RECONVENED URBANA-CHAMPAIGN SENATE MEETING
May 3, 1999
A reconvened meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m., in Foellinger Auditorium, with Chancellor Michael Aiken presiding.
SENATE COUNCIL REPORT
Senator Richard Schacht (LAS), Chair of Senate Council, presented a motion on behalf of Senate Council that any unfinished business at the time of adjournment today will be considered at a special Senate meeting this Wednesday, May 5, at 3:10 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Schacht announced that the following senators agreed to serve as tellers: Steve Seitz (LAS), Carl Jones (VMED), James L. Robinson (ACES), and James Ward (EDUC).
PROPOSALS FOR ACTION
05/03/99-01 The Chancellor presented for approval XTI.99.03*, Recommendations of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee. (A motion to close debate on XTI.99.03 had been approved at the April 26 Senate meeting immediately before adjournment.)
05/03/99-02 By show of hands, XTI.99.03 was approved.
05/03/99-03 The Chancellor presented for action GP.99.01*, Conflicts of Commitment and Interest in Outside Teaching. Senator Michael Grossman (ACES), Chair of General University Policy, moved its approval.
Senator Bruce Reznick (LAS) acknowledged the written support of this document by the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (AFT), as distributed in the April 26 meeting mailing, but he asked how these revisions might affect traditional (i.e., face-to-face) teaching. Senator Emanuel Donchin (LAS) pointed out that this policy does not prohibit either traditional or Internet teaching, but stipulates a reporting requirement for potential conflict of interest purposes only.
Senator Terry Weech (LISC) moved to add the following as the last paragraph of Section III. C., prior to the arabic numbered subsections:
However, this policy as it applies to the potential conflict of interest in teaching is not intended to prevent faculty who are not under contract with the University of Illinois during the summer from teaching for other institutions or entities. While reporting of such teaching is appropriate under this policy, denial of permission to teach at another institution or for another entity is not appropriate if the faculty involved are not given an opportunity to be under contract during the same time period with the University. In short, faculty and staff on nine month contracts should not be denied the opportunity to teach elsewhere if the University is not prepared to employ them in teaching a similar course on their home campus.
Senator Nicholas Burbules (EDUC) maintained that this proposed amendment was incongruous with the sentiment of GUP's proposed revisions. Grossman asserted that the specific reference "…denial of permission…is not appropriate…" is inconsistent with the tenor of the policy. Professor Susan Larson (ENGR), AFT Chair, stated that her committee wanted to parallel teaching with the current reporting requirement for research. She added that AFT felt the policy contained sufficient protections and appellate avenues for faculty.
By show of hands, the motion to amend was lost.
05/03/99-04 By show of hands, GP.99.01 was approved.
05/03/99-05 Chancellor Aiken presented for action RS.99.08*, Resolution to Amend the Senate Bylaws Regarding Senator Attendance. He reminded the Senate that Bylaws revisions require a 2/3 majority to pass. Senator David Piell (LAS), sponsor of the resolution, briefly described this proposal as an attempt to encourage Senate and committee participation and to replace members who do not attend meetings. He moved its approval. (The full text of Sen. Piell's prepared remarks are on file in the Senate Office.)
Senator Mark Roszkowski (CBA) expressed his support for the measure, citing the chronic problem of inadequate attendance at both Senate and committee meetings. Senator Al Kagan (LIBR) shared the results of an informal survey of library faculty indicating that a majority were disenchanted with the work of the Senate. He believed that such prevailing attitudes need to be addressed in order to improve Senate/committee participation.
Senator H. George Friedman (ENGR) emphasized that while Senate committees do the lion's share of the work, the Senate has the final say on a number of matters. He supported the resolution, characterizing it as a modest step in the right direction.
Senator Donchin held up the Tenure Issues Committee as an example of a body doing good, thorough, and detailed work. He asserted that it is appropriate for the Senate to rubber-stamp good committee work, and reject poor work.
05/03/99-06 By show of hands, RS.99.08 was approved.
05/03/99-07 The Chancellor presented for vote RS.99.09*, Proposed Revision to the Synopsis of Policies Governing the Academic Calendar at UIUC. Senator Joseph Oberweis (CBA), co-sponsor of the proposal, described this measure as identical to the one put forward by the Senate Committee on Academic Calendar two years ago, and voted down by the Senate. He briefly described the justification for these revisions, principally that students are under stronger pressure late in the semester, and that out-of-state students will find it easier to make travel arrangements to spend Thanksgiving at home. He moved its approval.
Senator Lawrence Tabone (LAS), co-sponsor of the proposal, reiterated the travel dilemma for up to 20% of our undergraduates, including international students. Senator Joan Klein (LAS) reported the results of a survey of English Department faculty, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a full week break at Thanksgiving. Senator Heidi Von Gunden (FAA) indicated that faculty and staff of the School of Music would welcome a longer break at that point in the semester.
Senator Schacht expressed his ambivalence toward the longer Thanksgiving break. On one hand, a number of faculty and students might appreciate the extra time, but on the other hand, Schacht was afraid it would effectively end instruction for the semester.
Senator Friedman thought the ideal number of instructional days per semester was 75; he thought reducing it to 72 was undesirable. He moved to refer the document to the Academic Calendar Committee. Senator Weech, speaking as a past member of the Calendar Committee, saw no point in referring it back to them as they have previously reviewed and reported on this item.
By show of hands, the motion to refer to committee failed.
Senator Tabone pointed out that UIUC is at or near the top of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) comparison group in number of instructional days and number of whole weeks per semester. He added that since his instructors do not review previous material after the spring vacation week, review should also not be necessary after a fall break.
Senator Reznick expressed sympathy for the plight of students, but he was concerned about the message (i.e., fewer instructional days) being sent to Springfield. Senator Robert Rich (LAW) also was concerned about the loss of teaching momentum only two weeks before finals, but he supported the break in principle.
Bill Riley, Dean of Students, reported the surge in business at the Counseling Center during November, and he thought that a longer break at that point in the semester would be nothing but a benefit to students.
Professor R. Linn Belford (LAS), Educational Policy Chair and past member of the Calendar Committee, explained he previously had misgivings about a week off during the fall semester, but is now convinced that it is appropriate.
Senator Roszkowksi moved to amend the document by beginning the fall semester on a Monday (instead of Wednesday), effectively adding two instructional days to the fall semester. It was observed that this amendment would sometimes cause the fall semester to begin on August 21. Since this date is also the official start of the academic (contract) year, there would likely be logistical problems with starting instruction on the same day.
By show of hands, the motion to amend was defeated.
05/03/99-08 By show of hands, RS.99.09 was approved.
05/03/99-09 Chancellor Aiken presented for action RS.99.10*, Amendment to the 1999-2000 Academic Calendar. After describing how this calendar would function under the revised Synopsis of Policies, Senator Oberweis moved its approval.
Senator Friedman questioned the feasibility of amending the fall calendar so late in the game. Provost Richard Herman also expressed concerns about trying to implement such a calendar change at this point. Professor R. L. Belford suggested adding a contingency that these provisions will go into effect pending the best efforts of the Provost to determine its feasibility. Senator Tabone accepted the contingency on behalf of the other co-sponsors.
A motion to close debate was approved by voice vote.
05/03/99-10 By voice vote, RS.99.10 was approved, with the above contingency.
05/03/99-11 The Chancellor presented for action RS.99.11*, Amendment to the 2000-2001 Academic Calendar. Senator Oberweis moved its approval.
05/03/99-12 By voice vote, RS.99.11 was approved.
The Senate convened into Executive Session for purposes of discussing honorary degree nominations. The Senate emerged from Executive Session at 4:50 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Robert C. Damrau, Senate Clerk
*Filed with the Senate Clerk and incorporated by reference in these Minutes.