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October 6, 2008

University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign Senate

HE.09.01. Report on the IBHE Faculty Advisory Council Meeting, September 19, 2008.

The FAC met at Lake Land College.  President Scott Lensink and James Hull, Vice President for Academic Services, welcomed the group. Hull described a number of “green” initiatives ranging from extensive single-stream recycling and encouraging students and staff to bring materials for recycling to campus, use of geothermal heating,  wind turbines, and passive solar heating.  The campus is developing a strategic enrollment plan as enrollments are drifting slightly downward.  With no increase in elementary/high school students, growth must come from increasing numbers of non-traditional students.  More than half of the entering students have taken at least one dual-credit course limiting some course enrollments and on-line enrollments are replacing summer on-campus enrollments.

IBHE liaison Ocheng Jany noted there were problems accessing the FAC website.  The IBHE is forming a task force on information technology.  Emphasis continues on meeting the shortage of nurses.  The search  is on for a new IBHE Director of Academic Affairs.

FAC members expressed several concerns about the draft of “A Public Agenda for College and Career Success” including moving control of tuition away from the individual campuses. Given the state declines in funding, this is a threat to educational quality.  The draft emphasizes workforce development but neglects other significant contributions of higher education.  More attention is needed to providing necessary resources for higher education including more aggressive IBHE efforts on the higher ed budgets such as last year’s tiered approach. But with inflation steps 1, 2, and 3 represent no increase in support. The shortage of staff at IBHE  cause delays in some processes and neglect of other efforts.

Following a discussion of problems with the FAC website, the majority of the afternoon session was spent on planning for the coming year.  A mixture of standing committees such as Budget and Legislative Affairs and Educational Quality with ad hoc committees dealing with particular issues was recommended.  Among the latter would be ones to deal with dual credit problems, safety issues, and ensuring full FAC membership participation.  (Some private colleges have not identified members.)  A draft report identifying the effect of various IBHE actions on different institutional types was distributed for comment.

The schedule of meetings and sites for the year is not yet complete.  No site has been confirmed for the October meeting.

Ken Andersen
UIUC Senate Alternate FAC Representative