University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 6/5/2017
Approved minutes for May 22, 2017
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman, Litovsky, Wanner, Wendt (chair); Ventura, Warfield
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, M. Chandler, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, H. Daniels, J. Smith, J. Brown, G. Petty, R. Valentine, M. Lehman, R. Lazimy, C. Springer, M. Bernard-Donals
Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Tom Broman asked for UC member volunteers to attend a meeting of the Retirement Issues committee to discuss possible non-voting membership on committees. The minutes of the meetings of May 8 and May 15, 2017, were approved.
Jack O’Meara said that Tuesday was the big day for the state budget, as the JFC takes up the higher education budget. PROFS has had several meetings (including with the speaker’s chief of staff and the leaders of the two legislative bodies), primarily about PBF. Some changes from the governor’s proposal are likely, but what the final form of the bill will be is not yet known. PROFS Steering Committee met with UW Federal Relations director Mike Lenn. Discussion followed, about PBF, federal budget, “free” speech bill, and more.
Wendt provided a brief orientation for incoming UC members on procedures, meetings, materials, OSOF support, UC visitors, committees, FPP, and more. The UC assigned itself to the various committees with UC member representation. In particular, much discussion occurred about Madison representation to System.
Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims debriefed his Faculty Senate talk. All agree that it went well, was well received, and gave opportunity to delve into ways to lean into institutional statement and demonstrate commitment to backing up rhetoric with action. Sims said that a task force (along the lines of that created for the sexual assault survey) has been created to respond to the Climate Survey with Sims and Berquam as co-chairs. Task force will analyze survey, develop set of recommendations, and build on and connect with institutional statement and diversity framework. Sims discussed impacts on DDEEA of upcoming work on student services structure and welcomes ongoing discussion about whether diversity issues should fall under provost, compliance/legal, student services, and/or other units, given that DDEEA works with all of these. Peers have a wide array of different organizational structures; culture in higher education has moved towards having CDO report to chancellor/president or provost. (Currently here, the CDO reports to the provost with a dotted line to chancellor; used to be fully in student affairs.) Ample discussion on pipelines, events, DIP, scaling, etc. Sims would like to bring events coordinator to UC to demonstrate one aspect of broad range of activities. Sims and Smith confirmed that administrative support for the CDCC (one of several shared governance groups that interact with the DDEEA) will transfer to the OSOF office. Over the summer and early fall, the UC will work with Sims and others on revising FPP language about these various committees.
The UC discussed proposed IT security assessments with ITC committee members Grant Petty and Rand Valentine, ITC co-chair Rafi Lazimy, and interim CIO Mike Lehman. UC members understand the motivation and need for such assessments, but seek to better understand impacts and related issues, including vulnerabilities, privacy, contract details, and trust. The UC strongly recommends a detailed communication strategy ahead of the survey. UC is convinced that something should happen, but faculty concerns are real and negative pushback would be minimized by clearly conveying what the plan is and who is involved. Lehman said that preliminary discussions with one college have already led to the determination that the complexities of the survey script are too high and so that college will not be included. Lehman assured the UC that none of this will be done without engagement of division offices (administration and IT), but wondered if communication directly with all 40K endpoints is feasible. Ample discussion throughout. UC consensus that it is not able to endorse a specific company and does not have the expertise to address all concerns, or even necessarily articulate all the issues. Broad communication (potentially with FAQ) to all of campus is best way to minimize negative pushback and alleviate concerns. Stated plan to work through division-level IT offices is critical.
Rick Amasino 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 2:07 p.m. The UC unanimously approved one dual role waiver, one tenure clock extension, and one transfer from the tenure track to the clinical track. The UC followed up on a grievance and determined that additional investigation is needed and earlier findings should be withdrawn. The UC discussed possible nominees for the ad hoc student services advisory committee and recommended three names to forward to the chancellor. Barb Bowers moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 2:38 p.m.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reminded everyone about the Administrative Improvement Award ceremony. She also pointed out that the UW state budget would be taken up the next day and that the capital budget will be taken up eventually. The federal budget is also expected tomorrow, and all indications are that it will not be good news for higher education, particularly with regard to financial aid and research enterprise. Following some brief updates from the UC, Litovsky asked Blank what she thought the UC should be focusing on over the summer. Blank indicated that her foci over the summer will be thinking about organization of student services, strategizing and communicating about reinvestment, and responding to the federal budget. Ample discussion ensued.
Wendt adjourned her final meeting as UC chair at 3:30 p.m.