University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Meeting Minutes

November 20, 2006

Members present: Alicia Acken Cosgrove, Kevin Bertelsen, Sarah Egerstrom, Brad Gee, Gretchen Link, Jason Neuhaus, Cara Rubis, Travis Tubré

Members absent: Kimberly Gould-Speckman, Mark Kinders

Guests: Nan Jordahl, Kathy Schultz, Ian Williams

Call to Order: 2:05 PM

Approval of 10/27/06 Minutes: Motion made by T. Tubré. Seconded by K. Bertelsen. Unanimously approved.

Chair's Report (S. Egerstrom)

Strategic Planning Update
The Faculty Senate is currently prioritizing goals and tasks. Feedback is welcome via the following website: www.uwrf.edu/strategy.

HLC/NCA Self-Study Update
The first draft and feedback form are available at: www.uwrf.edu/nca.

Spirit Fridays
Starting in Spring Semester. Details to be determined.

Health Insurance Campaign
Egerstrom is working with the Faculty Senate to send a postcard to staff asking for stories regarding healthcare coverage and concerns. A website will also be available. Responses should be submitted by December 8.

Representative's Report (K. Gould-Speckman)

Minutes from the 11/16/06 meeting of Academic Staff Representatives are attached and available at: www.uwsa.edu/acadaff/asreps/agendaminutes.htm.

Legislative Update (M. Kinders)

No legislative update was presented.

New Business

Orientation for Academic Staff (N. Jordahl & I. Williams)
Jordahl remarked that there has been discussion for many years about enhancing academic staff orientation and development; however, Williams and Jordahl both commented that lack of time and resources has, by necessity, led to a focus on faculty and teaching academic staff. They also emphasized that they are open to discussing how to enhance the orientation and staff development programs. Egerstrom commented that non-teaching academic staff found some parts of the orientation to be relevant and some not. She suggested there may be a need for "peel off" sessions geared to these staff. Link thought it might be useful to send a survey to academic staff regarding possible topics that could be addressed. Croonquist offered to contact a colleague in Chicago who could do a session on diversity issues. Jordahl stated that no money would be available for a speaker; however, Croonquist said she would be willing to write a grant proposal. Link added that institutional advancement grants have been used for this type of activity in the past. Acken Cosgrove also offered to do a conflict management session in August. On behalf of the Academic Staff Council Egerstrom expressed a willingness to coordinate a session for academic staff. Tubré thought a session could be created on best practices for mentoring faculty and staff. Williams said that the deadline for advertising the January faculty development sessions is December 10. Egerstrom said she would be in touch with Williams regarding the possibility of a mentoring session in January. Jordahl suggested that part of the session might focus on what a mentoring program should look like on campus.

Fourth Division Title (S. Egerstrom)
Egerstrom announced that the Fourth Division had gained a fourth seat on the Faculty Senate. She mentioned that the other divisions are named after their colleges, and with the inclusion of the College of Business and Economics, there are now five divisions in the Faculty Senate. She asked the committee if Fourth Division was still an appropriate name for the division representing academic staff. The committee expressed a preference for Academic Staff Division or, as a second option, Fifth Division. Egerstrom said she would have a follow-up discussion with Wes Chapin.

Growth Agenda Resolution (S. Egerstrom)
No resolution was presented.

Continuing Business

Performance Review Document (K. Schulz)
K. Schulz presented the revised Academic Staff Performance Review document for the committee's action. She commented that, for the majority of the staff, the new document would come into use when the process of goal-setting begins for 2007. She also said the Human Resources Office would provide guidance on the use of the document. Croonquist made the motion to approve the document. Link seconded. Unanimously approved.

Mentoring Discussion (S. Egerstrom)
Egerstrom and T. Tubré met with K. Schulz in September. As a result, Human Resources would be willing to partner with the Academic Staff Committee to create and oversee a mentoring program. Tubré said research shows that more formal programs result in better outcomes. Bertelsen agreed and added there was a need for formal guidelines for mentors. Link thought it would be useful to have a panel discussion including people doing mentoring combined with a presentation on best practices. Tubré offered to do a session on best practices. Egerstrom will contact Ian Williams.

Handbook Updates (S. Egerstrom)
Rubis discussed some inconsistencies in wording she had discovered in Chapters 1 & 2. Due to time constraints, Egerstrom proposed creating a special meeting in December that would focus on Handbook updates.

Adjournment: 3:35 PM. Motion made by G. Link. Seconded by J. Neuhaus. Unanimously approved.

2006-07 University of Wisconsin System Council of Academic Staff Representatives
Thursday, November 16, 2006 Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Judith Blackstone, UW-Eau Claire, Sheri Arendt, UW-Green Bay, Deborah Veglahn, UW-LaCrosse, Read Gilgen, UW-Madison, Jon Lenichek, UW-Milwaukee, Ann Marie Johnson, UW-Oshkosh, Rebecca Ferguson, UW-Parkside, Carlos Wiley, UW-Platteville, Kimberly Gould Speckman, UW-River Falls, Mike Pagel, UW-Stevens Point, Dennis Shaw, UW-Stout, Donna Dahlvang, UW-Superior, Michael Cohen, UW-Whitewater, Dave Carlson, UW Rock County, Bill Mann, UW-Extension, Donna Silver, UW System Administration, Ron Singer, UW System Administration, Lisa Beckstrand, UW System Administration, Al Crist, UW System Administration, Bob Jokisch, UW System Administration, Bill Steffenhagen, UW-Madison (ASPRO President)

Senior Vice President Cora Marrett and Bob Jokisch joined the meeting at 10:00 following a discussion among Academic Staff Representatives. The session began with the approval of the minutes from the October 12 meeting.

The Academic Staff Reps presented a card to Cora Marrett in appreciation for her comradery. Cora expressed what a privilege it has been to work with this group and the important role academic staff play in ensuring excellence in higher education. Cora also noted the importance in addressing the issues raised in the 2002 Report on Academic Staff.

Dave Carlson noted that he is talking to Chris Sadler of the Faculty Representatives about a joint meeting of the Academic Staff and Faculty Reps on May 4th. Dave Carlson also reported that the Academic Staff Reps discussed the following items in their session from 9:00 to 10:00:
- Growth Agenda
- Revising UWS 7 + 11
- Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) Report
- Compensation Advisory Committee

The following UW System institutions have passed resolutions in support of the Growth Agenda:
- Stevens Point, Stout, Madison, Green Bay, Colleges, Superior, Parkside

The discussion of the Academic Staff Reps also included concerns about details of the plan and there was a general consensus that UW System institutions can't have additional students without additional resources. Cora noted that she would inform the President of their message.

The Academic Staff Reps also discussed the Board of Regents Committee on the LAB Audit on Personnel Practices. They decided that Dennis Shaw from UW-Stout would represent them on the committee. On the issue of collegial coverage, one suggestion raised was to have a policy on this at each campus.

On the issue of Compensation, Cora Marrett noted the dilemma faced by Pres Reilly and the Board of Regents - internal pressure to increase salaries while also pressure to control tuition.

On the election, Academic Staff Reps expressed their disappointment on the marriage amendment but they were pleased with Board of Regents (BOR) resolution on the amendment. Cora Marrett stated that domestic partner benefits are still a priority for the Board of Regents and are supported by the Governor.

Associate Vice President Ron Singer then discussed the Search for Senior VP for Academic Affairs with the Academic Staff Reps. President Reilly was interested in getting their input on the process. He informed the Reps that the search was approved by the Board of Regents. Rebecca Martin, Provost at UW-Parkside, has been named interim Senior VP. Comments from the Academic Staff Reps included the following priorities on the search:
- Understanding issues of faculty & area staff reps
- Student success
- Leadership
- Best practices

The Academic Staff Reps also raised concerns about the Efficiency Group recommendation to transfer the $400,000 in Faculty/Staff development funds to the campuses. They were concerned that if the funds are moved to campuses, they would be cut.

Lisa Beckstrand, Director of Inclusivity Initiative and Academic Planner, then reported on the Climate Study. The Climate Study would be a campus-based study of all areas of diversity (race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, ability status, religious affiliation, and class). Lisa noted Susan Rankin, a national expert in conducting Climate Studies, met with Provosts last month. The Provosts were very positive in response to the presentation. Curently a committee is generating plans for different models of involvement for campuses to determine feasibility, cost, and campus interest. Questions were raised about age and veterans' issues for a climate study. The Academic Staff Reps asked Lisa to share the campus Inclusivity Initiative contacts with them.

Senior Vice President Cora Marrett then updated the academic staff reps on the upcoming December Board of Regents meeting. The major items on the agenda include:
" Pay plan
" 10% Reduction Exercise (reduction should be on the administrative side)
" Disciplinary Policy
" WTCS Collegiate Transfer and pre-professional programs
" Holistic Admissions
" Public Health

On the Academic Staff Leadership Conference, Donna Dahlvang noted that in their discussions at UW-Superior, they are focusing on a theme of Growth - UW System growth, personal and professional growth, and Wisconsin economic growth. They plan to ask President Reilly to speak. Donna asked if a presentation from a grants writer from Eau Claire would be popular. Comments included the following:
" Advertise early because academic staff not here in summer
" Legislative forum was popular
Donna stated that she will send email to the Academic Staff Reps to ask to for additional ideas and proposals.

Associate Vice President Al Crist then provided an update on HR Issues. On the LAB Audit of Personnel Policies, a committee has been appointed to advise on how to respond to the audit. Regents Loftus, Bartell, Connolly-Keesler, and Cuene are on the Committee along with
Chancellor Sanders, Chris Sadler from the Faculty Reps and now Dennis Shaw from the Academic Staff Reps. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing is on November 29th.

On the Compensation Advisory Committee, Al Crist noted the importance of this issue because of the challenges UW System institutions face in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. The recommendations on compensation will be brought to the Board in December. The issue of compression and the affect it is having on people deciding to retire was brought up by the Academic Staff Reps.

On Criminal Background Checks, Al Crist stated that they are bringing the policy to the Board of Regents in December. He realized there is not universal happiness on this issue. Concerns raised by Academic Staff Reps included the cost of paying for these background checks and that this was overkill for a very rare problem. Al Crist stated that they are trying to minimize risk and costs ($20 average - $50 maximum), and that there is flexibility for campuses to exclude student employees. The question was also raised on whether criminal background checks needed to be done for all hires, and Al Crist stated that they determined that it was most fair to use for all new hires (with exceptions).

The Academic Staff Reps next met with the Board of Regents Committee regarding Faculty/Academic Staff Disciplinary Process. Those minutes will be posted on the Board of Regents web site.

The meeting ended following further discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

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