K. Dolan reported on the 2030 Work Group: Each of four groups has been broken down into subgroups to work on specific tasks with the goal of submitting the report by the end of January. In the interim reports to Faculty Senate are planned; upcoming Townhall Meetings will also provide updates.
Chancellor Mone reported on the BOR meeting at which budget advocacy was a major focus of the ongoing conversations with UW System President Thompson. Support for the Freshwater Collaborative is one promising area; UWM will play a lead role in grad and undergraduate program development. UWM’s per student funding needs to be adjusted to reflect our dual research and access missions, which are currently not adequately supported by the state. This is even more relevant now following the merger with the comprehensive colleges. Chancellor Mone has been advocating for state support to reduce financial burden on students especially at the beginning of their education, reporting on a community-based meeting to discuss the Moonshot for Equity initiative that is aimed at reducing or eliminating the achievement gap. UWM is partnering with the EAB, which will provide dedicated staff and support for this effort. UW-Parkside, MATC, Carthage, and UWM are the four schools in the region involved in this initiative. Chancellor Mone will be bringing these ideas to a Chancellor’s Retreat next weekend. Strategic cost consolidation opportunities are likely to be considered that would focus on individual campus strengths to avoid duplication of programs across the System. The COVID situation continues to be monitored; testing of students is now expanding beyond the residence halls, which is reflected in an increased positive test rate but still well below that of other institutions in the System. N. Rothfels requested clarification on what is happening with the Innovation Campus. Chancellor Mone reported that the sale of 25 acres of the 81 acres UWM purchased is still in the process of being approved; other portions being leased; prime lots remains reserved. He will follow up on the implications for the future of the Monarch Trail future, a UWM CES initiative and will include information in the upcoming Townhall Meeting. K. Dolan requested clarification on possible overlap between the Moonshot for Equity initiative and work already underway by the 2030 Implementation committees; she suggested that a point person for this EAB initiative should be included in the 2030 group meetings. Chancellor Mone will follow up on this suggestion.
Under New Business Provost Britz had directed the UC to review and provide feedback on a document laying out the guidelines for moving spring courses from f2f or hybrid to online. Shifting modalities in mid-semester will be handled more systematically in spring based on experiences this fall. The guidelines for doing this were submitted for discussion. The UC concluded that the consensus was that there is a fine line between giving people a choice over the modality and wanting some critical mass of F2F and hybrid courses to emerge from this process. At the same time, there were some concerns about the document in its current form. Primarily, these concerns centered around the fact that the guidelines discuss circumstances in which faculty should not switch to online, but when they can/should do so is not mentioned. If having one case or isolated cases over the semester isn’t enough justification, what is? Guidance on when faculty can justifiably shift modes would be helpful – is more than one case simultaneously sufficient or a certain percentage of the class? Another concern was the absence of guidance to faculty on who they should consult about a situation in their class – their department chair, their dean, or some other level of administration? Who would have the “authority” to give faculty advice on what situations do justify a switch? Should a process for what people should do if they do need/want to make a switch be laid out? Finally, the point was made that some faculty moved online this semester for pedagogical reasons – they had tried F2F or hybrid and found it really wanting from a teaching perspective and made the switch on that basis. Health concerns aren’t the only thing motivating faculty behavior around modality. It was clear why choosing a modality and sticking with it was important but members felt that there should be more guidance/information on what process would be in place if change is warranted.
In Members’ Reports J. Snethen reported that APBC budget meetings with schools and colleges have been completed and department meetings are beginning.
J. Reisel reported that the Athletic Board met. The SSEA will meet to discuss their procedures.
N. Rothfels reported that the 2030 Research Group has met but the Affirmative Action Committee has not met yet.