Senate Announcements

 
Welcome to the Fall 2023 Semester!  The Faculty Senate will be meeting in-person this year, and look forward to seeing colleagues soon.
 
 
 
 

Meetings will be held  In Person [Reeve 306] (with OWL Technology for virtual attendance) for the fall of 2023.  Meetings will begin at 3:10pm until 4:30-5:00pm (approximate).   

Faculty Senate Meeting Dates

Fall 2023

Sept 19th
Oct. 3rd
Oct. 17th - FDL Campus
Oct 31st
Nov 14th
Dec 5th

Spring 2024

Jan 16th
Feb. 13th
Feb. 27th
March 12th
April 2nd
April 16th - FOX Campus
April 30th
May 14th

Senate Contacts

Faculty Senate President (Fall 2023)
Pascale Manning
Professor of English
manningp@uwosh.edu
(920) 424-2102 - Senate Office
Office hours: TBD

Faculty Senate Office
April Dutscheck (dutschecka@uwosh.edu)
Faculty Senate Office Associate
(920) 424-2102 Dempsey Hall, Room 205
Office hours: Monday–Thursday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (working remotely). Please Contact via email when working remotely, and/or if unplanned office hours have changed to remotely for any reason and I am not in the office.

 

President’s Blog

 
ENTRY: 11-16-2023
Dear Colleagues,
 
I am writing with a Faculty Senate update on four specific points, each of which is in its own way time-sensitive.
Registration and Enrollment:
 
At the Chancellor’s Leadership Council meeting on Monday, Amber Evans (AVC for Enrollment Management and Marketing) provided us with an update delineating the current state of registration and our enrollment projections for next fall. I’m pleased to be able to communicate that we are up by 18% on students already admitted for Fall 2024.
 
We do, however, need to keep our attention focused on retention from Fall 2023 to Spring 2024. Registration this semester began a week later than it has in past years, which means that we are currently best positioned to evaluate registration trends amongst juniors and seniors. While we have not, as a faculty community, always received detailed updates about the state of registration at this point in the semester, we do this year know that this group is lagging somewhat behind the ideal registration pattern. I am writing to ask all of us to check in with our students prior to Thanksgiving, reminding them of the importance of registering now. I would also suggest that those of us with advisees check our Advisor Center to verify whether our advisees have holds on their accounts. Departmental holds are just one of a number of possible holds that can function as a barrier to registration, and we are all empowered to discover whether our advisees have holds on their accounts and communicate with them if we uncover a problem.
 
Students who register before Thanksgiving are more likely to return the following semester. I know how busy we all are, but I hope we can all take a moment — in whatever way makes sense — to check in with our students. If this means navigating to Titan Web in class to show students where they can see a record of existing holds or whether it means talking more casually about their plans, if we all participate in the effort, I’m sure we can make a difference.
 
December Commencement:
 
The mid-year commencement ceremony is planned for December 16th at 10am. As of this writing, that’s 29 days, 23 hours, 22 minutes, and 49 seconds away! As usual, the ceremony will be held in Kolf Sports Center, and as usual, we need many volunteers to make this event successful and special for our students (or future alumni) and their families (which potentially include future students). I realize that we are all very busy, but I hope that many faculty will fill out the form to join the faculty and academic staff processional. We need 100 volunteers to make the event happen, so if you’re willing to put your name forward, you can sign up to volunteer here. This link will take you to the commencement page, which includes event details and useful links for graduating students (as well as an amazing massive countdown clock, which gives me a sense of the sublime).
 
USP Listening Session:
 
On Monday, the Faculty Senate hosted a listening session about the USP, which was very well attended and resulted in a highly productive conversation. The Word document I circulated in advance of this meeting is still available to you, so if you have comments, concerns, ideas, questions (etc.) about the USP or general education more broadly that you would like to register, please feel free to continue to add to that document. I’m delighted to be able to communicate that the Faculty Senate is partnering with the Provost to create a committee devoted to discussing the future of our USP. You will soon receive an email from Provost Martini soliciting expressions of interest in serving on this committee, whose membership will also be delineated, and the Faculty Senate will work with the Provost and USP Director Kim Rivers to help get this committee up and running. Here is a link to the OneDrive folder containing the above-mentioned USP Word document, where I will also share a document detailing the themes of Monday’s conversation. That new file will be available by end-of-business on Friday.
 
Pay Plan:
 
As we are all aware, Governor Evers has decided to sue the Legislature for its decision to hold back compensation for 41,000 employees that has been signed into law and is being held in reserve. Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman has encouraged all shared governance representatives, and by extension, all university employees, to talk with their friends, their neighbours, their legislators (everyone!) about how wrong this withholding of approved monies is. This is true for all employees, but it is especially urgent for those who live paycheck to paycheck at a time of high inflation. Please remember, however, that as state employees, we may not use university resources to contact legislators to advocate for the university; we may not contact legislators during our working hours (without ensuring that time off is accounted for). Bear in mind also that employees are encouraged to focus on their own representatives. With this in mind, I here share a list of legislators that can be organized by district. Here is a map of the districts (assembly, senate, and congressional). Here is a link to a copy of an email sent by President Rothman to all shared governance representatives; it includes a sample of messaging points tailored to various audiences. Here again is a link to the PowerPoint slides — focused on state disinvestment — that I shared with you in an earlier communication.
 
As I told the Faculty Senate in my recent President’s report, the current timeline projections about the Governor’s lawsuit are the following: because Governor Evers filed a lawsuit directly to the Supreme Court, that body is in the process of hearing arguments as to why it should accept the case; if it does, the case will be litigated over the next few months; if there is a favourable judgement for us, that would likely occur in June; and it is not clear from this vantage whether our Pay Plan raise would be distributed on a retroactive basis or whether it would be distributed from that day going forward.
 
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who attended Monday’s listening session and to all my colleagues for your energy and commitment at such a difficult time. I realize that these communications from me are long at a time when we are all taken up with pressing responsibilities in teaching, scholarship, and service, but I hope that they are also informative. As ever, if there are matters you think the Faculty Senate should consider, I hope you will not hesitate to let me or your Senator(s) know.
 
Yours,
Pascale Manning
Faculty Senate President
 
 
 
ENTRY: 11-3-2023

Dear Colleagues, 

 
I’m writing to share an update on the work of the Faculty Senate over the past few weeks. Since our meeting agendas are posted to the Faculty Senate website, and since some of my report will include references to work done by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) outside of Senate meetings, I will permit myself in this email to provide a cumulative report rather than one that moves from each individual meeting agenda to the next. Please note that this report is not exhaustive; my objective is to provide an overview of the matters most likely to be of pressing concern to faculty. As ever, if you have questions regarding any individual item or issue mentioned here, please feel free to email me or seek out your Faculty Senate representative. Hyperlinks in this email will either take you to the relevant document in One Drive or to a relevant website. In some cases, these links will take you to a document I’ve already shared in the intervening weeks since my last Update. I share them here again in the interest of simplicity.
 
Institutional Realignment Plan & Restructuring
 
On 3 October the Chancellor circulated a draft IRP update to Shared Governance leadership. This document included a narrative broadly describing the causes of the current deficit, the parameters guiding the plan for the “reduction in force,” and a timeline for the layoff notification process; in addition, it included an institutional summary of the “reduction in force,” designed to provide a bird’s eye view of the budgetary reductions by employee class and by division (thus protecting employee privacy). This was shared with a request to submit feedback by end-of-business on 5 October. Each governance body duly submitted comments, questions, and suggestions, which I subsequently compiled and shared with Senators. I share those comments here both to recognize the often invisible work being done across all Governance bodies to identify and articulate questions and make suggestions in this moment of rapid change and to make apparent the ways in which Shared Governance is being included in the discussion. Since then, updates from the Chancellor, Provost, and Chief of Staff during weekly Shared Governance Conference meetings, as well as updated documents, have provided answers to many of our questions, and a series of Town Hall presentations this past week have provided us all with the most granular representation of the changes enforced by the cuts that we have yet had. Indeed, in response to a discussion at the Faculty Senate meeting of 17 October, Provost Martini suggested that he provide Senate with a presentation and the opportunity for robust Q&A at its 31 October meeting, previewing the week’s subsequent Town Hall presentations. The slides he shared with Faculty Senate can be found here.
 
Senate Actions
 
Pausing Assessment: Following a suggestion made at the September meeting of the Faculty Senate to pause assessments during this period of restructuring, the FSEC communicated with Charlie Hill, Associate Vice Chancellor, Curricular Affairs & Student Academic Achievement, to inquire into the feasibility of temporarily pausing 7-year Program Reviews as well as internal Program Outcomes Assessments. On 5 October, the Provost communicated to campus that his office will grant a one-year extension for 7-year Program Reviews, and later in October, AVC Hill wrote to chairs and directors who have Program Outcomes Assessments due this year to give them the option to postpone their assessment reports until the 2024-2025 academic year. In both cases, the pause is optional. Committee Charges: All chairs of Faculty Senate committees have received a Committee Information Form and a request that they work with their membership to provide Senate with a description of their committee’s purpose that accounts for the existing description in Gov 3 but provides updates to register any way in which that description is either out of step with the actual work of the committee in recent years or is no longer relevant. Where possible, this has been the extent of the “charge” suggested to Faculty Senate Committees for this semester. The Senate expects to hear committee reports in upcoming meetings, and I will update the faculty on those next time. Policy: Following detailed responses from Mark Clements, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Information Technology, to questions that arose during a discussion on 17 October, Senate voted on 31 October to approve the university’s new Data Governance Policy. Dual Enrollment: At the Shared Governance Representatives meeting in Madison on 22 September, Johannes Britz, UW System Interim Senior Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs, communicated to Faculty Representatives the Board of Regents’ goal to expand dual enrollment to enable Wisconsin high school students to graduate with 30 university credits. In response, our Faculty Senate has unanimously endorsed a letter to Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman and members of the Board of Regents that requests the implementation of key guardrails to protect the quality of our educational product.
 
Listening Sessions and Public Discussions
 
Open Listening Session: As I communicated on 26 October — in sharing the One Drive folder containing notes from the open listening session, a PPT presentation, and a Word file for anonymized comments and concerns — I distributed the listening session notes to Chancellor Leavitt, Provost Martini, and Chief of Staff Alex Hummel in order that they might inform the Town Hall presentations planned for this week (slides linked above). A number of faculty have entered comments and questions in the Word file (and I thank them), and it is my hope that you will continue to use this space to voice the issues you would like me and my Faculty Senate colleagues to raise with the administration and discuss amongst ourselves. OSG Town Hall: Along with Karl Boehler, President of the Academic Staff Senate, and Danielle Juan, President of the University Staff Senate, I was invited to represent the Faculty Senate at the Oshkosh Student Government Town Hall this past Wednesday. Following a presentation given by Chancellor Leavitt and Provost Martini, and supplemented by Erin Grisham, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, students were given the opportunity to ask questions. Many students testified to intense distress at losing valued members of their local support system, asking pointed questions about the impact of the layoffs and VRIOP on those positions facing, reflecting, and serving the LGBTQ+ community, students of color, working-class and first-generation students, etc. In addition, one student spoke forcefully in communicating that some of their distress in this moment is coming from faculty behavior in the classroom. Both sets of concerns were distressing to me and my Shared Governance colleagues; we did our best to respond by reassuring students that faculty and staff will strive to provide them with the forms of support they need, with the “safe” spaces they crave, and with opportunities to enable them to communicate ways in which the cuts might be leaving their needs unmet. In addition, we stressed the faculty commitment to protecting the excellence of their education.
 
I realize that this has been a very difficult month for all of us. I hope that this communication finds you entering a restorative weekend.
 
Yours,
 
Pascale M. Manning
Faculty Senate President
 
 
 
ENTRY: 10-2-2023
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
I am writing to you to offer updates about the work of the Faculty Senate, both in the month of August after the deficit announcement to our community and since the beginning of the semester. Please contact your Senator(s) for further detail on any of the information included here or visit me during my posted office hours, and I will be happy to elaborate where possible.
 
August:
As I shared with the Faculty Senate in my President’s Report at our first meeting on September 19th, shared governance leaders from all three governance groups were informed on August 2nd of the coming announcement about the university’s structural deficit; following that, we attended regular meetings with the Chancellor, as well as the Provost, in which we had opportunities to weigh in with comments, concerns, and suggestions about plans for institutional contraction. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee prepared a memorandum, which we circulated to the Chancellor on August 14th, that requested detailed budgetary data, advocated for a more progressive furlough plan, offered suggestions on how to avoid an across-the-board courseload increase, and asked questions about the administration’s plan for IAS contract nonrenewals.
 
While our suggestions about the furlough structure did result in a more equitable taxation progression, we have not yet received the budgetary data we requested, though we have been assured as recently as this past week that it is forthcoming. Additionally, while Provost Martini has expressed his commitment to our institution’s future as a research-enhanced comprehensive, we were not successful in provoking a granular discussion of either the current courseload increase or the methods by which IAS contract nonrenewals are being decided.
 
Prior to its distribution to our university community, the Chancellor also circulated the draft form of the Institutional Realignment Plan to shared governance leadership, and we were able to ask clarifying questions and make suggestions before it was widely shared in its current form.
 
September:
The Faculty Senate has met once so far this semester, on September 19th. In my President’s Report, I was able to provide Senate with unofficial 10-day census numbers delineating the state of our enrollment and our retention rates, which Amber Evans, our Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Marketing, supplied at a Provost Administrative Staff meeting that morning. I reported on the August 22nd Board of Regents meeting, at which shared governance representatives heard about UW System university budgets and learned that, in addition to the current structural deficits reshaping UW Oshkosh, UW Parkside, and UW Platteville, 10 of the 13 UW universities are currently projecting a structural deficit for 2023-2024. I noted that UW System Administration has hired the consultancy firm Deloitte to audit System universities’ structural deficits and to work with those schools to address their deficits and reduce their future reliance on tuition balances. I updated Senators on the status of the Pay Plan, and informed them that on September 8th I had been interviewed on PBS’s “Here & Now” to discuss the situation at UWO and state disinvestment in the UW System. And I asked Senators to consider requesting that a Faculty Senate update be included as a standing item on their department meeting agendas.
 
The Senate welcomed Provost Martini as its guest, and he provided us with a report that offered financial background for the current workforce reduction process in which he detailed UWO’s decreased revenues and increased expenses, broke down the structural deficit by fund, and detailed the Institutional Realignment Plan. He also updated the Senate on his ongoing work to finalize the membership for his Academic Planning Group, which will soon be announced to the university community. He offered detailed responses to Senator questions.
 
The Senate addressed itself to two discussion items, beginning with a statement entitled “Expectations for Collaboration,” which was prepared by two Senators and circulated to the Senate in advance of our first meeting in order to allow for comments to inform its final shape. This document is addressed to both Chancellor Leavitt and Provost Martini and requests a response by October 1st, 2023. In our discussion, Senators expressed: frustration regarding a lack of communication about UWO’s financial health leading up to the announcement about the structural deficit; frustration that faculty no longer feel that they occupy the job into which they were hired; the belief that the university’s current situation was foreseeable; concerns about the role and perceived value of shared governance — especially in light of the considerable labor expended on policy documents last year, which process was in some cases not informed by clear communication from the administration; concerns about how to promote transparency between the administration and shared governance to enable collaborative work; concerns that the administration does not value the teacher-scholar model; concerns about protecting the university’s commitment to the liberal arts; and concerns that the university should uphold the values stated in UWO’s Strategic Plan. Senators voted to suspend the rules and elevate this discussion item to an action item, and in the subsequent vote on whether to endorse the document and share it with the Chancellor and Provost, it passed unanimously.
 
The second discussion item considered by the Senate was titled “Faculty Senate Essential Offices Working Document.” This document was prepared by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) in response to discussions between shared governance leadership and the administration and identifies three programs and/or offices directly involved in student academic success and/or student retention that Senators felt might be at particular risk in the process of workforce reduction. Senators discussed the document’s function to advocate for programs and positions that can be shown to be directly connected to our academic mission and thus within the Senate’s purview. We discussed that it intentionally does not aim to provide a panoramic perspective on the university as a whole and its many essential offices, programs, and positions, but rather that its authors hoped that in focusing more narrowly, the document might meaningfully inform decisions that could affect student academic success and retention. An objection to the document’s narrow focus was voiced, and it was agreed that subsequent work might be pursued to provide a more encompassing recommendation. In the awareness that time is of the essence during this period of rapid decision-making, Senators voted once again to suspend the rules and elevate this discussion item to an action item, and it was passed by a strong majority in the subsequent vote.
 
Following the meeting, I shared both of these FS-endorsed documents with the Chancellor (including the Provost on the former). And as the deadline for the “Expectations for Collaboration” statement was today, I am here sharing the response I have this morning received from Chancellor Leavitt.
 
Going Forward:
The Senate meets again this Tuesday, and we will be joined by AVC Evans, who will discuss her assessments and plans regarding enrollment and marketing. I will provide a report on the business of this meeting in my next communication, in late October.
 
I know that we are all awaiting the enactment of the next steps in the workforce reduction and restructuring, and I would like to take this opportunity to state unequivocally that I am in solidarity with all of my colleagues, and especially with those valued colleagues who are facing layoff and nonrenewal. The processes by which our university is being reshaped will require robust faculty engagement and response, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Faculty Senate, shared governance leadership, and university administration in ensuring that we do all we can to provide a platform for faculty engagement and, by these means, protect the university we will inherit as a result of these changes.
 
Respectfully,
Pascale Manning
Faculty Senate President
 
 
 
 
 
ENTRY: 5-15-2023
The Faculty Senate passed three important policies this spring. If they are adopted by Chancellor Leavitt, they will be in effect next year.
 
The Policy on Extending Faculty Voting Rights to Instructional and University Staff requires departments that wish to have their Instructional Academic Staff vote for department chair to have their faculty Tenure and Renewal Committee evaluate and recommend appointment/non-reappointment of those IAS. This solves two problems. First, it eliminates any conflict of interest that IAS have in voting for the person who recommends them annually for reappointment. Second, it provides a robust evaluation process for IAS, and one that is more aligned with the evaluation process for the faculty.
 
The Policy on Faculty Evaluation Criteria allows all tenured faculty to choose where to focus their work and therefore the criteria by which that work is evaluated as often as every four years. The UW Colleges (UWC) promotion criteria and Oshkosh college and departmental criteria (OSH) serve as our initial two evaluation pathways because these are the criteria under which the faculty were hired. For example, a tenured faculty member might decide to use OSH criteria requiring peer-reviewed outcomes for four years after tenure and be promoted to Full Professor under those criteria — and then they might choose to select the broader, more flexible promotion UWC criteria that embrace (but do not require) peer-reviewed outcomes for the next four years and be evaluated for Professorial Productivity Salary Increase (PPSI) under those criteria. This effort also ensures that the production of peer-reviewed outcomes is supportedTenured faculty members who choose OSH criteria for a four-year cycle will have opportunities to apply for reassigned time for scholarship during that period. There are administrative and logistical hurdles to be overcome here — but we will work on those in the coming year.

 

Finally, the Faculty Salary Equity Technical Document recommends a salary equity process (in the event that money is available for that purpose) that places all faculty in the same (Masters Large) CUPA category for the purpose of salary equity and does not make tiered distinctions among faculty based on location. 

We hope that these policies embrace the idea of what it means to be one university and honor the knowledge production inside and outside of the classroom that constitutes the work of our campus communityWe want to promote positive discourse going forward. 

I wish you a wonderful summer!

Jennifer Szydlik

Faculty Senate President

 
 
ENTRY: 5-26-2023

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

We ran out of time at our Senate meeting on Tuesday, so here is a brief President’s Report. 

The HLC Peer Team has sent us their report. They were very complimentary and voiced no official concerns. AVC Hill is grateful for our help with the site visit. 

Commencement is May 13. We will have two ceremonies in the Kolf Fieldhouse. Regalia is still available! To sign up to walk in graduation, go here: https://uwosh.edu/commencement/faculty-and-staff/

Please do whatever you can to help get our students registered for fall. There are still a large number with registration holds. If you have not done so, please contact your advisees to be sure they are signing up for classes. 

Provost Koker announced that he will retire on July 7, 2023.  I think that makes this his 32nd year of service to UWO. John Koker is compassionate, thoughtful, and, above all, a problem solver. He has been a tireless advocate for the faculty. I (and all of us) will miss him.  Please join me in thanking him for his unwavering support of shared governance. 

 
 
ENTRY: 4-18-2023
What a tough week for us all! As many of you know, the Faculty Senate is attempting to craft policies that will 1) Honor the Tenure and Promotion evaluation criteria that each faculty member was hired under; 2) Recognize that across the academy, faculty salaries depend upon discipline, rank, and institution type (which is mainly defined by expectations for scholarship and creative activity, with R1 salaries at the top); and 3) Allow faculty to change their evaluation criteria with a declaration. It is worth noting that the Faculty Senate is advisory on the use of the Chancellor’s discretionary funds for salary equity. We are not the deciders.
I have attached (see below) the current drafts of the two relevant policies. Both policies are subject to change and will not be voted on until our May 9 meeting. If you have suggestions, please contact your faculty senator.  The Equity Process Technical Document describes how we suggest the salary equity process should run, and the Policy on Changing Faculty Evaluation Criteria describes how to, well, change evaluation criteria.
 
 
 
 
 
ENTRY: 3-15-2023
Faculty Senate Leadership has been busy this week participating in HLC accreditation. HLC held a session to discuss shared governance structure and a session in which Faculty Senators answered questions about the work of the faculty at UWO. I also had an opportunity to talk about dual-enrollment programs with Regent Weatherly during his campus visit.
 
Faculty Senate is at work updating the Faculty Grievance Policy and the Faculty Complaint Policy to make them both more effective and to ensure they comply with UW System and Wisconsin State policies. I would like to thank AVC Carmen Faymonville for her expertise and assistance. We are also discussing how to resolve a conflict of interest with IAS voting for their supervisor (chair). Our current proposal is to require that departments that want their IAS to participate in Chair elections use their Tenure and Promotion Committees to evaluate and recommend the rehiring of eligible IAS.
 
At our March 7 meeting, the Senate endorsed the following Statement focused on Student Success:
 

Investing in the Classroom Is Our Best Strategy:   

Faculty Senate and UFSO Joint Statement on Support and Retention of First-Year Students  

As the elected shared governance representatives of the faculty and the elected leaders of the campus local of the American Federation of Teachers, we enthusiastically encourage all members of the teaching community to participate in the Student Success Initiative launched by Provost Koker and coordinated by campus leaders from CETL, COLS, and the USP. It is crucial that we acknowledge that the disruptions to education caused by the pandemic have left many of our students in greater need of support both pedagogically and emotionally, and that we need to recalibrate our classroom practices to these new realities. The Student Success Initiative provides a welcome spur to such reflection and innovation, affording us crucial opportunities to listen, discuss, and develop pedagogical strategies to support our students as effectively as possible.

With that said, we wish to register our urgent concern that no degree of pedagogical innovation, however well-implemented, will improve student success if instructors of our freshman students do not have adequate time and resources to build relationships with students and to provide them the feedback and support they require.  We have gathered the following rough data on how several first-year courses were staffed in Fall 2022:

Course(s)

Sections

% Taught by IAS

% taught by Faculty

COMM 111

41

75%

25%

WRT 110, 188

41

83%

17%

Quest 1

65

46%

54%

Math 100, 101, 103, 104*

39

90%

10%

*We acknowledge that these are not all first-year students.

These numbers reveal that courses specifically aimed at first-year students are disproportionally – indeed overwhelmingly – staffed by IAS, a group that typically teaches 24 credits each year (those with a terminal degree) and 30 credits each year (those without a terminal degree). We now hear that teaching workloads for terminal-degree-holding IAS may be increased to 30 credits each year. We oppose this plan. First-year students are our most precarious students in terms of retention, and to increase the workloads of instructors with the most direct contact with this population as we move into a pivotal Fall 2023 semester is a disaster in the making.

More generally, we ask both the administration and the university community to consider whether any instructor should teach more than 12 credits per semester in this post-pandemic era, in which increased student support is paramount. We assert that student-instructor relationships are decisive in determining whether students stay and succeed at UWO. We remind our administration of the importance of continued robust support for research and creative activities, as enshrined in the university policy on Scope of Faculty Responsibilities and Workload. And we call for investments in the classroom that will promote and sustain the kind of relationship-rich education that will benefit all of us – students, instructors, and the university as a whole.

Endorsed at Faculty Senate 3-7-2023

 
ENTRY: 2-8-2023
UWO Updates
At our February 7 meeting, the Senate passed two policies related to expectations around teaching. The first is a Policy on Credits and Contact Hours that defines a credit hour aligned with HLC requirements. The second policy defines “regular and substantive interaction” and requires that instructors provide a minimum of 1 hour per week for 14 weeks per credit (or the equivalent) for all course modalities. This policy puts us in compliance with US Department of Education requirements for online and hybrid courses and clarifies the variety of activities that compose regular and substantive interaction.
 
Our Senate Committees are at work studying DFW rates, investigating ways to promote UWO among local businesses; advocating for faculty salary equity using CUPA data; looking at ways to make courses more accessible to a diversity of students; planning recommendations for displaying and summarizing SOS data for the purpose of tenure and promotion; creating an evaluation process and evaluation schedule for UWO AVCs, the provost, and the chancellor; monitoring budget planning for the coming year; and studying the grievance policy, the plagiarism policy, and the policy on department chair appointments. We will be discussing these issues at meetings in the coming months.
 
System Updates
UW System has formed a working group to study the expansion of dual enrollment courses across the state. They are also working on updating a policy on faculty professional development (I am a member of that working group) and one on intellectual property — this second policy is particularly urgent given the proliferation of online content.
 
System has released the results of a Free Speech Survey. As a mathematician, I note that the methodology of the survey is subject to significant non-response bias (12% response rate). This type of bias amplifies the concerns of respondents with strong feelings because they are likely overrepresented in the sample. All interpretations of results should be qualified by that fact. Here is a link to the results: https://www.wisconsin.edu/civil-dialogue/
 
 
ENTRY: 11-17-2022
This semester, the Faculty Senate provided feedback to the Strategic Planning Committee and debated a Vehicle Idling policy and Credit and Contact Hours policy.
 
Our Senate Committees are at work studying DFW rates, investigating ways to promote UWO among local businesses; advocating for faculty salary equity using CUPA data; looking at ways to make courses more accessible to a diversity of students; planning recommendations for displaying and summarizing SOS data for the purpose of tenure and promotion; creating an evaluation process and evaluation schedule for UWO AVCs, the provost, and the chancellor; monitoring budget planning for the coming year; and studying the grievance policy, the plagiarism policy, and the policy on department chair appointments.
 
At the System level, faculty representatives from across the 13 campuses provided feedback on the proposed UW System Strategic Plan and a free-speech survey that President Rothman hopes will “… shed light on our students’ understanding of the First Amendment, including their rights and responsibilities.” President Rothman has also announced the launch of a new website with resources to help faculty and staff promote and navigate civil dialogue across the System: https://www.wisconsin.edu/civil-dialogue/

Jen Szydlik

 

 
 
ENTRY: 10-31-2022
The Fall 2022 semester brings Strategic Planning for both UWO and UW System. Know that your Faculty Senators and your Faculty Representatives at System have been busy providing input for these endeavors. For the latest draft of the UWO plan, look here: https://uwosh.edu/strategicplan/. For a draft of the UW System plan, check this site: https://www.wisconsin.edu/news/download/bor/UW-System-Strategic-Plan-Update.pdf
 
As Faculty Senate President, I am helping to write three sections of the HLC Assurance Argument for our visit in the Spring. Out of the effort I learned that more than 25% of our CAPP adjuncts have not yet completed the required 18 graduate credits in the discipline they teach for UWO. This prompted CAPP leadership and I to write guidelines that will assure that these instructors are supported in reaching HLC compliance by 2025 (our extended deadline for completing those 18 credits). I note that individual departments can require more restrictive guidelines (and deadlines) if they wish. Please reach out to me or the CAPP office for more information.
 
The Senate is currently considering a Vehicle Idling policy and a policy defining “Substantive Interaction” for asynchronous online courses. You are always welcome to join us.
 
 
ENTRY: 9-27-2022
This fall the Faculty Senate is focused on providing a strong faculty voice in the Strategic Planning process at UWO. We are hoping to discuss the latest draft with members of the Strategic Planning committee at our next virtual meeting on October 4, 2022. All are welcome.
In UW System news … System has completed a review of affordability. They found that while we compare very favorably to our peer institutions in other states, students from low-income groups are still unable to afford college in Wisconsin. In response, President Rothman has announced the Wisconsin Tuition Promise. This program will ensure, “underserved Wisconsin students can attend any UW System university without paying tuition or fees. The goal of the program is to increase the number of state residents who graduate with a bachelor’s degree – especially first-generation students and those from low-to-moderate income families throughout Wisconsin – thereby improving individual lives and communities and helping meet the state’s workforce needs. The Wisconsin Tuition Promise would provide up to four years of tuition and fee funding for students coming from families earning less than $62,000 annually and enrolling at the 12 public universities other than UW-Madison.” This program was funded this year by the UW System; in future years it will require a commitment from the legislature. For more information, check out this site: https://www.wisconsin.edu/tuition-promise/
UW System is also in the midst of strategic planning. While much of the earliest draft (released today as part of the Board of Regents’ agenda) was written in consultation with the Chancellors from across the state, President Rothman has had two meetings with shared governance (one in June and another on September 26) to elicit ideas. We hope to have even more involvement going forward.
The UW System is responding to a need for increased mental health services with new initiatives. They have signed a contract with Mantra Health for supplemental telehealth services for our students; they are implementing a well-being portal called YOU at College to direct students to resources; and they have created a new suicide prevention training for faculty and staff that will soon be available in Canvas.  They have also launched a Healthy Minds app. You can try it at https://hminnovations.org/meditation-app

 

ENTRY: 5-17-2022
The Faculty Senate finished the academic year by passing the Policy on Scope of Faculty Responsibilities and Workload. This policy codifies a structure for faculty to reassign portions of teaching load to substantive scholarly or service activities and supports UWO in becoming a research-enhanced comprehensive institution. We thank the Working Group led by Stephen Kercher for their work on this important policy, and Provost Koker and Chancellor Leavitt for their support.
 
At our final meeting, we endorsed a resolution from Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) declaring the first week of April to honor graduate and professional students at UWO. We thank our student governance body for giving us the opportunity to join them in honoring this important group.
 
On the horizon: further participation in academic and strategic planning; work on a policy providing faculty oversight of our Cooperative Academic Partnership Program (CAPP); and participation in the development of policy and practices related to UWO+ (our suite of online asynchronous degree programs).
 
 
ENTRY: 4-13-2022
Faculty Senate election results are in! Congratulations to our new Senators and our returning Senators: Christine Tipps, Catherine Schmitt, Nathan Stuart, Anna Hersey, Pascale Manning, Evan Williams, Jim Feldman, Jason Belnap, Eric Matson and Mike Jurmu. I am also delighted to announce that Pascale Manning is our new President-Elect.
The Faculty Senate is hard at work on the Policy on Scope of Faculty Responsibilities and Workload. This policy incorporates the excellent work of a group charged last summer by Provost Koker and chaired by Stephen Kercher focused on reassigned time for scholarship and creative activities.  We are also discussing proposed Strategic Priorities written by the Strategic Planning group. There will soon be an opportunity for all faculty and staff to comment on these priorities. Please do so.
The UW System Board of Regents (BOR) met on April 7 and 8. The BOR approved a transfer agreement between UWO and Fox Valley Technical College. FVTC may now offer an associate’s degree that we will accept. The BOR also approved our purchase of the Associated Bank building near Titan Stadium. The new building will be home to the Titan Thunder Marching Band as will provide needed storage and office space for our athletic programs.
 
 
ENTRY: 2-28-2022
The spring semester is in full swing, and the Faculty Senate is at work updating our committee structure to include all-campus Collegia on the Fox and Fond du Lac campuses, contributing to the UW System Presidential Transition Recommendations, providing feedback on Academic and Strategic Planning, and monitoring work on a Faculty Workload policy that will describe a process allowing faculty reassigned time for scholarship.
The UW System Board of Regents (BOR) met on February 10 and 11. The BOR approved two new UW Oshkosh degrees: the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Leadership and Organizational Development and the Executive Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). They also voted to continue to allow our application fee to be set at $0.
Tommy Thompson will be on the UW Oshkosh campus on Monday, March 7 for the last time in his role as UW System President to meet with campus leadership.   We appreciate his advocacy and leadership during the pandemic.
Faculty Senate elections are coming with a call for nominations on Wednesday, March 2. Faculty, please consider running. We need your voice.
Jennifer Szydlik
Faculty Senate President
ENTRY: 12-14-2021
Here is an end-of-the-semester update on all things Faculty Senate!
 
At our November 16 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved an updated charge and membership description for the Academic Policies Committee to better reflect their work. We also considered recommendations from Provost Koker’s working group on Total Title and Compensation (TTC) titles for Instructional Academic Staff (IAS). The working group recommended that UWO use two titles (Lecturer and Assistant Teaching Professor) for IAS. The working group also recommended that UWO not adopt “business titles” to create a structure for title progression outside of HR. The Faculty Senate declined to endorse both recommendations.
 
At our December 7 meeting, the Faculty Senate endorsed a letter addressed to UW System President Tommy Thompson, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Anny Morrobel-Sosa, and Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Daniel Chanen expressing our disappointment in the loss of title progression for our staff colleagues and our frustration with the TTC titling options for IAS.
 
The Board of Regents met on December 9.  At that meeting, President Thompson reported that UW System has provided more than one million Covid 19 tests to students, faculty, staff, and the public. We will continue to provide testing through this winter. We have also led the way on vaccinations.  
 

The UW System Presidential Search Committee has sent a list of finalists to the Special Regents Committee — but they have not released the names. There will be an opportunity for some Faculty Representatives to meet with the finalists in late January. I will try to be a part of that delegation.

 

UW System has launched a Student Behavioral Health Initiative to address increased cases of anxiety and depression. They are working to provide help in crises, target vulnerable populations for services, and promote well-being and healthy working environments. UW System has implemented a digital mental health platform (SilverCloud) available to all faculty, staff, and students (Feel free to make use of the platform: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/well-being/mental-health/) 

The Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER) of the Wisconsin Legislature has yet to schedule a meeting to endorse the pay plan. This means that UW System salary increases may be delayed 

 
Finally, the BOR Education Committee has lengthened the “temporary suspension” of the use of the SAT or ACT in UW System admissions until 2024. (Students may still test if they wish to do so.)  

 I wish you all a wonderful end of the semester and a relaxing holiday season.

 
Jennifer Szydlik
Faculty Senate President
 
 
 
ENTRY:  11-18-2021
The Board of Regents met on November 4, 2021. President Thompson reported that UW System Enrollment for Fall 2021 is down about one percent. We serve a total of 162,980 students. This compares to a 2.3% dip in college enrollment nationwide. In other Regent news, the Board passed a policy allowing for faculty and staff to again serve on Chancellor search committees. A link to that policy can be found here: https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/policies/selection-process-for-system-president-chancellors-vice-chancellors-and-uw-system-senior-leadership-positions/
Here on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus, the Strategic Planning Working Group has begun “mission and visioning exercises.” They are now reaching out to shared governance for input. Contact Chad Cotti if you want to hear more about this project.
Provost Koker briefly considered a partnership with a for-profit company called Academic Partners to create asynchronous undergraduate degree programs for nontraditional students. After input from faculty and a study of financial implications, he has declined to partner with that group.
At our November 16 meeting the Faculty Senate expressed frustration and disappointment in the Total Title and Compensation (TTC) initiative from UW System Human Resources. Senators declined to endorse the recommendations of the TTC Working Group that 1) UWO use the titles of “Lecturer” and “Assistant Teaching Professor” and 2) that UWO discontinue the use of prefixes for IAS titles (e.g., “Senior Lecturer”). The final decision will be made by Provost Koker.

Jen Szydlik

Faculty Senate President

November 18, 2021

 
 
Board of Regents Meeting and UW System Updates
 
The UW System Board of Regents met on our campus on October 7 and 8. Chancellor Leavitt addressed the BOR highlighting University Studies Program, the Cooperative Academic Partnership Program (CAPP) and UWO’s success at leading the charge for testing and vaccinations in the community. He also stressed that our three campuses are positioned in an industry-rich part of the state, and this provides for unique opportunities.
 
A UW System reported on an initiative called “Pathways to UW” that invests in “college navigators” to work with high school students who might not otherwise consider attending college. President Thompson announced that seven UW institutions have made the threshold of 70% vaccinations. The deadline for the “70 for 70” campaign has been extended for two weeks. He noted also that UW System positivity rate last week was less than 1%, and about 80% of system courses are in person.  Finally, President Manydeeds announced a 72-credit transfer agreement between technical colleges and the UW System.

The BOR will consider changes to Regent Policy Document 6-4 related to the search process for UW chancellors at their November 4th meeting. The draft is open for comments until Friday, October 22: https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/draft-policy-proposals-for-comment/Please comment. This is an opportunity to advocate for strong faculty representation on important search committees.

Jen Szydlik

Faculty Senate President

October 14, 2021

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our Sesquicentennial Year!
 
We are celebrating 150 years of excellence and opportunity here at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. If you missed the celebration on September 12, you can still visit the Gail F. Steinhilber Art Gallery on the third floor of Reeve Memorial Union to view the Humans of Oshkosh and Sesquicentennial Rephotography Project.
 
On Monday September 27, faculty have the opportunity participate in a listening session with Regent Karen Walsh regarding the search for a new University of Wisconsin System president. The session will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Reeve memorial Union Ballroom 227BC. Please attend! It is important that faculty help shape the search criteria.
 
Five finalists for the College of Letters and Science dean’s search are visiting campus during the next few weeks. Watch your email for opportunities to meet these candidates and to provide input to the search committee.
 
Join us for “An Evening With Tommy Thompson” on October 6 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Music Hall on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Tommy Thompson is the current president of the University of Wisconsin System. He served as the 42nd Governor for our state and as the 19th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in the cabinet of President George W. Bush.
 
The UW System Board of Regents will meet on our campus on October 7 and 8. Watch for opportunities to participate.
 
Dr. Szydlik, Faculty Senate President
September 23, 2021
 
 
 
 

UW System student vaccination incentive – 70 for 70

On July 25, University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson announced a new incentive program that provides an opportunity for UW students vaccinated against COVID-19 to win a $7,000 scholarship. The new campaign is designed to reach students prior to the fall...

July 2021 Board of Regents Meeting Recap

The July 8 and 9 Board of Regents meeting was presided over by recently elected Regent President Manydeeds, who emphasized several key priorities in his opening remarks including improving the campus climate for underrepresented students and employees and addressing...

June 2021 Board of Regents Recap

The UW System Board of Regents met on June 3 and 4 at UW Milwaukee. On Thursday the Education Committee recommended approval of UW Oshkosh’s request for a Bachelor of Science in Strength and Conditioning, which will replace the current Strength and Conditioning...

Faculty Senate May 2021 Meeting – Items of Interest

Faculty Senate met on May 11th. Senators welcomed new senators who will start their term in September and acted on several items to finish out the academic year. These included handbook changes for the Improvement of Instruction Committee that expand the membership of...

April 2021 Board of Regents Meeting Recap

The UW System Board of Regents met on April 8th and 9th. UW System President Thompson stated that the UW System will not mandate that students are vaccinated against COVID-19 to enroll next fall; however all students and members of the university community are...

March 30 Faculty Senate Meeting Items of Interest

Faculty Senate met on March 30th virtually. Senators acted on several curricular and other items, and formed the Senate elections committee ahead of Faculty Senate elections. Senators also heard an overview of a UW System draft proposal regarding the expansion of...

March 2021 Board of Regents Meeting Recap

The UW System Board of Regents met on March 4th. The main presentation for the meeting brought together four chambers of commerce and economic development leaders to share experiences with the key challenges facing Wisconsin’s businesses: the development of local...