Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 07-28-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28, 2022
260 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Johnson; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Rob Cramer, Lesley Fisher, Diana Hess, John Horn, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:03 p.m.
The minutes of July 14 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported on follow-up discussions with Lynn Freeman in OHR regarding supervisory training, specifically with respect to suggestions for input from principal investigators on development opportunities. Mallory provided a summary of the meeting with the group of deans working on DEI issues related to staff. Mallory, Donna, Tim, and Jake will be meeting with Patrick Sheehan to discuss DEI areas that OHR is already making progress on. Mallory, Donna, and Jake met with Vice Chancellor Steve Ackerman on the concerns that were brought forward on behalf of staff in the IRB. The VCRGE is supportive of some hybrid work, with some units such as RSP having more remote work due to space limitations. There was discussion about needing more robust resources for supervisors managing remote workforces. Vice Chancellor Ackerman plans to meet with IRB staff directly about their needs.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that this year’s Assembly Orientation will likely be held virtually in late August. ASEC may be looking at a number of revisions to OHR policies in the coming year, due to a review that is occurring within OHR with collaboration from the Office of Strategic Consulting. PPPC and ASEC will review any impacts on academic staff. Jake met with Lindsey Stoddard Cameron and Teri Stratton to pick back up on conversations around an emergency childcare fund for academic staff.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the WPM CASI has created a subcommittee for events, and they are considering making the ethics guidelines group an official subcommittee as well. WPM HR will be presenting criteria for use of the Discretionary Compensation Fund at a future CASI meeting.
Donna Cole reported that the SMPH CASI met with Lesley Fisher to discuss available support from the SOAS office for CASI elections.
Guest: Diana Hess, Interim Provost
Interim Provost Hess reported on communication related to the Dobbs decision. SMPH is working on additional communication specific to the School. ASEC expressed concern on behalf of employees and potential impacts to benefits. Interim Provost Hess will reach out to Patrick Sheehan about this, though any information related to benefits would likely come from the state.
Interim Provost Hess discussed her work with the deans working group on diversity, equity, and inclusion for staff. She has appreciated the engagement with ASEC members in these discussions. Many of the initiatives that the group is interested in pursuing will need to be implemented by OHR. The group is also thinking about the annual budget planning cycle in relation to these efforts. It will be important to figure out what can be implemented in the short term and what are longer term efforts with budgetary implications. The deans want to have a plan for figuring out the top 2-3 priorities while leveraging existing efforts from OHR. The hope is to have priorities with financial implications decided by the end of October. It is also important to think about how data works in this space, and what data might make sense for a dashboard comparable to those for students and for faculty.
Dean Guido Podesta will be retiring from the International Division. He will serve through the fall semester, at which point Barry Gerhart will serve as the interim dean. Interim Provost Hess discussed a request for nominations for academic staff to serve on the search and screen committee.
Reflecting on the current policy and processes around addressing hostile and intimidating behavior, there needs to be further analysis of whether the policy, the processes around it, or both require improvement in order for it to function better.
Regarding gateway courses, we want to make sure those courses are ones in which students can thrive. We have a good understanding of where we have large numbers of D’s, F’s, and withdrawals, or where we have disproportionality. There have been conversations with Vice Provost John Zumbrunnen on figuring out where barriers might exist in some of these courses, and it is important to have academic staff engaged in this, since academic staff teach many of these courses.
Guest: Rob Cramer, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Vice Chancellor Cramer discussed the budget model. During recent administrative searches, there have been several conversations reflecting on possibilities for changing the existing budget model, and many other institutions are looking at their own models. There is a mix of money following activity and an incremental allocation model to schools/colleges/divisions based on 101 revenue. We need to consider what the priorities are and the mission’s influence on where resources go, as well as student learning outcomes and interdisciplinarity. The Budget Committee is revisiting its functions within Faculty Policies and Procedures, and this is a good committee to serve as a focal point for shared governance engagement as we consider potential changes to the budget model. One of the process aspects that the committee has engaged with is the challenge of creating a shared language and understanding around the budget.
Vice Chancellor Cramer’s office is working on background preparation for Chancellor Mnookin. Regarding the next biennial budget proposal, the System’s request of the state for 2023-25 operating and capital budgets will be put forward at the August Board of Regents meeting. In February, the Governor will make his request of the Legislature. The Legislature will work on the budget in the spring, and the building commission will work on capital requests, including the request for a new Engineering building. The System request is expected to include a pay plan request as well, and we continue to look at bonding for capital projects.
OHR is working on a broader compensation strategy in terms of both salary and benefits. Central campus has invested a significant amount of money into staff compensation for this round of discretionary compensation funding. Raising staff salaries will be a multi-year effort and administration will continue to prioritize this. There will be a focus on those employees in the lower salary ranges, and they will also be looking at areas with high turnover. On benefits, we want to make sure we are partnering with UW System. Parental leave has been flagged as a high priority, and there are discussions on aligning benefits like vacation and sick time between academic and university staff. ASEC emphasized the importance of evaluation measures in the effort to raise salaries, which helped in the initiative to raise faculty salaries within the past several years. ASEC also stressed the importance of addressing compensation issues for those employees not paid via 101 or 104 funding. Vice Chancellor Cramer discussed the importance of engaging with principal investigators submitting proposals to build increases into those proposals. ASEC raised the challenge of doing that within certain confines of the agencies with which we are working to procure those grants.
We will be starting the search for the next Chief Human Resources Office soon. The hope is to complete the search by late in the fall semester. Vice Chancellor Cramer also made ASEC aware of the expansion of reduced-cost parking options through Transportation Services that is in effect for this fiscal year. The ATP team is putting together a strategy to engage with shared governance and discussing this at its steering committee meeting in August. In addition to engaging academic staff within UW-Madison, ASEC also recommended further engagement with the UW System Reps on ATP as well.
· Appointment and Nominations – for vote
Motion to appoint Christina Eddington to the Immigration and International Issues Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate Tanya Hubanks and Erin Cook to the Chief Human Resources Officer Search and Screen Committee (Elkins). Seconded. Approved.
· ASEC Liaison Assignments 2022-23
ASEC finalized the majority of its liaison assignments for CASIs and the standing committees. The Secretary’s Office will send out handshake emails next week. A formal vote will be taken on the Campus Planning Committee and the University Academic Planning Council appointments at the next meeting.
· Topics for Guests
Provost: communication on Dobbs decision; lessons learned as interim chancellor going back into provost role; initiatives for the coming year; continue gateway course conversation
Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff