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University Committee Meeting Minutes 2024-03-04

Minutes approved March 11, 2024

Minutes for March 4, 2024

UC members present: Bernard-Donals, Jones, Li, Tejedo-Herrero, Thibeault (chair), Zweibel
Others present: Greg Bump, Michelle Felber, Jennifer Noyes, Julie Scharm

Chair Thibeault called the meeting to order at 1:01 pm. 

The minutes from February 26, 2024, were approved by automatic consent with one change.

Susan Thibeault shared that a meeting regarding how to collect data on the summary period would be happening soon. There is a resolution recognizing the 175th anniversary of the institution planned for the April Senate meeting.

Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs, discussed the spring leadership breakfast. There seemed to be agreement that department chairs on campus need more support, but less agreement on a department head vs chair model. 

There will be a survey going out to department chairs yet this semester. It is essentially the same survey that was conducted in 2019 with a few more questions added about remote work. Beth plans to use the results to help them form plans for chair training in August.

She indicated that the Provost is interested in providing more resources for faculty and staff professional development. The University Committee provided a range of topics they would like to see covered in professional development including how to have difficult conversations, financial management, and cohort leadership development. 

Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, shared that she and several others were participating in the Hillel Campus Climate Initiative. There have been increases of antisemitism and antimuslim sentiment on campus. She discussed the increase demand on student affairs staff to cover events where controversy might become problematic on average of 2-3 per week. This is up considerably from recent years. There is also a lot of graffiti happening now especially in bathrooms where there are no security cameras. 

Affinity group conversations have been continuing this semester, and they have 3-4 of them left. There is a controversial speaker, Michael Knowles, visiting campus in March invited by Young Americans for Freedom. 

She discussed the need to fill in a gap in the protest guidelines for protests that are not about specific speakers on campus. The current guidelines are more unclear about protests at buildings or other events. They also want to work on the bias reporting mechanism and update the language to be more about restorative justice and reporting. It currently has more compliance oriented language, which is not an accurate representation of the process. 

Interim UW-Madison Police Department (UWPD) Chief, Brent Plisch, and Interim Assistant Chief, Kari Sasso, provided an update on the transition into their roles. The department has been in the middle of strategic planning, and they have identified four priorities: recruitment; retention of staff; relationship building with campus and partnerships; and allocating people resources. 

Salaries are not keeping up with the local market, who offer educational incentive raises. The department is working on non-monetary initiatives. The recruitment and retention issues are forcing the department to make decisions on which programs to prioritize given limited staffing. 

The UWPD continues to work on active threat services, providing support to all UW campuses. There is now documentation available including some slides for instructors to use in their classrooms. Interim Chief Plisch encouraged everyone to download the Badger Safe app to receive campus safety alerts.

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin and the University Committee discussed the issue of tenure track faculty in the Department of Extension. An ad hoc group from the department has been working on this issue and plan to issue a white paper. 

The legislature is currently wrapping up its legislative sessions for the year, which include a number of bills referenced in the agreement between Representative Vos and the Universities of Wisconsin System. 

Thibeault adjourned the meeting at 3:04 pm.

KeywordsUniversity Committee   Doc ID136119
OwnerCurtis V.GroupUW Secretary of the Faculty
Created2024-03-18 16:03:00Updated2024-03-18 16:08:13
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