K. Dolan reported on the VSIP, which was offered to 215 faculty and 40 instructional academic staff. Fewer than half of those people are eligible for full retirement, which will likely reduce the actual number of people taking advantage of the VSIP. There will be limited hiring moving forward; this also applies to counteroffers. Departments, colleges and programs are encouraged to think about succession planning and its impact on majors, minors and certificates.
Chancellor Mone reported that he will not be able to attend the Senate meeting this Thursday. He provided a report on the new surge testing, which has already administered more than 200 tests. These tests will supplement but not replace PCR tests being administered by Norris Health Center. So far residential student test rates remain around 2-3%; employee test rates are less than 2%. The challenge is the non-residential students, where the rate is closer to 5-7%. In Kenosha the Health Department has mandated that all educational organizations go online after Thanksgiving. Governor Evers will be giving a state-of-the-state talk this evening that will address the state’s approach to this; any decisions made by Milwaukee County will also have an impact. The concern is that COVID rates will go up if students leave for Thanksgiving and then return. So far UWM is still dedicated to coming back after Thanksgiving but this might be overridden later this week. The Think Tank 2030 update focused on the framework of realistic expectations for what can be completed by the January 31 deadline, which will include a timeline for tasks to be completed through next fall. The Chancellor is continuing to work with the Board of Regents and UW System President Tommy Thompson as well as community and business leaders to discuss budget allocations and funding challenges going forward. Specific requests will be made for additional increases that will be presented later this month. J. Reisel asked how changes that will need governance action will be handled given the aggressive timeline in the event there is resistance to implementation. Flagging changes that will require governance and building the time in for consultation and discussion will need to be part of the charge for the 2030 working groups/implementation teams.
In Members’ Reports D. Misra reported that the University Relations Committee met and details of the UWM My First Choice initiative will be discussed at the Senate meeting on Thursday.
Provost Britz will attend the next meeting.