March 29, 2004
February 20, 2004 University Senates Conference (USC) met in Chicago at the Chicago Illini Union with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner in the morning and with Board of Trustees member Frances Carroll during lunch. This was followed by a business meeting in the afternoon. Discussions focused on the budget and the search for a new president.
The meeting with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner included discussion of the following topics:
- Budget situation. President Stukel and VP Gardner stated that the University had suffered a cumulative reduction of $146M over the past three years. For the next year we are likely to receive flat funding or a percentage reduction that may be somewhat offset by tuition increases. The state's Monetary Award Program is being adjusted to provide increased financial aid to lower income students and families.
- Presidential search process. President Stukel was asked what he saw as critical leadership qualities needed to fulfill the duties of president. He responded that academic credentials, an understanding of shared governance, and the ability to communicate with all constituents were critical for success at a major research institution. The Board of Trustees is developing a white paper on the major needs of the institution that will serve also as guidelines for the search.
- UI-Integrate/Banner issues. VP Gardner indicated that implementation of Banner would be completed in one year, to be followed with upgrades and the development of "bolt-ons" to provide capabilities needed specifically by UI. The student services implementation is in process and will begin with the registration process in March.
- Tuition process. VP Gardner responded to a request for information about consultation in the tuition planning process by replying that students and faculty both had requested consultative participation. He is developing a written proposal that he will share with USC, and envisions that the tuition planning process would work through the campuses.The meeting with Frances Carroll, recent appointee to the Board of Trustees, was very congenial and open. She reviewed her proposal to retire Chief Illiniwek. She also reminded everyone that Board members have political ties and that its decisions should be considered in that context. She was open to suggestions for increasing dialogue between the BOT and members of the faculty, and recommended that USC continue its efforts to meet regularly with members of the Board.
The business meeting addressed the following matters:
- Approval of the January 23, 2004 minutes.
- Membership of the Consultative Committee to Assist in the Selection of a President. USC members reviewed the process for nominations since the BOT had reduced the number of faculty representatives from each campus. UIUC members who were nominated for the committee excused themselves while the remaining members discussed nominees for the three UIUC slots. BOT Chair Eppley requested that twice the number of names be provided for each position so each USC campus group provided a listing of the top nominees and a secondary list of alternates from the slate approved by each campus senate.
- Status of OT-89, Evaluation of Ability to Work. Based on feedback from Legal Counsel some additional clarification of language will be undertaken before re-distributing the document for "final" review.
- Discussion of future guests to address University issues of concern.Dates and locations of future meetings were briefly discussed. Nancy P. O'Brien
USC Representative to UIUC Senate Executive Committee