Meeting of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Committee April 30, 1999 - Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois.
SYNOPSIS: After a welcome by the Provost and Executive Vice President of Columbia College, Bert Gall, a panel of three presented the state of the development of the Illinois Century Network and recent developments in educational telecommunications. The afternoon session included the election of the new officers for 1999-2000. Wilma Miranda. of Northern Illinois University, was elected Chair, Nancy Marlow, from Eastern Illinois University, Vice-Chair, and Dorothy Beck, from Black Hawk College, Secretary.
MORNING SESSION: Bert Gall, Provost and executive Vice President of Columbia College, provided a review of the programs at Columbia and a brief history of the institution. He noted the unique programs in the arts, such as film studies and photography, which have been established at Columbia College. He also outlined the growth of the College with the revitalization of the "south loop" area of downtown Chicago.
Lynn Murphy, Project Administrator for the Illinois Video Education Network, Waubonsee Community College, Neil Matkin, Associate Director for Information Systems for the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and Frank Whitney, with the Illinois State Board of Education LincOn Network, each took turns speaking about the Illinois Century Network. The Illinois Century Network is an attempt to link all the K-12 schools in the state and all the institutions of higher education together electronically with high bandwidth connections so streaming video and other applications that require a higher bandwidth of transmission than is available in many Illinois schools today can be utilized in the future. The existing project is built on the Illinois Board of Higher Education/Illinois Community College Board's Illinois Video Education Network, the Illinois State Board of Education's LincOn Network for K-12 schools, the Illinois State Library systems network (ILLINET), the Central Management Services' Video Network and state agency network connections, as well as campus-based internet connections at Illinois academic institutions. The overall plan for the Illinois Century Network is to provide links among elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and libraries so all can interact with electronic delivery of education. The budget is in the range of $28 million in fiscal 2000, with nearly $36 million by 2002. The Illinois Century Network will provide the infrastructure and the private sector will provide the maintenance and sustain the delivery through the private telecommunications companies serving Illinois. A fuller explanation can be found at <http://www.ibhe.state.il.us/icn>
Numerous questions were raised about the Illinois Century Network. Some expressed concern that attention be paid to the distinction between teaching and learning and that steps be taken to assure that learning was the goal, and not just the delivery of teaching. In response to a question regarding the pedagogical evidence that streaming video or electronic delivery is superior to traditional text delivery, the response was that the research results are mixed, and that the answer is that "it depends." Other questions were directed at alternative systems in other states, such as Iowa and North Carolina. It was noted that Iowa chose not only to build the infrastructure but also to have the State maintain it. The Illinois plan for the Illinois Century Network is only to build it and then let the private sector maintain it. It was noted by one of the FAC members that the state of North Carolina had followed a similar pattern to what is being proposed in Illinois, but many smaller schools and libraries had difficulty meeting the expenses of maintaining their share of the cost of the networks because of the continuing annual costs. Members of the panel did note that the question of pricing in the private sector could be a concern, but it was hoped that competition would provide reasonable costs in future years. The pending merger of SBC with Ameritech was noted and it was acknowledged that the potential impact of such a merger on the costs associated with the Illinois Century Network had not yet been determined.
Other questions dealt with the relationship between schools in Illinois and those schools outside the state. It was noted that now the IBHE oversees programs and works to prevent unnecessary duplication. How will this be possible if courses are being offered on the Illinois Century Network? The panel acknowledged that the new technology does provide new challenges for coordinating programs. Also noted was the fact that one Illinois university was considering extending conflict of interest policies to cover teaching. If done, this might be one step toward academic administrations controlling the teaching activities of faculty as an intellectual property of the University rather than the tradition of considering each instructor as having the ownership of his or her courses.
IBHE/FAC BUSINESS MEETING: Doug Day, IBHE Liaison to the IBHE/FAC announced that Phillip J. Rock has been appointed by Governor Ryan as Chair of the IBHE to replace Jerry Blakemore. Mr. Blakemore will continue to serve on the Board. Cordelia Meyer and Samuel K. Grove were reappointed by Governor Ryan to the Board. Two more vacancies await to be filled by the Governor. Doug Day also announced that Kathleen Kelly had resigned her IBHE staff position of Deputy Director for Academic Affairs to go into private consulting. The search is ongoing for a new Deputy Director for Academic Affairs. Doug Day's duties now include Policy Affairs, but he anticipates that he will continue to be the liaison officer from the IBHE to the FAC.
The Business Meeting opened with the election of new officers. The results are listed below. The remainder of the Business Meeting was taken up with discussion of what subcommittees should be formed for next year. After some consideration of alternatives, the Business Meeting adjourned into subcommittee meetings. The Subcommittees met until approximately 2:15 p.m., when their meetings were adjourned
IBHE/FAC Officers for 1999-2000:
Chair: Wilma Miranda of Northern Illinois University
Vice-Chair: Nancy Marlow from Eastern Illinois University
Secretary: Dorothy Beck from Black Hawk College
Submitted by Terry L. Weech, UIUC Representative to the IBHE/FAC, 5/8/99.