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SP.06.05
April 24, 2006

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN SENATE

University Statutes and Senate Procedures Committee
(Action; Second Reading)

SP.06.05 Revision to the Statutes, Article VIII

BACKGROUND

BACKGROUND: Introduction

In the course of Senate consideration of proposals for changes in academic units on campus, the Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP) became aware of ambiguities in the statutory language of Article VIII governing formation and other changes in the organization of academic units such as departments, institutes, and colleges. There are two key, interrelated concepts that should be clarified. First, the terms of the Statutes as written do not fully reflect the contemporaneous discussion of the Senate regarding the intent that the phrase “advice of the faculty” should be understood to require a faculty vote. Second, the terms of the Statutes as written do not fully capture the understanding of the faculty that the formation or change in organization of any academic unit that serves as a faculty member’s tenure home should be voted on by faculty in the unit (in cases other than formation) and in each higher level and at the Senate level. As used here, a faculty member’s tenure home refers to the academic unit that provides the specific standards that apply for promotion and tenure decisions for that faculty member and whose tenured faculty comprise the group eligible to vote on promotion and tenure decisions within the unit. A faculty member may have a tenure home in more than one academic unit, but must have a tenure home in at least one academic unit.

Accordingly, USSP proposes to modify the Statutes to address these issues. Because the required changes are highly technical and because those changes must be made to statutory provisions that are themselves quite complicated, USSP has chosen to provide a more extensive Background for our recommended changes. The Background is organized in three parts, as follows:

(i.) legislative history of the phrase “advice of the faculty” and the need to clarify the intent that faculty at each appropriate unit level should vote on formation or changes in organization of academic units;

(ii.) definition of academic units (and concept of tenure home) in the Statutes;

· key provisions;

· USSP’s interpretation of the provisions regarding voting requirements in connection with formation or change in organization of different types of units; and

· problems that have resulted from lack of clarity in the current provisions; and

(iii.) proposed changes to the Statutes, with three illustrative examples.

BACKGROUND: Meaning of “Advice of the Faculty

The University of Illinois Statutes, Article VIII, Sections 1 and 2, provide procedures to be followed in the formation or change of academic units, such as departments and schools. Several paragraphs in these sections require that a proposal be submitted with the “advice of the faculty” of the concerned unit and of higher-level units, such as the parent school.

Recently, contradictory interpretations of this quoted phrase have arisen in the course of processing proposals of this type. Various administrators and committees have surmised that the phrase “advice of the faculty” merely requires some form of advice that may be given by any method (such as one-on-one consultation) chosen by administrators. Others contend the phrase is intended to require a vote of the faculty at each level.

USSP believes that the legislative history of the Senate’s original discussion of these statutory provisions resolves this ambiguity. The phrase “advice of each unit involved shall be requested” was inserted into Article VIII, Section 2 of the Statutes by SP.80.03. USSP has examined the documentation relating to SP.80.03, including the University Senates Conference documents (ST-2) and the transcript of the UIUC Senate meeting on May 3, 1982. In particular, the transcript of the May 3, 1982 discussion of SP.80.03 shows that the Senate clearly intended the phrase “advice of each unit involved shall be requested” to require a vote of the concerned faculty at each level.

We therefore believe it appropriate to amend the Statutes to clarify the meaning of the phrase “advice of the faculty.”

It should be noted that a negative vote of the faculty at any level is not necessarily fatal to a proposed unit change. There may be circumstances in which the Senate would vote in favor of a change despite negative votes by one or more applicable faculty units. Nevertheless, a vote of the affected faculty should be taken and should be available to the Senate for its deliberations.

BACKGROUND: Definitions

A second issue must also be addressed, pertaining to the “units” to which the provisions of Article VIII apply. We propose that a definition of “unit” and a definition of “tenure home” be added to the section of the Statutes that governs faculty votes on formation or changes in organization of academic units, to ensure administrative consistency across all units of the campuses in handling organizational changes affecting faculty rights.

BACKGROUND: Definitions: existing statutory language

To make clear the issue being addressed, this background information provides a brief overview of the applicable provisions of the Statutes.

Article II, Section 3a of the Statutes states that “The faculty of the University and any of its units except for the Graduate College consists of those members of the academic staff with the rank or title in that unit of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure, and those administrators in the direct line of responsibility for academic affairs (persons who hold the title director or dean in an academic unit, provost, chancellor and president).” [Emphasis added.] This provision establishes that a “unit is intended to be a division of the University and that tenured or tenure-track faculty are associated with a particular unit that provides their tenure home. Although tenure is a status conferred by the Board of Trustees and residing at the University level, a faculty member who receives a tenured appointment or who is receiving probationary credit toward tenure is associated with a tenure home—i.e., an academic unit that provides the specific standards that apply for promotion and tenure decisions and whose tenured faculty comprise the group eligible to participate in promotion and tenure decisions within the unit.

Article V, Section 2 of the Statutes makes this point clear in discussing the formation of cross-departmental Graduate College units with responsibilities “broader than” those of particular departments but with faculty whose tenure resides in particular departments. It states:

a. On the recommendation of the Campus Research Board, the executive committee and the dean of the Graduate College with approval by the president and the chancellor, the Board of Trustees may create special units of the Graduate College for the purpose of carrying on or promoting research in areas which are broader than the responsibility of any one department. Any such unit may be abolished by similar action.

b. Persons shall be appointed to the staff of such special units by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the unit concerned, the dean of the Graduate College, the chancellor, and the president. Appointments of persons who already have academic rank and title indicative of departmental association shall be made only after consultation with the department concerned. Appointments which carry academic rank and title indicative of departmental association of persons who do not already have departmental association shall be made only after concurrence of the department concerned. [Emphasis added.]

Article VIII, Section 1 of the Statutes addresses the formation of new academic units. It uses the phrase “similar academic unit within a school or college” as equivalent to a new “department.” It does so by describing the following types of “units”:

a. “Departments,” described in part as “a new department or similar academic unit within a school or college”;

b. “Intermediate units,” described in part as “An academic unit of intermediate character, such as a school organized within a college”;

c. Colleges and Independently Organized Campus Units,” described in part as “A college or other independently organized campus unit, such as a school, institute, center, or similar campus unit not within a school or college”;

d. “Units Organized at the University Level,” described in part as “institutes, councils, and divisions” formed for “statewide or intercampus” activities that “cannot be developed under a campus administration”; and

e. “Campuses” (not further described).

BACKGROUND: Definitions: USSP interpretation of voting requirements in connection with formation or changes in organization of different types of units

The language in Article VIII, Section 1a, above, indicates that there may be academic units at the same level as departments that are not given the title “department” but that otherwise function as departments. Because departments are the “primary unit of education and administration” under Article IV, Section 1, they are qualified to make tenured and tenure-track appointments and to provide a tenure home for faculty. It seems clear, therefore, that the phrase “similar academic unit within a school or college” was intended to cover programs within schools or colleges that can provide tenure homes for faculty who are not associated with a department. Article VIII, Section 1a provides that establishment of such units or departments requires advice of the faculty (which legislative history indicates was understood to mean a vote of the faculty) at each higher level and of the appropriate Senate.

Under Article VIII, Section 1b, above, establishment of “intermediate units” above the level of departments but not on a par with colleges or other independently organized campus units (e.g., a school that is established within a college) similarly requires advice (i.e., a vote) of the faculty at each higher level and of the appropriate Senate. If establishment of the school would also place existing departments or similar academic units under the school structure, the change to the organization of those departments or units would also require a vote of the faculty of those departments or units in accordance with Article VIII, Section 2 (discussed below).

Establishment of units described in Article VIII, Section 1c requires advice of the applicable Senate but does not require a separate vote of the unit’s faculty. In other words, colleges and “independently organized campus units” are permitted to be formed under Article VIII, Section 1c without a vote of faculty in the new unit. The result of this provision is that colleges or other independently organized units at that level that are not further subdivided can provide tenure homes without any faculty vote other than that taken in the appropriate Senate. If faculty were being moved to the new college from another department or school that was being terminated, however, then procedures in Article VIII, Section 2 (discussed below) would require a vote of the faculty in the unit to be terminated.

Article VIII, Sections 1d and 1e provide for the establishment of campuses and other “units organized at the University level” through procedures that do not require a faculty vote other than that taken in the appropriate Senate.

As for termination or other change in organization of a unit, Article VIII, Section 2 requires that the “advice of the faculty” (which this revision to the Statutes makes clear requires a faculty vote) of each unit involved is necessary. A department or similar academic unit, intermediate unit, or college or independently organized unit would therefore vote as a unit on its termination or other change in organization, and a similar vote would be taken at each higher level and at the appropriate Senate. Thus, if faculty were to be moved to a new “independently organized campus unit” from a department or school that was to be terminated, procedures in Article VIII, Section 2 would require a vote of the faculty in the unit to be terminated and in units above the unit to be terminated, as well as a vote of the appropriate Senate on the formation of the new unit.

Article VIII, Section 3 governs the formation or changes in organization of other types of academic units that do not require Board of Trustees approval. USSP understands this Section to refer to units that do not (and will not, without going through the appropriate Article VIII, Section 1a -1c procedure) provide tenure homes for faculty. They are administratively useful programs that may or may not be intended to be permanent. Accordingly, formation or change in organization of such units does not require faculty advice at the departmental and higher levels prior to Senate action and may be handled by administrators merely upon notice to and advice of the appropriate Senate’s executive committee. For example, the current divisions within the School of Music are administrative groupings that may be changed without an official faculty vote other than any vote that may be required by the School’s own bylaws.

There is also provision in Article VII of the Statutes for “specialized units,” such as the academic press, with responsibilities that extend across more than one campus. They may be created by the president and have campus membership and status upon the recommendation of the appropriate chancellor or chancellors, in accordance with the rules in the Statutes and General Rules governing campus operations. It is the understanding of USSP that these specialized units generally are not intended to provide a tenure home to faculty; instead, any faculty associated with such specialized units should have a tenure home in an academic unit of the University (e.g., in one or more colleges, schools, departments or similar academic units on one or more campuses). If, however, such specialized units are intended to provide a tenure home for faculty, such units would be equivalent for the purposes of Article VIII to colleges or other independently organized units, and their organization would be subject to the same approvals required for colleges.

BACKGROUND: Definitions: effect of lack of clarity in existing statutory language

Problems have resulted from the lack of a definition of “unit” and the lack of either an explicit statement that only those campus academic units formed in accordance with procedures outlined in Article VIII, Section 1a through 1c are entitled to serve as tenure homes for tenured or tenure-track faculty or an equivalent statement that academic units provided for under Article VIII, Section 3 are not available as tenure homes for tenured or tenure-track faculty. Some academic units below the level of colleges or independently organized campus units have been treated as tenure homes for faculty who have been appointed to those units, even though the units were formed by the administration without following the applicable Article VIII, Section 1a or 1b procedures. On the Urbana-Champaign campus, there are currently 30 tenured or tenure-track faculty who hold appointments in units (within a school or college) that have not been approved through Article VIII, Section 1a or 1b of the Statutes. These appointments raise an important issue for faculty governance, which must be adequately resolved in order to ensure that faculty having a tenure home in such a unit enjoy the full protections provided under the Statutes.

BACKGROUND: Proposed Solution and Examples

USSP therefore proposes three changes to address the concerns outlined above. First, an academic “unit” should be defined as any division of the University to which appointments can be made and resources allocated. Second, the term “tenure home” should be defined as the academic unit that provides the specific standards that apply for promotion and tenure decisions for that faculty member and whose tenured faculty comprise the group eligible to vote on promotion and tenure decisions within the unit. A faculty member may have a tenure home in more than one academic unit, but must have a tenure home in at least one academic unit. Third, a rule should provide that

either

(i) all tenured or tenure-track faculty in a unit must have a tenure home elsewhere in

· a department or similar academic unit approved through Article VIII, Section 1a,

· an intermediate unit approved through Article VIII, Section 1b, or

· a college or independently organized campus unit approved through Article VIII, Section 1c

or

(ii) the unit itself must be approved through Article VIII, Section 1a, 1b or 1c.

In other words, the procedures in current Article VIII, Section 1a through 1c must be followed for formation of units to which a faculty member is to be appointed if that faculty member does not have a tenure home outside the unit, as well as for conversion of any existing unit into a unit with the capacity to provide a tenure home. Similarly, changes in organization of any unit with the capacity to provide a tenure home for tenured or tenure-track faculty must be approved through procedures requiring the advice (i.e., vote) of each concerned unit, as set forth in Article VIII, Section 2.

Example 1: The Beckman Institute was created as an interdisciplinary center with faculty who have tenure homes in various departments. The Institute does not grant tenure to faculty or hire tenure-track faculty without approval of a department that will provide a tenure home. For faculty associated with the Beckman Institute, tenure is held within an established department or other “similar academic unit” of the University. For so long as these conditions apply, neither the formation of the Institute nor other changes referred to in Article VIII, Section 2 would require processes described in Article VIII, Sections 1 and 2. If at some time in the future it should become desirable to appoint faculty exclusively to the Beckman Institute, however, a vote of the faculty of each higher-level unit and of the UIUC Senate would be required to approve the Institute as an academic unit with the capacity to provide a tenure home to faculty.

Example 2: The College of Engineering once had an organization called the Nuclear Engineering Program, which functioned much like a department. Eventually, it was converted into a department by following the procedures of Article VIII, Section 1a. Those procedures should have been followed prior to the appointment to the Program of tenured or tenure-track faculty who had no other tenure home.

Example 3: Under the Statutes, there is no process by which a program within a college or school can provide a tenure home to tenured or tenure-track faculty if the program neither has departmental status nor has been approved as a “similar academic unit” that has capacity to make tenure appointments, through Article VIII, Section 1a. Currently, however, there are programs that have not been approved through Article VIII, Section 1a to which have been appointed tenured or tenure-track faculty who have no tenure home in any other established department or unit. These appointments are cause for concern, because the units have not been approved through a process of consultation with faculty and because tenured and tenure-track faculty with tenure homes in such units may be subject to ad hoc procedures or otherwise lack the full protections intended to be provided to faculty by the Statutes.

In summary, USSP believes that it is important that the procedures under the Statutes be made clear and that no units that are tenure homes for tenured or tenure-track faculty be formed without application of the procedures provided in Article VIII, Section 1a, 1b or 1c.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures recommends approval of the following revisions to the Statutes. Text to be deleted is indicated in [square brackets] and text to be added is underscored.

PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE STATUTES, ARTICLE VIII

ARTICLE VIII, CHANGES IN ACADEMIC ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Definitions.

a. Unit. A unit is a division of the University to which academic appointments can be made and to which resources can be allocated, including departments or similar units, centers, institutes, schools, and colleges.

b. Tenure Home. A tenure home is an academic unit (a) that provides the unit-specific standards that, along with higher-level standards, apply for promotion and tenure decisions for a member of the academic staff with the rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who is tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure and (b) whose tenured academic staff comprise the group eligible to vote on promotion and tenure decisions within the unit.

Section 2. Appointment of Faculty to Units

A member of the academic staff with the rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who is tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure must have a tenure home that has been approved through the procedures in Article VIII, Section 3a through 3c, below. A faculty member may have a tenure home in more than one academic unit, but must have a tenure home in at least one academic unit.

If any member of a proposed or existing unit’s academic staff with the rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who is tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure does not already have or will not otherwise have an appointment in one of the following types of units:

i. another department or similar academic unit that has been approved through these Article VIII procedures;

ii. an intermediate unit that is not divided into departments or similar units and that has been approved through these Article VIII procedures; or

iii. a school or college that is not an intermediate unit, that is not further divided into academic departments or similar units and that has been approved through these Article VIII procedures;

then formation of the proposed unit as, or conversion of the existing unit into, a unit that may provide a tenure home must be approved through the procedures in Article VIII, Section 3a through 3c, below, as applicable.

Any change in academic organization such as the termination, separation, transfer, merger, change in status (e.g., department to school), or renaming of an academic unit to which are made appointments of faculty with the rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure must be approved through the procedures in Article VIII, Section 4, below.

If all members of a proposed or existing unit’s academic staff with the rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure do have or will have an appointment in another unit that is described within items (i) through (iii), above, then formation or change of organization of the proposed or existing unit is not required to be approved through the procedures in Article VIII, Sections 3 and 4, below, but may be approved through the procedure in Section 5, below.

Section [1] 3. Formation of New Units

a. Departments. The formation of a new department or similar academic unit within a school or college may be proposed by the faculty or executive officer of that school or college. The president shall submit the proposal for the new unit together with the advice of the faculty of the school or college of each higher unit, taken and recorded by a vote of the faculty by secret written ballot in accordance with the bylaws of that unit, of the appropriate senate, taken and recorded by a vote of the senate, [and] of the appropriate chancellor, and of the University Senates Conference to the Board of Trustees for action.

b. Intermediate Units. An academic unit of intermediate character, such as a school organized within a college, may be proposed by the faculty or the executive officer of the higher unit. The president shall submit the proposal for the intermediate unit together with the advice of the higher unit, taken and recorded by a vote of the faculty by secret written ballot in accordance with the bylaws of that unit, of the appropriate senate, taken and recorded by a vote of the senate, [and] of the appropriate chancellor, and of the University Senates Conference to the Board of Trustees for action.

c. Colleges and Independently Organized Campus Units. A college or other independently organized campus unit, such as a school, institute, center, or similar campus unit not within a school or college, may be proposed by the appropriate senate or chancellor. The president shall submit the proposal for the unit together with the advice of the appropriate senate, taken and recorded by a vote of the senate, [and] of the appropriate chancellor, and of the University Senates Conference to the Board of Trustees for action.

d. Units Organized at the University Level. Units organized at the university level, such as institutes, councils, and divisions, may be formed for the development and operation of teaching, research, extension, and service programs which are statewide or intercampus in their scope and which cannot be developed under a campus administration. Such an organization may be proposed by a senate, a chancellor, the University Senates Conference, or the president. The president shall submit the proposal for the new organization together with the advice of the appropriate senates, taken and recorded by a vote of each such senate, [and] of the appropriate chancellors, and of the University Senates Conference to the Board of Trustees for action.

e. Campuses. The formation of a new campus may be proposed by the president, by a senate, or by the University Senates Conference. The president shall submit the proposal for the new campus together with the advice of the senates, taken and recorded by a vote of each senate, [and] of the chancellors, and of the University Senates Conference to the Board of Trustees for action. If the proposal is adopted, the University Senates Conference shall serve as an advisory body to the president in developing procedures to implement the action of the board.

Section [2] 4. Changes in Existing Units

From time to time, circumstances will favor changes in academic organization such as the termination, separation, transfer, merger, change in status (e.g., department to school), or renaming of the academic units specified in Section 1. The procedures for the various changes shall be the same as those specified for formation of such a unit, except that the proposal may originate in the unit(s) or at any higher administrative level. The advice of each unit involved shall be [requested] taken and recorded by vote of the faculty by secret written ballot in accordance with the bylaws of that unit. For transfer, merger, separation, and change in status, the procedures shall be those applicable to the type of unit which would result. Units affected may communicate with the Board of Trustees in accordance with Article XIII, Section 4, of these Statutes.

Section [3] 5. Academic Units Not Requiring Board of Trustees Approval

Any proposal for creation or change in organization (such as termination, separation, transfer, merger, or change in status) of any unit engaged in academic activities the creation of which does not require Board of Trustees approval shall be referred to the executive committee of the campus senate for its information and advice prior to approval by the appropriate administrator. If the unit is not organized within one campus of the University, the proposal shall be referred to the University Senates Conference rather than to a senate executive committee. Academic staff appointments in such units may not be made to ranks subject to the provisions of Article X, Section 1, governing appointments for an indefinite term as defined in Article IX, Section 3c.

University Statutes and Senate Procedures
Linda Beale, Chair
Thomas Bassett
H. George Friedman
Michael Grossman
William Maher
Vera Mainz
Shannon McMullen
Laura Pime
Robert C. Damrau, ex officio
Larry Mann, Observer
Peg Rawles, ex officio (designee)