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GP.04.01/ SC.04.09
February 16, 2004


General University Policy/Senate Executive Committee

GP.04.01/SC.04.09 Resolution on the Selection of Higher Administrative Officers


While the General University Policy Committee (GUP) is a committee of the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, rather than of the University itself, its very name indicates that matters of "general university policy" fall within the scope of its proper concern.

One of the matters that is of great importance both to the University as a whole and to its campuses and campus communities is the selection of the administrative leadership of the University and its campuses: the president, vice-presidents and chancellors in particular.

The Statutes vest the Board of Trustees with ultimate responsibility for the selection of presidents of the University; and so that is definitively settled. It has come to be common practice in higher educational institutions generally and at the University of Illinois in particular for faculty and other elements of the University and campus communities to be significantly involved in the search and selection process. That common practice was recommended to the Board of Trustees in a report submitted more than a decade ago, and the report was approved by the Board itself several years ago. (See attached documents.)

We believe that the Board is to be commended for its wisdom in approving this report; and we further believe that it would be well for the Senate to join with the Board -- and with Senates Conference, which has already affirmed this same resolution -- in resolving that this shall be a general policy of this University. That is the upshot of the following resolution.

It is our hope that the other two Senates will associate themselves with this resolution as well. Making this explicit in this fashion, in conjunction with the action the Board has already taken, should be helpful on future occasions in which administrative leadership positions are to be filled, to remind or inform all concerned of what is to be done on such occasions.


WHEREAS it becomes necessary from time to time to select a new president, chancellor, or other higher administrative officer of the University of Illinois or of its various campuses, and

WHEREAS the selection of such officers is a matter of great significance in the life of the University, potentially affecting all of its activities, and

WHEREAS the faculty of the University has a long history of involvement and experience in the selection of its members and of administrative officers of the University at all levels, and

WHEREAS the knowledge, understanding and experience of the faculty of the University in all aspects of its mission are as crucial in the selection of its administrative leadership as they are in the selection of its membership, and

WHEREAS such involvement is deemed by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to be a fundamental principle of sound university governance, and

WHEREAS the interests and perspectives of other significant elements of the University community affected by the choice of higher administrative officers also are deserving of being represented in their selection, and

WHEREAS these considerations have been acknowledged and taken into account on previous occasions in the constitution of committees formed to assist in the selection of such officers, and

WHEREAS these considerations have further been articulated in the 1991 "Report of Select Committee to Review Search Procedures for Major Administrative Positions," incorporating a similar report submitted to a Special Meeting of the Board in 1978, accepted by the Board in March 1992, and unanimously approved by the Board at its July 2000 meeting, and

WHEREAS it is essential to the success of any such higher administrative officers that the process leading to their selection have legitimacy in the eyes of the faculty and campus communities affected, and

WHEREAS for all of the above reasons this legitimacy will depend upon the significant involvement of representatives of the faculty and other appropriate elements of the campus communities,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that due regard be given to the above considerations whenever University and campus higher administrative officers are to be selected, and that, in any such searches, committees similar to those constituted on previous occasions to assist in presidential and chancellorial searches be formed in consultation with the appropriate University or campus bodies, and be closely involved in the search and selection process.

Richard Schacht, Chair
R. Linn Belford
Clifton Brown
George Gross
Carol Livingstone
Alex Longan
Mark Nattier
Joanne Vining
David Swanson (Ex officio designee)