University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate

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University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Senate Council Chair
105 Gregory Hall
801 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801


Date: February 24, 1998
To: UIUC Senate
From: Richard Schacht, Senate Council Chair
Re: Campus Budget Oversight Committee (CBOC)

At our October 1997 meeting the Senate referred back to Senate Council a recommendation to confirm a slate of CBOC nominees generated in accordance with the then-current version of Communication #1 from the Office of the Provost. The referral motion called for provision to be made for examination and discussion of the procedure for developing such slates, and further for Senate action to approve any such procedure prior to the submission of such slates to it for its confirmation.

Having made the first of these provisions in the intervening months, the time has come for the second. Council unanimously recommends:

That the Senate endorse the plan relating to the composition and selection of the CBOC that is set forth in the February 8 draft of Section IV.A of Office of the Provost Communication #1.

Senate endorsement of this plan will enable the plan to be put into effect immediately. If this action is taken at the March 30 meeting of the Senate, it should still be possible for the first CBOC to be constituted in accordance with the plan, and to be in place at the start of the 1998-99 academic year.

The Provost's revised plan for the establishment, composition and selection of a Campus Budget Oversight Committee has emerged from a lengthy and intensive process in which we in the Senate have played a significant role. With an earlier version of this plan as the point of departure, comments were solicited and received from many quarters, including individual Senators and Senate committees. Senate Council and the Provost together took the lead in attempting to work out a revision of that plan that would hold the promise of yielding CBOCs well qualified to carry out their responsibilities, and that would deserve the support and approval of all concerned. The plan set forth in the February 8 draft of Communication #1 is the culmination of that effort.

This plan differs from earlier versions set forth in drafts of this section of Communication #1, including the one followed in generating the slate presented to the Senate last fall. In that plan the Senate was involved in the process at two junctures: (1) through the inclusion of the Chair and Vice Chair of Senate Council (along with the Provost) in the three-person "Selection Committee" charged with the selection of the slate from the pool of individuals nominated by the deans; and (2) in the confirmation vote on the slate by the whole Senate.

In the plan now before you the Senate is involved in the process at four junctures: (1) through the Committee on Committees, which may also nominate candidates for open seats; (2) through the Senate Council, which reviews the nominations from all sources, and which may question or decline to transmit any of them deemed to be sufficiently problematic; (3) through the whole Senate, which has the opportunity to approve (or to decline to approve) the full slate of nominees presented to it by Council; and (4) through the inclusion of the Chair and Vice Chair of Senate Council in the "Selection Committee" (as above).

Other plans can be imagined (and have been suggested and considered) that would feature other forms of Senate involvement in the selection process. We have concluded, however, that this is the plan that has the greatest likelihood of advancing the common interest of all concerned--Senate, Deans, Provost and Chancellor, and the campus community more generally--in a process that will generate CBOCs in which all can have confidence.

Once in place, the CBOC (along with other parts of the emerging reformed budget process) is likely to continue to evolve in the light of experience and changing conditions. We therefore may anticipate that there will be future versions of Communication #1 on which we will be invited to comment, with changes in the CBOC provisions that may also warrant Senate examination and discussion and depend upon Senate approval.

Then as now, Council or the full Senate may make any recommendations for changes that may be deemed desirable; and the Senate may decide whether to approve and consent to participate in whatever arrangement may be proposed. We should be mindful, however, that the final framing, future modification and implementation of the plan are prerogatives of the Provost and Chancellor, who are charged with ultimate budgetary responsibility and authority on this campus.

In conclusion, Council observes that the roles we in the Senate have been invited to play, not only in the CBOC selection process described in the attached document, but also in its evolution, mark steps we regard as significant developments in shared governance, for which we believe the Provost and Chancellor are to be commended.