University Committee Meeting Minutes 2015-09-08
approved September 15, 2015
September 8, 2015
Present: Broman, Edwards, Litovsky, Meyerand (chair), Wanner, Wendt
Also present (as well as specific guests below): Richard, Smith, Daniels, McFadden, Felber, O’Meara
1. Meeting called to order: 1:01 PM.
2. Announcements and updates
a. Meyerand briefed the UC on plans for a series of campus faculty forums, which would provide opportunity to gather accurate information and faculty input on a variety of topics. As part of the UC’s overall efforts to assess and respond to climate and morale issues, these sessions would include some presentation but would be focused on listening. Because the tenure protections ad hoc committee will be conducting specific listening sessions in September, this series would start in October and run monthly through the academic year.
b. Meyerand updated the UC on the plan for distribution and approval of the report of the ad hoc committee on tenure and termination.
c. Smith called the UC’s attention to the Committee on Women data report, available for informational purposes.
3. Minutes of the meeting of August 31, 2015, approved.
4. The UC discussed a departmental request for an additional Faculty Senate seat due to rapid growth. There appears to be no precedent for such an addition, and the UC felt that this might not be the only department in such a situation. Given that this is a reapportionment year anyway and that the Senate has to approve all changes to seats, the UC felt that this specific request should not be granted. The UC added that the department already has a voice and since the Senate does not operate in district blocs anyway, there is no pressing concern of under-representation.
5. 1:28 PM: Edwards arrived.
6. IRBs (Bob Mathieu) Mathieu indicated that he had no specific proposal for the UC, but was seeking an open brainstorming discussion on ways to help IRBs operate more smoothly. This might include charging a committee along the lines of the currently resting research, safety, and compliance oversight committee, but other outcomes are also possible.
a. Mathieu clarified that IRB oversight is not a shared governance responsibility. However, even though the UC has no direct authority, it does represent a tremendous voice of interested parties.
b. Mathieu distributed a handout outlining issues of concern, including burden without additional protection and rules specific to Education and their implementation. A second handout drew attention to two other involved committees (Quality and Compliance Operations, Quality and Compliance Oversight and Advisory) in the VCRGE, for whom oversight is interpreted as compliance. The focus of discussions in these committees center on compliance, and most members are not faculty or researchers. Mathieu also called attention to Ken Mayer’s essay “Working the Unworkable: A View of the IRB Process from the Inside,” which argues that process and design could be improved by doing away with elements that address risks so slight as to be negligible.
c. Ample discussion, including need to populate any new committee with faculty members who are prominent researchers and known for productive engagement and experience with IRBs and research. Primary concern is to get a voice of balance. IRBs perform an important function, but are receiving contradictory input from oversight committees and individual researchers.
d. UC consensus was that a re-charged FPP 6.58 that is built to help the IRBs do their jobs and brings experience to bear is a good solution. UC will schedule closed session discussion to discuss committee composition.
7. VCRGE and Grad School update (Marsha Mailick, Bill Karpus)
a. Mailick was unable to attend.
b. Karpus introduced himself to UC and Meyerand provided some context and background on interactions between UC and Grad School/VCRGE.
c. Bill updated UC on two major initiatives for near- to mid-term.
i. Funding for grad students. Deep dive into data aimed at creating guarantees that make UW more competitive. Discussion.
ii. Professional development for PhD students aimed at preparation for wide breadth of career options, inside and outside academy. Initiative will include both an ad hoc approach (relying on unit career development activities) and a formal approach (investigating possibility of certificate programs for different careers). Ample discussion, which included University Fellowships, TAs, training and other grants, enrollment levels.
d. UC supports both initiatives.
8. Provost update (Sarah Mangelsdorf)
General discussion about deans’ role in tenure and promotion, which varies widely across campus.
9. Legislative update (PROFS)
AB305 (fetal tissue) continues in committee. Ample discussion.
10. Chancellor update (Rebecca Blank)
a. Fetal tissue bill is dangerous legislation, creating an incredibly slippery slope. Demonstration effects would be as big or bigger than immediate effects. Future of bill completely depends on state senate. Alternative language is being discussed.
b. AAU sexual assault survey will be released on 9/21.
c. Two ongoing searches in chancellor’s office: VCUR committee is nearly complete, will be chaired by Kramer; Chief of Staff campus interviews are under way.
d. Blank updated the UC on summer term redesign. Academic calendar changes will be taken up by Senate in October and UC will appoint an ad hoc committee to study broader related issues. Discussion primarily on summer term implementation (oversight, budget and revenue model, etc.).
e. Blank asked the UC the status of the work of the ad hoc committee on tenure and termination. Edwards explained where things stand and what plan is moving forward. Ample discussion.
f. Blank is having conversations with regents about resident–non-resident mix. Main argument is business based, centering on demographics and jobs in WI.
g. Meyerand briefed Blank on proposal for a general safety committee. Chancellor had similar concerns and questions to those expressed by UC, including broad coverage of such a committee and need to maintain certain foci (for example, governance groups in VCRGE should have priority over safety issues in research). Blank felt the issue was worth talking about, but notes the inclusion of “many apples and oranges” (research compliance is a federal requirement, which is quite different from physical safety on campus, for example). Blank would want to hear from those already doing this work, a discussion that could include the director of compliance. Concern about creating large committees without very clear specific charge. UC should further discussion with VCRGE. Issues and problems do it exist, but not obvious that a high-level committee is best way to address them, as opposed to a point person, changes to policy/procedure, and so on.
h. Blank was asked about discussions around realignment of higher education in state and possible changes to UW Extension. Campus has taken a strong stand against using Extension to build degree-granting programs. Most other chancellors are also opposed, but some support.
11. Art acquisition and disposal proposal (Daniel Einstein)
a. Einstein distributed a handoutwhich provides background and context for proposal to create a campuswide public art advisory committee, duties of which would include reviewing offers of gifts, reviewing proposals for siting artwork, reviewing deaccessioning proposals, and supporting and advising on fundraising for maintenance and conservation.
b. Ample discussion, including whether this would be a shared governance committee or a subcommittee of an existing body or a targeted ad hoc committee to develop a process. Remit of committee would not be a significant burden, would probably only need to meet a couple times per year. Possibility of creating a price threshold at which the committee would be invoked.
c. UC will discuss more and decide what, if anything, to propose to Senate (in case of standing committee). Ad hoc committee would not need to go to Senate.
12. Update on state higher education realignment discussions (Irwin Goldman)
a. Goldman provided background on Extension’s possibly offering degrees to be administered by those with joint appointments. Affected CALS departments wrote two letters to chancellor and provost of UWX (distributed to UC). Effort to create competency-based degrees and strong focus on business and management seem outside the scope of joint appointment jobs. General idea will be presented to Regents, but still many people are unaware of proposal. Passed UWX Faculty Senate, but little else known. Redirecting faculty who are already providing useful programming is a serious concern. Would really like to have seen more ground work and consultation.
b. Ample discussion and questions, including about contracts, funding shifts, faculty expectations, relevant expertise, and confusion about approval process.
c. UC informed Goldman that Madison chancellor is adamantly against this.
d. Madison gets significant goodwill from its Extension programming, but this is not “extension” as normally defined.
13. Discussion on UW System strategic planning process request postponed to future meeting.
14. Meyerand moved and Edwards seconded to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. Motion passed: 3:43 PM.
15. The UC considered a teaching authorization request, but requires additional information prior to making a decision.
16. The UC nominated two faculty members and two backups for the VCUR search committee.
17. The UC considered names and ex officio positions to populate an ad hoc calendar committee.
18. The UC briefly discussed an IRB-related committee (per above), but realized they need more time to consider appropriate representation. Item will be taken up again in two weeks.
19. Litovsky moved and Meyerand 2nd to reconvene in open session. Motion passed: 4:23 PM.
20. Meeting adjourned 4:24 PM.