University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 02/01/2021
Minutes for January 25, 2021
Approved February 01, 2021
UC members present: Halverson, Masters, Papp, Sandgren, Tracy, Wolf (chair)
Also present, besides
those mentioned below: Michaela Aust, Michael Bernard-Donals, Greg Bump, Gideon
Elliott, Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, Yvonne Kim, Matt Mayrl, Kelly
Jack O’Meara, Jane Richard, Jake Smith, Bill Tishler
Chair Wolf called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.
Sandgren moved to approve the minutes of January 11, 2021. Seconded. Passed.
Secretary of the Faculty Heather Daniels shared that the University Committee has been asked for two faculty to be on the search and screen committee for the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. The charge for the task force looking at COVID-19 academic policies in the spring semester was distributed.
The University Committee reviewed the agenda for the Faculty Senate.
Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, reported that mental health for students continues to be a priority. In early March, a student mental health summit will feature speakers on resilience, anxiety, motivation, sleep, etc. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, psychologist and founder of Therapy for Black Girls. Sarah Nolan, director of UHS Mental Health Services, is looking to collaborate with faculty on mental health issues.
A possible “spring break lite” in
lieu of the traditional spring break (which was eliminated this year) would involve
a week of lightened academic and student group activities. A task force is
considering activities to make next year special for rising sophomores, since
their first-year experience wasn’t typical.
Karl Scholz, Provost, John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, and Wren Singer, Director of Undergraduate Advising, said that 80-85% of students visit their academic advisor each semester. Singer will serve on the academic policies task force this spring.
The Provost announced the merging of International Student Services (currently in the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs), and International Faculty and Staff Services (currently in the Office of Human Resources) into a single office under the International Division beginning July 1. Casey Nagy has been working on this project with both offices.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reported that rejection rates on the saliva test are declining and she expects them to go down again this week. A 24-hour turnaround for results is becoming standard. Instead of appointments, participants check wait times at testing sites in the Safer Badger app and pick the most convenient with the shortest line. Badge status to get into buildings will start being enforced February 8.
Employees in the “1a” category have been vaccinated and the 1b group has started with employees over the age of 65. The biggest challenge is vaccine dose supply: no one knows how many or when doses will arrive. Still, the hope is to have all employees vaccinated by the end of the semester. Campus might be a community vaccination center.
Congress passed a second stimulus bill at the end of December and UW-Madison will receive about $30 million, with $10 million earmarked for student aid. Hopefully, the student aid money has fewer constraints than the previous round. If not, UW-Madison has other funds for students who are ineligible to receive the federal money. The financial aid office will coordinate distribution.
Michael Benard-Donals shared the PROFS annual report. At the February Senate meeting, he will remind senators about the purpose of PROFS and how it is run. The annual report also contains a list of bills registered for and against during the past year.
Chad Goldberg, faculty advisor for UW-Hillel, and Greg Steinberger, Director of UW-Hillel, shared concerns with the start date of instruction in the fall 2021 semester, which falls on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, a major holiday for Jews. They suggest a change to the start of the school year, and if this isn’t possible other creative solutions would be needed. They also questioned how the conflict arose.
Sandgren moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss grievances and waivers. Seconded. Passed at 3:23 pm. Two tenure clock extensions were approved.
Tracy moved to convene in open session. Seconded. Passed at 4:26 pm.
Adjourned at 4:38 pm.
Submitted by Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Faculty