University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-05-08

University Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved 5/22/2017

Approved minutes for May 8, 2017

UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Broman, Litovsky, Wanner, Wendt (chair)
Others present: T. Warfield, S. Smith, J. Richard

Chair Amy Wendt called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and directed UC members’ attention to the faculty salary peer comparison provided for informational purposes. The UC discussed whether to repopulate, recharge, and generally resuscitate the ad hoc committee on 7th-year reviews. Discussion included possible modifications to the charge and whether to include other tenure-related issues that have come up since this committee was initially charged (primarily cross-division standards and policies on reconsideration, pre-vetting of dossiers, etc.). Consensus that the committee is needed, that its focus should stay on the specific issue of 7th-year reviews, and that new members could be appointed this month, with work to be done over the course of the Fall 2017 semester. The minutes of the meeting of May 1, 2017, were approved. Wendt read a message from PROFS indicating that a second campus free speech bill is in the works and that the JFC has received the self-insurance proposal. The JFC has 21 days to reject the bill; if it does nothing, it passes. Some discussion.

Director of Workforce Relations Patrick Sheehan and Director of Compliance Cathy Trueba presented information on employee prevention and training re sexual harassment and sexual assault. This training is in response to a BoR mandate. A review of the UWS-recommended off-the-shelf training product found it did not meet campus needs. Campus subject matter experts and others will develop our own training. Trueba explained that a UWS task force worked on this for about 18 months, and handed down a decision in December 2016 with the requirement that all employees will be trained by June 30, 2017. Four teams (content, implementation, policy, and communication) have been working hard to develop, test, distribute, and track a new training product. Content team has product in place to preview next week, when different employment groups will have opportunity to test and provide feedback. First phase is online English, to be followed by online multi-language, and third phase not online. All three mechanisms needed to be in compliance. System will be training followed by 3-year refresher. Lots of discussion about compliance, communication, enforcement, cultural shift, and responsibilities. All agree on importance to communicate that this is good for everyone and for campus, not just another compliance requirement. 

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller spoke briefly about the new draft drone policy and spent the bulk of his time reflecting on the first year of the shared governance budget committee. Although the committee did not evolve the way Heller originally thought it might, this was a productive year of learning and development. Ideally this would evolve into a group that has regular input into planning and resource allocation. To achieve that, a set group with long assignments that meets frequently is required. An annual report about strategic planning and financial concerns from shared governance perspective would be useful. Ample discussion ensued, including possible role for more targeted (sub)committees on specific issues, importance of shared governance practices and traditions, connections to other campuses, need to develop “communicating out” part of committee charge, sense that specific, “meaty” issue for group to work on might provide focus, and benefit of giving committee another year to develop. Heller suggested there are several “narrower” issues (financial performance, investments, etc.) that the committee could take on. He also acknowledged that the committee’s first year was his first year, which probably affected the committee. Warfield, who was a member of the committee, offered the sense of the budget committee in general that Heller’s staff is impressive and brought a lot of expertise to the table. Final discussion about difficulty, given open meeting laws and other constraints, of finding the balance between discussing things that are not yet fully “baked.” 

Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf pointed to Purdue’s recent purchase of Kaplan, completed without their faculty’s knowledge, which led into a wide-ranging discussion about participation in campuswide decisions here, such as the move to Canvas, Office365, etc. Mangelsdorf also informed the UC that 3 separate deans are weighing overturning divisional committee decisions. This led to a reopening of the discussion about the role of deans in tenure decisions. All agreed (as previously) that this will be an important FPP-based discussion for the UC and the Faculty Senate in the fall. 

Dean of the Graduate School William Karpus updated the UC on the competitive counteroffer program and the external fellowship supplementation list. For the former, piloted last year, the Graduate School put up one-time funds of $5K per graduate student applicant with offer letters from peer institutions. Last year 43% of 48 applicants ended up accepting the Madison offer; this year, 34 of 66 accepted. Departments applying for these funds run the gamut of campus and the outside offers are from our highest quality peers. Plan is to continue this program, perhaps with additional funds and maybe for a 2nd year as well, a possibility raised by the UC that Karpus will look into. The external fellowship supplementation list, which started in 2001, is WARF money used for stipend top-up and/or paying tuition. There is an automatic list of certain fellowships and another process by which fellowships not on the list can be supplemented, all based on competitiveness, prestige, etc. Underlying idea is to incentivize fellowship applications. Ample discussion was had on both topics.
Rick Amasino 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 2:46 p.m. The University Committee unanimously approved a leave of absence extension and a tenure clock extension. The UC unanimously voted to recommend the reappointment of the Athletic Board co-FAR and the chair of the Honorary Degrees Committee. The UC also selected nominees for seats on the Budget Committee. Anja Wanner moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:07 p.m. Wendt adjourned the meeting at 3:08 p.m.