Skip to content

9/9/21 UIUC Policy Committee Summary

    Present: Harry Hilton, Robin Kar, Richard Laugesen, Walter McMahon, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, Dana Rabin, Bruce Rosenstock, Daniel Steward, Carol Tilley, H. F. Williamson.

    The meeting began at about 12:32 p.m. with Parker presiding.

    1. Introductions. Introductions were not needed.
    2. Review of the Minutes for May 6, 2021 Meeting of Policy Committee. The minutes were approved.
    3. President’s Report. Parker reviewed the report that he sent to the Committee. The topics covered included:
      1. Zoom Censorship.: O’Brien, Rosenstock, and he met on July 7 with campus leaders to discuss the possibility that Zoom might censor academic events on our campus. They were interested and alert to our concerns.
      2. Transition to New Year. The Executive Committee met on July 21 to review plans for the coming year. Parker and O’Brien met on August 3 to review the work of the Chapter President and pass on records.
      3. New National AAUP Representative. Parker met by Zoom with Ursula Lawrence new national AAUP representative to Midwest chapters. The key topics covered were plans to recruit new members and plans for programming about the controversy around teaching critical race theory.
      4. New Faculty Orientation. Laugesen attended the orientation program for new faculty as part of our plans for maintaining contact with interested faculty during the year as part of our outreach and recruitment program.
      5. Chapter Website. Struble and Steward continue their work on revising the chapter website.
      6. Survey of Links concerning Tenure and Academic Freedom Issues. He concluded with a list of links in the news about AAUP concerns including those involving the actions of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
    4. Schedule for Fall Policy Committee Meetings: The schedule for the rest of the fall approved last spring was for meetings to start at 12:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays:
      • Thursday, October 7 (1st Thursday);
      • Thursday, November 11 (2nd Thursday)
      • Thursday, December 9 (2nd Thursday); Reading Day is also December 9
      • This day and/or time causes scheduling problems for some members of the Committee so Parker asked Williamson to review schedules to see if an alternative day and/or time might be preferable for the remaining meeting.

    Action Items

    1. Discussion of Continuing Chapter Committees for 2021-2022. There was a brief discussion of the current committee structure including whether to continue these committees. The possibility of setting up ad hoc committees was also discussed. O’Brien indicated that he would look into how this might be set up.
    2. Review of Chapter Website. Parker complimented Struble and Steward on the changes that had been implemented over the summer.
    3. Review of Policy Issues
      1. Role of Zoom. Parker noted again that he felt the meeting on July 7 with campus leaders had been very helpful. He feels the administrators are aware of the need to keep track of this issue in case there are changes which need to be addressed. Kar noted that Zoom had put through changes in the past because of concerns from academic institutions. It is therefore important to make sure they are aware of concerns that may arise in the future.
      2. Governance Issues in the Pandemic. There was a lengthy discussion of concerns that faculty and department leaders have raised over what has occurred this fall as teaching resumed. Rosenstock noted the shared governance issues that have arisen with regard to how the policies are being made and administered. One possible next step would be to share these concerns with the relevant administrators and ask how they plan to address them. If needed, this could include arranging a meeting to cover these issues. We could then share the information obtained with the members of the Policy Committee and of the Chapter.
    4. Reports
      1. Promotion and Tenure Workshop. Hilton has been working with the Provost who is enthusiastic about continuing to hold the event. He expects to have a date set up soon. He can then work on completing the panel. He noted how the Zoom format was so successful with 94 attendees, almost twice the previous high attendance.
      2. Liaison to the NTFC Local #6546 Chapter. There was no report.
    5. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at about 1:50 p.m.

    As noted above, the next meetings will be at 12:30 p.m. on October 7, 2021