Academic Staff Representatives
Academic Staff Representatives Council
On September 23, 2004, the ASRC presented President Kevin P. Reilly with a briefing paper profiling UW System Academic Staff.
Another document -- the Academic Staff Briefing Book -- is created and published on the web each year. This resource contains statistics on UW System Academic Staff.
are Academic Staff?
Academic Staff are also in charge of or directly involved with research that affects the quality of life of the people of Wisconsin and around the world. Some examples of Academic Staff positions include: lecturers, instructional specialists and program managers, faculty associates, clinical professors; advisors, counselors, financial aid officers; deans, career planning and placement specialists; scientists and researchers; registration and computer experts; directors and student services managers; research and instructional instrumentation innovators; outreach and continuing education specialists; program managers, cartographers, geologists; archivists, curators, librarians, artists; medical illustrators, engineers; administrative specialists, policy and planning analysts; and attorneys, controllers, consultants, and directors of computing.
To view the chart (in Microsoft Word) detailing this trend, click here.
The growth in Academic Staff mirrors the increase in UW System student enrollment during the same period, as Academic Staff were added to meet the increased demand for instruction and student support programs. Expanding research programs and increasing use of computing technologies throughout the UW System were other sources of demand for additional Academic Staff.
increase in Academic Staff has not relied solely
on the support of Wisconsin taxpayers and students.
Approximately one-third of the increase in Academic
Staff FTE from 1993 to 2003 came from general
fund sources. By 2003, only 48% of Academic Staff
were funded through the general fund, with the
rest funded through program revenue, including
21% from federal sources. In contrast, 91% of
Faculty FTE and 68% of Classified FTE were funded
through the general fund in 2003.
Staff By Appointment Type
Source: October 2003 Payroll. Excludes academic staff with Limited appointments and employees of the UW Hospital and Clinics.
Academic Staff are an integral part of the UW's teaching mission. Instructional Academic Staff grew as a share of the total instructional FTE from 22% in 1994 to 28% in 2003, compared to faculty (58%) and graduate assistants (14%). Instructional Academic Staff teach about one-third of all student credit hours (32%) and account for about one-third of faculty contact hours (32%) with students in the UW System (Source: UW System Instructional Analysis Information System).
with local employers to develop internships, co-ops,
etc. that provide a smooth and successful transition
from academic to work life for students and enhance
the educated workforce of the state.
more information about Academic Staff, please
Another document -- the Academic Staff Briefing Book -- is created and published on the web each year. This resource contains statistics on UW System Academic Staff
Academic staff are defined by statute as "professional and administrative personnel with duties, and subject to types of appointments, that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration, but does not include faculty and staff…" 1(see footnote 1).As a group, academic staff defy neat categorization -- a condition that all but precludes sweeping generalizations. Academic staff have in common their ex-ceptional professional competence, a high level of commitment to the UW System, and generic designation as "academic staff."
Academic staff are librarians, lecturers, and lawyers. They are academic advi-sors, broadcasters, senior scientists, and lab managers. They are managers of major institutional operations, indispensable experts on essential university services, and providers of highly specialized skills. The academic staff are essential to the successful operation of our institutions and are recruited with the same care and standard of excellence as faculty and administrators. A large proportion of the academic staff has advanced degrees and special certification or licensing.
briefing book is intended to give a broad overview
of the UW System academic staff, their terms of
employment, and issues of concern. This information
lays a foundation for understanding issues that
are brought forward to System Administration,
the Board of Regents, and the Legislature. Further
questions may be directed to the UW
System Office of Human Resources.
UW System Academic Staff
Academic staff positions are categorized into two major groups unique to higher education: administrative and professional positions (Category A) and teaching and research (Category B). Within these two major groupings are 875 position titles. Although it is difficult to summarize briefly the functions they perform, the following list exemplifies the broad range of academic staff positions in the UW System:
The Number of Academic Staff
Academic staff are respected professionals representing the largest single group of unclassified employees, contributing daily to the quality and reputation of a world-class university system. According to the UW System October 2003 payroll, 10,577 FTE positions were paid under the academic staff title structure. This total includes 6685 FTE Category A staff (63.2% percent of total academic staff) and 3919 FTE Category B staff (37% of total aca-demic staff). (See the table on page 3.) Academic staff members are well qualified to hold positions in higher education, with many holding master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and/or special certification or licensing. Academic staff are expected to have at least a bachelor's degree, and many positions require advanced training.2(see footnote 2).
UW System Academic Staff by Institution (FTE) 2003-04
Source: UW System October 2003 payroll figures.
Academic Staff Terms of Employment
The job security of academic staff members is affected by the type and term of the appointment. The type and terms of appointments are governed by a nested set of rules and policies that include the Wisconsin Statutes, Wisconsin Administrative Code, Board of Regents policy, and campus personnel policies and procedures.
This structure permits institutional flexibility within a uniform systemwide framework. The flexibility enables accommodation of a variety of campus-specific conditions, including whether a position changes programmatic focus over time or is supported on base budget or other funding. Approximately half of all academic staff are supported on state general purpose revenue, tuition, and fees. Program revenues, grants, or contracts support the remaining staff.
The institutions also provide for job security in their academic staff personnel policies and procedures. This includes appropriate due process protections in the case of non-reappointment for fixed term academic staff members who have served the institution for a substantial period of time. The institutional policies must follow the systemwide Unclassified Personnel Guideline (UPG #3), section 3.05, which provides minimum conditions for the terms of appointments for all UW System institutions. Institutional policies and procedures must account for the continuing needs of the institution while recognizing the commitment and contributions being made by the academic staff. Selected academic staff personnel policies of each institution, and any changes to them, are approved by the Chancellor and reviewed by the Board of Regents.
Institutional policies, procedures, and practices may differ in certain respects as long as they meet the minimum systemwide rules and policies. Although most initial appointments are for one year, institutions may provide longer initial appointments to individuals with exceptional qualifications and experience.
types of categories of fixed term appointments
have evolved: (1) ap-pointments that are "terminal,"
that is, the individual is informed that she or
he has no expectation of employment beyond the
term, (2) renewable appointments of one year or
more, and (3) rolling horizon appointments.
After a certain number of years of service, institutions may provide multiple year appointments and/or rolling horizon appointments. For example, a three-year appointment would include an annual notice to the employee that either (a) the ap-pointment had been renewed for three more years, or (b) the appointment would end after the two remaining years of the original three-year appointment. Several institu-tions make use of probationary and indefinite appointments rather than variations of the fixed term appointment.
Current Academic Staff Issues
Three issues have dominated recent academic staff agendas: (1) governance, (2) job security and (3) instructional and research academic staff titling issues.
Since 1985, participation of academic staff in the governance of their institutions has been provided under Ch. 36.09(4m), Wisconsin Statutes, in language that parallels that for the faculty:
"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 the 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. The academic staff members of each institution shall have the right to organize themselves in a manner they determine and to select their representatives to participate in institutional governance."
Academic staff are recognized as professional educators and support personnel who are essential and committed to helping maintain a quality institution. In 1984 the Board of Regents reviewed academic staff systemwide and raised the level of awareness of their role in governance, producing an evolution in the governance structures of the universities. Today, academic staff participate in the governance of their institutions through an academic staff council, executive committee and/or assembly or senate, or through an all-university senate. The chairs of the academic staff governance units meet regularly with the UW System Senior Vice President for Administration to provide advice and input to key policy matters.
1985 the academic staff have actively participated
through their govern-ance units in areas affecting
their professional lives, such as salaries, title
structure, job security, pay equity, appointment
to campus-wide faculty/staff committees, career
progression, institutional mission statements,
and participation on UW System advisory committees.
During the 1990s, they have increased efforts
to communicate with and gain support from their
institutions, System Administration, the Board
of Regents, and the Legislature.
Job Security for Fixed Term Academic Staff
Since the systemwide study of Academic Staff in 1984, improvements have been made in the system of providing job security to academic staff. Prior to 1984, the vast majority of fixed term academic staff had one-year appointments that were extended each year. Many of these were one-year only "terminal" appointments for which the appointment letter stated that renewal was not intended. The majority of fixed term academic staff have appointment terms of one year or less. Among instructional academic staff, terminal and single semester appointments are more common. In addition, the use of multiple year and rolling horizon appointments has increased significantly, as has the use on several campuses of indefinite appointments, which carry security similar to tenure.
A uniform systemwide policy providing minimum conditions for job security has been in effect since 1989. Despite these improvements, institutional practices vary widely and several issues are still of concern. These include: sufficiency of use of indefinite appointments, multiple year fixed term appointments and rolling horizon appointments; extent of use of one year or one semester appointments. System Administration monitors institutional practices in this area annually. Local governance bodies also review these topics as part of their role in advising the institutions on personnel matters.
Instructional and Research Academic Staff Titling Issues
In 1997-98, a study of instructional academic staff was conducted, prompted by the UW System's steadily increasing reliance on instructional academic staff-individuals holding titles such as lecturer, faculty associate, and clinical professor. In 1997, the number of instructional academic staff represented 23 percent of full-time equivalent (FTE) instructors and 33 percent of the individuals instructing students were instructional academic staff.
The 1997 Board of Regents "Study of the University of Wisconsin System in the 21st Century" recommended that, "Since teaching academic staff are an essential part of those instructing students across the UW System, it is time to examine the role of teaching academic staff within the UW System, with the intention of improving their status, roles, rights and responsibilities."
In response, a June 1998 report entitled "Teaching Academic Staff in the UW System" was presented to and accepted by the UW Board of Regents. The study's findings and recommendations were intended to raise institutional awareness of employment practices and professional development opportunities affecting instructional academic staff, especially as it affected the quality of instruction for UW students.
The UW System convened the "IRAS Working Group" in Fall 2000 to examine the recommendations of the "Study of the University of Wisconsin System in the 21st Century" and "Teaching Academic Staff in the UW System." Most specifically, the group worked on the very delicate issue to titling for instructional and research academic staff.
UW System Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Al Beaver prepared the Executive Summary of the Instruction and Research Academic Staff Working Group Report to the Board of Regents. In it, he summarized the recommendations of the Working Group. The recommendations were "guided by the underlying presumption that full-time, permanent instructional needs should be filled through faculty appointments in accord with the UW System Unclassified Personnel Guidelines. For positions that do not require work in all three areas of faculty responsibility (teaching, research and service) the working group acknowledged that academic staff appointments are appropriate, and that all members of the academic staff are an important and integral part of the UW System and its institutions. "
"The recommendations that emerged from the efforts of the IRAS Working Group were guided by the underlying presumption that full-time, permanent instructional needs should be filled through faculty appointments in accord with the UW System Unclassified Personnel Guidelines. For positions that do not require work in all three areas of faculty responsibility (teaching, research and service) the working group acknowledged that academic staff ap-pointments are appropriate, and that all members of the academic staff are an important and integral part of the UW System and its institutions.
The IRAS Working Group made several recommendations specific to its charge. It sug-gested several initiatives and actions for both the UW System Administration and individual UW institutions to enhance the integration of IRAS into institutional life. The recommendations were intended to increase the opportunities IRAS have to participate in programs, activities and governance. They were envisioned as ways to remove barriers to integration and not intended as additional or new job responsibilities and/or expectations. Recommendations included enhancing orientation for IRAS, providing modules of instructional and research support, improving opportunities for professional development, and increasing IRAS in-volvement in institutional and departmental governance. In addition, two new titling series were proposed to better reflect the responsibilities, credentials and work expectations of career IRAS. The working group proposed an Instructional Professor and a Research Professor series of titles.
from UW Institutions
Institutions were very supportive of the recommendations to enhance the integration of IRAS into institutional life. Both faculty and academic staff indicated implementation of the recommendations would likely lead to more full assimilation of IRAS into campus life. Many institutions reported that many of the initiatives recommended were already being implemented. While supportive, many institutions expressed concern over the resources that may be required to fully implement all of the recommendations.
Institutions were generally not supportive of the new titling series - instructional professor and research professor - as the IRAS Working Group proposed. Furthermore, faculty and academic staff at the institutions were divided in their support. Faculty indicated that the proposed titles would blur the distinction between the roles of faculty and academic staff, they would add unnecessary complexity to existing salary and promotion systems, and the proposed titles would cause confusion among external groups such as legislators, the public and students. Academic staff generally supported the titles, but some expressed concern that adopting the proposed new titles might give the appearance that issues related to job security, recognition and salaries were being avoided.
The Summary and its Report are available at: /acss/asreps/index.htm
October 2001, The System Administration Office
of Academic Affairs asked that campuses report
on the progress of campuses to implement the recommendations
contained in the report before May 2002. Cora
Marrett, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
briefed the Board of Regents in June 2002.
The report highlighted successes and identified
areas where campuses are encountering barriers
to full integration of research and instructional
staff. Listed below are the "Next Steps"