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UC.04.01
November 3, 2003

University Senates Conference
September 26, 2003

University Senates Conference (USC) met in Urbana at the President's House with President Stukel, Vice President Gardner, and Mr. Richard Schoell in the morning. Discussions focused on the university's budget situation, the tuition process, and relationships with the legislature and executive leadership in Springfield. A business meeting of USC followed in the afternoon.

Prior to this meeting, members of USC met the night before in a "retreat" to discuss USC policies, with special emphasis on confidentiality issues. Also discussed were interactions between the three campuses; ways to insure faculty participation in relevant administrative committees; the University's presence in the media; and, increasing the legislature's knowledge of the University's economic benefits to the state.

The September 26 meeting with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner included discussion of the following topics:

- Annual Review presented to Board of Trustees. President Stukel shared the annual review he presented to the BOT in July 2003. This annual review includes performance indicators in areas such as student information, financial support and academic program quality. He also provided a handout on "Eleven Frequently Asked Questions" and pointed out that the chart on how faculty spent their time would be of particular interest. See

- Status of FY05 Budget Planning. President Stukel and VP Gardner reported that the university is in the process of developing a proposal regarding tuition requests. As information becomes available it will be shared with the Board and University staff, faculty and students.

- Vice President goals and accomplishments. President Stukel distributed copies of the goals and accomplishments of a Vice President for review.

- Domestic Partner benefits. In response to a question about the implementation of domestic partner benefits, President Stukel responded that there had been few requests so far. He distributed a chart of available benefits. After further questions, he encouraged USC to arrange for a detailed presentation by the University Administration's HR staff on this topic.

The meeting with Rick Schoell focused on changes in the leadership and legislature in Springfield and the impact on the University. Tactics for educating new leaders included having faculty and students interact more directly with legislators; developing a legislative caucus of alumni legislators or those with children attending U of I; and using the media to promote the U of I and its strengths. He also briefly discussed federal resources and alliances.

The business meeting covered a number of different topics. The following matters were addressed:

- Approval of the August 11, 2003 minutes.

- USC subcommittees. USC appointed members to its Statutes Committee (UIUC members are Joe Finnerty [Chair] and David Sisson) and to its University Administration Budget and Benefits Study Committee (UIUC members are Cliff Brown, Barclay Jones [Chair], and Priscilla Yu). Nancy O'Brien was appointed as the USC representative to the UI-Integrate Faculty Advisory Committee.

- OT-89, Evaluation of Ability to Work. USC previously approved a document that attempts to reconcile the language of the three senates. This document currently is being reviewed by University Counsel.

- Several other matters were deferred due to the need for additional information.

The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

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