UC Chair Kathleen Dolan reported she attended the Faculty Representatives meeting in Madison on March 13th. There were updates on legislative affairs, the Freshwater Collaborative, and the Title and Total Compensation Study. There was also discussion of plans for the rest of the semester in response to COVID-19. The Faculty Representatives group submitted a request to Board of Regents Vice President Grebe, to ask if several members of the group could meet with finalists for UW System President. UW System gave a presentation on policies to protect youth who are visiting campuses to attend camps, etc.
Many activities are occurring because of COVID-19:
On campus, a policy is being developed on how to allow student access to laptop computers that are not currently being used.
Provost Johannes Britz is focusing on addressing clinical placements and internships that are being disrupted, focusing on graduating students and accreditation issues as first priorities.
Activity in all research labs on campus is winding down; a plan is now in place for animal care.
All spring recruitment efforts have been moved online. All applicants will receive individual phone calls. Retention efforts will involve advisors and admissions personnel.
K. Dolan attended the Chancellor’s Expanded Cabinet Meeting yesterday. Given the financial issues arising from COVID-19. Lobbying for financial support, sick leave, and student employment were discussed.
The Crisis Management Team (CMT) met yesterday. An emergency fund for students has been established, and promotion of it is ongoing. A virtual “student union” is being developed by the Dean of Students’ Office.
Commencement has been postponed; a meeting to discuss alternatives was held earlier today.
The SecU office is beginning to plan for the rest of the Faculty Senate meetings this semester to be held online.
Academic Staff Senate Chair Leigh Wallace attended. The ASC is in consultation with Provost Britz regarding time extensions for staff seeking indefinite status. The ASC will meet on Monday and plans to reach out to all academic staff regarding the use of virtual meetings. There is currently a pool of people who can review TTC appeals.
Under new business:
L & S Dean Scott Gronert expressed concerns that PTR processes will not be completed this semester. UC supports a request for extensions of PTR reviews during this time.
There was a discussion of a policy to allow units to designate some courses as credit/non-credit for the Spring 2020 semester. Students would be allowed to convert their grades in these courses to C or NC once grades are posted. These discussions are continuing with Dev Venugopalan. Laura Pedrick has also asked if there are faculty that can teach 3-4-week-long courses.
The Provost’s office is working on a policy regarding teaching evaluations for this semester.
Tenure clocks for assistant professors were also discussed. The UC supports the option of extending tenure clocks for a year.
The UC will send supportive messages to students and faculty.
UC Member Mark Schwartz expressed concerns about the loss of unused 101 travel funds at the end of June. K. Dolan will raise this with campus.