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5/12/09 UIUC AAUP Annual Meeting Summary

    American Association of University Professors University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chapter Minutes for Annual Meeting

    4 p.m., Thursday, May 12, 2009

    210 Illini Union

    I.  BUSINESS MEETING

    1. Call to Order:  Uchtmann called the meeting together at about 4 p.m. 
    2. Minutes for Annual Meeting, May 6, 2008.  The minutes were approved.  Uchtmann thanked Williamson for the work he had done in preparing this document and others during the year.
    3. Election of Officers for 2009-2010.  Williamson reported that the 2009 Nominating Committee (Harry Hilton, Robert Spitze, and H. F. Williamson) had nominated the following individuals to serve during the 2009-2010 term:  President:  John Prussing; Vice President:  Bettina Francis; Secretary:  Constance J. Caveny; and Treasurer:  H. F. Williamson.  No further nominations had been submitted by the membership.  It was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously to approve this slate. 
    4. President’s Report:  Donald Uchtmann.  Uchtmann noted that he felt that this had been a full year starting when the officers met on August 26, 2008 to begin planning chapter activities.  The nine meetings of the Policy Committee provided us with an opportunity to monitor such ongoing issues as the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government and the Global Campus Initiative and to address new issues that arose.  For example, in the fall we addressed the academic freedom/free speech issues raised by a proposed policy severely restricting freedom of speech and expression by  faculty and staff as the fall elections approached.  Actions by Nelson (national AAUP), Prussing (Senate), and Finkin (policy statement sent to President White on behalf of the Policy Committee) in particular played an important role in the administration’s decisions on this issue.  We met with three campus or university administrators:  Walter Knorr, Vice President and CFO; Barbara Wilson, Vice Provost; and Meena Rao, Vice President for Academic Affairs.  One outgrowth of the meeting with Vice President Knorr was a report “Financing Strategies at the University Level” suggesting that the links between fundraising, budgeting, and academic policy should be strengthened.  We planned and sponsored a successful Tenure Workshop on March 5 in Latzer Hall.  The turnout was high enough to justify continuing to hold these annually.  Noting that this was his third and final President’s Report at our Chapter’s Annual Meeting, Uchtmann thanked the committee chairs and all the members of the Policy Committee for their important contributions to the successful year.
    5. Recognition of Donald Uchtmann.  Incoming President John Prussing presented President Uchtmann with a scroll recognizing his contributions as President for the past three years.  It resolved the following:  “That the UIUC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, noting many accomplishments of the Chapter under his leadership, hereby expresses its deepest appreciation to Donald Uchtmann for his enduring commitment to the ideals of academic freedom and shared university governance, for his outstanding service to the American Association of University Professors and this Chapter, and especially for his dedication and unselfish leadership as President of the UIUC Chapter of AAUP from June 2006 through May 2009.”

    II.  PRESENTATIONS

    1. Cary Nelson, President of the National AAUP:  “The State of the National AAUP”
      • Nelson reported that the National Office is in much better shape under the leadership of the Gary Rhoades, the new General Secretary.  The principal problems are to complete the improvements in the Membership and Financial Departments and to obtain good software.  A major challenge is to recruit new members particularly at advocacy chapters.  Though the membership has risen slightly, we are losing individuals from the retiree members.  He discussed a number of academic freedom issues such as what might be improved with regard to Committee A and what academic freedoms individuals can be assured with regard to not only classroom presentations but also decision making such as the choice of textbooks.  One change being considered is to move to a progressive dues structure.  The proposal for restructuring the Association which he discussed last year is currently on hold.  He looks forward to continuing this work next year and probably will run for a third term.
    2. Kenneth Andersen, past-President of the AAUP Illinois Conference and UIUC Chapter:  “The State of the State:  Relations among the Legislature, the IBHE, and SURS”
      • Andersen reported first on the actions at the State Conference meeting on April 18.  He is concerned that he is the only public University member of state council.  The Conference has the opportunity to play a major role in the state given the incidents that have occurred at such campuses as Quincy and College of DuPage.  He could only speculate on what would occur by the scheduled end of the spring legislative session on May 31.  He is particularly concerned with the situation at SURS given that (a) there is no permanent Executive Director and (b) there will not be a new Board of Trustees until after the elections which end in mid-June.  The number of major tasks facing the legislature (e.g., the capital bill, the budget, reform legislation) is daunting. 

    III.  ADJOURNMENT. 

    Uchtmann thanked Nelson and Andersen for their presentations and adjourned the meeting at about 5:10 p.m.