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University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-10-09
University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved as amended 10/16/2017
Minutes for October 9, 2017
UC members present: Amasino (arrived at 1:13), Bowers (arrived at 1:36), Ventura, Wanner (chair), Warfield
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, M. Felber, J. OMeara, H. Daniels, C. Springer, M. Mayrl
Chair Anja Wanner called the meeting to order at 1:11 p.m. Brief discussion of policies passed by BOR on freedom of expression punishments and hiring of senior administrators. The minutes of the meeting of University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-10-02 , were approved as amended. Jack OMeara reported on discussions about BOR policy on freedom of expression and pushback from both ends of political spectrum, including on provision that university not take positions. Appears the legislature will now not act on this, but court challenges are likely Discussion followed.
University Curriculum Committee (UCC) chair Doug Wiegmann and Senior Academic Planner Michelle Young (APIR), who staffs the UCC, presented the committee's 2016-2017 annual report. UCC has streamlined course proposal review process, which has freed up time to discuss policy and guidance. In that regard, have been working on credit hour policy, participation grading, variable credit courses, etc. New proposal review system will help everyone on campus in putting together and reviewing proposals. Met last year with other curriculum committees on campus and plan to do so again this year; good opportunity to talk about process, expectations, clarify roles, and share thoughts and ideas for improvement. UCC is represented on VCTL-led syllabus committee. Challenging to find conflicts/overlaps between course proposals and other courses on campus; current system relies primarily on self-identifying. Priority topic for coming year will be "special topics' courses, which are sometimes used as "empty vessels' that allow the units to do whatever they want; L&S limits usage; campus may follow suit. Discussion throughout.
Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims provided and discussed three documents: "R.E.E.L. Change Implementation Progress,' "Provost's Diversity Liaison Project," and "Campus Climate Progress Report Fall 2017. The R.E.E.L. Change document outlines progress on the diversity framework to date; campus is on target, addressing two initiatives per year. A call has gone out for the Diversity Liaison Project for first-round volunteers with experience in diversity and inclusion to build a cohort that will start working with other campus units in spring. Discussion followed on ways to dovetail with other campus programs and criteria for selecting liaisons. The Campus Climate Progress Report is the most recent regular semesterly update. Ample discussion followed on Faculty of Color reception (which had unexpected synergy with student event), reorganization of committees that work with Sims' office, and People and First Wave programs.
Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf reported on the Board meeting at Stout, including passage of administrator hiring and speech rules with virtually no discussion. One piece of good news out of the meetings was that the System "benefits savings" funds that used to arrive unpredictably and with short spending windows will now be allocated as recurring money according to the traditional formula across campuses. This will help cover campus shares of pay plans next year. Discussion about metrics for performance based funding, as well as reporting on workload. Potential changes to the latter in the works in state legislature. Wide-ranging discussion about demographics, enrollments, national press, protest, etc.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank also started with a report on the Board of Regents meeting and the passage without discussion of speech rules and administrative hiring changes. Blank also reported on upcoming event by conservative speaker, vandalism at sacred fire circle near Dejope, reintroduction of fetal tissue bills, controversy over TA with white supremacist past, Alumni Park opening, upcoming travels, community advisory board, and group research KKK ties to campus. She discussed the lead cleaning on Ag and Bascom Halls and the good news that nobody who has been tested has had concerning results. Contracting issues still being investigated to make sure this doesn't happen again. Discussion about sustainability resolution, quiet Senate meeting, and some of the other items listed above.
Terry Warfield moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 2:55 p.m. The UC unanimously approved two dual role waivers and nominated faculty members for a seat on the Union Council. Ruth Litovsky beat Warfield to it and moved to reconvene in open session to adjourn. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:25 p.m., at which point Wanner adjourned the meeting.