CEAS Dean Brett Peters requested continuing augmentation for Biomedical Engineering due to a lack of tenured faculty; continuing augmentation for Material Science and Engineering was also requested. Faculty members suggested as augmenters were considered appropriate by the UC.
Provost Britz discussed fall semester protocols, which will be reviewed at a meeting next Tuesday. On the agenda will be how to deal with unvaccinated students and faculty/staff. N. Rothfels asked whether a threshold will be established at which the prevalence of the virus on campus would trigger certain policy changes. J. Snethen noted that the number of fully vaccinated people infected is going up. Provost Britz suggested that a mask mandate on campus is the most likely scenario if cases increase. A standard set of policies to be announced by instructors will be developed before the semester begins. A statement along the lines of the one suggested by P. Brodwin on the AAUP e-mail thread could serve as an example and was provided to Provost Britz: “(1) If you are not vaccinated, you absolutely must wear a face covering at all times in this classroom. That is UWM’s explicit policy, and you must comply with it. (2) If you are already vaccinated, you may choose to wear a face mask, and no-one in this class should question your choice. (3) This university strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated. That’s the best way to protect your health. It’s also the best way to keep this class in-person and avoid having it pushed to Canvas because of an outbreak of Covid19 on campus”. Federally funded PCR testing on campus will end before the fall semester begins; B. Arnold and K. Dolan suggested that antigen testing might be made available as an affordable alternative.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on committee vacancies; she is still looking for someone to fill a one-year position on the FRRC. UC representatives for committees will also need to be assigned at the first UC meeting for the 2021-2022 academic year. UWM is planning to hold an in-person commencement in December that would include spring 2021 graduates. The Expanded Cabinet meeting included information to be covered in the August 4 Townhall Meeting for faculty and academic staff as well as the August 3 Townhall for students and parents. K. Hayes and R. Van Harpen reported on Student Affairs and admin activities, including a UWM vaccine incentive program that will include August-October vaccination clinics on campus to be held in collaboration with the Milwaukee Department of Public Health. How to provide these services at Washington and Waukesha as well is still being discussed. Enrollments are down 6.6% in terms of returning students; CARES money is being used to target students who are close to graduating to help them register for fall semester. Dorms are going to return to normal with 85-90% occupancy; the remaining rooms will be reserved as potential isolation spaces. Events will focus on newly incoming students as well as rising sophomores to make up for what they missed last fall. R. van Harpen reported that new policies are coming; campus will continue to record self-report COVID cases but this would be fairly meaningless unless testing in some form continues on campus. M. Spanuda of Risk Management reported on plans for buildings for fall; hand sanitizers will continue to be used; cleaning protocols will be continued but some of the signage will be taken down or replaced and social distancing will no longer be practiced in classrooms. Construction on campus will begin in September and continue into spring, including the Klotsche expansion, the Union and other projects. An instructional FAQ is being developed for the fall. CARES funding is being used to install lecture capture equipment in some classrooms but it will not be universally available and student expectations should be managed accordingly.
There were no Members’ Reports.
Chancellor Mone, Provost Britz, ASC chair Kyla Esguerra and incoming ASC chair Nicole Oswald will attend the August 17, 2021 meeting.
Chancellor Mone reported that protocols for fall will be announced in the first week of August and updates will be provided regularly between now and then. The BOR meeting this week will also deal with some of these issues. Testing will continue through September but System will not be supporting testing after that date. Various activities are planned to promote vaccination in the fall; Madison is shooting for 80% of students vaccinated but this benchmark will be more of a challenge at UWM because students do not all live on campus. S. Neitzel has resigned as VP of University System Relations and is being temporarily replaced by UWM alumnus J. Buhrandt as part of the changes in the Board in anticipation of the search for a new President of the UW System. Enrollments are close to September 2019 numbers but are up compared to last summer at this time. Final numbers are likely going to be between these two poles.
Vice Provost of Academic Affairs D. Clark reported at UC Chair K. Dolan’s invitation that 3600 new students are registered for orientation but the actual numbers may be closer to 3000 by the time classes begin in the fall. Returning student numbers are down because the graduation numbers were up this past spring and because the freshman class last fall was impacted by the pandemic. The increase in the number of part-time students may be due to uncertainty regarding both finances and modality.
In-coming Secretary of the University J. Reisel reported that the six new faculty hires on the main campus are not even close to replacing the losses of the past year; none of the new hires are in L&S and four are in the Business School. UC Chair K. Dolan suggested discussing this imbalance with the Provost at the next meeting.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported that Committee appointments are still in progress; 12 of the 17 positions have been filled. Questions were raised about how committees will meet in the fall – f2f, virtually or hybrid? Each committee should be able to decide the modality based on the availability of technology in the meeting rooms assigned and the needs of committee members. How the UC and Senate will meet is also still to be decided depending on the progress of the pandemic and the available technology.
Provost Britz will attend the July 20 meeting.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on her meeting with Provost Britz, including the updated enrollment numbers presented at the last Expanded Cabinet Meeting. The news is better than it was a few weeks ago but campus enrollments for continuing students are still down 1.7% compared to last year. It is likely that many students will be registering later than usual. Graduate student re-enrollments and associate degree enrollments at the two-year schools are robust. Final numbers for incoming freshmen are still pending; online orientation is ongoing. International student enrollments also look better than this time last year. The 2030 realignment implementation is continuing; SARUP and the Peck School are still discussing the details of merging; the three public health programs will be sorted into a College of Nursing and a School of Public Health but where groups in the three existing schools will end up is still being negotiated. The Office of Research and Graduate School will also be combined. Budget negotiations in Madison did not include funding the NW Quad but the renovation of the Sandberg Residence Halls is still included. The Chancellor will continue to pursue the apparent interest among some of the BOR members regarding a change to the UW System funding formula. The Expanded Cabinet Meeting included an EAB presentation on three years of data attempting to argue that a relationship exists between the amount of money raised and the size of the staff involved in advancement efforts. The 2% January 2022 and 2% January 2023 pay raises are still in the budget document for now A. Dressel has agreed to be the faculty representative on the Change of Modalities Review Committee. Committee vacancies will have to be filled by August.
In Members’ Reports N. Rothfels reported that the AAFEC met with Vice Provost D. Venugopalan and Interim Chief of DEI C. Vang; the taskforce in the Office of DEI has been disbanded and C. Vang will be working directly with the AAFEC instead to avoid duplication of effort.
Chancellor Mone will attend the July 6 meeting.
School of Social Welfare Dean T. Freiburger reported that the Department of Administrative Leadership is requesting augmentation of their EC for the upcoming academic year. Prof. K. Hassell has agreed to continue to augment the committee for the next year.
Chancellor Mone reported on the BOR meeting on the UWM campus on Friday at which a possible reexamination of the UW System funding formula was announced. Incoming BOR President Manydeeds and Vice President Walsh indicated that a mid-summer announcement of the composition of the search committee for the new UW System President is expected. The capital budget is currently being debated by the Joint Finance Committee in Madison; this includes the Health Sciences/NW Quad, which represents a $75 million ask. The total budget amount is still unclear but it will impact what is likely to be approved. Policy changes for fall pandemic protocols for a return to f2f instruction are being finalized. It is unclear whether testing will still be required for unvaccinated students and faculty in the fall because of changes in funding; following a discussion of how instructors should handle issues related to vaccination and testing in the classroom Chancellor Mone indicated that he would get back to the UC with guidelines. Chancellor Mone reported on the Froedert Trust gift ($5.75 million) and an upcoming $2 million gift focused on Milwaukee high school students, which will be announced later this week.
UC Chair K. Dolan and Academic Staff Chair K. Esguerra met with the representative of the search and screen firm leading the search for the new chief of police to provide a sense of the campus perspective. Invitations to serve on the campus Search Committee have been sent out. The format of the search as far as public comment and campus input are concerned is still unclear. There was a discussion of lecture capture in classrooms as a pedagogical issue if it is required for courses.
There were no Members’ Reports.
The modality policies for fall semester will be reviewed by the newly created Modality Change Committee; S. Schmidt requested the names of potential committee members from the faculty and from the academic staff side to serve on this committee. Several names were suggested by committee members.
In Old Business UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the UC review of standing committees. The Faculty Ethics Committee discussed the possibility of disbanding at their most recent meeting and concluded that this option should be pursued. D. Misra commented that this committee is especially important for Engineering and the sciences and suggested that Interim Vice Provost for Research M. Harris should be consulted before a final decision to disband the FEC is made. The Academic Policy Committee likewise met and concluded that disbanding might be possible if the approval of the calendar and consulting on policy as it is developed, the primary tasks of this committee, could be shifted to the APBC. A final summary of this UC initiative will be provided later this summer.
The Provost will attend the June 22 meeting.
Provost Britz reported that M. Gajdardziska-Josifovska is retiring as Dean of the Graduate School and J. Puskar will be Interim Dean beginning in September. The Office of Research and the Graduate School will likely be merged again. K. Hartman will be Interim Dean at Peck School replacing S. Emmons; a change will also be coming to the School of Freshwater Science with Dean V. Klump’s retirement. Restructuring following the 2030 implementation plan will include the Zilber School of Public Health, the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences, which will be reduced from three schools to two, and the creation of a School of Professions that could include Education, SOIS and potentially SARUP. Conversations are ongoing.
Vice Chancellor R. Van Harpen and Interim Police Chief B. Switala met with the UC to report on the status of the recruitment process for the new UWM Police Chief as well as the ongoing DEI initiatives of the UWM PD and their work with the Police Community Advisory Committee, including training and monthly meetings related to community/campus interactions. N. Rothfels asked about the PCAC and how often they meet, who the members are and what they are tasked with doing. I. Hu asked how the UWM Police are specifically dealing with training in cultural sensitivity given the highly diverse nature of the UWM community.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the Expanded Cabinet meeting at which the return to campus in the fall was discussed with regard to protocols and procedures for faculty and staff in offices vs. working from home. The need for greater representation of Full Professors on the Divisional Committee was also discussed; the UC Chair will e-mail each division to encourage participation for next year,
In Members’ Reports J. Reisel reported that the Instructional and Academic Staff Review Committee met and dealt with a late case. N. Rothfels reported on the Affirmative Action in Education Committee meeting.
Chancellor Mone will attend the June 8 meeting.
Secretary of the University T. Turner reported that the Divisional Committee Chair requested a change to the policy for review of full professor cases. Not enough full professors are available who have served in the last five years as required under the current policy. The Secretary of the University’s Office is requesting a change to the policy so that any current full professor who has served on the Divisional Committee could be asked to review such cases.
Chancellor Mone reported on UWM hosting of Vice President Kamala Harris, a major PR triumph for UWM and the Presidential initiative supporting higher education and research. Daily meetings with Legislative leaders on the state budget continue. The proposed “Road Map for Higher Ed in WI” was discussed; it is unclear where the Senate report will go but Interim UW System President T. Thompson not a supporter of the proposed regionalization plan. The UWM fundraising team will soon announce several large gifts. Academic staff voting rights are still being discussed – implementation will be delayed until the possible ramifications have been reviewed by the Codification Committee re: the potential impact on accreditation requirements, review of personnel records, etc. Codification will consult with Schools & Colleges and will report to the UC; Faculty Document 33.30 will be revisited once this process has been completed.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the UW System Faculty Representatives meeting last Friday at which discussions included the distance education initiative and efforts by UW System to coordinate online instruction, which individual campuses continue to oppose. The composition of the Search Committee for System President is also a concern; this is likely to be announced in July and the search will be held over the course of the coming academic year. The results of the election of the next Board of Regents President will be announced in June. Also discussed were the “Road Map for Higher Education in WI” released by the Chair of the Wisconsin Senate’s Education Committee which recommends regionalizing the UW System apart from Madison and free speech on campus. Interviews for the two 2030 positions at UWM are proceeding; the campus will make a decision on those positions within the next week.
In Members’ Reports J. Snethen reported on the APBC meeting where 2030 updates were presented by Provost Britz and four notice of intent to plan programs were reviewed.
In New Business faculty nominees for Chief of Police Search and Screen were discussed. The composition of the committee is still unknown but there is no cap on the number of faculty names that can be put forward. Four names were suggested. N. Rothfels was elected UC Chair for 2021-2022. The summer meeting schedule was discussed; there will be two meetings a month in June and July. A replacement for Steve McMurtry on the FRRC was discussed and several candidates were suggested. The appointment of a new Chair of Rules was discussed and several candidates were suggested.
Provost Britz, Vice Chancellor Robin Van Harpen and Interim Police Chief Brian Switala will attend the May 18 UC meeting.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on a faculty member who inadvertently missed the 30-day window for mandatory training while on sabbatical and as per UW System policy will not be eligible for a raise in the next cycle. This is organized and controlled by the UW System so there is no way for UWM to provide extensions. T. Danielson and the Provost’s Office was asked to include language in sabbatical approval documents to remind faculty that they need to watch their Inboxes and complete any mandatory training to avoid such issues going forward. R. Van Harpen and the Interim Chief of Police will be attending the next UC meeting by invitation to discuss ongoing issues regarding the campus climate. K. Dolan attended the Academic Staff meeting at which the Chancellor discussed voting rights for academic staff in departments, part of a campus-wide conversation related to ongoing initiatives including TTC, 2030 implementation etc. N. Rothfels commented that there is probably no omnibus solution to the problem of how to ensure fair representation while maintaining qualitative distinctions between faculty and academic staff positions. R. Van Harpen requested the names of potential nominees for candidates to serve on the search committee for the new Chief of Police, ideally by June 1. S. Schmitt submitted revised policies on changing modalities for courses during the fall 2021 semester for UC review. The new UC Chair election will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Provost Britz reported on 2030 realignment during the summer; the goal is for the plan to be completed by November 2021, with full implementation by fall 2022. Discussions about course modality and student demand for online courses are continuing as undergraduates appear to be registering for online courses in larger numbers than for f2f courses; this will pose a challenge to transitioning to a normal fall semester. The Board of Regents will meet at UWM in June; protocols for the in-person event are still being worked out. N. Rothfels raised the question of the potential impact on UWM of plans to make community college free. D. Clark and K. Eilers requested input on fall enrollments re: new students, which are better than this time last year but still not as high as had been hoped based on application numbers. The campus is behind in undergrad re-enrollments and there is more of a demand for online instruction than expected; what the patterns may mean is still unclear. CARES funding will be used to update some campus classrooms with lecture capture technology that would make it possible for courses to shift to a hybrid delivery mode in fall if necessary.
In Members’ Reports J. Reisel reported that the Honors College Advisory committee met; overall numbers are down slightly; 104 students will graduate this year; admissions for next fall are slightly behind last year. The major problem is providing enough courses for students to take, which will become more of a challenge as faculty numbers decline and departments struggle to teach required courses.
Chancellor Mone will attend the May 11 meeting.
ASC Chair K. Esguerra reported on the voting rights for academic staff issue that was raised at the last Faculty Senate meeting and acknowledged the complexity involved especially as regards to the process of bringing such changes forward for approval. Compensation and the TTC process were discussed regarding the impact on academic staff to progress within a salary range. The ASC is currently gathering information to provide recommendations to HR. The goal is to establish a process by which pay progression would be built into the annual review process. Incoming ASC Chair Nicole Oswald will attend meetings with outgoing ASC Chair Esguerra over the summer. Mike Priem was elected ASC Vice Chair for 2021-2022. ASC has received questions about the position specific furlough implementation in 2021-2022.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the Expanded Cabinet meeting at which new vaccination protocols were presented. Vaccinated faculty and students who are physically on campus no longer need to be tested following an agreement with the Milwaukee County Health Department. Campus will continue testing unvaccinated faculty, academic staff and students taking f2f classes through the summer. This protocol will continue in the fall. The results of the University Staff survey regarding returning f2f and the overall campus climate in the COVID context will be presented soon. A national search has been initiated for a new Chief of Campus Police.
In Members’ Reports J. Snethen reported that the APBC met to discuss 2030 implementation plan, accreditation and P&P. J. Reisel reported that the Policy Advisory Committee voted to send several modified SAPs on for approval by Schools & Colleges. D. Misra reported that the PEC met and discussed the move of the Police Department from Sandburg to Morris and reported on the Space Optimization Project.
In Old Business the UC continued to discuss the College Voting Rights issue, especially the question of whether Chapter 2.023 of P&P will need to be changed for such requests to be considered in the future and if so, how.
Provost Britz will attend the May 4 meeting.
Communications Department Chair M. Allen consulted with the UC about the move of the Journalism and Advertising program into the Communications Department. T. Turner will do some research on a range of options Allen presented regarding what sort of structures are allowable under current governance rules in Policies and Procedures and will report back to him.
Acting Dean of the College of Health Sciences J. Doll visited to seek approval for the continuation of W. Keith’s term as external chair of the Biomedical Science Department. Keith has been serving as chair during the 2020-2021 AY. UC members had no objections.
Provost Britz reported on his upcoming meeting with campus deans to plan for the Fall 2021 semester; the meeting will focus on potential issues raised by planning to bring faculty and staff back to campus. He also said that HR will work on policies to guide units whose employees may want to continue to telecommute.
In Members’ Reports D. Misra reported that the University Relations Committee met and heard from T. Luljak as he prepares to leave his position at the University. I. Hu reported that the Graduate Faculty Committee met and approved a policy to allow visiting scholars to serve on MA and PhD committees. They also supported a plan to request an increase in TA/RA/PA stipends.
Under New Business UC members engaged in a conversation about the issues that were raised about voting rights for academic staff at the April 15 Faculty Senate meeting. The Senate voted on a request by the School of Education to grant college-level voting rights to six academic staff members. Several members of the UC raised concerns about how the requests were handled and questioned whether there should be a more formal process by which such decisions are made. Some raised concerns about the criteria by which academic staff would be evaluated while others raised concerns about whether personnel issues like this should be considered in an open forum like a Faculty Senate meeting. T. Turner pointed out the existence of state statutes, Higher Learning Commission requirements, and current Policies and Procedures language around these issues and suggested that further research be carried out to ensure such decisions are made in an appropriate way in future. UC members recommended the development of a process by which such requests are handled and plan to work on drafting such a policy in coming weeks. Since the Codification Committee is the governance committee with jurisdiction over Policies and Procedures, UC members will likely consult with the current chair of that committee.
Chancellor Mone reported on the ongoing negotiations between campus and the Milwaukee Health Department on the testing requirement for students living or working on campus who have been vaccinated. Cybersecurity continues to be a major problem and ransomware is a particular threat, making compliance important. Budget talks in Madison continue; Chancellor Mone has been meeting with members of the Legislature on a regular basis to discuss employee compensation, the Fresh Water initiative, the expansion of the Promise program as well as other issues. Republican legislators have suggested that the funding of DEI initiatives should be tied to addressing what they view as inequities in the representation of conservative perspectives on UW campuses. The 2030 implementation plan continues to advance; PDs for the positions announced at the recent Townhall meeting will be shared with governance groups.
In Members’ Reports J. Reisel reported on the Instructional and Research Academic Staff Review Committee at which two cases were recommended for indefinite status. T. Turner reported on recent informational training sessions for individuals up for promotion and tenure. N. Rothfels reported that the Affirmative Action and Faculty Employment Committee met last week and continued to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on campus.
In the ongoing UC review of governance committees K. Dolan reported on responses by chairs of a small subset of committees contacted about actions to be taken regarding possible governance committee restructuring.
Provost Britz will attend the April 20, 2021 UC meeting.