Chair’s Report for September 11, 2001

 

Senate update

 

1.        Important links to agendas, minutes, Chair's Reports and other sites of interest are available
on the Senate web site: http://www.uwec.edu/Usenate. Senate Chair’s Report will be available on this site by noon on the day of the Senate meeting. Motions for the upcoming meeting should be on this site by the Wednesday prior to the Tuesday Senate meeting.

2.        During debates, Senators may speak only twice to any motion or amendment. Each speaking term is limited to 10 minutes. The Chair will add names of those wishing to speak to a speaker's list upon recognition.

 

Open Forum Items from Senate Executive Committee Meeting minutes

 

1.        Update on riverbank stabilization project

         Two complaints on design of project to Department of Natural Resources met criteria to trigger administrative hearing to be scheduled sometime after October 15, 2001

2.        Possibility of pay plan proposal that separates academic staff from faculty to be discussed at emergency teleconference

         If that the case, Academic Staff Representative Jean Wilcox hopes academic staff can count on support of Executive Committee, Senate and faculty to oppose that concept

3.        Kent State Memorial near Davies Center

         One of four crab apple trees that was part of memorial died over winter was removed

         No plans to replace tree immediately; instead to wait until plans developed for Davies expansion

         Will replant on site or reestablish as necessary at that time

 

Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meetings

1.        Consultation with Dean Wendt regarding proposed College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office Reorganization to three Associate Deans and one Development Officer.

2.        Consultation with Vice Chancellor Soll regarding current title for Associate Vice Chancellor of Business & Student Services – changing to Associate Vice Chancellor of Business Services

3.        Update on United Way/SECC combined campaign: United Way Board had already established 2002 distribution of funds raised in 2001; no time to reconsider. Local United Way will continue to include Boy Scouts in campaign about to begin; will, however look at range of issues related to nondiscrimination in determination of what to support in 2003. Adopt new process whereby contributors can make pledge with negative designation. Could always do positive designation; this adds another level of control. As University, doing everything can to bring SECC to equal footing with United Way. Comparable brochures, pledge form, and mention in letter from campus committee. During comprehensive review, United Way Board invites interested people to speak to them on this issue.

4.        Preparation of response to draft UW Library Strategic Plan: Have received some responses emphasizing need to maintain presence in libraries of physical books. Draft does not ask to eliminate print materials, just to speed access and ability to find them out there. Need to maintain strong local collections; cannot share what do not have. Feels like materials more likely to end up in bigger libraries with unwillingness to replicate everywhere. As technology and price of technology escalates, seems will eat into resources for print and hard copy items. Looking at collective ways of deciding on acquisition of journals. Will have core journals to which subscribe locally. Use System funds, with local input, so other journals available somewhere. Can get better prices when work together. Pleased to see access to persons with disabilities addressed in original draft. [Chair forwarded comments to System.]

 

Items discussed with the Senate Chair

1.        Since the dollars for promotions are not part of the pay plan and are funded out of another pot of money and since promotions have been approved by the Board of Regents, the Provost has given authorization for the promotion dollars to be distributed to those faculty and academic staff who were promoted beginning with the October 1st pay checks. The full amount of the promotion dollars will be distributed across several pay checks.

2.        Participated in an emergency conference call 9-5-01 with UW-System President K. Lyall regarding the pay plan.  Apparently, the Department of Employee Relations (DER) is considering decoupling or separating Academic Staff, either wholly or in part (Category A – non-teaching) from the faculty for the pay plan proposal. This means that Academic Staff would not get the 4.2% pay raise budgeted.  And, if they separate the Academic Staff for this purpose, Academic Staff will probably be separated forever. The recommendation comes from DER, but the decision ultimately rests with the Governor. 

Consider:

Mail:                  Governor Scott McCallum

                                State Capitol – Room 115 East

                                Madison, WI 53702

Phone:  (608)266-1212

Fax:  (608)267-8983

E-mail:  wisgov@gov.state.wi.us

 

         Do not call from a University phone

         Do not use University letterhead

         Do not use a University fax machine

         Do not use a University e-mail address (open a free Hotmail account if you must)

 

Faculty Reps Meeting

1.        (June) Listened to an overview of the IT Plan which looks at (1) on-line learning and collective opportunities for projects, web-based learning support, OPID and faculty needs; (2) information access – administrative systems, networking, and portals; and (3) IT funding. Hope to get more faculty involved in OPID in the technology decisions and use of technology in system-wide planning.

2.        Pat Brady spoke on the use of written comments in evaluations. It is a balancing test how courts consider (1) what is in the evaluation, (2) who made the evaluation, and (3) what is in the public’s best interest. [As I understood her…] Personnel records are basically public records, but under the “personnel” part of the open meetings law, may also be “closed”. Legal council has taken this position, when it is not of public concern. As for student evaluations of instructors, Attorney General has said they are open with one exception – when students include defamatory remarks. These remarks can be removed before the numeric data is disclosed. In general, when a request is made to see the records, be careful to look at what is included. 103.13 of statutes gives one the right to inspect one’s own personnel record. Chapter 16 states that when we put out an evaluation as part of business, we have an obligation to preserve the record. It does not give a basis for saying the information becomes part of the personnel record. The time for keeping the materials is subject to the preservation laws. Brady suggests one consult the “Custodian” of the records as to how long materials should be kept.

3.        Other items were also covered in the summer Board meetings (see following notes).

 

Board of Regents Meeting

1.        The next Board of Regents meeting will be held here at UW-Eau Claire on October 4 and 5. Senators are encouraged to attend as many of the meetings as possible – especially those on Thursday from 10:30 – noon and 1:30 – 5:30. Senators are also encouraged to attend the Tapas Buffet/Dinner Thursday night at 6:00. Reservations (at $17 per person) are necessary and can be made by contacting Corinne Charlson:  charlsct@uwec.edu or calling 836-5607.

2.        June Board of Regents:  During a Technology Plan report, Regent Olivieri stated we should have a System goal – striving for all students to have access and usage of web-based tools and that there should be faculty training on the use of technology for all new hires.

3.        A report on the Instructional and Research Academic Staff Issues was heard. The recommendations on the integration of instructional staff into institutional life have been accepted. Provosts will report on their progress in June 2002. The recommendations to develop new titles was not accepted and institutions were reminded that existing personnel policy permits establishment of informal working titles for instructional and research academic staff. Regent Axtell recommended that the 2002 report also contain information about how campuses are drawing on the expertise of individuals who do not have traditional academic credentials. Members of the Education Committee supported this idea.

4.        Other reports included – UW-Madison/UW Colleges Connections Program; Promotion, Tenure Designations; new program authorizations; and System-wide Initiatives to Coordinate International Education. A new organizational model for enhancing UW System international programs and services was proposed to include: (1) a Director of Int. Ed; (2) an Advisory Council consisting of reps from existing Int. Ed groups, community-based programs and orgs; and (3) an external group of reps from state gov and other orgs in WI working or interested in international & global issues.

5.        After the full board meeting on Friday, the Board went into closed session to discuss Chancellor evaluations (which took over two hours) and the Marder case. At 2:35, the Board came out into Open Session to take a vote on the Marder case. The Board voted to dismiss Professor Marder and then went immediately back into closed session. This vote has major implications on the meaning of personnel rules for faculty.

6.        July Board of Regents: The main event was the review of the 2001-2002 Annual Operating Budget. Both Regent President Smith and System President Lyall stated that if the legislature succeeds in additional cuts, UW-System will revisit its commitment to increasing enrollment. Regent Marcovich said he never again wants to vote to reduce access or reduce quality. We need to better educate the public on how GPR support has gone from 2/3 to 1/3 in support.

7.        Lyall announced that the Joint Committee on Employment Relations acted on June 27th to approve a 1% pay plan increase for non-represented state employees in 2001-02 and a 2% increase in 2002-03. UW System is authorized to set tuition at levels commensurate with its requested unclassified pay plan of 4.2% annually. However, to hold the tuition increases to the proposed increases of 7% for the comprehensives and colleges and 8.4% for Madison and Milwaukee for residents can only be accomplished by phasing in the 4.2% pay plan at 2.1% effective July 1 and an additional 2.1% effective January 1, 2002 assuming that the state funds the classified employee pay plan and 1% of the faculty and academic staff pay plan. While this delays reaching the market midpoint figure by six months, it permits the UW System to balance compensation and tuition commitments. To Lyall’s announcement, Boyle stated this was too bad because the faculty don’t deserve to have it phased in.

8.        Leaving Interim Senior VP of Academic Affairs Beaver presented a review of the UW System Credit Transfer Policy. He concluded with three possible directions for consideration, which sparked some debate. There were:

a.        continue the periodic review of the policies and anticipate making incremental changes;

b.       form a Blue Ribbon Commission to review the missions of the two systems (UW and WTCS) and make recommendations for refining those missions and defining the roles appropriate to each System; or

c.        examine the merits of a formal structure combining WTCS and UWS into one Wisconsin Higher Education System. Some of the Regents believed that making incremental changes was not working. Regent Olivieri noted that we do not have a seamless transfer system and we need a broader review in order to move towards such a system.

Regent Schneiders cautioned that we must look at the mission of both carefully and look at ways to cooperate more. Overall, the Regents were opposed to the idea of a combined system and appeared to lean toward establishing a Blue Ribbon Commission. Continued discussion was deferred to the fall agenda.

9.        A brief presentation was given on “The University of Wisconsin Online” highlighting the access of on-line courses across the system. The principles used to develop the action plan by the Executive Group for Online Learning were presented. The action plan was then passed by the Regents and included the following:

a.        A UW System Online Learning Policy Council will be established during 2001-2002 to assist the Senior VP for AA in reviewing all campus plans for new online programs by looking for ways to: - enhance curricular collaboration between UW institutions, when appropriate, to reach target audiences; - establish standards and review online programs to insure that appropriate instructional and learner support is available, including library resources, student services, etc.; - minimize program duplication and focus resources upon serving emerging student needs; - recommend new policies relating to online learning;

b.       in the next two years, the UW System institutions will develop at least three pilot collaborative online degree or certificate programs. This development will enable the UW System to assess system-wide online instruction, support services, and financial arrangements, and assist in further developing principles;

c.        in order to provide all UW students with exposure to online learning during their collegiate career, each UW System institution shall insure that faculty build these skills into every major offered at all UW institutions;

d.       the UW System shall develop a University of Wisconsin Online Portal through which students can access all UW online programs and courses; and

e.        for the 2003-05 Biennial Budget, the UW System will develop a request to support the development of a coordinated and collaborative approach to online learning. Federal and private funds will also be sought to support this venture.

10.     September Board of Regents: The Board’s themes for the academic year are (1) the Economic Stimulus Package; (2) defining the quality of education; and (3) looking at the university’s total resource base and examining options for enhancing it.

11.     Good deal of time was spent defending the current admissions policy in terms of how race is used as an admissions factor.

12.     Dr. G. Alan Marlatt, Director of the University of Washington Addictive Behaviors Research Center reviewed the work of a committee of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism on reducing high risk drinking among college students. Chancellors John Wiley, Don Mash, and Jack Keating discussed System activities in this area.

13.     The Education Committee held an initial discussion of the Accountability for Economic Stimulus Package. Regent Boyle stated that importance of using the money in ways that actually will stimulate the economy and being accountable for the results. He emphasized the need to involve institutions in determining exactly how they will be accountable for using the funds. Regent Olivieri observed that each initiative has goals for increasing enrollment in specific majors. Senior Vice President Marrett said it is important that everyone have the same understanding of how accountability will be defined. Regent Smith noted that the board would want to know exactly how the economic stimulus funds are used, in order to demonstrate that the university’s actions do in fact stimulate the economy. While it is not possible to show immediate impact, it is possible to show that the university is “on the right path.” He said the university must learn to market itself, articulating exactly what it does for the state. Regent Boyle warned against focusing solely on enrollments and noted the need to identify additional criteria for demonstrating accountability. Associate VP Goldberg said his office would develop accountability criteria for discussion at the next meeting. Assoc. VP Sell agreed to provide a form for the committee to review, which will be used to gather data from campuses on the details of their activities.

14.     At the full board meeting, Regent Teaching Awards were presented followed by an outline by President Lyall of the challenges that face the UW-System: finding ways to finance and manage IT costs; keeping diversity efforts on track; defining the elements of a quality education; recruiting and retaining the next generation of faculty and academic staff; and focusing on Economic Development, being sure to note that this does not exclude the Liberal Arts.

15.     While the Governor signed a budget that will fully fund the Economic Stimulus Package starting in the second year of the biennium, he also required the System take a $6.3 million base cut and included many unfunded mandates. Also, the budget bill included a mandate to increase tuition by 5% to non-residents.