Category Archives: Sub Featured

Titling and Total Compensation Study Moves Forward

by Jacob Smith

Here is a brief update from the Office of Human Resources on the status of the Titling and Total Compensation study:

As we proceed with the Title and Total Compensation (TTC) Study, we are committed to providing regular updates to you and other UW-Madison stakeholders.

The focus of this joint UW-Madison and UW System study is to modernize the job title and total compensation structure, implement guidelines for compensation administration, and develop competitive work-life benefit programs that reflect contemporary workplaces. Mercer consulting will provide its expertise throughout the study.

During the TTC project launch in March, Mercer met with Advisory Council members to provide information on project oversight, timeline, major components of the proposed project plan, and communication and engagement strategies.

Mercer also conducted interviews with campus stakeholders (governance representatives, deans, directors, etc.). These discussions will provide meaningful input as the study progresses.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions we have received. Please use this information in response to inquiries from your constituents.

How long will the TTC Study take? The projected timeline is 24 months, starting February 21, 2017.

Where can I find information about the TTC Study? Information is on the study website (also can be reached from the Office of Human Resources home page at

What is the TTC Advisory Council and what are the members’ roles? The Advisory Council (AC) is a UW System and UW-Madison group that plays a strategic role in guiding the joint study. AC members include stakeholders (governance, administration, etc.) from UW-Madison and other UW institutions. AC members will educate, support and communicate with their respective constituents and provide the project planning team with advice on different aspects of the study (see full AC charge).

What are the phases of the TTC Study?  The TTC Study has five phases.

  1. Design study strategy (current phase)
  2. Assess positions and develop a new job title structure
  3. Create compensation structure
  4. Review benefits structures
  5. Implement new structures

Full descriptions of the phases are in the Mercer presentation.

How will shared governance be involved? Shared governance is crucial to ensure that campus employees have input and receive accurate and timely information. The study project structure and methodology were built with this in mind. Shared governance representatives are well-positioned on the joint Advisory Council and as active participants on the study Campus Collaboration Team. The Campus Collaboration Team will develop and provide guidance on the implementation of strategies for stakeholder engagement. These strategies will include campus forums, focus groups, targeted communication, and other activities. TTC project representatives also will continue to meet with shared governance groups to receive input and provide updates.

How can employees provide feedback and ask questions? Employees can provide feedback via e-mail to As engagement strategies roll out, employees will have opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback (e.g., open forums, focus groups, and webinars). Employees also can direct questions to Advisory Council members, shared governance members, and/or their human resources representatives.

What are the next steps? We are in the early stages of this project. We are developing the project plan, including some initial communication strategies. UW-Madison Advisory Council members have been actively involved in developing the communication strategies.


Changes to Academic Staff Assembly Districts

by Jacob Smith

Your Academic Staff Assembly (ASA) district may change on July 1, 2017. At the April 10 meeting, the ASA passed a motion to implement the following rules as needed to ensure Assembly districts comply with size rules and districting logic:

  • Academic staff will be sorted into districts by job code first and division & department second.
  • The Districting and Representation Committee (DRC) is granted authority to increase or decrease the total number of districts, creating new districts or combining existing districts as needed to comply with district size rules and logic without each instance requiring approval by the Assembly. The DRC shall conduct a compliance review of districts each year prior to elections of Assembly Representative and Alternates.

As a result of the motion, the DRC completed a full redistricting of the academic staff using the logic described above. These new districts will take effect on July 1, 2017; you will remain in your current district with your current representative until then. Please note that current tools (e.g. district email lists, lookup functions on the DRC website) will reflect the current districting until July 1. Terms for all current ASA representatives and alternates will end on June 30, 2017.

If you are interested in serving as the representative or the alternate for your new district starting July 1 for a 2-year term, or if you just have questions about the new districting process, please contact the Secretary of the Academic Staff office at

Spring 2017 Professional Development Grant Competition Announced

by Jacob Smith

The Spring 2017 Professional Development Grant competition has been announced. Academic staff who meet the eligibility requirements can get up to 50% of the cost of their professional development activity covered through the grant. Grants are for activities occurring from July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017.

For more details, go to

Academic Staff Chats Announced for 2016-17 Academic Year

by Heather Daniels

Join a small group of your academic staff colleagues in open discussions on various topics. All the details including the topics covered this year are below. Each topic this year should be of broad interest to all academic staff. Some discussions will include a speaker prior to ample discussion time.

All sessions will include frank discussion and a free lunch. There is no cost associated with this activity. Simply register and show up.

Numbers are very limited to ensure a fruitful small group discussion, so be sure to register early!  If a session is full, please register for the waiting list.  We may add additional sections to accommodate the increased interest.

Meeting Dates & Locations
Note: All sessions meet from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at Union South.

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016
    Professional Development: Ideas on What, Where and How Much
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2016
    Performance Evaluations: How Are They Working for You?
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017
    Job Security: How Do Contracts Work at UW-Madison?
  • Monday, March 6, 2017
    How to Advocate for Yourself Professionally with Limited Resources

Register at:

Call for Submissions: Academic Staff Art Gallery

by Heather Daniels

Are you an artist? Do you have artistic works that you have produced that you would like to display on campus?

If so, you are invited to show your artwork in the Academic Staff Art Gallery. The Office of the Secretary of the Academic Staff—located in 270 Bascom—provides a forum to display 2-D artwork created by UW-Madison academic staff. There are three walls in the office that have been prepared to display framed, ready-to-hang 2-D artwork. Art will be on display during either the fall or spring semester and will be given recognition through various campus publications.

If you would like to have your work considered for exhibition in the Office of the Secretary of the Academic Staff, please contact the office at with the following information:

  • Your contact information (please indicate your academic staff position on campus)
  • A short artistic statement describing your art and creative concerns
  • 4-10 images of your work (PNG or JPEG format)

Entries Due 9/8 for Complimentary Seats in Professional Development Courses from the Division of Continuing Studies

by Heather Daniels

The Division of Continuing Studies, in collaboration with the Secretary of the Academic Staff Office, is offering the opportunity for academic staff to participate in a selected professional development course available through their course catalog this fall free of charge.  The full catalog is available at

Two courses are available, and three slots have been reserved in each course for academic staff to attend free of charge.

Executive Writing: Effective Workplace Communication
Strengthen your ability to write memos, letters, and reports covering a broad range of issues. Learn techniques to increase efficiency, apply different structures depending on your purpose, improve your editing, choose appropriate language for written rather than oral communication, and analyze your intended audience. We use writing samples for analysis and discussion. Instructor: Daniel Kramarz

Thursday, September 22, 8:30-3:15 pm
Pyle Center
$150 Value

Strategic Thinking, Planning and Organizational Transformation
Strategic planning provides both a process and a set of outcomes that help you find the answers to core questions about organizational identity and direction. Discover how to construct your organization’s strategic plan, involve other stakeholders in its development, and ensure successful implementation. Instructor: Jeff Russell

Tuesday, October 25, 8:30-3:15 pm
Pyle Center
$150 Value

If you are interested in attending either of these courses for free, simply click on the link below to register your interest through a short survey.  Attendees will be selected through a random drawing.  The deadline for entry is Thursday, September 8.  Those selected will be notified on Friday, September 9.

Register your interest:

ASEC Chair and Vice Chair Selected for 2016-2017

by Heather Daniels

Kevin Niemi has been elected as chair of the Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC)  and Bruno Browning elected as vice chair for a one-year term starting July 1, 2016.  Kevin Niemi is Director of Outreach Programs in WISCIENCE (Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement) and has served on ASEC since July of 2013.  Bruno Browning is Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the College of Letters and Science.  He has served on ASEC since July of 2014.

Academic Staff Worklife Survey Closes June 23

by Heather Daniels

The first ever survey on academic staff worklife closes on Thursday, June 23.  This survey is based on the WISELI survey that was sent to faculty and some clinical academic staff this spring.  ASEC has kept the questions in this survey closely aligned with the faculty questions to allow for comparison across the two groups.  Academic staff should have received several email reminders about the survey in their email.  Please check your junk and clutter folder for the email if you have not seen it in your “in box.”  If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Secretary of the Academic Staff at

2016 Academic Staff Excellence Award Winners Announced

by Jacob Smith

The winners of the 2016 UW-Madison Academic Staff Excellence Awards have been announced. The winners are:

  • Sharon Thoma, Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Martin Rouse, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University
  • Mary Ann Croft, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, Independent Investigator
  • Tracy Drier, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, Critical Research Support
  • Margaret Birrenkott, Wisconsin Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Leadership: Individual Unit Level
  • Bethany Pluymers, Wisconsin Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Leadership: College, School, or Larger University Community Level
  • Wendy Johnson, Robert and Carroll Heideman Award for Excellence in Public Service and Outreach
  • Ronald Harris, Martha Casey Award for Dedication to Excellence
  • Jeanne Hendricks, Ann Wallace Career Achievement Award

More information about the winners can be found here:

Linnea Burk receives 2016 Board of Regents Academic Staff Award.

by Heather Daniels

Linnea Burk, Clinical Associate Professor, Director, Psychology Research and Training Clinic, will be honored at the Board of Regents Meeting on Friday, April 8 with a 2016 Board of Regents Academic Staff Award. Burk began her service at UW-Madison in 2009 as a clinical assistant professor, while also assuming the position of director of the psychology clinic. Knowing that a well-functioning clinic is critical to the strength and national standing of a clinical psychology PhD program, Burk has worked to enhance the educational and outreach capacity of the clinic. More information regarding Burke and the other award winners is available at