To: UIUC Senate
From: Vernon Burton, SEC Chair
Nicholas Burbules, SEC Vice-Chair
Date: November 16, 2006
Re: Global Campus Task Force Report
In May 2006 the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) produced a document setting forth a proposal to establish a "Global Campus" of the University of Illinois that would be a new initiative separate from the three existing campuses and devoted to the development of online educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This proposal was the result of a year-long effort led by then-VPAA Chester Gardner to develop a plan that would realize the vision articulated by President White of making the University of Illinois a leader in online educational programs, as well as in other forms of the educational part of our University's land-grant mission. The "Final Report" was released to the campuses later in the summer of 2006 for their information, consideration and comment. It was President White's original intention to have the proposal presented to the Board of Trustees for action at its November meeting. At the request of the campuses, submission of the proposal to the Board was rescheduled for its January 2007 meeting, to give the campuses more time to develop their responses to the proposal prior to Board action.
Senate Executive Committee (SEC) decided to establish a Global Campus Task Force to develop a report on the Global Campus Initiative that might serve as the basis of a response of our Senate to that proposal. (As was observed in the Resolution passed by our Senate in September, the Statutes make provision for "the advice of the senates" with respect to any proposal to form a "unit organized at the University level" to be submitted by the president to the Board of Trustees when the president submits any such proposal to the Board for action.) That Task Force has been meeting weekly and corresponding frequently during the past two months. In the course of its deliberations the Task Force interviewed a number of deans and solicited email input from faculty, staff, and students. The Task Force also met with President White and Dr. Gardner (now Special Assistant to the President) to discuss the matter and a draft of its report.
The Task Force has now submitted its report to SEC. SEC has received the report with appreciation, and has decided to place it on the December 4 Senate agenda as a proposal for action, with the recommendation that it be endorsed. The SEC further recommends that, if endorsed by the Senate, the report be transmitted with notification of its endorsement to the other two senates, the University Senates Conference, and the president, for submission along with the proposal if or when the president submits the proposal to the Board for action.