Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 02-02-23
1:55 – 4:15 p.m. Thursday, February 2, 2023
53 Bascom Hall
Members Present: Tim Dalby, interim chair; Stephanie Elkins; Alissa Ewer; Julie Hunt Johnson; Stephanie Jones; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron
Guests: Alisha Arnold, Lesley Fisher, Karen Massetti-Moran, Lori Reesor, Scott Wildman
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of January 26 were approved.
Guest: Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vice Chancellor Reesor discussed the results of the UW System Free Speech Survey that were released on February 1. UW-Madison asked similar questions in its most recent student climate survey and found different results than those that were in the System survey. Some of the data point to larger societal issues. Chancellor Mnookin has stressed the importance of balancing freedom of speech and a culture of belonging, and she is pushing campus leaders to think about new initiatives in this space. The takeaways from the survey include the objections of women and underrepresented populations to speakers whose views may be considered offensive, as well as some conservative students not feeling comfortable expressing views among their peers outside the classroom. We continue to look at cultural competency, which includes civil discourse, and UW-Madison has a robust resource website on free speech and the First Amendment.
Levy Hall will be the new building for the College of Letters and Science. In the 2015 campus master plan, the footprint for the building was much larger and might have taken down the student houses/centers in the area. Two of the houses are older and at risk from a safety perspective. Vice Chancellor Reesor’s office and Facilities Planning and Management are discussing possible solutions for those houses and working with students on issues that might arise from construction. The construction will not involve the demolition of either the Mecha house, which is a student organization, or the Indigenous Student Center. These two cultural houses at the institution were under L&S formerly but are currently under Student Affairs. Student Affairs needs to take a broader look at physical spaces for cultural centers, as well as who makes the decisions related to those centers. There have been a number of requests for cultural centers and intersectionality between those centers. There are also questions about these centers being established at a campus level as opposed to a school/college/division level. The Division of Student Affairs wants to take a step back to look at these centers at a higher level and get more student input on the process. Student Affairs started a space study a year ago, which has resumed recently after a hiatus.
Reflecting on a sense of belonging among students, the student climate survey is only one measure. Student Affairs is looking at other ways to measure belonging. We are still feeling the impacts of the pandemic in terms of social interaction and mental health/well-being.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that he is working with a group from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring and the Office of Human Resources on a potential welcome session for new instructional staff similar to the annual new faculty welcome. Jake attended the all-employee listening session for the Provost Search and Screen Committee. Jake shared the results of the UW System Free Speech Survey with ASEC members. The governance secretaries will be meeting with Nick Tincher and Kelly Gauthier to discuss ongoing engagement with governance on ATP issues. The Chancellor’s investiture ceremony will be held the morning of Friday, April 14. Jake announced that the spring Professional Development Grant competition is now open, and the deadline for applications is March 20.
Guest: Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
Currently, Susan Tran Degrand is serving as the interim director of the Equity Inclusion and Employee Well-Being unit within OHR. CHRO Patrick Sheehan is working on filling the position permanently. The unit is intended to look at policy and programming that can be leveraged to improve in these areas across the institution. Patrick and Susan will meet with ASEC in the future to discuss more about the unit’s charge and initiatives.
Regarding pay equity/compression analyses, the compensation team is in the process of outlining how these analyses will work going forward. This will be an iterative process, and there are guidelines from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that provide direction on designated salary ranges and positions with specific numbers of FTE. These analyses would go to leadership and divisional HR offices, and the hope is to have summary findings by the end of the fiscal year.
OHR is working on a more permanent process for title appeals, including what the conditions are that trigger an appeal. There needs to be a standard process for what can and can’t be appealed, as well as improvements in the electronic system for filing appeals. Meghan Owens has had initial conversations with Jake about this process, and there will be broader conversations with governance in the near future.
Related to this is the process for opening the window to evaluate possible new titles and standard job descriptions. OHR is working through this and needs to take a draft process to UW System. The cadence for the review process still needs to be determined. There have been suggestions of opening a window annually, as well as based on market changes.
OHR is close to finalizing documents on progression within salary range. The final version needs to go out to the HR community, and they are building a one-pager for employees to have as a reference as well. Learning and Talent Development is also working on a supervisory guide on compensation. A document outlining the Compensation Center of Excellence will also be shared with the HR community soon.
Motion to Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c), and (f) to Discuss Appointments to the Committee for Women in the University and Professional Development and Recognition Committee, and a Nomination to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Stoddard Cameron). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to Reconvene in Open Session (Elkins). Seconded. Approved.
- Nomination and Appointments – for vote
Motion to appoint Kao Yong Thao to the Committee for Women in the University and Jeff Armstrong to the Professional Development and Recognition Committee (Elkins). Seconded. Approved.
Motion to nominate Mariah Allen to the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (Elkins). Seconded. Approved.
- February Assembly Meeting Agenda – for vote
ASEC had significant discussion related to the resolution on academic staff morale. The resolution will be presented as a first reading at the February Assembly meeting with the intent to take a vote at the March meeting. Motion to approve the February Assembly Agenda (Johnson). Seconded. Approved.
- Topics for Guests
Steve: RSP and IRB, process for grad students struggling with their mentors and HIB, thoughts on RAMP implementation and how research community is preparing, HERD rankings
Beth: same grad students question, HIB working group process, ideas for response based on conversations at AS chats so far, difficulties in people bringing HIB concerns forward (particularly in the research space); chats on professorial titles
Meeting adjourned at 4:31 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff