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12/09/15 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present:  Abbas Aminmansour, Ken Andersen, Susan Davis, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, John Prussing, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.  Guests:  John Kindt, Bruce Rosenstock

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


    1. Review of the Minutes for November 18, 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 among the Action Items below.
    3. (3)  Spring schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings.  The schedule for the spring for Policy Committee meetings is: January 20; February 17, March 16, April 13, and May 4.  There will also be meetings with campus administrators at 11 a.m. on February 17 and April 13 (see item (4) below).  It was noted that the Annual Meeting will be May 10 if we continue to hold it on the Tuesday of final examination week.

    Action Items

    1. Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  Hilton reported that President Killeen will meet with the Committee on April 13 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.  [NOTE:  Hilton has since learned that Chancellor Wilson will meet with the Committee on February 17 from 11 a.m. to noon.]
    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. Background Checks for New Hires (see Report).  Hilton and Prussing met with Vice President Pierre and Vice Provost Benmamoun on Thursday, November 19.  Hilton submitted are port to the Policy Committee afterwards.  He also discussed the actions being taken by the Senate on this issue.
    4. Removal from AAUP Censure (see Report).  Hilton is monitoring what has occurred on campus such as the presentation by USSP of an amendment to the Statutes regarding changes in procedures dealing with academic appointments.  Hilton reported he received a communication from Anita Levy at the National AAUP office asking about current conditions.  He plans to replay after the meeting.
    5. Filing of Cases of Complaints (see Report).  Hilton reported on two items.  The first was information on a suit filed by Professor Wozniak in the Urbana Federal Court regarding his dismissal.  The second was an official complaint filed by Professor Kaufman with the national AAUP regarding sale of Chief merchandise.  National replied that this was a local matter and declined to get involved.
    6. Formation of ad-hoc Committees on Governance Issues including Workshop (see Report).  An email was sent to the Chapter’s members inviting participation in this work.  There has been a limited response.
    7. Academic Freedom and First Amendment Issues (see Report).  Hilton discussed the actions by the UIUC administration regarding the removal of recent postings.  Regardless of our views of the content of the postings, he noted that the actions may have violated the group’s first amendment rights and their academic freedoms.  By the report, he asked the Chapter’s Academic Freedom Committee to consider the matter and report back to the PC at its January, 2016 meeting.