August 15, 2023

Outgoing UC Chair Schwartz reported that the UW System President has invited all campus faculty representatives to his residence to discuss system planning. The meeting will take place later this week.

In member reports, Boyland reported that the new Provost’s beginning-of-semester letter asked all instructors to refrain from submitting portions of student work to online AI detectors as this would be a FERPA violation. This determination seemed incorrect to him (Boyland), and he was wondering to whom he should bring his concerns. Incoming UC Chair Dolan said that she would keep discussion open on the topic.

Dolan reported that the School of Public Health Dean Search was recharged by Provost Daire, who indicated that he anticipated that this search might stretch into the Spring semester.

Hager reported that in the new bi-weekly pay system, FSA contributions of a fixed amount continue to be removed in the summer for 9-month employees with summer service, unlike in past years. This is a hardship for her and perhaps others as the deductions reduced her pay to zero. This makes it much harder to handle the pay gap in the summer. Apparently she was told that there was no choice other than to stop the FSA altogether, despite the fact that under the old system FSAs were not routinely deducted from summer service pay.

Schwartz previously sent the draft annual UC report to the committee members; there being no objections, it was approved by consensus and will be transmitted to the Sec of U.

In old business, the issue of a flexible policy for credit for prior pre-tenure service will be discussed in the Fall. Secretary Reisel has prepared two alternate draft policies for consideration.

The UW System is likely to recommend a pay plan of more than 2% which in the past involved the UC in negotiating how much of the remaining should be allocated to a merit exercise and to administrative leaders. The regulations that said this explicitly were in the charter of the now defunct Economics Benefits Committee. The UC charter still mentions that the UC may consult in budget matters, but it might be desirable to make this explicit in the charter. Substantively, it is not clear that it makes sense to have a merit exercise when inflation is far higher. Hager expressed the desire that perhaps some of the pay plan could be used to reduce the pay gap between CGS and other divisions on campus.

In order to handle further budget cuts, it has been proposed to reduce the UC chair’s compensation. Such a reduction wouldn’t reflect the many hours of meetings and other work that the UC Chair has (former UC Chair Dolan counted 300 hours in one year alone, in meetings assigned by virtue of the office). It was noted that the UW-Madison UC Chair gets an annual $30,000 research stipend. Discussion on this matter will continue with the Chancellor and Provost.