ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, October 14, 2019
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m.
Automatic Consent: The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, September 9, 2019, were approved.
Guest: Rebecca Blank, Chancellor
Karl Scholz gave Chancellor Blank’s remarks. He welcomed both new Academic Staff Assembly members and those from Extension and Wisconsin Public Media. He outlined new leaders on campus and outlined upcoming searches.
There is good news on campus. Time to degree is now below 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is just under 90%. More than 54% of graduates at UW-Madison finish with no debt. Retention rate from freshman to sophomore year is 95%. This year, UW-Madison awarded a record number of degrees and enrolled one of its largest classes.
The campus received its first STARS rating of silver. It’s a national program that rates colleges and universities on various measures of sustainability. Academic staff played an important part in submitting the report. The Our Shared Future project has also been moved forward by academic staff.
He addressed the homecoming video that presented a limited view of students on campus. The Wisconsin Alumni Association and Homecoming Committee have announced a series of changes they will make to prevent something like this from happening again. He apologized for the hurt it has caused and indicated that this incident is symptomatic of the experiences that many of students of color have on this campus. The Chancellor asked the Assembly for ideas on how to improve inclusion on this campus.
The state budget includes 2% raises on January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. This is on top of the funding that central campus is putting towards salaries during the current year.
There are four top priorities for campus. The first one is to invest in faculty and staff, both through increased hiring and increasing salary. This year there will be $4 million for staff and $4 million for bonuses. The Title and Total Compensation Project will final provide information on where staff salaries sit in comparison with our peers. The second priority is cultivating academic excellence. There is work happening in a number of areas including online degrees and creating new programs in data science. There is also investment in student mental health services. The third priority is expanding student access. Both Bucky Tuition’s Promise and Badger Promise provide tuition scholarships for low income students. Approximately 20% of entering Wisconsin residents have free tuition this year from these programs. The last priority is to expand and improve research. UW-Madison is providing more support for graduate students raising graduate student stipends. UW-Madison is also partnering with private industry when it makes sense.
Guests: Susan Fuszard, Employee Assistance Office, and Kelly Parbs, Life Matters
Susan Fuszard presented the Employee Assistance Office (EAO) Annual Report. EAO is a free, voluntary and confidential service that is open to all employees and their families. Life Matters offers the same services as EAO, but are available 24/7 with people located all over the country if an employee prefers to meet in person. They offer five counseling sessions per issue.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the Shared Governance Reception will be held on October 16 at Memorial Union starting from 3-4:30 pm. For the Title and Total Compensation Project, a lot of information will be coming out the week of November 11 during the forums. There are two working committees on the new professor titles that have been meeting regularly. Jenny thanked the academic staff governance outgoing committee chairs: Dan Barnish, Nominating Committee; Ian Benton, Districting and Representation Committee; Matthew Call, Communications Committee; Ed Elder, Mentoring Committee; Barb Gerloff, Appeals Committee; Karyn Matchey, Nominating Committee; Kevin Niemi, ASEC; Ruth Olson, Distinguished Prefix Committee; Martha Reck, Professional Development and Recognition Committee; and Carol Van Hulle, Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee.
Jenny Dahlberg reported for ASPRO about the Mark Cook bill. It would help expedite research funded by for-profit companies.
Josh Knackert and Matt Stillwell provided a report from Science Alliance on issues with youth programming. New policies that were implemented in May have resulted in the cancelation of some outreach activities. The implementation does not distinguish between week-long programs and hour-long lab trips and was created with little to no input from stakeholders. The Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) in partnership with the Division of Continuing Studies is forming an ad hoc committee to consider these issues.
ASPP Changes (Chapter 6 and 9)
Caitlin Cleary (ASA District #443) moved that the Academic Staff Assembly approve the changes to Chapter 6 and 9. Seconded. Motion approved.
Our Shared Future: UW-Madison and the Ho-Chunk Nation
Bill Tishler (ASEC) moved that the Academic Staff Assembly approve the resolution. Seconded. Motion approved.
Provost Scholz introduced himself to the Assembly. He reported that contrary to a recent newspaper headline, the number of Wisconsin resident freshmen is the fourth largest in the last 30 years. Around 67% of Wisconsin residents who applied to UW-Madison were admitted. The Provost is paying close attention to the integration of Extension into UW-Madison. He is very excited about this opportunity. The UW Press has moved its administrative home to the Provost Office and its location to Memorial Library. There will be another round of applications for cluster hires this fall.
Adjourned at 5:00 pm.
Minutes submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Academic Staff