Friday, December 5, 2008

Dec Board of Regents Meetings

I attended the Regents meetings in La Crosse yesterday and today and wanted to let you know what happened. Yesterday at the Business, Finance, Audit Committee meeting System reported that we should know agency reduction targets in the next 7-10 days. That surprised us. It might just be targets for addressing this year's shortfall. They weren't clear about that.

As you might know if you were listening in, they did approve in committee, and today the board as a whole approved a 2.5% raise in each of the next two years and a recommendation for domestic partner

There was quite a discussion of the cost of textbooks at the meeting today. In the end Senior Vice President Martin said she would be meeting with the faculty reps next week and would discuss the issue there. They also mentioned they are seriously looking into how a 3-year Bachelor degree would work. Interesting discussions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Off to Regents' Meeting

My Chair's report for the November Senate meeting will be delayed a few days. I had an interesting meeting with the state Academic Staff Reps last Friday but I am off to attend the Regents' Meeting as they talk about Academic Staff and Faculty recruitment and retention issues. I'll post a report after I return!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Report for October 1 Senate Meeting

Greetings! Well the year is underway and I am excited! If you’re anything like me, I am sure you get energized interacting with these great students. I’ve tried to take every early opportunity to meet students. As you’ll see at the bottom of this report, I helped distribute laptops, participated in the “Meet Menomonie” event where freshmen meet the local business community, at the Great American Cookout I helped pass out complimentary Frisbees, and then capped off the first 10 days of the academic year by attending the scholarship ceremony. Wow!

As I have done in the past I want to give you, the reader, some more detailed information about some of the meetings I participated in representing the academic staff on campus. I have already posted my comments to the Stout Foundation Board and the Alumni Association Board meeting held on September 12 and 13.

Next on my list to report is the September 15 Chancellor’s Advisory Council (CAC) meeting. Chancellor Sorensen first went over what they CAC is about and meeting guidelines. We then had a presentation by Meridith Wentz and Tammy Cutsforth on the 2007-2008 Faculty and Academic Staff Salary Study. Next Meredith presented the Summary of Job Engagement and Satisfaction Report. Both of these reports will be shared at the next Senate of Academic Staff meeting. We then talked about the importance of the Fall 2008 Listening Sessions and everyone will be encouraging participation. Finally the Chancellor announced that Dean Murphy will also be serving in a new Role as Coordinator for Federal/State Relations.

Another meeting I participated in was the September 18 UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council (ASRC) meeting in Madison. We always start and finish these meetings with time for the campus reps to meet alone. During this time I was honored to be chosen by my peers to serve as Convener for the ASRC this academic year. Although I have officially served on the group for 3 years now, and occasionally filled in for the past two senate chairs when they could not travel to Madison, there are a number of very bright people on the Council so it felt good when they expressed their confidence in me to serve in this role.

Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin began with a discussion of the schedule for the year for the Academic Staff Reps meetings. Rebecca noted that in her discussions with the Chancellors, they raised concerns about reducing the number of meetings in Madison due to high energy costs. Therefore, Rebecca has looked at the Provosts, Faculty Reps, and Academic Staff Reps meetings to reduce travel. The Provosts began using videoconferences last year and the Chancellors are looking at options to reduce travel also.

After much discussion, it was determined that the following steps would be taken, if possible, regarding the schedule:

  • In October, Rebecca Martin and the Academic Staff Reps would examine whether the upcoming agenda would require adding a face-to-face meeting in November or December.
  • Move videoconference from April to February (System Admin will check with campuses on waiving site support costs).
  • Move meetings to Fridays and same day as Faculty Reps to save on travel (could have joint presentations and still allow separate discussions with System Admin staff).
  • Add joint meeting with faculty in December to meet with the President.

Next on the agenda was to share with System the Reps only discussion items. In summarizing the discussion, we informed them that I will serve as the convener for the Academic Staff Reps, with Mike Pagel as the backup. I noted that there continues to be concern with academic staff contracts and compliance with UPG 3.05. Some campuses are discussing eliminating rolling horizons and many instructional academic staff that have been with the university for years, still have no job security. Rebecca Martin reminded the Academic Staff Reps of the letter from President Reilly that stated that these matters should be handled first at the campuses and then brought to System Administration if not resolved.

Rebecca Martin then provided an update on the Growth Agenda Action Steps. She noted that there would soon be an announcement of a grant program for the Growth Agenda. The Academic Staff Reps were particularly interested in the Student Engagement Portfolio and asked for a presentation from Larry Rubin in the future.

Ron Singer then provided an update on the Making Opportunity Affordable (MOA) project. This is a Lumina Foundation initiative to increase college degrees during this time of limited resources for higher education. This project is a collaboration with the Technical College System, the Department of Public Instruction, private colleges, and the Governor’s Office. The focus of the project is on transitions from high school to colleges and transfers between higher education institutions. There will be a policy audit to enhance degree attainment and focus groups will be used to examine these policies.

Al Crist then provided an update on Human Resource issues. Al announced that as part of the new HR system implementation, they were able to keep the 22 days sick leave benefit intact for new employees. Al also announced that they are looking to increase from three to five years for allowing reinstatement of sick leave for employees who leave the UW.

Al announced that they are looking for representatives to the Fringe Benefits Advisory Committee and asked that nominations be submitted to their Chancellor.

Al then discussed the planned presentation on competitive compensation issues and the aging of the faculty at the November Board of Regents meeting. It will be followed in December by the UW System recommendation for unclassified pay plan. The Academic Staff Reps discussed the importance of informing the Board of the role of academic staff on campus and the huge impact they have on graduation and retention rates. Al noted that will also be presenting information on salary market comparisons, fringe benefits comparisons, aging of the faculty and staff, and examples of recruitment and retention problems.

Jess Tormey and Grant Huber next provided an update on Legislative Issues. They noted that now is an excellent time to invite legislators to campus and share with them the issues you face. Legislators are also being briefed on the Growth Agenda.

Next, Freda Harris provided an update on the Biennial Budget Request passed by the Board of Regents in August. The Budget Request included $50.9 million in new initiatives and $124 million in costs to continue. The UW System is also required to submit a Budget Reduction Plan for a 10% cut in administration as it has in past biennial budgets and plans for a $25 million lapse. In August, the Board of Regents also passed updated performance measures for the UW System. The specific goals will be considered by the Board in October. Regarding revenue projections, it was just announced that tax revenue is running higher than expected for FY07-08 and a new agreement with Ho Chunk set the revenue level. Freda also noted that the Recruitment and Retention request includes funding for faculty and research and instructional academic staff.

The meeting ended following further discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

The final meeting I wish to spend a couple minutes discussing it the September 29 Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) meeting. The campus ALT members were asked to read the book, “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M. R. Covey prior to the meeting. After brief introductory remarks by Chancellor Sorensen and Provost Furst-Bowe, we broke into 4 groups and discussed the following questions: What are the characteristics of personal trust?; How do you decide if you trust someone?; What are the characteristics of an organization with high trust?; What are the advantages to working in a high trust organization?; and What can we do to build greater trust at UW-Stout? It was a good exercise and important discussions.

Following is the complete list of activities and meetings I attended representing the Senate since September 2:

  • 9/2: Laptop distribution
  • 9/3: Senate of Academic Staff business meeting
  • 9/3: Meet Menomonie sponsored by the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce
  • 9/4: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/5: Chancellor’s Coalition on Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • 9/8: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/9: Great American Cookout sponsored by University Dining Service
  • 9/11: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/11: Scholarship Donor Reception
  • 9/11: Scholarship Award Ceremony
  • 9/12: Stout Foundation Board
  • 9/13: Stout Alumni Association Board
  • 9/15: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/15: Chancellor’s Advisory Council
  • 9/16: Visioning Faculty Senate Listening Session
  • 9/17: Visioning Open Listening Session #1
  • 9/17: Visioning Senate of Academic Staff Listening Session
  • 9/18: UW System Academic Staff Reps Council
  • 9/22: One on one with Provost Furst-Bowe
  • 9/22: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/22: One on one with Chancellor Sorensen
  • 9/23: Meeting with Interim Dean Peters and Faculty Senate Chair Deckelman
  • 9/23: Senate of Academic Staff Exec Meeting
  • 9/23: Student Center Renovation Consultants Presentation
  • 9/24: Visioning Open Listening Session #2
  • 9/25: Visioning Open Listening Session #3
  • 9/25: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/26: Monthly meeting with Faculty Senate Chair Deckelman and SSA Chair Lubke
  • 9/29: Office Hours in Senate Office
  • 9/29: Administrative Leadership Team
  • ·9/29: Visioning Open Listening Session #4

Dennis Shaw, 2008-2009 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Friday, September 12, 2008

Report to the Stout Foundation and Alumni Boards

The Foundation Board meeting is today and Alumni Board meets on Saturday. Following is my prepared remarks:

Greetings from the Senate of Academic Staff. I am Dennis Shaw and this is the third year I have had the honor to chair our senate. We are one of three governance groups on campus (along with the Stout Student Association and the Faculty Senate). There are two categories of Academic Staff on campus, the first is Instructional Academic Staff which would include Lecturers and Researchers, and the other is Professional Academic Staff, which would include everyone from librarians, financial aid counselors, residence hall directors and the like to department supervisors and administrators.

We are fortunate on the Stout campus to have a Chancellor and administration that has embraced Baldrige principles and believes in shared governance. All three of our senates are given opportunities to participate in almost every decision made on campus.

One of the most recent opportunities was this summer when we joined many others from campus, community leaders, legislators, business and education leaders, and from your board at the Chancellor’s 2015 Visioning Session this summer. I’m looking forward to the next step in the process which is to present the themes from the retreat at campus listening sessions. Our Senate’s listening session is next week.

Our senate expects to be busy again this year with tight state budget issues (which usually results in Academic Staff trying to do more with less), staff upset that the state cut our promised 2% raise in half in July, working out how we can provide some more contract security particularly for instructional academic staff, and I’m sure there will be a number of decisions we will be involved with as the campus continues to move forward.

Let me close by saying that again this year I attended the scholarship reception and program which always gets me energized about the new year. I want to thank the Foundation and the Alumni Association for your continued support of the institution and especially for your caring about these fine students. I hope you also have time to stick around for the football game and interact with students at that event also.

Thanks again for inviting me to visit with you again today!

Dennis Shaw, 2008-2009 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Friday, August 29, 2008

A new academic year

Greetings. The start of the new academic year is always an exciting time for our campus – and this year is no exception! With the polytechnic marketing efforts begun, the reorganization of the College’s complete, and a very successful Chancellor’s Visioning Session this summer that we will be reacting to, the Senate of Academic Staff will be dealing with some important issues that will affect the university for years to come.

Our senate meetings have returned to Wednesdays at 3:30pm and are of course open to the public so I hope to see many of you there. If you have issues or concerns you would like to bring to the attention of our senate, please contact us at x1352.

Dennis Shaw, 2008-2009 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Meeting Report

Greetings! I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Our first Senate of Academic Staff meeting will be held rain or shine this Wednesday at 3pm at Lakeside Park (on Wolske Bay Road just past Menomonie City Library – look for "SAS" sign). Whether you are on the Senate this year, or were on it in the past, or are just interested in whether we are doing, I hope you will plan on joining us!

There have been a couple items of interest since the end of the semester that I should note…

Last week the Chancellor held his “Visioning Session.” It was a wonderful event where in addition to campus leaders (which included academic staff, faculty, and student leadership), we also had business, education and industry leaders, legislators, local government representatives, UW System Administrators, and other people with a stake in making sure UW-Stout is the best university it can be attending. We started out with presentations from Chancellor Sorensen and from Dr. Katherine Lyall and Dr. Kathleen Sell. We then broke into small groups and each group identified several “big picture” vision statements. This information will be brought back for campus-wide discussions (I believe our senate session will be held on 9/17). I thank Chancellor Sorensen for his commitment to the Academic Staff by making sure we are at the table and well represented! Click here for more information about the goals of the Visioning Session.

Also, this past Thursday and Friday a number of us traveled to UW-Platteville for the annual Academic Staff Leadership Conference. It is always good to network with our colleagues across campus and we are very grateful to Provost Furst-Bowe for continuing to sponsor our travel to participate again this year! Click here for more information about the 2008 Academic Staff Leadership Conference.

I appreciated your support in electing me to serve you as Chair of the Senate of Academic Staff for another year. I look forward to another great year as we work together to move our institution forward!

Dennis Shaw
2008-2009 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff
University of Wisconsin-Stout
“Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University”

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Chair's Report for May 6, 2008 meeting

Greetings! I can’t believe this is the end of another year!! As we wrap up senate business and conduct elections to see who will represent our senate, let me just thank everyone who made this another special year. The issues we have dealt with are important and it is great to work at a campus that values the opinions of academic staff.

As for meetings to report on, I have already reported on my comments to the Stout Foundation and the Alumni Association (see below). I did want to give readers some details on two of the other meetings I participated in:

April 7, Chancellor’s Advisory Council. The first topic was Inclusive Excellence. The Provost reported that UW System has proposed the Inclusive Excellence…Strategies for Diversity after Plan 2008 process. This is a process developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities.

This is a broader look at diversity and includes four primary elements: (1) a focus on student intellectual and social development; (2) a purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources to enhance organizational and student learning; (3) attention to cultural differences (race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, first language, physical and learning ability, and learning style); and (4) a welcoming community that engages all of its diversity to achieve equity in treatment, educational outcomes, and organizational learning.

Julie commented that we have a campus group reviewing the current Plan 2008, categorizing initiatives based on assignments. We have also signed on to do the Equity Scorecard that will start in the fall. We are looking at a new position to serve as director of diversity for the campus. It was suggested that the Board of Regents should look at the definition used for ethnic studies so that it matches up with this broader definition. Members of the campus committee will be meeting with numerous groups to obtain feedback on the inclusive excellence process and submit that information to System.

Next, Meridith Wentz demonstrated a new data sharing website for polytechnic institutions that is being developed. Dan Krueger (LIT) and Wendy Knutson (BPA) have also worked on this. This site would be used by people in the institutional research area. There will be a security and privacy statement included. They are targeting the end of summer to get the members list completed.

We did pause at 11:10 a.m. for a moment of silence observed during the ringing of the Bowman Bells in memory of the three students who died in the house fire on Saturday.

The final topic was Educational Support Unit Review Committee (ESURC) recommendations. Meridith commented that the ESURC studied the current review process during 2007-2008 and she described the recommendations and timeline they are proposing, based on their study.

May 2, Academic Staff Reps Council. As you know I meet monthly with the other Academic Staff Reps from the System. This time we met jointly with the Faculty Reps and spoke directly with UW System President Kevin Reilly. Major agenda discussion points included: Compensation, Job Security for Academic Staff, Shared Governance Protocol, Governance Groups speaking at a Board meeting, Membership and role of System-wide committees and task forces, Joint Legislative Concerns. It was a wonderful opportunity and good meetings! There is a lot of support for Academic Staff from both the System President and from our faculty colleagues.

Other meetings I participated in representing the Senate of Academic Staff included:

  • 4/10: Discussion on updating Faculty and AS Handbook
  • 4/11-12: Alumni Association Meetings
  • 4/13: Retention Steering Committee
  • 4/17: State Academic Staff Reps Council in Madison
  • 4/18: ASPRO Board in Madison
  • 4/19: Stout Foundation Board
  • 4/21: Meeting with Chancellor
  • 4/22: Senate Exec Committee
  • 4/25: Retention Steering Committee Retreat
  • 4/30: Meeting with Vice Chancellor Moen

As most of you know I will be taking a few vacation days celebrating my second wedding anniversary so our Vice Chair Jerry Addie will represent us on CAC Monday where the first STEM Dean candidate will be present and will lead Tuesday’s Senate meeting.

Upcoming meetings and events I will be participating include:

  • 5/8: Meeting with Provost Furst-Bowe
  • 5/8: CAC/STEM Dean candidate
  • 5/9: Final meeting of the 3 campus governance leaders
  • 5/10: Graduation ceremonies
  • 5/12: Administrative Leadership Team
  • 5/15: Final senate office hours of year
  • 5/16: ASPRO Board teleconference
  • 5/20: CAC/STEM Dean candidate
  • 5/21: Meeting with Chancellor
  • 7/16: Stout Stakeholder Visioning Session
  • 7/17-18: Academic Staff Leadership Conference in Platteville
  • 7/23: Summer picnic senate meeting for 2008-09 senators (guests are welcome!)
Thanks again for a great year!

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 2008 Report to Stout Foundation Board

Today I participated in the Stout Foundation Board meeting. Following is a summary of my comments to the board:

I highlighted some of the issues we still have on the agenda for the last meeting of the year including hearing a proposal from the Teaching and Learning Center for creation of the Center for Interdisciplinary Collaboration, requests for support for grant funding proposals from the Library Learning Center and for infusing diversity into the curriculum, and the recommendation from the Graduate Education Committee on laptops for grad students. I mentioned that academic staff members are serving on the dean searches. That we are holding our breath to see how the state budget repair bill will affect campus budgets and promised employee wage raises. And that we have finalized our bylaws changes and are holding elections for senators.

The Stout Foundation is a key partner to the university providing scholarships and additional funding for initiatives. Over the past 2 years I have seen them come together and really focus on how they can best make a difference for the campus. I always enjoy spending time with them and today was no exception!

Dennis Shaw, Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 2008 Report to the Alumni Association Board

I just got back from the Stout Alumni Association meeting where I gave a report on behalf of the Senate of Academic Staff.

I spoke about being busy this year reacting to proposals from the campus and System with everything from the realignment models to the most recent being the Inclusive Excellence document. I mentioned we are exploring possibilities of how to provide more contract security particularly to instructional academic staff who have been on campus for a number of years. I also talked about continuing to work closely with Chancellor Sorensen and the Administration and with the leaders of the Faculty and Student Senates.

They wanted to know more about the Inclusive Excellence proposal and also asked for our help in connecting with distance ed students who may be interested in serving on or at least talking to the Alumni Board.

I concluded my remarks with a comment that we are still grieving over the loss of the 3 victims of the fire a week ago and that our senate is feeling it deeply as is the entire campus.

We have a good Alumni Board and it is clear they are deeply committed to Stout. I enjoyed spending the morning with them and also some time yesterday when my bride Lisa and I participated in their tour of the local Legacy Chocolates production facility (as you could guess something we really enjoyed!).

Dennis Shaw, Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Senate Chair's Comments About Today's Tragedy

I just returned from the press conference dealing with the tragic apartment fire this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the three students who lost their life in that fire.

Dennis Shaw
on behalf of the entire Senate of Academic Staff

Chair's Report for April Meeting


I’ve finally had a month as Senate Chair where I could slow down and take a breath! We didn’t have a CAC or ALT meeting since my last report, my meeting of state Academic Staff Reps was via teleconference instead of having to travel to Madison for a face-to-face meeting, I took Spring Break week off. I’m feeling good and ready to tackle the remainder of the year!

A few items I would like to make special note of. First off, and most important on my mind, you will recall that after the death of Vice Chair Jerry Addie’s wife Sally, a number of you had a discussion via email about what we could do for our friend and long time Senator Jerry. It was decided that we’d take up a collection and offer to purchase a bench that he could put in his garden, or on his deck, or even inside in memorial of Sally. We did make the offer and Jerry and his family picked out the bench they would like. We’ll show a picture at the Senate meeting on Tuesday. If you or anyone you know would like to make a contribution, please contact Janell in the Senate Office (x1789).

Next, the senate elections are just around the corner. If you know someone who would be a good senator please encourage them to run and then submit their names on the website, . The deadline is Tuesday April 8 (but we might extend that for senate seats where no one is signed up to be on the ballot). I am pleased to report that my supervisor has agreed to support my placing my name in nomiation as Senate Chair for one more term. The senate is critical to the campus so please join me in making sure we have good, committed senators again this year!

Our Senate Exec Committee, along with the Faculty Senate leadership, had a very nice breakfast discussion with UW System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Rebecca Martin. We’ll talk more about our discussions at the senate meeting but I just wanted to publicly say thank you to Dr. Martin for coming here to visit with us. That meant a lot to our group!

Last, I want to thank everyone who came to the Polytechnic Anniversary celebration. You’ve probably already read my prepared comments below, but just wanted to add that we had a great turnout. It was heartening to see everyone there!!

As mentioned above, the University of Wisconsin System Council of Academic Staff Representatives met via teleconference on March 13. Rebecca Martin, Ron Singer, and Bob Jokisch from UW System Administration joined the teleconference at 10:30 following discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

The first agenda item was a discussion of the trend data on Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff. The Academic Staff Reps raised questions about what the future holds for the roles of faculty and instructional academic staff. It was agreed that this would be an important topic to discuss with faculty and academic staff at campus visits with governance groups.

The next issue discussed was the role of academic staff governance in the appointment to the Compensation Advisory Committee and other systemwide committees. In response to questions on the process, Rebecca Martin explained that it is important that the Chancellors and governance groups work together on the nominations.

Interim Assistant Vice President Vicki Washington next updated the Academic Staff Reps on Inclusive Excellence. Vicki explained that we are nearing the end of Plan 2008 and are discussing where we are going next. They have put together the discussion draft on Inclusive Excellence which was shared with the Academic Staff Reps. Vicki noted that they are expanding the definition of diversity to have a more comprehensive effort moving forward. She asked for suggestions on what was missing and how to have conversations with various stakeholders.

Grant Huber from Communications and External Relations next provided an update on legislative issues. Grant noted that today the Assembly passed a budget adjustment bill that included a $250 million cut in state spending. This follows the proposal from the Governor and a budget proposal is also expected from the Senate. Grant also noted that the Posters in the Rotunda was very successful and resulted in a number of visits with legislators.

Associate Vice President Al Crist then discussed Human Resource issues with the Academic Staff Reps. Regarding the Compensation Advisory Committee, Academic Staff Reps noted that they may have difficulty meeting the April 4 deadline for conferring with the Chancellors on nominations. Al Crist said he had a little more time beyond that deadline and would check with each campus if he hasn’t heard from them. Al also discussed the faculty/instructional academic staff trend data with the Academic Staff Reps.

The teleconference ended following further discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

Other meetings I attended representing the Senate of Academic Staff since my March report:

  • 3/10: Strategic Planning Group
  • 3/11: Polytechnic Celebration
  • 3/25: Met with Chancellor Sorensen
  • 3/25: SAS Exec Committee
  • 3/26: Retention Steering Committee
  • 3/27: Met with Sr. VP Rebecca Martin
  • 3/31: Retention Steering Committee
  • 4/3: Met With Provost Furst-Bowe
  • 4/4: Chancellor’s Coalition on Alcohol and Drugs

That’s it for now. See you all on Tuesday!

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Polytechnic Celebration Speech

Welcome and Good afternoon. My name is Dennis Shaw and I have the honor of serving as Chair of the Senate of Academic Staff here at UW-Stout.

Twenty-three months ago today the Senate of Academic Staff was proud to be the first of our three governance groups to vote to support the polytechnic branding of UW-Stout. The resolution passed, among other things, noted our pleasure that Chancellor Sorensen and the administration had put a planning process in place that solicited valuable public input on the idea of branding the campus as the "polytechnic" institution of the Wisconsin, that it is very important to clearly differentiate this campus from the other UW System campuses when marketing UW-Stout to potential students and business partners, and that our program array does match up favorably with other universities calling themselves a "polytechnic."

I was proud to be a part of the UW-Stout delegation that attended the March 9, 2007 meeting of the Board of Regents where they passed a resolution worded as follows:

That, upon recommendation of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents supports the designation of UW-Stout as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University.

With that simple statement one year ago, we have begun a new and important journey. We have spent much time talking about the branding advantages of the polytechnic designation, and I promised that I would keep my remarks short, so I won’t dwell on those at this time.

I do however want to say just a couple things about the fact that this designation has put us into a new group of peers. Every organization has to have aspirational goals in order to improve and grow. We did not aspire to be like UW-Eau Claire, or River Falls, or La Crosse. They are all fine institutions but Stout is very different from the other UW comprehensive campuses. We will however be more true to our roots, and grow and excel, by being in the same peer group with the other great polytechnic universities such as MIT, Cal Poly, and Virginia Tech.

I told the Chancellor that I’m can’t wait to see a catchy slogan on a bumper sticker or t-shirt that says “Can’t afford MIT, it’s UW-Stout’s in-state tuition for me!” or “Too far from home is Cal Poly, so I’m going to Stout by golly!” Please forgive the bad rhymes, but I hope you share my enthusiasm for the opportunities this polytechnic designation and the peer group we now find ourselves in has opened for the UW-Stout campus.

With that thought, I’ll have the pleasure to introduce our next speaker. First of all, Mike Lubke, SSA President, wanted everyone to know that he wishes he could have joined us, but he told us he has a class at this time and they are reviewing for a test, so he felt it would be a good idea to attend his class. Hopefully he’ll be able to join us later.

Therefore, please welcome our next speaker, Dr. Jerry Kapus who serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate this year.

Chair's Report for March Meeting

Greetings! Another busy month for our senate. Don’t forget that the three Senates are hosting a celebration for the one-year anniversary of Stout’s polytechnic designation today from 1-2 pm, in Ballroom A of the Memorial Student Center. I and the other campus leaders will speak right away at 1 pm then we’ll have some cake and punch to celebrate, so I hope you can join us!

With that said, let’s get right into it. Here’s a rundown of some of the important meetings I participated in representing our senate:

On February 14, the University of Wisconsin System Academic Staff Representatives Council (ASRC) met in Madison. As they were predicting a big snow storm around Madison, and myself and the Reps from Eau Claire and River Falls did not want to risk getting stuck in Madison on Valentine’s Day, we stayed home and arranged to phone in and join the meeting via teleconference.

Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin, Ron Singer, and Bob Jokisch from UW System Administration joined the meeting at 10:30 following the usual private discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

The first agenda item was a discussion of issues raised by the Academic Staff Reps. ASRC Chair Dave Carlson noted two issues. The first was the interest of academic staff in having input in the evaluation of their supervisors, which is not always common. The second issue was the Shared Governance Protocol. On the second issue, Ron Singer noted that at the Faculty Reps meeting, they planned to review the present document and make wording changes based on the comments from campus governance groups. Ron also noted that System Administration plans to move forward with the protocol and see how this works.

Rebecca Martin next addressed questions about Pay Plan. Rebecca noted that with the $650 million budget deficit, it does not appear likely that the 1.5% supplemental pay plan will move forward, but we should know more in the next several weeks. It is also pretty clear that with the size of the deficit, there will be a budget repair bill.

The next agenda item was the Growth Agenda Action Steps. Rebecca Martin noted that academic staff were represented on the Strategic Framework think tanks. The President and the Chancellors reviewed the recommendations from these think tanks and selected 10 Action Steps. In response to questions, Rebecca clarified that these Action Steps are not mandates and will need to be further studied at each institution to determine if and how they will be implemented. During the discussion, there was agreement on the importance of getting input from various campus experts in studying these Action Steps.

There was also discussion on how to increase the role of academic staff in systemwide discussions such as the Strategic Framework, and it was agreed that Academic Affairs would make clear in the future that we are looking for governance input as part of the process. There was also concerns raised about the workload impact of these Action Steps on academic staff with the hiring freeze, and the Academic Staff Reps suggested that early assessment should be done to insure success and the efficient use of resources.

The next agenda item was the list of Systemwide Committees shared earlier with the Faculty and Academic Staff Reps and which committees they are most interested in for governance involvement. Rebecca Martin noted that she would like to come to the Academic Staff Reps for nominations for the systemwide committees of interest and would also seek nominations from the Faculty Reps and from campuses. The Academic Staff Reps listed the Compensation Advisory Committee and the Fringe Benefits Advisory Committee as two committees of interest for governance representation.

The Academic Staff Reps next discussed how they have been requesting data on academic staff by type of appointment (fixed term, multi-year, probationary) as part of their concerns about UPG 3.05. They asked UW System Admin to help inform campus Human Resource Directors that they are trying to collect this data by campus and Vicki Kenyon from UWSA HR suggested that they could let campus HR directors know about this through their monthly teleconference.

Dave Giroux next provided an update on legislative issues. Dave informed the Academic Staff Reps that UWSA Communications and External Relations posts bill positions on their web site. His office tries to focus on bills affecting the UW System and those bills likely to go somewhere. Dave also noted that Wednesday, March 5 is the Posters in the Rotunda in the Capital. Dave’s office has monthly teleconferences with Campus Public Information Officers and Legislative Liaisons on legislative issues. He offered to share the list of Campus Public Information Officers and Legislative Liaisons with the Academic Staff Reps. Finally, Dave encouraged more interaction between faculty, academic staff, and students and their legislators through coordinated efforts on campus.

The meeting ended following further discussion among Academic Staff Representatives.

On February 16, I participated in the meeting of the Stout Foundation Board. My remarks are listed below. I just wanted to mention that this board is very dedicated and concerned about helping the university and it is a pleasure to participate in their meeting deliberations!

On February 26, the Administrative Leadership Team had a rather lengthy discussion with Robyn Waters, the Cabot Executive for the campus. Ms. Waters, who calls herself a “trendmaster” was a very engaging speaker and gave Stout’s Leadership Team much to think about as we lead the university into the future. I hope many of you also got a chance to hear and interact with her.

On March 3, the Chancellor’s Advisory Council met. First, the two campus master plan scenario proposals were presented and discussed. George Acker and the consultants were also be presenting to other campus groups, as well as two open campus forums. Meridith Wentz then provided an executive summary highlighting the results from the fall 2003-2005 cohort retention study. The meeting was concluded with announcements including that Mary Hopkins-Best announced that the School of Education has been accepted as a NCATE candidate. Chancellor Sorensen reminded everyone that the Baldrige logo must be included on all of our publications, along with the Polytechnic designation.

Other meetings I participated in during the month included:

  • 2/18: Retention Steering Group
  • 2/18: Monthly meeting with Chancellor
  • 2/20: Retention Steering Group
  • 2/20: Open Forum on Emergency Issues
  • 2/22: Meeting of the 3 senates leaders
  • 2/25: Chancellor’s Budget Forum
  • 2/26: Senate Executive Committee
  • 2/27: Retention Steering Group met with FYE Steering Team
  • 2/27: Chancellor’s Budget Forum
  • 2/29: Academic Staff Personnel Committee
  • 3/4: Retention Steering Group met with FYE Hall Directors
  • 3/5: Senate Elections Committee
  • 3/7: Chancellor’s Coalition on Problem Drinking
  • 3/10: Strategic Planning Group

That’s it for now. See you all this afternoon!

Dennis Shaw, 2007-2008 Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Report to the Stout Foundation Board

Following is the report I gave at the Stout Foundation Board meeting this morning:

Thank you for allowing me to have a few minutes with you. The Senate of Academic Staff is again very active this year supporting the mission of the University.

A few of the issues we have been working on in the senate include:

  • Hiring Deans. With realignment of the colleges behind us, we are anxiously looking forward to assisting with the process of hiring the new deans.
  • Celebration Planning. Our senate is co-sponsoring a One Year Anniversary of the Polytechnic Designation celebration on March 11 and if any of you are in town we hope you will join us!
  • Pay/Compensation. The possibility of a proposal from the Governor which would give a salary increase to some but not all academic staff – our senate is trying to get the politicians and UW System to treat us all equally and fairly
  • Bylaws. Changing our bylaws to reflect the new colleges
  • University Marshall. Developing guidelines for the Academic Staff Marshall at graduation


Dennis Shaw, Chair
Senate of Academic Staff

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chair’s Report for 2-12-08 Meeting

Greetings! Here we are starting another semester and it continues to be a busy time for our senate. So, without further ado, following are reports on meetings I attended since my December report:

December 17, Chancellor’s Advisory Council Meeting. We started out the meeting discussing the GPR/Non-GPR Allocation Recommendations for 2008-2009. We next discussed the IPEDS Data Feedback Report. The IPEDS feedback report is intended to provide institutions a context for examining the data they submitted to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Next, Doug Mell described the campus process when the Chancellor decides it is necessary to cancel classes due to severe weather conditions. Finally, Chad Johnson commented that several of the students expressed some concern with the recent television ads. Dave Williams reported that the marketing group will work with the students on these issues.

December 21, Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) Board teleconference. ASPRO Lobbyist Swandby reviewed the pay plan recommendations for all UW academic staff and faculty made by the Office of State Employee Relations (OSER) and approved by Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER). ASPRO President Steffenhagen attended the hearing and Committee vote and told the Board members of the comments made to the Committee by the Director of OSER regarding a return to the Committee in December for a supplemental pay plan recommendation for faculty and research and instructional academic staff. There was discussion regarding the timing of a JCOER or JFC meeting on the subject. There was a rumor that JCOER would hold a hearing on supplemental pay plan issues in January. There was also discussion regarding whether this issue helped the unionization argument.

Swandby then reviewed the timeline of introduction, hearing notice and the holding of a public hearing on Senate Bill 353, the UW collective bargaining bill introduced by Senator Hansen and Representative Richards. Swandby reviewed the progress on the separate website dedicated to collective bargaining. The name of the site has been chosen –

January 14, Chancellor’s Advisory Council Meeting. Wayne Argo reviewed the changes to the sick leave accrual and reporting policies as passed by the Board of Regents. He will also be sending out an information memo on this to all unclassified employees. Jane Henderson next provided a review of the Title III Year 3 Evaluation progress on the goals, as well as information on areas for improvement and recommendations from the external evaluator. The funding for this grant will be finished in 2009. Meridith then reviewed the UW-Stout progress toward the four UW System goals in the accountability report. Next, our four AQIP action projects were reviewed by Janice Coker. These projects were identified during the Strategic Planning Group retreat in the summer of 2006 and discussed with the campus during the listening sessions: (1) Campus Climate/Culture: Improve the Effectiveness of Internal Communication; (2) Polytechnic Initiative; (3) Prepare Students for a Global Society and Workforce; and (4) Reach New Markets and Provide New Programs through Online Learning, Hybrid Courses and Programs, and Partnerships. Finally, Meridith provided a review of the ACT Alumni Outcomes Survey data.

January 17, Academic Staff Reps Council (ASRC) teleconference. Ron Singer, Al Crist, Grant Huber and Bob Jokisch from UW System Administration joined the teleconference at 10:30 following discussion among Academic Staff Representatives. The first item discussed was the Shared Governance Guidelines. Campus Governance Groups were asked to respond by February 15 on the request for endorsement of the Guidelines. Associate Vice President Al Crist next discussed HR issues with the Academic Staff Reps. The first item discussed was the response by President Reilly to the Academic Staff Reps on their concerns regarding campus compliance with UPG 3.05(3). The Academic Staff Reps had asked for a compliance audit at every UW System institution on this matter. After a lengthy discussion on this issue, Al Crist and Ron Singer reiterated President Reilly’s request that institutional governance groups first work with the Chancellor and campus administration regarding problems with UPG 3.05(3). Following institutional review, unresolved issues or questions should be brought to Associate Vice President Al Crist for his followup.

Al Crist next provided a further update on the Office of State employee Relations (OSER) Plan for Additional Compensation for UW faculty and academic staff. Al reminded the Council that President Reilly and Regent President Bradley have made the UW System position clear, that is, the UW System has asked for an additional pay plan increase for all unclassified staff. Al informed the Academic Staff Reps that OSER has been providing additional information to Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) members before the OSER proposal for additional compensation goes forward in a few weeks. Al noted that the OSER proposal may only address faculty and instructional and research academic staff. However, he is hopeful that there will be a commitment for additional market study of all unclassified staff for use for future pay plans. The Academic Staff Reps are considering sending a note to the Governor and OSER to express their concern about excluding some academic staff from the additional compensation. The Academic Staff Reps asked for further clarification on how they can respond to the Governor and OSER.

Grant Huber from the UWSA Communications & External Relations Team next provided an update on legislative issues. Senate Bill 353 on Collective Bargaining had a hearing in Eau Claire and was passed by the Higher Education Committee. The bill has also been introduced in the Assembly. On January 23, the Governor will give his State of the State speech, which will include his economic development proposal.

The Academic Staff Reps also requested further information on the policy for leave reporting. They asked for clarification on whether the leave reporting in half day increments affects all leave or just sick leave. (Al Crist later clarified that this is for all leave.)

Finally, Ron Singer noted that Rebecca Martin was unable to attend the teleconference because of a meeting today of the Provosts, Multicultural and Disadvantaged Coordinators, and Pre-College Directors on the future of UW System Diversity planning after Plan 2008. This issue will be brought to the Academic Staff Reps at a future meeting.

January 18, Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) Board teleconference. ASPRO Lobbyist Swandby stated that SB 353, the collective bargaining bill, had been referred to the Joint Committee on Finance. The fiscal note estimates the bill will cost the UW more than $2.2 million annually to implement. There was discussion regarding the website and blog.

ASPRO President Steffenhagen reviewed his participation in a regional WPR call-in program the West Side with Mary Jo Wagner. Also on the program was a union representative from the University of Minnesota who provided some interesting stories about how collective bargaining works there.

ASRC Chair Carlson briefed the Board on the conversation from the Academic Staff System Representatives meeting the previous day. It was rumored that OSER may be getting close to recommending something to JCOER and that recommendation was to be a supplemental pay increase for faculty and research and instructional academic staff and a market study to research the need for an increase for the other academic staff. Swandby had sent a memo to members of JCOER outlining concerns with the supplemental pay plan for some, but not all, academic staff.

February 4, Chancellor’s Advisory Council Meeting. Laura Dunek, UW System Regent Records Policy Advisor, provided an information session on records management and retention, and responded to questions. Next, Vice Chancellor Moen and Meridith Wentz described the background on a request from a faculty member to conduct a survey on the campus tobacco use policy. CAC discussion included: what are we willing to do about violations; do we need a survey to understand the issues; would it be beneficial to remind the campus about the established policy and provide education on the guidelines. The Chancellor will charge Doug Mell to pull together a small group to look at an effective educational process to remind the campus about the policy. Donna Weber then provided a review of the unclassified recruitments report for 2006-07.

Other meeting I participated in representing the Senate of Academic Staff included:

  • 12/6-7: Board of Regent’s meetings
  • 12/10: Administrative Leadership Team Lunch
  • 12/11: Met with Provost
  • 12/12: Retention Steering Committee
  • 12/14: Access to Learning Committee
  • 12/20: Met with Chancellor
  • 1/16: Retention Steering Committee
  • 1/28: Met with Chancellor
  • 2/1: Chancellor’s Coalition on Alcohol & Drugs
  • 2/5: Meeting to plan one year anniversary of Polytechnic Designation

That's it or now. See you all Tuesday!

Dennis Shaw
2007-2008 Chair

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ASRC opposes exclusion from additional compensation

Following is the resolution sent this week by the Academic Staff Representatives Council (ASRC):

Dear Director Donnelly and members of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations,

Attached is a resolution expressing the grave concern of the UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council over plans that would exclude "Category A" academic staff from an additional compensation package being considered for this biennium. Last week, this resolution was approved unanimously by the council, whose members represent academic staff governance groups from across the state. For your convenience, the text of the resolution also appears below.

Yours truly,
Dave Carlson
UW-Rock County
Chair, UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council

cc: Governor Jim Doyle
UW System President Kevin Reilly
David Giroux, UW System Communications and External Relations

- - - - -

Whereas the Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations has communicated to University of Wisconsin System officials and others tentative plans to offer additional compensation beyond the pay plan for the 2007-2009 biennium to faculty and academic staff, but only Category B instructional and research academic staff, and

Whereas all academic staff in the University of Wisconsin System provide essential support for the university’s educational and research missions, and

Whereas the most recent data show that salaries across all categories of academic staff in the UW System lag behind salaries for their peers at other institutions of higher education by a much wider margin than that by which UW System faculty salaries lag behind their peers’ salaries, and

Whereas members of the UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council represent all categories of academic staff,

Be it therefore resolved that

The UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council is opposed to any plan that would exclude Category A academic staff from additional compensation offered in this biennium to other unclassified employees of the UW System.

Friday, January 18, 2008

WPR Radio show dealing with Collective Bargaining

In case you missed it there was an interesting radio show on local WPR. Here's the link in case you have not heard the show (The West Side with Mary Jo Wagner):

Click on:
January 14, 2008: The pros and cons of collective bargaining for UW system faculty and staff. A bill to allow it is in the State Senate. Guests include co-sponsor Senator Kathleen Vinehout; Russ Stanton is Director of Government Relations in Minnesota for the InterFaculty Organization (IFO) and he's a former lawmaker; Bill Steffenhagen is President of the Academic Staff Professionals Representation organization or ASPRO; Rick Richmond from UW-Eau Claire serves on the state board of the Association of UW Professionals or TAUWP.

Sen. Harsdorf's response to letter

And here is what Sen. Harsdorf sent me in response. I see that she did vote with us in opposition to the bill BUT unfortunately her's was the lone opposing vote in committee. Thanks for listening to us Sheila!!

Dear Dennis,

Thank you for your letter addressed to Senator Vinehout and committee members expressing your opposition to Senate Bill 353, the legislation allowing for collective bargaining for university faculty and academic staff. I appreciate you taking time to clarify the concerns held by you and academic staff at UW-Stout. As you may recall, I have similar concerns with this legislation and have not supported it.

Please be assured I will keep your concerns in mind when this legislation comes to a vote.


Sen. Vinehout's response to letter

Here is what Sen. Vinehout said in response to my letter:

Dear Dennis,

Thanks for writing. I will add your letter to the permanent bill file that we are keeping on the faculty/academic staff collective bargaining issue - and I will keep a record of your opposition.

There is an option to combine bargaining units and we heard testimony at UW EC that would happen in Eau Claire. It does, I imagine, depend on the culture of the campus.

I appreciate you taking the time to contact me.

Happy Holidays!
Kathleen Vinehout