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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 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.  Regular SEC agendas included reports from the Chancellor, the Provost, and other campus administrators.

The following items highlight the more prominent activities during 2006-07:

University of Illinois Global Campus.  SEC appointed a Global Campus Task Force, co-chaired by Professors Tom Ward and Faye Lesht, which met on a weekly basis during the fall semester to develop a report on the Global Campus Initiative that might serve as the basis for a response of our Senate to the GC Initiative.  Professor C. S. Gardner, Special Assistant to the President, joined SEC at its October 9 meeting to discuss recent developments, including start-up operations, the types of academic programs that will be offered, how degrees will be awarded, admission requirements and enrollment issues, and the role of tenure-system faculty, among other things.  Additionally, the Senate sponsored a town hall meeting on October 16 for members of the campus community to discuss the Global Campus Initiative.  The SEC received a draft report from the Task Force at its November 13 meeting, and the report was finalized for approval by the Urbana-Champaign Senate on December 4.  (RE: SC.07.04/XGC.07.01; 12/04/06)  SEC remains involved in development of the program as other aspects are considered; most recently, formulation of student conduct guidelines.

Sixth Senate Review Commission.  In accordance with the Senate Constitution (Article V, Section 9), the SEC established the 6th Senate Review Commission to provide a comprehensive review of the Senate organization, structure, size and operation.  The SRC presented its report to the Senate on April 30.  The Senate approved the recommendations to have all Senate meetings video recorded and web cast over the Internet and to ask all Senate committees to conduct a review of their charge, operations, staffing and titles, to determine if revisions to any of these might be appropriate.  In Fall 2007, the SEC will appoint an Implementation Committee to consider and draft as formal Senate action items the following major SRC proposals:  electing academic professionals to the Senate; three-year cycle for SEC chair; proposals for making Senate meetings run more efficiently; Senate information flow; new faculty orientation; and recognition of and incentives for Senate service.  (RE: XSR.07.01; 4/30/07)

CIC Faculty Leaders Annual Conference.  As in the past, the SEC sent representatives from our Senate to the CIC Annual Conference, which was held at Penn State on November 3-4 and was attended by Educational Policy Committee Chair Abbas Aminmansour and Senate Clerk Robert Damrau.  The conference covered such topics as changes in scholarly publishing; grievance policies, procedures and guidelines; flexible tenure policies; and fixed-term faculty.  At its April 30 meeting, the Senate approved Recommendations to the Senate on CIC Provosts’ Statement on Publication Agreements.  (RE: LB.07.01; 4/30/07)

CIUS Annual Conference.  The SEC hosted a meeting of the Council of Illinois University Senates on April 30 in the Levis Faculty Center.  Agenda items included Campus Security, Role of Non-tenure Track Faculty in University Governance, State Employees Ethics Acts and Funding of Pensions.

Racial Sensitivity on Campus.  Chancellor Herman hosted an open forum on creating a more welcoming campus environment, organized by the S.T.O.P. (Students Transforming Oppression and Privilege) coalition, on February 1 in Foellinger Auditorium.  President White, Chancellor Herman, Provost Katehi, Vice-Chancellor Romano and SEC Chair Burton were panelists for the event, entitled “Racism, Power and Privilege at UIUC,” which served as an opportunity for members of the campus community to express their thoughts as well as to pose questions to University and campus officials.  The Auditorium was filled to capacity and several remote sites were set up to televise the event.

Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.  In light of multiple incidents during last year’s “Unofficial” event, including the death of a student, notice to faculty and student senators were sent by Chair Burton and VCSA Romano calling for assistance with maintaining civility and minimizing instructional disruption during this year’s activities on March 2.  EPC Chair Abbas Aminmansour and CC Chair Kim Graber were among the faculty and staff who served as UIUC officials to monitor campus buildings.

Ethics Training.  A resolution on the implementation of the State Ethics Test, approved by the Illinois State University Senate and forwarded for consideration by the Council of Illinois University Senates (CIUS), was discussed at the CIUS meeting held on the Urbana-Champaign campus on April 30.

Orchard Downs Redevelopment.  SEC has discussed potential ramifications of redeveloping the Orchard Downs subdivision, including concerns regarding the impact on student family housing.  SEC will submit its comments on elements it wishes to preserve in redevelopment of the area.  Of primary concern is the need to preserve the sense of “community”—whether this occurs at Orchard Downs or is replicated elsewhere, as well as to give the UI a competitive edge in attracting residents.

University Board of Trustees.  BOT Chair Eppley and UIUC Student Trustee Kantas met with SEC on February 16 to provide a brief history of the decision by the Trustees to end the performance of Chief Illiniwek on February 21.  The SEC adopted a certificate of appreciation for Trustee Marjorie Sodemann in recognition of her “service as a Trustee of the University and to the cause of higher education” to commemorate the end of her term in January 2007.  SEC members were invited to attend the Board luncheon associated with the March 13 BOT meeting held on the Urbana-Champaign campus.  SEC has a continued interest in enhanced communication with the Board and its members.

Meetings with President White.  On January 29, SEC met with President White, to discuss issues and concerns related to the Urbana-Champaign campus and the University of Illinois as a whole, primarily the Global Campus Partnership Proposal and diversity and racism issues.  President White met again with SEC on June 18, 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 Amendments to the General Rules, Articles III and V and to supporting policy documents (Conflict of Commitment and Interest; Institutional Conflict of Interest, and Courseware Development and Distribution).  The General University Policy Committee transmitted its response on the proposed changes to the Intellectual Property Committee.

Revisions to the Code, Sections 1-109, 1-301, 1-302, re Racist Behavior.  In a letter dated November 7, 2006, Chancellor Herman asked the SEC to exam and the Code and “develop strategies that not only reaffirm our prohibition of acts of intolerance, but also provide new and more effective ways for addressing such incidents.”  The matter was referred to the Conference on Conduct Governance for its consideration.

Multi-Year Contracts for Academic Staff.  The Committee on General University Policy has reviewed previous versions of the program, which has since been conditionally approved by the UIC and UIS campuses.  It is expected that GUP will finalize its report for Senate action at its first meeting of the fall semester.

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 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Review Committee and the campus Research Policy Committee.
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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 <>.

Respectfully submitted,

Vernon Burton, Chair
Senate Executive Committee

Robert C. Damrau, Clerk
Urbana-Champaign Senate