September 27, 2004
University Senates Conference
April 28, 2004
University Senates Conference (USC) met in Springfield at the Public Affairs Center with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner in the morning. Trustee Robert Vickrey joined USC for lunch and a discussion of issues confronting the University and the upcoming change in leadership. A business meeting of USC followed these sessions.
The meeting with President Stukel and Vice President Gardner included discussion of the following topics:
- Budget. President Stukel presented information to legislative committees in April concerning the budget needs of the University. A minimum 2% cut is anticipated. USC had questions about SURS funding, student financial aid, and the Health Alliance situation. Much of this is still being investigated.
- Chief Illiniwek. President Stukel was asked about the impact of the Chief Illiniwek controversy on University operations. A lengthy discussion was held regarding the complexity of the issues, the impact on resources and energy, and the USCís perception that the matter needed to be resolved in the best interests of the University.
- Salary increase for faculty and staff. There is every intention to provide a salary increase for faculty and staff.
- Morale. USC asked President Stukel if there was anyone whose job responsibilities included considering ways to improve morale, particularly during these difficult economic times. The response was that everyone was responsible for morale, and that the needs vary to some extent on each campus. USC focused on simple, inexpensive ways to improve morale, while administrators tend to identify expensive rewards such as salary increases and additional paid holidays.
- Policy on Fraud and Criminal Investigation. Vice President Gardner was asked about the origin and development of the recently approved policy on fraud. The policy was written to address issues of personnel responsibility to report crime (such as theft) at the university. Apparently no such previous policy existed.
- Student registration via Banner. Vice President Gardner reported that as of that morning 26,000 students had registered, and reports were positive about the new registration system. The next Banner module to be implemented is the financial aid module.
The discussion with Trustee Robert Vickrey included the presidential search and desirable qualifications for an academic leader, the impact of the Chief controversy on university operations, and the need for new sources of student financial aid as the gap between tuition and monetary awards continues to widen.
The following matters were addressed at the business meeting:
- Approval of the March 30, 2004 minutes.
- ST-57. Proposed revisions to the Statutes Article II, Section 5. The section relating to the Professional Advisory Committee has been approved by all three senates and USC and will be forwarded to the President.
- OT-193, Interim Information Security Policy. The campus senates will review this document at future meetings.
- OT-89, Evaluation of Ability to Work. Revisions to this policy were referred to the campus senates and are waiting for responses by the end of the spring 2004 semester
- Discussion of future guests regarding University issues of concern.
- Several of the reports from USC representatives to the various university management teams generated extensive discussion about UI-Integrate and Banner issues.
Dates and locations of future meetings were briefly discussed.
Nancy P. O'Brien
USC Representative to UIUC Senate Executive Committee