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UC.02.06
April 29, 2002

University Senates Conference
March 27, 2002

University Senates Conference (USC) met in Urbana at the Illini Union with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner in the morning and Vice President Chicoine in the afternoon. Discussions focused on the state's budget situation. A business meeting of USC followed these sessions.

The meeting with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner included discussion of the following topics:

- Budget situation for FY02 and FY03. President Stukel indicated that the state's economy continues to be a serious issue, and that there will be no raises for most personnel. Although the economy in general is supposed to be improving, Illinois always lags behind in recovery.

- Instructional and administrative costs. President Stukel distributed a report indicating that the costs for instruction at UI are very competitive. Of particular note is that costs for community college instruction and undergraduate instruction at UI are quite comparable.

- Status of ST-30, Sanctions Other than Dismissal. President Stukel plans to present this document to the Board of Trustees at the July meeting. The document to be presented is the version approved by all three campus senates.

- Financial status of UI's hospital and clinics. At the current time, the hospitals and clinics are doing well in terms of number of patients, but payments are lagging, and there is the potential for a $20M shortfall. This could impact various other operations of the University.

- Financial responsibility for health care costs. A question was raised about the potential transfer of health care costs from CMS to higher education. The President responded that this is a very uncertain situation and very political. The University is watching for developments.

- Status of proposed "Periodic Vice President-Level Reviews." President Stukel responded to USC's proposed plan for Periodic Vice President-Level Reviews. He agreed to the proposed mechanism for USC's involvement in the review process for the three Vice Presidents (Academic Affairs, Business and Finance, and Economic Development and Corporate Relations).

- Budget situation from VP Gardner's perspective. USC asked Vice President Gardner to review the budget report given to the Board of Trustees regarding the impact of budget cuts. He provided a copy of the report, and highlighted the fact that the hiring freeze was an initial way of dealing with cuts mandated by the State. However, as the budget situation continues, it is imperative for the campuses to make budget decisions in a way that will best allow them to allocate resources.

The meeting with David Chicoine, Vice President for Economic Development and Corporate Relations, was a discussion of the structure of the economic development operation.

The business meeting was brief due to lengthy discussions with and reports from the Vice Presidents. The following matters were addressed:

- Approval of the February 21, 2002 minutes.

- Status of revisions to the Statutes regarding Multi-Year Contracts for Full-Time Non-Tenured Faculty. E. Kaufman, E. Herricks, R. Fossum, and P. Langley will be joined in a committee to address this issue with administrators from each campus (Kathleen Pecknold, UIUC; Clark Hulse, UIC; and Harry Berman, UIS). Work will commence in April.

- Discussion of future guests regarding University issues of concern.

- A nominating committee for 2002/2003 USC Officers and Executive Committee will be appointed.

Dates and locations of future meetings were briefly discussed.

Nancy P. O'Brien
USC Representative to UIUC Senate Executive Committee