Academic Staff Representatives Council Meeting

November 16, 2006

 

The academic staff representatives met in Madison for their regular meeting and in the afternoon spent an hour with the Board of Regents Committee on Faculty and Academic Staff Disciplinary Process.

 

Growth Agenda: President Reilly is looking for support from community and business leaders but also from faculty and academic staff senates before this initiative goes to the legislature. He is apparently planning to visit a number of institutions and communities around the state asking for resolutions or letters in support of the growth agenda.  Some faculty and academic staff senates have already passed such resolutions. My understanding of what was passed has been conditional on funding to support the new initiatives. No one is enthusiastic about doing even more with even less funding.

 

LAB Report: A committee has been formed to give UW System staff and the Board of Regents advice on how to respond to the report. Regent Tom Loftus will chair the committee. Regent Loftus was the architect of the sick leave conversion plan when it was passed by the state legislature. Dennis Shaw, (UW-Stout), will represent academic staff on the committee. Apparently the proposal for capping sick leave conversion is no longer in the report as it goes forward. The emphasis will be on better reporting of sick leave when it is used.  UW System’s formal response to the report is due in June.

 

Compensation/Pay Plan: The UW System recommendations for the pay plan will come to the Board of Regents at the December meeting.  At the last BOR the Regents were told that faculty are 8.5% behind their peers, academic staff are 12 % and administrators are 16% behind. However, at today’s meeting it was stated that academic staff are more like 23% behind their market comparison group,  It was also somewhat confirmed that it is not an urban legend that APAS Hayes-Hill pay ranges are too low by one pay range (i.e.  Grade 5 should really be paid as the Grade 6 pay range).  Percentages that will be put forward may be between 4.2%-5.23% but this part is still in process.

 

Climate Study: There will be a system wide survey of everyone (not a sampling) of  the climate on diversity throughout the system, including  religious affiliation and social class. It will begin in Fall 2007 and end in Fall 2008. Afterwards each campus will receive its own report about itself and will receive aggregate data. This will be funded through cost sharing between the campuses and system.

 

Criminal Background Check: We were told that the UW System policy will go to the Regents at their December meeting for their approval but the individual campus implementation policies will not need to be in place until May 1, 2007.

 

Academic Staff Leadership Conference: UW Superior will host this on June 28-29, 2007. The theme is Growth: Personal, Professional and Economic. As soon as there is a website for the conference, I will forward it to all academic staff.

 

Regent Committee on Faculty and Academic Staff Disciplinary Process: Two concerns were raised. One question was whether the prior policies had been applied as intended, thus making a new UWS 7 and 11 unnecessary. The second was continuing concerns about the places where the phrase “charged with” still appears. Regent Spector said that after Board of Regents approval the policies will go to the Education Committee in the state legislature for comments and possible hearings. If there are no objection, the policies can be promulgated by publication. If there are objections, the polices will go to a joint legislative committee.

 

The next meeting will be a teleconference on December 16, 2007.

 

Judy Blackstone, Academic Staff Representative

 

 

Board of Regents meeting

November 9 and 10, 2006

 

At the Business, Finance and Audit Committee, UW System began presenting its rationale for pay plan increases for university employees. Regents were told that in comparison to salaries at peer institutions, faculty are 8.5% behind, academic staff are 12% behind and administrators are 16 % behind.  Apparently there had been feedback  that saying we needed to stay comparable to our peers wasn’t persuasive as a reason for pay increases. What happened was a panel of speakers from various campuses talking about how low salaries impacted their ability to recruit and to retain quality faculty, staff and administrators. Among the points raised, they cited the cost of having to search multiple times for the same position if the original search did not yield qualified candidates, the frustration and cost of being turned down by a first, second, and third candidate choice because the money being offered was too low, and the difficulty of coming up with money for a counter offer when an employee is being wooed by another institution. One faculty department chair talked about our system almost being like a farm team, developing talent that is then hired away by others.

 

Regent Mark Bradley asked the speakers how they then do come up with money to meet outside offers or to offer a competitive salary for a new hire. He was told that IAS are hired at lower rates and that some positions are being held open to provide some flexibility.

 

The presentation we watched relied heavily on anecdotal and individual experiences/examples.  The pay plan recommendations will be given to this committee at the December meeting.

 

Judy Blackstone, Academic Staff Representative