K. Dolan reported that the Scenario Planning Group has met and spring break will not be canceled next semester to avoid further disruption of the academic calendar. The survey administered by D. Clark and K. Eilers about student’s impressions of the fall semester so far had a 10% response rate so results are limited in terms of their usefulness. Most of the responses focused on issues students are finding challenging in the exclusively online world, including Canvas use by instructors. Food insecurity and general economic stresses are likely to play a major role in decisions about re-enrolling for spring. C. Vang reported on the survey of instructors, which had a 30% response rate – the main theme was the considerably increased workload and how much harder and more complex it is to teach in the online environment. The stress and dissatisfaction in both the faculty/academic staff and student populations are not unexpected. N. Rothfels asked whether there might be an official response to the faculty/academic staff stress levels communicated in the survey results. K. Dolan responded that the Scenario Planning Group is not really the appropriate venue for this discussion but workload issues will need to be addressed at some stage. K. Dolan also reported that the 2030 Group is working to identify areas of overlap with ongoing initiatives on campus in order to avoid duplication of effort.
Provost Britz reported that there will be a UW System Chancellors and Provosts retreat this coming Friday; he will represent UWM virtually while Chancellor Mone begins treatment. UW System President Thompson plans to unveil his vision of the Wisconsin Idea in 2020 and beyond at the retreat. The Provost’s office is still digging into the data on the downturn in freshman numbers this fall; multiple meetings have been scheduled with recruiters to set an agenda for a meeting next Thursday at which all the UWM staff and administrators involved will work through the issues associated with admissions and enrollments. This remains one of the highest priorities for the Provost’s Office, which is also working on bringing deferred international students to campus as soon as national policies allow. The Schools of Health, Business and Computer Sciences have all seen increases in international student applications and admissions. Sabbatical requests and tenure review cases are being processed on the usual timeline.
In Members Reports J. Snethen reported on the APBC Divisional Budget meeting for Academic Affairs; I. Hu reported that in addition to TOEFL a Pearson test may be administered/used by CIE for admission; and J. Reisel reported that the Senate Subcommittee on the Evaluation of Administrators met but because no administrators are up for evaluation this year the Subcommittee’s P&P document was updated and some of the language was adjusted.
Academic Staff Senate Chair Kyla Esguerra will attend the October 27 meeting.