University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 04/12/2021
Minutes April 05, 2021
UC members present: Halverson, Masters, Papp, Sandgren, Tracy, Wolf (chair)
Others present: Michaela Aust, Michael Bernard-Donals, Greg Bump, Ellen Clark, Gideon Elliott, Michelle Felber, Lesley Fisher, Yvonne Kim, Mary Carr Lee, John Lucas, Kelly Meyerhofer, Caitlin O’Brien, Jane Richard, Wren Singer, Jake Smith, Beth Warner, John Zumbrunnen
Chair Wolf called the meeting to order at 1:00.
Provost Karl Scholz asked for and received the UC’s endorsement of the three recommendations of the Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force on COVID-19 (Sandgren is a member):
Recommendation 1: The Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force unanimously recommends retroactively changing all “Unsatisfactory, Disruption” grades for spring 2020 to “No Credit Disruption.”
Recommendation 2: The Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force by majority opinion recommends adding to student transcripts a notation for spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 indicating that these semesters occurred during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Recommendation 3: The Spring 2021 Pandemic Academic Policy Task Force by majority opinion recommends the implementation of the spring 2020 SD/UD grading policy for the spring 2021 semester with the amendment from Recommendation 1 that UD (Unsatisfactory Disruption) be changed to (No Credit, Disruption).
Scholz reviewed a report on the COVID-19 tenure clock extension; 68% of probationary faculty have taken advantage of this. Anecdotally, those who haven’t are going up for tenure this year.
Minutes of the meeting of March 29, 2021, were approved by consent
Cheryl Gittens, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, gave the UC a detailed report on the activities of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA). Retention and graduation rates for students in their scholarship programs are high (97% retention for first year and 86% graduation rate at 6 years). The DDEAA continues to expand academic support services, like tutoring.
A committee is identifying effective diversity education and training opportunities for faculty and staff by addressing critical questions such as: What is content and impact of current training? What is the content and methodology at peer institutions? How can UW-Madison best consider needs of faculty and staff for training? Their report to leadership is expected at the end of this semester.
The DDEEA’s Climate Progress Report has been expanded to include the accomplishments of school, college, and department data in the four areas of recruitment and retention, identity and inclusion, research and professional development, and commitment to campus community.
The TOP program has approved 105 proposals with 32 faculty being hired. Commitment to this effort is being maintained through COVID. A new Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administration, Anju Reejhsinghani, started in February. And as a final update, the DDEEA has a new funding campaign honoring the first African American woman and man graduates of UW-Madison (Raimey-Noland Campaign), whose original goal was to raise $10M (as part of the capital campaign) and has already raised $20M to support DEI.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Steve Ackerman gave a preview of his presentation to the Faculty Senate later in the afternoon. He highlighted several successful and popular research funding initiatives, including a continuation initiative, an inequalities initiative, and a promoting industry initiative.
Regarding a proposal before the Faculty Senate later in the afternoon, Ackerman explained that because center directors have other opportunities to contribute within the VCGRE office, they are being excluded them from general membership of the University Research Council (URC).
Amy Wendt is now the permanent Vice Chancellor for Research, Physical Sciences.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank is concerned about COVID-19 variants in surrounding states that is helping the virus spread. The vaccine supply to UW-Madison remains inadequate to vaccinate all faculty, staff and students. Many are getting vaccinated outside UW. She remains optimistic that there will be a mostly-normal return to campus in fall. The Chancellor and Provost have talked about the caregiving committee, but will go forward with one on a fast timeline with a narrow charge.
Tracy moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss grievances; it was seconded and approved at 2:47.
Tracy moved to convene in open session; it was seconded and approved at 2:55. Wolf adjourned the meeting at 2:57 pm.