University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 02/22/2021
Minutes for February 15, 2021
UC members expected present: Halverson, Masters, Papp, Sandgren, Tracy, Wolf (chair)
Others present not listed below: Alejandra Canales, Tim Dalby, Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, David Giroux, Juliana, Jordan Kennedy, Adrian Lampron, Matt Mayrl, Kelly Meyerhofer, Matthew Mitnick, Jack Phillips, Jane Richard, Jake Smith, Tarah Stangler, Bill Tishler
Chair Wolf called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm.
Jack O’Meara gave a PROFS update; Governor Evers will release the highly anticipated state budget on February 16; there have been little information on what the higher education budget might contain.
Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, announced that the Office of Financial Aid has released the $9.9 million in federal emergency grant money for undergrad and grad students (CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)). The 4,000+/- Pell grant-eligible students will get $1,000 automatically. This grant doesn’t impact the cost of attendance or any financial aid. The federal money comes with some restrictions, but all students can apply for financial support regardless of eligibility for these specific funds. The Office of Financial Aid provides other basic needs assistance grants, and other programs are available for struggling students, such as the Badger Fare Program ($75 is added to a student’s Wiscard for food) and the Wisconsin Union is providing a free meal in the month of February. COVID-19 testing is going so well that the call center open hours can be reduced because not many calls are coming in.
Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, expressed disappointment in the no confidence vote handed to him last week by ASM. A new impact report for UW-Madison on the state of Wisconsin indicates that the university contributes nearly $31 billion per year, with a return of $27 to every dollar invested; there have been 400 related start-up companies. UW-Madison renewed its request for borrowing authority in the state budget, which would give the university more flexibility in reacting to economic variables.
Karen Massetti-Moran, Office of Human Resources (OHR), gave an update on the UW System’s initiative that will move everyone to a biweekly payroll schedule effective July 19, 2020. A town hall on March 3 will provide more information and answer employee questions. OHR and Extension will offer webinars and other resources to help employees with the transition.
Deputy Secretary of the Faculty, Jane Richard, reported on the triennial faculty senate apportionment, which determines how many senators to allocate to each senate district (1 senator per 10 faculty members). There has been little change since the last reapportionment: 230 senators in 105 districts versus 227 in 107 districts in 2017. It’s a good opportunity to check in with departments regarding this aspect of shared governance.
Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, recapped campus COVID-19 protocols, which are going smoothly. Supply problems are slowing the vaccination roll-out; the next group must wait until March 1 for eligibility.
Campus budget meetings with deans and other administrators have started. The executive team’s retreat theme was “looking forward” and they will look at changes caused by COVID-19, and how we re-focus to look forward for the next academic year and beyond. The leadership breakfast next week will reinforce this theme. The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs search and screen committee has launched; it’s chaired by Mark Seidel. Four new online degree programs are open for applications: 3 from the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB), and 1 from the School of Human Ecology (SOHE). For traditional students, preliminary application numbers are up approximately 17%.
Tracy moved and it was seconded to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel issues and committee appointments. It was approved at 2:52 pm. The University Committee approved a special request to extend the term for alumni members of the Athletic Board one additional year.
Tracy moved to convene in open session which was seconded and passed at 4:28 pm when Chair Wolf adjourned the meeting.