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5/6/21 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

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

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

    1. Introductions. Introductions were not needed.
    2. Review of the Minutes for April 8, 2021 Meeting of Policy Committee. The minutes were approved.
    3. President’s Report
      1. Zoom Censorship: He is continuing to work on arranging a meeting with Vice Provost Bernhard, campus Legal Counsel Lisa Powers, and the interim CIO Scott Genung as suggested by Vice President Wilson. Kar offered to help arrange the meeting which would include Parker and Laugesen from the Chapter leadership.
      2. Links to Resources on Chapter Website. He reported that there was a proposal to include on the Chapter website appropriate links to campus and AAUP resources for academics who are harassed in various ways. O’Brien and Struble will consider how to implement this policy. Kar noted that it is important to show that we are doing this and to keep it as straightforward as possible.
      3. Request from FIRE. He received a message from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) asking that he help publicize their newly established Faculty Legal Defense Fund which features a 24-hour hotline and connects public college and university faculty with their network of cooperating outside attorneys in appropriate cases.
      4. Tenure and Academic Freedom in the News. He included links of interest, mainly thanks to Parker’s efforts, covering such topics as attempts by state legislators to govern curricula; AAUP investigations, and Zoom censorship.

    Action Items

    1. Approval of Proposed Schedule of Fall Meetings: The proposed schedule for the fall that we meet at 12:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays in the fall was approved:
      • Thursday, September 9 (2nd Thursday); instruction begins August 23; Labor Day is Sept. 6.
      • Thursday, October 7 (1st Thursday);
      • Thursday, November 11 (2nd Thursday)
      • Thursday, December 9 (2nd Thursday); Reading Day is also December 9.
      • This might change if we move to in person meetings or to a mix of formats that will require obtaining meeting rooms.
    2. Planning for Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.
      1. Speakers. The speakers will be Professor Esfahani, Vice Provost Bernhard, and Professor Murav in that order. It was suggested that each speaker have 12 minutes.
      2. Set up. O’Brien will be the host and Laugesen will be the alternate host. Laugesen will monitor the waiting room. They will work with the staff in the Senate office for further help in setting up the meeting. O’Brien will check with the speakers for their permission to record the meeting, If it is recorded, O’Brien will note this is the case in his opening remarks. A decision on whether to post the recording will be made later.
      3. Publicity. Further plans for publicizing the meeting were discussed. We will check with Vice Provost Bernhard to ask that his office help including using the DDDH mailing list for such efforts.
      4. Program. O’Brien will preside over the brief business meeting with Williamson presenting the report from the Nominating Committee and the proposal to amend the Chapter By-Laws. O’Brien will then chair the presentation.
    3. Review of Issues Involving Tenure and Shared Governance in the pandemic: UIUC compared to other Universities. O’Brien and Kar will prepare a review of how our administrators have handled these issues.
    4. Reports
      1. Liaison to the NTFC Local #6546 Chapter. There was no report. Parker asked whether the two chapters on this campus had different names. He and Steward will follow up on this question.
      2. Motion. Williamson moved that the Policy Committee approve the following motion: “The members of the UIUC AAUP Chapter Policy Committee express their deep appreciation to David O’Brien for his excellent service as Chapter President from August 2019 to August 2021.” The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
    5. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at about 1:35 p.m.

    As noted above, the Annual Meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on May 11, 2021. The next scheduled meeting of the Policy Committee meeting will be at 12:30 p.m. on September 9, 2021.