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Senate Executive Committee Annual Report

The Urbana-Champaign Senate exercises legislative functions in matters of educational policy affecting the Urbana-Champaign campus and the University of Illinois (University Statutes, Art. II, Sec. 1). The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) is responsible for initiating and guiding the work of the Senate and for coordinating Senate committee activities (Bylaws of the Senate, Part D, 1). 

The Executive Committee maintains liaison with the President of the University to advise on the annual reappointment of the Chancellor; appoints Senate observers to Board of Trustees meetings; provides advice on nominees to standing and ad hoc campus committees; and participates in annual reviews of campus administrators, including advising the Chancellor on the annual reappointment of vice-chancellors.

The SEC met monthly during the fall semester and twice monthly during the spring semester to hear updates from Senate committee chairs, the Council of Academic Professionals Chair, and from the Senate’s representatives to the University Senates Conference and the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Agendas regularly included reports from the Chancellor, the Provost, and other campus administrators.  During the summer, SEC meetings included an executive session with vice-chancellors to review and discuss their portfolios.

In addition, SEC scheduled a series of meetings with State representatives, which focused on the University’s standing in the Executive and Legislative branches of State government and on how best to convey to them the needs of the University.

The following items highlight the more prominent activities during 2004-05:

University Board of Trustees.
  To further communication between the Urbana-Champaign Senate and the Board of Trustees, SEC instituted the practice of scheduling periodic meetings with Board members.  These sessions provide an opportunity for more informal interaction with Trustees and cover a wide range of topics.  SEC members were invited to attend the Board luncheon associated with the March 10 Board meeting held on the Urbana-Champaign campus.  On March 14, SEC met with Trustee Marjorie Sodemann.  SEC has a continued interest in improving communication with the Board and will explore all possible opportunities to this end.

Meetings with President White.
  SEC met with President White for the first time on February 21, shortly after he took office.  The President shared his perception of and observations about the University in general, as well as his position on specific issues affecting the University as a whole.  President White met again with SEC on April 11 to share his strategic plan, “Creating a Brilliant Future for the University of Illinois.”

Search Committee for a Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  The procedures for selecting a search committee were approved by the Senate at the April 25 Senate meeting (SC.05.10).  The Committee on Committees solicited nominations for faculty positions on the search committee via e-mail to all faculty on May 4.  Nominations for student positions were solicited in an electronic mailing to 2004-05 and 2005-06 student senators on May 3.  The election of faculty and student positions by 2004-05 senators was conducted electronically May 23-27.

Response to NCA Report.
  In a letter dated November 2, 2004, then-Interim Chancellor Richard Herman asked SEC to identify well-qualified faculty to design and execute a comprehensive study of the Chief issue and its impact on educational effectiveness on this campus.  The request was made in response to a report received in August 2004 from the North Central Association evaluation team that conducted a “focused visit” on campus in April 2004.  Chancellor Herman met in Executive Session with SEC on November 29 to discuss potential candidates.  The committee is chaired by Professor Lizanne DeStefano and has been charged by the Chancellor, the SEC Chair and SEC Vice-Chair to produce a preliminary design document for the study by the end of summer 2005 and to report to the Chancellor during the spring semester 2006.

Meetings with State Legislators.
  In recent past, SEC has made a concerted effort to convey the needs of the University to the Executive and Legislative branches of State government through dialogue with State representatives.  The SEC met on separate occasions with Representative Naomi Jakobsson, Senator Rick Winkel, and Representative Chapin Rose to discuss, among other matters, proposed legislation that might affect the University and ways in which the Senate could communicate campus needs to State officials, as well as to emphasize the role of the Urbana-Champaign campus in State economic development.

Faculty Senate Leaders Conference.  Each year, a Big Ten institution organizes the Faculty Senate Leaders Conference for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).  The UIUC hosted the conference on November 12-13, 2004.  Twenty-five participants, representing almost all CIC institutions, attended the two-day conference.  Discussion topics included academic misconduct/judicial affairs; faculty involvement in academic governance; budgeting, resources, and state funding; and faculty development in teaching, research, service and public engagement.  The creation of a Senate Academic Leadership Program (ALP) was also discussed and will be explored further.

Evaluation of Vice-Chancellors.  As noted above, SEC provides advice to the Chancellor on the annual review of vice-chancellors.  SEC met with three vice-chancellors, each in executive session, to explore the role, responsibilities and activities of the office, as outlined in their annual reports to the Chancellor.

Policy Review.  The SEC heard from committee chairs, campus administrators and other invited guests when considering recommendations concerning the following policies and proposals.
Revisions to the Statutes, Articles IX and X, to provide optional multi-year contracts, and related dismissal procedures, for certain academic staff (SP.04.03; Senate approved, 2/14/05).
Proposed Revisions to the Statutes, Article XIII, Section 8.a—General Provisions, Amendments (SP.01.04; Senate approved, 4/25/05).  The proposal recommends formalizing mechanisms governing University Senates Conference disposition of statutory amendments proposed by the three senates.

Resolution on the Revision of The General Rules, Article III (GP.03.06; Senate approved, 4/25/05).  The resolution proposes that the Vice-President for Technology and Economic Development seek the advice and concurrence of the chancellors in establishing operational guidelines and procedures for the administration of intellectual property.

Proposed Revisions to the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students, Rule 19—Possession or Storage of Weapons (CG.04.02; reported to Senate, 4/25/05).
Proposed Revisions to the Statutes, Article IX, Section 11—Nonreappointment of Academic Professional Staff (SP.05.07; Senate First Reading, 4/25/05).  This proposal seeks to clarify the employment policies applicable to academic professional employees who work at the University Administration level.

Committee Appointments.  The Chair and Vice-Chair of the SEC, the SEC itself, and the Senate were asked to suggest names for committee members that are appointed at the campus level.  Among these committees are the Campus Promotions and Tenure Committee, the Campus Budget Oversight Committee, the Athletic Board, the Campus Research Board, the campus Research Policy Committee, and the IT Priorities Committee.

The Senate Executive Committee appreciates the efforts by the faculty, the academic and administrative staff members, and the student senators, who have conscientiously contributed to the welfare of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through participation in Senate deliberations and service on Senate committees. The SEC also appreciates the efforts by the staff of the Senate Office, which provides support to the Senate, to the SEC, and to the standing committees of the Senate.

Information pertaining to the duties and membership of Senate standing committees can be found on the Senate website <>.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Grossman, Chair
Senate Executive Committee

Robert C. Damrau, Clerk
Urbana-Champaign Senate