Today, the UC worked on cleaning up language in S-46, the SAAP on Search and Screen Committees. The current version of S-46 has some conflicting language in its descriptions of faculty/UC representation on administrative search and screen committees. The UC decided to suggest to the Policy Advisory Committee to revise the language to be consistent. The revised language will reflect that UC members are the preferred choice for representatives on the committees, but that the UC can choose to designate another faculty member to represent the UC if they feel that the faculty member is well suited for the role.
The UC also reviewed some language in the current campus workload policy, but chose to leave the language as it stands.
Tracey Heatherington in her role as Associate Dean of the Graduate School attended the meeting to share some concerns regarding the ability of international PhD students to matriculate from PhD programs. Given the work limitations on international students, she has observed several cases where students cannot continue due to discontinued funding after a couple of years in the program. This led to a discussion regarding the admissions and funding decisions for PhD students more broadly across campus. The UC agreed that this could be an important issue and expressed a desire to see retention data for PhD programs across campus to better understand this issue. It was noted that the ability to retain these students directly affects UWM’s ability to retain its R1 status.
UC Chair Reisel provided an update of several meetings he attended in the previous two weeks, including the Chancellor’s retreat, the CEMAT retreat, and the BOR meeting.
The Zilber School of Public Health and the Letters & Sciences Dean searches are continuing, and Enrique Figueroa volunteered to serve as the UC representative to the SPH search. Jennifer Doering will continue as the chair of the L&S search and will also be the UC rep to that committee.
The meeting began with Dean Cisler of the College of Health Sciences attending to ask for guidance on the process of department chair elections.
Provost Britz attended the meeting and participated in a productive discussion regarding the role of the APBC in the campus approval matrix. There was agreement between the Provost and several committee members that it would be appropriate for the APBC to at least review and make recommendations to the Faculty Senate for new programs, instead of the current information-only role that the committee has in the approval matrix. Some members preferred that the further step be taken to make the APBC part of the approval pathway for all new programs. The provost also provided updates on the status on the SPH and L&S Dean searches, as well as the latest enrollment projections.
UC Chair Reisel discussed the upcoming Board of Regents meeting and highlighted agenda items that UC members should attend.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 21st.
UC Chair Reisel updated the committee on the status of discussions regarding the role of the Academic Planning & Budget Committee in the academic approval matrix. This issue has generated active discussions over the past few meetings. There was general support among the UC members for the APBC to have a more definitive role in the approval process, and the committee plans to explore this with the Provost at his next meeting with the UC.
There was discussion regarding the discrepancy between teaching assistant salaries and project assistant salaries that has been exacerbated by the increase in TA salaries. There was agreement that increases in PA stipends should be explored.
UC Chair Reisel presented a draft policy titled “Recommendation of the University Committee to Create UWM Student Representative Missed class Policy”. The intent of this proposed policy will be to codify the ability for students participating in university/department-sanctioned activities such as conference attendance, artistic performances, student organization events, etc. to be excused from classes. The draft policy largely parallels the existing policy for UWM student-athletes. The UC was supportive of the language and will submit it for approval in the Fall.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 6th.
Chancellor Mone visited the UC today and described a number of current matters, including how to best place our Athletics programs in national competition. He reported that a number of donors have increased their pledges or allowed us to re-direct existing pledges in order to help raise UWM’s prominence. In other matters, he also reported that UWM is slated to receive $53 million of a $69 million capital request to renovate the Northwest Quad, although $41 million of that will be needed merely to bring the infrastructure up to code.
UC Chair Reisel met with other campus representatives in the system in the past week. The system is looking at whether policy can be developed to consolidate low-enrollment programs between campuses, and consider avoiding duplication of programs. In budget news, the legislature is considering increasing targeted financial aid rather than bankrolling an across-the-board tuition cut.
He also reported that SEJEC is looking to fund a pilot program to invite high schoolers from high poverty zipcodes to the campus, for mentoring and instruction in skills useful for admission to university and entering employment.
The UC discussed the role of the APBC in new program approval. The Senate Rules committee recently decided that the comments from the APBC on new programs would be available to senators when a program is up for approval. It was also discussed to change the charter of APBC to give them authority to hold back program approval if the budget isn’t sufficiently described or supported. Training for current and new APBC members in financial reasoning becomes even more important given that the APBC may have a bigger role in program approval.
Several summary reports on the evaluation of administrators (that of the Provost and of the deans in the College of Engineering and Applied Science) have been produced. Interested authorized parties can view the reports in the Secretary of University‘s office.
Provost Britz met today with the UC and briefed us on the current status of dean searches. The Public Health dean position remains open and will be re-advertised. Britz is calling references for the Letters & Science dean position. Two candidates for Dean of Nursing have interviewed, and a third is coming next week.
Britz mentioned that a base-budget increase of $2 million for Nursing has been incorporated in the UW System request to the legislature as part of workforce development. A proposal to include Engineering as well is in the works. He also mentioned that he is considering a way to supplement full-year sabbatical leaves to make it more possible for professors on lower salaries to take advantage of a full-year leave.
The UC received a copy of a report of the Student Association that shows that of the over 2000 people surveyed (most of whom were UWM students) about half had experienced food insecurity. (See general information on the project.) Some campus organizations are providing food aid, but a more central approach led by an authority on campus might make sense.
Today, Kris O’Connor joined the UC as a replacement for Jasmine Alinder, who resigned to become acting associate dean of the College of Letters and Science.
Academic Staff Committee (ASC) Vice Chair Cashin met with the UC today. She will be continuing in leadership of the ASC next year as chair. She and the rest of ASC is working on revising several Academic Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures (ASPPP), especially Chapter 104 on appointments, to harmonize practice and policy in a way that still protects AS personnel. One question that arose is if probationary appointments (and a chance for indefinite status) are to be de-emphasized, will there still be incentives for university service?
The chair reported on details from an extended chancellor’s cabinet. Given projected enrollment declines, UWM may see a further cut of $8M in the following year. UWM employees are currently undergoing mandatory Title IX training; in the fall another required training on Data Security is coming, and after that, a possible required training on climate and culture issues.
A discussion on reviewing budgetary implications of new academic programs revealed a consensus view that the new programs should require approval from the APBC, as opposed to merely informing the APBC. The existing approval matrix does not include a committee charged with budgetary, rather than academic considerations.
In other items, the UC set a meeting schedule for the summer, meeting approximately every two weeks (except for the July 4th holiday).
Provost Britz came to UC this day and briefed us on the status of deans’ searches, and how the “Office of Central Advising” will be set up. The process will be incremental, and existing multi-cultural centers will be preserved in the new structure. New advisers funded by a system grant will be hired and will work for the OCA while existing advisers will continue to work within L&S for the first year.
Britz also gave a detailed description of the status of all schools and colleges at UWM, and how strategic concerns are informing new hires, as we start to turn the corner on handling the massive budget cuts of the current biennium.
UC Chair Reisel reported on the recent meeting with departmental chairs on how to proceed with post-tenure review. He stressed that the process is intended to be collegial, not adversarial. Another meeting is planned for the coming week. In other news Honors’ College admissions are now at capacity; if UWM wishes to expand the program it will need more space (classrooms and residential facilities) as well as more instructors, especially in STEM disciplines.
Chancellor Mone met with UC today. The recent fire in the PSOA will incur major costs, which should be covered by the State insurance system. Increased risk of problems may be due to deferred maintenance. Mone also discussed the proposed budget. Some non-fiscal items (such as making allocable fees optional) are likely to be dropped from the budget, perhaps to be passed as separate bills later. It’s also not clear whether the proposal for self-insurance for healthcare will be adopted as part of the budget.
Brondino reported on the SPC process. A log of the new approved hires will be posted soon. It’s important to note that the Provost, not the SPC committee approves hires, and that Vice-Provosts can hire outside the SPC process if a position is immediately necessary.
Director Tully of CIE came to UC to describe the process of designing a novel approach for pathways for international students that addresses UWM particular characteristics. If accepted, this could be a approach used by other universities as well. UWM will be meeting with an international recruitment company in mid April to see if the model will be accepted.
Provost Britz arrived soon afterwards and updated the UC on various Deans searches. Two finalists for the position of Dean of the College of Letters and Science will be coming soon to UWM. The provost is currently negotiating with a candidate for appointment as Dean of the School Public Health. Meanwhile, the search and screen committee has forward the names of three finalists for the Dean of the School of Nursing.
He also was asked to describe how his office is being strategic in leading the academic mission of the University during a time of severe budget cuts. He described how attrition combined with deficit spending have been used as the first response, but as University costs have decreased, strategic vision informs new hires. Deans are told that all hires must be justified in a forward-looking manner.