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1/28/21 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present: Hadi Esfahani, Harry Hilton, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, Bruce Rosenstock, Daniel Steward, Leslie Struble, H. F. Williamson.

    The meeting began at about 12:32 p.m. with O’Brien presiding.

    1. Review of the Minutes for December 10, 2020 Meeting of Policy Committee. The minutes were approved.
    2. President’s Report
      1. Governance Report. O’Brien reported on his work with Associate Provost Bill Bernhard on the next steps regarding the Report. He suggested that the Provost’s office send the report we had discussed at the December meeting with a cover letter similar to the draft that O’Brien had provided. Parker led a discussion of how we could be sure that the role of the Chapter was appropriately recognized and that the letter would include a link to the Chapter’s website and information on how to join the AAUP.
      2. Chapter Website. The suggestion about the link led to a discussion of the website and the tools being used to maintain it. [NOTE: An ad hoc committee led by Struble and Steward has been formed to review the current procedures and present any proposals for change they felt should be made. Those interested in being involved in the review should contact them.]
      3. Annual Meeting. Vice Provost Bernhard has agreed to speak at the Annual Meeting on the subject of the governance survey.
      4. Meeting with Trustees. Staff in the President’s Office have proposed a meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9 for the Chapter’s officers with President Killeen, Vice President Wilson, and Trustee Don Edwards. O’Brien will check to see whether they would prefer to meet with the officers or whether the entire Policy Committee might be invited.
      5. Letter to the Chancellor. Following up on the discussion at the last meeting, O’Brien wrote to the Chancellor drawing his attention to two issues: censorship of university meetings by Zoom, and the use of the Texas Open Records Act to gain access to letters written in support of tenure and promotion at Texas A&M University.
      6. New Policy Committee Member(s). Carol Symes (History) has accepted our invitation to join the Policy Committee. O’Brien feels we should invite at least two more people to join and led a discussion about whom these individuals might be.
      7. Petitions Opposing Suspension of Tenure by Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). O’Brien provided links to the sites containing petitions opposing the policies adopted by the KBOR to “suspend the procedures of shared governance, including tenure protection.”
      8. Letter of Support. O’Brien followed up on the behalf of a faculty member regarding an issue of sexual harassment by arranging a meeting for them with Associate Provost Bill Bernhard. O’Brien felt that it had been a productive meeting.
    3. Schedule for Spring Meetings.
      1. Policy Committee: Committee will meet at 12:30 the following dates:
        • February 18 (third Thursday);
        • March 11 (second Thursday);
        • April 8 (second Thursday);
        • May 6 (first Thursday, this is Reading Day)
      2. Officers’ Meeting with President: 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 9
      3. Promotion and Tenure Workshop: Thursday, April 1, 2021
      4. Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
    4. Planning for Promotion and Tenure Workshop: Thursday, April 1, 2021. Hilton confirmed that the planning is well underway. The Provost’s office will play the key role in publicizing the Workshop as it did last spring. Members of the Policy Committee will still be expected to contact appropriate department leaders and staff to help with these efforts.
    5. Planning for Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
      1. Arrangements: We will work with the Provost’s office on publicizing the meeting.
      2. Program: The AAUP/Provost’s Report on Shared Governance Report.
      3. Speaker(s): There was discussion of who might join Vice Provost Bernhard as panelists in addition to Esfahani. It was suggested that there could be a speaker discussing the best practices that department and schools could follow. O’Brien will follow up with Bernhard on these suggestions.
      4. [NOTE: O’Brien plans to ask Williamson and Francis to form the Nominating Committee for officers for 2021-2022.]
    6. Treasurer’s Report. Williamson reported on the status of the Chapter’s Treasury and proposed that we have a dues “holiday” for 2021 given that have not had our usual expenses such as catering for the fall and, presumably, for the spring semester. The proposal was approved. There was also a discussion of policies we might adopt to attract new members including offering dues subsidies.
    7. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at about 1:36 p.m. As noted above, the next meeting will be at 12:30 p.m. on February 18, 2021