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10/15/14 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Abbas Aminmansour. Connie Caveny,  Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Harry Liebersohn, Walter McMahon, Cary Nelson, Robert Parker, John Prussing, Art Robinson, Robert Spitze, H. F. Williamson

    The meeting began at about 12:17 p.m. following the meeting with Chancellor Wise.

    President’s Report

    1. Introductions.  Hilton noted that the date and place for the Academic Freedom Workshop on the enclosed poster (see item (6) below) were incorrect.  The Workshop will take place on Tuesday, November 4, in 407 Illini Union.
    2. Review of the Minutes for September 17, 2014 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes were approved.   
    3. Review of fall schedule of Policy Committee meetings. The dates for the remaining meetings of the Policy Committee for the fall will be on Wednesday, November 12 and Wednesday, December 10.  Both will be in 211 Illini Union.
    4. Approval of spring schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  The proposed dates for the spring meetings (including the Annual Meeting) were scheduled following the procedures used for last spring.
      • The proposed schedule was approved so the scheduled dates for the spring are:
        • January 21 (third Wednesday; instruction begins January 20;  King Holiday is January 19)
        • February 18, March 18, April 15 (third Wednesdays) (spring vacation starts March 21)
        • May 6 (first Wednesday, last day of instruction.)
      • We also tentatively approved May 12 for the Annual Meeting (final exam week Tuesday).
      • [NOTE:  Since the meeting, we have reserved 211 Illini Union for the five meeting dates noted.]

    Action Items

    1. Planning for Academic Freedom Workshop.  Given the short time period before the workshop, it will be important to publicize it as widely as possible.  This will include notes in Inside Illinois and on the campus EWEEK (if possible).  Members of the Policy Committee will need to help as they do for the Promotion and Tenure Workshop in the spring.
    2. Review of Meeting with Chancellor Wise and Future Actions to be Taken.  There was a discussion of how well the meeting went and some of the topics covered.  One issue to be determined is the role of the Board of Trustees on issues noted at the Faculty Meeting on October 13.  These included the role it might take regarding review of Faculty Facebook pages and  in defining academic freedom.  If they become involved in the latter, Nelson and others stressed that they should be aware of the 2009 Statement of the AAUP on this issue.
    3. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  The next individual to be invited will be Christophe Pierre, Vice President for Academic Affairs.  [NOTE:  VPAA Pierre last met with the Policy Committee in December, 2012.]  President Easter and the new Executive Vice Provost will also be considered for the spring.
    4. Discussion of the Non-Tenure Track Union at the UIUC Campus.  Liebersohn led a discussion of how the Policy Committee might address the issues affecting the faculty who are members of this union.  He wonders why more faculty are not concerned about the issues that affect the individuals in non-tenure track positions and suggests that the Policy Committee might be out front on this issue.  There was a concern that while there is probably agreement on the issues involved (e.g., lack of collegiality; these individuals are underappreciated and overworked), we might not agree on whether a union is the most effective way of addressing these problems.  Hilton asked Liebersohn to draft a statement for review by the Policy Committee.
    5. Chapter Actions Regarding the Salad Case.  Three issues were discussed.
      • Clarification of the AAUP Structure.  Hilton will prepare a letter to the editor type document clarifying the role of the Chapter as opposed to the roles taken by the Conference and the national AAUP.  In effect, the Chapter is acknowledging that there are procedural problems that need to be addressed but not necessarily in the ways proposed by the other parts of the AAUP structure.
      • Need for Action on Procedural Review.  There was agreement that those addressing the procedural issues on campus need to “fast track” the discussion and the proposals to correct the flaws in the current system.  Hilton will prepare a draft of a statement on this issue.
      • Support for Provost Wise.  There was also discussion on whether the Policy Committee should consider whether or not to address the issue of “confidence in the Chancellor.”  It was agreed that any statement (or nonstatement) on this issue should wait until the next meeting of the Policy Committee.