Thursday, December 20, 2007

Written Testimony on SB353

Dear Senator Vinehout and State Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education members,

My name is Dennis Shaw from Menomonie and I am employed in the Student Life Services Office at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. I also have the honor of serving as the elected Chair of our Senate of Academic Staff, one of three governance groups on campus along with the Faculty Senate and Stout Student Association.

In addition, and for the record, I am also the Vice President of the Board of Directors for ASPRO, the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization, which has 700 academic staff employee members statewide. Academic staff professionals are the partners of the faculty inside and outside of the classroom. Academic Staff employees are lecturers, librarians, advisors, researchers, counselors, financial aid professionals, information technology staff, and housing managers just to name a few of the roles we fill.

I understand that on Monday you held a public hearing on Senate Bill 353, “relating to collective bargaining process for University of Wisconsin System faculty and academic staff and making appropriations.” My duties at UW-Stout did not afford me the opportunity to testify in person, so I appreciate that you have agreed to take written comments during this week.

While our campus senate is out of session until the second semester, I am sure our body will be strongly opposed to the language in Senate Bill 353, so I am comfortable relaying a letter in opposition. I have attached a resolution from the UW-Stout Senate of Academic Staff that was passed unanimously in September opposing similar enabling language in the State Senate version of the state budget bill. Our concerns with the language in the budget bill have not been addressed with SB353.

The primary reason both our campus senate and the statewide ASPRO organization opposes this language is that it specifically mandates that the faculty and the academic staff collective bargaining units on each campus would start off being separate. As stated in our September resolution, “while the language in the senate bill does provide an option to combine units, however in reality there would be little incentive for faculty or large campus bargaining units to vote to support combining with them, setting up a system where campuses, faculty and staff would each be competing against each other for limited state dollars.”

This pitting of faculty against academic staff and campus against campus for limited resources is unhealthy both for the University of Wisconsin System and the state. I grew up in a good union home with my father serving as a Committeeman for Local 95 of the UAW in Janesville. I understand that the purpose of collective bargaining and that the larger the representation the more bargaining power a union has. For the life of me I cannot understand why the legislative authors would want to start with 25 to 30 separate weak bargaining units instead of having one large combined faculty & academic staff union.

As you can see in the BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED section of our September 2007 resolution, while the UW-Stout Senate of Academic Staff would not necessarily “be opposed to the right to choose to collectively bargain, we will continue to oppose any bill including collective bargaining bills that would separate faculty and academic staff pay and benefit plans and thereby treat the 11,000 academic staff in the UW System unfairly and inequitably.”

I therefore, speaking for the UW-Stout Senate of Academic Staff, encourage the committee to either amend the language that would require separate bargaining units or vote against Senate Bill 353 when the vote is called.

Thanks once again for the opportunity to provide comments!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chair's Report for Dec 11 meeting

Greetings. Well it's been another busy month! And some of the news I have to report is not good. If you've been following my blog you have already read about the Faculty Senate voting to stop the Combined Senates meetings. This is unfortunate! We will soon announce our meeting schedule for next semester.

I also wrote about ASPRO calling our attention to the possibility that the Governor may ask for an additional raise but not for professional category academic staff. Our senate has long been on the record of opposing any proposal that separate faculty and all academic staff pay plans. The Chancellor has given me information that President Reilly is asking for the raises for all academic staff. Our voices may have to be heard. If I get any additional information I will be sure to share it.

You may also have heard that the Special Regents Committee addressing the LAB Audit, which I had the honor of serving on representing academic staff from across the state finished its work. It was one of the primary issues on the agenda for the Nov 15 joint meeting between the Academic Staff reps and the Faculty reps. The following day, Nov 16, I was in Madison for the final meeting of the committee. While I did vote against one of the 3 recommendations, I am satisfied that the recommendations adequately addressed the issues identified by the LAB Audit, and the most important thing is that the System adopt policy and procedures so that we do not loose the sick leave conversion benefits. Last Friday, Dec 7, the Regents approved the recommendations.

Some of the meetings I participated in representing the Senate of Academic Staff this month included:

On November 5, the Chancellor's Advisor Council (CAC) met. At that meeting Meridith Wentz facilitated a discussion of the seven core strategies of UW System’s Strategic Framework to Advantage Wisconsin. Think Tank Teams (with representation from all campuses) have been formed and are currently holding discussion meetings as part of the strategic framework development for the UW System. In addition, discussions at the campus level are encouraged to further share in this planning effort. A summary of the discussion and ideas presented will be shared with President Reilly.

Next the 2007 Cancellation Survey Report was reviewed and discussed. Cindy Gilberts reported that this is the third year the survey has been done, and is used for students who are admitted but decide not to enroll. This was the first year that the survey was conducted by email only.

The meeting concluded with recognition of those involved with StoutQuest. The researchers included in the new StoutQuest publication were recognized and congratulated.

On November 12, the UW-Stout Retention Steering Group, a team of 10 members from campus including myself attended an OPID Workshop in Madison on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) presented by Jillian Kinzie. It was worthwhile and got us thinking about how student engagement affects retention.

On November 14, 2007 the Administrative Leadership Team met with Dr. Robert Zemsky to challenge our thinking on issues facing higher education today. His recent work as a commission member on Secretary Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education resulted in an article on a 3-year degree completion idea. The discussion was very fascinating and challenged us to think outside of the box.

As I mentioned above on November 15, 2007 the Academic Staff Representatives Council (ACRS) participated in a Joint Meeting with the Faculty Representatives. The joint meeting began with a discussion of the draft Shared Governance Principles and Guidelines. Regent Michael Spector, who chaired the Shared Governance Working Group, began the discussion by summarizing the process that led to the development of the draft Shared Governance Principles and Guidelines. He noted that the Shared Governance Working Group did not attempt to interpret Chapter 36, but rather worked to develop an inclusive process for better decision-making. The basic premise of the draft Shared Governance Guidelines is to have governance groups involved in the development of Regent and UW System policies early in the process. This means getting nominations from governance groups for systemwide policy committees and then having review of these policies by campus governance groups.

Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin next handed out a list of systemwide committees for the faculty and academic staff reps to review and discuss at a future meeting for application of the new guidelines.

Regent Tom Loftus and Associate Vice President Al Crist joined the meeting next to discuss Leave Reporting and the Response to the LAB Audit. Regent Loftus began the discussion by noting that the guiding principle in the discussions by the Special Regent Committee on Regent Response to the Legislative Audit Bureau Audit on UW System Personnel Policies and Practices was that if a person is sick, they should stay home and take a sick day. They should also report sick leave even if they get colleague coverage.

Al Crist also gave a brief update on Pay Plan and noted that the Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER) will not meet until mid-December and therefore, pay plan will not take effect until after January 1.

Lastly, Associate Vice President Freda Harris summarized the 2007-09 biennial budget. Freda noted that this was a much better budget than previous biennia for the UW System with the funding received for Costs to Continue and the Growth Agenda. The budget does include a $25 million lapse for the UW System over the biennium.

On Nov 19, CAC again met. The meeting started with Commications Director Doug Mell introducing Greg Leaf, Don Steffen, Art Juchno and Ed Jakober who developed the recruitment TV ads. Greg Leaf described the objective, strategy and timeline for the advertising campaign, and followed with a review of the ads.

Next George Acker reviewed the major project lists for 2009-2015 and 2015-2021, as well as the proposed 2009-2015 all agency project request list.

Finally, we talked about how to address issues from the Listening Sessions. We started with the proposed items that the university could take care of now. The Chancellor will meet with several administrators to discuss the items that might be combined, and then prioritize and identify next steps.

On Nov 20, the Administrative Leadership Team had the opportunity to meet with Cabot Executive in Residence Brian Colianni who is the Executive Director of Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific & Africa Region. Again a good opportunity to think about how things work in the corporate world and look for applications at our institution.

On Dec 3, CAC met once again. Meridith Wentz started us off by facilitating a review of the resolution proposals for the long-term issues identified at the listening sessions. Following the review and discussion, Meridith will provide a summary, including resource implications, for the Chancellor. Meridith then reviewed the priorities and action steps that have been taken for each. The performance indicators were also reviewed and discussed.

On Dec 6 & 7, I attended the Board of Regents meetings with Chancellor Sorensen and Provost Furst-Bowe. As I mentioned they did approve the LAB proposals. Regent Loftus was very gracious in publicly thanking me and the Faculty rep Chris Sadler for our participation. The Regents also approved the funding Stout was seeking for planning for the Jarvis renovation and addition!

Other meetings I participated in during the month included:

  • 11/6: LLC renaming dedication for former Chancellor Swanson
  • 11/6: Monthly meeting with Provost Furst-Bowe
  • 11/9: Vice Chair Jerry Addie represented us at a meeting with the SSA President and Faculty Senate Chair. He also the Access to Learning Committee meeting for me. Thanks Jerry!
  • 11/13: Attended reception for retirees
  • 11/19: Monthly meeting with Chancellor Sorensen
  • 11/26: Retention Steering Group
  • 11/30: Polytechnic Steering Committee – approved the Polytechnic tenants
  • 11/30: Monthly meeting with SSA President and Faculty Senate Chair
  • 12/4: Monthly meeting with Provost Furst-Bowe

Well that's my report for this month.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More on Pay Raises... but not for all of us

Our friends at ASPRO are saying that the Governor's office may ask for an additional raise but just for Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff. We have always fought to keep Faculty and ALL Academic Staff pay plans the same - its the fair thing.

Here's what ASPRO sent out, FYI:

Doyle Prepared to Divide Academic Staff

According to Governor Jim Doyle, some of you are just more worthy than others.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER), Doyle’s appointee, Jennifer Donnelly, announced that she would be back before the Committee in December with a pay plan recommendation for faculty and instructional and research academic staff.

All indications from Doyle’s staff and UW System staff are that Doyle plans to give faculty and Category B academic staff (instructors and researchers) an additional salary increase. Category A academic staff (those not teaching or researching) would not get the additional bump.

This is the same proposal that prompted the creation of ASPRO more than 20 years ago.

For some reason, the Governor believes that an assistant professor of Portuguese at UWM is more important to the undergraduate experience than a student’s advisor or the Director of Financial Aid.

How could the Governor argue that giving an additional salary boost to an academic staff research scientist, but not to the academic staff member who directs the campus’ economic development efforts somehow helps the State’s economy? Let’s face it, without the Category A academic staff member who writes the grants or manages the lab, the researcher would not be able to conduct world-renowned research.

If you are an instructor or a researcher, this plan sounds pretty good and it would be – in the short term. In the long term, this division of the academic staff will lead to more divisiveness. Next time, don’t be surprised if those scientists engaged in politically acceptable research will receive higher salary increases than those toiling on research that the general public does not understand. And it will be easier to propose that teaching academic staff should not get the same salary increases as their faculty colleagues.

To stop Governor Doyle from implementing this proposal, academic staff must act NOW. Email or call the Governor’s office to express your opposition to a salary boost that excludes some academic staff. See the contact information in the sidebar on how to contact the Governor.

Make yours personal, but include the message that “As an academic staff member who is a (your position) at (which campus), I oppose any effort to give a salary raise to faculty and some, BUT NOT ALL, academic staff.”

Please share this Alert with all of your colleagues. We need to flood the Governor’s office with calls and emails to stop the unfair treatment of the academic staff.

ASPRO recognizes that all academic staff contribute to the educational experience of students and help maintain the stellar reputation of the University of Wisconsin. Help us make sure that Governor Doyle gets the message.

Legislative Committee Approves Unclassified Raises

During the Combined Senates Meeting we were informed by Vice Chancellor Moen that JOCER was voting on the pay plan for unclassified staff at the UW which included a 2% raise for this year (retroactive to July 1), 2% to come on July 1, 2008, and 1% to come on April 1, 2009. Communication Director Doug Mell then let us know the plan did pass as proposed.

Academic Staff I have spoke with have had the same reaction as after the budget was passed - that they are glad some action was taken so we know where we stand, but unhappy about the lack of support given to the university. Some have expressed concerns that once again this does not even keep pace with cost of living increases.

As I have said many times if you have strong feelings about this issues - good or bad - your best course of action is to exercise your right to personally contact the Governor and your elected representatives in the state Senate and Assembly but make sure you do it on your own time and don't use Stout's phones or email system - make the contact from your personal cell, home phone or non-university email address.

Combined Senates Meetings Will Be Ending

On Tuesday the Faculty Senate voted to stop the Combined Senates meetings starting Spring Semester. While I know that our senate will be disappointed in hearing this news (at our last meeting the Senate of Academic Staff voted unanimously to continue the combined meetings), we have to respect their decision which they feel is in the best interest of their governance body. During their meeting, which our exec committee members attended, they did express support for our senate and a willingness to continue to find ways to work with the Academic Staff. We appreciate that!

With that said, we will be looking into how our senate meeting times might be shifted to allow the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor and other presenters to speak with both senates during spring semester. Look for a new senate meeting time schedule to come out ASAP.

Dennis Shaw, Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Friday, November 2, 2007

Chair's Report for November 6, 2007 meeting

Greetings! Can you believe it's November already. It's been a very busy month!!

The big thing hanging over us for most of the month has been a resolution to the state budget. As you will note from my comments in the blog entry below, a compromise was agreed on and signed into law. Now from the state we are watching 2 issues. First is what will happen with leave reporting and the second is the negotiations on staff pay raises for the 2007-2009 biennium.

A Special Regents' Committee on Response to the LAB Audit will be making recommendations on leave reporting and I serve on that committee – we will be meeting on November 16 in Madison. Each campus faculty and academic staff governance group should have their comments on the proposals into System by now (deadline was 10/31) and that should help guide the recommendations. The key for the committee will be to make sure we have a good, accountable sick leave system in place so that we don't risk the sick leave conversion benefit we now have.

On campus the big issue before the senate is the program alignment process. I personally attended all but one of the Chancellor's Listening Sessions to make sure I knew how you felt about this and the other topics addressed. As a side note I have to say that the SSA listening session was very good. It is always interesting to hear the student's perspective (and important as campus leaders we are listening to the students as well). On October 23 the Provost invited me and the Faculty Senate Chair to the Dean's Issues Meeting. At that meeting the 4 models were narrowed to 2. The two models which are variations of model #3, have been presented to the Senates and we will discuss them at the Tuesday, Nov 6 meeting of the combined senates. The campus is welcome to attend (2:30pm in Ballroom A).

As for other meetings where I represented the Senate, the Chancellor's Advisory Council (CAC) met twice in October. At the October 1 meeting we continued our discussion of the Honor's Taskforce Report and gave approval of the recommendations. Next, Meridith Wentz reviewed the executive summary of the NSSE 2007 Report. The NSSE is an annual undergraduate survey that assesses the extent to which first-year students and seniors engage in a variety of good educational practices. It was suggested that we may want to review our policies and revise them to address the identified concerns/issues. Student engagement is critical to the mission of the university and to retention of students. Our senate and the Faculty Senate will be looking closely at concerns raised and taking an active role in this issue. Meridith also reviewed the executive summary of the FSSE report which is a survey designed to measure faculty expectations of student engagement in educational practices that are linked to high levels of student learning and development along with how faculty use these practices in their work with students. The FSSE is designed to be used in conjunction with NSSE's survey. To me is was eye-opening to see the gaps in perception of the students and faculty/instructors. Finally, Meridith reviewed the 2006-07 Teaching Workload Report. An observation was made that the report does not include the number of preps.

At the October 15 CAC meeting, George Acker introduced Craig Sachs and Michael McMahon, consultants from Miller Wagner Coenen McMahon of Neenah, WI to discuss formulation of the Campus Master Plan. This is the step in the campus master plan development process where they are conducting discussion sessions with numerous groups on campus. It is expected to have the process completed with a final campus plan proposal in October 2008. Next, Howard Lee, Richard Tafalla and Holly Teuber shared a revised Minority Faculty and Staff Network (MFSN) Committee Form and asked for formal university recognition. The charge is linked to several of our enduring goals, as well as Goal 5 of Plan 2008. As the committee represents both unclassified and classified staff, their members would like to be independent of senates but will be looking at how they can be connected to the senates in working on diversity issues. Our senate does have a diversity senator position appointed by the Chair and I have asked the MFSN to provide an individuals name to serve on our senate.

I also attended the statewide Academic Staff Reps Council (ASRC) meeting in Madison on October 11. It's always good to get together with our counterparts from around the state! Our meetings always start off and finish with some time where we can talk alone without UW System Administrators present. Items we discussed during this time included leave reporting, drafting a thank you for the Regents expanding the annual Academic Staff Excellence Award program, discussion of the collective bargaining language in the state budget, a summer conference debrief, developing some type of orientation for campus reps, discussion of various common HR issues, and discussion of effort reporting for federal grants.

Next the formal meeting began with Associate Vice President Ron Singer and Bob Jokisch. The meeting began with a presentation by General Counsel Pat Brady on Legal Issues Facing the UW System. Pat began with a review of Chapter 36, which is the legal framework for the UW System. s. 36.09 (4m) of the statutes explains the role of academic staff in the UW System. Pat noted that in addition to the statutes, UW System Administrative Codes (which the Board of Regents adopts), campus policies, Board policies, System Administration policies, and finance and personnel guidelines impact academic staff.

After that we then discussed with Ron Singer the issues raised during our separate discussion among only campus reps. Regarding leave reporting, the academic staff reps raised the issue of academic staff being treated the same as faculty under the new proposals.

Ron Singer and Todd Bailey with the Office of Policy Analysis and Research (OPAR) then discussed the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) with the Academic Staff Reps. VSA results from an interest in higher education to providing greater accountability. Two national higher education groups, NASULGC and AASCU, are taking the lead in VSA. VSA will provide a web-based portrait that will be uniform for all institutions. Three sets of information would be shown on the template: Student and family information, Student experiences, Student learning outcomes.

Associate Vice President Ed Meachen then discussed the Common Systems Roadmap and the Human Resources System (HRS) project with the Academic Staff Reps. The Common Systems Roadmap is a long range (10 years) look at technology for the UW System. The Roadmap looks at what outcomes we want for students, faculty, and staff, and what new technology we see coming. The Roadmap is a living document that will be reviewed annually. It was presented to the Board of Regents last week.

Ron Singer then provided further information to the Academic Staff Reps on the distinguished title. He shared a table showing the use of the distinguished title across the UW System, and noted that UW System Administration is developing criteria for the title. The use of this title is within the discretion of the campus. The Academic Staff Reps agreed to share criteria developed with each other.

Associate Vice President Freda Harris shared a summary of information available on the Governor's budget proposal for the Special Session. The Governor's budget proposal provides $22 million for the Growth Agenda, but $25 million biennally in lapses ($12.5 million annually). The tuition cap passed by the Assembly is not included. Costs to continue are fully funded under the Governor's budget and the Compensation Reserve is funded at the same level as Joint Finance. Freda noted that the lapse would certainly slow the Growth Agenda. Freda also noted that this proposal may not pass.

The ASRC meeting ended following further discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

Other meetings I participated in on behalf of the Senate included:

  • 10/3 - attended AS Personnel Committee Meeting
  • 10/9 – the Faculty Senate Chair and I presented results of her performance evaluation to Vice Chancellor Moen
  • 10/12 - met with SSA President and Faculty Senate Vice Chair (we plan to hold monthly meetings to enhance dialog and cooperation between the 3 senates)
  • 10/17 – met with the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor and other senate leaders to discuss status of state budget negotiations (I want to say a special thanks to the Chancellor, Julie, and Diane for bringing the senates in on almost every major decision the campus has to make – I do talk to the other campus reps and our relationship with administration is envied around the state!)
  • 10/19 – participated in ASPRO Board teleconference
  • 10/25 – monthly meeting with Chancellor Sorensen
  • 10/26 – Polytechnic Steering Committee meeting
  • 10/30 – met with Provost and team from Stout going to Madison for NSSE workshop
  • 11/2 – myself and the SSA Presient and Faculty Senate Chair will have a private meeting with Regent Bartell this morning. Our Vice Chair Jerry Addie then will represent our Senate at a lunch with the Regent (thanks Jerry!)

Well, that's it for my report this month. Hope to see you at the Senate meetings on Tuesday!!

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Guv signs state budget bill

I see that the Governor signed the compromise budget bill with very few vetos yesterday. Like any compromise there are things about it I think are good and things I think are bad, but at least we know where we stand and that's good. I'm glad he and Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch could work it out. Click here if you want to view the budget signing ceremony with UW Chancellor Wiley, UW President Reilly, Gov. Doyle, Sen. Robson and Reps. Huebsch and Kreuser courtesy of WisPolitics.

Our friends at ASPRO tell me that Gov. Doyle did veto out the provision in the budget that would have required campuses to identify whether the teacher of a particular class is "a tenured or probationary faculty member, a member of the academic staff, or a teaching assistant" when they register for the class. It was a bad provision and didn't belong in the budget bill anyway. Whomever tried to sneak it in should go through the normal process and have a hearing on the merits of doing it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chair's Report for October 2, 2007 meeting

Greetings! It is already starting off to be another busy year. I first want to thank Joy Evenson for many years of service to the senates. Joy's last day with us was last Friday and she is now serving as Administrative Assistant to the ROTC program. I'd also like to welcome Janelle Reitz who is now the senate secretary. Jenelle has lots of energy and I'm sure will do a great job for both senates!

So, with that said, following are the meetings and activities I wish to report this month:

August 29: Chancellor Sorensen invited the senators to a bit of a reception at his home. It was a great and relaxing way for us to start the year and we thank the Chancellor for his hospitality and his support of shared governance!

August 30: The Faculty Senate leaders and I gave Chancellor Sorensen and Provost Furst-Bowe the results of the senates evaluation of them. This was the first year for evaluating the Provost. Both leaders were very receptive to the feedback offered.

August 31: I attended the Provost Council Retreat to talk about the realignment models. There was a good discussion and the models are currently being taken to the campus Feedback Sessions. Like last year I plan to be at as many of these sessions as possible to hear firsthand the comments from the campus community.

September 4: I assisted with Laptop Deployment. It is amazing how smooth this process runs thanks to the efforts of Jane Henderson, Margy Ingram, and countless other Academic Staff, Faculty and classified staff who help with it!

September 5: I was thrilled to attend 2 student events – Meet Menomonie and the Multicultural Student Services Picnic. Both events were again fantastic and I would encourage you next year to make some time to get to both events and visit with our students.

September 10: Chancellor's Advisory Council met and at that meeting Drew Barrette of SSA described the students' interest and commitment to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment project; and their recommendation that the Chancellor sign the Presidents' Climate Commitment. Diane Moen reported that a new half-time Environmental Sustainability Coordinator has recently been appointed (Raina Clark), and described the responsibilities of that position. She also reviewed a draft proposal for a UW-Stout Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee. The Chancellor's Advisory Council recommended that the Chancellor sign the Presidents' Climate Commitment for UW-Stout's participation in the program.

Richard Tafalla reported that the Minority Faculty and Staff Network is requesting formal university recognition and described the proposed committee establishment. There was discussion as well if this might be considered as a separate committee within the governance structure. The personnel type issues listed under goals/objectives could be appropriately connected to governance groups. Richard commented that network members have discussed the importance of maintaining their autonomy and feel it is essential to retain the direct contact with administration that currently exists.

The Chancellor reviewed a proposed draft administrative ethics statement for the university community. There have been a number of discussions and comments on this topic including a proposal by a Jeff Russell group that was reviewed by both the Faculty Senate and the Senate of Academic Staff. I will share this draft with the senate at our next meeting.

Other discussion items included: Donna Weber reviewed the strengths and opportunities included in the ESURC Report of the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office. Meridith Wentz provided an overview of the 2006-07 ACT Student Opinion Survey Report. Janice Coker reviewed the report, including the recommendations by the Honor's Taskforce. Discussion will continue at our next CAC meeting.

September 11: I attended the 9-11 event and congratulate the student organizations who put on a very good non-partisan program. I also was invited to be a guest server at the "Great American Cookout" along with the other campus leaders. Not only was it a pleasure to "physically serve" the students at this wonderful event, but it was also great to visit with some of the students while I took a meal break.

September 13: I met with Provost Furst-Bowe on this date as my first regular monthly meeting. As always it was a good meeting and I feel good that we can have this kind of open dialog with the administration! In the evening I represented the senate at the Foundation Donors Reception and the Scholarship Awards Ceremony. A couple of great events. It was inspiring to see our best and brightest walking across the stage to receive their scholarships!

September 14: Most of this day was taken up with Foundation Board meetings. My remarks focused on three things I feel we want to focus on this year: (1) How we can partner with the campus to leverage our new "polytechnic designation", (2) the program re-alignment process, and (3) continuing to work closely with the faculty senate and strengthening our relationship with the Stout Student Association.

September 17: Completed work on the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Marketing Search Committee. The Chancellor offered the position to David Williams. We look forward to working with Mr. Williams.

September 18: After our Senate Executive Committee met we went into the Faculty Senate Listening Session for a few minutes. Then during the break Faculty Senate Chair Jerry Kapus and I presented Joy Evenson with a plaque from both of our senates to commemorate her service with us. After that we had our Senate Feedback session. I thought it went well and I was glad we had some very thoughtful comments!

September 19: I attended another listening session.

September 20: I traveled to Madison to attend the Academic Staff Reps Council (ASRC) meeting. These are important meetings as it is very important that we keep in touch with the Academic Staff at the other campuses as well as take advantage of having frank discussions with the administrators at System. Minutes from these meetings are not out yet so I will report details in my next report but let me say that I did distribute copies of the UW-Stout Senate of Academic Staff's recent resolution against the Senate Budget collective bargaining provision. ASRC Chair Dave Carlson (UW Colleges) and I urged campus governance organizations to pass resolutions similar to UW-Stout's.

September 21: I participated in the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) Board Meeting Teleconference. As you know from my reports last year, ASPRO is not a union but provides lobbying for Academic Staff. The highlight of these meetings is always getting a Legislative Update. ASPRO President Bill Steffenhagen (UW-Madison) asked me to give a review of the ASRC meeting and share information about our resolution.

ASPRO Lobbyists Kilgore and Swandby reviewed the current status of the State Budget and shared "behind the scene" stories. Swandby reviewed the emails ASPRO has sent to legislators and the email sent by Representative Jon Richards to all legislators urging them to sign on to a letter supporting the collective bargaining provision. UW-Milwaukee members were encouraged to contact Representative Richards and Barndt stated she will be meeting soon with him.

At the end of the meeting the officers were elected and I'm pleased to report that I was re-elected as Board Vice President.

Later in the day of the 21st, I met with Faculty Senate Chair Jerry Kapus and SSA President Mike Lubke. We started these meetings between the 3 governance chairs last year and I was pleased that we can continue these meetings with this year's leaders! We spent over an hour talking about what the students hope to accomplish this year. Sounds like they have some great leadership this year and I'm pleased we will be able to work with them!

September 24: The Chancellor's Administrative Leadership Team met. The agenda for this meeting included a discussion of the attached article – The Geography of Trust – from the Harvard Business Review. We broke into small groups for discussion before coming back together to "report out" to the entire team. It was a good exercise!

September 25: I met again with Provost Furst-Bowe who asked me to Chair the Dean of Students' Search. This is another important position to the campus and I am honored to represent our senate while leading the search committee.

September 26: Attended 2 more Listening sessions.

September 28: This day started early (7am) with the first Access to Learning (ATL) meeting of the year. The ATL committee make up mainly of students, the deans, and governance leaders makes decisions on how to distribute Access to Learning funds, so another very important committee! Later that morning I sat in on the beginning of the UW System Diversity Climate Assessment Teleconference. Our rep was Senator Wendy Knutson and she participated in the entire session, but again this is an important topic and I was pleased to be able to participate in a good portion of the meeting. I left that teleconference to represent the senate on the Polytechnic Steering Committee. We spent the bulk of the meeting revising a draft of the "tenants" of our polytechnic. We really want to give faculty and staff something that can be put on a business card to explain what we are as a polytechnic university.

September 29: My wife (Lisa) and I had the honor of being invited to join the Alumni Foundation for an outing in Madison. In total there were 22 of us who participated in a reception at the home of UW President Kevin Reilly. We then went to see the UW-Michigan State game at Camp Randall. It was quite an exciting day!

Well, that's all for now. Hope to see you all at the Senate meeting on Tuesday!

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Chair's Report for September 4, 2007 meeting

Greetings! Wow, summer is over and we are ready to start another exciting year. I thought it was great after the Chancellor's Opening Remarks that the Provost recapped what we, together, have accomplished over the past 20 years. UW-Stout is indeed a special place!

Last year was extremely busy for the senates and I believe this year will also be a busy one. All one has to do is look at the agenda for our first meeting and see that we will be hitting the ground running. We have had a busy summer with our reps serving on the Chancellor's Strategic Planning Group summer retreat, a number of us traveling to UW-Superior for the Academic Staff Leadership Conference, a productive summer meeting of the senate, and getting everything set for the 2007-2008 year.

I will continue the "office hours" I had in the Senate office last year. I will be in my 11 Harvey Hall office on Mondays from 8am-10am and Thursdays from 10am-12noon. I will likely be there other times also but thought it worked well to have established times when I plan to be there. Call the senate office at x1352 if you want to set up an appointment.

I look forward to working with you all.

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Welcome to our SAS Chair blog

Welcome to our blog for the senate chair. Last year I did a monthly report that I sent out on campus via email. This year I wanted to try a blog and see if this helps not only let the senate and campus know what I have been up to but also to spread the word about what the Senate of Academic Staff is doing. Please feel free to contact us at the senate office (11 Harvey Hall) if you have questions or concerns.


Note: 2006-2007 Chair reports can be viewed online at: