absent: Bowers
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, O. Arain, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, M. Walters, H. Daniels, N. Bertelsen, C. Springer, M. Mayrl
Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:09 p.m. The minutes of the meetings of February 20, 2017 (University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-02-20 ), and February 27, 2017 (University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-02-27 ), were approved. The UC discussed the impact of post-tenure review policy on faculty contracts and concurred with the legal opinion that there is no connection. The UC discussed a motion to be made on post-tenure review at the Faculty Senate meeting later in the day. Strong consensus that the amendment was superfluous but consistent with the intent of the draft policy. Several concerns were expressed that the amendment could be seen as antagonistic by the Board of Regents. Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith directed the UC’s attention to APC guidelines and self-studies that have been submitted per FPP 3.08.
Jack O’Meara indicated that PROFS is more focused on federal level concerns at the moment, particularly Education and other funding, but still keeping track of state budget issues. A meeting with UWS President Cross is being organized, as is a possible forum on self-insurance in April. There will be a state budget forum next Thursday, which will be open to the public and recorded.
Anja Wanner moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 1:23 p.m. The UC unanimously approved a tenure clock extension request. The UC considered, revised, and approved a letter of findings, concluding a grievance filed in May 2016. On a separate grievance case, the UC reviewed a draft letter of findings and recommended several changes; the letter will be revised and re-considered at a future meeting. Ruth Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and the time was 1:52 p.m. when it passed.
New Chief Human Resources Officer Wayne Guthrie introduced himself to the UC (and vice versa). Guthrie was accompanied by HR Operations Director Mark Walters and Compensation and Titling Director Mary Luther. Guthrie laid out several issues he is working on, and his gratitude for the strong team available to him. The UC raised the structure of faculty compensation (majority 9-month appointments) and possible changes that would create greater flexibility; Guthrie is working with the VCFA and others to gather information on this and will be consulting with the UC and other stakeholders as things move forward. Discussion ensued. Guthrie and Luther presented and discussed a handout [Titling] on the six major components of the Titling and Total Compensation study. Discussion of “professor of practice” and other instructional titles. UC-led shared governance working group on instructional staff titles should go forward, feeding its recommendations into the broader study. Luther distributed a second handout [link] that shows how the campus effort ties in with the Systemwide effort, including the role of Mercer Consulting. UC will name a faculty member to the UW-Madison campus collaboration team. The role of the latter group is to communicate with and engage all groups on campus, providing a crucial feedback mechanism for the guidance team.
Director of Admissions and Recruitment André Phillips provided an update on this year’s freshman class (over 6400 students, 3671 from Wisconsin) and the status for next year (on track for target of over 6400 total, over 3600 from Wisconsin). New efforts for current recruitment include targeting high performers (based on ACT scores). Survey of non-applicant, admitted but not accepted, and accepted students in the targeted ACT test band (31-36) revealed that major student concerns include: Madison is too close to home, UW enrolls too many high school classmates, and desire to feel that campus addresses specific needs (e.g., honors programs, etc.). (There were also other less prominent concerns, including faculty engagement, cost, etc.) New “Prime Campaign” developed with UW Communications to specifically address high performers’ concerns. High-touch follow-ups demonstrate opportunities for these students. In response to a question about how students are identified, Phillips responded that students are added to prospect pool in a number of ways: in high schools (through counselors and statewide team of recruiters; all members of Admissions team, including the director, have some in-state recruitment responsibility), statewide college fairs (supported by UWS), and purchasing of names of students who take the standardized exams. Discussion throughout, particularly of how to address the perception that faculty don’t care.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who participated in the last part of the foregoing admissions discussion, updated the UC on the WSB dean search, the creation of an advisory council on immigrants and international students, the upcoming BOR meeting, and her upcoming trips to San Francisco (donor meetings and Silicon Valley Badgers group meeting at Intuit) and the Big10 basketball tournament (including meetings with donors and an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education). Discussion about impending Faculty Senate meeting. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m., and the committee repaired to the aforementioned Senate meeting.