Summary Report for UIUC AAUP Policy Committee Meeting on January 19, 2010
Present: Abbas Aminmansour, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Lewis Hopkins, Walter McMahon, John Prussing, Arthur Robinson, Leslie Struble, Donald Uchtmann, H. F. Williamson.
The meeting began at about 12:11 p.m. with John Prussing presiding.
(1) Review of the Minutes for December 14, 2009. These were approved.
(2) Remarks from President. Prussing reported that the SEC met frequently over the break particularly with regard to the furlough issue. One result is the scheduling of a special Senate meeting on January 25, 2010 at which a SEC resolution will be presented. The issue of future budget planning will also be discussed. Regarding the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Foundation, Prussing has arranged for Nick Burbules and Joyce Toliver to report the Senate GUP Committee on this issue. Regarding possible reports discussed at the last meeting, Hilton has provided information on the time reporting policy (see item 9 below). The furlough policy is now in place, of course, but we will be considering how the Chapter might respond (see item 6 below).
(4) Future Meetings with Campus and University Administrators. Prussing continues to work on a having Vice President Rao meet with the Committee. Other possibilities were Richard Wheeler and Barbara Wilson. One problem is the uncertainty about the future structure of the campus administration.
(5) Plans for Spring Tenure Workshop. Hilton hopes to have more information within a week. One problem is determining which individuals should be invited from the campus administration to serve on the panel.
(6) Campus Furlough Policy. Prussing noted that Interim President Ikenberry’s January 5, 2010 letter was part of the packet. He reported that the SEC has met on this and prepared a resolution for next Monday’s Senate meeting. A resolution will also be proposed by a group of senators. A campus web site is being developed to handle frequently asked questions on how to do it. The discussion included such issues as (a) the reaction of legislators and the public to the furloughs; (b) how faculty might take their furlough days and how various choices would affect reactions; (c) how to publicize the furloughs so the public is better aware of them. Hopkins pointed out the importance of focusing the public attention on the budge problems facing the state and the University. Francis added that this would include making students more aware of the impact on them of these cuts (e.g., fewer or larger classes). Aminmansour noted that we may face an even bigger problem if this continues and salaries cannot be paid or the University has to close. Ucthmann indicated that it is fortunate that Ikenberry is in office given his strengths and assumes that the Senate will be working with him to enable him to lead as effectively as possible.
(7) Issues Raised in Cary Nelson’s “Furlough Blues” Memorandum. Nelson covered three topics which he found to be related: furloughs, the Global Campus, and the Academy. Prussing is not certain how the Policy Committee should proceed on establishing a policy on such issues and informing the campus. Hilton asked whether we should establish suggested guidelines on furloughs or time reporting. Williamson noted that we might issue a statement describing the concerns noted by Hopkins and Aminmansour. Aminmansour noted that it would be important to present a message at the next Senate meeting given the prominence that meeting will have. Prussing will prepare a statement on the AAUP position for presentation at the meeting.
(8) Membership Campaign and Role of AAUP on Campus. Williamson reported that Caveny would be arranging a meeting of the Membership Committee (Caveny, Danuta, Williamson). One issue was whom to contact and how these contacts can be made. Examples are those who have been promoted recently and those who have not renewed their memberships. The second was the information that we would provide to solicit new members. Prussing noted that the National web site provides information on why individuals should join the AAUP. Hopkins noted his concern about the difficulties we might have in selling our colleagues on membership in the AAUP. A related issue is our role on campus and the role of the CFA and the role of faculty unions on campus. Prussing indicated that he will invite Nelson to our next meeting with these items on the agenda.
(9) Implementation of State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (SOEEA) Reporting Policy (i.e., the Positive Time Reporting System). Prussing reported that Carol Livingstone discussed the form to be used by faculty at a GUP meeting. The requirements are not as onerous as had been feared. Hopkins noted that they can’t use these data for anything so it is not clear what it is for or for what it will be used. Concerns were also raised about who has access to the data. Hopkins suggested that we need a legal opinion on who has access and the purposes for which the data is being collected. Aminmansour wondered if the data could be used to affect promotion decisions. At worst the data are of little use; at best the process is ineffective and leads to lying. Hopkins suggested we should work to have the legislation changed to protect the data though Hilton noted that this might give the legislators the wrong opinion and make the situation worse. Uchtmann noted that in effect we are paying the price for the transgressions of others.
(10) Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee Report. Struble reported that the faculty member who had come to the AAUP had met with an Associate Provost on this matter. Struble proposed that we consider addressing the issues involved in this case once it has run its course. Prussing asked that Struble and Francis report back when they feel this issue can be addressed.