University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate

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May 4, 1998

A special meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m., in Foellinger Auditorium, with Senator Richard Schacht (LAS), Chair of Senate Council, presiding in the absence of Chancellor Michael Aiken.

Schacht announced that floor privileges have been requested for the following individuals, and he moved that such privileges be granted: Members of the Library Executive Committee: Nancy Anderson, Tim Cole, Barbara Jones, Tom Kilton, Bill Maher, Frances O'Brien, Karen Schmidt, Mary Stuart, Mitzi Williams, and Paula Watson, Associate Professor of Library Administration. Members of the Library Task Force: Professors Nina Baym, Howard Birnbaum, Paul Bohn, Lizanne DeStefano, and Tom Ward; Harriett Weatherford, Assistant Vice-President for Business and Finance, George Badger, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Computing and Communications; and student members Ms. Stephanie Davis and Senator Michelle Svetlic. The Senate approved floor privileges for these individuals by voice vote. Schacht announced that the following senators have agreed to serve as tellers for today's meeting: Nancy O'Brien (LIBR), James L. Robinson (ACES), Michael Grossman (ACES), and Carl Jones (VMED).

05/04/98-01 Schacht presented for action the recommendation from Senate Council that the Senate endorse Recommendation 9 in the Final Report of the Task Force on the Future of the University Library (March 31, 1998). This Recommendation states: "In order to promote campus participation in the Library's strategic decisions and campus advocacy on the Library's behalf, a Campus Library Policy Board (CLPB) should be established for at least three years."

He invited Thomas Mengler, Interim Provost and Chair of the Library Task Force, to deliver introductory remarks. Mengler acknowledged that this is a critical time for all academic libraries, as the skyrocketing costs of serials and the increasing impact of technology are forcing libraries to take stock of their operations. He stated the most frequent questions he has heard regarding the report of his Task Force were: Why must the library plan? Why must the campus be involved in its plan? How will the Campus Library Policy Board (CLPB) help? The proposed Campus Library Policy Board (CLPB) would report to the Campus Budget Oversight Committee (CBOC), be advisory to the Provost, and be consultative to the University Librarian. This reporting line would make the library (and its budget decisions) fiscally accountable to the CBOC, as any other campus unit. Mengler stressed that the health of our library system is essential to the continued health of the campus.

Senator Emanuel Donchin (LAS) asserted that the Senate should not endorse the creation of a governing body, temporary or permanent, until the appropriate Senate committees have had the opportunity to review the material and provide their recommendations. He was uncomfortable voting for (or against) the formation of a body without a clear understanding of the charge to that body.

Schacht acknowledged there was a great deal to digest (35 pp.), but emphasized that the Senate is being asked to endorse only one recommendation of the 21 embedded in the task force report. Senate Council felt this issue was important enough to schedule this special meeting. Mengler added that he hoped to have the Senate's blessing so a CLPB could be appointed this summer.

Senator H. George Friedman (ENGR) believed that sometimes issues of governance need to take time, but sometimes immediate action is needed and this is one of those times. He urged the Senate to endorse the creation of a CLPB.

Donchin was troubled by the characterization of the appointment process of a CLPB as akin to that of the CBOC. Since the CBOC nomination and selection procedures were agreed upon only after lengthy negotiations, he was concerned that a vote to endorse the formation of a CLPB was a vote to endorse unknown nomination and selection procedures.

Senator Wes Seitz (ACES) believed the description of this entity as a "board" lent a sense of permanence to it, which he found disagreeable. Senator Alex Scheeline (LAS), next year's Library Committee Chair, referring to last fall's library budget crisis, indicated that the expected re-allocation of library funds did not occur. As a result, he thought it perilous to take no action at this time.

Senator Al Kagan (LIBR), member of the Senate Library Committee, believed the endorsement of the report's recommendation #9 presents the library with an opportunity to move in the right direction.

Seitz moved the following [deletions] additions to the main motion:

…the Senate endorse Recommendation 9 as modified in the Final Report of the Task Force on the Future of the University Library (March 31, 1998). This Recommendation states:
"In order to promote campus participation in the Library's strategic decisions and campus advocacy on the Library's behalf, the Senate endorses the establishment by the Provost of a Campus Library Policy [Board] Committee (CLP[B] C) [should be established] for at least three years."

Senator Martha O. Friedman (LIBR) declared that the coordination of library and campus policies has been neglected for too long; the time for action is now. Schacht stressed that Senate committees will have ample time to respond to the details of all the recommendations of the task force report.

By voice vote, Seitz's motion was approved.

05/04/98-02 By voice vote, the Senate's endorsement of Recommendation #9 was approved as amended.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Robert C. Damrau, Senate Clerk