Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 07-30-20
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, July 30, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg, chair; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Laurent Heller, Angela Kita, Tim Markle, Karyn Matchey, Noel Radomski, Karl Scholz, Andrew Turner, Wei Zhang
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of July 23 were approved.
Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, reported on discussions at the meetings between the chairs, secretaries and the chiefs of staff and asked ASEC to send any outstanding topics or questions to her or Jake. There have been discussions about additional town hall meetings for employees and students. Jenny and Jake met with the Provost and UFAS members about fixed-term terminal appointments. This issue was looked at previously in November, and Jenny and Jake will be looking at data on these appointments again. On the UW System Reps call, Interim President Thompson said that no decisions had been made regarding the 2% pay increase in January 2021. He talked about the likelihood of an additional budget cut from the state and mentioned that he is trying to get support from the CARES Act to help with the lapse.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that he had been contacted by Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs Beth Meyerand regarding possible topics that could be covered in an employee town hall. Jake supplied ASEC’s outstanding questions as well as those he has received from other academic staff. Jake also reported on the recently announced statewide mask order issued by Governor Evers. He also reported on the emergency rules for Title IX under consideration by the Board of Regents.
Deb Shapiro reported that the Librarians’ Assembly steering committee met on July 29 to onboard new members and discussed the potential participation of university staff.
Bill Tishler reported on the July 27 University Committee meeting. Topics included term length for Athletic Board members, discussions with Provost Scholz about campus communication, and Steve Cramer discussing instructional continuity progress and the instructor town hall meetings.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz discussed recent communications regarding the Smart Restart plan as well as the instructional town hall that was held on July 29. Reactions have indicated concern and anxiety, and frustrations were expressed on the town hall. Provost Scholz also mentioned a letter from PROFS on these topics. The Instructional Continuity team has been working hard, with 140 questions that came in for the town hall. After the town hall on Friday, the plan is to follow up with FAQs. ASEC encouraged the use of surveys to gauge campus concerns and mentioned that a common area of concern is guidance getting stuck in the process of being disseminated from central campus to departments or schools/colleges/divisions. On the question of a mandate for minimum face-to-face instruction, Provost Scholz said that there is not currently a mandate, but that the campus has an aspiration for at least one in-person instructional experience for students. He has asked the deans that the departments mix the different types of sessions and maintain their commitment to the timetable.
On the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Provost has been devoting one of his twice weekly calls with the deans to discuss these issues and will talk more about these at a future ASEC meeting.
Guest: Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Heller reported on the communications that went out to employees this week, including the workplace safety policy and guidelines on accommodations. There is some relief at seeing numbers of positive cases go down in Dane County over the last couple of weeks. The state did a further budget lapse of $250 million out of the Department of Administration on top of the 5% laps they did for fiscal year 2020. The 5% lapse disproportionately impacted UW System campuses. Implementation of the 2% pay plan starting in January 2021 is uncertain. We will need to wait on enrollments and other budgetary impacts to determine whether furloughs would continue past October, and it is unclear what additional assistance WARF and UW Foundation could provide, since most of the funding from those entities is spoken for.
Regarding the resumption of athletics, there have been informal workouts in keeping with NCAA rules and safety protocols, and campus is wrestling with how this would work for the fall. The Big 10 announced no non-conference games would be played in the fall. The Big 10 Chancellors and Presidents have been discussing this issue, and Vice Chancellor Heller will be meeting with his counterparts across the Big 10 to discuss it next week. On the topic of use of 5G networks through the state, Vice Chancellor Heller recommended ASEC speak to Chief Information Officer Lois Brooks about this further.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nomination to Nominating Committee (Cole). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
• September Academic Staff Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed the first draft of the Assembly Agenda for September. Jake will invite Chief Kristen Roman as a potential guest.
• Shared Governance Participation Letter
ASEC reviewed this year’s iteration of the shared governance participation letter and provided some suggested changes. ASEC will review a further revised version of the letter at the next meeting.
• Topics for Guests
OHR: support for HR at more local levels; follow up on review of policies for structural racism; early retirement incentives; childcare solutions
Meeting adjourned at 4:33 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff