ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
Monday, December 14, 2020
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m.
Memorial Resolution for Diana Girdley (ASA #744)
Susan Zahner read the memorial resolution for Diana Girdley.
Guests: Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration; and Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer
Vice Chancellor Heller reported on the budget impact due to the pandemic. The pandemic is projected to cost UW-Madison approximately $319 million. This is a little worse than our best-case scenario, but there could have been a much worse outcome. The impacts of this cost are uneven across campus. Auxiliaries have been severely impacted. Budget reductions are unfortunately unavoidable. It is important to remember that the campus budget is not monolithic but is largely delegated and works in different areas. Looking at it in three large categories, there are $124 million total impacts to GPR, $135 million to auxiliaries, and then $60 million in other unit impacts. Research and gifts haven’t been as impacted as expected, which is good news. Regarding budget reductions, travel pauses and the hiring freeze are continuing. Furloughs have also been renewed through June 2021, though with a 2-month delay to the start date thanks to recommendations from shared governance. Auxiliaries are coming up with their own plans for addressing their budget issues. Campus will help where possible but will not subsidize auxiliary operations. Units that rely on 101 funding will face reductions of $35 million, which is a 4-8% cut, with administrative units taking a larger percentage of the cut. The financial position that UW-Madison was in at the beginning of the pandemic means that campus is in a better position to handle the impacts of these budget cuts. Working through the crisis, we will move ahead on major priorities, such as the $15 minimum wage and implementation of the pay plan.
Chief HR Officer Walters reported that we are proceeding with the 2% pay increase, which will be effective in January. Employees will receive letters detailing the pay plan, provided that they met the eligibility requirements. UW-Madison proposed a 2% increase for FY22 and a 2.5% increase for FY23. The Board of Regents approved this proposal last week, and now those recommendations will be going to the legislature and the governor with the biennial budget process in the spring. Round 2 of campus-wide furloughs is the same as round 1 with one change: limited appointees can take a temporary pay reduction equivalent to the furlough reductions they would take. The 2% pay plan buffers the implementation of furloughs. For our lowest paid employees, the pay plan offsets most of the impacts of the furloughs. Employees will receive letters detailing their furlough obligations. It has also been identified that we are proceeding across UW System with a biweekly pay cycle for all employees. This was identified by UW System as a way to streamline administrative processes across the System. Benefits include more frequent paychecks and a single payroll cycle which simplifies processes and procedures. Implementation will begin on July 18, 2021. This was originally set to begin in January, but we successfully advocated for more time with UW System. OHR is in the process of building a project plan and partnering with stakeholders to work on the plan and change management strategies. With this change, UW employees will be paid every other Thursday, and there will be no change in annual salary. With this change, employees will need to review their personal budgeting, direct deposit deductions, and other areas. OHR will be developing resources for employees to address these things in the spring.
Guest: McKinney Austin, Office of Data Management and Analytics (Institutional Data Policy)
An update to ASEC on the new Institutional Data Policy was provided in October, and the group wanted to bring the update to the Assembly as well. The Institutional Data Policy is the foundational institution-level policy on institutional data management and use. This is the first policy in the institutional data space and represents a big step in the maturity of our data management and policies. It has been in development for a couple of years. The policy formalizes roles and responsibilities, makes us better in alignment with the UW System data policy, and provides structure as we modernize the data environment. The scope of the policy is around institutional data, but academic research data is out of scope. The policy has 12 high-level policy statements that formally establish principles, expectations, and rules in areas such as access and authorization, documentation, sharing, quality, system/application/product development, and more. Employees have a responsibility to protect the privacy and security of the institutional data that they use. There will be a phased implementation for the policy. Starting January 1, 2021, all new institutional data will be subject to the policy. There will be a one-year grace period for existing data. Individuals should look at https://data.wisc.edu/institutional-data-policy for more information.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, November 9, 2020, were approved.
ASEC Chair Jenny Dahlberg thanked everyone in ASEC, the Secretary of the Academic Staff Office, and the Assembly for their work over the last 6 months. Tim Dalby will be taking on the ASEC Chair role as of January 1. The call for Academic Staff Excellence Awards is out, and Jenny encouraged nominations for these annual awards. For more information on the testing plans for Spring 2021, please look at the COVID website https://covidresponse.wisc.edu/spring-semester-2021-overview/. More information about the single payroll process will be coming. If there are any questions or concerns, please reach out to ASEC or the Secretary’s Office.
Jenny Dahlberg provided the ASPRO report. ASPRO worked with PROFS to send a letter to Interim UW System President Thompson requesting a delay in implementation, which helped contribute to the new July timeframe. This letter is an example of the important work that ASPRO does. December is the last chance to get a discounted membership in the organization.
Standing committees of the Assembly provided their annual reports (ASA #745). Eileen Ewing, Chair of the Districting and Representation Committee, reported on the committee’s work focusing on building the new districting software. Future plans include testing the new software, as well as potential changes to districting rules based on TTC data. Christy Lowney, Co-chair of the Mentoring Committee, discussed the committee’s work on the Mentor Match Program. Last year saw 194 mentees and 104 mentors in the program, with three events throughout the year. Alissa Oleck, Chair of the Nominating Committee, reported that the committee forwarded 93 academic staff for consideration for appointments or nominations to various shared governance committees. The committee is working on improving its own documentation and tracking systems, communication to candidates, and creating a more diverse and inclusive candidate pool. Caitlin Cleary, Co-chair of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee, reported on changes to ASPP Chapters 6, 9 and 14 that were passed in the previous year, as well as the removal of gendered pronouns from the document. The committee has reviewed a new disability accommodation policy, Title IX changes, and other areas.
Resolution in Support of Instruction and Training on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice (ASA #743)
Discussion resumed on the resolution from the previous meeting.
Tim Markle, District 463 Representative, proposed an amendment to add, “Whereas the need for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice includes groups not specifically mentioned in the resolution, and we have just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and physical, digital, systematic, and cultural barriers still exist on and off the UW Madison campus for individuals with disabilities, the Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion supports Faculty Document 2911, but amends it further to call on the administration of the University of Wisconsin- Madison to continue actively supporting and fostering training and programs that will help build a climate and culture of anti-ableism.” Seconded. After discussion, the amendment was withdrawn.
Vote on the resolution. Approved.
January Assembly Meeting
The Assembly voted to cancel the January Assembly meeting.
Provost Scholz reported on how challenging a year 2020 has been and thanked academic staff colleagues for all of their work throughout the year. A virtual graduation was held on Sunday, with Rose Lavelle and John Felder as the speakers. The Provost reported on UW-Madison’s testing regime for Spring 2021. Students will be tested twice a week, and faculty and staff members who are coming to campus will be tested once every 8 days. Further communication on the protocols will be coming soon. The COVID vaccine will also arrive on the UW-Madison campus very soon, and we’ll be following federal and state protocols for the distribution of the vaccine. Frontline healthcare providers will be first in line for the vaccine. Provost Scholz encouraged people to follow recommended protocols and utilize campus testing if they need to travel during the holidays. He thanked Jenny Dahlberg for her service as ASEC Chair from July through December, welcomed Tim Dalby as incoming ASEC Chair in January, and thanked Mallory Musolf for her ongoing service as Vice Chair. Provost Scholz concluded his remarks by thanking everyone for their work over the past nine months and encouraging everyone to take some time to recharge before the spring semester.
Meeting adjourned at 5:06 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff