University Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes approved 2/18/2019
Approved Minutes for February 11, 2019 Approved February 18, 2019
UC members present: Amasino (chair), Campagnola, Bowers, Ventura, Warfield, Wolf
Others present (as well as those below):
S. Smith, J. Richard, K. Meyerhofer, E. Sandgren, H. Daniels
Chair Rick Amasino called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m. Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith asked continuing members to save October 17-19, 2019, for the annual BTAA conference, this time at Michigan. The minutes of the meeting of February 4, 2019, were approved with one typographical note. PROFS lobbyist Jack O’Meara updated the UC on timing for the governor’s budget and an upcoming meeting with UWS President Cross. UWS Fac Rep (and UC member) Terry Warfield and O’Meara also reported on the recent BoR meeting, which featured excellent presentations on our campus’s activities.
Athletic Board chair Pete Miller received UC kudos for his Faculty Senate presentation. Miller reported on the activities of the Board’s four subcommittees: (1) Equity, Diversity, & Student Welfare, which is focusing on mental health; a new psychologist with an integrated approach just hired, budget allotment in this area expanded, and partnership with UHS and others developed; (2) Finance will vote this week on next year’s budget proposal (after which it goes to the full Board); expenditures continue to increase here and at our peers; (3) Personnel: all fall sport coaches have been reviewed and all received very positive marks; and (4) Academics and Compliance: New academics director just hired, formerly in compliance department; we do really well in these areas and this continuity can only help. Miller has started visiting departments to explain the Board and Athletics, piloting units with the most student athletes. Ample discussion throughout, including about how to balance various national organizations. One item discussed heavily that should be brought back at a future meeting is the longevity of our FAR representatives and the continuity/stability of our external face. Most of our peers have very long-serving faculty in these roles and our turnover may be a disadvantage.
Ombuds Chuck Snowden and Rick Nordheim presented that office’s annual report, which will go to Senate in March. Demand held steady over the previous year but is at an all-time high overall. Ample discussion of areas of concern. Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf discussed possible topics for the upcoming Academic Leadership Breakfast. The lower-key nature of the spring event presents opportunities. The UC suggested that this opportunity be taken advantage of to really help chairs (almost in a “boot camp” kind of way) get the right tools and information, focusing less on big announcements and initiatives.
Search coordinator Carole Kolb and recent search chairs Dorothy Edwards and Anja Wanner discussed governance aspects of search & screen procedures with the UC. While the immediate impetus for this was changes to the details of when finalists are announced and how their records are managed, the UC was more focused on making sure that shared governance and faculty concerns are appropriately and adequately addressed throughout the search process. The UC agrees with balancing transparency with other concerns (shortening notice period of finalist names, restricting access to recordings and other items to just the campus community, etc.). There is concern about a structure that places both the hiring authority and the search process in the administration. If the hiring authority has a support role on the search itself, all present agreed that the search coordinator should not also be reporting to administration. There are few, if any, concerns about specific individuals in this regard, but the structure is problematic. Another level of concern is that “shared governance” has become in some ways an appendage to the search process rather than integral to it. All present were also in agreement that the “shared governance” part of finalist visits needs to be rethought and also that the check-in with shared governance process described in FPP 6.04.C. and D. must be respected. There was general agreement on the importance of the chair’s position and selection and the need for greater consistency across searches of different types.
Vice Chancellor for University Relations Charlie Hoslet discussed the messaging strategy around the state budget request. Outlined in detail in “2019-2021 State Budget Messaging Strategy,” the plan expands on #UWChangesLives by building monthly stories around specific items in the budget request, such as health, affordability, rural outreach, workforce development, and efficiency. UC endorses and commends this approach.
Faculty member and current provost fellow Mark Rickenbach presented the idea behind his upcoming department chair survey. Goal is to get a sense of variety across campus in terms of training opportunities, duties and competencies, support, incentives, confidence, and other aspects related to department chairs. Ample discussion. UC is very interested in results and Rickenbach will return once the survey is done.
Steve Ventura 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 3:27 p.m. The UC approved a leave of absence extension, noting to the provost that this one will also require UW president approval as it exceeds 5 years. The UC selected finalists to interview for the Athletic Board. Paul Campagnola moved to reconvene in open session. The motion was seconded and passed at 3:58 p.m. Amasino adjourned the meeting at 3:59 p.m.