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December 8, 2008

Board of Trustees Meeting (Global Campus Report)
13 November 2008
Springfield, IL

At Breakfast the Senate Observers from each of the campus senates and the USC met with Trustees Carroll and Schmidt to discuss:

  • The coming budget reductions,
  • The Global Campus accreditation, and
  • The need for formal search procedures for administrative appointments

During the BOT meeting, the Academic Affairs Committee chaired by Trustee Schmidt held a meeting of the whole BOT. President White gave a status report on the Global Campus (GC). He indicated that the current model for the GC is not working because of lack of development of sufficient programs to attract enrollments. He then said that the campus senates are divided on the issue of accreditation and he would report back to the BOT at the January meeting concerning the four options available to GC at this time. The four options are:

  • continue with present model,
  • terminate GC,
  • seek accreditation for GC, and
  • embed GC in one of the campuses.

He also indicated that the GC is beginning to partner with community colleges to offer completion degrees as a way of increasing enrollments. This appears to be a change in the GC’s strategy.

Professor Kaufman (UIC), Chair of the USC, was asked to present the views of the faculty senates. He summarized the senates’ positions:
UIS is offering an alternative to GC.
UIC supports accreditation and will allow its governance organization and faculty to help GC attain accreditation.
USC – no consensus has been reached but a list of comments and concerns has been forwarded to President White.
UIUC – the senate has defeated a motion to support accreditation.

Trustee Schmidt asked Professor Finnerty to speak to the BOT and clarify the UIUC position on GC.

I reiterated the UIUC’s Senate rejection of the accreditation motion and went on to explain our concerns which have been given to President White. A meeting is tentatively set for 1 December for the SEC of the Urbana Senate to discuss our concerns about accreditation with the President.

I finished by saying GC is at a crossroad and we have an opportunity to improve and enhance the approach GC has taken to this point in time.

After a lively discussion by the BOT, Trustee Doris said “Let’s do it” indicating that he was ready to vote on accreditation. He also instructed President White to report to the BOT by 15 December 2008 on the GC accreditation process.

During lunch, the item #13, Authorized Tuition Discounts for University of Illinois Employees Enrolled in the Global Campus Academic Programs, was modified to include:

  • The Board authorizes and directs the President and administration to seek accreditation for Global Campus programs from the Higher Learning Commission.
  • The Board urges the UIC campus to enable Global Campus, through UIC accreditation, to begin development immediately of affordable baccalaureate completion degrees in high demand areas.
  • The Board urges Global Campus to participate with community colleges and other institutions to offer these degrees.
  • The Board directs the administration and faculty to work together during the accreditation seeking process to ensure the quality and academic oversight of all Global Campus Programs.

The BOT at the afternoon session then voted the Regular Agenda items without discussion by voice vote.

In the BOT Bylaws, Article III Rules of Order, Section 2, states “All items on which the board will take action at a regular or special meeting shall be specifically set forth in an agenda published at least 48 hours before the beginning of the meeting at which actions is to be taken. Short parliamentary motions and minor editing to clarify or correct an item may be made during a meeting.”

The addition of the GC accreditation rider to the tuition waiver seems to be more than “short parliamentary motions and minor editing.”

Respectfully Submitted,

Joseph E. Finnerty
Professor of Finance
UIUC Senate Observer