University Committee Meeting Minutes 2015-12-14
December 14, 2015
UC members present: Broman, Edwards, Litovsky, Meyerand (chair), Wanner, Wendt
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, Felber, McFadden, Daniels
The meeting was called to order by chair Beth Meyerand at 1:00 p.m. The secretary of the faculty reminded everyone that there will be no UC meeting on 12/28 or 1/18 and there is no need for make-up meetings. Smith also indicated that a new checklist and online submission for rule waiver requests is now live. Richard announced that the UC conference room will be part of this year’s student art show, sponsored by the provost’s office, OSOF, and OQI. Litovsky arrived at 1:08.
Meyerand reported that SMPH has clarified its “dotted line” addition to departmental administrators, which is intended to be informational, not reporting. Wendt reported the ad hoc committee on hostile and intimidating behavior has begun meeting and asked for guidance on deliverables. Wendt also wondered whether the recent free speech resolution passed by the BoR would have any implications on the ad hoc committee’s work. Smith will consult legal services. Discussion. UC changed deadline for ad hoc committee report from December ’15 to April ’16.
Broman indicated that many involved with BoR free speech resolution are hoping that individual campuses will adopt it. Discussion. Broman raised possibility of different but related resolution that would emphasize complexity of nexus between academic freedom and respect for difference. Discussion segued into post-tenure review and UWS task force. Edwards stressed that one of main messages to regents is that PTR is not a neglected process: it is done and focus should be on how, not whether. Edwards will be at 12/23 task force meeting; provost will call in.
Bret Payseur presented background on and rationale for proposed senate resolution on sexual assault.
He also distributed copies of the executive summary of the sexual assault climate survey
. Payseur, who was faculty representative to anti-violence task force, proposed resolution that raises awareness of the survey and makes a commitment to do something about the problem. Draft resolution has been endorsed by End Violence Committee and COWU. US Congress and AS Assembly plan to present resolution as well. UC consensus that this is worthwhile and it is important for faculty to take stand. Ample discussion of recommendations and suggestions. Bringing grad students into discussion early on is advisable. SOF will work with Payseur on presentation for February Senate.
VPFS Michael Bernard-Donals discussed possible charges for the Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits with the UC. Possibilities: (1) Return to family leave recommendations and expand to cover academic and university staff. Could work directly with those groups or hand off to COWU as a staff-wide issue. Ample discussion about scale and increased costs, as well as alternative approaches. (2) Consider how budget bill allows for or constrains reallocations for pay plans. FCEB could work with university counsel to understand impact of legislation and from that determine if there is flexibility to reallocate pay plans and make recommendations. (3) Work with VPFS on what could be added to suite of pay tools. (4) Concluding discussion grew to thinking about expanding FCEB to have broader budget expertise. Consensus that having the committee work closely with Bazzell and Norris on understanding budget beyond faculty compensation. Could tie FCEB to a (new) budget committee or change charge/description of commission to make it the budget committee. Ample discussion.
Minutes of the meeting of December 7, 2015, approved.
Felber reminded the UC about the final PROFS steering committee meeting of the year. Brief discussion of regents’ activity. PROFS is trying to get appointment with chair of higher education legislative committee. Discussion.
Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, along with everyone else, is waiting on tenure task force draft documents with bated breath. Edwards called attention to letter from academic staff about faculty layoff policy’s potential deleterious impact on academic staff. Consensus that faculty must acknowledge that impact on other groups has to be worked out on campus. Ample discussion. Mangelsdorf informed the UC that UWS has requested a listing of all visiting lectures given on campus. The UC asked the provost about impact of both tenure clock extension and parental leave policies on families with multiple births/adoptions. Mangelsdorf suggested that this is a level of detail that should not be addressed in policy any more than, for example, difficulty of labor. Existing policies refer to instances of birth/adoption without detail. Other policies (such as TCEs for dependent care) exist to cover complicated situations. Mangelsdorf asked the UC what current campus policy is for instructional staff and faculty for classroom coverage after birth/adoption. There is no central policy and coverage is arranged through ad hoc negotiations. Consensus that a central policy is needed. Animated discussion. Edwards raised the possibility of self-insurance to cover parental leave. Unanimous agreement that this would be something worth exploring.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank discussed the BoR freedom of speech statement and mild protests on that issue and other issues, expecting things to pick up with the new semester. Some discussion, including of ways to show support of students, recognition of free speech rights, and also complexity of issue. All present believe it is possible to respect free speech while maintaining a civil and productive community, but that the balance requires work. Blank is impressed with the work of Jeff Russell and the summer term implementation, on which marketing will start in January. Blank appreciated the influx of fresh gummi bears as the previous supply had gotten rather stale. The chancellor informed the UC that she will be meeting with each dean (along with the provost and the VCFA) to discuss long-term financial planning. Rather than waiting for presumed future state cuts, these discussions will look at what can be done ahead of time so as not to be stuck in reactive mode. Discussions will look at impact of large cuts on class size, student mix, continuing ed, and so on. The chancellor hoped she would see everyone at the holiday party on Thursday.
Wendt moved at appropriate speed to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. Seconded. Motion passed: 2:45 p.m.
The University Committee considered and approved three dual role waiver requests. The UC approved co-chairs for the GLBT issues committee and recommended faculty members to fill vacancies. The UC nominated faculty members to fill a seat on the accommodations committee. The UC nominated members to the ad hoc committee on IRBs. And the UC approved the final composition of the ad hoc committee on the academic calendar. The UC concluded the closed session with a discussion on a pending grievance.
Edwards moved to reconvene in open session. Seconded. Motion passed: 3:50 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.