Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 10-28-21
1:55 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 28, 2021
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Stephanie Jones; Mallory Musolf; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Rob Cramer, Lesley Fisher, Kevin Graeme, John Horn, Alex Peirce, Karl Scholz, Paul Seitz
The meeting was called to order at 1:55 p.m.
The minutes of October 21 were approved.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz is serving in place of Chancellor Blank on the UW System Presidential Search and Screen Committee. He asked about ASEC’s aspirations for the next person in that role. ASEC discussed governance’s involvement in the search and screen process and finalist interviews, deep understanding of higher education, advocacy and transparency, a demonstrated willingness to engage and leverage the expertise within the System, a sense of service and empathy, and demonstrated progress and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
Provost Scholz also reported on four deans’ working groups that have been convening around best practices in areas related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These groups reported out on their progress at Deans’ Council. The topics for the groups were 1) how to diversify staff, 2) sharing best practices from schools, colleges, and divisions via more formal mechanisms, 3) thinking about top metrics that can be published regularly with accountability attached to those metrics, and 4) discussing what equity means on a more practical and operational level within schools, colleges, and divisions.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on information from the meeting with the chiefs of staff, chairs, and secretaries related to COVID cases and testing non-compliance. Positive case counts are still low, and the numbers of non-compliant employees have also decreased. Interim UW System President has also announced that there will be compliance with the federal vaccination mandate as a large employer with federal contracts. Guidance around the implementation of the mandate is still being determined. Tim attended the College of Letters and Science CASI meeting on Wednesday. Topics included working on ways to diversify staff hiring, TTC, and teaching professor guidelines.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that Aphra Mednick, Interim Director of the Office of Youth Compliance, will attend ASEC on November 4 to share updates related to the Youth Protection Policy. The Faculty Senate will be taking up a first reading of a proposal to sunset the honorific research professor title now that the research professor title is a part of the titling system. Individuals who hold the title currently will be able to continue using it. Jake discussed the Academic Staff Worklife Survey and whether or not ASEC wanted to conduct it in the spring. ASEC agreed that the survey should be conducted at that time.
Mallory Musolf reported on the recent meeting of the UW System Reps. The reps submitted comments on Regent Policy Document 6-4 regarding the proposed language changes. The majority of the discussion focused on TTC, and the reps have requested a special joint meeting on TTC to discuss concerns further. The reps are also working on a catalog of shared governance practices across campuses.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences CASI is working on its 5-year review, membership outreach, and communication plans for topics for their academic planning council.
Bill Tishler reported on the UW Extension CASI, at which recommendations were discussed on how the CASI can work effectively with the Dean in the review and shaping of policy.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer provided an update on the status of the Chemistry Building repairs. He met with faculty in the department to discuss progress. They are currently on schedule to move into Matthews/Daniels in November and hopefully to be back in the new tower in December.
Regarding the Administrative Transformation Project (ATP), depending on the finalization of contracts with Huron, Workday, and Huron’s research administration software, approvals will be sought at either the November or the December Board of Regents meeting. The plan is to pick up the pace in January and move out of the extended pre-planning phase of the project. There will be a number of recruitments in program management, HR, finance, and IT areas within the project, and the aim is to get training for the team on Workday and the research administration software as soon as possible. In parallel to this, there is the ATOM Project, which stands for Administrative Transformation Operating Model, which will look at how to organize HR and Finance systems, possibly along with budget. Some institutions have distributed services and others have shared services. The Office of Strategic Consulting is facilitating conversations about how the process and timeline would come together for this aspect of the project. Implementation would happen in 3-4 years.
The ShopUW+ system is seeing 80% of all transactions approved in a day or less. A survey about the system was launched in spring 2020, and another survey will be launched the week of November 8, with the idea to keep it in the field for 3 weeks. Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer has received feedback that the system is helping things go faster. Different areas of campus have had to make adjustments to their internal processes but also have more visibility to their spending. ASEC provided feedback about the system, citing concerns over the flexibility with which funding strings can be edited later in the purchasing process, as well as the need for metrics around non-salary cost transfers as a result of the system.
The Revenue Innovations Study Group provided recommendations around ramping up focus on growing revenue with an investment margin to support the institution’s mission and expand the Wisconsin Idea. There are three clusters of activity in this space: corporate and industry partnerships, auxiliary and asset optimization, and real estate. There are a number of principles that are guiding this work, including generating substantial new streams of revenue to support the mission; supporting the enhancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion, healthy communities, and our obligation to sovereign Native Nations; and protecting the overall wages and benefits of employees. Work in the real estate space is about a long-term strategy (i.e. decades) of building endowments. This initiative will respect the existing campus master plan and is mindful of our historical districts. University Research Park (URP) is an ideal partner for UW-Madison to help with tech innovation and create value from real estate. URP is a market leader in developing and managing ground leases for research and commercial space, including collaboration spaces for faculty and staff with industry. There would be joint memoranda of understanding between UW-Madison and URP that would dictate how a parcel of land might be developed, with returns flowing back to the University. The team is currently engaging a number of campus and external stakeholders.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nominations to the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Search and Screen Committee and an Appointment to the University Curriculum Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Nominations and Appointment – for vote
Motion to nominate Deborah Helman and Jamie Nack to the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Search and Screen Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to appoint Panduan An to the University Curriculum Committee (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
· November Assembly Meeting Agenda – for vote
Motion to approve the November Assembly agenda (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
· Topics for Guests
VPFSA: equity in conferring of research professor; update on HIB reporting, diversity training update, supervisor training, exit/stay interviews
OHR: TTC appeals
Provost: update on the Deans’ working groups; instructor evaluations
OHR: ATOM project for ATP, Chemistry, revenue innovations recommendations
Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff