Summary Report for UIUC AAUP Policy Committee Meeting on March 8, 2010
Present: Abbas Aminmansour, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Matthew Finkin, Bettina Francis, Michael Grossman, John Prussing, Arthur Robinson, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.
The meeting began at about 12:14 p.m. with John Prussing presiding.
(1) Review of the Minutes for February 8, 2010. These were approved.
(2) Remarks from the Chapter President. Prussing noted that (a) we would consider the proposal from Lew Hopkins regarding an AAUP Chapter Committee on Campus Governance at the April meeting; (b) we have a time and date for our meeting with Dean Dutta (see item (4) below); and (c) he hopes each of us will help publicize the Tenure Workshop on April 6.
(3) Discussion of the Current Status of the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Foundation. Prussing summarized a meeting of the Senate General University Policy (GUP) Committee with Jim Schroeder, Senior Vice President at the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). Finkin made a presentation on the history of this issue. In the first iteration, the donors rejected a proposal from the campus regarding how we felt it should be handled. It was assumed that the relation with the University and/or the UIF would then be terminated. It was not. Instead, the contract with the UIF was rewritten with no role for the Chancellor or the faculty. The Academy meets the requirements for being a donor-directed foundation within the UIF given that at least one member of its board is not a donor. In this case, an individual from the UIF is that non-donor member. After a lengthy discussion of this issue, it was agreed that we should write a letter to President Ikenberry expressing our concerns. Finkin agreed to prepare the first draft. As that letter indicates, we do not question the right of the donors to establish a foundation to propagate their views. “What they should not be allowed to do is enlist the University as an affiliate in support of this mission.” The letter concluded indicating that we fear that “unless the University Foundation separates itself from the Academy, the University will suffer yet more public suspicion and scorn.”
(4) Plans for Meeting with Dean Debasish Dutta, April 5, 2010. [NOTE: The meeting was postponed from April 5 to May 3.] Aminmansour noted that Dean Dutta is the chair of the Campus Steering Committee (CSC). He discussed some of the actions that are taking place this spring including (a) the roles of the Task Forces; (b) the work of Provost Wheeler, Vice Provost Wilson, and Associate Provost Andrechak; and (c) the weekly meetings of the Senate leaders including Tolliver, Wheeler, Burbules, and himself. It was agreed that some of the key topics for our discussion with Dean Dutta would be (a) the role of faculty governance in this process; (b) the criteria used to establish the potential savings for a given proposed change; (c) how to maintain the proper balance between the potential financial savings of reorganizing or combining units and the intellectual benefits of maintaining them; (d) the processes which will be in place to protect faculty moved to new units; and (e) the importance that the process in place follows the University Statutes. Aminmansour will work with Prussing to prepare an agenda for the meeting to send to Dean Dutta.