Minutes passed November 7, 2016
Draft minutes for October 31, 2016
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman (chair), Wanner, Wendt (by phone)
UC member absent: Litovsky
Others present: S. Smith, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, H. Daniels, J. Richard, MBD, M. Mayrl
Acting Chair Tom Broman called the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m. Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith walked the UC through materials for the meeting. Minutes of the meeting of October 24, 2016, approved. Jack O’Meara described the PROFS steering committee meeting with Regent President Regina Millner and the interim director of communications. Generally good advice/thoughts from both; basic pitch is that performance-based funding is something System and campuses would control. Hope is that metrics would be things we already keep track of. Discussion, including briefly WPRI report (which has little purchase downtown or anywhere). Broman summarized small PROFS meeting with Ken Goldstein on poll of WI residents. Takeaways are that tenure and academic freedom talk don’t play all that well in state and that majority of residents in favor of reforming, but not abolishing, tenure. Discussion, primarily on how campus can own revisions it has made to tenure to show responsiveness.
Special Assistant to the Chancellor Michael Lehman called in to discuss changes to campus IT governance and structure, previewing Lehman’s report to the Senate. He plans to give an overview of the next 90 days, intention of process, and desire to increase collective understanding of choices being made about IT and investments on campus, and having broader participation in development and formation of these choices. Ample discussion. UC strongly supports approach of broadly transparent communication and encouragement of wide participation. UC emphasizes need to stress that this process is still flexible and open to modification; the more openness the better.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick provided several updates, including WID director finalist interviews scheduled for early November (5 finalists from very large pool of about 60 applicants); Arboretum director search also nearing closure (1st round of interviews in early December); UW2020 second round received 136 abstracts, about same divisional proportions as before, extensive tracking and progress report system in place; targeted call for research on microbiome initiative, for which there is $1M in new funding (UW working to get listed by OSTP as resource in this area, given our strong expertise and track record); and IRB survey has 42% response rate (out of pool of anyone with IRB transaction in past two years), UW Survey Center will analyze (anonymized) qualitative data. Ample discussion throughout.
Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf informed the UC that responses and feedback on the draft System consensual relationships policy will be coordinated through Legal Services and asked that UC comments be directed there. Extended discussion (for which VPFS Michael Bernard-Donals was present) about next steps on report from ad hoc committee on hostile and intimidating behavior. Bernard-Donals will take lead on getting a website designed, eventual home of said website to be determined. He will also talk to Barb Lanser and others about creating a DDR-like structure for HIB, and to Rosa Garner and others about an educational campaign along the lines of the one used for the sexual harassment policy. Ample discussion. Brief discussion of reporting mechanisms for hate and bias incidents, including modification of current student-focused system to include faculty and staff. Mangelsdorf will follow up with Dean of Students, Chief Diversity Officer, and others. Discussion about Honors program(s) as recruitment tool. UAPC will be having more discussions about this, and VPTL Steve Cramer is bringing heads of honors programs together this year to discuss what honors means to UW students. This is only the beginning of a longer philosophical discussion about Honors on this campus. Discussion about “school/college-like units” and whether FPP changes are needed to ensure adequate governance in these units. Broader conversation needed, potentially including Nelson and Arts directors and others. Mangelsdorf raised issue of instructional academic staff titles. Campus nomenclature unclear, varied, and not in line with peers/outside world. UC will review report and begin broader discussion with ASEC and others on what titles mean, grounds for promotion, clarity for professional development and recruitment, etc. Substantial discussion. Provost’s time with UC concluded with discussion of post-tenure review.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s time with UC started with a continuation of the broad discussion about post-tenure review. Blank reported a productive end to last week, with a couple thousand alums in town for Boards of Visitor meetings, groundbreaking on new School of Music building, and Bascom Hill Society dinner. Discussion of noose incident at football game; significant kickback and policies being reviewed. Blank also updated the UC on upcoming Diversity Forum and Go Big Read event, AAU meetings, meningitis cases and inoculations, and sexual assault case.
College of Engineering Dean Ian Robertson updated the UC on leadership in Material Science, which has gone through a positive transformation and is on a much more positive path. Robertson thanked the UC for their assistance with this. Robertson explained the use of the “Professor of Practice” title nationally and argued for bringing this opportunity to campus for a number of colleges/schools. Ample discussion. UC sees this as melding nicely with earlier discussion on academic staff titles and will follow up with ASEC and others. Robertson said there is another group working with the provost on this and it would be helpful to combine the two groups, and also potentially to do some peer comparisons.
Anja Wanner moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:19 p.m. The UC considered a USDA-funded $0 appointment. Pending CALS clarification on a couple of issues (by the secretary of the faculty), Amasino moved approval of this appointment. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. The UC approved the addition of a student member to the ad hoc committee on inclusive health care and made nominations to the University Book Store Board of Trustees. The UC discussed vacancies on the Memorial Library Committee. Given difficulties in fully filling this committee and the University Library Committee, combined with the significant overlap in the charges of the two committees, the UC did not approve the one pending nominee to the Memorial Library Committee and felt that a broader conversation on the overall shared governance structure with regards to the library needs to be had, including governance oversight of non-GLS libraries. Wanner moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and approved at 3:50 p.m., at which time Broman adjourned the meeting.