University Committee Meeting Minutes 2016-07-11

Minutes approved July 25, 2016

UC members present: Amasino, Broman, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
UC members absent: Bowers, Litovsky
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, M. Felber, J. O’Meara, J. Burstyn

Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m. Wendt reminded the UC of the special meeting to consider a grievance and of the September Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) meeting. She also updated the UC on the process for getting the campus post-tenure review policy approved. Discussion about a FOIA request for teaching information; the UC and PROFS would like a copy of whatever gets sent in response. Minutes of the meeting of June 27, 2016, were approved without objection, but with the comment that future historians may not know what Brexit is.
O’Meara continued the discussion about the open records teaching-load request and also pointed to the PROFS Steering Committee and Board meetings earlier in the day. PROFS is preparing for next state budget cycle, especially possibility of performance-based funding. PROFS will work with faculty members who study this kind of funding, as well as System staff and Regents. General sense that Madison would do well compared to other campuses, but that we want to avoid arguing for different criteria than other campuses. Ample discussion about teaching loads and budget process. Felber and Burstyn discussed possible fall forums.

UC discussed appointing authorities for faculty committees (without resolution), as well as when/how to assert faculty authority on committees. Ample discussion about need for constitutional discussion among governance groups, particularly as regards search and screens for high-level administrators. Consensus to add this topic to charge of group stemming from shared governance values statements and to encourage governance chairs to take it up. Smith pointed out that new policies on chancellor searches (RPD 6-4) appear to be silent on faculty majorities.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick reviewed COGR checklist on research administration burden. Chancellor asked her to review campus institutional policies to see if any of COGR suggestions would lead to savings. Mailick will work with governance groups in this process, the goal of which is not to check boxes, but rather to consider “bins” (animals, COI, safety, etc.), step back, gather data, and reflect on where we stand on administrative burden of research. All agree that this is a worthwhile opportunity (as opposed to another admin burden!). Mailick would like to set up steering committee with OVCRGE staff and others to get faculty and other input. Groups will be independent (“Switzerland”) and open to all input and start at beginning of school year; chancellor wants report by end of fall semester. Ample discussion. Mailick and the UC then discussed membership of the University Research Council, including some changes independent of recent Senate change. RSP move working group has been charged and met once.

The UC reviewed possible changes to the composition of the Retirement Issues Committee. Reduction in size (from 25 to 14) has consensus support and will go to Faculty Senate. The UC continued its discussion of modifications to FPP, including faculty senate vs faculty meetings. Burstyn pointed to an earlier governance commission, documents from which might be helpful in these modifications. Many departments apparently do not hold senator elections, handling appointments as part of overall committee assignment process instead. Consensus that FPP could allow for various methods of selection/election, but all methods should be transparent and written in departmental guidelines. Agreement that there is value in retaining sense that “election” is norm/default. Unanimous agreement to do away with “grouped votes” provision. Ample discussion about a dean’s authority in tenure review, to which the UC will return, but consensus agreement with divisional committee interpretation.

Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Michael Bernard-Donals updated the UC on cluster program, compensation, and upcoming memo to chairs outlining options (from conversation up through chapter 9) in cases of faculty not pulling their weight in departments. Cluster recommendations have six main features: (1) still mainly for hiring faculty, but also opportunities for existing faculty; (2) proposals still from faculty/staff, but can also be from units; dean approval step remains, but (reconstituted) Cluster Advisory Committee (CAC) makes recommendations to provost; (3) new hybrid funding model; (4) periodic reporting by clusters to revitalized CAC; (5) program review at least every 7-10 years; and (6) governance and faculty coordinator. Ample discussion, including diversity, timeline, funding. On compensation, Bernard-Donals reported three elements: (1) block grant (compression, market, and high demand) dollar value comparable to last year or slightly larger; there will be (again) a discretionary fund for staff; (2) post-tenure review fund, pool set aside for faculty who have performed in exceptional ways; ~$5K base adjustment in addition to other tools; and (3) increments for promotion – currently fixed dollar amount; proposing fixed dollar amount as floor and 10% as ceiling in cases where fixed amount is already more than 10%; colleges would bear burden above 10%; fixed amount is 50-50, up to ceiling. Discussion.

Graduate School Senior Associate Dean Daniel Kleinman reviewed process and context that led to recent recommendations on the future of the dissertation. Process itself turned out to be a virtue of the effort as it increased awareness. If any recommendations were implemented, those in system would be grandfathered. Many recommendations set floors/minimums, rather than strict rules; policies will allow for exceptions. Currently seeking feedback from across campus through meetings with chairs, DGSes, and others; presented to GAPC in June and will present to GFEC in fall. Will get report out to every faculty member over summer; deadline for feedback end of September. Some recommendations could be implemented by GS, others might need Senate approval or other action. Feedback so far generally positive, but not everybody liked it. General idea was not to “fix” anything, but rather to open up possibility of more options. Ample discussion, particularly of defense committee size and publicity and role of “readers.” UC generally supportive and suggests moving this to the next level to cover career publications and research at all levels.

Information Technology Committee chair Rafi Lazimy presented information and summarized discussions around possible changes to IT structure on campus with VCFA, CIO, provost, campus IT leaders, and others. General subject is upcoming IT transitions, including governance, funding, management, and more, in light of senior leadership departures. Campus IT leaders feel strongly that management, oversight, communication, and strategic planning require fundamental change from models and structures that have been in place for decades. Suggestion of possible short-term revised management structure to effectively assist with IT transition in light of retirements and DoIT changes forthcoming. Ample discussion. UC consensus that it would have to see full report to get better understanding before weighing in, but consensus agreement that there are issues to be addressed and resolved. Time is of the essence; UC will discuss with interim VCFA at next meeting.

Wanner moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:42 p.m. Nominations considered for seats on Summer Term Steering Committee, Labor Codes Licensing Advisory Committee, student misconduct panels, University Research Council, Retirement Issues, and a working group on facility (bathroom, lactation, worship spaces) access. The UC considered and unanimously approved one tenure clock extension and two dual role waivers. Broman moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and approved at 4:28 p.m. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 4:29 p.m.

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