Academic Staff Council Minutes
Members Present: Mark Kinders, Gretchen Link, Steve Luebke, Emily Ronning, Larry Testa, Amber Tubré, Sue Walton
Members Absent: Sally Berkholder, Sarah Egerstrom, Kimberly Gould Speckman,
Call to order at 2:03 p.m.
Approval of 3/24/04 minutes. Motion made by E. Ronning. Seconded by S. Luebke . Unanimously approved.
Chair's Report (S. Walton)
Faculty Senate, Student Senate, and Academic Staff Council Chairs have not been meeting regularly with the Interim Chancellor.
The Board of Regents will authorize our chancellor search and screen on May 7. We will need to submit the names of 4 academic staff members who are recommended by us to be on the committee, and 2 will be chosen. At this time, at least 15 academic staff members are interested in participating. We will hold a special meeting within the next few weeks to review materials submitted by those interested and chose our recommendations.
The search and screen for the Human Resources Director is in process.
Alan Tuchtenhagen was chosen to receive the Academic Staff Chancellor's Award for Excellence this year. All nominees will receive a letter from the selection committee.
Representative's Report (E. Ronning)
Minutes from the 4/15/04 meeting of Academic Staff Representatives are attached and available at: http://www.uwsa.edu/srvpadm/asreps/agendaminutes.htm .
Legislative Update (Mark Kinders)
TABOR will be considered in an extraordinary session of the Assembly during the week of May 10. A new version of the bill has been introduced, and it is extremely complicated. The impact on the UW System is that it exempts some of our funding sources from being restricted by the rate of inflation (e.g., tuition, gifts/grants). In the revised bill, GPR funding will still be affected and would, in fact, be devastated. Several republicans in the Assembly are opposing this, and we need to continue to push them. The Senate is more moderate than the Assembly and its members are concerned about the implications of TABOR.
Relief on auxiliary funds and avoiding raids of these accounts is still an important issue. Legislators seem to be getting this message, but the issue is really Governor Doyle's.
Ballots for the Academic Staff Council Member election will be sent on Monday, May 3. There are 3 openings and 5 candidates – all will be on the ballot. Some candidates are Category B academic staff.
Emily Ronning will be leaving UW-RF in mid-July. She will be beginning a Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota in the fall.
The message to Category B academic staff was delivered. K. Gould Speckman will provide an update at the May meeting.
S. Walton was told by Margot Lessard that the Academic Staff Performance Evaluation Handbook does exist. HR staff are still trying to locate this document.
S. Walton will submit our proposal for funding for neutral facilitation training to the Academic Staff Professional Development grant committee. Only one proposal for these funds has been submitted at this time.
L. Testa noted that construction of the new residence hall is progressing. The deconstruction of Ames will be started in July or August.
M. Kinders and the rest of the Public Affairs office will be moving from Ames to South Hall sometime this summer, after repairs are made to their South Hall space. M. Kinders will also be hiring 7 student interns in Public Affairs.
S. Walton noted that a consultant will be conducting a review of the Registrar's Office.
Adjourned at 3:06 p.m. Motion made by G. Link. Seconded by S. Luebke .
Thursday, April 15, 2004 from 9:00 -1:30 p.m.
Human Resource Issues
George Brooks , Associate Vice President for Human Resources
The Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) has the pay plan adopted by the Board of Regents. OSER Director Karen Timberlake has given George no indication on when the proposal will go to the Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER).
The teaching assistants at UW-Madison may strike over salary increases and premium contributions for health insurance benefits. 75% of the TA's elect a single coverage plan in Tier 1 in which the employee health insurance premium would be $9 per month. The UW System is concerned that if health insurance contributions are prospective (not retroactive to January) the precedent might cause our campuses to pick-up health insurance costs from base budgets.
The extra personal holiday -- in recognition of Veteran's Day -- for UW System unclassified annual employees was approved by the Regents at the April meeting.
Chancellors and Regents are working to increase the number of tenure track faculty in the classroom.
UW-River Falls Provost and vice chancellor Virginia Coombs has agreed to serve as the executive head of the institution until former UW-River Falls Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Virgil Nylander comes out of retirement to serve as interim chancellor on June 1.
Applied Payroll and Benefit System (APBS) Update
Margo Lessard, APBS Director
The project to create a new Human Resource, Payroll and Benefits System is on track to be completed by January 1, 2005. The current system is mainframe-based and the new system -- from Lawson Software -- is web-based.
One of the best features of this new system is the self-service component. Once the system is up and running, an employee may check on his or her payroll deductions, health care provider information, TSA account status or change addresses or other personal information.
The HR employees will be trained mid-summer on the software.
Linda Weimer , Vice President for University Relations
Doug Bradley , Interim Director of Communications
The session is over and a number of bills still await the Governor's signature. University Relations will forward an end of session report after the final action by the Governor on pending legislation.
The Legislature has canceled its special session scheduled for April 27 - 29. One or more extraordinary sessions may be held between now and June (see below).
The TABOR (Taxpayer's Bill of Rights) proposal continues to be worked on in the Legislature. CASR members are encouraged to write to their legislators or to local newspapers and attend town meetings and forums to bring up higher education concerns with TABOR. TABOR negatively affected higher education in Colorado (and continues to do so) -- elected officials and the general public should be concerned about its effects in Wisconsin . Both the UW Board of regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System board have passed resolutions in opposition to TABOR.
Fall elections are quickly approaching. Be sure to ask all candidates about their position on funding/support for public higher education.
The "Pain Project" is underway. Weimer shared photos of some of the poor conditions in which students are forced to learn. Weimer encouraged Academic Staff Representatives to forward the stories about how budget cuts are affecting the quality of education throughout the UW System.
CASR members indicated that it was difficult to get information from the Chancellors, who are not willing to provide it for fear of having bad news affect recruitment efforts. Weimer indicated that unless UW System shows pain, the Governor and Legislature will continue to cut the budget.
David Olien , Senior Vice President for Administration
Deborah Bowen, Lecturer, Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, UW-Whitewater
Kathy Pletcher , Associate Provost, UW-Green Bay
CASR invited the academic staff members of the Search and Screen in to speak to the group, and drafted a number of questions, qualities and characteristics that the members should consider when interviewing candidates for the UW System President position. The Council expressed to their colleagues on the committee to be mindful of all candidates' knowledge of, experience with and attitudes toward academic staff. The ASRC also let the committee members know that a briefing paper about UWS Academic Staff for the candidates is being prepared by the Council and will be made available soon.