October 1, 2007
University of Illinois
HE.07.16 Report on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Meeting, August 14, 2007.
Items specific to UIUC: Congratulations on the new supercomputer award; approval of:
- BS in LAS in Atmospheric Sciences
- MS in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
- Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
- Ed.D. in Educational Organization and Leadership
- Teacher Quality Grant of $325K to I-ILLINI Partnership with Danville and Urbana
The BHE met at 9:10 a.m. at the Palmer House in Chicago. (They held a short work session Monday afternoon on higher education master planning and BHE strategic planning.) Changes have been made in the IBHE meeting format. There is no consent agenda—everything appears on the regular agenda as action or information. Approval of minutes and reports of Board members serving as liaisons to various groups are now early on the agenda.
Chair Hightman noted the FAC paper on the public good (attached) and commended it to the Board and the public. She noted Terry Bruce (our former US District Representative) was serving as chair of the Council of Community Colleges. BHE will move forward on planing the fy09 budget. She saw the legislative session as very successful for higher education, particularly approval of House Joint Resolution 69 to develop a long-range master plan for higher education through the creation of the Task Force on Higher Education and the Economy, chaired by Hightman. Second, HB1648 creates a P-20 Council to establish a statewide agenda that better integrates all levels of learning. (The BHE Legislative Report is on file at the Senate office.) The Campus Security Task Force met June 21 and will be examining various issues.
Executive Director Erwin noted higher ed was included in the one-month budget extension—four years ago it was not. Some grant announcements are being delayed until the budget is approved.
ISAC Chair McNeal in explanation of the sale of part of the ISAC loan portfolio said it was losing money and we were aiding students attending schools outside Illinois including a clown college in Florida.
The FAC noted that extended battle over the budget threatens retention and recruitment of high quality people. During the discussion that ensued Director Erwin said the BHE said it would gather information on faculty losses. The FAC statement on the public good was summarized. Jason Wallace, chair of the Student Advisory Council, listed a multitude of issues the group hopes to examine ranging from budget and deferred maintenance to textbook costs.
An extended presentation by Elliott Regenstein and Jonathan Furr and Michael Chohen (ACHIEVE and the American Diploma Project) (a 90-page report) offered a preliminary review of the degree to which state polices on education are aligned with college and work expectations, particularly in terms of standards, data systems and interventions in underperforming schools. Regenstein and Furr focused on issues of aligning standards, curriculum and accountability to ensure college and workforce readiness and need for an effective state education data system. They stressed need for improving the quality of high school graduates. Also, they reinforced previous BHE presentations on the need to track the performance of individual students through the entire educational process: K through graduate school. Implications of the ongoing project suggest colleges will need to define student “readiness” for college work, longitudinal educational data collected on all students, and matching student performance at the K-12 level to teacher effectiveness.
BHE ‘s legislative liaison Don Sevener said several good things have emerged during the legislative session. Cooperation works. The need for a K-20 perspective on education is growing on the part of legislators. Some good relationships with many in the General Assembly have been developed.
While there is no capital budget yet, discussion continues in Springfield. The BHE’s recommendations for higher ed are still part of that discussion.
New degree programs and operating authority were quickly approved and several information items given brief presentations due to the length of previous presentations.
FAC to the IBHE Representative