Provost Britz visited and announced that campus Dean searches are moving forward. He also gave updates on the budget and enrollment. The UC discussed a 1-page summary of the timeline and data that will contribute to evaluation of R1 renewal.
The UC Chair reported that he will begin regularly meeting with the Provost after the next UC meeting. The capital budget passed by JFC was announced today. Based upon the report of the Chancellor’s cabinet there was discussion about the undergraduate research program with a recommendation that the UC obtain more information about the program at a future meeting. There was a request for a brief handout about what criteria will contribute to the R1 renewal data to share with faculty who can use for departmental discussions and planning to support the R1 renewal. The UC will send an email to inform faculty about the purpose and role of the Senate and UC along with an invitation to attend meetings. Dean search for the College of Health Science and Lubar School of Business call for faculty volunteers will be evaluated at the next meeting. Faculty salary compression was discussed and there was agreement to revisit the issue with campus administration.
The next UC meeting is September 5th.
At its first meeting of the 2017-18 academic year, UC Chair O’Connor updated the committee on his transition into the role. He also discussed a recent meeting with the chair of the APBC regarding operational procedures for that committee over the coming year.
An issue was raised by one of the committee members regarding the use of confidential letters submitted as part of campus research awards and distinguished professor nominations, which the committee plans to address with the Provost at his next visit with the committee.
The primary business for this week concerned identifying University Committee representatives for the various standing faculty committees and the upcoming College of Health Sciences and Lubar School of Business Dean searches.
The next UC meeting is August 29th.
The University Committee started with a visit by the Chancellor, who provided updates on the budget and the Strategic Opportunities Workgroup. The Chancellor was cautiously optimistic about the budget for UWM, pending final approval by the legislature. He also provided an update on the potential impact of Foxconn on growth of the College of Engineering to meet the future workforce needs.
In his report, UC Chair Reisel provided a summary of the last Chancellor’s Extended Cabinet Meeting. Of interest were discussions regarding the placement of anonymous drug dropboxes on campus. There is a search for a secure site on campus that would also afford anonymity. The only current location is in the UWM Police headquarters.
UWM Police Chief LeMire attended the meeting to provide information regarding the deployment of body cameras on all UWM police officers in the coming months. They are developing policies for their use, including when the system should be switched on and off. In addition, the system will have the ability to automatically blur faces in recordings if necessary. Chief LeMire also provide an update on three internals teams focused on expanded nighttime bike patrols, community policing efforts, and handling of sensitive crimes.
Under new business, the committee approved an Executive Committee augmentation request and discussed the consistency of the application of the campus workload policy across departments and colleges. The committee will follow up with the Provost regarding campus information on workload consistency.
Finally, the University Committee bid farewell to John Reisel, John Boyland, and Michael Brondino as their terms on the committee ended. Their efforts are greatly appreciated, particularly the work of Chair John Reisel. Welcome to the three new members of the University Committee, Jennifer Doering, Enrique Figueroa, and Mark Schwartz. Their tenure on the committee officially starts at the committee’s next meeting, August 22nd.
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.