Present: Kenneth Andersen, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Connie Caveny, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Walter McMahon, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson
The meeting began at about 12:15 p.m. with Donald Uchtmann presiding.
- Review of (a) the minutes for March 12, 2007 Policy Committee meeting and (b) the Summary Report. These documents were approved with minor revisions.
- Schedule of Meetings for Summer and Fall. The Committee agreed to hold a meeting on June 11, 2007, the second Monday in June. The schedule for the fall meetings of the Policy Committee is at noon on September 10, October 8, November 12, and December 10.
- Invitation to President White to meet with Policy Committee. Uchtmann reported that he had sent an email to President White expressing our appreciation at the opportunities to work with him during the past year on issues such as the rehiring of retirees and the review of the Global Campus Initiative and inviting the President to meet with us at one of our first two regularly scheduled meetings in the fall or at a special meeting if that would fit his schedule better.
- UIUC Task Force on Issues of Racism and Free Speech. Uchtmann circulated copies of the letter approved at our March meeting that he sent to Chancellor Herman and Professor Chapa regarding the UIUC Task Force on Free Speech, Racism, and Hate Crimes. Uchtmann noted that there is also a Senate committee which is considering related issues. The membership of that committee is still to be determined though Hilton indicated that he has been asked to be a member. To give some perspective on this issue, Andersen noted that an earlier report had been prepared Chancellor Berdahl’s direction. The conclusions were similar to the actions taken by Chancellor Herman in recent cases: don’t interfere with the right of free speech but disassociate yourself from those remarks which are repugnant to the University community. Andersen wonders if that is enough in the current environment given the actions taken by those outside the community in these cases. Burton has asked Uchtmann to suggest individuals from the AAUP who might serve on the Senate committee, and this has been done. Andersen indicated that he is willing to serve and will be added to the list. [NOTE: On April 10, Don Uchtmann received the following information from Bob Damrau in the Senate office in response to his earlier request for information about the Senate committee: “It was decided at yesterday’s SEC meeting that the Senate Committee on Equal Opportunity will await the deliberations of other bodies, such as the Chancellor’s Task Force, before they submit their recommendations for Senate action next fall. Planning for the Senate task force is suspended until further notice.”]
- Global Campus Initiative. Uchtmann noted that we will continue to monitor the implementation of this program.
- Preparations for Chapter’s Annual Meeting on May 3: Williamson circulated a draft of the announcement for the meeting. This announcement will be sent once the first meeting regarding the revision of the Chapter By-Laws has been held. Hilton went over the choices regarding refreshments.
- Revision of Chapter By-Laws. Williamson discussed the procedures to be followed to complete the revision of the By-Laws. The first step required by the current By-Laws is that a meeting be held at which the revised By-Laws can be presented to the members. This meeting is scheduled for noon, Monday, April 16, in 322 Illini Union. A motion to approve the revised By-Laws had passed at a previous meeting. A motion to approve holding the meeting on April 16 was passed. Williamson will send an email announcement as soon as possible. Once the revised By-Laws are approved, the Policy Committee can prepare the Chapter’s standing rules.
- State of the Chapter. Andersen led a discussion of the importance of holding additional meetings so that more individuals know who we are. Williamson circulated rosters showing that the membership was currently fewer than 100. Methods for seeking new members and raising dues revenue were discussed.
- Chapter Web Site. There was general agreement that the web site could be work in progress when it went active. That is, changes and improvements would be an ongoing process once the site was up. Those who had promised Nelson items for the site were asked to get these to him as soon as possible.
- Chapter Records. A subcommittee of Andersen, Caveny, and Williamson agreed to review the materials stored at the campus YMCA to see which might be given to the University archives, which saved, and which recycled.
- National Meeting: Andersen and Nelson were elected to serve as the Chapter’s delegates to the national convention. We approved a motion to provide support for documented expenses for the Chapter’s delegates who did not have support from other sources.
- Government Relations Committee: Andersen noted the concerns that there will be a conflict between the various programs proposed to finance the state government, particularly between the Governor’s tax plan and those favoring HB and SB 750. The result could be that no program is approved. He noted that there was concern about how effectively the IBHE has been as an advocate for higher education. He feels that the Republicans may be ready to address revenue issues if a compromise can be worked out. He notes that some legislators are trying to shift the focus from the P-12 levels of education to a P-20 orientation (i.e., primary through graduate training).