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February 19, 2007


University Senates Conference
(Final; Information)

UC.07.04 Report on the University Senates Conference Meeting, 16 November 2006

Members present: Bodenhorn (Chair), Chapman-Novakofski, Fisher, Ford, Jones, Kaufman, Mallory (Vice Chair), Schacht, Strom, Weller, Wheeler, Wood

Members absent: Anderson, Burton, Chambers, Fossum, Grossman, Kagan, Scheff, Tolliver

Guests: David Chicoine, James Weyhenmeyer, Joseph White

The USC met in Room C, Public Affairs Center, UIS. Chair Bodenhorn called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. The Conference opened discussion on the matter of the Global Campus (GC) and, in particular, on USC’s response to the four questions set forth by President White in a 27 October letter to Bodenhorn and chairs of campus SECs . The first two questions, regarding the mission and vision and the goals of the GC, were not in dispute. The last two questions, regarding use of non-tenure track “faculty” and use of a for-profit LLC as the business model, however, needed serious consideration. Other questions were raised about flow of money, hiring criteria, keeping courses up-to-date, and the role of faculty in the long term. Kaufman said that the intention was for GC to partner with existing academic units to develop courses and to use the “master teacher” model. Schacht said that UIUC’s GC Task Force met with President White and Dr. Gardner, and there was some willingness on their part to consider an alternative model.

The USC discussed proposed new language to The General Rules regarding intellectual property. Schacht said that the new language gives the University proprietary rights with respect to electronic materials developed for teaching, which is in conflict with language in the courseware policy. He cited another problem in regard to use of University facilities and resources.
The USC went into Executive Session to meet with Vice President Chicoine. He commented on the transition of leadership in his office and the qualities needed in a good candidate, and he commented on the VPAA search. Vice President Chicoine provided information about a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). President White, who joined the meeting at 10:50 a.m., said that Dr. Gardner and the GC task force determined that a for-profit LLC would be the best structure for the GC.

The group discussed the GC initiative. Fundamental issues concerned the role of faculty in teaching, hiring, and course approval; the need for GC to have its own accreditation in the future, rather than be accredited through existing campuses; and the changes that might occur after accreditation to the hiring process and faculty involvement. There was a plea for strong faculty involvement in the decision-making process, and a comment that if GC is to be successful, then deans and their units must be significantly involved and have control over the programs. There was skepticism that graduate degrees and degree completion programs could be offered successfully through GC, and a comment that it would be important for the partnering units to hire the instructors, approve the courses, and make ongoing revisions to the courses.
President White said that the CFO search is coming to an end, and that the search for a VPAA has been posted.  Professor Jim Anderson (UIUC) will chair the search, and USC members Weller and Wheeler are on the search committee.

After recess for lunch, Associate Vice President Jim Weyhenmeyer met with USC to discuss proposed changes to The General Rules and supplemental policies regarding issues of intellectual property. Mr. Weyhenmeyer said that the Intellectual Property Committee will make adjustments once feedback is received. He commented that the courseware section attempted to make a statement and was not intended to change policy. With respect to the possibility of marketing courseware, Mr. Weyhenmeyer said that the language was written to drive a process that encourages the creator and administrative unit to have a conversation early on. This change raised the problem that ownership defaults to the University according to The General Rules.
The addition of “experimental results” as intellectual property was questioned, to which Mr. Weyhenmeyer responded that it was added as a protection and for the ability to retrieve materials in a timely manner if needed for a court case. Mr. Weyhenmeyer commented that the supporting documents are for operational purposes and are intended to allow faculty to be as productive as possible, and that putting everything into The General Rules would be impractical.

Following the discussion with Mr. Weyhenmeyer, USC held the business meeting. The Minutes of the 25 October 2006 meeting were approved as written. Items from the three senates were approved for classification.

Other than designating an Observer for the 18 January 2007 Board of Trustees meeting at UIC, there was no new business.

USC discussed items of old business that were not discussed during the Executive Session, including the need for campuses to develop procedures to implement recent changes in the Statutes regarding “multi-year contracts,” interactions with legislators, multi-institutional degrees, and possible guests at future meetings of USC.

There were no updates from the campuses or reports form management teams.

The meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Grossman
UIUC Senate’s representative to USC
Adapted from minutes that USC approved on 26 January 2007.
Thanks to Connie Sailor, USC Secretary.