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11/12/14 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Kenneth Andersen, Joseph Finnerty, Michael Grossman, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Harry Liebersohn, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, John Prussing, Art Robinson, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson

    The meeting began at about 12:08 p.m.

    President’s Report

    1. Introductions.  Hilton welcomed the group and had them introduce themselves.
    2. Remarks from the President.
      • Hilton discussed the two handouts he had prepared.  In one, he presented his informal observations on actions taken by the UI Board of Trustees illustrating instances where established principles of shared governance have been disregarded by that group.  The second was an email from John Wilson, Editor of Illinois’ Academe, informing Hilton about a proposed issue of Illinois Academe on the Salaita case and asking for reports on (i) UIUC AAUP Activities and (ii) the Leo Koch case.  Hilton indicated that in his response he will note the failure of state and national leaders to contact our Chapter leaders in the past on these issues and send a copy to the Conference President. 
      • Hilton also noted his general concern about the lack of communication from the Conference and National organizations.
      • He briefly discussed copy of the letter to President Easter he had received concerning the University’s ties to Avery Brundage.  It was agreed that this was not an issue for the Committee to consider particularly if eligibility for the scholarships is independent of the views and actions of Avery Brundage of concern to this individual.  [NOTE:  According to the Scholarship site, these Avery Brundage scholarships are for UI students only based on whether they “are both gifted students and exceptional athletes.”]
    3. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  Hilton is inviting President Easter and the Provost and/or the new Executive Vice Provost.
    4. Preparation for Spring Tenure Workshop.  Hilton is starting to ask for schedules.  He noted that Williamson had learned from Barbara Wilson, now Dean of LAS, that she would be willing to consider continuing as a member of the panel in her role as Dean (and, from our perspective, as someone who can also provide information on the Provost’s office). 
    5. Review of the Minutes for October 15, 2014 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes were approved after the correction of replacing “Salad” with Salaita in the title of item (9).(sent earlier; copies will part of the meeting packet). 
    6. Review of 2014-2015 schedule of Policy Committee meetings.  Williamson noted that the only new information was that we have room 211 Illini Union for the schedule of meetings in the spring we approved at the October meeting of the Policy Committee. 

    Action Items

    1. Response to Results of Election.  Andersen led a discussion of how the Policy Committee might respond to the results of the election for Governor in Illinois and the effect it may have on the University in general and the composition of the Board of Trustees in particular.  We could offer to provide some input on these issues.
    2. Review of Academic Freedom Workshop.  It was felt that the Chapter should offer the workshop again.  If so, it will be possible to have more lead time to do a better job of publicizing it.
    3. “Public Statement on UIUC Contingent Faculty Union.”  Liebersohn led the discussion of this document starting with a brief chronology of the unionization efforts.  It was agreed that the key elements of the statement were in the final paragraph, particularly the final sentence.  A revised version of this sentence was drafted for consideration as our statement.  A motion to approve this version of our statement passed. 

    NOTE:  The statement as drafted and approved is as follows.  This is the draft prepared by Liebersohn in his email to the members of the Policy Committee.  Any corrections or comments should be sent to Hilton and Liebersohn.  “The Policy Committee of the UIUC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors urges the University of Illinois administration to negotiate in good faith with the non-tenure-track faculty union bargaining unit, Campus Faculty Association Local 6546 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, jointly represented by the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT/IFT).”