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11/18/15 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Abbas Aminmansour, Ken Andersen, Hadi Esfahani, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, John Prussing, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.  Guests:  Shawn Gilmore, John Kindt, Bruce Rosenstock, Dorothee Schneider

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

    President’s Report

    1. Review of the Minutes for October 14, 2015 Meeting of Policy Committee.  The minutes were approved.
    2. President’s Report.  Hilton provided written copies of his report to be sure that in order to make the subject information more readily and generally available to the membership and other interest parties.  A copy of this report is part of these minutes and will be cited as appropriate.
    3. Background Checks for New Hires (see Report).  Hilton and O’Brien are meeting with Vice President Pierre and Vice Provost Benmamoun on Thursday, November 19.  Hilton indicated where he had sent the Policy Committee’s resolution on this issue.
    4. Removal from AAUP Censure (see Report).  Hilton is monitoring what has occurred on campus such as the presentation by USSSP of an amendment to the Statutes regarding changes in procedures dealing with academic appointments.  Hilton and O’Brien wrote an op-ed article on the censure issue which appeared in the News Gazette on November 8.

    Action Items

    1. Spring schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  Williamson apologized for the errors in the list of dates that appeared in the agenda.  The schedule for the spring for Policy Committee meetings is: 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. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee (see Report).  Hilton reported that President Killeen will meet with the Committee on April 13 at from 11 a.m. to noon (i.e., just prior to the regularly scheduled meeting).  Hilton will next contact Chancellor Wilson and then the Provost.
    3. Presentation by Non Tenure Track (NTT) Representatives.  Shawn Gilmore and Dorothee Schneider from the NTT union presented a summary of the status of the negotiations taking place.Of particular concern is a clause in which there is an apparent conflict between the stress on the importance of academic freedom on the one hand and the controls retained by the University and management over academic matters on the other.  A similar clause was proposed but rejected in the similar negotiations at the UIC campus.  They invited someone from the Policy Committee to attend the next negotiation session as an observer.  O’Brien indicated he would be willing to do this.
    4. Review of Chapter Meeting on AAUP Censure, Academic Freedom, and Criminal Background Checks.  There was general agreement that the meeting went well.  A copy of O’Brien’s remarks are on the Chapter web site as will be a copy of the remarks by Jessica Greenberg.  (NOTE:  A copy of Greenberg’s remarks is included with these minutes.)
    5. Formation of ad-hoc Committees on Governance Issues including Workshop (see Report).  The discussion of the proposal to form these ad hoc committees continued using the steps suggested in the President’s report as a guide.  O’Brien will prepare one or more emails to be sent to the members of the Chapters to implement this program.
    6. Benefits Issues.  Kindt reported briefly on the actions being taken by the Senate Faculty and Staff Benefits committee.  Of particular interest was the judicial action regarding pensions in the City of Chicago.