Chair’s Report for December 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.

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 (excerpts from minutes)

1.       Concern raised over presentation of capital campaign to faculty and academic staff

         Executive Staff contribution rate 100%; that level of giving not expected elsewhere

         Received comments that personnel already feel giving out of hide, don’t want to be asked for more

         Feeling that if looking for 100% participation, will be tracking of some sort

         Awareness of departmental development funds may make difference

         Chancellor Mash indicated now in quiet phase of campaign; to be announced publicly in April 2002

         Important part of campaign of this type is to generate support close to home first

         Sorry if some feeling pressured; no reason to as can chose not to contribute

2.       Public forums for discussion will be held on work/life issues; Jan Morse assigned to organize discussion.

 

Other Items from Senate Executive Committee Meetings

1.       Annual review of frozen files to determine Senate proportions. No need to make changes in number of University Faculty and University Academic Staff senators because proportions of university population not changed more than 5% from time Senate structure established. Increase in size of Senate resulted from Vice Chair term expiration (continues as senator until term of Vice Chair up) and formation of or expansion to units having four or more academic staff members now entitled to representation.

2.       Fifth Tuesday in January set aside for open forum. Topic: General Education. Chair Harrison will work with Chair Lozar to produce a guide with background and current status of topic to be distributed campus wide prior to discussion.

 

Faculty Reps Meeting, November 30, 2001

1.       In light of upcoming Board discussion on Scholarship of Teaching, questions asked: Should publication be the norm regardless of service, teaching, etc.? Is the understanding of what it is to be “scholarly” the same for all disciplines? Does knowledge advance the same in all disciplines? Have we shifted from ‘community’ contact to ‘fund raising’ contact? Research is purported to improve teaching. Has such a causal link carefully been defined and demonstrated? Discussion: not everyone should be evaluated on same standard; should evaluate on strengths, have flexible standards. Support for Scholarship of Teaching must come from the top and supported at the top. What are the ‘yard sticks’ for quality of scholarship, teaching, service, etc.?

2.       Discussion of Campus Climate with Assistant VP for Academic Affairs Tess Arenas – reflecting on Briefing Paper: Campus Climate as a Factor in Student Retention. Noted that Oshkosh will be doing a survey on campus climate.

3.       System staff gave an overview of Faculty Retirement Flexibility. Handout “Returning to work after retirement – Fact Sheet on ETF 10.08, WI Admin. Code” available in Senate office. Current state rule requires a retiring employee to sever all relationships with the institution for 30 days in order to be eligible for a pension. Thus, one cannot have any legal contract in place for returning to work for at least 30 days after retirement. Federal law does not require this. System staff is working to see if it is possible to rewrite the state law. The Employee Trust Fund staff also looking at possible changes – especially in the area of health insurance and the use of sick leave credits. As for the policy of rehiring faculty as academic staff for lower pay - this would be a campus policy. Faculty could be rehired as emeriti faculty with no salary constraints says George Brooks, Assoc. VP of Human Resources. As for the 82% window (related to administrators’ salary when returning to the classroom must be between the average salary paid to faculty at similar ranks in the department and 82% of the administrator’s current salary – the 9 month equivalent of the 12-month salary), Brooks stated the campus had the ability to approve a smaller salary window. It was also noted that a wealth of retirement information is on the System Administration website which was revised within the last 60 days.

4.       System Legal Council Brady reported why it was not wise to rank order candidates before final hiring. She stated that there are many ways to make intentions concerning candidates known to the person in charge of hiring. Some reps were adamant that the State Statutes say the faculty have the primary responsibility for hiring faculty and that deans should not be given the authority to make decisions of hiring over the faculty decision. [Ex: faculty select candidate to hire as new faculty member, Dean overrides choice, selects another not wanted by the faculty.] Reps from campuses that have the main decision in the hands of the faculty (with consultation with the administrators) suggested other campuses consider rewriting the personnel rules if this was a problem on their campus.

5.       Some updates from various campuses: Madison working out where and when IAS can vote on faculty concerns (such as curriculum, selection of department chair, etc.); Stout looking into possibility of new pay options – every two weeks rather than once a month; LaCrosse established memorial for Sept. 11th victims and looking at method for evaluating administrators; Milwaukee discussing local publication of administrator evaluations – have determined raw data is confidential, but summary is not and should be available; River Falls passed new constitution combining Faculty and Academic Staff Senates; Green Bay and Platteville looking at administrator evaluations; Oshkosh working on ‘salary ladder’ concept; almost all campuses have passed Collective Bargaining resolution.

6.       Reps met with Regent Boyle to discuss the Teaching – Learning process. One should be looking at the accountability reports to see if something else can be used to describe excellence. Boyle stressed the importance of the concept of engagement and the need to work with faculty to determine how we can better demonstrate that students who have the ‘experience’ come out of the university with something that students who weren’t engaged don’t have. Some suggested the need to use better terminology to capture the idea of the learning environment and discovery rather than “learning/teaching”.

7.       Senior VP Marrett requested topics that Faculty were interested in the Regents reviewing. Please submit suggestions.

 

Board of Regents Meeting, December 6-7, 2001

1.       Four presentations involving all Regents: (1) The Pros and Cons of Cohort Tuition (setting tuition rates differently for specific groups of students); (2) The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; (3) Improving Retention and Graduation; and (4) Tuition Options Overview.

2.       Professor William Cerbin in his presentation on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning stated “Most of us have not been trained to understand how students can understand the discipline… unless student learning becomes a serious focus of teaching, we will remain stuck, not prepared for teaching for understanding.”

3.       Distinguished University Professor Vincent Tinto talked about Improving Retention and Graduation. “Student retention reflects student education. Institutions must focus on student education … and it is everyone’s business – especially the faculty… must focus on the first year and those conditions that foster student education in that year. Increased retention will follow.” The institution must: expect excellence (raise the bar), ensure preparation, provide academic and social support, provide frequent and early feedback, and promote involvement.

4.       Education Committee: Discussion of the previous presentations. Referring to Student Retention, Regent Olivieri suggested several ideas, including using accountability indicators; presenting an array of choices to the institutions that they might adopt; requiring annual reports by each campus on its retention goals and whether they are being met. Tinto responded that student persistence beyond the first year of college is the best indicator of eventual graduation. Therefore, the biggest investment should be made in the first year with institutional incentive programs such as grants for institutions to enhance the first year as they choose and then report back. Faculty and staff development is crucial as well. Regent Mohs asked how we track high-risk students. Tinto cautioned that we should think of all our students as at-risk, especially first-year students. Regent Boyle asked what an ideal faculty development program would look like. Tinto responded that we need to identify what pedagogy and assessment skills faculty should have, especially given the lack of teaching training in graduate school.

5.       Discussion on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. It was noted that there is some great activity in the development of teaching and learning on campuses, but that resources are limited. Tinto proposed a Board initiative on “Teaching First-Year Students Well.” Senior VP Marrett inquired as to the set of attributes necessary for good teaching. Regent Olivieri suggested that the Board could convey their support of a movement like the scholarship of teaching and learning to the faculty who are making tenure decisions: that the scholarship of teaching is to be evaluated and rewarded as traditional research has always been. A chancellor noted how comfortable universities are with their matrix for measuring traditional research, but wondered what a similar matrix for teaching might be. Another advocated faculty be given the resources (such as time) to develop such measures.

6.       During the review of sabbatical leaves for faculty, Regent Olivieri asked if the Board had the right to ‘favor’ sabbaticals that are focused on the enhancement of teaching or that support Economic Development. Marrett responded that one can look and see that the sabbaticals focus on the priorities of the institution and focus on the Regent’s priorities. Chancellor Wells suggested the idea of a “mini” sabbatical as a way to expand the program.

7.       In discussion of the Annual Program Planning and Review report, Regent Boyle asked if new programs were analyzed for their impact on economic development. Assoc. VP Singer indicated that although new programs are analyzed, established programs have not undergone such an analysis and that it could be initiated. Regent Boyle asked about the lag time between authorization for implementation and actual implementation. Marrett responded that it is usually rather short, but System is considering saying if a campus leaves the program lie for some time, the authorization will be considered mute.

 

 Information LINKS

1.       Economic Summit II ( www.wisconsin.edu/summit )-- Transcripts of President Lyall’s comments (www.uwsa.edu/univ_rel/govrel/lupdate/2001/lyallclosing.doc) and Regent President Jay Smith’s comments (www.uwsa.edu/univ_rel/govrel/lupdate/2001/smithclosing.doc) are available as Word documents. Also available is a document that details the commitments (www.uwsa.edu/univ_rel/govrel/lupdate/2001/uwcommittments.doc ) the UW system has made to foster economic growth. [Yes – the URL includes a double “t” in “uwcommittments.doc” ]

 

Legislative Update

1.       Governor McCallum ordered state agencies to cut their budgets by 3.5 percent, which is estimated to save $60 million over the two-year budget cycle. Although UW System instructional and research programs are exempt, the central administration is not. This action, in addition to a state hiring freeze and 6.5% agency cuts already in effect, is part of an effort to limit the projected $1.3 billion budget gap.

2.       Assembly Personal Privacy Committee meeting was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2001. The committee's agenda included AB 621, an omnibus privacy bill that creates various prohibitions and restrictions concerning issues of personal privacy. Prohibits using social security numbers on insurance identification cards; prohibits prisoners working on data entry from having access to an individual's date of birth; prohibits person who receives a patient's health care record from using identifying information in that record to market a service or product; and prohibits telephone solicitors from using a blocking service. It includes a requirement that UW system institutions have a written policy on who may enter a locker room to interview any person. The policy must reflect the privacy interests of the members of the teams representing the school.

3.       Assembly Labor and Workforce Development Committee met on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 to discuss AB 498. This bill makes changes to the contribution rates under the Wisconsin Retirement System.

4.       The Senate Committee on Universities, Housing, and Government Operations will hold a public hearing on SB 145, the right to choose collective bargaining bill, along with other bills and appointments on Wednesday, December 12, 2001, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in room 411 South, State Capitol, Madison, Wisconsin.

You may want to contact Senator Zien at Sen.Zien@legis.state.wi.us  or call 715-720-2300 to urge him to support the UW-Eau Claire Senate action regarding the right to choose collective bargaining. Remember on April 10, 2001 the University Senate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire passed the following resolution without dissention. (The Bill under discussion during the last session was 132, the Senate Bill currently under discussion this Session is # 145).
    WHEREAS the faculty and academic staff of the University of Wisconsin System currently do not enjoy, under state statute, the right to engage in collective bargaining; and
    WHEREAS that right is enjoyed by other professional employees of the State of Wisconsin; and
    WHEREAS a bill before the state legislature, known as Senate Bill 132, would give the faculty and academic staff at the various campuses of the University of Wisconsin System the right to engage in collective bargaining;
    BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the University Senate of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, while it does not endorse or oppose Senate Bill 132, requests that the Senate and General Assembly of
the State of Wisconsin enact legislation that will grant to the faculty and academic staff of the campuses of the University of Wisconsin System the right to engage in collective bargaining; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Regents and President of the University of Wisconsin System, to the Office of the Governor of the State of Wisconsin, and to
the members of the Senate and General Assembly of the State of Wisconsin.