University Committee Meeting Minutes 2015-04-13

approved April 20, 2015

April 13, 2015

Present: Edwards, Fair (chair), Meyerand, Petty, Wendt
Absent: Broman
Agenda

1. Meeting called to order: 12:30 PM.
2. University Relations update (Vince Sweeney)
a. Sweeney reviewed the history of the Office of University Relations, described its staffing and structure, and provided an outline of its work, including statewide outreach and engagement, involvement with communications about the budget, capital campaign, and other issues, improving infrastructure for internal and external communications, and open records. Sweeney provided handouts on organizational structure, strategic plan for statewide outreach and engagement, and a selection of open records requests.
b. With regard to strategic planning, Sweeney explained that University Relations works to illustrate the positive impact UW-Madison has on making the whole state a better place to work, live, and play. Four main areas of impact are educating the sons and daughters of state residents, health and healthy living, economic development, and quality of life.
c. Ample discussion about related issues, including branding and connections with the broader UW System. 
d. Sweeney and the UC agreed on the importance and utility of having him come more regularly to UC meetings; this will be scheduled.
3. Minutes of the meeting of April 6, 2015, approved
4. Legislative update (PROFS)
Jack O’Meara provided a brief update on discussions with legislators, potential study by state senate on authority, and possibility of having senators come to campus.
5. Campus faculty representation to UW System
a. The UC discussed UW-Madison campus representation on the UW System faculty representatives (“fac reps”) group. Unanimous agreement that this is a valuable and critical UC function that requires written selection procedures and term policy, along with a strong campus commitment to consistent and ongoing relationships with this group and, by extension, UW System and the Board of Regents. 
b. Unanimous agreement that the following elements should be in the policy: fac reps must be current UC members; fac reps will make every effort to attend all fac rep and BOR meetings either in person or by phone; alternates should be selected for backstopping; one-year terms are too short; first-year UC members lack the experience with campus governance required; fac reps should submit meeting summaries to UC, at least bullet points of most pressing items.
c. The Secretary of the Faculty will draft a policy based on the foregoing discussion.
6. Ad Hoc Committee on Post-Tenure Review charge
Consensus agreement on charge with the following modifications: addition of a reporting deadline; foregrounding of accountability and greater clarity that the committee’s recommendations are expected to strengthen post-tenure review policies on campus.
7. Faculty grant applications (Ron Kalil)
a. Kalil provided history of his position, development of his graduate training program, and his recent experience with shepherding a proposal (and here) for NSF funding through the administration. Kalil would like to see greater transparency and accountability in the research enterprise as it relates to communications with individual faculty members and institutional support of proposals. Ample discussion.
b. UC agreed that there is a legitimate process issue to be addressed. UC assured Kalil that, while it cannot intervene in a particular case, it endorses greater transparency and will work with the administration to clarify communications procedures and application processes. 
8. Provost update (Sarah Mangelsdorf)
a. Discussion of committee service and acculturation of junior faculty. Need better balance between allowing junior faculty space and time to work and engaging them with the broader community. Need consistent messages from provost down to departments, including UC, Committee on Committees, etc. Possibility of a message from provost and UC to encourage people to serve, pointing to interesting opportunities, etc. 
b. Discussion of post-tenure review. Provost very supportive of idea and connection to pay tools, as well as named chairs and awards. Should have provost representative (VPFS) as ex officio. 
c. Mangelsdorf briefed the UC on her meeting with ASM. Ample discussion. 
9. Chancellor update (Rebecca Blank)
a. Blank informed the UC that she will issue a high-level document about cuts in schools/colleges with some examples and that deans will be releasing their own more specific memos in the coming weeks. Timing due to fact that budget cuts go into effect on July 1 and there are required notification and other lead times to meet.
b. Blank updated UC on the Board of Regents’ approval of some tuition increases. 
c. Ample discussion about various budget-related issues, including System task forces, legislative meetings and legislator statements, and possible alternatives if public authority is withdrawn. 
d. Blank informed the UC that the finalist list for Dean of the Graduate School is official but not yet public. List will come out in next couple days. 
e. Blank was pleased with the excellent coverage of the UW basketball team, much of which positively leveraged into the broader university.
f. Blank would like to continue the discussion about timing of spring semester. Moving it a little earlier would avoid conflicts with commencement and move-out, as well as allow a possible 4-week first summer term, which in turn could help with 4-year graduation rate. Ample discussion.
10. Brief discussion of the composition and charge of the URC.
11. Meeting adjourned: 3:14 PM.