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2/19/14 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

Present:  Abbas Aminmanrous, Michael Grossman, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, John Prussing, Arthur Robinson, Robert Spitze, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson

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

President’s Report

  1. Review of the Minutes for January 22, 2014. The minutes for the meeting were approved.  Grossman noted a typo (add “of” between Institutions and Higher) in the draft cover memorandum attached to the minutes.
  2. Schedule of Spring Meetings.  Hilton noted that he has been able to schedule the tenure workshop in 210 Illini Union on April 22 which is somewhat later than usual but was the only date on which the key participants were available. [NOTE:  There has been a room change from 215 Illini Union to the larger 209 Illini Union for the remaining Policy Committee meetings on March 12, April 16, and May 7.]  The time and place for the Annual Meeting on May 13 will be determined.
  3. Remarks from President
    • Discussion of Actions Regarding Wozniak Decision.  The letter from Hilton to Roy Campbell, Chair, Senate Executive Committee was approved after editing.  The principal change was to note in the first sentence of paragraph 3 that it is required (rather than permissible) that the President consult with the FAC.  It was assumed that if the request for USSP to examine the Statutes in light of this case, that Committee would be consulting with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure as part of that process.
    • Discussion of Illinois Conference statement of Support for UIC Faculty.  O’Brien had suggested that the statement be discussed to be sure we were aware that it had been made.  It was agreed that the Chapter was not able to take a position particularly with a statement that concluded that there had been a “failure of the administration to negotiate in good faith with the faculty union.”  We are not in a position to evaluate the accuracy of that sentence.  As Struble suggested, without that sentence, the statement could be considered a reasonable presentation of AAUP policies.  It was also noted that the strike on the UIC campus will have a negative effect on the efforts on the UIUC campus to form a union.  The committee supported a resolution by Uchtmann expressing our hopes that the dispute will be resolved in a way that best serves the academic mission of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Action Items

  1. Invitations to Other Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  Hilton is working with Chancellor Wise’s staff to see if she is available.  We agreed that if she could not meet on one of the few dates on which the Policy Committee is meeting, we should set up an alternative date at her convenience.
  2. Planning for the Spring Tenure Workshop.  The “poster” for the workshop was part of the packet for the meeting.  Hilton will take care of the arrangements for the meeting including refreshments.  Williamson will take care of the publicity in Inside Illinois and Eweek.  He will also send reminders to the committee members to help them work with their Deans and Department Heads on providing this information to the relevant faculty.
  3. Selection of Nominating Committee.  Hilton has begun the process of selecting the three members of the nominating committee.  So far, John Prussing and H. F. Williamson are members and he is seeking a “volunteer” for the remaining position.
  4. Actions regarding Boycotts of Israeli Academic Institutions.
    • Statement.  The committee approved the statement circulated with the packet with minor editing.  [NOTE:  The edited statement appears after this reports.]  He agreed that it would be sent as a letter to the editor to the News Gazette and Daily Illini and to President Easter and Chancellor Wise.
    • Meeting.  O’Brien and Parker led a discussion of a proposal that the Chapter host a meeting covering the boycott issue.  It was suggested that individuals such as Robert Warrior and Matt Finkin could be members of the panel.  One possibility would be to hold the meeting in conjunction with the Annual Meeting as we did at the last two meetings:  (i)  the May 8, 2012 Annual Meeting at which the short Business Meeting was followed by a panel discussion on shared governance with Ken Andersen, Nick Burbules, and Matt Wheeler and (ii) the May 7, 2013 Annual Meeting at which the panel on Shared Governance and Collective Bargaining included Michael Grossman and Ernie Benjamin.  Parker agreed to work with Hilton and others on the planning of the possible meeting this spring.

Reports

  1. Chapter Web Site.  The members were asked to send Connie Caveny comments on proposed changes in the Chapter web site including revising the list of officers and entering the tenure workshop. 
  2. Membership.  McMahon reported that he invited Joe Finnerty to be a member of the Policy Committee and he accepted and will join us later this spring.

Resolution on Boycott of Israeli Institutions of Higher Learning  (adopted February 19, 2014)

Whereas, the boycott of any educational institution is incompatible with the free exchange of ideas and is irreconcilable with the principles of academic freedom;

Be it therefore resolved that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign strongly endorses the national AAUP stand against such boycotts and condemns any such action because it is directly opposed to our cherished principles of academic freedom.