University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-01-09

University Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes passed 01/17/2017

January 9, 2017

UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman (chair), Litovsky, Wanner
UC member absent: Wendt
Other present: S. Smith, J. Richard, H. Daniels, M. Felber, M. Aust, B. Fox, M. Mayrl

Acting chair Tom Broman called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and then called attention to an APIR document on faculty trends. Ruth Litovsky shared a communication from Big10 Academic Alliance colleagues. Michelle Felber called attention to a UW faculty member column in the NY Times on academic freedom, as well as other recent press, and updated the UC on PROFS meetings and contacts on entrepreneurial issues, fetal tissue, and campus carry. Wide-ranging discussion on teaching loads, messaging, showcasing activities, and more followed. UC highly interested in exploring best approach university can take to promote itself, a topic that returned with several of the day’s guests.

Vice Chancellor for University Relations Charlie Hoslet updated the UC on the hiring of new federal relations director Michael Lenn, the transfer of International Division employee Cynthia Williams to DC with some federal relations duties, and the retirement of trademark licensing director Cindy Van Matre. A search has started to replace the latter, who oversaw another record in royalties last year. Hoslet continued with updates on the chancellor’s trips to other campuses, expectations and cautious optimism about the new state legislative session and governor’s upcoming budget, and an overview of the Campus and Visitor Relations office. The latter has a broad range of activities, including tours, Ask Bucky, outside contacts, Bucky’s Classroom (an outreach program on which Hoslet entered into some detail), and the Speakers Bureau. Anja Wanner asked about the February Madison-hosted BoR meeting. Hoslet said there will be, among other things, a pre-meeting event at the Vet School and the chancellor’s address. The VCUR concluded his time with the UC with a discussion about broader issues raised by the whiteness course discussion and the importance of one-to-one contacts to humanize the university.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick and Associate Vice Chancellor Brian Fox presented revised campus inventions and patents policy, last updated in 1985. This update was requested by System, and mainly clarifies existing policy and does not introduce any substantive changes. Discussion about intellectual property rights and other related topics. Revised policy has also been discussed with URC, associate deans for research, and associate vice chancellor group. Broman asked Mailick about FP&M’s ability to be responsive on construction projects, particularly as related to junior faculty research. Mailick agreed with UC that this is an important issue that needs to be looked at systematically, as it is anecdotally a problem for many and may be connected to UW’s drop in research rankings. Mailick emphasized that repeated budget cuts have likely harmed the trades even more than academic units. Ample discussion.

     Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, once again drawing the unlucky chair, asked for an update on PTR, which is basically the same as it was at the last meeting less than a week prior. Mangelsdorf previewed February public announcement of national search for new Chazen director, which will not be a shared-governance search, but nevertheless she would appreciate recommendations of people with museum and/or art experience. Lengthy discussion of donors, tenure expectations, and other aspects relating to the museum and to the search. Broman asked about grade submission practices for classes submitting after the grade-submission deadline for legitimate reasons. Mangelsdorf will follow up with Registrar, but all agreed that an expedited special-exception policy should be explored.

Dean of the Graduate School Bill Karpus sought counsel on developing support mechanisms for training grant applications. Ample discussion and full UC support for project-management style central training-grant support office of some sort. Would not write grants, but would provide assistance with due dates, components, centralization of career outcomes database, information to faculty directors, centralized palette of activities, assessment, from which training grant director can draw and expound in narrative. Additional discussion on centralized support mechanism for educating grad students on submitting their own applications. Karpus also sought counsel on how to address GFEC workload. Options include increasing committee size and removing requirement that all reviews must include a GFEC member. Secretary Smith raised parallel point of numerous faculty seats on GS/OVCRGE committees. Karpus will pull data together and return with this topic at a later date. 

Chancellor Rebecca Blank, noting that not much had changed since her last UC visit 4 days ago, called attention to her blog post on classroom controversies, her trip to Platteville and exec team retreat, upcoming UW sporting events, and her meetings with the joint finance committee members. The UC provided a brief update on PTR and on discussions about how to be more proactive in communication outside the university.  On the latter, Blank indicated that PROFS is a big part of the equation, but also emphasized the need for “general faculty” to make themselves heard so that the dialogue isn’t only between the “wings.” Broad discussion on this topic followed, including the need to make personal connections, educate the public and public officials, take our message to people, and so on. 

Wanner moved to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) and (f) to discuss personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:02 p.m. The UC continued consideration of the waiver from the week before. Agreeing that they have understood the main issues, the UC would like to offer the dean’s office involved another opportunity to provide information, after which the UC will discuss the matter with the provost prior to ruling. Wanner moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:37 p.m., at which time Broman adjourned the meeting.