University of Illinois
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. During 2005-06, the SEC conducted its in-depth review of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and reported its findings to the Chancellor.
The SEC met monthly during the calendar year to hear updates from Senate committee chairs, the Council of Academic Professionals, and from the Senate’s representatives to the University Senates Conference and the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The SEC also held special meetings as warranted to respond to time-sensitive matters and to meet with special guests, such as liaisons from the Board of Trustees. Regular SEC agendas included reports from the Chancellor, the Provost, and other campus administrators.
The following items highlight the more prominent activities during 2005-06:
Seminar on Shared Governance. On January 23, 2006, the SEC sponsored a shared governance workshop, featuring several guest speakers who addressed issues ranging from the role of the Trustees to faculty participation in shared governance, including topics such as faculty unions and shared governance at the national scene. A town hall discussion followed the speaker presentations; the full text of participants’ comments is available at the Senate website.
Strategic Planning. The Senate Committee on General University Policy (GUP) submitted its observations and recommendations on the January 2006 version of the UIUC Campus Strategic Plan. GUP’s document served as the basis for a Committee of the Whole discussion at the April 24 Senate meeting. Following Senate discussion of the Campus Strategic Plan, the Senate adopted GUP’s response by unanimous voice vote. The report has been transmitted to Chancellor Herman and copied to President White, Provost Katehi and the Council of Deans for their consideration as the plan is developed further.
UI Policy on Retirement and Re-employment. SEC discussed recent changes in practices regarding the rehiring of retirees, and expressed concern about the negative impact of these changes on the principle of shared governance at the University. SEC endorsed the following resolution, which was adopted by the AAUP Policy Committee (UIUC Chapter) on June 12:
“That the practices for primary approval of retiree rehiring at the University of Illinois be returned to the previously established practices, where such approvals are the responsibility of the primary unit, the dean/director, provost, chancellor and the president, subject to final approval by the Board of Trustees as provided in the University Statutes.”
SEC action on the matter was transmitted to President White and copied to Chancellor Herman and Provost Katehi. Subsequently, the Board of Trustees adopted a new policy on rehiring of retirees at its July meeting.
Educational Effect of “Chief Illiniwek.” As recorded in the 2004-05 SEC Annual Report, SEC worked with the Chancellor in establishing a committee to design and execute a comprehensive study of the Chief issue and its impact on educational effectiveness on this campus. The committee was chaired by Professor Lizanne DeStefano and was charged by the Chancellor and 2004-05 SEC officers to produce a preliminary design document for the study. The Committee on the Educational Effect of “Chief Illiniwek” transmitted its report, which contained a study plan and timeline, to the Chancellor and SEC Chair on November 29, 2005. SEC met with Committee members and representatives of other interested groups on campus when discussing the disposition of the report. SEC elected to defer further action on the matter.
Global Campus Concept. In January, SEC met with Vice-President Chet Gardner, Executive Assistant Vice-President Larry Mann, and University Senates Conference Chair Elliot Kaufman to discuss preliminary plans being developed by a University-level steering team to establish a University of Illinois Global Campus. SEC met again with Dr. Mann in June to review the final report, which was submitted to the Board of Trustees in July. SEC appointed a committee to consider the proposal and the ramifications of establishing a global campus. This group will be charged with making recommendations for a focused discussion by the campus community in the fall.
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. On February 27, SEC met with Trustee Marjorie Sodemann, who was attended by Associate Vice-President Douglas Vinzant and Assistant Vice-President Randy Kangas. SEC members were invited to attend the Board luncheons associated with the September 8 and April 11 Board meetings held on the Urbana-Champaign campus. SEC has a continued interest in improving communication with the Board and will explore all possible opportunities to this end.
Meetings with President White. On February 6, SEC met with President White, who 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 10, at which time SEC provided its advice on the reappointment of 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.
Proposed Revisions to the Statutes, Article IX, Section 11—Nonreappointment of Academic Professional Staff, to clarify the employment policies applicable to academic professional employees who work at the University Administration level. (SP.05.07, Second Reading;Action, Approved by the Senate, 9/19/05)
Proposed 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, Second Reading;Action, Approved by the Senate, 4/24/06)
Proposed Revisions to the Statutes, Article VIII, Changes in Academic Organization, to clarify the procedures by which units that house tenured or tenure-track faculty are formed. (SP.06.05, Second Reading;Action, Approved by the Senate, 4/24/06)
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.
Information pertaining to the duties and membership of Senate standing committees can be found on the Senate website <http://www.senate.uiuc.edu/>.
Vernon Burton, Chair
Senate Executive Committee
Robert C. Damrau, Clerk