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February 16, 2004

University Senates Conference
January 23, 2004

University Senates Conference (USC) met as a videoconference. UIUC members were fortunate to have President Stukel available at their videoconference site. A business meeting of USC followed the executive session with the President.

The meeting with President Stukel included discussion of the following topics:

- Resignation of President Stukel. President Stukel announced that he was resigning effective February 2005. He encouraged USC to follow the search procedures established in prior years and recently affirmed by the Board of Trustees.

- Status of Budget for FY05. President Stukel indicated that it was very difficult to gauge the impact of legislative activities in Springfield on the university's budget at this time. University staff are keeping careful watch on legislation that may affect higher education.

- University Strategic Plan. When asked about the University's strategic plan, the President referred to the Support Services Strategy (S3) report of 1998.On the academic side, New Opportunities in a New Century provides a plan. Each campus also has a strategic plan.

- Morale on campus. USC members are concerned about morale issues on campus due to budget cuts. When asked if there were non-monetary ways to improve morale, the President responded that all three campuses are considering ideas and would welcome suggestions.

At 11:30, USC met with Thomas Eakman to discuss Legal Counsel's review of the proposed Evaluation of Ability to Work policy. Legal Counsel expressed concern that the scope of the policy appears to address ADA, Workers Compensation, and Civil Service matters, which rightfully are addressed under the relevant laws, statutes and policies. Revising the scope to clarify that the proposed policy addresses academic staff and that it does not cover matters from the other three areas will address Legal Counsel's concerns. Members of USC concurred, and will inform their respective senates.

In the afternoon, USC met with John Loya, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. Mr. Loya reviewed his three priorities: implementation of Banner; review of HR procedures across the university; and, exploring relief from some outdated policies still in place. He provided an overview of his background, his priorities and the challenges he faces. It was a good discussion with consideration of several pressing issues for the effective handling of human resources.

The business meeting included the following:

- Approval of the November 19, 2003 minutes.

- Status of OT-161, Non-Tenure Track Academic Staff Appointments. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that USC will focus on the narrower issue of multi-year contracts in the context of the IBHE report, All Faculty Matter. Each campus will be asked to identify its issues with multi-year contracts.

- Composition of a search committee for the president. USC discussed possible composition (i.e., number of faculty, students, etc.) of the search committee that would be in keeping with prior search committees, but include UIS, which was not part of UI during the last presidential search. A final version was agreed upon and will be referred to the Board of Trustees.

- OT-193. Interim Information Security Policy. Due to changes from the UIS campus, USC has been asked to reconcile the versions approved by the campus senates. The matter was referred to the USC statutes committee.

- Discussion of future guests to address University issues of concern.

Dates and locations of future meetings were discussed, as were routine items of business.

Nancy P. O'Brien
USC Representative to UIUC Senate Executive Committee