Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-05-21
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 5, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Steve Ackerman, Katherine Charek Briggs, Michael Childers, Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, Denny Hackel, Adrian Lampron, Beth Meyerand, Clare Michaud, Emily Reynolds, Eric Sandgren
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of July 29 were approved.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that as of August 5, a mask mandate was in effect for the campus. Jake reported on recent letters from the UW System Caregiving Taskforce and the University Committee to campus administration on concerns related respectively to return to onsite work in the fall and caregiving, and the need for masking and increased testing protocol. This year’s Assembly orientation session will be held virtually on August 20. Provost Scholz is unable to preside over the October Assembly meeting, so Vice Provost Beth Meyerand will preside in his place. The Executive Director of Physical Plant has given notice, and Cindy Torstveit has been appointed to serve as the interim director. The search for the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Management is also underway, with the hope of having someone in that position by the start of the calendar year.
Guest: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Regarding the remote work policy and hybrid work environments, an uptick in requests is expected due to the Delta variant and the mask mandate. The Provost Office is messaging to the Deans and to supervisors to be flexible. There may be situations where schools have positive cases and caregiving issues arise as a result. Concerns were also raised about promotion and progression for those who are engaging in regular remote work. Performance is a component of the remote work policy, and individuals working remotely should not be penalized for doing so. There have been no reports thus far of requests being denied due to technological limitations. OHR is working on supervisory training with respect to hybrid environments, so that supervision of remote employees is taken into account.
The activity of the Campus Committee for Diversity Education and Training is delayed to take into account Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston’s transition into the role. Vice Provost Meyerand and Deputy Vice Chancellor Charleston will be discussing the composition of a second committee to look into these issues. The initial idea is to use DiversityEdu training as a baseline for employees, which provides an overview of many issues and prompts individual and community reflection. The second committee will develop follow-on training with curriculum experts to create a more interactive experience.
Guest: Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
In June and July, the Office of the VCRGE started sending messages to unit leaders with the message that the work done in the division is strengthened and best accomplished by onsite work. As guidelines were discussed and as the transition from largely remote work to more onsite work occurred, OVCRGE continually evaluated what was implemented and made adjustments as needed. The groundwork was laid out for unit leaders to develop specific guidelines. The basic guidelines included being open for business with appropriate staffing levels during standard business hours. The target date for greater resumption of onsite work is September 1, with the understanding that there will be situations that require greater flexibility. Onsite training will be required for new employee onboarding. In general, the minimum is three days a week onsite. Similar guidelines went to the directors of research centers, with mentoring of students and trainees needing to be done onsite. Both centers and units have been reminded of the difference between remote work agreements and the use of workplace flexibilities, and OVRGE has encouraged supervisors to remember that flexibilities are available to employees. The intent is to have consistency across units, but there won’t be uniformity. Plans were to be submitted by July 30, and then the mask mandate was put in place. Concerns about having unvaccinated young people have been raised, and OVCRGE is navigating those requests and encouraging flexibilities.
On the research professor title rollout, the OVCRGE reviews and approves guidelines at the school/college/division level, as well as at the center level. There are a number of schools/colleges/divisions that have finalized their guidelines or submitted them for approval. Some are expected from the centers as well. ASEC encouraged Vice Chancellor Ackerman to consider how the conferral of these titles might be tracked at a campus level.
The transition to single payroll has caused difficulty for a number of people and is time-consuming for RSP in particular. They are still figuring out impacts as a result of the transition. The transition has caused overpayments on some training grants for graduate students, and RSP is trying to figure out how to address this. A potential solution was rejected by UW System. The goal is to have a solution that doesn’t negatively impact students.
Guest: Eric Sandgren, Chair, University Committee
Eric is serving as the UC Chair for this academic year. He discussed issues of potential shared concern, including regulatory burden, campus climate, and shared governance. He plans to address these issues with the UC and with the Faculty Senate over the next several months. Eric discussed potential areas of collaboration across shared governance groups in the coming year.
· 2021-22 Liaison Assignments
ASEC reviewed the liaison assignments to discuss possible assignments to give up for the year. The list will be finalized at the meeting on the 19th.
· September Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the September meeting agenda. Mark Walters, Karen Massetti-Moran, and Lotus Buckner will be invited to provide updates and answer questions on TTC, remote work, and single pay.
· Meeting Format Discussion
ASEC discussed the format of its meetings going forward, taking into account the limitations of the hybrid technology in its usual meeting location coupled with the mask mandate that is now in place. ASEC will continue virtual meetings for the time being.
· Topics for Guests
Chancellor: updates on the remote work policy; update on the Campus Committee for Diversity Education and Training; update on implementation of research professor and teaching professor titles
IVCFA: goals during his time as Interim VCFA; budget forecast (including implementing ideas from the RISG report other than the real estate measures); perspective on deferred maintenance needs, budget, and advancing sustainability; guidelines around new building construction for ensuring hybrid work
OHR: TTC, remote work, single pay aftereffects
Meeting adjourned at 4:08 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff