March 15, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported that campus discussion continues about TTC implementation, especially related to implementation of the Teaching Professor academic staff titles.

Provost J. Britz provided the following updates: 1) He would like to initiate a campus process to facilitate creative thinking about the timing and length of break periods during the academic year; and 2) UW-System administration is starting discussions about the on-going role of UW-System and its structural relationships to the campuses.

March 8, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) He contacted the CARE team and suggested the April Faculty Senate meeting for their presentation and consideration of a resolution of support, which they readily agreed to; 2) Nigel will be attending the Academic Staff Senate meeting later today; and 3) He met with Provost Britz last week, focusing on issues surrounding support among units for shared governance.  This will likely lead to an invitation for him to address a future campus leadership meeting.

Chancellor M. Mone provided the following updates: 1) The bi-annual capital budget meeting with UW-System is taking place today.  Priorities for UWM include funding for continued NWQ remodeling, building a new Engineering/Neurosciences structure, and resources to pay off the remaining balance due for the ZSPH site; 2) UW-System will be asked to help with the issues delaying the demolition of NWQ Building A; 3) The campus reinvestment overture to the BOR continues to move forward.  Mone recently met with incoming interim UW-System President M. Falbo, as well as representative from the NAACP, Urban League, as well as major local business supporters about this effort; 4) The Chancellor will address stress and morale challenges facing the campus workforce at the March 15th Town Hall; and 5) The UC asked him to work on finding ways to mitigate the increasing disconnect between faculty/staff service loads and the recognition/remuneration received for doing these essential functions.

The UC met with English Department Chair L. Hall to discuss concerns about the “tone” of recent meetings meant to engage faculty in the process of identifying individuals who may be guilty of fiscal misconduct on campus.  We agreed that these meetings, as well as other “trainings” need to be presented in a more concise manner that focuses on things that are relevant to real university situations.

Lastly, member E. Bornstein noted that the AAFEC met this past week.

March 1, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) Two faculty have agreed to be nominated for service on the NS divisional committee; 2) The social science faculty senate position vacancy for this semester has been filled; 3) Some departments are apparently advising faculty that committee service outside of their department (i.e., in the School/College or University) will not be considered in evaluations.  This is a serious issue, and points to broader concerns, which he will discuss with the Provost; and 4) The Scenario planning group met and received substantive guidance from faculty.  There will be some flexibility for instructors to change modality after spring break, but the hope is that the number doing so will not be large.

Provost J. Britz provided the following updates: 1) He will hold a second meeting with Chairs and Directors later this week to clarify expected campus procedures after spring break; 2) The number of new freshman admissions for next year are looking good compared to last year and other UW-System campuses; and 3) Campus is looking for ways to incentivize doctoral students to complete their degrees.

February 22, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) We need a new faculty senator for the Spring semester from the Social Sciences; 2)  He submitted comments on candidates for the Ethics and Compliance position in Legal Affairs; 3)  He will look into developing specific questions for Chief Legal Consul Joely Urdan before we invite her to a UC meeting; and 4) Concerns about the removal of the campus mask mandate continue to be registered—UWM will likely end it around the beginning of Spring Break.

ASC Chair N. Oswald provided the following updates: 1) ASC submitted feedback to the new UW-System President, specifically noting UWM’s unique funding challenges; 2) TTC appeals hearings will be moving ahead next week; 3) ASC discussed AS inequality issues with DEI VC C. Vang; and 4) ASC is discussing potential issues for AS related to the school/college reorganizations.

February 15, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) He attended finalist interviews for the new compliance and ethics officer in Legal Affairs; 2) BOR Education Committee review of the UWM unit reorganization plan went smoothly, but it was made clear that additional governance review will occur before final campus approval.  Indeed, UW-System indicated that they will only need to be notified of the final names for the new units; and 3) A process will be put together for the CARES group to make a presentation to the Faculty Senate in concert with a resolution, like what is on tap for the Climate Action-Carbon Resilience Plan.

Provost J. Britz provided the following updates: 1) Final names for the new Schools/Colleges will be deliberated by the Faculty Senate and other appropriate venues; and 2) He is leading UW-System Provosts in developing an academic briefing for the incoming UW-System President.

R. Shumway (AAFEC Chair), Director of Finance & Operations Kathy Heath, and VC Robin Van Harpen (the latter two are serving as interim leadership for campus HR) joined the UC to discuss ways to facilitate forward movement on DEI campus recruitment processes and strategies. More clarity of direction is needed from Academic Affairs (Provost) in concert with School/College leaders and the DEI AVC. As soon as feasible, AAFEC should be meeting regularly with HR (once the new leader in in place) to advance this initiative on campus in concert with Academic Affairs.

Member D. Misra noted that the Nominations Committee has met and provided names for committee positions which will be presented to the Faculty Senate.

February 8, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) In light of some recent developments with the ongoing unit mergers, campus administration needs to be reminded that names of schools and colleges are subject to final discussion/recommendation by the Faculty Senate; 2) A vacancy on the Professions Divisional Committee was successfully filled; 3) A new procedure is under development for post-disciplinary hearings related to FRRC cases, in order to comply with State Law—this will eventually lead to changes in Faculty P&P that will need to come before the Senate; and 4) He attended the remaining AVC for HR finalist interviews.

Chancellor M. Mone provided the following updates: 1) The $40M UWM “Investment” initiative being considered by the BOR continues to gather momentum, including strong support from the Milwaukee business community.  The next several months will be crucial to the initiative’s success; 2)  Two graduate recognition ceremonies will be held on April 10th for those who graduated since the pandemic started, but did not have a chance to participate in an in-person event; 3)  He will be hosting another Town Hall meeting on March 15th; and 4)  Work on improving faculty/staff morale is critical to the future of our campus—are there ways to make thing better?  He is making a push to find some answers to this issue.

Member D. Misra noted that APBC met last week with business including consideration of a proposal to merge the Department of Communication with the Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (both are in the College of Letter and Science).

February 1, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) The needed replacement faculty senator from the Professions has been appointed, and a faculty vacancy on the APBC has been filled; 2) The Compliance and Ethics position (in Legal Affairs) finalist interviews are underway; and 3) He will be attending the Assoc VC for HR finalist interviews, which are starting soon.

Provost J. Britz provided the following updates: 1) The new VSIP is expected to be very targeted and much more focused than the previous one; 2) The faculty diversity hiring initiative continues to be developed—the UC responded by stressing the urgent need to broadly rebuild UWM’s faculty; and 3) UWM’s GPR increase initiative is still moving forward with the BOR.

The UC met with Director of External Relations K. Duce to discuss campus initiatives to improve student voting rates, especially how increased faculty involvement may help.  The UC suggested that it was critical for the Provost to provide official guidance on proper procedures to facilitate this to the faculty.

In other business, the UC:  1)  Will not plan to invite the UW-System President to address our Faculty Senate this Spring, given the timing of the transition; 2)  Will draft a Faculty Senate resolution of thanks for the service of interim President Thompson; and 3) Will provide a resolution endorsing the “Climate Action-Carbon Resilience Plan” that will be presented to the Faculty Senate in tandem with the presentation by Director of Sustainability K. Nelson.

Member E. Bornstein noted that AAFEC met and is continuing discussion on fostering faculty diversity, and Member J. Snethen reported on several actions taken at the recent APC meeting.

January 25, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) Another faculty senator from the Social Sciences division is still needed; 2) He has started attending the AVC for HR search finalist forums; 3) A new campus student recruitment campaign is being planned and will be a significant charge for the new VC for University Communications (once hired).  Interestingly, consultants have commented that our R1 status is an important campus asset that should be used to distinguish us from other universities; 4) He attended the UW-System governance reps meeting last Friday.  Faculty reps were profoundly disappointed in how the Presidential search process concluded, especially the lack of any public forums for the finalists; and 5) On a positive note, a campus governance support document is being assembled, and it appears (as reported earlier) that there may well be a Regents/UW-System push to provide some funding to all campuses in support of shared governance.

ASC Chair N. Oswald provided the following updates: 1) They are still working on developing a AS/US pay progression plan with campus HR; 2) 115 TTC appeals have been filed, but 15 were quickly resolved.  The first hearings on the rest will start by the end of February; and 3) More detailed information (by School/College) is needed to explore the actual changes of AS numbers in recent years.

Member M. Schwartz noted that the MORFS membership drive will be suspended for the time being, but the 501 (c) (6) organization will continue to be kept active for potential future use.

January 18, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) Many needed Faculty Senate openings have been filled, but one more is necessary; 2) He will create a draft resolution related to the Campus Climate Action Plan for discussion (intended to be jointly considered by the Academic Staff, University Staff, and Student Senates) which will then accompany the planned presentation by Director of Sustainability Kate Nelson at the February Faculty Senate Meeting; and 3) UW-System is seeking transition advice from campus governance groups for the incoming President.

Provost J. Britz provided the following updates: 1) Clear communication from all instructors to their students is crucial for a smooth start to the Spring semester; 2) N95 masks will be made freely available to faculty and staff this semester (logistics to be announced shortly) and COVID-19 testing on campus is continuing; and 3) He is gathering and coordinating input from other Provosts regarding the UW-System President Finalists.

DEI VC C. Vang joined the meeting for an open-ended discussion regarding how campus can become a more inclusive and supportive workplace, especially:  1) The need to backup “nice talk” with actions; 2) How to better align our practices with those on other campuses across the country—especially structural realignment to add more staff; and 3) The need for DEI Liaisons at the School/College level.

January 11, 2022

UC Chair N. Rothfels reported:  1) The Scenario Planning Workgroup met last week and urged the administration to communicate any changes to the start of the semester soon so that instructors can adjust their syllabi, and that some sort of online or more hybrid start would be reasonable given campus and community transmission rates; 2) The Graduate Program Review Committee needed a replacement, and one was found; a replacement for a senator in social sciences is currently being sought; 3) There was a meeting of a small group of campus leaders to discuss the best paths forward for implementing new opportunity hiring; and 4) UWM System Faculty Reps met to formulate questions to put to prospective candidates for the UW System President position. It is expected that there will be an announcement as soon as later this week about the slate of finalists.

L&S Dean S. Gronert joined the meeting and shared additional thoughts about COVID planning going on this week, including meetings on Wednesday of the Deans and another with representatives of the Emergency Operations Center and the Scenario Planning Workgroup. Recommendations will be given to the COVID Management Team on Thursday and discussions will happen with Chairs on Friday.

The Committee and Dean Gronert then had an extensive conversation about ongoing conversations on GER reform. The model currently being considered would involve moving from a divisional breakdown of GER courses to a breakdown based on areas of inquiry that will match with the UW System Shared Learning Goals. This semester, the plan will need to be fleshed out further and then there will be an analysis of impacts. There is much to do before anything will be ready for consideration by governance bodies.

Member E. Bornstein reported on a meeting on December 19 between members of the AAFEC and Provost Britz, Vice Chancellor Vang, and Associate Vice Chancellor Venugopalan. The discussion focused on how the AAFEC protocols for hiring can be implemented on campus and how retention of BIPOC faculty can be improved. Chair Rothfels will follow-up with Vice Chancellor Van Harpen and AAFEC Chair R. Shumway about coming to a future meeting to discuss HR processes.  Member D. Misra reported that an APBC meeting was cancelled last week and that the meeting before that focused on GER reform.

The Committee then discussed Academic Staff numbers from the last five years. The committee decided that several trends – including increases in the number of fixed-term-renewable Instructional Academic Staff needed further consideration. Chair Rothfels will alert ASC Chair N. Oswald that the Committee would like to hear her thoughts on the data at her next visit to the UC later in the month.