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October 24, 2005

University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign Senate

HE.05.16 Report on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Meeting, August 23, 2005.

N.B.  Due to a schedule conflict the observer was unable to attend this meeting.  This report is based on the prepared agenda and the commentary provided by individuals who did observe the meeting.
BHE action and informational items affecting the UIUC Campus:

  Guiding Principles for FY07 Budget Development:

Judy Irwin, a former chair of House Higher Ed  Com. is the new Executive Deputy Director.  This was the first meeting for new members John Minogue, President of DePaul from 1993-2004, Elmer Washington, Emeritus Chicago State, Addison Woodward Jr., Emeritus Governors State.

The BHE was asked in a telephone call from OMB to hold back 2% of its funds. ($57K if limited to their operations, $800K if includes grant funds. Clarification is being sought.)  Therefore scheduled HECA grants were not voted upon including UIUC’s $24K HECA grant for Improving Retention of Underrepresented Groups in Engineering and a $140K grant for Developing Disability Access Metrics for Postsecondary Education and a $65K grant to the University Administration for Back to School/Stay in School Program.
The reports of Subcommittee A and B of Committee to Review Priorities, Productivity and Accountability were adopted. The recommendations of Subcommittee A were detailed in the June BHE report and those of Subcommittee B in the February BHE report.

The BHE formally allocated the $2.6M approved by the Legislature for operating the University Center of Lake County.

The approval of degree granting authority for for-profit schools to operate in the state occasioned lengthy discussion.  Questions involved whether they prepared people for actual jobs.  Board member Taslitz said that unlike many small, liberal arts colleges, their reason for existing was to prepare people for viable employment.  The discussion also focused on insuring quality of their program offerings.  A study session organized by Judy Erwin on the topic will be held at the October meeting.

The budget discussion had some Board members asking about the funding of athletics and the expression of interest in knowing all sources of funds with the suggestion by one board member that we would not need to beg the legislature for money if we consider all sources of funds.

Ken Andersen
FAC to the IBHE Representative