Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 09-09-21
1:55 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 9, 2021
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Stephanie Jones; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Lotus Buckner, Lesley Fisher, Alyson Kim, Darren Martin, Karl Martin, Karen Massetti-Moran, Karl Scholz, Mark Walters
The meeting was called to order at 1:59 p.m.
The minutes of September 2 were approved.
Guest: Karl Martin, Dean, Division of Extension
Dean Martin served as the interim Dean of Extension from 2016 through May 2020, when he was hired into the permanent position. There are approximately 440 academic staff within the division, with about 2/3 located outside of Dane County. There are opportunities and challenges that arise as a result of being spread throughout the state in this way. Dean Martin reported on his engagement with the Extension CASI as well as the HR Director’s engagement with academic staff in creating standard job descriptions for the TTC Project. The transition back to UW-Madison has gone very well. Due to the variety of locations Extension employees are stationed, COVID has provided a number of additional challenges. There are also major opportunities in having a statewide presence as part of a land grant institution to epitomize the Wisconsin Idea. The Division of Extension is continuing to work on matters related to youth protection in its programs. Another issue is distributed finances through different associations and wanting to continue moving in a positive direction with the division’s partners. Counties provide 40% direct funding for county-based positions. Volunteer management is another issue that Extension continues to look at. Three years ago, Extension initiated a year-long new colleague orientation for new employees to help them feel more connected to the institution, which has been helpful also in connecting Extension to UW-Madison.
Dean Martin shared the top three focus areas for his office. The first is diversifying funding. Currently, Extension relies on county, state, and federal funding. An advancement specialist was recently hired, and the division is investigating questions of how to generate more program revenue and how to increase grants and contracts with partners. The impacts that grant agencies are looking for are built into the work of Extension. The second area is how to increase collaboration across campus, specifically how Extension engages with different schools/colleges/divisions to better communities in the state. The third area is increasing the reach of Extension programming by asking how to diversify the audience to whom programming is presented, how to increase reach into urban areas as well as rural areas, and how to leverage technology to increase reach as well. Dean Martin highlighted Extension’s section on antiracism on their website, along with the activities of various call-to-action groups. He also discussed Extension’s ongoing partnerships with Native Nations groups.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz reported on the status of enrollments. We will know more after the tenth day of classes, but we know that we have a substantially higher-than-expected cohort of first-year students. More detailed numbers will be available at a later date.
Provost Scholz expressed his gratitude for the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Caregiving. There are many challenges, with additional concerns driven by the delta variant. Of all the System institutions, UW-Madison has the lowest case average and is much more heavily vaccinated. Communication will go out soon asking managers to individually evaluate every employee’s case for continued flexibilities. OHR has extended the coverage of sick time to address caregiving responsibilities. Course modality is being preserved as much as possible, and accommodations continue to be reviewed. Questions were asked about what flexibilities exist for those who are not in instructional capacities. Provost Scholz reported that thousands of remote work agreements have been completed, and there have been differences between schools/colleges/divisions in terms of implementation. The notion of requests to work on campus has not been brought up, but this too would be good for employees and supervisors to discuss.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the recent meeting of the chiefs of staff, chairs, and secretaries. Testing capacity on campus is 9,000 tests per week. The public dashboard is up and running. The Chemistry Building is likely to be out of action for the fall semester. The amount of $1 million+ intended to bring employees up to minima is based on preliminary TTC mapping. Communications will be going out to deans/directors/supervisors with guidance on this process. Tim attended the PPPC meeting on September 8, in which was discussed communication and clarification around workplace flexibilities vs. remote work vs. accommodations. The committee also discussed promotion and progression in the new TTC environment. Tim reported on issues related to the graduate program coordinator series that have arisen, and there will be further conversation with OHR on this front. ASEC agreed that OHR should provide more details at the next meeting on triggers for pay tools/promotion/progression as well as a more detailed look at the process for TTC appeals.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the Resource Fair, also previously known as the Benefits Fair, will be held at Union South on October 5 from 12:00pm-4:00pm. Jake discussed the upcoming Assembly meeting agenda. Lindsey Stoddard Cameron will move the TTC resolution, and language on electronic meetings will be held until the Assembly can have its next in-person meeting. Jake and Lesley met with the Nominating Committee to discuss recruitment for the year ahead, with plans around additional reminders for the committee interest survey and other measures to facilitate the Nominating Committee’s work. The announcement for this semester’s Academic Staff Professional Development Grant program will be going out next week.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the first meeting of the Communications Committee for this academic year. New members were welcomed, and the committee is turning its attention to newsletters. The committee would like to discuss ideas and get input from ASEC as well.
Guests: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
The recent issues with vacation balances have been fixed and have been corrected in the online portal.
On the subject of compensation, funds have been allotted to provide base adjustments. A $2 million block grant has been allocated for faculty, and $4 million has been allocated for staff. There will also be $5 million available in lump sum bonus funding. Details on the program are still to be determined, as campus is working on determining what makes the most sense in terms of timing to distribute these funds. An additional $1 millon+ has been identified on a preliminary basis to move individuals to the pay grade minima established after TTC is implemented. This increase is only for GPR funding; some of these jobs are grant-funded, and OHR is working on how increases for those individuals will work as well. ASEC encouraged OHR to look at analysis of funds distribution with respect to equity.
As of September 2, there were almost 5800 remote work agreements submitted, with 77% of those executed. There continues to be confusion between workplace flexibilities, remote work agreements, and accommodations. OHR will be providing extra resources to differentiate these. They are working through ADA accommodations. While there have been some delays, divisional disability representatives are working hard to triage responses. Accommodations for instruction are not being flatly denied, but are rather being made on a case-by-base basis.
Over 12,000 positions have been mapped for the TTC Project. There are 116 that haven’t yet been mapped, which are either zero-dollar appointments or new positions. There was a meeting with the HR Representatives today to talk through next steps and communications strategies on what happens if conversations are not completed. OHR has also been looking at data related to a number of requests and issues with SJDs and mapping. Some of these issues will have to be addressed either closer to or after implementation. Letters to employees with their new TTC titles should be released by November 1. ASEC would like to have a longer conversation about triggers for promotion/progression and other pay tools, as well as job title appeals, at the next meeting.
· October Assembly Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the October Assembly agenda. The Chancellor is scheduled to deliver remarks and take questions from the Assembly at the beginning of the meeting.
· Topics for Guests
IVCFA: Chemistry Building updates; general budget update with enrollment numbers factored in; employee recognition efforts; ATP
OHR: TTC appeals; triggers for promotion/progression and other pay tools post-TTC
Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff