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1/20/16 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Harry Hilton, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, John Prussing, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.  Guest:  Bruce Rosenstock

    The meeting began at about 12:05 p.m. with Harry Hilton presiding.


    1. Review of the Minutes for December 9, 2016 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes were approved.
    2. President’s Report.  Hilton provided written copies of his report.  A copy of this report is part of these minutes and will be cited as appropriate among the Action Items below.
    3. Spring schedule:
      1. Policy Committee meetings.  The remaining spring Policy Committee meetings will be at noon in 213 Illini Union on February 17, March 16, April 13, and May 4.
      2. Meeting with Administrators:  Policy Committee members will meet at 11 a.m. in 213 Illini Union with Chancellor Wilson on February 17 and with President Killeen on April 13. 
      3. Annual Meeting:  The proposed date of May 10 for the Annual Meeting was approved.
    4. Comment Period.  Rosenstock led a discussion of the actions being taken on the proposed policies for background checks and the amendment to the Statutes proposed by USSP regarding possible changes in the procedures use by the Board of Trustees in approving academic appointments.

    Action Items

    1. Removal from AAUP Censure (see Report).  Hilton and other Chapter leaders will be meeting with Chancellor Wilson and Provost Feser as the next step on this issue.  Hilton continues his contacts with Anita Levy at the National AAUP office on this issue.
    2. Planning for Spring Tenure Workshop (see Report).  Hilton has invited the Provost and Vice Provost for the event.  Once their availability is confirmed, he will contact the other panelists.
    3. Formation of ad-hoc Committees on Governance Issues (see Report).  Hilton has appointed an ad hoc Governance Committee:  Esfahani (chair), Francis, Rabin, O’Brien (ex officio), Hopkins (ex officio), and Hilton (ex officio).
    4. Selection of Nominating Committee.  Hilton will name the members of the Nominating Committee prior to the next meeting of the Policy Committee.
    5. Academic Freedom and First Amendment Issues (see Report).  Prussing led the discussion of the report prepared by the chapter’s Academic Freedom Committee regarding the actions by the UIUC administration regarding (a) the removal of recent postings and (b) the treatment of a class project sculpture on the South Terrace of the Illini Union.  It was agreed that the Committee (Prussing, Struble) and Uchtmann would prepare a revision based on the discussion.  This would include such issues as our agreement that even though we may find the views in the posting obnoxious, the protections of the First Amendment still apply and our hope that in the future events such as the sculpture will provide an opportunity for a dialog between the groups holding varying opinions on the matter.  After the revised report is reviewed by the Policy Committee, Hilton will consider forwarding it to the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure for their consideration
    6. Government Relations.  McMahon led a discussion of the continuing harm being done to the state and its residents as a result of the lack of action by the Governor and the Legislature in funding higher education.