Topics Map > Office of the Secretary of the Faculty > Faculty Senate > Senate Minutes

Faculty Senate Minutes 2024-02-05

Minutes approved March 4, 2024

Minutes for February 5, 2024

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. with 146 voting members present (102 needed for quorum). Memorial resolutions were offered for Professor Emeritus Patrick Robert Ahern (Faculty Document 3133) and Professor Emeritus Clarence C. Olson (Faculty Document 3134).

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin shared that global events, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, continue to have a significant impact on the campus community. This has led to increasing concerns about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and some students struggling with what is happening in the world and feeling judged or stereotyped based on identities. The university has received a notice of an Office of Civil Rights investigation by the Department of Education around shared ancestry concerns regarding anti-Semitism. This complaint was made by the editor of Campus Reform, and not by any organization or person on our campus. There are more than 100 open investigations of this kind on campuses across the country. In addition to a focus on physical safety and security for students, it is the university’s collective goal to create an environment that fosters dialogue across differences in pursuit of greater understanding and helping students to feel supported. There will be increased opportunities for continued dialogue.

The UW System Board of Regents and the legislature reached a deal regarding funding items, requiring compromises for both sides. The university’s commitment to diversity is unabated and remains a value of the institution; there are some elements that will change, which can lead to ways to think about how to do things better and in an even more inclusive way. The pay increases for faculty and staff went forward and several items still need to go through the legislature, including the Universities of Wisconsin request for a supplemental appropriation for $32M in base funding in areas related to workforce development, enumeration of the new Engineering Building and other facility projects, approval of a revised Wisconsin-Minnesota reciprocity bill (which will mean that UW-Madison can keep a greater portion of the tuition of students from Minnesota), and the approval a $45M in one-time GPR funding for demolition projects across UW System. If those provisions are met, the Universities of Wisconsin will be required to have a system-wide cap on administrative positions for three years exempting faculty positions, student or student-facing positions, grant or gift-funded positions, a temporary cap on DEI-related positions, realignment of about 40 System-wide DEI positions to focus on student success, support of legislation under which UW-Madison would admit the top 5% of graduates from all Wisconsin high schools based on their GPA, and some additional items.

Beginning next fall, UW-Madison will support the full cost of attendance for students pursuing an undergraduate degree who are Wisconsin residents and enrolled members of federally-recognized Wisconsin Tribes. The commitment includes the full cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, books, meals, and other educational expenses. It is provided on top of any other scholarships a student might have – the university will make up the difference. The university has also started a pilot program for in-state tuition and fees for students who are Wisconsin residents and enrolled members of federally-recognized Wisconsin Tribes pursuing either a law degree (JD) or medical degree (MD). These programs were developed in close collaboration with shared governance and with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council. The program does not rely on any taxpayer funding; it is supported by other institutional resources, including private donations.

The School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Dean and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs Robert Golden will be stepping down, after a successor is in place. He has led SMPH for 18 years, making him one of the longest-serving medical deans in the United States. A national search will begin this spring. There are searches underway for the School of Veterinary Medicine dean, the vice chancellor for research, and the School of Education dean. A search will begin vice chancellor for university relations in the near future.

UW-Madison is the host campus for the February Board of Regents meeting. The chancellor will be sharing further details about the sustainability initiative and the faculty strategic hiring initiative.

Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee chair, encouraged faculty participation in campus and school/college leadership searches, in particular by attending and providing comments on candidates’ public presentations. Campus leadership will be evaluating the scheduling process for final exams, as part of a larger effort to assess the academic calendar. A campus project to design and implement a new budget approach is starting this semester; there are various task forces, each including faculty members, to focus on various budget issues to help inform the project. The campus community can provide feedback related to various items housed underneath the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance Administration, such as purchasing and travel, at:

The following items were approved by consent: 1) the minutes of the December 4, 2023 meeting, 2) a proposal to amend Faculty Policies & Procedures 6.42 to remove the University Committee appointment of the Information Technology Committee co-chair elect and delegate any chair appointment to the committee, as is done with similar committees (Faculty Document 3135), 3) a proposal to amend Faculty Policies & Procedures 6.50 to modify the term length of UW–Madison Retirement Association seats to allow for greater flexibility as board members change and to remove the University Committee appointment of the chair and delegate the chair appointment to the committee, as is done with similar committees (Faculty Document 3136), and 4) the report from the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty on the apportionment of the UW–Madison Faculty Senate for academic years 2024-2025, 2025-2026, 2026-2027 (Faculty Document 3137). 

A faculty senator asked why the number of Extension senators is decreasing from 10 to 5 in the apportionment of the Faculty Senate. This is due to some Extension faculty transitioning to academic staff and some faculty retiring, thereby decreasing the number of faculty in the Department of Extension and accordingly, the number of faculty senators. With Extension-funded faculty being hired into school/college departments, the overall number of faculty in the Department of Extension could decrease over time.

Professor Kevin Black (Physics, district 67) presented the Budget Committee annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3138). Professor Ann Sheehy (Medicine, district 89) presented the Athletic Board annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3139). Professor Michael Bernard-Donals, PROFS president and University Committee member, presented the PROFS annual report for 2022-2023 (Faculty Document 3140) and the spring 2024 candidates for faculty-elected committees put together by the Committee on Committees (Faculty Document 3141); the election will be held in April of 2024. Faculty interested in committee service can complete the committee interest survey online. There were no questions on these reports.

Professor Annie Jones, University Committee chair, moved approval to amend the academic calendar spring recess scheduling parameters to better align the university spring break with area school district spring breaks (Faculty Document 3132). The motion was approved.

Professor Fernando Tejedo-Herero, University Committee member, moved approval to amend Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.60 to update the University Health Services nonvoting seats on the Health Care Advisory Committee, to reflect the appointment of leadership more broadly, instead of specific job titles which change over time (Faculty Document 3142). The motion was approved. 

Professor Li Chiao-Ping, University Committee member, presented a first reading of the proposed academic calendar for 2028-2029 (Faculty Document 3143). A vote on this item is anticipated at the March Faculty Senate meeting. 

A faculty senator commented that depending on whether class is on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, there are different numbers of class meetings in the fall and spring semesters, which can cause issues (e.g., needing to cut a lecture, rearrange things), and asked if the logic could be shared. Secretary of the Faculty Heather Daniels indicated that this is largely due to choices the Faculty Senate has made on where to start and end the semesters, which ends up with the mismatch between Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday and the fall and spring semesters not being exactly the same; however, it’s better aligned that it was in the past. 

A faculty senator commented that the grading deadline for the fall 2023 semester is Christmas Eve, which presents a challenge, even for those that don’t observe Christmas, and for those that teach more than one class with various needs. University Committee Chair Susan Thibeault indicated that campus leadership is analyzing a potential change to the exam period and if that period is shortened, it could move the grading deadline to an earlier date.

Professor Matthew Berland (Curriculum and Instruction, district 27), Committee on Honorary Degrees member, moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to provide the confidential report of the Committee on Honorary Degrees. The motion was seconded and approved at 4:24 p.m. Professor Berland presented background information on the honorary degree nominee. Senators voted by paper and electronic ballot on the honorary degree to be bestowed in May 2024. The nominee was approved with 134 votes cast. The name of the candidate remains confidential until an official announcement in the spring. Professor Susan Thibeault, University Committee chair, moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and approved at 4:31 p.m. 

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin adjourned the meeting at 4:32 p.m. 

Heather Daniels, Secretary of the Faculty

KeywordsFaculty Senate   Doc ID136182
OwnerCurtis V.GroupUW Secretary of the Faculty
Created2024-03-21 11:08:25Updated2024-06-05 12:03:19
SitesUW Secretary of the Faculty
Feedback  0   0