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University Committee Meeting Minutes 2016-07-25
Approved as amended on August 29, 2016
Minutes for July 25, 2016
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
UC member absent: Litovsky
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, J. Smith, H. Daniels
Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Secretary Steve Smith distributed Data Digest updates. Smith and DSOF Jane Richard asked for UC feedback on changes in the posting of UC materials online. Litovsky will represent Madison at CIC/Big10 Academic Alliance faculty governance meetings in September. Wendt updated the UC on next steps for the shared values statements from the four governance groups. Governance chairs will work to define scope of group to be charged by chancellor to document practice and clarify campus shared governance. Ample discussion, primarily around what responsibilities can be delegated, and specifics of review, consultation, and/or approval roles. Consensus on need to put our practices and assumptions in writing as the default campus position on shared governance. Specific listing of practices could be problematic if it leaves elements out. Precedent has been established historically, but not codified. Unclear where document would reside; this should be part of SG chair’s drafting of the scope of charge. A potentially productive approach might be to create a consultative shared governance group to address issues on an ongoing basis. Minutes of the meetings of July 11, 2016, and July 12, 2016, approved.
Jack O’Meara’s legislative update on behalf of PROFS began with items being prepared for August 18 Board of Regents meeting, primarily budget detail for upcoming biennium. Working with faculty and meeting with regents and UWS president on various issues. As described at last UC meeting, PROFS is monitoring performance-based funding efforts. Question was raised whether requirement that chancellors have tenure is codified or historical tradition only. (Later clarified that tenure requirement for chancellor, provost, and deans is in FPP Chapter 1.) Ample discussion.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Michael Lehman and ITC chair Rafi Lazimy discussed IT governance. Lehman about to receive IT budget report, hopefully providing general information on employee levels, rough budget categories, and so on. Handout distributed with rough idea of what IT governance could/should look like. “Planning Board” responsible for IT strategy, resource allocation, and delivery model. This is a standard corporate model, not revolutionary but quite different from current campus practice, which is extremely decentralized, non-strategic, and not very visible or transparent. Lehman confident that campus IT is horribly sub-optimized and convinced that we need to seriously revisit IT governance. “We cannot keep doing what we’re doing.” Specific proposal being discussed with provost and others includes assertion of authority that is not there now. Proposal does not mean end of decentralization or local activity, but there will be logic to why things are the way they are. Underlying idea is to shift major IT decision making to customers (schools/colleges/admin units) and board would represent all those units (leaders) in addition to others. Ample discussion, focusing on faculty role in decision-making, appropriate customer focus, security/safety, and different levels of resources in colleges/schools. This is not a cost-cutting exercise, but rather addresses current non-functioning model and creation of proper incentives. Timing is important and opportunity is now if campus is serious about improvement. Lehman concluded with an exhortation on new budget committee: Really need to pull that together and get people up to speed.
UC continued ongoing discussion and editing of FPP. Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf began her update with discussion of WSB dean’s departure (a year from now) and goals/timing for search. Mangelsdorf said four deans will have 5-year reviews this year (CALS, SoHE, SMPH, Nelson). Discussion about alumni/community participation in dean reviews and searches. Discussion about mandate and composition of yet-to-be-named working group on facility access. Mangelsdorf exhorted the UC and the OSOF to carefully repackage the academic calendar materials prior to the September 26 Senate meeting so that senators will clearly understand what the options are and what they are voting on. The provost’s time with the UC concluded with a broad discussion of issues related to academic staff dual roles, including a possible blanket summer waiver and impacts of the changes on minimum instructor qualifications. More discussion will be needed on this topic prior to reaccreditation.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank began her update with information on WSB dean and police chief departures and new VCFA transition. She has completed all but one of her annual discussions with direct reports. The death of Beau Solomon has drawn attention to security/safety processes. New risk officer has been invaluable in this process. International Division dean Podestá tasked with full review of response and what is needed for future. Blank noted that there are no requirements of notification, insurance, etc. on faculty/staff travel. This needs to be addressed as it affects our responsiveness to crises (and is not in keeping with our peers). On the federal appropriations front, Blank advised that a full set of bills is unlikely, which might mean a continuing resolution for NIH and others and it is not clear what that might cover or for how long. Blank described opportunity that has developed with privately held, state-of-the-art crop innovation center to be donated to the research park and then leased by CALS. Will be costly, but recoverable in five years through leases to others. Blank remains very concerned about impact of violent summer on fall campus climate. She plans to create ways to explore how to use this large and decentralized university to engage in a series of small conversations about diversity and what we’ve learned and what we can do. Ample discussion. Concluding brief discussions on August Board of Regents meeting, changes to FPP, and post-tenure review policy.
Faculty members Grant Petty (Atmospheric Science) and Eric Bach (Computer Sciences) discussed concerns and questions surrounding library consolidation and organization. Speaking on behalf of a number of faculty, primarily users of Wendt Library, Petty and Bach noticed that consolidation efforts appear to be underway (both consolidation and incorporation of other libraries). The move of Wendt Library out of Engineering on July 1 came as a surprise to many and it appears substantial changes are being made without consulting/involving stakeholders. This visit constitutes a request to UC to find out what’s going on and get governance group involvement. A document was distributed explaining concerns, which are less about outcomes than about perception that far-reaching decisions are being made unilaterally. Ample discussion.
The UC discussed faculty committee appointments, a responsibility currently split over at least 6 bodies (UC, CoC, divisionals) with no consistent rules as to which body appoints to which committee. Ample, broad discussion.
UC recommends proposal that rationalizes this to be presented to Faculty Senate. Ability for faculty to express interest will be very helpful. SOF and DSOF asked to come up with proposed changes.
Wanner moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. Motion seconded and passed at 3:37 p.m. The University Committee considered and unanimously approved two leave of absence extension requests, one dual role waiver, and one tenure clock extension. The UC considered members for the ad hoc committee on inclusive health care, the honorary degrees committee, the retirement issues committee, and the University Academic Planning Council. The UC reviewed its discussions to date on a grievance and approved a decision letter. Broman’s motion to reconvene in open session was seconded and approved at 4:29 p.m. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.
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