Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 08-25-22
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 25, 2022
260 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Donna Cole; Tim Dalby; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Stephanie Jones; Albert Muniz; Mallory Musolf, chair; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Jenny Dahlberg, Lesley Fisher, Jennifer Mnookin, Emily Reynolds, Madeline Sena, Bill Tishler, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of August 18 were approved.
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Chair, reported on the annual planning meeting of the ASPRO Board. The board discussed an overhaul of the website and increasing board participation from other campuses, as well as increasing overall membership. The board is looking at conducting surveys of both members and non-members. Mallory, Donna, and Jake met with an Assembly rep regarding concerns about RSP staffing.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on the Assembly orientation, which was well attended. Jake reported on the recent Board of Regents meeting, at which the Regents approved UW System’s biennial budget proposal, which includes a proposed 4%/4% pay plan for each year of the biennium. The University Committee has added two new blanket dual role waivers: teaching in a non-degree granting program/course, and when a research and teaching appointment are under 50%. The due date for candidates for the Dean of the International Division Search and Screen Committee will be noon on September 7. Jake discussed the upcoming annual resource fair on October 3. Academic staff governance will have a table, and Jake will reach out to the standing committees for additional support for staffing this year’s table.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the Wisconsin Public Media CASI met on August 17. The group discussed several items, including whether to have a public-facing webpage and backfilling roles on the change team, which is a subcommittee of the CASI. There was also discussion of an overall webpage for the Division. WPM is also looking at the possibility of a dedicated DEI officer.
Guest: Jennifer Mnookin, Chancellor
Chancellor Mnookin and ASEC used ASEC’s briefing document for her as a springboard for their initial meeting. ASEC talked about morale as a central issue, and the cascading impacts of the many changes that have impacted academic staff over the past few years. TTC implementation has had impacts on individual identity, and the challenges of salary compression and the lack of understanding of how to progress within positions remain. ASEC is also concerned with recruitment and retention issues, with TTC data showing a substantial percentage of employees underpaid compared to peers, especially within specific job groups.
Chancellor Mnookin discussed the titling exercise at her previous institution, which had similar pain points, some of which were inevitable and some of which could have been addressed by better communication. In terms of institutional culture, the motivations for the exercise are good. The latest round of the compensation exercise has included a significantly larger contribution for staff salaries, and addressing these issues will take a number of years. There is also the consideration of the issues that we face as an institution not being specific to our institution but playing out on a national level. With remote work, there is a tension between centralization and decentralization. Our approach ultimately needs to be mission-driven. There will be differences across some schools/colleges/divisions, and there needs to be a blend of flexibility and accountability. ASEC also discussed the increase in administrative burden and that we need to be thinking about ways to reasonably streamline things. ASEC also recommended that it’s a good time to message a fresh approach on these issues to academic staff.
· ASEC Priorities Discussion
ASEC continued its discussion about priorities for the year. In addition to the CASI and DEI subcommittees continuing, ASEC will be adding a third on transportation. ASEC will return to the next meeting with specific goals for each subcommittee.
Guest: John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Vice Provost Zumbrunnen reported on the addition of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and the Greater University Tutoring Service to the Division of Teaching and Learning. The division is also in the process of hiring an Associate Vice Provost for Assessment and Academic Outcomes. This individual will lead the student learning assessment team, monitor and manage teaching and learning tools, and will think about strategies for using data to improve student outcomes. The search for this position will close on September 9. The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring celebrated its first anniversary over the summer. While a number of existing offerings continue, CTLM is also excited about opportunities to partner more directly with schools/colleges/divisions in areas such as curricular reform, teaching assistant training, and professional development for inclusive teaching.
In contrast to the last couple of years, Vice Provost Zumbrunnen isn’t hearing as much concern related to COVID. The campus approach on COVID hasn’t changed markedly from the spring semester, and DTL is having conversations with University Health Services related to monkeypox and how to support any classroom absence that may arise from that.
On the topic of gateway courses, our main source of data is D/F/drop rates, and the university has made progress in this area. We see some disparities among students from underrepresented populations who have higher rates, and the Division of Teaching and Learning wants to understand those students’ experiences in both a quantitative and a qualitative way. Campus is also looking at potential pandemic impacts on D/F/drop rates as well.
The incoming freshman class looks to be comparable to last year. There is focus on ensuring that access will be available to courses that incoming students will need, and DTL is working with all schools/colleges, and L&S in particular. There will also be cumulative impacts as students move through their college careers, including timely access to general education courses and ensuring sufficient seats for capstone experiences. There are also cascading effects through advising, student affairs, and other areas, as well as examining potential pandemic impacts on student preparedness. We have been responsive to staffing needs for SOAR and need to continue being attentive to advising needs at both the campus and the school/college/division level. Partnerships are also being developed with UHS on mental health support, ensuring that instructors and advisors are supported when engaging with students on potential mental health concerns.
· September Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC discussed topics for Vice Chancellor Cramer when he presents in September, which include ATP, the real estate initiative, long-term planning for compensation, equitable distribution, compensation planning for non-101/104 academic staff, and the System budget request. ASEC will vote on the agenda at the next meeting.
· Shared Governance Letter
ASEC discussed potential revisions to the letter that goes out annually to supervisors on the importance of participating in shared governance. ASEC discussed linking the campus diversity statement to the letter. A revised draft will be presented at the next meeting for approval.
· Topics for Guests
OHR: carryover topics for remote work from last meeting; progression; HR relationship evolving with UWS; access and ownership of data; timeline for family leave and benefits more broadly
Meeting adjourned at 4:23 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff