Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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SEC Report                                                                November 5, 2007

1. Presentation of gift and acknowledgment for Christa Petrillo Damrau - 25 years of University service.

2. At the last Senate meeting, we announced the establishment of an Advisory Committee to work with the Chancellor in reviewing the activities and structure of the “Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund.”

The committee has issued a report, presented to the Chancellor and made public at the end of last week.

I want to thank Tom Ulen, the chair, and all the members of the committee for a detailed, carefully reasoned, and prompt report. They conclude that “aspects of the Memorandum of Agreement and Governing Document executed on July 20, 2006, are incompatible with the principles and policies that govern the University of Illinois,” and that those documents ought to be redrafted.

They specify exactly which parts of the MOA and Governing Document need to be reworked, and they express the hope – which I share – that the donors, who are friends of the university, will agree to do so.

I also want to underscore their comment that “The Academy . . . is premised on the desire to encourage intellectual diversity and civil debate. The Committee endorses that goal wholeheartedly as concordant with the University’s reason for being and with the life of the mind within it.” I welcome, and I believe we all welcome, thoughtful and reasoned advocacy for a wide range of perspectives on this campus, from across the intellectual and political spectrum.

Professor Ulen is here if any questions arise about the report – and I know the Chancellor will be commenting on it as well.

I want to add my appreciation to the Chancellor for working with the Senate in establishing this committee, and for taking a clear and unambiguous public stance in favor of the Senate’s central role in academic matters at this university.

While I know that there is disappointment that he was not able to release the original Memorandum of Agreement in full, I believe that his release of key portions of the MOA, and his release of this report, go a long way toward establishing the kind of transparency and access to information that are needed if shared governance is to have any real meaning.

The fact that the Advisory Committee report is critical of some ways in which the original MOA was negotiated and agreed to – and that the Chancellor released it anyway – should persuade everyone that he is doing everything possible to remedy an unacceptable situation.

3. Ed Pol Consent Agenda. I just want to briefly draw your attention to a few important items in this list.

The Proposed Guidelines for Multi-Institutional Degrees has been a long time in the making, providing clearer procedures for establishing joint degree programs and/or exchange programs with peer institutions.

The Proposal from the Graduate College specifies that all UI degrees earned through the Global Campus should clearly say so on the transcript.

Ed Pol has also approved the first program from this campus to be offered through the Global Campus, an M.Ed. and certificate program in E-Learning, offered by the Dept of Human Resource Education in the College of Education.

I would like to credit the Ed Pol committee, and its chair Abbas Aminmansour, for balancing the need to expedite review of these Global Campus policies and programs, while also recognizing that we are setting precedents here for how future proposals will be need to be reviewed. We all agree that all of our programs, whether on-campus or online, whether offered directly by this campus or via the Global Campus, must reflect the high standards that define a University of Illinois degree.

4. Finally, there is a proposal to rename the Senate Committee on Equal Opportunity to the Committee on Equal Opportunity and Inclusion, reflecting the more expansive goal of creating a diverse and inclusive campus, in addition to the goal of providing equal educational opportunities per se.

Nick Burbules
SEC Chair