University Committee Meeting Minutes 2017-06-19
Minutes approved 07/10/2017
Approved minutes for June 19, 2017 Approved July 10, 2017
UC members present: Amasino, Bowers, Litovsky, Ventura, Wanner (chair)
UC member absent: Warfield
Others present: S. Smith, J. Richard, J. O’Meara, M. Felber, H. Daniels, C. Springer
Chair Anja Wanner called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and made brief announcements. Secretary Steve Smith reviewed the timing of FP&M finalist visits and solicited volunteers. The UC discussed a recently distributed FAQ about the upcoming security risk assessment, and expressed concerns that the FAQ states that the project has the active endorsement of the UC. The SOF will send a message to the interim CIO asking that the wording be changed to make it clear that the UC did not actively approve the project. A decision on faculty representatives to UW System/BOR was postponed to a future meeting. The minutes of the meeting of June 5, 2017, were approved.
Jack O’Meara reported that the JFC got back to business last week and voted on several items in the state budget relating to higher education, including funding for a 2/2 pay plan at the beginning and end of the second year of the biennium, removing domestic partner benefits, and voting down self-insurance. The “free speech” bills will be taken up by the Assembly on Wednesday. PROFS has registered against these bills. The PROFS steering committee will also meet on Wednesday and will focus on new restrictions on academic qualifications for chancellors and vice chancellors. The new PROFS President as of July 1 will be Dorothy Farrar Edwards.
Committee on Committees chair Ivy Corfis and member Michael Gould called the UC’s attention to the importance of assembling full slates for faculty elections. Incomplete slates lead to morale problems and are a disincentive to turnout. Following ample discussion, the UC encouraged greater communication between the CoC and other nominating bodies (particularly divisional committees). FPP will be reviewed to make sure that it is clear that all elections shall have at least two nominees standing for each seat. OSOF will work with CoC and other nominating bodies to make sure that nomination processes for all elected committees are open and well publicized and that chairs and others are appropriately reached. CoC suggests having slates sent to it ahead of time by other nominating bodies for review, ensuring the integrity of the process, and coordinating nominees across committees. CoC could even fill slates where there are gaps from other appointing bodies. All agreed that the more communication and information, the better, possibly even including this information in onboarding, chair chats, leadership meetings, and other regular communications processes. Smith pointed out that we now have greater information available about committees through the Committee Tracker and will soon launch a poll for faculty to identify interests.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller distributed a copy of the state budget Omnibus Motion
and discussed developments thereto. Relatively good news in the whittling back of policy matters; self-insurance voted down; and there is still a 2/2 raise, although only funded 70% by state. (Remaining 30% in past would have come from tuition, but with continued freeze, this represents a cut.) Ample discussion, including how raises will be implemented, relationship to merit exercises, out-of-state enrollment efforts, unresolved capital budget, and GPR reallocation. Heller reported that the now-official OQI/APR merger is a positive move, combining two somewhat-overlapping offices, saving the cost of a high-profile director, and allowing two skillsets together to be more powerful than either on its own. Heller and the provost have formed an ad hoc committee on the Red Gym to explore opportunities for increased efficiency, effectiveness of student service. Draft report identifies needs, opportunities, challenges, possible renovations; final report will include prioritization. Heller concluded by reporting that the BoR-approved Amazon contract is moving forward.
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 approved at 2:03 p.m. The UC discussed three separate grievances with Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, particularly as regards the respective dean’s role in each case. Various policies and procedures (tracks, HIB, rule waivers, workload, etc.) were discussed in relation to each case. Mangelsdorf would like further discussion and guidance on the broader issues arising from these cases. Barb Bowers moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 2:35 p.m.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank returned to the topic of JFC actions, questioning whether the 2nd part of the 2/2 pay raise could be counted on since it comes at the very end of the biennium. Blank also repeated the conundrum faced by the university given that a decade ago a deal was made whereby campus funded 1/3 of compensation increases from tuition. Since there is no tuition increase, this will mean that the entire “holdback” from the last biennium will have to be used for the raises. Blank also pointed to the fact that Madison will not get its usual share of the GPR allocation (traditionally 38.5%), but it is unclear what we will get. Blank recapped her trip to the world universities meeting. Structures vary (for example, German faculty can fire their chancellor), but despite these real differences, experiences are remarkably similar: everyone dealing with less money and more micromanagement. Discussion, including budget, “free” speech bills, redistricting, expanded scope of LAB audit of foundations, and various actions on climate accord and related environmental issues. Blank meets with President Cross tomorrow and will discuss, among other things, cross-campus coordination on LAB audit.
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 2:57 p.m. The UC unanimously approved the contracting of a former assistant professor’s company, one dual role waiver, one leave of absence, one tenure clock extension, and one transfer of an assistant professor from the tenure track to the CHS track. While the UC agreed that the latter qualified for transfer under the criteria established by SMPH, the committee noted that there appear to be significant differences in the definition of a tenure track position between SMPH and other units on campus. Following extensive discussion, the UC concluded that this broader issue should be added to those to be discussed with SMPH leadership.
The UC considered a petition filed under Chapter 8 to extend a faculty member’s appointment. Among several other considerations, the UC felt that it was not completely within its purview to extend appointments, although recognized the provost’s right to do so upon UC recommendation in situations such as tenure clock extensions and leaves of absence. Following extensive discussion, the UC decided to distill the key points of the petition to the provost along with a recommendation for her to act on. Following ample discussion on a different grievance, UC decided two members will conduct fact finding meetings with involved parties. Griever has right to be heard and will be invited in following those meetings. The UC discussed at length a follow-up letter to a third, already resolved, grievance. On behalf of the UC, the SOF will respond to the griever and ask the provost to follow up with the respective dean on the specifics of the grievance finding and related broader climate issues. In addition to ensuring closure and appropriate communication on the specific case, the UC asks that the provost address broader power-differentiated situations. Litovsky moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 4:29 p.m. Wanner adjourned her first meeting as chair.