September 27, 1999
Board of Trustees Meeting, May 25-26, 1999,
Pine Lounge, Illini Union, UIUC
There was no morning session. The Board convened at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25 and began with a meeting of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds chaired by Trustee Schmidt. Three items were addressed: 1) an overview of the design for the Parking Structure and Fire Substation at UIUC which was approved without discussion; 2) a presentation of the final design of the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences Building UIUC which was approved without discussion; and 3) a final presentation of the South Campus Master Plan, UIUC. There was some discussion about acquiring dwellings on First Street and the future possibility of a golf course.
The Board convened for its regular agenda. Vice Present Bazzani led the discussion about the University's utilities and a proposed partnership between the University and the State and the University and CMS to manage a debt of about $75 M. Also included in this agenda item was a request for $17 M to build a co-generational plant on the Chicago West Side Campus. It was approved, although there was some concern about the availability of replacement parts once the facility was built.
The last item on the agenda was an Executive Session.
On Wednesday, May 28, the Board reconvened at 8:30 a.m. with a public comment session focused upon two topics. First, three citizens spoke about their concern that the UIUC South Campus Master Plan would produce such a large quantity of animal odors and waste that those living in the area, such as the Yankee Ridge subdivision, would be unduly effected. Second, three speakers addressed the issue of retiring Chief Illiniwek. Michael Haney, Executive Director, National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, began his talk by mentioning he had seen a Dakota and a Cherokee in Campus Town that morning-a truck and sports utility vehicle. He urged the Board of Trustees to retire the Chief and noted that on June 9, the coalition would "file a formal petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce Trademark and Patent Office to disrupt and prevent the issuance of the trademark registration as requested by the University of Illinois. Cydney Crue, a graduate student in Sociology at UIUC, spoke about the difficulty of being an American Indian in Champaign-Urbana, describing how her son was harassed in school. She said: "It is ok to be a fake American Indian in Urbana-Champaign, but dangerous to be a real American Indian." Her young son described some of the negative incidents he experienced in school.
The Board met as a committee of the whole to discuss the proposed budget for fiscal year 2001. Vice President Manning described the process of establishing the budget. Apparently there had been some criticism about this process in the past. She explained how the monies appropriated for state universities have not fared well over the past ten years. The University is asking for a moderate budget of $65.3M when the real need is $157.7M. The budget includes a 3% increase in salaries when the real need is 5%.
Each provost spoke about the budget request for his or her campus. Provost Hoffman stressed the need for UIC to become a research institution, especially since it hopes to gain membership in the Association of American Universities. Provost Penn is hopeful that the Capital Scholars Program at UIS will be approved soon and monies are needed for this program, graduate education, and dormitories. Provost Herman stressed UIUC's continued emphasis on excellence and the need to strengthen the Humanities and raise faculty salaries to be competitive with comparable universities. Monies are needed to rebuild faculty strength, enrich undergraduate education, expand educational and research technologies, develop Partnership Illinois, and renovate out-of-date buildings.
Trustee Shea, a new member of the Board, questioned why the University did not request money for the real needs so that the Legislature knows what these are. A discussion about how the University has been advised to make moderate requests ensued. Some members thought that in the future the Board should be more assertive about budget requests. President Stukel explained that the IBHE guides the University in its budget requests, and that he would tell the IBHE Trustee's Shea's request that the real needs be addressed. President Stukel reminded the Board that the Legislature does not always understand how inflation affects neither the operating budgets nor what "quality" means in terms of the budget.
The next item on the agenda was the University Hospital and Clinics. There is concern about the obstetrics and pediatrics programs declining and causing a loss. Ways to revitalize OB were discussed.
The Board reconvened for announcements, old business concerning the Athletic Board, and letters of recognition for the out-going student trustees. When asked for New Business, Trustees Gravenhorst and Schmidt commented about the need to improve the flow of information among the board members. The Board adjourned for lunch.
Heidi Von Gunden,
UIUC Senate Observer