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December 3, 2007

University Senates Conference
September 25, 2007

 University Senates Conference (USC) met at the Allerton House Conference Center in Monticello, Illinois with President White and Vice President Rao.  Discussions focused on the Global Campus Academic Council, a proposed Resource Summit, services support for faculty, administrative searches, and the role of the Vice President for Academic Affairs as envisioned by VP Rao.  A business meeting of USC followed in the afternoon. 

Prior to this meeting, members of USC met the night before in a retreat with local legislators (Rep. Bill Black, Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, and Senator Mike Frerichs) to discuss how to best highlight to the legislature and the general public the contributions of higher education, and specifically the University of Illinois, to the state’s economy and infrastructure.  Also present were VP Rao, Rick Schoell, and Larry Mann.

The September 25 meeting with President White and Vice President Rao included discussion of the following topics:

  1. Resource SummitPresident White indicated that he would engage about 100 faculty and administrators from the three campuses in a discussion of how funding is being used to support teaching and research in a meeting to be held in the late fall.  
  2. Support for faculty.  In response to comments about how many faculty feel undervalued in instances where they have to pay for their professional photocopying or postage for manuscripts, President White suggested that VP Rao investigate what it would entail to have a small expense fund for every tenured or tenure-track faculty.
  3. Academic Council of the Global Campus.  VP Rao reported that this group had not yet met, but had a substantial set of reading to complete prior to the first meeting.  The role of units in setting tuition for GC classes was discussed.  Tuition will be set by the Academic Council in consultation with the sponsoring unit.
  4. Priorities for the VPAA position.  VP Rao outlined her plans for the VPAA position.  She indicated that she intends to restructure AAMT; use the Presidential Awards program to encourage student diversity; and that the university is in the process of developing a proposal regarding tuition requests.  As information becomes available it will be shared with the Board and University staff, faculty and students.

The business meeting reviewed the morning’s discussion as well as addressing the following matters:

  1. Approval of the August 28, 2007 USC minutes and classification of Senate minutes.
  2.  USC subcommittees. USC discussed appointing members to its Statutes Committee and liaisons to various University committees.  These appointments will be finalized at a future meeting.
  3. Potential guests for future meetings were discussed. 

The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.

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