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Frequently asked questions for UW-Madison Academic Staff

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide was developed to aid the 7,000 academic staff on campus. The answers provide general guidance as well as resources for situation specific questions.

For more information about the academic staff governing structure, official documents, standing committees, etc., see A Vision Shared.

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All Questions

1) Performance reviews

Do academic staff have any say in the criteria and methods of performance reviews in their units?

The policy (ASPP Chapter 10) also requires academic staff participation “in establishing the criteria and defining the methods of academic staff performance review to be used in the unit”.

Are annual performance reviews required?

Academic staff are to be reviewed annually in a manner appropriate to their work setting and responsibilities. Absent a review document in an employee’s personnel file, it shall be assumed that the employee’s performance has been at least satisfactory. Once each year a staff member may request a written performance review from the supervisor regardless of the method of review used by the work unit as a whole. See Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP) Chapter 10: Performance Reviews for details.

Do academic staff have any say in the criteria and methods of performance reviews in their units?

The policy (ASPP Chapter 10) also requires academic staff participation “in establishing the criteria and defining the methods of academic staff performance review to be used in the unit”.

What information should be in my personnel file?

If they exist, the following should be included in an employee’s personnel file:

  • Letter of application and supporting documents
  • Letters of reference; however, where letters of reference are provided under assurances of confidentiality, special treatment of such letters is required (see Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP), Chapter 11: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/UpppTableofContents.htm).
  • Letters of offer, negotiation, and appointment
  • Letters of acceptance
  • All position description information, including Position Vacancy Listings
  • Performance reviews and responses
  • Letters of reappointment, promotion, and change in appointment status
  • Notification of salary changes and title changes
  • Documents relating to termination of appointment, including resignations, retirement, and emeritus status
What role do accomplishment forms (or activities/performance reports) play in renewing our yearly contracts?

Ask your supervisor or unit director or administrator. Performance review methods are determined at the department/center/unit level. In units where they are used, accomplishment forms can provide documentation for consideration and discussion during performance reviews and help build the record of performance to be considered during merit reviews.

If my unit does not require a performance report, may I self -report?

The campus policy on academic staff performance reviews (ASPP Chapter 10) states “Academic staff may at any time document their professional and other work-related activities by preparing an activities and accomplishments report, updated curriculum vitae, position description, or other form of self-reporting. Upon request, these documents shall be placed in the staff member’s personnel file.”

2) Rate changes, job security and other appointment information

How can I get a raise?

 A raise, also known as a change or base adjustment most commonly results from:

  • Promotion: A promotion is a prefix change to your title as a part of your natural career progression.
  • Change in duties: Change-in-duties base adjustments require a substantive change in the duties and responsibilities of the position. The change has to be qualitative rather than quantitative.
  • Market factor: There are three types of market base adjustments:
    • Outside Offer (offer from an employer outside the UW System)
    • Preventive (to alleviate a serious retention problem)
    • Competitive (to avoid the development of a serious retention problem)
  • Salary inequity
For a summary see “Guide to Most Common Requests for Rate and/or Title Changes” at http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Forms/Rate%20&%20Title%20ChngGuide%20to%20Most%20Common.pdf.

What is an Extraordinary Salary Range?

An Extraordinary Salary Range (ESR) is an approved range that is beyond the assigned scope for a given Category A academic staff title.   The ESR option can be established to increase the salary range for a Category A title series (e.g. Clinical Anesthetist), a portion of a title series (Nurse Practitioners within the Clinical Nurse Specialist Series), or a unique role within a title.  Justification for an ESR includes market data on comparable positions in the external market and demonstrated problems in recruitment and retention.

The University of Wisconsin System Unclassified Personnel Guideline (UPG 4.04(4), available at: http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/upgs/UPG%204/UPG04%2007.23.08.pdf) defines the rationale and process for ESR as follows: 

Although the unclassified salary range structure is designed to accommodate general market demands for unclassified staff, there are extreme market conditions for certain positions which require the approval of an extraordinary salary range in order to address documented recruitment and retention needs. In the event the institution finds evidence, by virtue of conducting a market survey, that an official salary range does not adequately capture the competitive market, the institution should submit published or developed survey data on salaries paid for comparable positions in the external market, to the UW System Office of Human Resources for review and approval of an extraordinary salary range.

When am I eligible for promotion?

You are eligible for promotion to the next prefix level within your title series when you meet the criteria for that prefix. For promotion criteria, see Criteria for Prefixes, Scope and Levels at http://ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UTG/Tblcnts.htm (Unclassified Title Guidelines).

What are the intellectual property rights of an academic staff member?

Academic staff are afforded the same protections as faculty members. A complete guide is available through the UW Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: http://www.rsp.wisc.edu/index.html.

Except as required by funding agreements or other University policies, the University does not claim ownership rights in the intellectual property generated during research by its faculty, staff, or students.

In general, federal law and regulations provide that the University has first right to retain title to any inventions conceived or made in whole or in part during federally funded research. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has designated the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF: http://www.warf.org/) as its patent management organization for this purpose. Federal law and regulations further provide a single policy document and uniform policies for virtually all federal grants and contracts. Computer programs which are patentable are covered by the federal law as are plants protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act.

Expectations vary regarding ownership of intellectual property generated as a part of a research program sponsored by non-federal funding sources.

What is the process for establishing an Extraordinary Salary Range?

If you are in a position that has comparable parallels in the external market (1) for which either a recent salary survey exists or for which salary data could be collected and (2) if you know there are recruitment and retention issues, then you may be able to document the need for an ESR.
Gather the information you have available and discuss with your immediate supervisor or, if necessary, your chair, director or dean. Subsequently, consultation will take place between the chair, dean/director and/or the HR representative and the Academic Personnel Office regarding the need for and justification of a request. New or additional market data may be required. If APO agrees that the request is justified, they will forward the request and supporting documentation to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at UW System Administration for final review and approval.

If approved, the midpoint of the ESR salary range will be established based on the market data submitted for comparable positions. Category A pay ranges have an established standard 50% “range spread”, i.e., the minimum plus 50% equals the maximum. To do the calculation once the midpoint has been established, multiply it by 80% to get the minimum and then multiply the minimum by 150% to get the maximum. For example, a midpoint of $50,000 would have a minimum of $40,000 ($50,000 X 0.8) and a maximum of $60,000 ($40,000 X 1.5).

What is the process and timing for requesting a title change?

Detailed campus policy, including criteria and process for academic staff rate and/or title changes, is addressed in Chapter 10 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/UpppTableofContents.htm

Information concerning unclassified titles and prefixes, their definitions/criteria, and assigned salary ranges (where applicable) is available in the Unclassified Title Guideline: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/utg/tblcnts.htm.

The School or College determines when rate/title change requests are accepted during the year. According to campus policy, the effective date for approved changes can be no earlier than the first of the month after the dean’s office receives the request. Consult with your supervisor and your department administrator to plan your request.

What are the options for increased job security?

•Fixed-term, multiple-year appointment is a form of fixed-term renewable appointment made for more than one year. The length of the term is specified in writing. This type of extended appointment may be especially appropriate for individuals on multiple-year grants.

•Fixed-term rolling-horizon is a form of fixed-term appointment that extends daily for the term specified in writing. The term may be for one or more years. (ASPP 2.01.1.b).

Information about appointments that increase job security can be found at:

•Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP), Chapter 2, “Academic Staff Appointments"

•Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures, Office of Human Resources, Chapter 9, “Job Security and Recognition,”http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/polproced/UPPP/UpppTableofContents.htm.

What conditions affect academic staff job security?

Most academic staff are initially on one-year, fixed term, renewable appointments. These appointments are renewable:

•As long as the employee provides satisfactory service
•Funds are available
•Directions or needs of the program do not change.

Once an initial evaluation period has been successfully completed, the employment of an academic staff member may be ended only for reasons of:

•Funding loss

•A budget or program decision that requires a program to be discontinued, curtailed, modified, or redirected

•Unsatisfactory performance

•Misconduct.

When are academic staff on fixed-term renewable appointments reviewed for increased job security?

ASPP 2.05 describes reviews of appointment status. Basically:

•Any academic staff member can be consider ed for a more secure appointment with a request initiated by the academic staff member or by the member’s unit at any time, no matter how long the individual has been with the university; and
•Academic staff members with five or more years of service are reviewed annually by the Dean for rolling-horizon or indefinite appointments when (1) they are an integral part of the unit’s continuing mission, (2) a funding source can be identified; and (3) the quality of their performance warrants it.

Upon request, academic staff members with five years or more of service whose appointments are for two or fewer years can get written reasons why they did not receive increased job security.

Who actually approves appointment changes that increase job security?

Your supervisor, department chair, or center director, and the dean/director.

Your Human Resources department or business office will know the current practice of approving appointment changes to increase job security.

What difference does my appointment type make in terms of notice of non-renewal?

Minimum notice periods for non-renewal are described in ASPP 3.04. The minimum non-renewal notice for academic staff on one-year, fixed-term, renewable appointments depend upon the years of UW-Madison academic staff service. The minimum notice ranges from three to 12 months.

For multiple-year appointments, minimum non-renewal notice extends to the current appointment end date.

Rolling-horizon appointments provide a much longer mi nimum non-renewal notice period because the appointment is extended daily for the term specified in the letter of appointment or re-appointment. For example, someone on a three year rolling-horizon has a three-year minimum non-renewal notice period from the date they are notified that the rolling horizon ends.

What about the minimum notice periods for lay-offs due to funding loss or budget or program decisions?

ASPP 5.04 specifies the minimum notice periods for the various appointment types. For fixed term and probationary appointees, minimum layoff notice ranges from two to six months depending upon years of academic staff service and the layoff reason.

Academic Staff on rolling-horizons (regardless of length) receive a minimum notice of six months for funding loss and twelve months for budget or program decisions.

How can I get further information about layoff status and my rights under layoff?

Layoff is defined as the termination of an academic staff member’s employment because of a funding loss or a budget or program decision either prior to the end of the current appointment or when proper notice of non-renewal under ASPP 3.04 cannot be given. See Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP), Chapter 5. If you have additional questions, you may contact your Dean’s office or the Academic Personnel Office (http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/apo/index.htm)

Are academic staff on fixed term renewable appointments supposed to get an annual reappointment letter?

Appointments for terms up to and including one year renew for the same term unless the academic staff member receives a written notice to the contrary. A letter of reappointment is not required. A letter of appointment is required if the term of appointment is increased. Appointments for terms longer than one year, including multiple-year appointments, do not require a letter of reappointment during the original term. To renew the appointment for more than one year requires a reappointment letter. If a reappointment letter or nonrenewal notice is not issued before the end of the original term, then the appointment becomes a one- year fixed- term renewable appointment. See ASPP 2.01.

Can I appeal my lay-off or non-renewal?

Yes. As provided for by Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP) Chapter 9.01, the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (ASAC), “…shall review or hear all appeals of nonrenewals (ASPP 3), nonretentions of probationary employees (ASPP 4), layoffs (ASPP 5), discipline and dismissals (ASPP 6), and grievances (ASPP 7). More information about the appeal process can be found at: Appeals.

Can academic staff serve on graduate student committees?

An Executive Committee can, without approval of the Graduate School, appoint an academic staff member to serve as a fifth member of a doctoral examination committee. Such an appointed committee member has the right to vote and sign the warrant like other members of the committee. The composition of graduate committees will be made at the depart ment or program level, as long as Graduate School minimum requirements are met. All members hold voting rights on the committee, thus programs may allow an individual who is not Graduate Faculty to serve as a full voting member of a committee. This could include an academic staff member, an outside expert, postdoctoral scholar or any other qualified individual, as determined by the program Executive Committee or its equivalent. This individual may serve in any capacity on the committee, including co-chair. For more information see: http://www.wisc.edu/grad/education/acadpolicy/guidelines.html#31

Can an academic staff member serve as a principal investigator?

The Chancellor has delegated to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School authority to grant approval for academic staff members to serve as principal investigators on extramural grants and contracts. Under Graduate School rules, an academic staff member may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on proposals and awards by requesting Limited PI Status (http://www.grad.wisc.edu/research/limitedpi.html) on a project-by-project basis or, if eligible, by requesting Permanent Principal Investigator Status (see http://www.grad.wisc.edu/research/permpi.html).

3) Benefits and compensation plans

Who could I see to ask about questions regarding payroll and benefits?
Contact the payroll and benefits person for your unit or the campus Employee Benefits and Compensation Services Office: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/ecbs/ecbs.html.
What are sources of general information about compensation and benefits?

FAQ’s, a glossary, seminars, etc. about compensation and benefits are on the Employee Benefits and Compensation Services web page: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/ecbs/emp-info.html.

Why do academic staff not receive the annual salary increase that is budgeted in the grant from which they are funded?

Levels of budgeted compensation increases allowable in grants are often specified by the funding agency irrespective of a particular university’s compensation policies. However, all grants are awarded contingent upon adherence to state legislation and UW policies, which provide for funding-neutral compensation structures and pay plans. As a result, the increases budgeted in the grant may be higher or lower than an academic staff member may be deemed eligible for from the UW-Madison. Although this may mean that the academic staff member gets a lower compensation increase than what was budgeted in the grant, it also may mean that there is some degree of insulation of the academic staff member from any negative changes in the research budget. For example, a funding agency’s decision to reduce the amount of an award in a particular grant year does not result in a downward pay rate adjustment for academic staff paid on that grant.

How are faculty and staff pay plans determined for the UW System?

The Board of Regents approves a pay plan recommendation that is forwarded to the Office of State Relations (OSER) for approval and often, modification. The Regents proposal is not binding. OSER's recommendation is submitted to the legislature's Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JoCER): http://www.legis.state.wi.us/W3ASP/CommPages/IndividualCommittee.aspx?committee=Employment%20Relations&house=Joint for final approval.

How are merit increases determined?

What follows is a “generic” description of the process. Please seek details from your unit. The dean/director re ceives detailed instructions and a target percent increase number from the UW Administration. When all of the salary changes have been finally decided, the actual per cent increase for all academic staff as a whole in the School or College must be no greater than the target per cent.

Included in the instructions to chairs and directors is the opportunity for them to set aside additional merit funds for high performers or other special circumstance. To fund such requests, Deans/directors may typically give a slightly lower figure to departments to provide themselves some flexibility. This “hold-back” may only be say 5 per cent of the target increase. So if the target were two per cent, then the dean/director may hold-back 0.1 per cent, and communicate that the chairs /directors and research center directors should use 1.9 per cent as their target. The dean/director aggregates all requests, and then uses the special allocation as he or she deems appropriate considering any special requests.

Chairs/directors then solicit recommendations for increases for each academic staff member. These recommendations may be from a review committee, or from supervisors. The Chair/director may also make his or her own decision for some academic staff. There may be some intra-unit (or UDDS) trading between supervisors if some of the aggregate increase unit target per cent is not needed due to personnel leaving, etc. In the end, the chairs/directors must satisfy the target percent given to them by the dean/director.

Essentially, the target percentages represent a zero-sum game for individual academic staff merit increases. Any real substantial increase in salary probably must occur through a base salary adjustment through some sort of job reclassification (rate or rate/title change).

If the target percent increase were three percent, should I expect to get a three percent increase?

No. A resolution passed by the Regents includes a guideline that solid performers should receive not less than one-third of the merit compensation plan. This does not imply or require an across-the-board increase for each individual who receives a “satisfactory” assessment. Rather, it reflects a policy that those individuals who have made positive, but not necessarily exceptional, contributions should not be excluded from pay plan increases. This will ensure that exceptional performers are adequately rewarded but not exclusively at the expense of the solid performers.

However, current Regent policy requires across-the-board increases when the pay plan increase is less than 2%. Then the increase is exactly 2%, each institution is given the option of implementing it on an across-the-board or merit basis.

For my own long-term career planning, what is the best way to get a salary increase?

You should focus on career development activities that result in promotions or job description changes and you should discuss advancement opportunities with your supervisor. You may need to apply for positions outside of your current work unit to advance. For specifics on how you can get a raise see 2.1.

Where can I find out about the status of current UW System Budget deliberations?

The Office of the Chancellor maintains a State Relations web page that contains current information about the budget deliberations along with other state relations issues. You can access that web page at http://www.staterelations.wisc.edu/. The web page also provides information about Wisconsin politics, the Wisconsin legislature and pending legislation, campus information/facts, and more.

What benefits do domestic partners receive?

Passage of the 2009 state budget bill (2009 Wisconsin Act 28) provided for the establishment of domestic partner benefits for all State of Wisconsin employees (Chapter 40), including those at UW, to be effective January 1, 2010 for programs administered by the Employee Trust Fund (ETF). Programs covered include:

•State Group Health Insurance program
•Wisconsin Retirement Systems (WRS)
•Wisconsin Deferred Compensation program (WDC)
•State Group Life Insurance.
For the purpose of these benefits, both same-sex and opposite-sex partners will be treated similarly to spouses. For details on the provisions included in Chapter 40, find the original text here: http://nxt.legis.state.wi.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&d=stats&jd=ch.%2040 . Information regarding the range of benefits available is available from three sources:

•UW System Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefits/dpbenefits.html
•UW-Madison Office of Human Resources Payroll Services & Benefits Services http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/ecbs/2010/domestic_partnership.html
•State of Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds http://etf.wi.gov/publications/domestic_partners.htm

Is the state Domestic Partner Registry a part of the domestic partner benefits provision?

No. This registry is unrelated to the domestic partner benefits administered by ETF which are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Domestic partnership in Wisconsin via the registry is a legal status that provides same-sex couples who register as domestic partners with certain limited legal protections, such as inheritance and survivorship protections, family and medical leave, and medical, hospital, and visitation rights.

How will my domestic partnership be recognized by the ETF?

For the purpose of the domestic partner benefits provision, a couple must register as domestic partners through the filing of an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (form ET-2371) that can be found at: http://etf.wi.gov/publications/domestic_partners.htm .

“Domestic partner” is now included in the “standard sequence” of beneficiary designation for life insurance and retirement annuities. Prior to the passage of 2009 Wisconsin Act 28, an employee could name any person of their choosing, including a domestic partner, as a beneficiary to their life insurance or retirement account, but only “spouse” was included in the standard sequence. There is a section on beneficiary designations in State Department of Employee Trust Funds’ “Your Benefits Handbook”: http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et2119.htm .

Is there any cost associated with enrolling in the DP health insurance benefit?

Yes, the domestic partner health insurance benefit is a taxable fringe benefit. The fair market value of the UW contribution toward health insurance coverage of any dependent who does not qualify as a tax dependent under Internal Revenue Service code Section 152 (e.g., domestic partner, a partner’s child, or an adult child) is considered a taxable fringe benefit, referred to as “imputed income.” Such income is subject to tax witholding, resulting in an increased tax burden and therefore the employees net pay will be decreased. The UW-Madison Office of Human Resources Payroll Services & Benefits Services website includes a page on imputed income, including monthly imputed income tables and an imputed income calculator: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/ecbs/imputed-income.html .

4) Professional Development

What are professional development opportunities or grants, and how can I apply for them?

The web site http://www.myprofdev.wisc.edu/ is designed to be a clearinghouse for all professional development opportunities on campus - from classes, seminars, and special events to informal gatherings. Information about Academic Staff Professional Development grants that provide 50% of the cost of a professional development proposal can be found at the Secretary of the Academic Staff site: Professional Development

Since Academic Staff Professional Development grants require matching funds by my unit, how can I be assured that there are funds available to support the grant?

Your best bet for support is to seek professional development that will clearly help your productivity on the job. With that in mind, talk with your supervisor to learn what support is possible. Together you can develop the best proposal for submission.

What are executive education grants and how can I apply for one?

The grants are available to academic staff as a means to show recognition and financial support for exceptional work at the University. Information about executive educations grants is at:
http://www.myprofdev.wisc.edu/opp_view.asp?id=4850.

What are the Academic Staff excellence awards?

There are a variety of awards and grants that support efforts of staff to further their professional goals at the University. More information is at: Awards

What is PDRC?

PDRC stands for Professional Development and Recognition Committee. It is a standing committee of the Academic Staff Assembly. The web site is: PDRC

How can the Office of Human Resource Development help me?

The Office of Human Resource Development (HRD) has a two-fold mission: create professional development and training opportunities for faculty and staff that relate to the development of the organization, and to guide individuals within the organization in their personal and professional development as they prepare for a continuously changing workplace. The Office of Human Resource Development (HRD) at UW-Madison hosts over 1,000 learning opportunities a year to classified staff, academic staff, faculty, and university guests. A learning transcript which captures all events that a UW-Madison employee participates in is available through the HRD web site. If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.ohrd.wisc.edu . New in 2008 is the WISCareers career development web site. This learning opportunity is located under the “Work Record” tab which can be accessed through My UW-Madison web site (my.wisc.edu).

What is My Professional Develo pment on the OHRD website?

My Professional Development (MPD: http://www.myprofdev.wisc.edu/) is a free, campus-wide, collaborative Web-based clearinghouse for all professional development opportunities on campus - from classes, seminars, and special events to informal gatherings. It is administered by the Office of Human Resource Development and is a joint effort of the Office of the Provost, OHRD, DoIT, and Office of Quality Improvement. MPD is a strategy for Nurturing Human Resources--Employee Professional Development, a priority in the campus strategic plan.

5) Governance and service to the School/College and the University

What is shared governance and why is it important?

The University of Wisconsin has a proud tradition of shared governance. Since 1848, faculty and students have worked hand-in-hand to shape and implement the administrative policy that guides the academic experience. What has emerged and continues to evolve is a partnership that uniquely defines our institutional mission as a Land-Grant university with service to the public and the needs of the state.

As the university grew and changed, so did the infrastructure necessary to carry out our mission of teaching, research, and service. As faculty duties increased, different types of employees were needed to serve in various support roles and key positions to move the overall mission forward. These employees, now called the academic staff, also have a direct stake in the governance of the institution. Recognizing and enhancing this shared responsibility has been an evolutionary process that continues today.

In 2007, the University of Wisconsin academic staff celebrated a milestone of 20 years of shared governance. For a complete view of governance history, see, A Vision Shared: http://acstaff.wisc.edu/cc/vision.html.

According to the Brief History of the Academic Staff , the areas upon which academic staff governance participation has had influence include: The UW System Gender/Race Equity Project, harassment policies, parental leave policies, retirement legislation, Academic Staff Excellence Awards, an Academic Staff Endowment Fund, the ban on smoking in university buildings, eligibility to serve on Graduate School examination committees, "permanent" Principal Investigator status, the committee memberships mentioned above, and growing influence in the state Legislature and with the regents.

How can I get involved in academic staff/shared governance and the various governance committees? What opportunities are available?

Information about governance and participation opportunities is available at: http://acstaff.wisc.edu/. There are also service opportunities in your college, school, department, or unit. One of them may be involvement in a CASI (see question 5.6). Ask around to find out about these more local opportunities.

What is a CASI?

CASI is the acronym for Committee on Academic Staff Issues. The Academic Staff Assembly at its January 12, 1998 meeting passed Academic Staff Document #210, titled "School, College and Division Committees on Academic Staff Issues (CASI)". This document calls for each school, college, or division of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to establish a committee to advise the Dean or Director on issues pertaining to or affecting academic staff members in that unit. “The academic staff of each school, college or division shall establish a Committee on Academic Staff Issues, which shall advise the dean or director on the formulation and review, and shall be represented in the development of all policies and procedures concerning academic staff members of the school, college or division, including personnel matters.”

Members of a school or college CASI are elected or appointed. Membership provides opportunities for advocating for academic staff and for helping to address academic staff concerns. Find out if you have a CASI and make your interest known. If you don't have an active CASI, you can even help start one! For more information, contact the Secretary of the Academic Staff at acstaff_gov@lists.wisc.edu.

What is ASPRO? MASA? UFAS? Do I have to join?

ASPRO is the Academic Staff Public Representation Organization (http://www.aspro.net/), a non-profit, professional organization that represents the UW-System academic staff and their interests with the State Legislature, the Governor's office, the Board of Regents, and the general public. ASPRO is the official lobbying and public relations arm of the academic staff. It is not a union nor does it negotiate or bargain terms of employment.

The Madison Academic Staff Association (MASA) (http://www.uwmasa.com/) is an organization of members of the academic staff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW- Madison). It aims to further the professional status of the Madison academic staff, share ideas on items of mutual interest relating to professional status, conditions of employment, and compensation, and to establish communications with other identifiable university groups having similar objectives. It is not a union nor does it negotiate or bargain terms of employment.

United Faculty and Academic Staff (UFAS) (http://wi.aft.org/ufas/) is a labor union democratically organized to represent its members who are faculty, academic staff, and postdoctoral fellows at the UW-Madison and UW-Extension. UFAS is an independent affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, Local #223, AFL-CIO. It does not negotiate contracts, but does provide other member services, such as legal representation. It is not a certified representative of faculty or academic staff or postdoctoral fellows.

Academic staff are not required to join any of these organizations.

What is the support for academic staff participation in governance?

Each September, the Chancellor sends a memorandum to deans, directors, and department chairs to ask them to make it possible for academic staff to participate in governance activities by serving on appropriate committees or governance bodies such as the Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC), the Academic Staff Assembly, and the Committees on Academic Staff Issues (CASIs). If you are interested in participating in governance activities, you should discuss your interest with your supervisor. Or, seek advice from current members. They are listed on each group’s particular website.

References:

 

  • Latest memorandum from Chancellor Wiley
  • Section 36.09 (4m) of the Wisconsin Statutes (as revised on August 17, 1985) authorizes shared governance participation by members of the academic staff stating “The academic staff members of each institution, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the board, the president and the chancellor and faculty of the institution, shall be active participants in the immediate governance of and policy development for the institution. The academic staff members have primary responsibility for the formulation and review, and shall be represented in the development of all policies and procedures concerning academic staff members, including academic staff personnel matters.”
  • On September 6, 1985, the Board of Regents (Resolution 3359) directed each chancellor to implement academic staff governance participation.
  • Academic Staff Articles of Organization and a Faculty Senate Resolution (March 2, 1987) encourage and support academic staff participation.
  • Academic Staff Governance: A Brief History.

How does the policy on effort certification affect my ability to participate in shared governance?

The effort certification policy may constrain the time that an academic staff member supported 100% on federal funding can participate in shared governance activities . You should check with your department, unit or college to find out what the current campus policy is.

As part of the University's stewardship responsibilities in managing extramural funds, effort time (as a percent of total time) must be certified for all individuals who receive salary support from a sponsored project or who expend committed effort on a sponsored project without receiving salary support from the sponsor. Faculty and academic staff certify their effort every six months.

For more information regarding the effort certification policy, see http://www.rsp.wisc.edu/effort/index.html. There are links on this website to the University's policy and guidelines for effort certification.