ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
Monday, April 12, 2021
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.
Memorial Resolution for Troy Dassler (ASA #752)
Tim Boals read the memorial resolution for Troy Dassler.
Guests: Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs; and John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Vice Provost Meyerand shared developments in approving guidelines for the new academic staff titles of teaching professor and research professor. Guidelines for use of both of these titles have been approved at the campus level. Schools and colleges took time last fall and this spring to create their own guidelines. At this time, the School of Medicine and Public Health, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Science have all approved their school/college-level guidelines for these titles. The School of Human Ecology’s guidelines for use of the teaching professor title will be finalized soon. There is no obligation for schools/colleges/divisions to use these titles. It is up to each individual school/college/division to decided what is most appropriate for their use. There is also the professor of practice title, for which the campus level guidelines have just been read and approved by deans. Once these guidelines are finalized, schools/colleges/divisions will develop more specific guidelines for use, similar to the processes used for the other two titles. Vice Provost Meyerand and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Cheryl Gittens worked together to develop and charge the Campus Committee on Diversity Education and Training. The committee was convened this winter and was composed of academic staff, faculty, and university staff who have expertise in areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and training. The committee broke into workgroups to: 1) perform an analysis of existing professional development experiences that exist at our institution as well as at peer institutions and other companies, 2) look at types of training, duration, cost, and remote vs. in-person options, 3) examine best practices in training on diversity, equity, and inclusion by doing a deep dive into peer-reviewed literature in this area, and 4) look at how such training could be delivered at UW-Madison, and how the curriculum might be structured for employees based on the types of work employees are doing. Reports from these workgroups have been received, and the committee is deciding on next steps. The conflict of commitment policy joins the conflict of interest policy and is part of the reporting mechanism for outside activities. Conflict of commitment involves tracking time as opposed to pay. The policy is meant to capture professional activities and not activities that have nothing to do with employees’ jobs at UW-Madison. There is a detailed fact sheet on the OAR webpage that details the differences between conflict of commitment and conflict of interest.
Vice Provost John Zumbrunnen discussed the survey that was sent to instructional staff and faculty in February. The intent of the survey was to get a sense of the workload, stress level, and experience of instructors and then to compare those data to data available from the WISELI and the Academic Staff Worklife Surveys from previous years. Everyone who was a primary instructor last fall received the survey, and there was a 41% response rate. The survey shows greatly increased workload and stress levels. The primary aspects of increased workload include preparation of course materials in the transition from in-person to remote instruction, learning new teaching tools, and engaging students in a remote learning environment. Vice Provost Zumbrunnen expressed his thanks to academic staff supporting the instructional mission of the university. There will be new support for instructors moving forward with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring. The center will promote learning for all students by advancing the craft of teaching through relationships and providing professional development opportunities for UW-Madison instructors at all stages of their careers. There will be some administrative reorganization in the Provost Office to help facilitate the work of the center. This will involve individuals from the Collaborative for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, DoIT, and the Division of Continuing Studies coming together to form a new team to support instructors at the campus level.
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, March 8, 2021, were approved.
ASEC Election Results (ASA #753)
Secretary of the Academic Staff Jake Smith presented the 2021 Academic Staff Executive Committee election results. Donna Cole, Stephanie Jones, and Lindsey Stoddard Cameron were elected to three-year terms on ASEC beginning on July 1, 2021.
ASEC Chair Tim Dalby read a statement against anti-Asian violence and thanked the Dance Studies Association and Lindsey Stoddard Cameron for their feedback in crafting the statement. All academic staff members in odd-numbered districts will receive communication this week about upcoming Assembly representative and alternate elections. Assembly standing committee elections will also start in a couple of weeks, and Tim encouraged Assembly reps to vote. With regard to vaccination, if employees have received vaccinations off-campus, they are encouraged to upload that info to University Health Services to turn the Badger Badge permanently green for building access without the need for regular testing. ASEC is currently looking at the transition to single payroll as well as the Title and Total Compensation Project. The most immediate focus is returning to onsite work. The expectation is that a majority of employees will be returning to onsite work in August. A draft policy for remote work is in review currently, which will allow for remote work agreements for regular remote work situations. ASEC, the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee, and the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee will be reviewing the draft and offering feedback to the Office of Human Resources. There will also be a survey going out to all employees from the Office of Human Resources on remote and onsite work. Tim encouraged attendees to share any thoughts or concerns about remote work or returning to onsite work with the co-chairs of those committees, the Secretary of the Academic Staff, or himself.
Jenny Dahlberg provided the ASPRO report. She reported that there are two public hearings on the budget that will be in-person sessions, as well as a virtual session in April. The Joint Finance Committee will start to vote on Governor Evers’ budget proposal in the first week of May. Act 11 was signed into law, which is a new law that specifies additional reporting of hours of certain UW System faculty and academic staff who provide extension services in applied agricultural research. Another bill, Assembly Bill 77, proposed a $1 million annual funding for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences for extension services.
Vaishali Bakshi, Co-Chair of the Committee for Women in the University provided the annual report of the committee (ASA #754). The committee assesses, discusses, and makes suggestions for various policies that would benefit women in the university across all employment categories. The committee has been looking at the results of a pulse survey that was distributed across all employee categories. The results show that the top two issues identified across employment categories, gender identity, age, etc., are caregiving/childcare and compensation. The committee is in the process of figuring out ways to address these areas and is partnering with the UW System Task Force on Caregiving. The committee is also working with other shared governance committees to address caregiving issues. Additionally, the committee has reached out to the Office of Human Resources in anticipation of the completion of the TTC Project to conduct gender equity analysis.
Assembly Standing Committee Slates (ASA #755)
Alissa Oleck, Nominating Committee Co-Chair, presented the names on the Standing Committee slates. For the Communications Committee, those running include Aaron Conklin, Mary Ellen Gabriel, Kevin Kiley, Sarina Lotlikar, and Karla Weber. For the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee, those running include Steven Anderson, Allen Benson, Larry Jolon, Elizabeth Manriquez, and Elizabeth Tuschen. For the Districting and Representation Committee, those running include Rebecca Beebe, Max Coller, and Taryn Conaway. For the Mentoring Committee, those running include Gretchen Anding, Dan Barnish, Kendra Gurnee, and Vanessa Taulbee. For the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee, those running include Diane Farsetta, Toni Gunnison, Andrew Hahn, and Kelly Rupp. For the Professional Development and Recognition Committee, those running include Tami Bradham, Ilia Guzei, Sheila Hayden, Angela Kita, and Debra Shapiro. No nominations were added to any of the slates from the floor.
Nominating Committee Slate (ASA #756)
Lindsey Stoddard Cameron presented the names on the Nominating Committee slate. Those running include Cynthia Kelm-Nelson, Brady Minter, Alison Rice, and Goodson Vue. No nominations were added to the slate from the floor.
ASPP Chapter 14 Changes (ASA #757)
Caitlin Cleary, District 443 Representative and Co-Chair of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee, moved approval of Academic Staff Document #757, which makes changes to Chapter 14 of Academic Staff Policies and Procedures. Seconded. Approved.
Provost Scholz reported that COVID testing continues to go well. Case positivity rates have been at around 0.1% for almost the whole semester. There is frustration regarding the supply of vaccines that we have received, and we are encouraging members of the university community to get vaccinated elsewhere if they are able. Guidelines and overarching principles on remote work are being reviewed. Face-to-face interactions are critical to the university community, and we expect a vast majority of employees to return to campus this fall with a phased approach. This year’s graduation ceremony will be held at Camp Randall on May 8. No guests will be allowed. There has also been a change to grading policy this semester, allowing for SD/UD grading for the spring. Provost Scholz also expressed his deep gratitude for the contributions that academic staff are making.
Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff