University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 01/22/2018
Approved minutes for January 8, 2018 Approved January 22, 2018
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Litovsky (arr. 1:17), Ventura, Wanner (chair), Warfield
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, J. O’Meara, J. Smith, H. Daniels, G. Bump, M. Mayrl
Chair Anja Wanner called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and directed attention to the draft final report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Titles and email exchanges relating to a recent press inquiry. Steve Ventura reported that there is a good pool of internal candidates for the Morgridge director. Deputy Secretary of the Faculty Jane Richard reported on the (now full) slate of nominees for election to the UC and discussed other committees. Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith informed the UC that there may be a request forthcoming from the Arts and Humanities division for a change in divisional committee membership composition. The UC discussed the Extension-Madison merger at length. The minutes of the meeting of December 18, 2017, were approved with changes. Jack O’Meara reported on PROFS activities, most notably the “Mark Cook” entrepreneurial bill, which has been introduced in both houses and has the support of WARF, the biomedical device association, and many faculty. Discussion about legislative bills and a query from the legislature about ethics. O’Meara also reported on the recent meeting of the state relations (formerly legislative strategy) group. Wanner moved to elect Rick Amasino as UC chair for 2018-2019. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Norman Drinkwater reported that Neuroscience Professor Cynthia Czajkowski will be Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Biological Sciences during the period that he is interim VCRGE. He provided updates on preliminary 2017 research expenditure data showing continued positive trajectory; the recently completed fall research competition, under which about half of applications were funded, reaching into every school/college; the beginning of round 4 of UW2020, with award decisions expected in early April; and, following last year’s microbiome strategic initiative, progress on this year’s data science strategic initiative, for which proposals will be due in March with decisions before summer. Drinkwater also reported that the OVCRGE is crafting a new outside activity reporting process, expected to go live July 1. Transition of the social science IRB into OVCRGE has been smooth; discussion about health sciences has begun. Drinkwater further reported on two leadership transitions: Waisman director search, currently in the interview stage, and beginning of recruitment for Space Science and Engineering Center. Drinkwater’s time with the UC concluded with broad discussion of research computing, including how to identify policies and needs and differences between research computing and IT, both generally and specifically with regard to cybersecurity. RTAG is being reconfigured and cybersecurity is top of agenda for this year.
Casey Nagy provided an update on the Extension-Madison merger, particularly the governance advisory process. Ample discussion, primarily about aspects relating to tenure. Agreement that governance group will decide how to move forward on this and other issues it identifies. Nagy reports that within a week, the working groups will deliver initial compilations of what they see as the most significant issues/challenges, which will lead to critical prioritization by the steering committee on January 22, keeping the process on track for more public presentation in early March.
Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf discussed fallout from recent press coverage about consensual relationships and Cathy Kramer’s proposal for a distinguished teaching award for service-related teaching. UC suggested investigating ways to also reward community organizations with which faculty are working. Mangelsdorf also asked for the UC’s counsel on clarifying and strengthening our HIB and sexual harassment policies, especially as regards triggers for investigation and deciding next steps. Ample discussion ensued, on topics including what options exist when there is no action by chair, associate dean, or dean, need for a true constructive whistleblower program, need for confidentiality and recourse, benchmarking peers and looking at research misconduct and other policies (as place to start), training needs, and much more. All agreed that this is a big risk for the university, but an even bigger risk if left unaddressed. Our processes are about individuals rather than departments – and that adds to the difficulty of changing cultures, which is what is required.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank discussed the change in leadership at the WSB at length. Selecting the appropriate interim dean is critical in terms of positioning the school to conduct a search that nets the strongest possible future dean. Blank stressed that it is important to keep making progress on the former dean’s agenda/vision, which is the right way to go. Discussion was extensive and included reputational hit, role of outsiders and funders, and much more. Blank also discussed the fallout from recent press about compliance, reaffirming that campus is not out of compliance, and whether the other pieces of Extension will come to Madison (unlikely at this point) and how best to gather input from the Faculty Senate and others on this process. Blank outlined upcoming events, including Executive Committee retreat at Olin House and Community Advisory Council meeting.
Ruth Litovsky 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 3:20 p.m. The UC approved two dual role waiver requests, two tenure clock extension requests (one of which required resubmission with dean’s approval), and one leave of absence request unanimously. In addition, the UC approved a third dual role waiver request with contingencies and for one year rather than the three requested. The UC considered faculty members for the shared governance advisory committee on the UW Extension merger. Terry Warfield moved to reconvene in open session to adjourn. The motion was seconded and passed at 4:53 p.m. and Wanner adjourned the meeting.