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11/12/07 UIUC AUUP Policy Committee Summary

Present:  Abbas Aminmansour, Kenneth Andersen, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Connie Caveny, Clyde Forrest, Bettina Francis, Michael Grossman, Lew Hopkins, Harry Liebersohn, Walter McMahon, Arthur Robinson, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson

The meeting began at about 12:10 p.m. with Donald Uchtmann presiding.

  1. Review of the Minutes and of the Summary Report for the Meeting of the Policy Committee on October 8, 2007. These two documents were approved.
  2. Review of the Minutes for Meeting with President White on October 8, 2007.  The document was approved.
  3. Proposed Schedule for Spring, 2008 Meetings of Policy Committee.  The proposed schedule of meetings on January 14, February 11, March 10, April 7, and April 28 was approved.  It will be determined whether the date of the Annual Meeting will be on Reading Day (May 1) as in the past.
  4. Role of AAUP Members on Campus.  Uchtmann noted the important role that so many members of our chapter were playing in campus governance, particularly with regard to the review of the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund.  These included work in the Senate and the Conference by Policy Committee members Aminmansour, Burton, and Grossman and the membership on the Advisory Committee of Finkin and AAUP member Ulen who chaired that committee. 

Action Items

  1. Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund (ACLFG).  The role of the Senates Conference and the UIUC Senate on this issue were discussed.  There was concern that the safeguards needed to prevent such incidents from occurring again were not in place especially given the increasing importance of outside donations in supporting the campus and University budgets.  Hopkins summarized what he feels are the key tasks which should be underway:  (1)  rewriting the MOA for the ACLGF; (2)  reviewing the fund-raising procedures on this campus (it is not clear that anyone has been assigned this task); and (3)  reviewing the concerns raised about general fund-raising goals.  There was agreement that we should make the campus more aware of the Chapter’s actions in activities such as the ACLGF and should be taking into account the new technologies available for the task including the Chapter’s web site.  Uchtmann noted that we will continue to monitor actions regarding the ACLFG.
    [NOTE:  Andersen announced the topics of two Know Your University meetings during the spring semester.  One will cover the ACLGF and will include Burbules on the panel.  The second will address academic freedom issues and will include Nelson on the panel.]
  2. Preparation of Chapter’s Standing Rules.  Andersen plans to prepare a draft for the December meeting of the Policy Committee.  He asked that any suggestions or comments on the rules be sent to him.
  3. Planning for Next Promotion and Tenure Workshop.  Williamson reported that Hilton would be working on this with the first step being to get on the Provost’s calendar after which we can determine room availability.  Following the past procedures, the other panelists will include a representative from the AAUP (e.g., Nelson) and recent chairs of the UIUC P&T Committee and FAC. 

Reports

  1. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee in Spring.  Uchtmann reported that he has invited Vice President Rao to attend a meeting in the spring.
  2. Senate Actions.  Aminmansour described some of the key items now on the agenda for the Educational Policy Committee including the proposed name change for the College of Communications. 
  3. Academic Freedom and Tenure.  Robinson reported on a case which has just come to his attention.  The concern is that the procedures followed for a promotion and tenure decision did not follow those in the bylaws of the department. 
  4. Government Relations.  Andersen reported that there is still no good news.  He summarized the points he made about the situation in Springfield in his “Illegitimi non Corborundum” editorial in the fall issue of Illinois Academe.  Though some positive actions occurred (e.g., fully funding the pension systems this year), the failures loom large (e.g., failures so far to pass and fund a capital bill, to address the structural deficit of the state, and to resolve the Chicago area transportation crisis).  He quotes the state senator who says that we haven’t seen anything yet and “Wait until next year.”  Of importance to us is the state’s commitment to ramp up its funding of the pension systems by $110M next year and $115M the following year.  Some are so frustrated that they feel we must adopt such major changes as a recall amendment to the Constitutions; term limits for the legislative leaders; or a Constitutional Convention.