University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-06-05
Minutes approved 6/19/2017
Approved minutes for June 5, 2017 Approved June 19, 2017
UC members present: Bowers, Litovsky (chair), Ventura, Warfield
UC members absent: Amasino, Wanner
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, J. O’Meara, M. Felber, J. Smith, H. Daniels, J. Brown, M. Mayrl
Acting Chair Ruth Litovsky called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Jack O’Meara reported that the JFC has started acting on the higher education budget. PBF is better and the legislature has been availing itself of some campus expertise, but some changes are still desirable. (See https://profs.wisc.edu/?p=8077.) Ample discussion ensued about process, next steps, pay plan, speech, and new budget provision that would prohibit UW from adopting any policy or rule that restricts applicants to chancellor and vice chancellor positions to academic backgrounds. Litovsky reported on first meeting of ad hoc advisory committee on student affairs. The UC approved the minutes of the meeting of May 22, 2017.
Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims, at the UC’s request, returned to the topic of modifying the charge of the CDCC and other shared governance committees that work with Sims’s office. Sims encourages the UC to work with the CDCC and others on adapting the committees’ charges to current structures. He is happy to provide advice and counsel, but does not feel it is appropriate for him to impose the views of his office on the structure. The CDCC predates the DDEEA and was revised somewhat on the initiation of the committee itself, but still includes many remnants of its earlier role, making it inconsistent with shared governance practice and structure of other committees. The DDEEA is better situated to, for example, respond in real time, than a committee is, but Sims recognizes the benefit of SG partnership and input. Sims shared a graphic of the various shared governance bodies his office works with. All agreed that this needs to be streamlined and clarified and that proper placement of activities and responsibilities will lead to better accountability and increased efficiency. Ample discussion. UC will invite CDCC leadership and others in to discuss.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller provided a brief update on the state budget process (including the possibility of external audit) and then spent the bulk of his time with the UC discussing the new budget model, focusing primarily on impacts and (unintended) consequences. Ample discussion, including peer comparisons, school/college concerns and priorities, incentives, and examples of impacts. Consensus that one major drawback is that the overall pie gets no bigger with this model; it only affects distribution and may discourage “pie-growing” innovation. All agree on need for bolder, broader thinking, “grander” proposals, and incentives for overall growth.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick provided an overview of her to-do list for the coming year. These initiatives include several relating to research funding aimed at incentivizing new areas of research and augmenting extramural grant submissions, such as tweaking the fall competition, continuing UW2020 through 2020, following through on the microbiome competition, and planning a similar competition in data science. Mailick’s office will also develop a website of “Resources for Researchers” as the next step in the core resources survey and will create an Office of Research Development, which will contain expertise to help faculty submit large, complex grants. A final group of initiatives relate to reorganization: completing the move of RSP back to the OVCRGE, integrating the Office of Industrial Partnerships within RSP, converting RARC (Research Animal Resources Center) into a unit of the Office of Research Compliance, and continuing with reorganization of the IRBs. Ample discussion throughout.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank reported on a forthcoming news article on the redesign of the People program, the launch of the advisory committee on student affairs organization, and several logistical/calendrical items. The latter included Blank’s recent return from the Big10 meetings, her upcoming trip to the American Academy of Arts and Science, the upcoming UW Foundation and Board of Regents meetings, and her upcoming trips to NYC to participate in the NSF advisory committee and to Switzerland to meet with chancellors and presidents from around the world. Warfield asked about the recent legislative language relating to the academic background of chancellors. Blank encapsulated the sentiment of all present by stating that a major research university cannot be led by someone with no background in this world. Lots of discussion followed, including need to distinguish between realities of different UW campuses, private sector parallels, other universities’ experiences, and what can be done. Blank recommended that best approach was to support the Board and help them to speak against this with their colleagues. Concluding discussion about how to get out of “defensive mode” on budget. Sense that we did a good job this year by mobilizing our allies to get the message out through them; business community support in this regard has been crucial. This year, the day after this budget vote, we need to start working on the next one, especially capital and revenue bonding issues.
Warfield 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 2:53 p.m. The UC considered faculty members to serve on the UAPC and unanimously approved one tenure clock extension and one dual role waiver for the Fall 2017 semester. Ventura moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and approved at 3:09 p.m. After allowing time for the door to be opened, Litovsky adjourned the meeting at 3:10 p.m.