February 9, 2016

The UC met with Provost Britz and discussed the R1 status of UWM announced last week. This is a big boost for the campus. We achieved R2 status in 1994, so it’s been a long line of progress for 20 years. Then, as now, our situation is precarious and we discussed how to maintain momentum, and what is being done on this campus to preserve research. Concern was expressed about L&S budget cuts, and the ramifications including closing centers and losing TAs. CCOET Co-chairs submitted their report to the sponsors today and there was some speculation if the measures recommended by the committee will be enough to meet the budget needs. Now that the UW System Tenure Policy has passed the Education Committee of the Regents, the UC is beginning work on the Tenure Policy and Procedure for UWM.

February 2, 2016

In the chairs reports, John Reisel provided a Legislative update from the Faculty Reps meeting: There have been more than 400 bills introduced in the Legislature, and likely several will not be discussed. Some bills might impact the university systems. One bill proposes that WI join the consortium of states for online education. The bill re-introducing shared governance might not be discussed. Conceal and carry on campuses likely won’t go forward. Also discussed was the Governors plan to move public employee health plans to a self insured (government run) program rather than contracted to the private insurance industry. Also, the UW system tenure policy is going forward to the Education Committee of the Regents. John also reported the banana cream pie was exceptionally good at the Faculty Reps lunch.

The work of the CCOET committee is coming to completion and the final report will be submitted to the sponsors next week. A draft can be found at https://uwm.edu/budget/ccoet-draft-interim-report/

January 26, 2016

We met with Provost Britz and talked about the UW System tenure and post tenure review policy, which will be taken up by the Board of Regents at their meetings in February and March. The Board Education Committee will discuss the policy at length in the February meeting. We discussed the implications of the proposed policy for dismissing faculty in case of fiscal emergency or program discontinuation, and how the effects could play out at the local level. The Regents documents as currently drafted devolve the creation of detailed procedures to the campuses. It is anticipated that once the Regents approve the policies in March, the UWM faculty will have to rewrite the current policies in UWM P&P, and the Chancellor will have to approve them and forward to the Board of Regents for their approval. We will likely discuss the draft Regents documents and the anticipated actions locally at the faculty senate on January 28.

We also discussed how the campus could capture data of scholarly activities. We identified how compiling data on individual faculty, departments, schools and the university could be aggregated for the purpose of showing research and scholarly outputs. In the past such data was compiled during the annual merit review exercises.

We heard from Kathy Miller-Dillon, the ASC representative, who gave an update of academic staff noteworthy events and concerns.

 

January 19, 2016

We meet today and talked about a variety of topics. With the demise of annual merit exercises, the annual review process has been one casualty that impacts our ability to promote the teaching and research of the institution to the public. We discussed how scholarship and creative contributions could be documented in a central location (i.e. such as a dashboard) and how it could be highlighted better.

Chancellor Mone joined us and we discussed the ongoing budget crisis, how UWM will be damaged, student retention issues, and the tenure policy document, which has passed through the UW System Tenure Task Force. It is unclear if campuses will have an opportunity to provide comments on this document before it is taken up by the Education Committee at the next Regents meeting in February.

 

January 12, 2016

We meet with Robin Van Harpen and Jerry Tarrer to discuss the new budget model, which is moving ahead and will be sent to the chancellor later this month for approval. An overview will be posted on the budget model website later this week http://www4.uwm.edu/budgetmodel/. Resource allocation calculations will be provided to divisions Fall 2016, with full implementation summer of 2017. We also discussed how units are cutting budgets and being hit with enrollment declines at the same time.

December 15, 2015

We discussed the two documents that are being reviewed by the UW System Tenure Task Force (the Faculty Layoff and Termination Procedures and the Post Tenure Review Policy), and asked Kristene Surerus, one or our representatives on the Task Force, to forward the documents to the full faculty. Provost Britz joined us during the discussion and we noted that it is likely the Task Force will not be asked to approve the documents, but only be asked for comments. We also discussed lack of PhD applications across campus and thought the reasons for this should be investigated further, for example, are applications down at other universities.

December 8, 2015

We discussed the work of the UW System Tenure Task Force and the events of the Nov 30th meeting, and heard an update by John Riesel from the Faculty Reps meeting. In summary, there are disparities between the tenure policy developed and approved by UW-Madison Faculty Senate for their campus and the tenure principals developed by the BOR. The UW-Madison tenure policy is in accordance the UWM tenure position paper developed by the UWM UC (and is coming to the UWM Senate next week). The Task Force will meet one more time December 23. The Chancellor joined us and we continued to discuss the UWM budget crisis, and what it might take for the funding allocation to UWM to change (see article in JS UWM faculty demand closing gap in funding with UW-Madison). The Chancellor will continue to work on improving UWMs allocation of state budget from UW system.

Kathy Miller-Dillion, ASC Rep joined us and discussed the issue of layoffs vs. non-renewal of academic staff. The goal is more security for long-term academic staff. A priority referral program has been developed with administration. A resolution offering more layoff protection, especially for academic staff without indefinite appointment, has been endorsed by academic staff governance. We also discussed what metrics of scholarly and creative activity should be collected for UWM to illustrate our research and scholarship mission.

December 1, 2015

Associate Vice Chancellor Adrienne Bass joined us and discussed ideas for developing a Faculty/Alumni lecture series to engage the community. UC member Bob Schwartz volunteered to connect the Distinguished Professors with the Alumni Association to identify speakers and topics. We also discussed the advocacy capacity of the Alumni Association, especially the Emeritus Trustees, who are actively engaged in promoting UWM. Resources to mobilize this group appear to be the limiting factor, i.e. staff to organize and write a newsletter, etc.

We discussed the UW System Tenure Task Force Meeting that occurred yesterday. The draft presented to the committee did not meet AAUP standards. The discussion was tweeted live at https://mobile.twitter.com/djvanness. UW-Milwaukee’s campus tenure position paper will be on the Senate agenda as an action item for a vote.

November 24, 2015

We began the meeting reviewing the campus workload document and discussed that not all Department chairs and executive committees are aware of this existing policy. We pointed out that any workload discussions at the college or department level should start with the UWM policy. Provost Britz joined us and we discussed how best to convey our activities as a research university. Bob Schwartz and Margo Anderson reported on the work the distinguished Professors are doing in compiling information on research activities across the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Later, Stan Yasaitis joined us and talked about the need to involve staff in communications and for gathering input in the decision making process. Stan stated that an increased information flow would be helpful as classified staff are generally demoralized and concerned for their jobs. We mused as to why UWM is not pursuing creative revenue streams, like renting Zelazo Center, Klotsche Center, or combining PO boxes rented from the post office. While these savings may seem small individually, they easily add up to someone’s position.

November 17, 2015

The University Committee meet with the JS Editorial Board as it does annually. The main topic of discussion was UWM’s role as a research university and the loss of State support. We discussed the need to have a strong foundation across core disciplines to support specific areas of research, and how the role of the university is to generate new knowledge. No research area stand alone without being entwined in the fabric of the university. Graduate student education as also a prominent topic, particularly as it relates to attracting and retaining the best students that are critical piece of the intellectual energy behind discovery and scholarly activities.   UC members expressed concern about the State’s lack of investment in UWM as Wisconsin’s urban research university, which is central to the success of SE Wisconsin and the State.

Professor Robert Schwartz at the JS building

Professor Robert Schwartz at the JS building

On another note, we enjoyed our visit to the Journal Sentinel Building, which is full of history. The building was designed by Frank D. Chase (Chicago) in 1924 and has features of the Art Modern style. Pictured: Distinguished Professor Robert Schwartz, sitting on the same bench where John F. Kenney sat in 1960.