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COE Committee on Academic Staff Issues: Meeting Highlights, January 7, 2002

CoE CASI (Committee on Academic Staff Issues) Meeting Highlights 1/7/2002

Present: J. Czyscon, B. Dye, J. Hendricks, M. Landretti, F. McTavish, P. Peercy, B. Peterson
Absent: S. Anderson, L. Grossenbacher, J. Schowalter


Items distributed to CASI members since last meeting:

12/7 (paper) announcement for Academic Staff Professional Development Grant Program
12/17 (email) comments from Karen Walsh concerning academic staff pictures on CoE website and in CoE Annual Report
12/21 (paper) Faculty Senate Resolution concerning Professorial Titles

APC Report (B. Peterson):

(Meeting on 12/12/2001)
The Ad Hoc Research Centers Committee presented its preliminary report. The number and size of research centers are growing area, with over 30 active centers, and plans for 5 new centers in the next 5 years. The largest 18 centers provide 40% of the research funding, 20% of the graduate student support, 60% of the academic staff positions, and 10% of the faculty salaries in the college. There is limited uniformity of personnel policies and activities (merit, performance evaluation, etc.) across centers due to wide diversity in size, structure, and other factors. Centers are required to submit annual reports and are reviewed annually.

Other agenda items included an update on the Mechanical Engineering Building renovation project (requests for bids was announced in December and bids closed 1/21), and the faculty recruitment problem in ECE, where the number of faculty has declined from a peak of 52 to 37. A CASI member asked whether academic staff "pick up the slack." One faculty position was consciously converted to a lecturer position in computer engineering (an area with a difficult market for faculty), but otherwise, ECE is one of several CoE departments with large undergraduate populations that routinely recruit for several lecturers each semester.

Professorial Titles Subcommittee:

The subcommittee was not able to meet before the holidays, so there is no report. The subcommittee will contact the School of Education, School of Business, and Medical School regarding their current or planned use of professorial titles and criteria they have or are developing.

New Employee Orientation Subcommittee Report and Discussion:

The subcommittee discussed 3 project ideas:

  1. Hold a coffee/welcome to CoE once or twice a year, with the Dean discussing the CoE and UW visions, how they connect, and how we all fit in, with brief introductions to the Dean's Office staff;

  2. Hold a question and answer session, run by current staff, to address questions from new staff;

  3. Develop a resource packet, including a CoE directory, list of Websites, etc.

One concern expressed was how to get staff to attend meetings/sessions such as these. Supervisor encouragement was suggested. It was also suggested that the dean and/or dean's staff speak at center meetings.

The subcommittee will meet again before the next CASI meeting to assemble a resource packet and discuss when to start the other sessions. They will also contact Professor Vicki Bier, chair of the CoE Equity and Diversity Committee, for lessons learned when that committee conducted a new faculty orientation session this past fall. P. Peercy observed that a central issue relating to College structure and communication is whether centers should be administratively housed, within departments, since the department is the fundamental entity of campus structure and governance. However, research staff in departments are, in some respects, worse off than those in centers, because their affiliation is with an individual faculty PI. Departments currently don't oversee the faculty research activities and staff. The College has the Operating Committee and the Academic Planning Council to interact with departments, but no effective way to diffuse culture changes, faculty and staff development, and communication throughout the College.

Communications Subcommittee Report and Discussion:

The CoE CASI Website is up to date, and David Liebl was elected to the APC. At the subcommittee's suggestion, letters of congratulations/appreciation will be issued from the dean to David and the other candidates.

Professional Development Subcommittee Report and Discussion:

There was no report. When Laura returns Professional Development Subcommittee will meet with the Professorial Titles Subcommittee to plan for the coming semester.

Discussion of Issues Raised at 11/19 meeting:

CASI members who organized the 10/3/2001 town meeting will develop the feedback to use as a basis for another town meeting, possibly combining a town meeting with the new employee welcome/orientation and a brief presentation by the dean on the implications of state budget cuts.

B. Dye distributed a list of all CoE academic staff with their affiliation (admin, support, dept, center), major department, title, and appointment percentage.

P. Peercy and B. Dye will ask each chair at the next individual monthly meeting to describe the level of involvement/participation of academic staff in their departmental governance.

P. Peercy discussed the upcoming Operating Committee Leadership Workshop, which will focus on the culture of departments, by addressing several questions: What are the key characteristics of an ideal department? What policy and/or organizational changes are needed for the UW CoE to get there? What professional development is needed? What can chairs do to help the transition? State budget issues will also discussed during the workshop. The participants will be asked to consider, philosophically, how current and future cuts could/should be distributed within the College, giving consideration to factors such as number of credit hours taught, number of faculty, research, etc.


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Date last modified: 05-Feb-2002
Date created: Jan-2001
Content by: CASI
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