Academic Staff Assembly Meeting Minutes 02-10-20
ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
B-10 Ingraham Hall
Monday, February 10, 2020
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Memorial Resolution for John Edwin Dallman
Laura Monahan read the memorial resolution for John Edwin Dallman.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, December 9, 2019, were approved.
Guests: Diane Blaskowski and Mark Walters, Office of Human Resources (Title and Total Compensation Project)
Diane and Mark provided the Assembly with an update on the TTC Project timeline. The timeline identifies three workstreams: the creation of a new title structure, standard job descriptions, and compensation philosophy; employee mapping training; and the benefits structure. The start date for the new title structure has shifted from March 1 to July 1. This will allow more time for everyone to complete the title mapping process and the resulting employee conversations about that process. All employee conversations and position descriptions will be completed by April 30. The goal of employee conversations is to confirm that the new titles and position descriptions accurately describe the work employees do. In addition to the new official titles and position descriptions, business titles (aka working titles) should also be discussed. Salary ranges or changes to benefits packages will not be part of these conversations. The salary structure will be available to view on May 1, and notification letters will be sent to all staff. The appeals process will begin in May as well. Titles can be appealed, but not salary. A concern was raised that this timeline would not allow enough sufficient time for nine-month employees to appeal, and the TTC group is exploring solutions to this issue. The distinguished prefix will be maintained in the new system and the process will look the same as it does now. Employees are encouraged to go to the TTC website for more information, including the updated SJD list.
Tim Dalby encouraged attendance at this year’s the Academic Staff Institute, held on February 25. The deadline for this spring’s Academic Staff Professional Development Grant applications is March 6.
Jenny Dahlberg delivered the ASPRO report on several upcoming bills of interest. The current freedom of speech bill is expected to pass the Senate, and it is expected to be vetoed by the governor if it does pass. ASPRO has voiced opposition to a bill to increase the minimum retirement age. Two new bills were also announced the morning of February 10: a bill that calls for information on agricultural farming items information from UW System, and a bill that calls on UW-Madison to create an agricultural and technology program. ASPRO expect to support both of these bills.
The annual report of the Committee for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People in the University was postponed until the next meeting.
Alissa Oleck presented the Academic Staff Executive Committee candidate slate (ASA #727). The petition process for additional candidates will be sent out after the Assembly meeting.
Motion to Rescind Resolution Regarding Assembly Districts and the March-May 2020 Assembly Meetings (ASA #723)
Jenny Dahlberg (ASEC) moved that the Academic Staff Assembly rescind the resolution. Seconded. Motion approved.
Resolution Calling for Emergency and Helpline Numbers to Be Added to Faculty/Staff Wiscards (ASA #728)
Tim Dalby (ASEC) moved that the Academic Staff Assembly approve the resolution. Seconded. Motion approved.
Provost Scholz thanked Heather Daniels for her time as Secretary of the Academic Staff and congratulated her on her new role as Secretary of the Faculty as of February 11. Jake Smith will serve as the Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff.
This year’s Super Bowl featured an advertisement showcasing the work of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The advertisement has led to publicity for and donations to the School.
Provost Scholz shared statistics regarding student debt. It is now the case that 55% of UW-Madison students have no debt when they graduate. For those who do have debt, the mean amount is $27,000, and only 1% will default on those loans, compared with the national average of over 10%.
Last Wednesday was a difficult day. Dane County health authorities confirmed a case of coronavirus. The individual is not a student and followed advice to self-quarantine. Health authorities continue to monitor the situation. Also last Wednesday, the Engineering Research Building flooded. Mechanical Engineering is without water and will likely continue to be for the next month.
There will be a continued emphasis on training regarding the prevention of hostile and intimidating behavior. We have an active program of in-person training, and work is being done to develop web-based training.
Searches in progress include the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Dean of Extension, Dean of the College of Letters and Science, and Dean of the Law School.
Regarding the status of academic staff professorial titles, the research professor titles are in good shape. The teaching professor titles are close but need a little more work. There is a small committee doing this work, particularly around demarcating the assistant, associate and full levels as well as distinguishing the teaching professor title from other instructional titles.
Chancellor Blank gave a well-received talk at the Board of Regents meeting. She made three key points: 1) If we want to continue to have a world class research university, we need to continue to invest in it. 2) Higher education continues to be a highly competitive field and the fraction of that comes from the US has been falling. She emphasized the successes that we are having with our educational programs and investing in faculty, staff, and infrastructure. 3) Surveys on attitudes toward higher education have worrisome results, even though higher education stands perhaps the best promise of addressing some of society’s concerns. We offer a ladder of opportunity for the students that we serve. It has been found that people respond much more favorably to “leading research university” than “higher education.” Toward the idea of promoting what we do, Provost Scholz hosted a group with the Education Committee focused on High Impact Practices shown to help students succeed. The Provost invited three faculty and instructional academic staff to emphasize the high impact of large classes as well.
Adjourned at 4:49 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff