University Committee Meeting Minutes 2019-10-14

University Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved 10/14/2019

Minutes for October 14, 2019
approved October 21


UC members expected present: Campagnola, Halverson, Sandgren, Ventura, Warfield (chair), Wolf

Others present (in addition to those indicated below): J. Richard, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, Morgan Grunow (ASM), Amol Guyol (ASM), Bill Tishler

Chair Warfield called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. Halverson noted that the day was newly designated as Indigenous Peoples Day by the state of Wisconsin, and she asked that the UC take a moment to recognize that we’re gifted to do the work of the university on this Ho-Chunk land. Campagnola had gone to the Board of Regents meeting in Superior last week; Sandgren attended the 1st annual meeting of the Wisconsin UAPC in Milwaukee; and Ventura is going to the Big 10 Academic Alliance. PROFS lobbyist, Jack O’Meara, listed the bills getting traction in the legislature: free speech; state specialists’ reports on data such as teaching hours; farmers reached; number of graduate students.

Dean of the Graduate School, Bill Karpus, detailed the Graduate School program to provide competitive counter offers to graduate student applicants. These $5,000 one-time bonuses were first offered in 2016 to give departments a way to compete against peer institutions, and produced a respectable 50% success rate, with a similar result in 2019: 100 offers and 49 students, mainly in the biological and social sciences divisions. There was ample discussion, including speculation that the money could be used to make campus diversity goals by targeting under-represented applicants. Karpus hopes to launch the graduate student advisory council with its first (open) meeting in early December.

Provost Karl Scholz, answering a question first posed by Halverson in a previous meeting, provided a handout with information about the distribution of undergraduate course sections and credits. Intro classes are so large and have so many credit hours that the data can look skewed, but most class sections have 10-30 enrolled students. He also reported about the Regents meeting; they asked that academic plan be developed, which are intended to help regents understand how the campuses are distinguishing themselves, but will be very general for UW-Madison. He is concerned about the “budgeting by earmark” tendency to approve funds for specific special programs in system schools, such as the dairy initiative this year and water next because Madison’s significant contributions could be minimized.

Regarding the teaching professor policy, the UC is comfortable with the new draft, though the Provost has some additional suggestions for Michael Bernard-Donals. Recruitment is underway for the search and screen committees for the Law School Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Both are penciled in to be in place by December 1. There was much discussion on the rules, history, and how to proceed.

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Steve Cramer, continued a conversation started with Dean Ian Robertson at the August 26 UC meeting regarding teaching effectiveness. He brought a handout outlining the 4 teaching and learning professional development programs: REACH, Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE), Blend@UW, TeachOnline@UW that feed into implementation programs. Participation is growing quickly, but discussion focused on encouraging more participation, as well as finding training that has lasting impact, and recognizing evidence of good teaching. See the new website feature to filter the options:

The minutes for the meeting of October 07, 2019 were approved as amended.

Interim Vice Provost Casey Nagy provided an update on Extension integration, which has gone quite well with few problems. One exception is regulating and defining volunteers; Extension is crafting a policy that focuses on their concerns and situations (e.g., 4-H, Master Gardener program). Another hotspot to watch is counties balking at funding extension faculty and looking to Madison to step in. Nagy has asked county programs for monthly reports on risks and body of work to have an early warning system for problems; these may also serve to tell stories, and to open communication for identifying collaborative opportunities, though other ideas are welcome. Ample discussion ensued. The search and screen committee for the dean of the Division of Extension position is scheduling meetings, though the hiring timeline is still being worked out.

Warfield adjourned the meeting at 3:36 p.m.