Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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April 28, 2008

University Senates Conference
February 19, 2008


University Senates Conference (USC) met in Urbana at the Illini Union with President White and Vice President Rao in the morning, and Vice President for Technology and Economic Development Avijit  Ghosh during lunch.  Discussions focused on campus safety, support for faculty, program review, and awarding of degrees.  A business meeting of USC followed in the afternoon.  The previous evening, members of USC met informally with UIUC Provost Linda Katehi and Chancellor Richard Herman and discussed general university policies and practices.

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

  1. Awarding of degrees.  President White responded to USC questions about the process of awarding degrees at graduation ceremonies and indicated that he felt the current process was working.
  2. Campus Safety.  In the aftermath of the NIU and other similar tragedies, USC discussed concerns about safety issues for the three campuses.  There are ongoing discussions of these issues by the relevant departments and units.
  3. Program Review.   President White supports regular review of programs that would focus on improving quality, not on cutting programs. 
  4. Support for faculty.  VP Rao continues to investigate creating a small expense fund for every tenure system faculty, which is much more complex than anticipated. 
  5. Multi-Institutional degrees.   VP Rao requested campus representatives to serve on a task force to develop a conceptual policy document for multi-institutional degree programs, in anticipation that there would be more requests in future for such programs, and guidelines should be developed.

Avijit  Ghosh, VP for Technology and Economic Development, discussed the challenges and opportunities of his position to further the research mission of the university in keeping with its land-grant mission.  He intends to focus on communication to promote the exciting advances being made in research, especially translational research.

The business meeting addressed the following matters:

  1. Approval of the January 25, 2008 minutes and classification of Senate minutes.
  2.  Depositing Dissertations and Intellectual Property Concerns.  Because of ongoing concerns and confusion about depositing dissertations with ProQuest, as well as confusion between open access and electronic access, this matter has been referred to each campus for further investigation and information.
  3. Benefits for Domestic Partners.  There was a sense that some administrators at various levels were unaware of current policies regarding domestic partner benefits and denying benefits consequently.  This will be discussed at a future meeting with the President.
  4. Multi-year contracts.  Implementation procedures are being developed at the UIUC campus and will be shared with the other campuses for their information. 


The meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m.

Nancy P. O'Brien (information supplied by USC Secretary Connie Sailor)
USC Representative to UIUC Senate Executive Committee