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October 6, 2008

University Senates Conference
May 28, 2008

University Senates Conference (USC) met in Urbana at the Illini Union with Vice President Rao in the morning, and University Auditor Julie Zemaitis during lunch.  Discussions focused on intellectual property and courseware ownership, state financial aid for students, the Global Campus, support for faculty, and auditing requirements and their impact on faculty effectiveness.  A business meeting of USC followed. 

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

  1. Intellectual Property and Courseware Ownership.  Vice President Rao responded to USC questions about language in the General Rules on courseware ownership.  USC believes that clarification is needed regarding faculty rights.  There was a lengthy discussion and it was decided that Joe Finnerty would work on proposing language to share with USC and VP Rao.
  2. State Financial Aid.  VP Rao provided information about the amount of state financial aid given to students in Illinois public and private higher education institutions.  The amount is 53.7% for public institutions and 46.3% for private.  USC members requested some more detailed data about the number of institutions receiving aid in each category and VP Rao will provide that at a future meeting.
  3. Global Campus.   In response to questions about the status of an online Web page referring to all online programs offered by the University, VP Rao reported that the Global Campus Web page offers expanded exposure to all the online programs for the campuses.  There is still some concern that the Global Campus wishes to take over online programs on the three campuses, but VP Rao assured USC that was not an issue. 
  4. Support for faculty.  VP Rao indicated that plans were moving forward to create small expense funds for tenure system faculty in the next fiscal year. 

Julie Zemaitis, Executive Director of University Audits, provided her background and the requirements for accountability that affect procedures for faculty in conducting their research and work.  She indicated that the role of business staff and auditors were to facilitate the work of the faculty, not to hinder it.  State and federal regulations require certain procedures, however, that may be viewed as cumbersome.  Julie is open to discussing changes that would expedite the work of faculty while still maintaining the proper protocols. 

The business meeting addressed the following matters:
-    Approval of the April 22, 2008 minutes and classification of Senate minutes.

  1. Election of 2008-2009 Executive Committee.  The following USC members were elected for the next academic year:  Elliot Kaufman (UIC) Chair; Kathryn Eisenhart (UIS) Vice Chair; and Executive Committee members:  Nick Burbules (UIUC), Joe Finnerty (UIUC), Pat Langley (UIS), and Carol Massat (UIC).
  2. Depositing Dissertations and Intellectual Property Concerns.  Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Kathryn Eisenhart, and Nancy O’Brien are reviewing a draft document for presentation to USC.
  3. Campus reports.  UIC reported that the Chancellor search is close to being completed; UIS reported that the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has left; UIUC reported that there are several Dean positions vacant.
  4. Departing facultyUSC will request information about the number and reasons for faculty departures.  Of interest is which departments are being backfilled, and whether that indicates campus and unit priorities.

The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

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