May 5, 2020

UC Chair Kathleen Dolan reported on the Crisis Management Team weekly meeting. They are beginning to discuss plans for students’ return to campus.

K. Dolan reported that the Research Town Hall was held April 30th, led by Interim Vice Provost for Research Mark Harris. The purpose was to provide updates on recent policies that impact research.

K. Dolan participated in a meeting of academic and university staff governance leads with Chancellor Mark Mone, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen and Director of Executive Projects Sue Weslow. Furloughs were discussed.

K. Dolan attended a virtual meeting of the Faculty Representatives on May 1st . UW System President Ray Cross also attended. The search for UW System President has been paused. Finalists have been identified, but decisions are being made whether to interview them virtually, or wait until face-to-face interviews can be held. Current UW System President Ray Cross will remain in the position until a replacement is hired. All system campuses are implementing furloughs, but policies differ greatly between campuses. Decisions are being made on how to distribute funds from the Morgridge Family gift to UW System for purchasing technology and training of faculty for more robust online education. R. Cross stated that five conditions need to be met before campuses can be opened: testing, (contact) tracing, separating (social distancing), isolating, and protecting (safety). Purchases of supplies needed to achieve these conditions will be coordinated by UW System.

K. Dolan attended the Scenario Planning workgroup meeting. Executive Director of UWM Online Laura Pedrick discussed course preparation considering the guidelines for opening presented by the Governor’s Office: In Phase I, groups of up to 10 people can meet; Phase II allows for groups of up to 50 people; and in Phase III, groups larger than 50 can meet. It is currently unclear how quickly the state will proceed through each phase. There were also discussions of how safe individuals may feel with being on campus.

Provost Johannes Britz and Dean of the Graduate School Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska attended the meeting.

Dean Gajdardziska-Josifovska presented an Interim Academic Leave of Absence policy for graduate students. The policy has been unanimously approved by the Graduate Faculty Committee. It stops the clock to degree, and would be administered by the Graduate School, working directly with the student’s program. Reasons for leave of absence are medical, parental, family, military, and personal.  This is an interim policy that will be brought to Faculty Senate within 120 days. The Graduate School would like to implement this as a pilot. The UC voted unanimously to approve the policy.

Provost Britz provided an update on applications for sabbatical leave relief. He provided assurance that UWM remains committed to considering requests for sabbatical leave. The Student Town Hall was held this morning, and the Parent Town Hall will be held tomorrow. Questions concerned financial aid, housing, seg fees, safety, online instruction and fees, the CARES Act funding, and connectivity issues and course access for students in rural areas. UWM will continue to invest in training of instructors in online education methods. Enrollment numbers are being closely monitored. There is discussion on how to make it possible for international students to attend. The Board of Regents is meeting this week, and again in June. They may ask for campuses to delay implementation of new programs.

UC Member Bettina Arnold said that the R1 workgroup continues to meet.

UC Member Laura Otto-Salaj reported that the Affirmative Action in Faculty Employment Committee will meet this Thursday.

UC Member Mark Schwartz reported that discussion at last week’s Graduate Faculty Committee meeting was focused on the Interim Academic Leave of Absence policy for graduate students. The policy was passed unanimously.

Secretary of the University Trudy Turner reported that elections for the Codification (Rules) Committee, chair of Codification (President Pro Tem), and the Senate Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Administrators (SSEA) will be held at Thursday’s virtual Faculty Senate meeting. Nominations will be accepted during the meeting. She strongly encourages eligible faculty to run for these committees.

UC Member Laura Otto-Salaj is retiring at the end of semester; next week will be her last meeting.

Chancellor Mark Mone will attend the next meeting.