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RS.10.02
January 25, 2010
Approved by Senate

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN SENATE

Prefiled Resolution

RS.10.02         Resolution on Furloughs and Cost Cutting

WHEREAS the University faces a fiscal crisis caused by the state’s delinquency in paying funds allocated to higher education, compounded by failure to generate sufficient revenue to maintain vital public institutions; and

WHEREAS the immediate solution proposed for this crisis is a system of furloughs or alternative temporary pay cuts for faculty, administrators, and academic-professional staff that, while encouraging in its effort to distribute these sacrifices so that highly paid administrators bear a greater proportion of them, may still fall disproportionately on those at the lowest end of the pay scale; and

WHEREAS this furlough and pay cut policy, while following on discussions of the budget dispersed across a variety of University committees, and accompanied by encouraging new initiatives implementing faculty consultation on the budget, has been instituted prior to the implementation of structures providing continuous transparency in University budgeting in relation to core institutional missions; and

WHEREAS research, teaching, and service are indissolubly interwoven components of the faculty’s contribution to the University and the state, which will suffer as much from lost research and service as from lost teaching; and,

WHEREAS furlough policy requirements of “no work” on furlough days fail to account for the realities that faculty’s professional commitments to scholarship, teaching, and service cannot be simply suspended for specific hours, and thus obscure the inevitable impact of ALL furloughed hours on education; and

WHEREAS university administration has affirmed the autonomy of faculty members in determining their furlough days individually, notwithstanding some conflicting messages from middle and lower levels of administration; and

WHEREAS both short and long-term planning to address the University’s fiscal shortfall will be best served by a decision-making structure that includes faculty, students and staff at every step of the process, from immediate cash conservation measures, to institutional restructuring, to public and government relations; and

WHEREAS the members of the Academic Senate, being devoted to the mission and future of the University and mindful of necessary cost-cutting, represent a key body from which to generate faculty and academic staff participation in short and long-term responses to the fiscal crisis;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that concurrently with the implementation of a furlough policy, greater transparency, more publicity, and clearer permanent lines of input through the Senate and elsewhere be implemented to facilitate faculty, student and staff participation in decisions tailoring cost-cutting and future budgeting to the core missions of the University; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that this decision-making process seek to streamline administrative costs as much as possible in order to preserve the core University missions of teaching and basic research across all disciplines; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that relief, be extended to ensure furloughs not unduly tax employees at the bottom of the salary scale or impede their professional development; and;

BE IT RESOLVED, that in accordance with University directives  and to facilitate freedom of conscience, faculty and staff taking furlough days should do so with no required reporting, justification, approval, surveillance, or retribution, while academic professionals be required to submit the minimum reporting consistent with Federal labor law and

BE IT RESOLVED, that in communicating the impact of furloughs on University services, administrators, faculty and staff make clear statements to legislators, the public, parents, and students that furloughs adversely affect ALL University services even when faculty avoid taking furloughs during scheduled classroom/lab/studio hours; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the SEC and the Senate work with the administration to educate and inform the public and legislature about the need for a rational tax policy and University appropriations that recognize the vital contribution made by the University to the state, so that parents and students can afford and access the high-quality education that a truly great public University is designed to provide; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Resolution be transmitted to the interim-President, interim Chancellor and Provost, Board of Trustees, the Governor, and the faculty, staff and students of the University of Illinois.

Co-sponsored by Senators:

James Barrett, History
Thomas Bassett, Geography
Clare Crowston, History
Clarence Lang, African American Studies
Kathryn Oberdeck, History
David O’Brien, Art History
Gabriel Solis, Music