February 14

The UC was joined by Chancellor Mark Mone who discussed issues, including ways to avoid further cuts to the Secretary of the University’s office, and answered questions about Innovation Campus (the subject of a recent Journal Sentinel article), and the impact of the Governor’s proposed budget on the campus. Mone will be coming out with a more detailed response to the Faculty Senate’s sanctuary campus resolution including resources for those who might be impacted by travel bans or immigration status. The UC and the Chancellor both expressed deep concern for our current students and for the impact that such policies will have on our desire to attract international graduate students. Mone reiterated his desire to “keep ideas and flow of students global.”

The Chancellor’s office is digesting the implications of the Governor’s budget proposal. Details remain uncertain and will come into sharper focus as the budget proposal is debated and amended by legislators. Our campus hopes that the funding inequality in the system will be rectified. A 2016 memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows the overall decline in GPR funding for the UW-System from 1975 until the 2015-16 fiscal year when adjusted for inflation.

In the Chair’s report, John Reisel discussed what he learned at the Faculty Reps meeting last week. The new title and compensation study, which will cost the UW-System $900k over the next three years, will be of little use to faculty as that group will be excluded from the market compensation analysis. Mercer is the proposed vendor for the study.

The UC also discussed workload policy and members expressed concern that schools and colleges might be crafting such policy unaware that there could be a new policy as part of the Governor’s budget bill and that existing UWM policy locates decisions about workload at the department level. According to our current policy:

“Specific workloads are determined on an individual basis in conjunction with each faculty member’s Summary of Career Plans and the Department’s Mission Statement, which are reviewed as scheduled by the academic dean. In all cases, a full-time load in any semester consists of four units of work, where each unit, in instructional terms, is typically the equivalent of one classroom section of a three-credit group instruction course.
Faculty are expected to make substantial contributions in the areas of research (or scholarship or creative activity) and service as well as in group and individual instruction, though specific emphases, or the particular distribution of effort, may vary from one faculty member to another.…
Departments are responsible for implementing their particular workload policies within the context of the department mission and this campus policy. Department policies, and any subsequent revisions, are subject to review and approval by the Dean and will be reported to the University Committee….As in other personnel matters, the department executive committee bears primary responsibility for compliance with the faculty workload policies.”

This Thursday the Faculty Senate meets at 2:30pm in Curtin 175.