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COE Committee on Academic Staff Issues: Meeting Highlights, February 2, 2004

CoE CASI (Committee on Academic Staff Issues) Meeting Highlights, Monday, February 2, 2004, 2:30-4:00 p.m., Room 3609 Engineering Hall

CASI Members: Karen Al-Ashkar, Jason Bittner, Laura Grossenbacher, Colleen Heinkel, Paul Peercy, Dennis Ray, Jeff Schowalter
Staff to the CASI: Bob Dye, Jeanne Hendricks
Guests: Kumar Sridharan

Key discussion items:

Report on 11/7/2003 ASEC-CASIs Meeting (Laura — handout)
All CASIs are dealing with the same issues (e.g., performance evaluations, merit review process, lack of attendance at scheduled events such as new staff orientations), with no obvious solutions. Regarding CoE orientations, it was suggested that we find out what is provided in the campus orientations, recommend that our academic staff attend those, & fill in the gaps. We could also recommend participation in the campus mentoring program.

Report on CoE APC Meetings: (Paul/Bob)
The research professorial title recommendation from the Engine Research Center was determined to be premature. Department chairs are leading committees looking at undergraduate curricula. Boundaries are fading, both between engineering departments, and between engineering and academic units outside of engineering. The goal is to develop a common shared vision for undergraduate education. The APCRC is looking at the freshman year, before a student enters a department. A survey of graduates indicates a need for more common core courses across engineering fields and more communication outside of engineering (e.g., business, economics). Data indicates that taking a freshman engineering design course increases the likelihood that students will stay in the engineering major, especially female and minority students. The dean is speaking to departments, and consideration is being given to hosting a workshop for other big ten engineering institutions.

Working Groups:

  1. Professorial Titles: (Dennis)
    A research professorial title was approved for Mohamed Sawan (Fusion Technology Institute/Engineering Physics); he has indicated a willingness to mentor other scientists who wish to pursue these titles. In today's meeting, the Faculty Senate is considering 2 motions which would add emeritus faculty to those eligible for the research professorial titles and require that they be appointed at a minimum 50% FTE. A request for a research professor title for a CoE emeritus professor has been resubmitted. Related questions and concerns expressed by the CoE APC include what happens with promotions/title changes (e.g., what if an associate scientist is approved for an associate research professor title and subsequently is promoted to senior scientist?), and links between scientist titles, research professor titles, and principal investigator status. (Without linkages, individuals submit essentially the same materials within 3 separate processes.) Sending a notice to CoE scientists & faculty regarding the research professor titles was suggested. The dean will talk to the chairs at the Operating Committee regarding how to encourage faculty to submit requests for their staff. The campus Sloan Project is interested in teaching professor titles, & it was suggested we learn more about that project.
  2. Brownbags: (Laura)
    Should we be doing them? Consensus was to wait until we get feedback from this year's dialogues. Previous brownbags whose topics were based on academic staff suggestions (yoga, feng shui) were well attended.
  3. Academic Staff Dialogues: (Dennis — handout)
    Two have been held so far, with 3-4 more being scheduled this spring. When all dates have been scheduled, a notice will be sent and added to the CASI web site. Feedback so far indicates that attendees valued the opportunity to talk with a degree of confidentiality. Issues raised and brownbag suggestions include climate & civility, current budget issues, connectivity (desire for events with a social aspect — noon brown bags, "second Thursday" type late afternoon/early evening receptions); a better understanding of processes and activities that affect them (rights & responsibilities, promotion/title change, ombuds program); what is CASI all about (identify services, success stories, communicate the value of attending events); a suggestion to add a second "other" CASI member; salary outlook — how to retain academic staff (sabbaticals? rewards/incentives?); updating of academic staff statistics on the web site.
  4. Communications: (Jeff)
    Jeff will send CASI members an email explaining how to use the CASI mailing list (

CoE Recognition Awards: (Bob)
The CoE deans are piloting a celebration event at the end of the academic year (May 4 at 3:00 p.m) to say thanks & recognize staff accomplishments. All current CoE internal awards will be presented there instead of Engineer's Day. In addition, the award winners will be announced in the Engineering News Notes and invited to Engineer's Day, where they will be introduced while a video of the May award presentation will be shown. Awards for which academic staff are eligible include the Bollinger Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award and the Onstad Service to Society Award. An announcement of all CoE awards was sent to departments and centers, to be distributed to faculty and staff.

Academic Staff 2002-3 Job Security Report: (Jeanne — handout)
(also available at the following:

The next full CASI meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, 2004, 2:30-4pm, Room 3609 Engineering Hall.

Jeanne Hendricks, Recorder

Copyright 2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Date last modified: 12-Feb-2004
Date created: 12-Feb-2004
Content by: CASI
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