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10/14/15 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Abbas Aminmansour, Ken Andersen, Connie Caveny, Susan Davis, Hadi Esfahani, Harry Hilton, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, John Prussing, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.  Guests:  John Kindt, Curtis Perry, Bruce Rosenstock, Mark Steinberg

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

    President’s Report

    1. Introductions.  Hilton introduced the guests and had the Committee members introduce themselves. 
    2. Review of the Minutes for September 16, 2015 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes were approved with the correction of one typo (deletion of “O’Brien” from name of presiding officer).
    3. Comment Period.  Mark Steinberg encouraged the Policy Committee in particular and the Chapter in general to take on a broader role in such issues as shared governance.  This led to an extended discussion about what the chapter can do to address more actively the pressing issues with governance.  It was proposed that at the next meeting, we would discuss the formation of one or more ad hoc committees to address specific problems.  Suggestions for topics to be considered included the planning of a governance workshop and the need to educate faculty on such governance issues as what unit heads can and cannot do.
    4. Criminal Background Check Policy.  Hilton reported on the meeting that he and Prussing had with the Provost and Vice Provost on this issue.  There was an extended discussion of the concerns that the Chapter members, the Senate, and other campus organizations had over this issue particularly because of the lack of faculty input in the Board of Trustees’ decision.  Aminmansour noted that this was another example of why there should be more faculty input in the BOT decisions, perhaps by having a faculty member.  Rosenstock noted the actions that the Campus Faculty Association is taking on the issue and the important role that Matt Finkin has played as a major resource.
    5. AAUP Censure.  Hilton and Prussing met with President Killeen and Chancellor Wilson to discuss this issue.  They indicated that the two key issues are (a) hiring or settling with Salaita and (b) withdrawing the statements justifying the decision that relied on civility as the relevant standard of conduct.  

    Action Items

    1. Approval of spring schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  The proposed schedule was approved to meet on January 20; February 17, March 16, April 13, and May 4.  It was noted that the Annual Meeting will be May 10 if we continue to hold it on the Tuesday of final examination week.
    2. Preparation Chapter Meeting on October 20.  Everything has been set up for the meeting.  Members were urged to publicize it among their colleagues given the importance of the issues being discussed (e.g., see items (4) and (5) above).
    3. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  Hilton will first work with the staff in the President’s office to see if he is available.