September 27, 2004
University of Illinois
HE.04.15 Report on the IBHE Faculty Advisory Council Meeting, June 11, 2004.
The FAC met in the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston.
Les Hyder, EIU representative, introduced EIU President Louis Hencken who welcomed the FAC and discussed the impact on EIU of state reductions to higher education. EIU has had to reduce its first-year class, for example, to maintain the quality of education enjoyed currently by its students. Les Hyder then introduced Blair Lord, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who also welcomed the group. There was discussion whether higher education should be the group that leads the fight for a higher state income tax and whether that would help or hurt higher education in the long term. There was a suggestion that colleges and universities should adopt the Miami University (Ohio) new tuition model to be phased in fully with the fall 2004 freshman class entering the Oxford campus (http://www.miami.muohio.edu/tuitionplan/):
Miami University Tuition Restructuring Plan
A progressive, new tuition model that embraces the best practices of private-sector universities while fully meeting Miami's responsibilities as a state-assisted public university of Ohio.
The goal of the plan is to make Miami University more affordable to moderate-income families in Ohio by giving the university more flexibility in the disbursement of state subsidy dollars. The tuition restructuring allows Miami—considered a "Public Ivy" —the same pricing flexibility as its private-university competitors.
- Miami, valued nationally as a "Best Buy" based on its out-of-state tuition, now follows the private university model of listing a single tuition, rather than separate fees for in-state and out-of-state students.
- All accepted Ohio students receive a sizeable Ohio Resident Scholarship. This will be the same amount for every Ohio student (this year, the amount was $5,000), and the amount is guaranteed to equal or exceed the state-funded appropriation per student.
- All Ohio students also receive an additional Ohio Leader Scholarship, which will vary according to financial need, extraordinary ability, or intent to major in subjects key to the state's economic development.
President Hencken suggested that parents and alumni work harder to explain to the legislature the importance of higher education. He also suggested that presidents of Illinois colleges and universities needed to meet more often than they do currently.
Dan Layzell, Deputy Director of IBHE, updated the group on the current situation with the FY2005 budget. Briefly, the situation is at an impasse, which might require some kind of continuing resolution, even for a couple of months. Support is high for an increase in funding for K-12 education. The BHE is looking into efficiencies for procurement, especially possibilities to aggregate and consolidate purchases of natural gas.
Most of the discussion with Layzell focused on The Illinois Commitment, especially the proposal for a new commitment: The collective efforts of Illinois colleges and universities will enhance and enrich the quality for all Illinois citizens. Issues discussed included whether the proposed commitment should be a preamble to the current six commitments or it should be the seventh commitment; whether the IC itself is a strategic plan, a policy framework, or a means to communicate what higher education does; and how it will be used. It was suggested that “research” or “research and creativity” be added to the commitments. The IC will be discussed by IBHE in August.
C. Allison Jack, Senior Education Policy Development Advisor to the Governor spoke to the Governor’s concern about the high cost of textbooks, in relation to his plan on Making College Affordable. She was on a fact-finding mission for faculty to express their views on the high prices of textbooks. Possible causes of the problem were suggested, e.g., new copyright dates based on minimal changes and the bundling of supplemental material (e.g., CDs and PowerPoint presentations) with the texts. Because no data were presented, questions were raised as to whether there really was a problem of high prices or whether prices were more or less in line with the cost of living. A suggestion was made that institutions might consider the EIU model: renting textbooks. Although start-up costs to the institution are high, and instructors have to agree to use the same text for about 3 years, average costs to students are considerably reduced by renting ($100-$200/yr) compared with buying ($600-$700/year), depending on the subject. The rental model was discussed regarding advantages and disadvantages to learning.
The business meeting, chaired by Allan Karnes (SIUC), discussed next year’s meeting dates. So far, the group agreed on 10 September (St. Xavier University), 12 November (College of Lake County), 21 January (Governor’s State), and 29 April (Harper College). Other dates will be decided later. Proposed revisions to the FAC/IBHE procedures were distributed.
Senator Dale Righter (55th District) was introduced and gave his view of the current budget situation in Springfield.
UIUC Senate FAC Alternative Representative