August 25, 2015

Academic Staff Committee Chair Robin Weigert and Sara Tully joined us to discuss campus policies regarding layoffs. It was noted that these polices are in place but not used; currently people are given non-renewal letters, even when they are returning the following year. There was discussion about how future workforce reductions will be made and what process would be fair and responsible in a university climate. The UC supports the Academic Staff’s efforts to develop sensible personnel policies in these difficult times and intends to stay in close communication on this subject.

Adrienne Bass joined us to discuss homecoming and opportunities for faculty involvement. It was noted that these type of activities go a long way to improving campus culture. Homecoming will take place October 2-10 with many activities planned. The Alumni Association will host an Alumni and Faculty Reception Sunday Oct 4th. Adrienne will be sending a note to department chairs to involve faculty in the event. Overall, the UC was enthusiastic about building some traditions for our students.

August 11, 2015

We discussed the transition regarding UC members, since the UC will be saying goodbye to chairperson Mark D. Schwartz, Luc Vanier, and to Lane Hall, who has been updating UC News. Professor Hall expressed willingness to help with the transition in order to keep our website current. We then discussed and approved changes (based on faculty feedback) to our previous “position paper” regarding academic freedom and tenure at UWM, as well as the ongoing instability involved in the State’s precipitous changes towards governance and policy. You can see the current position paper here.

Chancellor Mone met with us and we discussed the personnel on the UW-System Tenure Task Force, the role of the Tuition Task Force and its desire to investigate the funding allocation model. We had a deep discussion about our perception of President Cross’s changing attitude regarding UWM’s potential share of funding allocations. We moved on to discuss potential faculty appointments to the Chancellor’s Campus Organization & Effectiveness Team (CCOET) and continued a conversation about enrollments, governance, and permanent appointments regarding academic staff. We said our goodbyes as this was our last meeting before a new UC takes over for next year, starting on August 24th.

July 28, 2015

We discussed System-wide tenure policy implications. Margo Anderson shared a conversation that she had with an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) representative last week seeking input on the changes to System policy. We are seeking advice from the national AAUP office in order to contextualize our situation. We discussed the public statement UW-Madison’s UC made about Sara Goldrick-Rab. We moved on to a discussion about our own internal budgeting process, which is rife with uncertainty and questions.

July 7, 2015

We met with Provost Britz and continued our ongoing discussion about the budget cuts and governance/tenure policy, the timetables involved, and procedures in place. We brought up the issue that prospects for improved compensation are more abysmal, and seemingly hopeless, than ever. We had a lively conversation about a first round draft “Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure.” We met with Vice Chancellors Pat Borger and Tom Luljak and discussed the upcoming inauguration for Chancellor Mone. This program will be combined with the official opening of the Kenwood IRC, and will be funded entirely through the Foundation and private funds. We were assured that it would be appropriate in context of our dire financial outlook, while still celebrating our importance within the state.

June 23, 2015

We reviewed a draft adapted from an AAUP policy document regarding academic freedom and tenure at UWM. The UC has been tasked with creating a working tenure policy that will later be reviewed by faculty via Faculty Senate and appropriate committees. We discussed how such a document might mesh with current legislative proposals such as clause 39 as well as how to solicit faculty input and engagement.

June 11, 2015

The University Committee issued this statement on behalf of the UW-Milwaukee Faculty Senate, endorsing UW-Madison Faculty Senate Document 2565, which was approved on June 9, 2015. (note: pdf is three pages, and includes the faculty document from Madison).

June 9, 2015

We met with Chancellor Mone, Provost Britz, VC Luljak, and Director Urdan in order to review issues related to the erosion of tenure and shared governance in the UW-System, as well as the budget cuts. We discussed the need to write a UWM tenure policy, and the complexities involved due to so many changes at multiple layers of policy and law. We agreed that it will be useful to see what UW-Madison does in this regard, and spent a lot of time speculating on intensely negative scenarios.