Provost Britz reported that six and four-year graduation rates are up, credits to degree are down and the percentage of students completing their required credits is also up. Retention is up to 74.3% so all indicators are currently positive. N. Rothfels suggested that we should compare these numbers to data from peer institutions to determine the extent to which the positive changes are due to our efforts vs. national trends. There will be monthly updates on these numbers. COVID-19 vaccinations on campus now include community members who are eligible; Wisconsin is generally doing very well. Kudos to the Nursing School and other units who have done an amazing job with the on-campus vaccination effort. There will be a 2030 meeting on March 17 to finalize the committee responsible for GER curriculum changes and curricular alignment plans. P&P will need to be adjusted to allow existing Schools to become part of Colleges; the Codification Committee will pass all such P&P changes on for approval by the Faculty Senate, ideally before the end of this semester but more likely in Fall 2021. Current efforts to centralize online instruction under the aegis of UW System are still being discussed because of the potential for a loss of autonomy over programs developed by individual campuses.
UC Chair K. Dolan reported on the most recent Space Optimization Project meeting; data are still being collected from units to assess efficient utilization of space.
In Members’ Reports J. Snethen reported on the APBC meeting at which the UW System review of low-performing programs was discussed. I. Hu reported on the GFC meeting at which increasing stipends for GTAs and RAs to make them more competitive was discussed. N. Rothfels reported on the Affirmative Action and Engagement Committee. J. Reisel reported on the UWM Faculty Mentoring Program, where allowing service to be given greater weight in promotion criteria was discussed. This would require agreement on the part of individual departments as well as divisions. A conversation along these lines needs to happen even if it will be difficult in some programs.
The UC continued its review of Governance Committees. J. Reisel suggested creating an Administrative Oversight Committee that could replace what are now several disparate committees none of which are currently engaged in active work. The response was that this is what the UC does now but on an ad hoc basis. Perhaps the UC could take on this role on a more regular basis. The Senate could also be used as a sounding board for some of the information updates currently being delivered in committees without an active role, freeing up faculty to serve on working committees.
The UC will not meet on March 23 during Spring Break.