Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-27-20
2:25 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 27, 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, Alyson Kim, Angela Kita, Karyn Matchey, Karl Scholz
The meeting was called to order at 2:27 p.m.
The minutes of August 20 were approved.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz reported that the original enrollment target for fall was 7360. It is looking as though we will fall only slightly short of that goal, within 100 students. Our numbers for continuing students also look strong. Graduate student enrollments are harder to track. The caveat is that we will not be certain on these numbers until the tenth day of class.
On the topic of the Badger Shields, campus has large numbers of the standard Badger Shields. Schools/Colleges/Divisions made those orders and received them early this week. These are in the process of being distributed, and this was discussed with the Deans on August 25. The Badger Shield Plus will be available in more limited numbers for specific situations. Colleagues in EHS and the College of Engineering have tested the Badger Shield Plus and found that they are not as protective as originally thought. Provost Scholz demonstrated a fitter that can help make a seal for masks to increase the protective quality of the mask and provide higher amounts of efficiency for blocking aerosols.
Provost Scholz talked about UW-Madison’s public dashboard for COVID testing going live. The dashboard provides data on both student and employee positivity rates. Administration will respond to data and to public health guidance in evaluating whether or not a change in course is required. The Provost is in touch with AAU and Big 10 peers, and a majority have instructional models similar to ours.
Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, shared a communication that she sent to Mark Walters regarding the recent information on childcare. There was concern with how overwhelming the amount of content was, and Jenny encouraged greater guidance for supervisors in this area, as well as more resources for employees to talk through these issues, possibly with OHR in addition to the local level. She also put forward concerns about tracking of communications to employees requesting their return to onsite work.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, mentioned that the Mentor Match Program for academic staff was announced and encouraged broad participation. He reported on a discussion at the August 23 University Committee meeting regarding the possibility of academic staff being granted graduate faculty status for 1 year after they retire or resign, which is the current practice for faculty. This will be taken up at a future Faculty Senate meeting. Jake met with the Wisconsin Public Media CASI to assist them with approval of their bylaws and work with them to get restarted.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the WPM CASI meeting, at which officers were elected and bylaws were approved. WPM Director Gene Purcell is eager to engage the CASI on a number of issues.
Bill Tishler reported on the University Committee meeting, at which availability of face shields was a topic of concern. In his capacity as DCS CASI chair, he also reported that DCS was informed of a number of layoffs this week.
Mallory Musolf reported on the UW System Representatives meeting with Interim President Thompson. Interim President Thompson confirmed that, in the event a campus needed to close, the decision to close it would be a joint one between UW System and campus leadership.
Donna Cole reported on a meeting between the SMPH CASI and SMPH interim diversity, equity, and inclusion officers about ensuring academic staff were included in SMPH activities in these areas.
• September Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed the agenda and made edits to the fair trade resolution. The agenda will be voted on at the next meeting.
• ASA Orientation
ASEC discussed how the August 28 virtual orientation for new Assembly reps and alternates would work. Provost Scholz will be on hand to deliver welcome remarks, and there will be a panel of current reps to discuss their experience in the Assembly.
• Topics for Guests
Provost: online vs. in-person in terms of quality, possibility of layoffs happening before October
OHR: TTC status, update on survey results, furloughs and how to be strategic, training for HR on layoffs and how governance will be involved, how s/c/d’s are coping with information flow from campus, webpage for tax guidance on home expenses; how HR can encourage units to work with CASIs; faculty getting raises and promotions but staff not being able to get these
Guest: Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Heller thanked Jenny for the childcare recommendations that she sent to Mark Walters and John Horn. There will be a letter from the Vice Chancellor, the Provost, and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education to supervisors about child and family care flexibilities that should go out tomorrow. Dorm housing occupancy is down about 20% from where it usually is. The public dashboard went live this week with daily updates, and administration is also looking at results at other universities. Vice Chancellor Heller addressed the financial impacts from the Big 10 fall season cancellation and praised the Big 10 for making the right call for player safety. The total financial impact depends on whether seasons for Big 10 athletics may be delayed to the spring. They are working hard on options to address this situation. On the topic of further furloughs, the Budget Office is looking hard at the numbers. The biggest unknown is tuition. We have good data on the incoming class and will get close to our numbers, but we will get final numbers for all students on the tenth day of class.
Regarding UW System’s budget priorities announcement, UW-Madison had conversations with System regarding the priorities and are generally on a similar page with their thought. Vice Chancellor Heller expressed appreciation for the discussion of the Administrative Transformation Project as part of that plan, in addition to mental health and a focus on teachers. The Vice Chancellor would also like to talk more about the report of the Revenue Innovation Study Group and possibly present information from the report to the Assembly.
Meeting adjourned at 4:42 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff