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October 6, 2008

University Senates Conference
April 22, 2008


University Senates Conference (USC) met in Springfield at the Public Affairs Center with President White and Vice President Rao in the morning, and Trustee David Dorris during lunch.  Discussions focused on support for higher education, domestic partner benefits, personnel evaluations, intellectual property concerns, and resource allocations.  The previous evening, members of USC met informally with Bill Houlihan (aide to U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin), Rick Schoell, and Hope Cook to discuss higher education issues at the federal level.

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

  1. Resource Task Group.  President White responded to USC questions about involving faculty in the work of the Resource Task Group.  He indicated that once the various sub-groups are created, there will be faculty involvement.  He also noted that the state budget looks grim this year, but that the University is doing what it can to insulate itself.
  2. Annual reviews of the vice presidents.  President White is in the process of requesting documentation from the vice presidents about their FY09 goals, and will share this with USC.
  3. Domestic Partner Benefits.   In response to Pat Langley’s comment that most major companies provide benefits to opposite sex as well as same sex domestic partners, President White requested that documentation be provided.
  4. Global Campus.  Questions about Global Campus (GC) related to whether a single site advertising all online programs for the three campuses and GC would be implemented or whether the GC would attempt to incorporate all online courses under its administration.   President White stated that the former was intended. 
  5. Intellectual property issues.  VP Rao was asked about intellectual property rights for faculty course material.  She indicated that copyright resides with faculty with four exceptions outlined in the General Rules, Article III, Section 4. 
  6. Vice President for Academic Affairs.   VP Rao was asked for a status report on her position to date.  She noted that time is the biggest issue.  She spends a lot of time as the go-between for faculty and administration.  The Global Campus and the Resources Task Group are also part of her assigned portfolio, and require an investment of time.

Trustee David Dorris discussed the importance of the university faculty and staff in maintaining the quality of the university.  He agreed that increased promotion of the university’s economic contributions and benefit to the state is valuable for public relations.

The business meeting addressed the following matters:

  1. Approval of the March 28, 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, a task group of Karen Chapman-Novakofski and Nancy O’Brien (UIUC) and Kathryn Eisenhart (UIS) will develop a report on this topic. 
  3. Chancellor search at UIC.  A decision is expected about this search prior to the end of the summer, and most likely within the next two months. 
  4. Multi-year contracts.  UIS has concerns about the procedures being relevant for their campus and will discuss this with Bill Maher at UIUC for possible revisions in language. 


The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

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