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2/8/10 UIUC AAUP Policy Committee Summary

    Present: Abbas Aminmansour, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Connie Caveny, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Walter McMahon, Cary Nelson, John Prussing, Arthur Robinson, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.

    The meeting began at about 12:15 p.m. with John Prussing presiding. 

    President’s Report

    1. Review of the Minutes for January 19, 2010.  These were approved.
    2. Remarks from the Chapter President.  Prussing discussed the remarks that he had made at the January 5 special meeting of the Senate.

    Action Items

    1. Future Meetings with Campus and University Administrators.  Prussing is still working with Rao about her possibly meeting with the committee[NOTE:  Later in the meeting, Aminmansour suggested that we meet with Debasish Dutta, Dean of the Graduate College, who chairs the Campus Advisory Committee.]
    2. Plans for Spring Tenure Workshop.  Hilton is continuing his attempts to have contact Richard Wheeler about scheduling the meeting.  Once Wheeler’s attendance situation is settled, Hilton can work with the other members of the panel.
    3. Selection of Nominating Committee.  A nominating committee of Williamson (Chair); Hilton, and Spitze was appointed.
    4. Membership Campaign.  Caveny and Williamson will be setting up a meeting to start the work on the campaign.
    5. Implementation of State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (SOEEA) Reporting Policy (i.e., the Positive Time Reporting System).  The discussion covered the topics brought up at the January meeting of the Policy Committee.  This included why the requirement for University employees was being implemented so long after the SOEEA was passed.  It appears from the forms posted on the web that the reporting process is not onerous.  Hopkins raised the concerns about who has access to the data and what will the data be used for.

    Reports

    1. Report on Chapter Web Site.  Caveny reported that she is sending material for posting and looking at ways to improve the site. 
    2. Government Relations.  Aminmansour reported on a meeting arranged at the request of Representative Chapin Rose.  Rose wanted more information about the University for his work in Springfield.  Aminmansour arranged for Francis to be another individual meeting with Rose. 
    3. Discussion of the Issues Raised in the Meeting with Cary Nelson.  There was a wide ranging discussion of these issues including:
      • Hopkins noted the importance of our being aware of what union-related activities are taking place on campus.
      • Hopkins noted that given the key role that administrators play in how well the campus operates, he worries about the selection procedures used for recent and future leaders.  Spitze noted that a particular problem is the reduction of the role of faculty in the search committees.  G. Belford pointed out the problem we have in “growing” future administrators.  Too often a selection committee has difficulty finding good candidates because of this problem.
      • Hopkins felt that the Bunsis budget report could have been better.  Nelson agreed that the tone might have been different but the report was in part a protest against the lack of information available.  Nelson had noted that a financial statement for last year (the one ending June 30, 2009) was not available.  He feels that you cannot implement financial exigency measures without full disclosure of the underlying budget situation.  He said that Bunsis hopes to continue this analysis at the College and Department level for the UI campuses.  Hopkins pointed out the Chapter had essentially defaulted to the national AAUP office on this issue by not doing more such analysis itself.  McMahon suggested that we might work with the Senate Budget Committee on such analyses perhaps even by providing support for research assistants on the project.
      • Hopkins noted that more needed to be done to make sure that extraordinary actions taken which unduly favor or harm faculty are not permitted to remain hidden.  He was asked to prepare a short proposal suggesting how the Chapter might do this.  A rough parallel to this process would be the work done by the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee to help individuals who feel they have been unfairly treated.
      • Nelson hoped that the members of the Chapter Policy Committee would be able to attend the February 9 Open Meeting for Concerned Faculty at the YMCA.  A representative from the national office will be one of the presenters.  If she is able to get here, Nelson will work to see if she will have time to meet with members of the Policy Committee while here.  It was agreed that it was too late to consider whether or not to propose co-sponsoring the meeting on February 15 concerning a joint furlough day presentation.
      • In light of the agreed importance of working with the CFA leadership on common issues, we passed unanimously a motion by Francis that one or more officers and Hopkins meet with that leadership to explore possible collaboration efforts.  Hopkins pointed out (earlier in the meeting) that we should acknowledge up front that while there is much room for collaboration, the two organizations have at least one clear distinction, there view on the role of collective bargaining for the faculty.