Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 06-18-20
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18, 2020
Members Present: Donna Cole, Jenny Dahlberg; Tim Dalby, chair; Stephanie Elkins; Mallory Musolf; Leslie Petty; Deb Shapiro; Lindsey Stoddard Cameron; Bill Tishler
Guests: Allison Bender, Diane Blaskowski, Prenicia Clifton, Greer Davis, Megan Dzyuba, Denny Hackel, Ron Harris, Carol Hulland, Liz Jesse, Alyson Kim, Angela Kita, Helena Manning, Karyn Matchey, Brooke Norsted, Jennifer Noyes, Lindsey Peterson, Chris Pevey Harry, Keri Robbins, Shelly Reindl, Jeff Snell, Rachel Tatge
The meeting was called to order at 2:01 p.m.
The minutes of June 4 and June 11 were approved.
Tim Dalby, ASEC chair, reported on the process for collecting questions for the UW System President search, as well as the results of the search. On the UW System Reps call this week with President Cross, Regent Walsh talked about next steps for this search: there will be an interim appointment, a post-mortem on the process around the search, and then a new search in 12-18 months with representation from faculty, staff, and students. Tim, Mallory, and Jake met with Mark Walters and Megan Dzyuba for their monthly meeting and discussed updating the telecommuting policy as well as return to work. There are three workgroups on return to work: people, policy, and planning/communication. Tim discussed the announcement on campus reopening, and he posed the question of whether there should be a call for a special Assembly meeting. ASEC discussed this question and will return to it at the next meeting.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reminded ASEC about the leadership meeting on the morning of June 24. Jake met with Michael Bernard-Donals, Beth Meyerand, and Heather Daniels to discuss next steps for the Professor of Practice title. A committee will be formed to create campus guidelines for use of this title. Jake reported on a survey that has been sent to faculty and research staff on impacts from COVID-19. The PI on the survey is Noah Weeth Feinstein, and the survey has been deployed with support from the OVCRGE.
Guest: Karl Scholz, Provost
Provost Scholz asked for and discussed feedback around the reopening announcement. There are questions from schools and colleges around who is deciding whether instruction will take place remotely or in-person. The Provost reiterated that curriculum is a departmental responsibility in partnership with schools and colleges. They are collecting questions and trying to provide further clarity. Development of the timetable—with modality, timing, and location—will help answer questions about mitigating potential risks around teaching in person. On the question of how student activity outside of campus might be managed and what may happen in the event of a bigger outbreak, there will be surveillance/cohort monitoring, which will have 100-200 cohorts broadly representative of students, faculty and staff in a variety of locations. These cohorts will be tested voluntarily on a weekly basis to keep a pulse on this. Students in dorms will be tested every two weeks. If there is a large outbreak, it is likely that we would return to alternative delivery methods as were used in the spring semester. There has also been concern about clarity around classes from 50-100 students, as well as the extended schedule. There have also been questions about the degree to which the announcement is addressed to undergraduate students vs. graduate students. The announcement is intended to address all students. On the topic of mask usage, there is discussion around creating student ambassador positions to promote mask wearing. There are questions of how much we can do in other buildings (e.g. county offices in which Extension employees are based), but coordination will take place in shared buildings on expectations.
• ASEC Chair and Vice Chair Discussion
ASEC discussed the possibility of having successive chairs with 6-month terms again for the coming year. Jake will provide draft language in ASEC’s operating procedures for the group to discuss, and the vote will take place at the June 25 meeting.
• Discussion of CIYPP Report and OYPC Memo
ASEC shared further thoughts on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Implementation of the Youth Protection Policy as well as the response memo from the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance. Discussion focused on location of the compliance function and the role of an advisory board. ASEC will meet with Jeff Russell on June 25 to discuss next steps.
Guests: Megan Dzyuba and Diane Blaskowski, Office of Human Resources
On the topic of TTC, implementation will take place sometime in 2021, but OHR won’t know specific dates until fall, as there will be a better picture of our financial situation and other impacts from the pandemic at that time. Dates for implementation will be fluid. Meanwhile, OHR has re-provisioned some staff to work on TTC 2.0 activities during the delay. These are activities that were intended to take place after TTC was implemented, such as career paths, progression, incorporation of PMDP, KSAs (knowledge/skills/abilities) and how they apply to each title, and a Center of excellence for campus partners. OHR will be convening focus groups on these issues starting in late summer/early fall and will consult with governance for members. There will be bimonthly informational updates about TTC to let people know progress on 2.0 activities as well as the status of the delay in implementing 1.0. ASEC suggested having a live forum, as similar activities have taken place virtually. The SJD library has been opened due to COVID. Descriptions that are in place won’t be changed, but new titles will be considered. There have also been questions about essential vs. non-essential employees as relates to TTC. One of the 2.0 activities includes “conditions of employment,” which will include topics of remote work and essential employees.
Regarding the Smart Restart website, there will be more information coming. The campus plan is taking its lead from Madison and Dane County Public Health protocols. There aren’t exact dates on timelines yet, and people in various subject matter areas need to review the guidance that is coming. Workforce Relations is preparing a COVID Workplace Safety Policy that will apply to faculty and staff. This consists of taking direction from Public Health guidance and putting that in policy format—physical distancing, personal hygiene, face coverings (with ADA options as needed), cleaning and disinfection for personal work areas (custodians will be provided additional training and there will also be additional cleaning of high traffic areas), and self-monitoring (with some areas on campus doing temperature taking). There has been discussion of a self-monitoring app, but other options using existing campus technology are also being looked at. HR will be partnering with the Disability Resource Center and the ADA Coordinator on issues of accommodation. On the question of how these policy changes will be communicated, there will be websites and regular touchpoints with divisional HR reps and disability reps. There will be resources for supervisors to share with their teams, communication in Inside UW and other websites. FP&M is providing guidance around setting up spaces to meet public health requirements, including common areas like conference spaces, hallways, elevators, and stairwells.
On the topic of rooting out structural racism in policy, HR will be bringing that into a larger group to discuss. There have been no decisions made in this area, but people feel like this is needed. UW System is also encouraging something similar at each of the campuses. Mark will have additional information on this at a later date.
Donna Cole reported on the recent meeting of the SMPH CASI. Topics included social justice, and specifically what academic staff in SMPH can do to battle racism, research professor titles and questions around a top number on those titles within the School, and when bus passes would be made available for purchase.
Jenny Dahlberg reported that the Vet Med CASI is meeting again and working to ensure that agendas are driven by the CASI.
Stephanie Elkins reported that the newly formed WPM CASI will be working to schedule a meeting toward the start of the semester.
• Topics for Guests
Provost: concerns on limiting use of research professor title; question about instructors’ ability to informally use other spaces for instruction
Jeff Russell: question about what areas he would like to focus on in the discussion
Meeting adjourned at 5:01 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff