UC Chair Kathleen Dolan Kathy Dolan reported that the summer UC meeting schedule with Chancellor Mark Mone, Provost Johannes Britz and ASC Chair Leigh Wallace is being set up.
K. Dolan reported that the Scenario Planning Committee and other groups will be providing their recommendations regarding the coming fall semester to Chancellor Mone soon. The watchword is to be open as widely as possible while still staying safe based on physical constraints and student and faculty demands and needs. How/when to implement a soft roll-out allowing faculty and staff back into offices and labs over the summer to create a comfort level with returning to campus before fall is still under discussion.
K. Dolan reported on the Scenario Planning Committee meeting in which UWM Police Chief LeMire talked about purchasing of PPE and other supplies for fall, including plexi around podia, etc. The Housing Committee estimated that 1000-1500 students may be the maximum number that can be safely housed on campus; the limiting factor is bathroom capacity, so projections are starting with that variable. Various levels of student interest are predicted. The report of the Rooms Capacity Group is still pending but classrooms in Kenwood Church, the Zelazo Center, Klotsche etc. are being mapped to see if any could be used for instruction. Most classrooms on campus have a capacity of 30-50 seats, so only small classes could be accommodated in the majority of instructional spaces. Laura Pedrick and the Scenario Planning Committee estimate that no more than 20-30% of already scheduled face-to-face classes can be held onsite. The key will be to ensure that the mix of face-to-face classes across campus is equitable rather than just upper level classes or mainly in some schools but not others. UITS is also working on campus capacity for broadcasting classes for live lecture capture courses. Other questions include how scheduling of classes will change due to the need to clean shared spaces between classes; this should be resolved in late June/early July.
K. Dolan reported that School of Public Health Dean Ron Perez has been appointed to a 25% position as Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion reporting to Vice Chancellor of Global Inclusion and Engagement Joan Prince and her office with the possibility that this position will expand to 50%. The position is funded by the Chancellor’s discretionary account.
K. Dolan reported on a virtual meeting with Ray Cross and UW System governance heads last week to discuss how campuses will manage the fall semester. The concern was how to communicate to students that we want them on campus but that they will have to accept a certain level of risk if they choose to return. System needs to communicate what will be possible and what campus life will look like and students will have to decide whether to accept the risks associated with an on-campus return.
K. Dolan reported that UWM Deans are going through scenarios to prioritize courses that have to be taught face to face vs. those that are more flexible and can be offered online or in a hybrid format. CETL is developing an action plan for professional development (webinars, etc.).
K. Dolan reported on the Expanded Cabinet meeting discussion of campus planning building requests for the next biennial budget: the new Engineering building which will replace the existing Physics building is at the top of the list but funding has also been requested for additions to NWQB where Health Sciences would be housed and a new dock wall at the School of Freshwater Sciences. NWQ construction is scheduled to begin in late fall on buildings C&D and demolition of Building A should start in summer 2022.
K. Dolan reported on Kay Eislers’ update on enrollments: campus enrollments are down 5% re: student deposits for fall compared to last year but momentum is picking up as the June 1 deadline approaches. Returning student enrollment is currently down 1.3%; that number hasn’t changed so far this month but the first student orientation on June 8th should provide a better sense of the actual returning student numbers. Eislers reported that 8000 Emergency grants have been provided to students at $950 each as part of UWM’s distribution of nearly $8.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The federal money is intended to help students struggling with expenses such as food, housing, course materials and childcare after campus operations were disrupted by the virus. 1100 additional applications were received after the May 12 deadline.
There were no Members’ Reports.
ASC Chair Leigh Wallace will attend next week’s meeting.