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4/30/07 UIUC AAUP Policy Committee Summary

Present:  Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Connie Caveny, Clyde Forrest, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Walter McMahon, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson

The meeting began at 12:14 p.m. with Donald Uchtmann presiding.

  1. Review of (a) the minutes for April 9, 2007 Policy Committee meeting and (b) the Summary Report.  These documents were approved with minor revisions.
  2. Invitation to President White to meet with Policy Committee.  President White has accepted our invitation and will join us at 11 a.m. on October 8, 2007. 
  3. Final Preparations for Chapter’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 3 in 233-235 Grainger Engineering Library.  The social hour will start at about 4:00 p.m. and the meeting at 4:30 p.m.  Copies of the draft agenda for the meeting were reviewed and corrected.
  4. Revision of Chapter By-Laws.  Williamson reported that no one attended the meeting set up to give members a chance to comment on the proposed revision had been held on April 23.  This completes the steps required under the current by-laws necessary to vote on them at the Annual Meeting May 3.
  5. Chapter Web Site:  Uchtmann reminded those who are preparing material for the site to get this to Nelson as soon as possible.  Williamson thought that the site might be eligible for a “best site” award from national if these are given again in 2008.
  6. Academic Freedom and Tenure.  Robinson reported on the conclusion of the two cases he had been handling this year.  One individual will be leaving campus.  Robinson has advised the second to look for such a position now that he will not be kept here.  Robinson noted that there have been previous Chancellors and Provosts who established penalties for departments that failed to follow the proper promotion and tenure procedures.  Such penalties have not been in force in recent years.  He will bring this up when he discusses his concerns about the promotion and tenure process with staff in the Provost’s office.  It could provide input for the members of the committee that Provost Katehi has set up to provide recommendations on promotion and tenure procedures.
  7. Government Relations Committee.  There was a general discussion of the difficulties facing the state.  Williamson reported on the Higher Education Lobby Day on April 25.  McMahon discussed the points made in his article with Nowlan (April 29 News-Gazette) and a talk he gave at Danville.  Based on the feedback at the latter, he feels that the Gross Receipts Tax is a non-starter.  Given its flaws, he feels that this is not a bad development.  Spitze expressed his concerns about the state’s large structural deficit and the fact that the stridency of those on opposite sides of the tax debate may preclude their reaching a reasonable compromise solution.  Uchtmann discussed the report that he has assigned his final taxation class concerning the Illinois’ revenue situation.   
  8. Senate Actions:  Uchtmann reported that the Senate committee on academic freedom and free speech will not be set up until after the to Chancellor’s Task Force on Free Speech, Racism, and Hate Crimes has made a report.   The AAUP Policy Committee will continue to have strong links with the Senate leadership including Aminmansour’s Vice Chairmanship of the SEC.  Prussing indicated that he will be chairing GUP next year.