University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-03-13
Minutes approved 03/27/2017
Minutes for March 13, 2017
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman, Litovsky, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, M. Moscicke, N. Bertelsen, M. Felber, H. Daniels, C. Springer, M. Mayrl, J. O’Meara
Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Minutes for the meeting of March 6, 2017, approved as amended. Jack O’Meara updated the UC on various legislative proposals that are being tracked, and for which responses are being prepared. PROFS is hosting a budget forum later in the week and is in early stages of preparing an April forum on self-insurance. Some discussion.
SMPH Dean Robert Golden discussed faculty tracks with the UC, a discussion initiated by a specific case, but focusing on broader policies and procedures relating to a possible conflict between the campus “up or out” policy for tenure track faculty and protections currently afforded to clinical faculty seeking transfer to the tenure track. Golden explained the context of academic medicine, which is quite different than other health fields, but also from the rest of campus. SMPH has three tracks: CHS and tenure, which are “up or out,” and (the misleadingly named) CT track, which is not “teaching” but rather purely clinical. Revisions to the CHS track have made it more closely parallel the tenure track, allowing for corrections of track when appropriate. The bulk of these happen in the first three years, but rare exceptions after that are possible. Golden provided examples of why exceptions should be possible in limited situations. He also noted that our CHS track is very much like the tenure track as defined at other medical schools. Discussion followed about unique situation of doctors leaving the UW and becoming de facto competitors of the university and about how clinicians switching to the tenure track is fundamentally different from other academic staff members doing so. Golden offered to submit a proposal on track changes that would address the “up or out” concern and the clinical/revenue context. Golden also making sure departments are aware of procedures and need to address track shifts appropriately.
Wendt explained and presented a draft proposal for a campus shared governance committee being developed by the SG chairs. Idea is to launch the committee soon. It will require coordination with the chancellor. SG chairs may be members of the committee but do not have to be; more voices better, within limits of practicable committee size. Also for continuity and diversity, would want to have broader participation than just chairs. Goal for committee is to create a living document that could be adapted, focusing on recording and documenting historic practice, not creating policy. Ample discussion ensued, including of operational vs aspirational focus, combination of “commitment to” and operational details, not constraining but rather asserting, and whether committee should be ad hoc or standing. Consensus that ad hoc nature might help to build conversation and compose documents in a timely manner, but that provision for the future should also be made, whether through existing SG (executive) committees or as a long-term committee.
The UC considered a draft invitation letter for a new Immigration and International Advisory Council. All present were very supportive of this effort, noting the important need for it and suggesting that it would be very well received on campus. The UC suggested including a short, simple statement in the letter about why this was not created as a formal shared governance committee, allowing for reconsideration of that status in the future. All felt that the timeliness requirements and the need for discretion and confidentiality were strong reasons to at least start the group outside formal FPP structures.
Responding to a request from the ITC, the UC discussed and reviewed next steps for a draft Cybersecurity Risk Management Policy. The UC encourages the ITC to weigh in on this proposal with an eye towards an eventual vote by the Faculty Senate. UC sense is that the policy needs to be clearer on compliance and enforcement, but all recognize that more discussion is needed before advancing the proposal.
Wendt informed Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf that PTR was all set for consideration at BOR meeting in Platteville next month. Some discussion. Mangelsdorf re-raised concerns about lack of standardization of procedures across divisional committees and potential relationship with reconsideration/appeal. Smith outlined ongoing efforts by OSOF and VPFS to address this, emphasizing that divisions are concentrating on outcomes of the process as opposed to specific steps. The ample discussion that followed included how to “repair” dossiers before they get to the divisional committee (including possible role for decanal offices), how to best sensitize divisional committees to unfamiliar fields, whether departments should “present” at divisional committees, and broader tracking of lifecycle of junior faculty (exit interviews, data analysis, etc.). Although the discrepancy at the divisional committee level for granting tenure no longer exists, there does still seem to be inconsistency in terms of reconsiderations/appeals by division and in retention rates. This topic, which is not just a divisional committee issue, will continue to be discussed, in an effort to make sure that the field is level across divisions. The UC and the provost discussed alternating chancellor and provost meetings with the UC.
Dean of the Graduate School Bill Karpus wondered who brought winter back and provided updates on two new PhD program ideas (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Health and Sustainable Society/Environment), one or both of which may be cross-college efforts. Some programs of this type already exist (including Cellular & Molecular Biology and Biophysics, both in the Graduate School) that work well, but present their own challenges. Karpus also discussed PhD minors slated for discontinuance and, more broadly, how minors are created and associated requirements, such as assessment plans and handbooks. The UC expressed a great deal of consternation at the bureaucratic/administrative burden that accompanies minors, recognizing that there are accreditation requirements. GFEC will continue to discuss the proliferation of minors and the burden attendant thereto. Karpus updated the UC on three external grant funding applications: career outcome tracking in A&H, renewal of McNair, and resubmission of a proposal to the Sloane Foundation for a center of exemplary mentoring, centered on Physical Sciences in L&S and Engineering. Karpus informed the UC that there are 2 finalists for the associate dean position. Litovsky asked about AOF, which led to a discussion on centralization, cohort-driven programming to support career development, and the development of AOF communities.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank indicated she did not have a lot on her list, despite a busy week (basketball game on Friday, women’s hockey on Saturday, etc.). Blank attended a chairs’ chat earlier in the day that was very well attended and provided opportunity for conversation and follow-up on the leadership breakfast. Discussion primarily focused on compensation and hiring, as well as research. The search for a new WSB dean is wrapping up and an announcement will be forthcoming soon. Regents met on Thursday and passed a handful of PTR policies with no discussion. Anticipation is that the ones in April will go similarly smoothly. Broman summarized the Michael Crow presentation at the BOR as inspiring. Blank agreed that he has done some interesting things at ASU, but that the universities and their contexts are not really comparable. Wendt informed the chancellor that the UC is working on a PTR transmittal letter and the charge for a SG committee. Blank expressed her support for documenting practices, and asked that administration be able to review draft charge. The UC and Blank discussed alternating provost and chancellor meetings with UC, which all agreed was a good idea as long as provisions are made so that there are no long gaps between meetings.
Following the chancellor’s departure, the UC discussed and revised a letter to Chancellor Blank requesting transmittal of the campus PTR policy to System and the Board. Broman moved with great enthusiasm to approve the letter. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. The UC debriefed on the SMPH track discussion. SMPH policy needs some tightening up; Vet Med policy definitely has to be modified; and policies for other health sciences with clinical academic staff should be developed. Consensus that there should be a campuswide policy for all health sciences. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 3:16 p.m.