September 21, 2021

UC Chair N. Rothfels presented an additional modification of SAAP 10.12 (COVID), which extended the mask requirement through Nov. 26th, and it was unanimously approved.  He reported that the ITPC vacancy had been filled, the status of the UC ex-officio rep. to the GFC is still in process, and that the change of name from “Thanksgiving” to “Fall” Recess is moving forward.  A brief discussion also ensued about the visit by Regent Robert Atwell to the most recent Chancellor’s Expanded Cabinet meeting.  Rothfels discussed our concerns about the Council of UW-Wisconsin Libraries proposal to limit borrowing between campus libraries with UWM Libraries Director M. Doylen, who is optimistic that there may be ways to build in flexibility to deal with this issue.  The borrowing proposal will also be on the agenda for discussion at the upcoming Faculty Reps. meeting in Madison.

Provost J. Britz reported that a listening session for the System President Search and Screen committee was just held on our campus.  The committee has Feb./Mar. 2022 as a target for determining finalists.  He is also working on ways to ramp up the System-wide presence of UWM online degrees.  Britz mentioned that a recent report shows UW-System campus’ share of college students has dropped from 33 to 29% over the past 5 years, and that strategies are being considered to address that decline.  The Freshwater Collaborative will be receiving $2.5M in funding this biennium, and there is optimism the UWM may receive some Federal COVID funds that are being distributed by Governor Evers.  Lastly, Britz will check on the status of UWM’s COVID vaccination dashboard, as so far (unlike UW-Madison) our employee data has not been released.

Member D. Misra reported that at the most recent APBC meeting the Provost announced expected 3.5% reductions to School/College budget planning for 2023, and that the committee determined its representatives for other campus committees

Rothfels presented the revised statement about the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) process and after a few minor edits, it was unanimously approved.  He will now send it to the Faculty Senate by email, and the statement will be introduced for consideration by that body at the Sept. 23rd meeting.

September 14, 2021

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported that some additional membership changes to the Arts & Humanities Divisional Committee have occurred, due to several resignations.  He met with Assoc. VC for HR Tim Danielson and shared the UCs concerns about the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) process.  Campus meetings about scheduled 2% pay plans (in both January 2022 and January 2023) have started, and the Chancellor has indicated he will not seek to set aside any of the funds this time.  The Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JOCER) still needs to meet and approve these plans.  The UC discussed the need for campus Executive Committees to designate faculty as “solid performers” to be eligible for these pay increases.  There is considerable confusion about how this process will proceed among different units and this needs campus-wide clarification as soon as feasible.  Rothfels will serve as the UC rep to the campus Space Planning committee and will work on needed appointments to the Information Technology Policy and Graduate Program Review committees.

Chancellor M. Mone mentioned there is considerable enthusiasm among students for being physically back on campus, and that many have indicated that they are really looking forward to being able to make new friends.  UWM’s overall Fall 2021 enrollment is down 2.8% from 2020, which is near the UW-System average, and our dorms are at about 95% of capacity.  Vaccination information for all UW-System campuses has been collected and is expected to be released shortly, and Mone expects UWM’s numbers to be encouraging.  VC searches for Development/Alumni Relations and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are underway, with a goal of both being completed by Fall semester break.  Additional consideration is taking place as to how to move forward with the duties of retired VC T. Lulak, so no search will start in that area yet.  The Chancellor anticipates that the campus mask mandate will continue to be extended (from the current Sept. 30th expiration date) in approximately 30-day increments unless conditions improve.  Lastly, he is looking forward to the next Town Hall, scheduled for Sept. 28th.

Member E. Bornstein reported that the Affirmative Action in Faculty Employment committee had its first meeting of the year and engaged in conversation about how best to move forward effectively.  Member G. Rodger convened the first meeting of the International committee and noted they elected a chair.  Member D. Misra reported that the University Relations committee had met and elected a chair, and that he will work to convene a meeting of the Economic Benefits committee soon.  Both these committees need to discuss their on-going status and possible dissolution.

Rothfels presented a revised statement about the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) process and again invited discussion from the rest of the UC.  He will send the current draft to the UC by email, with the goal of finalizing it at our meeting next week, in preparation to introduce the statement for consideration at the Sept. 23rd Faculty Senate meeting.

September 7, 2021

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported that Sandra Pucci (Linguistics) has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the Arts & Humanities Divisional Committee.  He will also serve as the UC rep to the Graduate Faculty Committee–though elimination of this ex officio position will be considered at the next GFC meeting.  Rothfels attended a “pre-season” meeting of the faculty reps., and will attend the first formal meeting, which will be in-person (in Madison) on September 24th.  VP for Research Mark Harris has convened several “Research Group” meetings in relation to the 2030 planning effort, including:  1) “Faculty Workload/Effort”, 2) Graduate School Support; and 3) Research Infrastructure.  Lastly, responses to the UC’s vaccine statement were generally positive.

Member D. Misra reported that the APBC held its first meeting of the year, elected a co-chair, but did not agree to a proposal to take on the calendar-setting function of the APC.  The UC will continue to consider other ways of consolidating committee functions.  APBC will continue to meet using a hybrid format.  Misra also reported that the Nominations Committee elected a chair and set their next meeting date in February 2022.  Member M. D. Schwartz reported that the front page of UCNews has been successfully updated.

Provost J. Britz has made getting the message out to students to “sign up” with their vaccination status a top priority.  There are many ways for students to do this, and it is now a link on the main UWM home page.  Data on percent of faculty/staff/students vaccinated will be available and shared soon.  The UC noted that penalties for not wearing a mask on campus, as well as not getting tested (for non-vaccinated individuals) should be consistent and explicit. The Provost will follow-up on this issue.  Britz reported that:  1) International student enrollment is back up to 2019 levels, 2) Overall enrollment this semester is down 2.9% from Fall 2020, and 3) Enrollment (FTE) this semester at our 2-year campuses (Waukesha and Washington County) is down 17% compared to Fall 2020.  Further, Britz commented that the System President search process is moving forward quickly, with listening sessions being held now and expected to be mostly over by early October.  He anticipates that the actual search will be well underway by early 2022.

Rothfels presented a draft statement about the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) process and invited discussion from the rest of the UC.  He will consult with Tim Danielson (UWM HR) and Chancellor Mone about UC’s continuing concerns about the process, as well as asking who it would be most effective to present these concerns to.  Rothfels will continue to work on the draft statement and report back to the UC at our next meeting.

August 31, 2021

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported that he had met with Sue Weslow regarding changes to SAAP 10-12 “COVID-related Health and Safety Rules” (which was considered and recommended for approval at the special meeting yesterday).

UC members found the Provost’s COVID-19 information meeting held this morning useful and informative.  A recording of the meeting is available at this link:

Due to a vacancy, the UC needs to appoint a new member to the Arts and Humanities Divisional Committee as soon as possible.  Several potential individuals were suggested, and Rothfels will contact them in the order established during discussion.

The UC discussed the advantages of a campus vaccine requirement, and then unanimously approved this statement:  “With respect for current scientific understanding of COVID-19 and guidelines from the CDC, it is clear that having as many people as possible vaccinated on campus is the best way to control the spread of COVID-19.  Thus, we strongly endorse adopting a vaccine requirement for the campus community.”  This action will be officially reported at the Faculty Senate meeting on September 23rd at which time the Senate will be asked to ratify the statement or take other appropriate action.

The dogged way that UW-System administration has pursued (and campus administration acquiesced to) changes in academic and university staff titles as part of the “Title and Total Compensation (TTC)” process in the name of “standardization” is frustrating.  UC members feel faculty governance must continue to question this process in support of our staff colleagues.  Rothfels will draft a statement for discussion and consideration at our next meeting.

August 30, 2021 (Special Meeting)

This special meeting was called to consider revisions to SAAP 10-12 “COVID-related Health and Safety Rules” which are needed immediately.  The changes seek to clarify and provide flexibility in the policy’s implementation moving forward.  After brief discussion the revised document was unanimously approved.

August 24, 2021

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported that the Chancellor and Provost will resume their regular scheduled visits to UC meetings in September.  New UC members E. Bornstein, V. Moerchen, and M. D. Schwartz were welcomed to the committee and briefed on procedures.  The next several UC meetings will be devoted to planning and organization for the coming semester.  Rothfels met with recently appointed UW-System Regent Ashok Rai.  The meeting was positive, and an encouraging sign of genuine interest in engagement with faculty governance.  The Council of UW-Wisconsin Libraries has put forward a proposal to limit borrowing between campus libraries to 2-years and is seeking to discuss with faculty governance leaders.  The UC did not see this proposal as productive or necessary, given anyone who needs a book is able to put in a recall request.  The UC may look to set up a meeting with UWM Libraries Director M. Doylen soon to discuss this proposal and current UWM policy in this regard.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to discussion of UC rep. appointments to various governance committees as well as continued exploration of the possible elimination of governance committees deemed to be no longer useful.

The UC read and was very favorably impressed by an opinion piece posted today on the UW-System web site by President Thompson:

August 17, 2021

J. Doll, Acting Dean, College of Health Sciences requested augmentation for BMS Department EC; W. Heddleston has agreed to do this for spring 2022.

Provost Britz reported that the UW System Provosts’ retreat focused on enrollment management in particular the System-wide lag (apart from Madison) in enrollments for fall. The Chancellor’s Plenary is coming up and 2030 implementation is continuing to move forward following meetings with schools and colleges. GER course reform is also moving forward. Enrollments are down 5%, a slight improvement over a few weeks ago, and the incoming freshman class appears to be comparable in number to 2019. An extensive set of FAQs related to COVID protocols will be circulated this week; this will deal with issues including what to do if students attend class without masks, what to do if a student tests positive for COVID etc. Two sets of messages will go out later today, one from Vice Provost D. Clark for students and one from Provost Britz for faculty and staff about FAQs.

Outgoing and Incoming ASC Chairs Kyla Esguerra and Nicole Oswald, respectively, reported briefly on the recent ASC meeting, where the main topic of discussion continues to be the Title and Total Compensation project, which had stalled for a while but now has a firm implementation deadline of November 7. There is considerable concern about some of the title changes, especially the elimination of the senior prefix even though campus has agreed to maintain this as a business title. Meetings between supervisors and employees have been difficult in some cases because of the perception that some title changes imply a semantic demotion. The elimination of the Assistant Dean title, which has been replaced by a position description that doesn’t accurately reflect the responsibilities involved in some cases, was also discussed. The other major issue under discussion was voting rights procedures, which the ASC will respond to before the proposed changes come to the UC later this fall. Pay progression for academic staff was also on the agenda and additional campus guidelines were requested re: policies and procedures for considering academic staff for merit pay increases. Vice Chancellor R. Van Harpen and Vice Chancellor T. Danielsen will be joining the ASC later in the fall semester to continue to discuss this.

UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the Governance Representatives meeting at which the various COVID protocols were discussed that have since been officially implemented at eight of the UW System campuses. The Scenario Planning group has met several times since the end of July to focus on plans for fall semester. Currently about 70% of courses are scheduled f2f (this includes hybrid classes). One question that was raised was whether or not it makes sense to move classes to give people as much space as possible in the classroom. The Registrar’s Office will be sending lists of available large classrooms to units so that faculty who would prefer to move to larger rooms can request them. Seating plans in classrooms will be encouraged when feasible for contact tracing purposes. If a student tests positive at an on-campus testing faculty whose classes that student is attending will be notified. If students contact faculty with COVID diagnosis they should be asked to self-report. The forthcoming FAQs will provide guidelines for such situations. UC Chair K. Dolan also reported on a meeting with one of the new Board of Regents members (Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health), which was very positive and involved a discussion of how to ensure the search for the new UW System President goes smoothly and that campuses have sufficient input in the process. Campus will post a position description for a permanent director for DEI soon; the division of what is now Global Inclusion and Engagement will be renamed and search committee members are being sought.

There were no Members’ Reports.

In New Business UC Chair K. Dolan reported that Vice Chancellor T. Danielsen is putting a working group together to focus on employee career development issues and would like representatives from academic staff and faculty to be included. The UC was requested to come up with a list of names of people who might be willing and qualified to serve.

Outgoing UC members K. Dolan and B. Arnold were thanked for their service; incoming UC members E. Bornstein, G. Anderson and M. Schwartz were welcomed. J. Reisel is the new Secretary of the University following T. Turner’s retirement and will attend UC meetings in that capacity going forward.

The next UC meeting will be held on August 24.

July 20, 2021

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.

July 6, 2021

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.

June 22, 2021

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.