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10/16/13 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

Present: Ken Andersen, Connie Caveny, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, John Prussing, Art Robinson, H. F. Williamson

The meeting began at about 12:10 p.m.

President’s Report

  1. Report.  Hilton reported that he has contacted the Provost’s office to see when the Provost and Barbara Wilson are free in order to determine a date for the spring tenure workshop.
  2. Review of the Minutes for September 18, 2013 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes for the meeting were approved.
  3. Review of fall schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  The remaining meetings for the fall will be on Wednesday, November 13 and Wednesday, December 11.  Both will be in 209 Illini Union.
  4. Approval of spring schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  Given we meet on the third Wednesday when possible, the following schedule was proposed for the spring:
    • January 22 (fourth Wednesday; instruction begins January 21)
    • February 19, March 19, April 16 (third Wednesdays) (spring vacation starts Mach 22)
    • May 7 (first Wednesday, last day of instruction)
    • The schedule was approved.  NOTE:  A space request was placed after the meeting and we 215 Illini Union for all of these meetings.  Thus, we are able to start planning for inviting guests to join us.
    • The Annual Meeting would be May 13 if held on the Tuesday of final examination week.

Action Items

  1. Composition of Continuing Chapter Committees for 2013-2014.  No changes were proposed in the committee leaders as reported at the September meeting.  The committees are (with last year’s Chairs)(a) Government Relations (Andersen, McMahon, Aminmansour)); (b) Academic Freedom (Prussing, Robinson, Struble); (c) Programs (Hilton, Liebersohn); (d) Membership (Caveny, Williamson); (e) Communications (Caveny) and (f) Campus Governance (Hopkins, O’Brien). 
  2. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  We agreed that Chancellor Wise would be the first individual we would invite.  NOTE:  For reference, the guests over the past four years not including those invited last year to discuss Collective Bargaining issues were:
    • 2009-2010:  Interim Provost Robert Easter; Dean Dbasish Dutta
    • 2010-2011:  President Emeritus Stanley Ikenberry; President Michael Hogan
    • 2011-2012:  Chancellor Phyllis Wise; Associate Chancellor Michael Andrechak
    • 2012-2013:  Provost Ilesanmi Adesida; Vice President Christophe Pierre; Vice Chancellor Peter Schiffer; also a panel of Avijit Ghosh, Fred Giertz, and Amanda Vinicki.
  3. Role of AAUP Chapter in CB Campaign.  There will not be much to report on this issue until the spring semester.
  4. Implications of the Open Access Act.  The possible significant, negative impacts of this Act were discussed.  O’Brien will determine whom we might invite to a meeting this fall to provide a better understanding of the Act and its implications.  : 
  5. Academic Freedom Cases:  The hearing on the Wozniak case was heard by the Board of Trustees last month and a decision is expected late this year or early next year.  There was a discussion of the concerns that some individuals had about the procedures followed in this case.
  6. Actions being taken that affect faculty-staff benefits.  Hilton has talked with John Kindt, Chair of the Senate Faculty and Staff Benefits Committee about possible joining us to discuss this issue.
  7. Actions to take Regarding Increasing our Membership.  The need for new members and the advantages we might provide to such individuals were discussed.  We will start a campaign by contacting individuals whom the Committee members suggest should be asked to join.

Reports

  1. Report on Illinois AAUP Fall Meeting October 12.  Andersen discussed the report he had prepared.  He hopes to be able to provide the PowerPoint presentation made by the national AAUP President.  As noted in Andersen’s report, the thesis of that report is that the issues confronting higher education must be seen in the contact of the corporate assault on the middle/working class.  Andersen also reported on the significant problems faced by faculty at the smaller, private colleges whose budget problems have too often led to significant staff changes.
  2. Governance Committee Report:  Possible actions this Committee might take were discussed in part in response to the results of a Senate survey of governance issues.  It was not clear that the campus continues to check on whether units in fact have Bylaws.  If they exist, of course, there are the problems of determining whether their content is correct and whether they are enforced.  Hopkins and others noted that a possible role for the AAUP leaders would be to meet with small groups of faculty who have concerns about the governance in their units.