The Provost attended today’s meeting and provided updates on Post Tenure Review policy, dean searches, and ad-hoc committees. The UWM PTR policy is under review at System legal. UW-Lacrosse’s PTR policy should go before the Board of Regents (BOR) at the end of this week. Our PTR policy should be considered by the BOR in December.
The L&S Dean search and screen committee had their first meeting and is working on the position description. The Provost hopes that candidates will be brought to campus in March or April. The Public Health dean search is also underway, and the search and screen committee for the Dean of Nursing search will have their first meeting next week.
The Chancellor’s Enrollment Management Action Team (CEMAT) has a new sub-committee called (for now) the Recruitment Action Team, which will focus on the recruitment of both undergraduate and graduate students. The process to bring an international partnership pathways program to UWM is slowing down so that the proposed contract can be fully vetted by shared governance groups. UC members Bob Schwartz and John Reisel have been asked to join a task force that will work on the Strategic Visioning of the campus.
After the Provost left, UC Chair John Reisel continued his report. We discussed a memo sent by the Provost to the APCC (Academic Planning and Curriculum Committee) requesting a hiatus on the approval of General Education distribution requirement courses. The memo also states that an ad-hoc committee will be appointed to look at GER courses. The UC expressed concerned that because the examination of issues related to GER courses falls under the charge of the APCC, there is no need for a separate ad-hoc committee to do work already under the oversight of a shared governance group. This led to a longer discussion and a deeper expression of concern that there have been an inordinate number of ad-hoc committees formed by the administration that are operating outside of shared governance, and therefore are not accountable to the faculty nor are they subject to the same rules of transparency that govern formal committees. John Boyland reported that the Senate Rules committee has begun tracking ad-hoc committees and will be asking them to give regular reports the Faculty Senate.
Speaking of ad-hoc committees, Michael Brondino reported on the Strategic Position Control (SPC) committee. SPC is discussing changing the way planning and budgetary issues are addressed on campus. Brondino suggested looking at documents produced by Stanford and Cornell as models of strategic planning. The UC also discussed campus workload policy and expressed concern that some schools and colleges are formulating or have already adopted workload policies that go against university policy.
Lastly, we discussed the recently released AAUP White Paper on the Future of UW System with UWM AAUP Vice-President (and Associate Professor of Linguistics) Nick Fleisher. The paper is a collaborative project of AAUP chapters around the UW system released in advance of the budget that concludes with a list of suggested actions to support the UW System. Some members of the UC thought that elements of the paper could be revised to reach specific (non-faculty) audiences. Fleisher pointed out that in the absence of a political climate in which data is persuasive, we still need to make a coherent moral case for the support of Wisconsin’s public universities. He suggested the slogan “fund the freeze” to illustrate how the state disinvestment in higher education is unsustainable alongside a tuition freeze. If the state wants to continue to freeze tuition, then it needs to provide GPR to offset that freeze so that Wisconsin’s public universities can maintain high quality degree programs for our students.