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