University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 10/23/2017
Draft minutes for October 16, 2017
UC members present: Amasino (arrived at 1:21), Bowers, Litovsky (arrived at 1:21), Ventura, Wanner (chair), Warfield
Others Present: D. Whitwam, J. O’Meara, M. Felber, J. Smith, J. Richard, H. Daniels, C. Springer, K. Niemi, M. Walters
Chair Anja Wanner called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. Wanner and Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith provided brief updates on the recently announced System restructuring plan, although there is not much information available in general on this topic. The minutes for the meeting of October 9, 2017, were approved with an amendment. Jack O’Meara (PROFS) reported on legislation coming forward from Representative Murphy, chair of the committee on colleges and universities, to change workforce reporting requirements to, among other things, apply to all academic staff and include more activities than just teaching. O’Meara also provided updates on fetal tissue bills, Foxconn, and other items. Discussion throughout.
The UC discussed a new draft cybersecurity risk management policy, endorsed by the Information Technology Committee, and whether/how it should be considered by the Faculty Senate. After substantial discussion, the UC decided to bring the document to the Senate for a first reading in November, to be followed by a feedback session later in November, and a Senate vote in December. Important to have experts (IT, legal, research, etc.) available for all steps. The UC also discussed changes to FPP for the November Senate meeting.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller started with an update on the lead situation in Bascom and Ag halls. Once mitigation and testing are complete, focus will be on where controls failed and how to prevent similar incidents in the future. Heller spent the bulk of his time discussing strategic planning in the finance and admin area [link to TWO documents] and invited feedback on all areas, but most especially on the one-page mid-level of detail plan for specific offices within the VCFA. This one pager is a standard business technique that boils down the overall strategy into specific, measurable, and doable pieces; it does not reflect the whole strategy, but rather what will be accomplished in the first couple of years. Ample discussion covered the overall VCFA portfolio, timeline, connections with other campus high-level strategies (including academic mission) as well as unit-level ongoing activities, feedback mechanisms, and communication strategies. Heller concluded his time with a brief update on his work with the provost to create a group to oversee protests. Basic structure would be governance-appointed committee that meets once or twice per semester to review what has happened and, in early days, outline campus values and expectations. The committee would not be involved in incident management, but rather setting policy and reviewing incidents.
The UC discussed next steps for the ad hoc committee on shared governance that was discussed last year by the shared governance chairs and requested in resolutions from faculty, academic staff, and students. (University staff passed a similar resolution that did not include the call for a committee.) UC and guests (including ASM representation) all agreed that a detailed chronicle of shared governance history would not be useful, but that an articulation of shared governance practices overall would be quite useful for a wide variety of internal and external audiences. Litovsky pointed out that UW-Madison is admired by peers for strong shared governance and document could show what distinguishes academic from other kinds of institutions. Opportunity to say that our model works well (touting successes) and SG is part of why this is such an outstanding institution. Forming committee through regular process instead of appointed by chancellor strongly supported by all present. Wanner and Smith will work on charge.
Dean of the Graduate School Bill Karpus and the UC discussed at length the “academic staff as adviser” issue that had its first reading at the October Senate meeting. In addition to departments with federal scientists who need to be able to be sole advisors, there are departments that do not want to allow this exception. Consensus that this narrow exception is the right middle ground. This will go to Senate in November for a vote, along with the annual report for GFEC, for informational purposes. Karpus concluded his time responding to a question about professionalization of graduate students.
Professors Sue Babcock and Chad Goldberg and Director of Compensation and Titling Mary Luther reported on progress of the Title and Total Compensation Study. Luther provided a general overview and extensive discussion ensued. [links to TWO documents; see also https://hr.wisc.edu/title-and-total-compensation-study/] Project is currently in phase 2, working on titling and leveling (families, sub families, levels) to create a framework intended to increase transparency. Starting in about March 2018, all employees will update their job descriptions, a process that will take 2-3 months. Rationalization of titles will look at peers, career progression, outdated titles, “grab bag” titles, differences across units, “professor” titles, and much more. New framework and updated PDs will be mapped to market data and, from that, salary structures will be built. Work is also being done on benefits at the same time (total compensation), an area that could potentially affect faculty positions directly (which most of the rest will not). Implementation scheduled for August 2018. Goldberg noted that there are lots of channels for individual input, but working to make sure that staff have opportunities for feedback through their representative bodies as well. Listening sessions after Thanksgiving, which might be a good place for faculty input. UC encouraged to look carefully at document and provided input; faculty impacted in narrow way but potentially indirectly in much broader sense. There are good reasons for low faculty input, but there are parts where faculty input is important (such as “professor” titles and protections of tenure). Consensus that this should come to Faculty Senate for information and feedback. (Ad hoc instructional titles group also plans to do a faculty survey.) Timelines are short (job family piece will be reported out on 12/19), so perhaps presentation and discussion in November Senate, which would allow for report back to departments during that month.
Wanner adjourned the meeting at 3:55 p.m.