Faculty Senate Minutes 2023-04-03
Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. with voting 149 members present (99 needed for quorum). Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus Donald W. Crawford (Faculty Document 3081), Professor Emeritus Eldon H. Newcomb (Faculty Document 3082), Professor Emeritus Michael N. Gould (Faculty Document 3083), Professor Emeritus Henry C. Pitot III (Faculty Document 3084) and Professor Emeritus Waclaw Tadeusz Szybalski (Faculty Document 3085).
The 2023 Hilldale Awards were presented to four faculty members representing each of the four divisions: Arts and Humanities Division: Professor Susan Cook (Mead Witter School of Music), Biological Sciences Division: Professor Paul Lambert (Oncology), Physical Sciences Division: Professor John Perepezko (Materials Science and Engineering), Social Sciences Division: Professor Sissel Schroeder (Anthropology).
Chancellor Mnookin reported that the UW System Board of Regents approved the first increases to resident undergraduate tuition in more than a decade. At UW-Madison, tuition will increase by about 4%. Also approved was a small increase in segregated fees and three tuition differentials for engineering, business and nursing. Students in Bucky’s Tuition Promise and Pell Pathway programs will have the full cost of the increase covered. Dean Eric Wilcots will serve as the interim provost as Provost Karl Scholz prepares to depart for the University of Oregon presidency. The chancellor and the Faculty Senate thanked Provost Scholz for his service. Frances Vavrus has been selected to serve as the next dean of the International Division. She is currently at the University of Minnesota and received her Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison.
Chancellor investiture events will be held during the week of April 10, including flash talks exploring the Wisconsin Idea, an astronomy panel discussion featuring Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez, an investiture ceremony, and a community picnic.
Chancellor Mnookin shared that the State Building Commission did not move any projects forward, which was the expected vote. The Joint Finance Committee will instead consider these during their budget deliberations and is holding budget listening sessions around the state.
Vice Chancellor Steve Ackerman reported that research expenditures continue to grow and in fiscal year 2022, grew by 8.3% to $1.54 billion. The UW2020 program seems to have increased the number of new, large proposals (grants for more than $5 million) awarded to UW-Madison and the success rate of proposals. In the area of research compliance, the Institutional Review Boards no longer charge for services and time to approval has decreased by 25 days. Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) has hired additional employees and consultants to help resolve workflow bottlenecks. External consultants will review RSP processes this spring.
Professor Lauren Papp, University Committee chair, shared that the University Committee recently met with Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning John Zumbrunnen regarding ChatGPT and with Chief of Police Kristen Roman regarding safety on campus. The University Committee sent a joint letter with PROFS to UW System President Jay Rothman encouraging that future guidance on TikTok or other technologies created by Chinese-owned companies not fall prey to anti-Asian frames of bias. The University Committee is continuing to discuss the scheduling of spring break and will begin consultation with various stakeholders around campus.
During the question period, a faculty senator asked for an update on the budget model; Chancellor Mnookin shared that there will be no immediate changes, but this will be something to further review in the future. A faculty senator shared noticed improvements with RSP processes but indicated continued difficulties with tracking invoices and other processes; Vice Chancellor Ackerman shared that he hopes the new Research Administration Modernization Project (RAMP) system will help and he will continue to work with RSP. A faculty senator expressed concerns about Concur inefficiencies and asked about removing barriers, such as allowing employees to book directly with airlines; Professor Lauren Papp, University Committee chair, shared that Vice Chancellor Rob Cramer is engaged with the University Committee on improving processes.
A faculty senator asked for a progress update on the resolution on climate divestment and procurement (Faculty Document 2928 rev); Chancellor Mnookin indicated that she is working with the Office of Sustainability on future initiatives, the university completed a zero waste assessment in 2021 and zero waste strategic visioning exercise, Purchasing Services created a sustainable procurement officer position, and there is UW System sustainable procurement group actively working on processes. UW-Madison also has a sustainability dashboard, though data is limited at this time. The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) fossil fuel holdings are negligible but not zero and WFAA is interested in thinking through a donor pathway towards holdings free of fossil fuels.
The minutes of the March 6, 2023 meeting were approved by consent.
Professor Rania Huntington (Asian Languages and Cultures, district 53) and Carol Hulland presented the Retirement Issues Committee annual report for 2021-2022 (Faculty Document 3086). There were no questions on the report.
Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to update the Faculty Consultative Committee on Financial Emergency membership, replacing the Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits (which no longer exists) representative with the faculty chair of the Budget Committee (Faculty Document 3079). The motion was approved.
Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to add a note to the Budget Committee, indicating the faculty chair service on the Faculty Consultative Committee on Financial Emergency (Faculty Document 3087). The motion was approved.
Professor Lauren Papp, University Committee chair, presented a first reading of a proposal to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to allow Faculty Athletic Representatives to continue past their Athletic Board term (Faculty Document 3088). A vote on this item is anticipated at the May meeting.
Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, University Committee member, presented a first reading of a proposal to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures to clarify and rearrange language relating to the dean’s action on tenure (Faculty Document 3089). A vote on this item is anticipated at the May meeting.
Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin adjourned the meeting at 5:08 p.m.