Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 11-19-20
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg, chair; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Diane Blaskowski, Lesley Fisher, Lynn Freeman, Laurent Heller, Danielle Hairston-Green, Karl Scholz, Omar Siddiqi, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of November 5 were approved with one correction.
Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, reported on current usage of testing sites on campus and encouragement of employee use of the testing sites as needed. She also reported that the survey of undergraduate students was complete, and that ASEC would be receiving this information as well. The survey of graduate students closed on Monday, and results are in the process of being compiled.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, thanked those members of ASEC who were able to attend the public presentations for finalists for the Director of Total Rewards in the Office of Human Resources. The Academic Staff Excellence Awards for both UW-Madison and UW System have been announced, and the deadline for applications is January 22. The Academic Staff Chats for 2020-21 were also announced, and the first chat will take place on November 20.
Tim Dalby reported on the Mentoring Committee’s previous meeting. They received a lot of positive feedback from their kickoff event for the Mentor Match Program, and there is another panel event planned for December 16 with mentor/mentee pairs talking about how their interactions and relationships are working. The Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee discussed the status of the proposal for additional banking of ALRA hours, as well as proposed changes to ASPP Chapter 14. At Tuesday’s ASM meeting, topics included commitment to renewable energy, telecommuting for international student employees, and a discussion of the Big 10 letter on pass/fail grading.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the Communications Committee is proceeding with its audit of the academic staff website. The WPM CASI nominated members for a panel on ethics guidelines to help WPM employees through ethical questions as relates to the journalistic mission of the division.
Bill Tishler reported that the DCS CASI was moving forward with focus group discussion on return to onsite work. The CASI had previously held similar sessions about the move to remote work. At the UC meeting on Monday, there was more discussion as to the cost savings around the proposal for a single payroll structure for all employees.
Mallory Musolf reported on the UW System Governance Reps meeting, which included discussion on delaying the implementation of the single payroll structure. Many campuses are implementing a second round of furloughs if they had not previously decided to do so for the full year.
Donna Cole reported on discussions with the SMPH CASI about the School’s guidelines for the use of the research professor title and how the implementation would work in practice.
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron, Jake Smith, and Lesley Fisher met with Sue Bruns in the School of Human Ecology to discuss strategies for restarting their CASI.
Jenny Dahlberg shared that the Vet Med CASI has finished editing its procedures document and will elect a new co-chair as of July 1. Representation from the WVDL will also be included in the CASI going forward. She has also talked more with the CEBC regarding its further work on plain language documents on layoffs and non-renewals.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz reported on the searches for a new Director of the Division of the Arts and for the Chief Diversity Officer. Sue Zaeske has been the interim director and has done a great job of establishing connections between the division and the arts deans, and it is now time to do a search for the permanent director. This position will not be a full-time position and will be an internal search. School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim will be chairing the search and screen committee. The Chief Diversity Officer search will be a national search, and Provost Scholz will be coming to ASEC for nominees to serve on the search committee. The size of the committee is not yet determined, but the hope is to have a committee constituted by the end of the calendar year.
Regarding spring planning, between 25-30% of courses are looking at having some in-person component. There is variation across schools and colleges. Provost Scholz also reviewed the results of the recent survey of undergraduates regarding instruction. There was a 17% response rate on a broad range of questions, including areas of internet access, computing equipment, availability of study spaces, food security, and overall academic experience as compared to the spring semester. Modality preferences of the students are split on the spectrum between all online courses and all in-person courses, whereas the faculty and instructional staff surveys demonstrated a preference for remote instruction. The survey also asked about courses that are both going well and not going well, and correlated instructor communication and peer interaction to both sets of courses. Supporting student-instructor interactions and facilitation of peer-to-peer interactions will both be focus areas for the spring semester. There were a host of qualitative questions, and the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the DDEEA, and the Student Affairs offices are all looking at these.
Guest: Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
UW-Madison is projecting a $319 million total impact in increased expenses and lost revenue. There will be ramifications for long-term plans as well as in the immediate term. Athletics, Housing, and the Wisconsin Union are facing significant shortfalls. Campus is working closely with them on these, and fortunately none of these divisions came into the pandemic in a bad financial situation. They are also working with OHR to shift people to other work (e.g. public health related jobs) to fill in gaps on hours. Position-specific furloughs are being looked at as well. On the academic side, budget cuts range from 4-8%, with administrative units getting the higher end of that. This will be worked out through the standard budget process both at the campus level and at the school/college/division levels. The travel freeze, hiring freeze, and other tools have brought expenses down. Discussions will also keep occurring within the shared governance Budget Committee.
On the single payroll initiative, there has been a great deal of discussion with UW System colleagues in recent weeks. It was determined that we didn’t have what we needed to move on the original timeline. July is a more viable timeframe, but OHR, RSP, finance, and DoIT are all collaborating on what the business case for this looks like and how it would be implemented. Having only one payroll cycle does simplify things in some respects, but there is recognition of the major complexities in implementing this for Madison. This process will involve governance as it proceeds for UW-Madison.
Guest: Diane Blaskowski, Lynn Freeman, and Mark Walters, Office of Human Resources
Lynn Freeman provided an update to ASEC on the results of the October 2020 survey of employees. The survey posed the same core question as the August survey in terms of supporting a return to onsite work. The responses shifted from the August survey, with care for school-age children moving from 4th to 2nd. The survey asked specific questions about family caregiving responsibilities and how UW-Madison can support employees in these areas. Flexibilities for working from home ranked the highest, followed by clear communication on leave policies as they apply to caregiving. Another survey is planned for January.
Mark Walters and Diane Blaskowski provided an update on the proposed single payroll system for UW System employees. The proposed implementation date of January 1 was not sufficient for successful implementation. UW System decided to delay implementation until July 2021. Diane has been working with System, and a formal project plan is being put together, including addressing issues that may impact UW-Madison in ways that other institutions would not be impacted. OHR is working on a change management strategy, which would include financial counseling sessions and other support tools for employees to help navigate this change. There will be more info coming over the next few months.
Regarding the proposal for a one-time increase in bankable hours for ALRA, Mark has brought this up with various individuals including Vice Chancellor Heller. The proposal makes a lot of sense, though there are some concerns about future costs with build-up of this leave. Multiple options are being looked at, and the hope is to have a decision made on this by the end of the calendar year.
On the question of vaccine administration, there will be more conversations with governance about this as it gets closer to becoming a reality. There are discussions about the legal implications and questions about whether there would be a mandate around it or whether it would be strongly encouraged, similar to the flu vaccine. There will be requirements, however, for testing for employees who are regularly coming to campus in the spring semester.
· December Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed the agenda for the December Assembly meeting and will finalize it at the next ASEC meeting.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: updates on spring planning
VPTL: survey results, Honorlock, pronouns, synchronous instruction
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to Discuss Nomination to the Director of the Division of the Arts Search and Screen Committee and Appointments to the Student Panels (Dalby). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Appointments and Nomination – for vote
Motion to nominate Sofia Snow and Angela Richardson to the Director of the Division of the Arts Search and Screen Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to appoint Tonya Schmidt, Nick Oleksy, and Ryan Podolak as ex officio members of the Student Panels (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Meeting adjourned at 4:59 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff