University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate

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Urbana-Champaign Senate Meeting
December 8, 2008

A regular meeting of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Senate was called to order at 3:15pm on the 3rd floor of the Levis Faculty Center with Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs C. Renee Romano presiding.

Approval of Minutes

12/08/08-01          The minutes of the November 3, 2008, Senate meeting were approved.

Senate Executive Committee Report

Senator Nicholas Burbules (EDUC), Chair of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), provided the following report.

There are a couple of items on the agenda today for which I’d like to provide some background.

At our November 3 Senate meeting, an Executive Committee resolution on the Global Campus proposal to seek independent accreditation was not approved. This has left a vacuum of sorts about where the Urbana Senate does stand on the accreditation issue and on the Global Campus generally.

When President White announced that he was pulling the accreditation proposal from the November 13 Board of Trustees agenda, the Executive Committee assumed that there would be time to revisit the issue with President White, get more information about the issues that rightly concerned this Senate, and bring back a new resolution for Senate consideration.

As everyone knows, on November 13 the Trustees made the decision to go ahead with the accreditation proposal after all. President White has said, and I take him at his word, that this was not at his initiative and that he was as surprised by this outcome as anyone.

However it happened, the fact is now that Global Campus is moving forward with its plans to seek accreditation, and is “borrowing” UI Chicago’s accreditation in the interim. These developments raise some important questions for us as a campus in relation to our future involvement with Global Campus, which remains an important, high profile initiative of the University of Illinois as a whole; and with our wider agenda of providing quality, affordable online programs to qualified students – which may or may not depend on the Global Campus.

Given these changed circumstances, the Executive Committee met with President White last Monday for a long and frank discussion about the accreditation decision, how it was made, and what it might mean for the future involvement of this campus in the Global Campus. We shared with him our disappointment that the issues raised by the Executive Committee, and by this Senate, concerning the accreditation proposal were not adequately represented at the Trustees meeting. If we had known that the issue was going to come up and be voted on after all, we would have been better prepared to do that.

We worked out with the President a way of proceeding. The Executive Committee is drafting a new statement that compiles and explains our concerns about the accreditation decision and how it might be implemented. Given that the decision has been made, now, how can we move forward in the manner that gives the Global Campus its best chance of success? Our aim is to be constructive and not just critical.

At the same time, we think it is important to remind the Trustees that this campus already has a robust and growing effort in online education, and that whatever happens with the Global Campus we have our own campus priorities and e-learning agenda to advance.

We will meet with the President and two of the Trustees some time in January to discuss the draft, get some responses, and then revise the statement further. Our intent is to have a final version ready for the Senate’s review by the first meeting of spring semester. If approved, the statement would then go forward to the President and the Trustees as our considered position on the Global Campus and its future.

I’m bringing you up to date because the Senate’s vote rejecting the Executive Committee’s proposal has left ambiguity about our campus position. The reasons for the Senate’s unwillingness to endorse the accreditation proposal, especially in questioning whether there were adequate protections in place to ensure academic quality and accountability, were legitimate in my view.  But now we need to speak more affirmatively, and that’s what we are trying to do.

We have an item on the agenda today, EP.09.32, which predates the accreditation decision and all that has transpired since then. Simply stated, it draws a sharp, and necessary, distinction between degrees that claim the label of the Urbana campus and degrees that claim the label of the Global Campus. Without prejudicing the decision on that proposal one way or the other, I would suggest that we defer that item to our next Senate meeting and take it up again in conjunction with the considered position statement I just described. I think the Educational Policy committee’s proposal is fine, but our consideration of it will be better informed if we decide the two items in relation to each other.  (The Senate had no objection to deferral of this proposal.)

I also want to add the Executive Committee’s sense that we have spent an awful lot of time on the Global Campus – important as it is – at a time when the campus is facing huge budgetary challenges, as well as a number of other important related issues such as deferred maintenance and climbing energy costs. It is our job to keep those other matters before the Senate as well. Provost Linda Katehi and some of her staff will be with us at the February meeting to give us an update on the campus budget situation and to answer questions about how we will be responding to it, as well as how the appropriate Senate bodies will be involved in these decisions.

Another of these important issues came up last week, which I hope will be discussed today. The University Senates Conference (USC) made a series of recommendations to the President about revising the General Rules on intellectual property. The USC proposal has come back to the campuses for comment, and we forwarded a copy of those proposed changes to all of you last week, after the agenda for today’s meeting had been completed.

I think this is an extremely important issue, which certainly needs the attention of this Senate. So I am requesting that when we get to the New Business rubric, we entertain a motion to add consideration of these General Rules changes. Dick Schacht, who was central in drafting those revisions, is with us to give a brief overview of the changes and why USC believed they were necessary.

On a related topic, we have a Committee of the Whole discussion scheduled at the end of this session, concerning the campus agreement with ProQuest to publish student dissertations. A concern has been raised that publication with ProQuest could jeopardize the rights of doctoral students to publish parts of their dissertations. We’ve invited Dick Wheeler, Dean of the Graduate College, and William Welburn, Associate Dean, to discuss these concerns with the Senate. We believe that it is very important for doctoral students, and their advisors, to be apprised of these issues.

Finally, immediately following this Senate meeting there will be the inaugural meeting of the Senate Women's Caucus in the Levis Library on the first floor. Refreshments will be provided, and all Senate women – faculty, students, and APs – are welcome.

Floor privileges have been requested for Dr. Richard Schacht, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, to speak to UC.09.01, Proposed Revisions to the General Rules.  Floor privileges have also been requested for Dr. Charles Seebauer, Head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, to speak to EP.09.28, Multi-Institutional Ph.D. Degree in Chemical Engineering with the National University of Singapore.  I move that such privileges be granted. (There was no objection.)

Tellers for today’s meeting are Senators Loren Bode (ACES), Andreas Polycarpou (ENGR), Michael McCulley (FAA), and Kim Shinew (AHS).

Chancellor’s Remarks

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs C. Renee Romano spoke about an upcoming lecture series on free speech and First Amendment issues, and about how the counseling center is handling an increased workload.


There were no substantive questions.

Consent Agenda

The Presiding Officer announced that, absent objections of any senator, the following proposals were approved by unanimous consent:

12/08/08-02  EP.09.20* Proposal to Rename the Ph.D. in Speech Communication to the Ph.D. in Communication
12/08/08-03  EP.09.21* Creation of a Master of Arts in European Union Studies
12/08/08-04  EP.09.22* Creation of a Graduate Minor in European Union Studies
12/08/08-05  EP.09.24* Undergraduate Social Work Major/Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in the School of Social Work
12/08/08-06  EP.09.25* Removal of Unused Degrees in the College of Education
12/08/08-07  EP.09.26* Proposal to Eliminate the Economic Statistics Concentration within the Master of Science in Statistics
12/08/08-08  EP.09.27* Proposal to Eliminate the Master of Arts in Statistics
12/08/08-09  EP.09.30 * Rename and Revise the B.S. in Media Studies as the B.S. in Media and Cinema Studies
12/08/08-10  EP.09.31* Modification and Transfer of the Undergraduate Minor in Cinema Studies from the College of LAS to the Department of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Media
12/08/08-11  EP.09.37* Proposal from Graduate College and College of Media to Redesignate the Ph.D. in Communications as the Ph.D. in Communications and Media

Proposals for Action

12/08/08-12          Presented for action from the Senate Committee on Educational Policy was EP.09.41*, 2014-2015 Academic Calendar.  Professor Abbas Aminmansour (FAA), Chair of the Committee, moved approval of the measure. 

12/08/08-13          By voice vote, EP.09.41 was approved.

The Senate decided to vote on the remaining academic calendars as a block.

12/08/08-14          Dr. Romano presented for action EP.09.42*, 2015-2016 Academic Calendar, EP.09.43*, 2016-2017 Academic Calendar, EP.09.44*, 2017-2018 Academic Calendar, and EP.09.45*, 2018-2019 Academic Calendar.

12/08/08-15          By voice vote, EP.09.42, EP.09.43, EP.09.44, and EP.09.45 were approved.

12/08/08-16          The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs presented for action EP.09.12*, Grade Replacement Policy.  Professor Aminmansour moved its approval.

12/08/08-17          By voice vote, EP.09.12 was approved.

12/08/08-18          Dr. Romano presented EP.09.28*, Multi-Institutional Ph.D. Degree in Chemical Engineering with the National University of Singapore.  Professor Aminmansour moved its approval.

12/08/08-19          By voice vote, EP.09.28 was approved.

Proposed Revisions to the Senate Constitution and Bylaws

12/08/08-20         Vice Chancellor Romano presented for action SP.09.06*, Revision to the Bylaws, Part D.6 – Committee on Committees.  Professor Emeritus H. George Friedman (ENGR), on behalf of the Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures, moved its approval.

12/08/08-21          By voice vote, SP.09.06 was approved.

12/08/08-22          The Presiding Officer presented SP.09.07*, Revision to the Bylaws, Part D.10 – Committee on Faculty and Academic Staff Benefits.  Professor Emeritus Friedman summarized the background of this proposal and moved its approval.

12/08/08-23          By voice vote, SP.09.07 was approved.

12/08/08-24          The VCSA presented for action and second reading SP.08.13*, Addition of Academic Professionals to the Senate Electorate – Senate Constitution and Bylaws Amendments.  Professor Emeritus Friedman moved approval.  Senator Peter Loeb (LAS) spoke against the proposal, fearing that it would dilute the voice of the faculty.  Several others spoke for or against the measure.

12/08/08-25          Needing a 2/3 affirmative vote for passage, SP.08.13 was defeated by requested written ballot (35-38, with 3 abstentions).

Reports for Information of the Senate

12/08/08-26          SC.09.05* November 13 BOT
12/08/08-27          HE.09.04* November 7 FAC/IBHE

New Business

The Senate approved a motion to add the following item to today’s agenda:

12/08/08-28          UC.09.01* Proposed Revisions to the General Rules.  Professor Emeritus Dick Schacht urged the Senate to approve this proposal, which he described as an opportunity for this campus to express support and join the University Senates Conference in its voice to the President.

12/08/08-29          By voice vote, UC.09.01 was approved.

Due to the lateness of the hour, the Senate agreed to defer the Committee of the Whole discussion on ProQuest until a future meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00pm.

Robert C. Damrau, Senate Clerk
*Filed with the Senate Clerk and incorporated by reference in these Minutes.