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3/11/21 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present: Hadi Esfahani, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, Dana Rabin, Bruce Rosenstock, Daniel Steward, Leslie Struble, H. F. Williamson. Guest: Carol Tilley.

    The meeting began at about 12:31 p.m. with O’Brien presiding.

    1. Introductions. O’Brien introduced Rabin as a new member of the Committee and Tilley as our guest. The other members of the Committee introduced themselves.
    2. Review of the Minutes for February 18, 2021 Meeting of Policy Committee. The minutes were approved.
    3. President’s Report
      1. Governance Report. O’Brien reported that the report had been circulated to tenure-track faculty by Vice Provost William Bernhard with a strong supporting cover memorandum. It was agreed to forward the email to the entire Policy Committee.
      2. Meeting with Trustees. O’Brien, Laugesen, and Parker met on March 9 with President Killeen, Vice President Wilson, and Trustee Chair Don Edwards. They were pleased with the interaction which included the following topics:
        1. The results of the governance survey. We noted that the results give the University much to be proud of but also show a clear need for improvement in certain areas and we would be happy to share the report with the Trustees.
        2. Campus policies on handling the COVID-19 pandemic. We complimented campus leaders for how well they handled the pandemic particularly regarding academic governance and in contrast with the problems occurring at other campuses. Parker noted that Edwards had an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business Op-Ed in early February on how the U of I had developed its own COVID- 19 test and deployed it millions of times (and counting).
        3. Concerns over possible problems over censorship policies established by the company Zoom and whether a different vendor should be considered. They were interested to hear our
          concerns, and plan to consult with the University’s lawyers to learn more about this issue
        4. Shared governance problems on other campuses. We took the opportunity to thank them
          for their efforts to preserve shared governance in contrast to number of institutions now under investigation by the AAUP.
        5. (Policy for handling proposed amendments to the Statutes. We were pleased to have a chance to discuss this again though we are not in agreement with the policy that has been adopted in recent years.
      3. Tenure and Academic Freedom. O’Brien shared three websites provided by Parker concerning legislative efforts to remove tenure in Iowa.
    4. Schedule for Spring Meetings. O’Brien noted the dates of the remaining meeting this spring.
      • Policy Committee Meetings: at 12:30 p.m. on April 8 (second Thursday); May 6 (first Thursday, this is Reading Day)
      • Promotion and Tenure Workshop: Thursday, April 1, 2021
      • Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
      • Promotion and Tenure Workshop: April 1

    Action Items

    1. AAUP/Provost’s Report on Shared Governance. There was concern that the specialized (non-tenure track) faculty might not understand why this Survey was limited to tenure-track faculty. It was noted that this could be viewed as a first step and focused on the faculty whom our Chapter represents. There was discussion of the possibility of helping develop a similar survey for non-tenure track faculty. Regarding this report, Steward suggested we share the results with the national AAUP office and see about presenting them in the local press.
    2. Planning for Promotion and Tenure Workshop: Thursday, April 1, 2021
      1. Arrangements. Hilton circulated a draft of the poster. He will be the moderator. The panelists are Provost Cangellaris, Vice Provost Bernhard, and Professors Carol L. Tilley (FAC) and Andrew V. Suarez (UIUC P&T Committee).
      2. Publicity. The principal publicity will be provided by information from the Provost’s office. We assume this will include sending the information to the Deans and Department Heads. We can follow up with our contacts as well.
    3. Planning for Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
      1. Speakers. The speakers on the panel on shared governance will be Vice Provost William Bernhard; Hadi Esfahani, the report’s author; and Harriet Murav, former Department Head in Comparative and World Literature.
      2. Report from Nominating Committee. Williamson reported for the committee (Prussing, Struble, and Williamson) that the nominees were: President: Robert Parker; Vice President: Richard Laugesen; Secretary-Treasurer: H. F. Williamson
      3. Program. There was discussion of whether there should be an informal “chat” period prior to the 3:30 p.m. start of the program and whether the Business Meeting should precede or follow the speakers. Final decisions will be made at the April meeting of the Policy Committee.
    4. Approval of Proposed Amendments to the Chapter Bylaws. Williamson presented the revisions in two current Articles in the By-Laws and one new Article to be proposed at the Annual Meeting. Their proposal was approved by the Policy Committee.
    5. Report from Ad Hoc Chapter Website Review Committee. Struble has conducted a usage survey for the site which showed a large number of hits, most of which appeared to be generated by bot’s. They plan to survey the Policy Committee for input on how to change and improve the site. They can then develop more concrete plans for how to revise the site and determine who might do it. They asked for suggestions for individuals who might be hired for the revision.
    6. Report from our Liaison to the NTFC Local #6546 Chapter. Steward reported that the group had hosted a Town Hall on “Strategies for Engaging in Shared Governance and Why It Matters” on March 5. He proposes to work with Hadi Esfahani as the planning committee for developing a similar shared governance survey for specialized faculty. Whether there would then be a joint survey of both groups would then be determined.
    7. Other. Rosenstock reported that the Senate Committee on General University Policy (GUP) has been discussing faculty residency including what the current policies are and how they are enforced. He would appreciate any input that the Policy Committee members can provide.
    8. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at about 1:36 p.m.

    As noted above, the next meeting of the Policy Committee will be at 12:30 p.m. on April 8, 2021. The Promotion and Tenure Workshop will be Thursday, April 1, 2021