University Committee Meeting Minutes 2015-12-07

approved December 14, 2015

December 7, 2015

UC members present: Broman, Edwards, Litovsky, Meyerand (chair), Wanner, Wendt
Others present: S. Smith, Felber, Radomski, Daniels, McFadden, O’Meara, J. Smith, Franco-Morales, Richard, Perez Mendez (ACE fellow)

The meeting was called to order by chair Beth Meyerand at 1:02 PM.

The secretary of the faculty called the UC’s attention to upcoming changes to the university website and to a forthcoming request from the Summer Term Implementation Committee (DCS) for a blanket dual role waiver to facilitate academic staff summer teaching.

Meyerand explained recent changes in departmental administrator reporting in SMPH and provided context for discussion with VCFA and OHR director later in meeting.
Edwards announced that next UWS tenure task force meeting will be 1:00 on December 23rd. Schedules have been changed in order for Madison representatives to be present. Edwards summarized the task force meeting from the week before. There appears to be understanding of the rationale for splitting tenure policy from post-tenure review and also of need for being consistent with AAUP. Task force members appreciate Madison policy. Behling believes merit will be reinstituted at some point and emphasized need to move quickly in order to be responsive.

O’Meara summarized PROFS meeting with Behling. Lots of discussion of existing post-tenure review policies and disciplinary case handling. Behling stated that System and Madison do not seem that far apart. PROFS attendees stressed need for appeals as part of reviews. Broman added that fac reps heard essentially same thing from task force corresponding secretary at separate meeting. Edwards added that PROFS attendees highlighted that peer review is already an integral part of faculty work. O’Meara concluded legislative update with information on medical amnesty bill to be introduced. PROFS has heard from students and Risser’s office and will continue to monitor.

Minutes of the meeting of November 30, 2015, approved.

The UC discussed how best to gather input from current URC members on incorporation of that body into FPP.
 
Litovsky arrived at 1:20 p.m.

Wendt slowly moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. Seconded. Motion passed: 1:20 p.m. (1) The UC considered a dual role waiver request for independent study supervision, formerly carried out by now-retired faculty member. The UC approved the request for two years, with the expectation that a permanent solution to the addressed need could be found by the end of that time. (2) The UC considered a second dual role waiver request, which was approved unanimously contingent on the unit’s supplying information on the percentage appointment this additional duty will entail. (3) The UC nominated three additional faculty for the search and screen for director of the Arts Institute. Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. Seconded. Motion passed: 1:30 p.m.

VCFA Bazzell and OHR Director Lavigna discussed recent change in SMPH reporting lines for departmental administrators. Meyerand explained that many chairs are concerned about possible erosion of faculty governance. UC has also heard from University Staff and Academic Staff that there is concern about imposed change. Lavigna indicated that OHR had not been contacted on this ahead of time, but added that it is not uncommon to have such dual reporting, which can be workable, although issues have been raised about how policy was communicated. OHR feels there should be more discussion of this and has contacted SMPH COO to discuss what change means. Discussion. Lavigna recommended, and UC concurred, that dotted line reporting should be informative, not determinative. Policy appears to be unique on campus. UC concerned about overly complicating performance management. UC will invite Dean Golden and SMPH COO in to discuss.

Bazzell also indicated that he would like to come back to UC soon to discuss progress on the budget model, implementation to date, and what might come next. Possible creation of short-term group to look at budget development process with grounding in issue early next year.
 
The UC discussed and made revisions to draft charge for ad hoc committee on IRBs. Edits made directly to document, which will be voted on at next UC meeting.
 
The UC discussed faculty representation in IT structure presented last week. Most troubling lacuna was no formal role for IT governance committee itself. UC recommends at least adding ITC chair to “grid” but even that would be only one additional faculty member in an administrator-heavy structure. UC discussed inviting CIO back to propose more robust presence of at least ITC chair in data governance and management, as well as reinforcing faculty role in general. Consensus instead for UC chair to communicate with CIO by email on this. Roles for those on the grid make sense, but faculty voice is not adequately represented.

The UC discussed possible charge for Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits. VPFS Bernard-Donals had suggested alternative compensation plans as a possibility. He will be invited to future meeting to craft charge.

Following up on previous week’s discussion of graduate student pay plan, Broman reported that TAA leadership remains concerned. Others reported that departments remain concerned about cost neutrality and workloads. UC will monitor closely and assist process wherever possible. SOF will contact DGS to get 12/16 town hall more widely publicized. 

Chancellor update began with open discussion about Senate meeting and post-tenure review. Blank continues to emphasize value of separating tenure and post-tenure review, both on campus and at UWS. Blank reported varying levels of receptivity among regents, remains cautiously optimistic. Blank brought good news of Mead-Witter gift that will provide funds for majority of performance space as planned, although more needed. Blank pointed to Education Trust report, which buttresses what we already knew about campus’s absolute and relative progress on graduation and retention rates between whites and minorities. Blank’s third piece of good news was that campus remains fourth in NSF research rankings, although with less margin than before, demonstrating that there is still work to be done. Blank expressed concern that FECB commission did not consult with VPFA/OHR prior to sending parental leave recommendation to Senate. Wendt indicated that meeting notes show consultation, but UC and OSOF will take extra care to avoid such miscommunication in future. Blank indicated that there are some policy errors and other issues that should have been vetted with administration. At the same time, she agrees that parental leave is an important issue worth addressing. As there are no actionable recommendations in report, consideration and vote by Senate is not a problem and conversation is definitely worthwhile.

Meeting adjourned: 2:51 PM.