December 6, 1999
Meeting of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Committee October 5, 1999 - Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.
SYNOPSIS: The IBHE/Faculty Advisory Committee attended as observers the October 5, 1999, Illinois Board of Higher Education meeting at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Harold "Bud" Hodgkinson, from the Institute for Educational Leadership, presented a talk on access and diversity of higher education. Numerous presentations were made by presidents and other officers of Illinois public institutions on their Institutional Results Reports based on The Illinois Commitment. Action was taken on a number of items, including the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Capital Scholars Program. In the afternoon, the Faculty Advisory Committee met with two IBHE Board members and a member of the IBHE staff to discuss issues and concerns.
MORNING SESSION: The October meeting of the IBHE was called to order at 9 am by Philip Rock, Chairman. The details of the October 5,1999 meeting agenda is linked from <http://www.ibhe.state.il.us/calendar.htm>. Harold Hodgkinson gave an entertaining and dramatic presentation on future population trends in higher education, suggesting that the student population will change greatly in the 21st century, with a rapid increase in Hispanic students. He also noted that Illinois may be entering a period of zero growth in population in the early decades of the 21st Century. He discussed the implications for higher education in Illinois if this prediction was realized. Six institutions, including the University of Illinois, presented their Institutional Results Reports, focusing on "best practices" examples. Action items included the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Capital Scholars Program. After extensive discussion, including testimony from private institutions that expressed concern about expanding state-supported undergraduate education in the Springfield area, the program was approved by the Board. In her oral report to the IBHE, FAC Chair Wilma Miranda noted the concern the FAC had with the distribution of 3+1+1 funds on various campuses and related the recommendation of the FAC that faculty be involved in the definitions and decisions used in identifying critical faculty who are to receive the money on each campus.
AFTERNOON SESSION : PRESIDING: FAC Chair Wilma Miranda
Two IBHE board members, Edwin Moore and Lucy Sloan, met with the Faculty Advisory Committee in the afternoon session. Deb Smitley from the IBHE staff also attended the meeting.
The first topic was once again the "3+1+1" initiative to attract and retain "critical" faculty at the state universities. Sloan said that the 1% internal allocation had been discussed at every big picture meeting held over the summer and, in her view the. details of that allocation and the definition of critical faculty should be left up to each institution. A FAC member noted the need for uniformity in the ways institutions report their handling of resources. It was also suggested that at some institutions, critical faculty are those who are offered positions elsewhere, and that some academic units were receiving salary increases as low as 1.9%.
Another FAC member warned against equating critical faculty with those who are in the fields that currently prepare students for the best jobs, noting the importance of focusing on what it means to be an educated person, rather than one who is well trained. Moore and Sloan both encouraged the Faculty Advisory Committee to keep pointing out such a perspective because it is all too easy for the IBHE to focus on skills. A member of the FAC agreed, reminding the FAC of the PQP initiative of a few years ago where the focus was on productivity with little emphasis on ensuring the quality.
The discussion shifted to technology. Several FAC members noted a variety of concerns stemming from the current eagerness to offer courses online.
It was observed that research on the most effective use of current technology is incomplete and inconclusive. Some suggested that our current heavy investments in the technology to put course materials online may lock us into such delivery in the future, even when it may not be the most appropriate way to deliver courses. Because students come with diverse learning styles, we have an obligation to offer a great variety of delivery systems. Others thought that the focus on delivering courses to students at distant locations could easily shortchange our students on campus. It was also felt that we should not overlook the social costs of reducing or eliminating human interaction within the classroom. If (as Hodgkinson suggested in his morning presentation) Illinois is in a period of zero growth, for whom are we investing in all this technology? Will it be non-Illinois citizens that benefit from Illinois tax investment?
In response to these concerns, IBHE member Sloan emphasized her belief that we will always need to provide face-to-face instruction. She noted that the current technology can provide major support for greater collaboration across the educational spectrum, from pre-kindergarten through college.
Moore asked the FAC to consider how online possibilities can expand and complement what is already going on, rather than replacing classroom discussion. Technology must be seen as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.
In the context of educational technology, the issue of ownership of course materials was introduced: questioning the property rights of faculty who have developed materials for college courses which then go online? Web sites which post student lecture notes were discussed, noting that apparently this is not an infringement of faculty or university rights because the notes themselves belong to the students. The question of ownership of taped faculty lectures was raised.
ADVICE FROM THE BOARD MEMBERS
Sloan and Moore urged members of the FAC to use any personal contacts they may have with IBHE members to help the Board understand faculty perspectives on critical issues that come before them. Sloan noted that the formal FAC report to the Board provides a very limited opportunity for faculty influence.
THE IBHE/FAC BUSINESS MEETING
The business meeting focused on the four subcommittees to be established this year. The tentative memberships are as follows:
Access/Diversity: Rao, Jacobson, Wilson, Graddy, Dye, Marlow, Puccio, Cook
Budget: Weech, Rao, Roth, So, Weller, Karnes
Quality/Assessment/P-16: Puccio, Elwood, Caton, Colmo, Mullen, Flener, Beck
Technology/Pedagogy: Beck, Roth, Elwood, Wenger, Weech, Rudloff, Mullen, , Miranda
The meeting adjourned at 2:30.
Submitted by Terry L. Weech, UIUC Representative to the IBHE/FAC, 11/2/99