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10/8/20 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present: Robin Kar, 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 September 10, 2020 Meeting of Policy Committee. The minutes were approved.
    2. President’s Report. O’Brien discussed the activities that were covered in his report for this meeting.
      1. Governance Report. The report has been revised reflecting the comments that were received. Hadi Esfahani, Richard Laugesen and he will meet with the staff in the Provost’s Office on October 9 to review the report with them.
      2. Sexual Misconduct Policy. He sent a comment to the Committee for the Campus Administrative Manual (CAM) summarized our concerns in particular about the absence of any system of progressive sanctions.
      3. University Statutes. The issue at hand was the fact that the 2006 Supreme Court decision Garcetti v. Ceballos removed government employees from some of the protections they had previously received under the First Amendment including faculty at public universities. There was a lengthy discussion of the actions that had been taken by the University Senates Conference regarding proposed changes in the statutes on our campuses, and the procedures followed by the President with regard to transmitting such proposals to the Board of Trustees. An informal subcommittee of Kar, Rosenstock, and O’Brien will prepare to report back on where we are on this issue. We will then decide if further actions such as a letter to the President will be considered.
      4. Politics and the University. Parker reported on his own experience responding to a FOIA request for the syllabus in one of his courses and other courses from a University of Illinois student journalist.
      5. IBHE. O’Brien reported that Jennifer Delany has invited us to take a brief survey which had already been distributed to the entire faculty.
      6. New Members of Policy Committee. He has contacted two individuals about joining the committee. One will be contacted when she has completed her term on another committee. He is waiting to hear from the other.
      7. Chapter Newsletter. He published a fall Newsletter over the past weekend. He will check to see whether it has reached the members.
    3. Schedule for Fall Policy Committee Meetings: O’Brien referred to the information provided in the agenda for the schedule of Policy Committee meetings for the rest of the fall. The meetings will start at 12:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays and be held electronically.
      • Thursday, November 12 (2nd Thursday).
      • Thursday, December 10 (2nd Thursday); Reading Day is also December 10)
    4. Proposed spring, 2021 schedule of regular Policy Committee meetings. The proposed schedule for the spring if we continue to meet over the noon hour on Thursdays was as follows.
      • January 21 (third Thursday; instruction begins Jan. 19; King Holiday is Jan. 18)
      • February 18 (third Thursday)
      • March 11 (second Thursdays) (spring vacation starts March 13)
      • April 8 (second Thursday) or April 15 (third Thursday)
      • May 6 (first Thursday, this is Reading Day)
      • NOTE: May 11 is the Tuesday of final examination week, the day chosen for recent Annual Meetings. The possibility of changing the day of the week for the meeting was discussed. The members of the Policy Committee will be polled regarding this choice and a final schedule presented for approval at the November meeting of the Policy Committee.
    5. Other Activities for the Chapter
      1. Meetings with Administrators. O’Brien noted that we will continue arranging these meetings including proposing a breakfast meeting with members of the Board of Trustees.
      2. Promotion and Tenure Workshop. Planning is well ahead of schedule for the April 1, 2021 workshop with commitments from Provost Cangellaris and Vice Provost Bernhard. Hilton is continuing to work on contacting the remaining panelists.
      3. Administrative Issues. Rosenstock stressed the importance of addressing the issues raised by actions of the Department of Education illustrated, for example, by the investigation of Princeton University regarding possible substantial misrepresentation about their educational programs. O’Brien noted this could be a possible topic for a Chapter meeting.
      4. Reports. There were no activities to report regarding the NTFC Local #6546 Chapter (Steward) or the Chapter Website (Strubel).
      5. Academic Freedom Committee. O’Brien noted that he has been contacted by an individual for advice.
    6. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at about 1:35 p.m. As noted above, the next meeting will be at 12:30 p.m. on November 12, 2020