In member reports:
- At APBC, Provost Gronert indicated that the UW Budget is likely to see a 4% increase in resident tuition and a 1% increase in non-resident tuition.
- Also at APBC, Dean Harris mentioned that most GTAs are paid from 133 funds and so a pay increase for these GTAs would have to be internally funded.
- The SFS Dean search has three candidates making public appearances this and next week.
- The Chancellor’s advisory committee for LGBTQ+ Advocacy met and chose a chair.
ASC Chair Priem visited and reported that as the ASC was updating language to reflect the school/college realignment, they noticed some inconsistencies and no longer relevant structures. Their Codification Committee is going through their regulations to clean things up. They have already identified a number of committees that no longer meet and can be removed.
Priem also reported that the APBC asked the ASC to survey academic staff for their experiences with the TTC process.
In member reports:
- Schwartz reported that UW System president Rothman is looking at dates to visit UW-Milwaukee’s Faculty Senate
- McHenry reported that the SFS Dean Search had virtual interviews last week, met Monday, and decided to go with 3 on-campus interviews, starting first week of March.
Dolan reported that the Post-Tenure Review policy should be updated to handle situations not anticipated in the established policy. A proposed revision was approved by consensus.
- Boyland circulated a proposed revision to the SSEA procedures. The committee decided it was ready to send on to UWM Legal and then to Codification for consideration by Faculty Senate.
Provost Gronert visited the UC:
The testing center is now at the NWQ and has after-hours drop-off. The backup plan for staffing is for the Student Success Center to provide personnel if UITS cannot provide backup. A more central location is being considered to make backup easier to provide.
Provost Gronert is seeking input from an appropriate faculty committee for evaluation of alternative platforms for teaching evaluations. The UC questioned whether teaching evaluation must be done online, and mentioned cases where courses had teaching evaluations with zero participation, and others where no evaluation has yet been made available.
In member reports:
- The Search & Screen committee for the Dean of Freshwater Sciences identified candidates for phone interviews later this week.
- The Search & Screen committee for the Dean of ZCPH is putting together the job description in preparation for a search to be carried out in summer.
Chancellor Mone met with the UC and discussed how the campus is advocating for extra state resources befitting our status as an R-1 institution. He also congratulated three UC members who were to receive Length Of Service awards later in the day.
Boyland sent out the latest proposed revision of the SSEA procedures, but action on it was postponed.
The UC met with Provost Gronert virtually, expressing concern about the Testing center, in particular how and why staffing was reduced, whether capacity to serve faculty in our core functions could be restored, and whether the shift to online-only evaluation could be reversed in some cases. The Provost reported that most of the reduction happened through attrition, and that he has tasked Dave Clark to investigate how service could be improved. The UC also emphasized the need for employees to know the status of any required training they may need to do or have done.
In member reports:
- Schwartz reports that governance representatives across system met with system president Rothman and the Regent’s Board chair to briefly discuss results of the student Free Speech survey.
- Dolan reported that PTR policy does not currently address non-co-operation in a particular step. A proposed revision will be considered in the future.
In new business:
- The UC approved a proposed revision in the Faculty Transfer Policy that clarifies the process. It will next go to Codification and then to the Faculty Senate.
- The UC approved a request from a faculty member for a leave of absence from the Faculty Senate, due to a conflict with their teaching schedule.
- The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ+ issues needs a faculty senator appointed by the UC; multiple members expressed willingness to serve.
In old business:
- The proposed SSEA revision was briefly discussed, and the basic outline appeared acceptable. Boyland will bring back another version at the next UC meeting.
- More nominations for next year’s UC are being sought.
There were no guests at today’s meeting. UC members had the following reports:
- The Free Speech student survey results will be announced in a presentation by UW President Rothman at UW Oshkosh on February 1st
- The Dean Search for the ZCPH will advertise widely this summer and interview candidates in the fall.
- The APBC is considering making presentations around the University to familiarize employees with the budget process.
- Incoming Provost Andrew Daire will be making short visits to campus to meet with leaders, starting February 15th
The UC continued discussion on the following topics:
- No progress has yet been reported on providing a way for employees to find out what trainings they had completed and when, nor how to appeal a determination that a training wasn’t completed.
- The testing center continues to provide limited service. The UC has not received an explanation as to why the staffing was reduced from 3.5 FTE to 1.0 which leaves center services at risk if this one employee is not available. It is also still unclear whether teaching evaluations were actually deployed for all relevant classes last semester.
- Boyland briefed the committee on discussions with SSEA members on revising SSEA procedures.
In member reports:
- The SFS Dean search has extended the period to accept applications.
- Rodger will be unable to serve as UC Rep to APBC this semester because of a class conflict; she will be replaced by Dolan.
- Hager will be stepping down from the UC in the next academic year to concentrate on work supported by a C21 fellowship.
- The Rules Committee has asked the UC to consider inviting UW System President Rothman to an upcoming Faculty Senate meeting. UC Chair Schwartz will consult with the Chancellor and then extend this invitation.
- The UC has been asked to consider combining the Faculty Advisory Ethics Committee with similar committees for Academic and University staff to form an all-employee ethics advisory committee.
Some concerns were discussed:
- It is difficult to determine whether one has completed required employee trainings, and to appeal an adverse determination.
- With the new pay system, health insurance does not appear to start until the first paycheck in the calendar year which is no longer shortly after the New Year. This year, new members weren’t acknowledged by insurance carriers until after the January 12th pay period.
In old business, Boyland brought forward another draft revision of the SSEA policies and procedures, which was discussed and new revisions proposed. Boyland will next bring the draft to the SSEA for further comment and revision. It was noted that about half of the UW campuses have a somewhat similar administrator evaluation procedure, and some of the others are actively considering adding such procedures.
Provost Gronert discussed several on-going areas of concern with the UC: 1) The Testing Center had been operating under the Registrar’s Office until last year, when it was shifted to UITS in anticipation of the implementation of on-line course evaluations. The reduction in staffing in the Testing Center occurred while it was still in the Registrar’s office. Gronert will help coordinate a meeting between the UC and Beth Schaefer so the UC can learn UITS’ perspective on the ongoing issues; 2) The UC continues to seek information about required employee trainings and how employees can track whether their efforts have been recognized as completed. Ideas on how to better communicate information about required employee training were discussed; and 3) Efforts to engage students who have not registered for the Spring semester were discussed. Gronert was encouraged to gather information on the effectiveness of these types of interventions. Efforts to do so are hampered by a lack of manpower available to work on the issue.
Provost Gronert advised the UC on his approach to handling the problem of smoked-out finals in the NWQ and the possibility of winter storms causing a snow emergency on Thursday or Friday. In particular, he is considering trying to reschedule the NWQ finals on Thursday rather than Friday, which the UC agreed made sense. The administration will monitor the weather situation and determine whether to cancel in-person finals Thursday and/or Friday. If finals need to be cancelled due to inclement weather Thursday, they will probably need to be rescheduled into the new year, unless instructors can move them online.
The UC also discussed with Gronert some issues regarding the Testing Center. It was transferred from the Registrar’s office to UITS, and in the process lost all support staff, resulting in being reduced to a single employee. These changes have made it much more difficult for faculty to get support of ScanTron™ grading of examinations. Furthermore, there seemingly have been problems with online course evaluation invitations not being received by students within some units this semester. UC members were additionally concerned that it appears that tacit policy decisions (strongly discouraging in-person exams or evaluation) seem to have motivated the move.
Another issue brought up in discussion with the Provost is how faculty can know whether they have completed all their required trainings. Ideally the
my.wisconsin.edu page would list all required training and for each one, whether it was completed. The UC was alerted to a case of one faculty member who has been told that they haven’t done the training although they have screenshots showing completion. More details are needed, but in general it can be difficult in some cases for an employee to determine their completion status.
Lastly, Boyland led a discussion of revisions to FD 2137 and received feedback on how the SSEA process might be revised. He will bring back a fuller draft for continued discussion at a later UC meeting.
UC meetings for December 27 and January 3 are cancelled, and Jan. 10, 2023 is tentative.
Chancellor Mone gave the following updates:
- UW Chancellors met before the Regents meeting and discussed budgetary matters. They haven’t decided to ask for a tuition increase yet but are likely to do so. Some of this increase would go toward the Wisconsin Promise program which will disproportionally help UWM students, due to their higher unmet financial need (compared to other UW students).
- Two UW Chancellor searches are ongoing (Whitewater and Platteville).
- He continues to advocate for the 4% + 4% pay-plan increase proposed by UW System.
- Regents passed the new Strategic Plan, which has some aspects directly supportive of UW-Milwaukee’s multi-faceted mission.
- New administrative appointments include Liv Watkins (VC Marketing and Communication), Beth Schaefer (interim CIO), and Brian Thompson (Interim Director of Strategic Partnerships).
Interim Provost Gronert visited the UC to consult about potentially offering a new faculty hire the option of a one-year tenure clock extension, due to anticipated construction disruption of lab facilities. The UC felt that this was appropriate.
In member reports:
- Boyland volunteered to draft a formal proposal for revising the SSEA process for evaluating administrators. He also reported (as a member of the PEC TPSC), participating in a campus transportation safety walk. Kenwood Boulevard would benefit from signage in the median to help drivers realize that this road is part of a UWM campus. Many University members cross back and forth, not always on marked crosswalks.
- Schwartz is unable to attend the December graduation, so Rodger will represent the University Committee in the platform party.
Provost Gronert updated the UC on several items:
- Some initial feedback on the effectiveness of Navigate was sent to the UC. The committee asked for more information on measurement of past semesters.
- The University continues to look at increasing Graduate Teaching Assistant salaries. The current rate for masters’ students is proposed to move to $15K for an academic year and for doctoral students (whether dissertators or not) to $17K. In the absence of new monies, funds may need to be redirected from elsewhere, for instance, from CGSA.
- Official and business leaders in Washington County (where a branch campus of UWM is located) are discussing how to strengthen education opportunities locally, including 4-year tertiary education.
- Initial projections for Spring 2023 enrollment numbers are looking positive, especially in graduate programs.
In other reports:
- Provost candidate finalists are having public Q&A sessions this week and next, with virtual attendance.
- The Policy Advisory Committee is proposing a clarification that an online asynchronous class can only have an online asynchronous final (unless a deviation is listed in the schedule of classes prior to registration). This change is on the automatic consent agenda for the December Faculty Senate meeting.
- The APBC met and discussed subvention. There was a general desire that reasons be expressed more transparently, so it is clear what the goals of the University are.
- The SFS Dean search is finalizing the position description, which should be posted soon.
- A new draft of the proposal for updating the promotion to full professor process has been produced and will be discussed in an upcoming UC meeting.
- The SSEA met and discussed a framework for revisions from the UC. The generally positive feedback will assist the UC in producing a more detailed proposal along these lines.