URBANA-CHAMPAIGN SENATE MEETING
March 22, 1999
A regular meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m., in Foellinger Auditorium, with Chancellor Michael Aiken presiding.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
03/22/99-01 Minutes of the February 15, 1999, meeting were approved as written.
SENATE COUNCIL REPORT
Senator Richard Schacht (LAS), Chair of Senate Council, indicated that materials relative to EP.99.15, Transfer of the Department of Biochemistry from the School of Chemical Sciences to the School of Life Sciences, are available at the door. They include: a revised p. 79 of your packet (describing the public hearing and reaffirmation of support for the proposal by the Educational Policy Committee), the minutes of the hearing, and comments about the proposal as received by LAS.
Schacht announced that the following persons had requested floor privileges, and he moved that such privileges be granted, to speak to: EP.99.13, Revision of the Undergraduate Major in Animal Sciences, ACES, Wayne Banwart, Assistant Dean for Academic Programs in ACES, and Professor Tom Carr, Dept. of Animal Sciences; all Educational Policy proposals from Liberal Arts and Sciences, Eugene Giles, Associate Dean of LAS; EP.99.15, Transfer of the Dept. of Biochemistry from the School of Chemical Sciences to the School of Life Sciences, Tom Eakman, executive assistant vice-president for academic affairs; Committee of the Whole Discussion of the Recommendations of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee, Professor Matt Finkin, member of the Tenure Issues Committee. There was no objection.
Schacht reported that Senate Council recently discussed the following:
Senate Office Move. The Senate and Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) offices have moved from Henry Administration Building to 228-232 English Building, although the conference room (for use by committees supported by office staff) is not yet completed.
Vice-Chancellor for Research. Richard Alkire has decided to step down as Vice-Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate College, effective August 20. Schacht thanked Vice-Chancellor Alkire for his efforts in advancing the campus's research mission and for his stewardship of the Graduate College.
Senate Council Meeting with IBHE Executive Director. Schacht noted that March 31 would be a special Council meeting, as IBHE Executive Director Keith Sanders will be in town that day. He is meeting with the Council of Deans at noon, and he will come talk with Senate Council from 2-3:30 p.m., immediately prior to the regular Council session.
Senate Council Meeting with the President. Senate Council will be meeting with President Stukel on March 24, from 4-5:00 p.m. As is the custom, Schacht sent a letter to Stukel in advance of the meeting and invited him to address a list of issues on the 24th. Schacht will report back to the Senate about the Council meetings with both Sanders and Stukel.
Support Services Strategy Report (S3). It was reported at the most recent University Senates Conference (USC) meeting that our Senate's critique of the S3 Proposed Strategic Plan for Administration was not well-received by the University administration. USC will also prepare a response to the S3 report.
Proposal to Establish a Senate Committee on Research Policy. The Senate Committee on General University Policy (GUP) discussed this proposal and concluded that the Research Policy Committee (RPC) reporting to the Vice-Chancellor for Research (VCR) "performs a key advisory role that a parallel Senate committee could not serve as effectively", although improved communication between the RPC and GUP is a desired goal. GUP recommended that the VCR appoint a liaison from RPC to report to GUP at least once a semester on activities of the RPC, and that the Senate Committee on Committees participate in the nomination process for RPC members.
Proposed Amendments to the University Statutes, re Academic Reorganization. In order to clarify which section of the University Statutes applies to the reschooling of academic units, the Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP) recommended that Article III, Section 2 be amended to state that the procedures in Article VIII should be followed in the formation or changes in organization of academic units. Senate Council referred this matter to the Committees on Educational Policy and GUP.
VCR and DGC Roles. The Chancellor is considering whether it remains preferable to have the same person serve as both Vice-Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate College or if there are compelling reasons to separate the positions. The VCR reports to the Chancellor and has growing responsibility for facilitating our research mission, both on campus and beyond, in all aspects pertaining to the research activities of our faculty. The DGC reports to the Provost and is primarily responsible for administration of the Graduate College, including graduate degree programs and other matters pertaining to graduate students. Senate Council and the Senate have both been invited to provide input on this issue.
Senate Council Chair and Vice-Chair Election Procedures. At present, the Chair and Vice-Chair are selected in a single ballot; the nominee receiving the highest number of votes is elected Chair, and the nominee receiving the second highest number of votes is elected Vice-Chair. USSP has proposed that two elections be held, one for Chair and another for Vice-Chair. The proposal will be discussed further at the March 31 Council meeting.
Senate Council Members Election Procedures. The Bylaws state that "Immediately after the [organizational] meeting, faculty committee chairs shall caucus and elect seven faculty members of the Council from among the faculty senators who chair…committees of the Senate." Because oftentimes not all committee chairs are present to cast their votes for Council members, USSP proposed that the election be conducted by mail ballot to effect greater and more informed results. Those present concurred with the proposal; election of the 1999-2000 Council members will take place by mail ballot following the April 19 Senate organizational meeting.
Campus Budget Oversight Committee (CBOC). Provost Richard Herman is considering the addition of student members to the CBOC. A draft proposal including that provision may be submitted to the Senate next month.
Student Senate Caucus (SSC) Resolution. In response to a request from the student senators for more complete understanding of senate procedures, Council discussed the establishment of a permanent faculty advisor to the SSC. Discussion will continue at the March 31 Council meeting.
Schacht announced that the following senators agreed to serve as tellers: Alex Scheeline (LAS), Joseph Oberweis (CBA), Stephen Portnoy (LAS), and Herman Krier (ENGR).
The Chancellor reported that in each of the last four (4) years, the budget recommendations of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) were fully funded by Governor Edgar, and were approved virtually intact by the state legislature. We now face a much more uncertain budgetary environment with the presence of a new governor in the state house, and we will have to wait and see how the Ryan administration proceeds with our budget request.
Chancellor Aiken also thanked Richard Alkire for his many contributions as Vice-Chancellor for Research (VCR) and Dean of the Graduate College (DGC), saying that Alkire has played a key role in research development on this campus. Now that a search must be initiated for Alkire's successor, Aiken said he will consider whether to have the same person serve as both VCR and DGC or to separate the positions and have two individuals fill these two roles. He hopes to appoint a search committee by May 1 and to identify an interim VCR/DGC during the summer to serve in this capacity until a new VCR is appointed, with a view to filling the position by January 2000. If the VCR/DGC position is to be separated, Provost Herman will conduct the search for a new Dean of the Graduate College.
Senator Heidi Von Gunden (FAA) asked if this (FY00) was the last year of budget allocations for Discovery Courses. The Chancellor replied that the Governor reduced our request in this area from $300K to $120K. We shall have to ask for funds in future years to meet the campus goal of making Discovery Courses available to all freshmen. Von Gunden sought more information about the campus excellence programs for teaching, research, and undergraduate advising. Chancellor Aiken directed her to the Provost's Communication #22.
Senator Stephen Kaufman (MED) asked about the objectives of the campus regarding faculty salaries and benefits. For salaries, the campus endeavors to be at the median in the IBHE Comparison Group and 3rd in the Big Ten; we are currently about $8500 below that goal for full professors. The Chancellor reminded all present that our benefits are administered through Central Management Services (CMS), over which we have little influence.
Hearing no objection, Chancellor Aiken declared the following proposals approved by unanimous consent:
03/22/99-02 EP.99.11*, Revision of the Geology Major, Sciences and Letters Curriculum: Addition of an Earth and Environmental Sciences Option to the Geology Option
03/22/99-03 EP.99.12*, Proposal to Establish an Environmental Chemistry Option in the Specialized Curriculum in Chemistry, LAS
03/22/99-04 EP.99.13*, Revision of the Undergraduate Major in Animal Sciences, ACES
03/22/99-05 EP.99.16*, Revision of the Undergraduate Curriculum in Nuclear Engineering
03/22/99-06 EP.99.17*, Elimination of the B. Sc. Degree in Ceramic Engineering
03/22/99-07 EP.99.18*, Proposal for Changes in the Curricula Preparatory to Teaching Foreign Languages
03/22/99-08 EP.99.19*, Proposal for Changes in Curriculum Preparatory to the Teaching of Spanish
PROPOSALS FOR ACTION
03/22/99-09 The Chancellor presented for action CC.99.09*, Nominations for Membership on Standing Committees of the Senate. There were no floor nominations and nominations were declared closed.
03/22/99-10 By voice vote, the nomination was approved.
03/22/99-11 Chancellor Aiken presented for action SC.99.10*, Nomination for Student Membership on the Committee on Committees. There were no floor nominations and nominations were declared closed.
03/22/99-12 The nomination was approved by voice vote.
03/22/99-13 The Chancellor presented for action EP.99.15*, Proposal to Transfer the Department of Biochemistry from the School of Chemical Sciences to the School of Life Sciences. Professor R. Linn Belford (LAS), Educational Policy Chair, described how the requirement of a public hearing, as mandated by Senate Standing Rule 13, was met on March 4, and that his Committee re-affirmed its support of this proposal. He moved its approval.
03/22/99-14 By show of hands, EP.99.15 was approved.
PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY STATUTES
03/22/99-15 Chancellor Aiken presented for action/second reading SP.99.04*, Proposed Revisions to the University Statutes-Article IX Section 6.g. and Article X Section 1.b.(1). Senator Robert Fossum (LAS), Statutes Committee Chair, explained that a University Senates Conference (USC) ad hoc committee proposed a uniform tenure code rollback policy at the request of Vice-President Manning. The Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP) has considered the proposal from the ad hoc committee as well as suggestions from the Committees on Academic Freedom and Tenure, General University Policy, and Senate Council. USSP is now proposing language that conforms to that suggested by the ad hoc committee. Fossum moved approval.
03/22/99-16 By voice vote, SP.99.04 was approved.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE DISCUSSION
Schacht moved that the Senate convene as a committee of the whole for purposes of discussing Recommendations of the Tenure Issues Committee Regarding a System of Periodic Faculty Review. There was no objection.
Senate Council Vice-Chair Donald Uchtmann (ACES), Chair of the Tenure Issues Committee, began by explaining the ground rules. He will provide introductory remarks of 5 minutes. Thereafter, comments and questions will be limited to 2 minutes each, with a 30-minute time limit for the entire discussion.
Uchtmann summarized the recommendations of the Committee, saying that there are two components of the review process: 1) mandated annual faculty reviews and 2) periodic evaluations of the academic unit's review system for faculty. Under the tenure review policy, each unit must document its mission and its expectations for faculty contributions to the mission of the unit and of the campus. Annual faculty reviews will include a written statement of the faculty member's accomplishments, future plans, and self-assessment; feedback from the unit executive officer (UEO); and a permanent file of annual statements and related documents. The procedures for such reviews should also provide for a more comprehensive review by a specially constituted committee if requested by the faculty member or recommended by the UEO.
Senator Steve Seitz (LAS) believed that the unit's mission should be defined by its faculty. The mission itself should also be reviewed periodically. Professor Geneva Belford (ENGR), member of the Tenure Issues Committee, explained that the Committee recommendations indicate that faculty approve the procedures for annual faculty reviews. Since the annual review procedures shall contain the unit's mission statement, the faculty, in essence, define the unit's mission.
Senator Terry Weech (LISC) had two points: The expectations for each faculty member should be explicitly stated. (Section I.C.3.) The faculty should be able to delegate certain approvals to a unit's faculty elected body. (Section I.B.) Uchtmann responded that expectations can be extremely subjective and, therefore, difficult to state explicitly. Regarding Weech's second point, Uchtmann replied that the University Statutes already provide for such delegation of duties.
Senator Emanuel Donchin (LAS) thought the Section I.B. question (above) could be resolved by simply referring to a unit's bylaws (i.e., "...procedures as specified in a unit's bylaws.") Also, it should be clear that the faculty file referred to in Section I.C.4. is not a public document. Finally, when are provisions under "D" (broader or 2nd tier review) activated?
Professor Geneva Belford replied that the use of the broader review is a judgment call and must remain so. Schacht stated that the UEO would send the broader review request to a faculty advisory body; decision-making is not unilateral. Uchtmann added that the broader review is not mandatory.
Senator Stephen Kaufman (MED) felt the procedures created more paperwork and bureaucracy, and served as a disincentive for a person to become a UEO. Senator Ronald Sousa (LAS), member of the Tenure Issues Committee, disagreed with the perception that these procedures are onerous and challenged the notion that they would serve as a disincentive to become a UEO. Kaufman asked: How many units on campus are not in compliance with recommended procedures? What is the magnitude of the problem? Uchtmann replied that since there is no campus standard for faculty review, it is impossible to say who is and is not in compliance. This is one area addressed with this policy.
Professor Matt Finkin (LAW), member of the Tenure Issues Committee, stated that there is general sentiment among the public (and our Board) that after tenure is achieved, accountability ends. This perception is not accurate, and so we are proposing a policy that will codify existing procedures to make them easier to conduct and monitor.
Senator David Berg (LAS) thought this policy is public relations only, and should be handled by the appropriate agency, not by the Senate. Senator Al Kagan (LIBR) welcomed annual reviews as perfectly acceptable. However, he believed that broader reviews are unnecessary and periodic unit reviews are destined to be bureaucratic. Senator H. George Friedman (ENGR) asserted that this policy is not public relations. Faculty review procedures that units need to follow would likely convert some unproductive faculty into productive ones.
Senator Bruce Reznick (LAS) related his skepticism of the value of self-assessment. In his experience, a self-assessment reflects the personality of the individual, rather than the quality of his or her work. Senator Joan Klein (LAS) asked if the committee will incorporate today's comments into its final report. Uchtmann replied that is to be determined by the committee in the coming days.
A motion to rise and report was approved, after Senator Stephen Portnoy (LAS) objected to the arbitrary time constraints of the discussion. Schacht reminded all senators that this matter will be before the Senate at its next meeting for further discussion and vote.
REPORTS OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF OTHER MEETINGS
Chancellor Aiken presented the following meeting reports:
03/22/99-17 SC.99.09*, BOT, January 20-21, 1999, R. Fossum
03/22/99-18 HE.99.05*, FAC/IBHE, January 29, 1999, J. L. Robinson
03/22/99-19 HE.99.06*, FAC/IBHE, February 26, 1999, T. Weech
03/22/99-20 UC.99.04*, USC, January 15, 1999, G. Belford
The Senate approved a motion to go into Executive Session to consider honorary degree nominations. The Senate emerged from Executive Session at 5:09 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Robert C. Damrau, Senate Clerk
*Filed with the Senate Clerk and incorporated by reference in these Minutes.