Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 01-27-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Jones; Mallory Musolf; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Rebecca Blank, Rob Cramer, Lesley Fisher, Luisa Gerasimo, Kevin Graeme, John Horn, Matt Mayrl
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of January 20 were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC Chair, reported on the recent meeting of the L&S CASI. They are trying a flipped model where the dean and HR director provide a written report in advance of the meeting, with members then bringing items for discussion based on the report. Tim, Mallory, Donna, and Jake attended a meeting with several deans to discuss issues related to staff diversity. This was the first of multiple meetings between these groups. Tim, Mallory, and Jake will be attending a meeting next week regarding lessons learned on TTC.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, informed ASEC that Interim Chief Human Resources Officer Patrick Sheehan had provided a response to the Assembly’s resolution on future distribution of state pay plans. Jake will send this to the Assembly. Jake attended CEBC’s recent meeting, where there was good discussion on feedback related to the campus climate survey. There was a COVID town hall on January 21 related to spring semester, for which a recording is also available. Jake reported on the status of updates to the technology in 272 Bascom, which will hopefully be available as early as the February Assembly meeting.
Jenny Dahlberg reported on the meeting of the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee and their discussion of the climate survey.
Mallory Musolf reported on the recent UW System Reps meeting. The group debriefed on the UW System President finalist interviews with the group’s two designees. There were also discussions about the lack of a public presentation from the finalists. The academic staff reps also discussed issues related to pay equity for academic staff, which came from a discussion related to high-level administrative salary increases, with the idea of acknowledging the need for parity with peer institutions at all employee levels. There are several groups tasked with providing briefing materials for incoming UW System President Rothman. The academic staff reps decided to have each campus provide input into this document. There was also discussion of lower-than-expected numbers of TTC appeals at the other campuses.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Nomination to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
· Nomination – for vote
Motion to nominate Deanna Schneider to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Dahlberg). Seconded. Approved.
· Feedback on Briefing Materials for UW System President
The UW System Reps were consulted, as were a number of other stakeholder groups, regarding the incoming UW System President’s transition and onboarding. The goal is to solicit an understanding of the major issues facing campuses and UW System as a whole, as well as how UW System Administration can play a role in addressing those issues. The reps are soliciting feedback from each of the campuses to put forward in a briefing document. ASEC will provide suggestions and return to this issue for further discussion at the February 10 meeting.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer reported on continued efforts to address some of the issues with ShopUW+ that ASEC has raised previously. He has talked with the Procure-to-Pay group about setting up some focus groups around these issues, including with research administration, and some changes have been implemented recently to improve the system. There are discussions continuing around funding edits and around handling rebates. The team is also looking at how to roll out Phase 2 activities.
On the question of long-term amelioration of concerns related to staff salaries, OHR is currently working on the informal and formal TTC appeals processes and has extended the deadline for formal appeals based on feedback from this group and others. They are also looking at specific groups for salary concerns (e.g., IT) and are working with UW System to resolve those concerns. We want to keep moving forward with the strategy of using data to identify salary issues and making intentional investments in staff, similar to what has been done for faculty. The other area to look at is benefits, and OHR is working to figure out priorities in this space. On the question of the role of cost-of-living adjustments and how those work with the new salary ranges, ASEC urged attention be paid to the current and future impacts of inflation.
Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer provided an update on the real estate initiative, which has a long-term goal of more strategic use and spurring physical development to meet community and local needs. There will be discussions at the February Board of Regents meeting regarding a couple of off-campus parcels that will integrate well with the existing University Research Park footprint, and conversations about this are continuing at the campus level. Processes are being worked on for engagement as to how these spaces could be used for academic and research activities. There are also questions of how this initiative intersects with childcare needs.
The Administrative Quality Satisfaction Survey will be deployed next week. The survey is sponsored by the Provost and VCFA Offices. The key focus of the survey is to get an initial measure as to how people are feeling about administrative services at both central and local levels. The survey will give us a point of reference for P2P and ATP as they move forward. The focus of the survey is at a process level, not a budget or personnel level.
Regarding “hoteling” space, Facilities Planning and Management has flagged this as a priority. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and FPM has partnered with DoIT to pilot a scheduling system that would work across all areas of campus. The pilot project will take place at 21 N. Park. St. There is also work going on at the school/college/division level. We want to figure out an assessment methodology in this space, as well as training for supervisors.
Interim Vice Chancellor Cramer also expressed his appreciation for everyone who worked to address the Chemistry Building issues. Classes resumed there on Tuesday.
Regarding the Administrative Transformation Project, ASEC inquired about the impact of the project’s recent hires on departments. The project is attentive to this, and the departments keep their funding so that they can decide to backfill those positions. One of the to-dos for the project is to think about different operating models in conjunction with the number of shadow systems, and helping departments thoughtfully analyze how those systems might be integrated or decommissioned as needed.
Guest: Rebecca Blank, Chancellor
Chancellor Blank reported on spring semester efforts related to COVID. We have asked students to test before they leave for Madison and then to test again when they arrive. Antigen test kits have been distributed to the dorms, and numbers of positive tests so far are lower than anticipated. Dane County extended their mask mandate to March 1. UW-Madison’s goes through that date as well. Departments are able to order N95 and KN95 masks as needed. Administration continues to watch the numbers every day. There have been about half as many accommodation requests related to instruction as in the fall semester, and campus has worked to address those. Employees are also now able to pick up antigen tests.
Regarding TTC, campus has extended the appeals deadline and is working through some larger issues around titles as well. Fewer appeals have been received than expected.
Jay Rothman has been named as the new UW System President. He will be starting his position on June 1. Former Regent President Mike Falbo will be serving as Interim President between Tommy Thompson’s departure and Jay Rothman’s arrival. Chancellor Blank will have the opportunity to discuss key items regarding UW-Madison with incoming President Rothman. Chancellor Blank is also preparing her presentation to the Board of Regents at the February 10 meeting, which our campus is hosting. She will be addressing UW-Madison’s achievements and ongoing issues.
· February Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed a draft of a resolution regarding prioritizing pay increases for staff submitted by Assembly Representative Veronica Scott. The Employee Assistance Office and the Committee for Women in the University will also be providing reports at the meeting. ASEC will vote to approve the agenda at the next meeting.
· Topics for Guests
Provost – Update on Office of Youth Protection and why it is staying in DCS, requests for hybrid classes from ASM, thoughts on acclimation of new senior leadership roles, updates on deans working groups
Meeting adjourned at 4:07 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff