Urbana-Champaign Senate Meeting
November 3, 2008
A regular meeting of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Senate was called to order at 3:15pm on the 3rd floor of the Levis Faculty Center with Chancellor Richard Herman presiding.
Approval of Minutes
11/03/08-01 The minutes of the October 6, 2008, Senate meeting were approved.
Senate Executive Committee Report
Senator Nicholas Burbules (EDUC), Chair of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), provided the following report.
Today we have several important items on the agenda. First, there is a proposal from President White to the Board of Trustees requesting authorization for the Global Campus to seek separate accreditation as a degree-granting entity. The proposal is not to create a fourth campus, with a full Senate, but a degree-granting entity with an Educational Policy Council providing academic oversight for Global Campus’s separate programs. This would not affect any existing UI campus-based programs with Global Campus that are offering online programs under their own degrees. It would provide Global Campus with the flexibility to contract with individual faculty, emeritus faculty, and their own Global Campus staff to develop degree programs that do not depend on campus sponsorship or review. As a result, the design of a separate Global Campus academic review process is an integral part of the proposal. You all received a copy of that proposal last week.
You also received a copy of a UI Chicago Senate resolution on the proposal, which was favorable, a UI Springfield position statement, which was more negative, and a proposed position statement drafted by our own Senate Executive Committee. The SEC concluded that, given what we have learned about the development of Global Campus programs through campus partnerships, it did make sense to create a second path for the development of new programs, but still subject to rigorous academic review. The SEC statement, however, while favorable to the accreditation proposal, did raise a number of concerns about the implementation of these reforms, which it wanted included in its advice to the President and the Board of Trustees.
I would like to move that following President White and Chancellor Herman’s opening comments we put that SEC position paper (SC.09.04) on the Action agenda for a formal Senate vote (the Senate approved this motion by unanimous consent). The position paper is, of course, subject to discussion and amendment as is any committee proposal.
Today, we will also be discussing a resolution from the General University Policy committee seeking to clarify the appropriate scope of political speech and expression on campus.
Finally, we have the first reading of a proposal from the University Statutes Committee, implementing one of the recommendations of the Sixth Senate Review Commission, to add Academic Professionals to the Senate. Because they would be selected by campus district, this would mean a net of eleven new members, in addition to the 250 Senators currently elected. The basic justification for this recommendation is that on this campus Academic Professionals carry on a good deal of the academic mission, and offer a unique and important perspective on many academic and other policy issues. We will vote on this proposal at our next, December 8th, meeting.
Tellers for today’s meeting are Senators Tyler Matteson (FAA), Matthew Reschke (LAS), Jason McCarley (LAS), and Kim Graber (AHS).
President B. Joseph White began by talking about the tenets of the Global Campus philosophy, namely quality, access, and affordability. He said the good news about the Global Campus is that it is up and running (since January 2008) and that it has its organization in place. Without placing blame, he pointed to the lower than expected enrollments and revenues as the bad news.
Dr. White reiterated his belief that the Global Campus could improve the performance of the University of Illinois when it comes to access, which is one of the reasons he would like to propose to the Board of Trustees that the Global Campus seek its own accreditation.
Chancellor Richard Herman spoke to the proposed multi-institutional agreement between the University of Illinois and the National University of Singapore; the increased diversity and quality of our freshman class; our expectation to reclaim the top position in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF); and how the continued success of our fundraising campaign flies in the face of the current economic downturn.
Senators received the following replies from general questions about the economic state of the campus and the University, and from a specific query about Lincoln Hall: Provost Linda Katehi and members of her staff will provide a budget presentation at the December 8 Senate meeting; Lincoln Hall remains number one on the capital improvement priority list, but we have not received any capital funding from the state in seven years – university financial officers may need to develop alternate funding plans.
In response to another query, senators learned that the concept for the bell tower on the south campus was developed in 2004 and approved by the trustees a year later; the cost of the tower has been paid primarily by private funds.
The Presiding Officer announced that, absent objections of any senator, the following proposals were approved by unanimous consent:
11/03/08-02 EP.09.01* Proposal from MEDIA and LAS to Merge the Unit for Cinema Studies (LAS) and Program in Media Studies (MEDIA) into the Department of Media/Cinema Studies in the College of Media
11/03/08-03 EP.09.15* Proposal requesting Establishment of the Center for Democracy in a Multiracial Society (CDMS)
11/03/08-04 EP.09.23* Proposal from the College of AHS to Establish a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health with Concentration in Health and Aging, Health Behavior Change and Health Diversity
Proposals for Action
11/03/08-05 Presented for action from the Senate Committee on Committees was CC.09.05*, Nominations for Membership on Standing Committees of the Senate, and its addendum CC.09.05A*, which was displayed for the assembly. Senator Kim Graber (AHS), Chair of the Committee on Committees, moved approval of the slates; there was also a floor nomination for Emily Ganschinietz to replace Casey Lewis as a student on the Committee on Educational Policy. There were no additional nominations and nominations were declared closed.
11/03/08-06 By voice vote, all nominations were approved.
11/03/08-07 Chancellor Herman presented for action GP.09.02*, Resolution on Allowed Political Activities of Campus Employees. Senator John Prussing (ENGR), Chair of the Senate Committee on General University Policy, summarized the background of the resolution and moved its approval.
11/03/08-08 By voice vote, GP.09.02 was approved.
11/03/08-09 The Chancellor presented for action SC.09.04*, UIUC Senate Statement on Proposed Organizational Changes to the Global Campus. Senator Nicholas Burbules moved its approval.
Senator Joyce Tolliver (LAS) was not convinced that the Global Campus (GC) acquiring its own accreditation would improve access. Senator William Maher (LIBR) asked if the Global Campus needs to be classified as a campus in order to seek independent accreditation. President White replied that, according to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a unit organized at the University-level can indeed do so.
Senator Eve Harwood (FAA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Admissions, asked if the Global Campus Academic Council (GCAC) addressed the issue of quality and selectivity of students they admitted. The President replied that they have and that, under separate accreditation, an Educational Policy Council (EPC) will be established to perform those functions.
When asked about the apparent urgency of this matter, Dr. White said that the accreditation process could take at least two years and that the Global Campus would need to partner with the campuses in the interim.
A question addressed to the President about GC faculty quality was answered by stating the EPC and GC leadership will set quality standards for faculty. It is hoped that a combination of tenure-system faculty, emeriti, and supplemental faculty will be used to teach GC courses.
Senator John Vasquez (LAS) asked about the campus designation on diplomas and transcripts. Dr. Chet Gardner, Special Assistant to the President, indicated that the diploma would say University of Illinois and the campus awarding the diploma; the transcript would also show the campus.
Professor Abbas Aminmansour (FAA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, said his Committee thinks that provisions in the University Statutes relating to the President’s duties regarding the awarding of degrees may need to be amended if the Global Campus achieves its own accreditation.
In response to other concerns (e.g., possible dilution of UI degrees, dearth of more detailed information on the EPC), Senator Burbules reaffirmed that the Senate Executive Committee position paper is not a statement of denunciation of the Global Campus couched in a statement of support.
11/03/08-10 By count of paper ballots (37-24), SC.09.04 was defeated.
Proposed Revisions to the Senate Constitution and Bylaws
11/03/08-11 Dr. Herman presented for information and first reading SP.08.13*, Addition of Academic Professionals to the Senate Electorate – Senate Constitution and Bylaws Amendments. Senator William Maher (LIBR), Chair of the Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures, briefly described the background of this proposal and reminded senators that it will return for second reading and action at the December 8 Senate meeting.
Reports for Information of the Senate
The following reports were presented for information:
11/03/08-12 HE.09.03* October 10 FAC/IBHE
11/03/08-13 HE.08.16* August 12 IBHE
11/03/08-14 HE.09.02* October 7 IBHE
11/03/08-15 SUR.09.01* October 14 SURSMAC
The meeting adjourned at 5:14 p.m.
Robert C. Damrau, Senate Clerk
*Filed with the Senate Clerk and incorporated by reference in these Minutes.