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March 22, 1999


HE.99.05, Meeting of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Committee
January 29, 1999 - Poling Hall, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL

In the morning session, the FAC of IBHE broke into subcommittees to work on reactions to the Citizens' Agenda for Higher Education, that has now metamorphosed into the Illinois Commitment for Higher Education. In the afternoon, the whole committee reviewed, edited and approved statements that the chair, Fred Flener (Northeastern Illinois University), was to take to the IBHE meeting on the following Tuesday. Donna Corriveau represented the IBHE staff at this meeting.

The Budget Subcommittee emphasized that the Illinois Commitment would require sustained and substantial financial support. Some support should be directed to new programs, but additional support to existing programs and more flexibility in existing programs would advance the stated goals in a cost-effective manner. The FAC endorsed the five-year plan to raise faculty compensation but indicated that IBHE should consider a differential plan that favors those institutions with the greatest disparity from their respective peers.

The Quality Subcommittee indicated that higher education should be concerned with generating productive, life-long learners, not merely technically well-trained graduates. Curricula should emphasize the development of abilities to think critically, to write and speak effectively and to work well in a multi-cultural society (and world). Faculty should have an important role in assessing quality, which cannot be directly equated with high technology and quantitative measures.

The Technology Subcommittee expressed concern that hardware considerations were outstripping the human element. On-going support was needed to encourage and assist faculty in learning and effectively using new technology in classroom and internet teaching.

The Access Subcommittee emphasized that raises in tuition could be kept at the level of inflation only if the General Assembly otherwise provided the resources needed to do the job. Increasing enrollment of lower income students, increasing retention, and increasing graduation rates will entail extra costs. In addition, effective access and subsequent success in college depends on the preparation of incoming students, which is beyond our direct control. Accordingly, it will be crucial to communicate competencies expected of entering students to secondary educators.

Respectfully submitted,
James L. Robinson
(Substitute for Terry L. Weech, UIUC Representative to IBHE/FAC)