Academic Staff Executive Committee Minutes 07-09-20
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, July 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: Diane Blaskowski, Elizabeth Covington, Linda Karr, Alyson Kim, Karyn Matchey, Nia Norris, Jessica Robbins, Mark Walters, Dana Wendt
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
The minutes of June 25 were approved.
Jenny Dahlberg, ASEC chair, reported on the recent increases in COVID cases in Dane County. Dane County’s mask policy will be going into effect on Monday, July 13. She also discussed the recent announcement from ICE regarding international students and concerns around impacts at UW-Madison.
Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff, reported on Committed to Change: A Call to Action, a virtual panel discussion on racial justice issues that was held on July 8. He also mentioned the Chancellor’s recent blog entry on this topic to ensure members were aware of it. The Ad Hoc Committee on Academic and University Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will have its first meeting on July 15.
Stephanie Elkins reported on the recent meeting of the Communications Committee. The committee has offered to help with ASEC communications to academic staff when necessary. The committee will work with Jake to get reports on website analytics and will be setting up a schedule for testing of the new website.
Mallory Musolf reported on the recent UW System Reps meeting with Interim System President Tommy Thompson. He will be looking for state and federal funding for contact tracing and any other potential monetary sources for COVID relief. He will plan on biweekly meetings with the UW System Reps.
• Review of ASEC Operating Procedures
ASEC reviewed its operating procedures for the 2020-2021 year. After discussing several suggestions, ASEC decided to have a small group work on the document and bring it back fully amended for the next meeting. Tim, Lindsey, Bill, and Jake will meet to revise the document for approval at the next meeting.
• 19-20 Academic Staff Assembly Statistics
ASEC reviewed the attendance and email communication statistics for the 2019-20 term of the Academic Staff Assembly. Overall, attendance and communication is up from previous years. Jake will reach out to individuals who haven’t attended meetings, and there will be some form of recognition at the orientation session and the first Assembly meeting for those who have excelled in these areas.
• 20-21 Liaison Assignments
ASEC reviewed its liaison assignments for the coming year and made revisions as needed.
• Planning for 20-21
ASEC discussed what its annual planning meeting would look like for the coming year. Jake will send a Doodle poll to the group for a session in August.
• Potential Special Assembly Meeting
ASEC discussed whether to hold a special meeting during the summer on a variety of issues. At this time, ASEC decided not to convene a special meeting but will be pushing for more communication from administration and possibly a broader set of town hall type meetings for all employee groups.
• Topics for Guests
Provost: update on fall enrollment, including grad student enrollment and impacts on TA/RA/PA-ships; UW System communications about reopening and their applicability to UW-Madison; question about face-to-face vs. online instruction when students are in person and instructor is remote
VCFA: parking situation; 5G cell coverage on campus; budget impacts; sports in the fall
OHR: update on survey to gather employee concerns and transparency of the results; how has administration of furloughs gone so far; any update on plans for furloughs in the future
Guests: Mark Walters and Diane Blaskowski, Office of Human Resources
Regarding the delayed implementation of TTC, there was a question on what flexibilities might exist for departments/units to implement reorganization plans, which were dependent on TTC going live, in advance of the now delayed implementation date. Units should be encouraged to go forward with those plans and shouldn’t be penalized for those kind of changes due to the TTC delay. OHR will work with units as needed on a case-by-case basis. There is a new draft policy around workplace safety, which consolidates public health protocols. On the subject of employees feeling pressured to return to onsite work, HR is using the current accommodation process for employees who have underlying medical conditions. Divisional Disability Representatives (DDRs) are triaging those issues, and OHR is putting the final touches on communications regarding these issues. Some research staff have already returned. OHR is trying to figure out what the circumstances are for employees and what flexibilities may exist. OHR is on the eve of sending a survey to all employees about their needs and concerns regarding return to onsite work. The OHR “people” working group will be gathering this information. OHR is also working on the policy on mask wearing, which restates public health protocols. Dane County has issued an order regarding mask wearing as well. OHR is triaging issues as they arise. There will be access to masks for those who don’t have them, and students will receive a welcome kit that will include masks as well. OHR will be looking at circumstances regarding visitors who are not following protocols and the question of responsibility around that issue. Guidance around employees who have tested positive for COVID was provided to the HR community, and updated guidance will be put out as early as next week on positive tests, contact tracing information, etc. FPM has cleaning protocols as well. There have also been discussions about campus forums to communicate issues as part of the return to onsite work effort. The details for these forums still need to be finalized. As for how people are chosen for cohort testing, Norm Drinkwater is leading the effort. OHR does have a representative on that team. It will be a volunteer process, and more information may be available for the next meeting. Regarding examining policies for structural racism, Mark brought up the Chancellor’s communication on this issue and some of the things that campus will be doing in the future. OHR will be pursuing this and is figuring out how to do it both at a campus level and at various functional levels. There are many internal discussions in OHR in this space, and Mark wants to come back to ASEC in the coming weeks to discuss this further.
Meeting adjourned at 4:21 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff