Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 04-09-20
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Karyn Matchey, Karl Scholz
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of April 2, 2020 were approved with corrections.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, talked about recent announcements related to COVID-19, including further discussion of telecommuting after the crisis is over, communication around summer term, and the fact that discussions are in process regarding the fall semester. Tim had the shared governance chairs’ meeting on April 3, and discussed issues around inconsistent expectations from instructors as to student workload, as well as accessibility issues (e.g. internet connectivity, home situation, instructors not adjusting their approach for new modality). He also attended a recent meeting of the Campus Advancement Collaborative, at which TTC was a topic of conversation.
Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported that the Executive Education Grant program would be launched soon. Assembly Standing Committee elections are in progress and will close on April 17. Jake also reported that the Academic Staff Excellence Awards ceremony has been officially postponed and will be rescheduled at some point in the new academic year.
Tim Dalby reported that the Mentoring Committee met and that it is not planning on replicating the Mentor Match Program events online at present. He also reported on the shared governance sessions for the Dean of Extension candidates.
Bill Tishler reported on the April 6 University Committee meeting. Topics included continued governance involvement in future decision-making related to budget shortfalls and changes as a result of the current crisis. More telecommuting and acceleration of distance learning programs were discussed, as well as concerns about equitable treatment of student workload. It was announced that Kirsten Wolf will be the next chair of the UC.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the School of Veterinary Medicine CASI cancelled its spring forum on TTC. It will be rescheduled for the fall as needed.
Deb Shapiro reported that the TTC Governance Advisory Committee met on Tuesday and discussed the extension of the timeline for the project, as well as employee and supervisor guidance regarding holding title conversations virtually.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
After porting courses over to an alternative delivery method, Provost Scholz reported on the steps that are being taken to focus on the student experience during this time. Work on the satisfactory/unsatisfactory disruption grading is a part of this. He has received mostly positive comments on this. He is also trying to get reactions from students about how the semester has been going and sharing those reactions with instructors. Reaction is expectedly mixed. Ensuring exam integrity in the online environment is crucial, and UW-Madison has secured proctoring software from Unizin. The Instructional Continuity Team is currently stress-testing the software and is hoping to roll it out in the next week. They are trying to do more surveys of students, asking instructors to check in with students regularly, and reiterating that instructor evaluations will still be happening, but that common sense should be used with respect to the situation as to how these are used for evaluating instructor performance.
Regarding enrollment for the summer and the fall, we have information for the summer. It’s still early, but while we may be slightly down relative to last year, it is not a precipitous decline, and we are up slightly in relation to our 3-year average. Campus is actively planning for enhanced remote delivery of summer courses. It is too early to tell what the fall numbers look like. Student workers have had coverage on their employment payments through April, and the Financial Aid Office has given out $2 million in student assistance as of last week.
There was a question about the proposed nurses’ union at UW Health. The Provost indicated that he was hands off on this, due to it being a UW Health issue. With respect to legal exposure as a result of COVID-19, the overriding concern has been the safety of students, faculty and staff. The Office of Legal Affairs has been working through a number of issues. With regard to training for faculty and instructional staff in a virtual environment, Provost Scholz reported that there has been a lot of hard work to expand training for instructors. There have been webinars with attendance in the thousands. The intent is to continue to provide access to this training and development for summer as well. Finally, ASEC asked about impacts of the current situation on the Provost’s proposal for a Center for Teaching Excellence. Provost Scholz said that he will bring ideas on this to ASEC at a future date.
• April Assembly Agenda Prep
ASEC discussed the upcoming virtual meeting of the Assembly to address any questions ASEC members had.
• May Assembly Meeting Agenda
ASEC reviewed an initial draft of the May Assembly agenda.
• Topics for Guests
Provost: Broadband access for students; resources for mental health for staff, faculty and students
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration: question regarding possible university use of state 5G network to save
on costs; tuition remission possibility to refund portion of spring costs to grants due to COVID; thanks to Laurent for
awarding the administrative excellence awards; usage figures on COVID leave
Meeting adjourned at 3:54 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Interim Secretary of the Academic Staff