University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 07/16/2018
Approved Minutes for July 2, 2018 Approved July 16, 2018
UC members present: Amasino (chair), Bowers, Campagnola, Ventura, Warfield, Wolf
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, E. Sandgren, J. Smith, H. Daniels, C. Springer, C. Kolb, M. Mayrl
Chair Rick Amasino called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. Terry Warfield reported on the System fac reps meeting with Ray Cross, held at Brittingham House in June. The frank and open discussions at that meeting may result in more substantive fac rep meetings and possibly the creation of some sort of “executive committee” of faculty. Steve Ventura reported on Extension-Madison merger developments. Ventura will work with SOF to prepare resolution on tenure for Senate consideration in October. The minutes of the meeting of June 11, 2018, were approved. Jack O’Meara (PROFS) reported on his trip to DC with Warfield, which both agreed was productive.
The UC discussed the issue of department-like bodies and tenure homes, and whether a separate group was needed for further study. Following ample discussion about protection of assistant professors, funding, flexibility, accountability (i.e., the fact that faculty tenured in a unit have a greater stake in that unit than do those with joint governance appointments), and the need for protections and predictability, all present agreed that there really is no further investigation needed. SOF will work with APIR/UAPC, L&S, and others to formalize the following: As a rule, only duly constituted departments can serve as tenure homes. An exception has been granted in three cases, but neither these exceptions nor any future cases should be considered blanket authority. A document will be created to outline the conditions under which exceptions may be granted and all cases will be reviewed for individual faculty members in specific contexts only.
The UC discussed whether the Lakeshore Nature Preserve Committee should remain as a UC-appointed, shared governance (but not FPP Chapter VI) committee. Consensus to leave status quo in place for now, but to bring this up with the VCFA.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reported that the new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has started and the merger with UW-Extension is now official. Blank also reported on meetings in Boston, including discussions with the chair of a group working on a report on the future of Computer Science, and on Community Partnership awards. She discussed priorities as we enter a budget year, which mainly center on capital expenditure issues, including restoration of historic levels of capital funding, finding other funding sources for this increasingly urgent need, and securing borrowing and related authorities. We are the only flagship university and only statewide system without its own bond rating. Even 2-year colleges in Wisconsin have bonding authority. Blank reported on progress on the search for a new VCRGE and indicated that she is in the midst of annual evaluations of people who report to her, and encouraged all supervisors to use these as an opportunity for strategic planning. Blank concluded her time with a discussion about potential shared research projects with FoxConn, possibly to include work on big data and on ginseng. In response to a question, Blank indicated that she has been told that we are days away from hiring a sustainability director.
Warfield 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 3:12 p.m. After updates on some pending personnel matters, none of which are actionable at this point, the UC discussed possible chairs for the upcoming VCRGE search and screen committee. The UC deferred a decision on a clock extension request until the department can provide additional necessary information. Steve Ventura moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 4:06 p.m., at which point Amasino adjourned the meeting.