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Faculty Senate Minutes 2023-11-06

Minutes approved December 4, 2023

Minutes for November 06, 2023

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. with 151 voting members present (102 needed for quorum). Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus Carl James Bowser (Faculty Document 3110), Professor Emeritus Norman F. Olson (Faculty Document 3111), Professor Emeritus Brian W. Gould (Faculty Document 3112), Professor Emeritus Kyle W. Stiegert (Faculty Document 3113), and Professor Emeritus Richard Vilstrup (Faculty Document 3114).


Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin shared record-breaking metrics for the 2022-2023 academic year, including a 75.5% 4-year graduation rate, 89.3% 6-year rate, an average time to a bachelor’s degree of 3.84 calendar years and 12,407 degrees conferred.


The chancellor has been talking with faculty, staff, students and alums affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many students with ties to these communities feel uneasy and want to feel a sense of belonging regardless of their views on these issues.


The governor filed a lawsuit against the legislature for violating the Wisconsin Constitution and intruding into executive powers on different fronts, including the Joint Committee on Employment Relation’s decision not to take up the pay plan for Universities of Wisconsin employees. The chancellor is continuing to advocate for the pay plan with the legislature. Last week, the university and its partners worked to build renewed awareness about the importance of the Engineering Building to both the university and to the state. There is a strong coalition of business and alum leaders providing advocacy for the building.


Wisconsin was named a regional tech hub for biohealth and personalized medicine by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Biden administration through a competitive process, which allows eligibility in competing for the next phase of funding for $50-70 million. The designation is a signal to the research and development and corporate communities that Wisconsin is ready to move forward in this area. The university is also a partner in a second tech hub for fusion in Chicago.


There are several searches currently underway including the vice chancellor for research (and graduate education), the School of Veterinary Medicine dean and the School of Education dean.


Regarding the new faculty hiring initiative, the deans are thinking through the next steps, engaging in consultation with department chairs about topics, and putting proposals together for the first round. More process will be created around future rounds. The focus of the initiative will be on addressing large challenges and collaboration across cross schools and colleges.


Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee chair, shared that the University Committee will issue a memo to department chairs regarding tenure-track or tenured faculty hires. While everyone is encouraged to participate in the process, only a department’s executive committee may vote on those hires. In addition, departmental executive committees may not delegate the responsibility for hiring these positions to the department chair. The University Committee will clarify Faculty Policies and Procedures to fully reflect this in spring.


During the question period, faculty senators asked about ways faculty will be engaged in the faculty strategic hiring initiative. Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin indicated that faculty engagement is valued and to send ideas to department chairs and deans for the time being, and clearer methods for faculty to provide input will be shared at a future date.


The minutes of the October 2, 2023 meeting were approved by consent.


Provost Charles Isbell presented the University Academic Planning Council annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3115). Professor Tom DuBois (German, Nordic, and Slavic , district 59) presented the University Curriculum Committee annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3116). Professor Carey McAndrews (Planning and Landscape Architecture, district 22) presented the Campus Transportation Committee annual report for 2021-2022 (Faculty Document 3117). Professor Lori Lopez (Communication Arts, district 49) presented the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3118). There were no questions on these reports.


Professor Shawn Green (Psychology, district 69) moved approval to amend faculty legislation II-323 on policies and procedures governing access to electronic files to remove duplicative language already in the Board of Regents Policy 25-3 on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources, and to clarify and update technical terms (Faculty Document 3108). The motion was approved.


Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to add a new section 7.21 regarding leave of absence under state or federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, which is not currently not addressed, and which outlines that approval of this type of leave is based on whether an employee meets the standards under the law as determined by divisional disability representatives, and that because of this, an executive committee vote is not necessary (Faculty Document 3109). The motion was approved.


Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 7.20 to add references to other leave types under leave of absence (Faculty Document 3119). The motion was approved.


Professor Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.44 to remove the University Committee appointment of the Lectures Committee chair and delegate the chair appointment to the committee, as is done with similar committees (Faculty Document 3120). The motion was approved.


Professor Annie Jones, University Committee member moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.46 to correct the University Archives representation on the University Libraries Committee from two seats to one seat, as was originally intended (Faculty Document 3121). The motion was approved.


Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee chair, presented a first reading of a proposal to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 3.05 The Graduate School, 6.31 Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion, 6.59 University Research Council and 9.05 Action by Provost on Complaints (Faculty Document 3122). These changes would be the result of moving the Graduate School dean reporting line from the vice chancellor for research and graduate education to the provost and renaming the vice chancellor for research and graduate education to the vice chancellor for research. The provost is the chief academic officer and better positioned to oversee the Graduate School dean, to encompass the full breadth of graduate student life, which includes both research and education. Established relationships and structures will ensure that the link between graduate education and research remains strong. The University Committee connected with several stakeholders and shared governance committees on this change. The University Committee invites the campus community to provide input or ask questions about the proposed change to the Graduate School dean reporting line during two virtual town halls on November 16 at 11 a.m. and November 29 at 12 p.m. A vote on this item is anticipated at the December Faculty Senate meeting.


Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin adjourned the meeting at 4:34 p.m.


KeywordsFaculty Senate   Doc ID133274
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Created2023-12-08 13:56:52Updated2024-02-29 14:26:32
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