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Final report of the Senate Council Ad hoc Committee on the Implementation of the
Report of the Fifth Senate Review Commission
December 1, 2000

In its review of the Report of the Fifth Senate Review Commission, the ad hoc committee discussed every recommendation. Rather than addressing each one sequentially in the following report, the responses and recommendations have been grouped together to reduce duplication. As part of our review, we examined the survey of faculty and student perceptions of the Senate. In addition, the ad hoc committee was fortunate to have Robert Fossum as a member since he served on the Fifth Senate Review Commission and provided background information as needed.

The Fifth Senate Review Commission's focus was on mechanisms to increase the power exercised by the Senate. The current committee believes that the focus should be on streamlining Senate procedures and structure to give it more credibility across campus. This difference in viewpoint explains the divergence in our recommendations from the earlier recommendations.


The ad hoc committee reviewed the first recommendation or statement regarding the purpose and function of the Senate. There was some discomfort with the general statement appearing as the first recommendation. Consensus was reached that the term "relevant" rather than "all" was the most fitting term to appear in the first sentence related to the Senate's role in educational policy and the mission of the University. The discomfort centered less on the content and more on the placement of this statement. Finally, it was agreed that any statement of this type was not required since the Senate's role is already specified by The University Statutes.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE (Recommendations 2 and 3)

In regard to the recommendation to create a formal organization of the entire faculty in addition to the Senate, we believed that the proposal would result in a parallel bureaucratic system. Of particular concern was that such an organization would impede current governance activities, rather than achieving the stated goal of giving the faculty a stronger sense of affiliation with the governance structure. We recommend no action to create a separate governance structure of the faculty, since the current system works well within active, concerned academic units. For those units that do not have full, meaningful participation through faculty senators, increasing the credibility of the Senate should encourage participation.

The student body already has a strong organizational structure, so it was decided that the recommendation to create a student body governance structure was unnecessary. However, based on feedback from students regarding the nomination process for Senate committee seats, an investigation of the timing of the current elections and the impact on student Senate seats will be undertaken in conjunction with staff from the Senate Office.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)

Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 from the Fifth Senate Review Commission address the structure of the Senate, including membership and the number, size and titles of committees. The role of the Committee on Committees was specifically outlined in Recommendation 6. Following are the ad hoc committee's recommendations regarding implementation.

Committee titles:
We affirm that the current title of "Senate Council" should be changed to "Senate Executive Committee." The change in title more closely reflects the function of this committee and is also in keeping with titles used by other CIC institutions and University of Illinois campuses.

Rather than supporting the recommendation to eliminate participation of emeritus faculty as full members of the Senate, we recommend that the current practice of giving full Senate privileges to elected emeritus faculty should continue. Reasons for retaining emeritus faculty include: departmental preference to elect emeritus faculty, thereby relieving other faculty from committee assignments; the expertise and historical awareness that emeritus faculty bring with them; the possibility that only emeritus faculty are willing to serve; and, the ability for emeritus faculty to attend Senate meetings regularly since they generally have more flexible schedules. We also determined that fewer than a half dozen emeritus faculty are generally Senate members, so any perceived problems from their being members would seem to be minimal.

The recommendation to make academic deans full members of the Senate was discussed and discarded. It was suggested that deans would not feel it worth their time to attend Senate meetings on a regular basis, preferring to attend only when matters specifically dealing with their colleges or units appeared on the Senate agenda. After consultation with the Council of Deans via the Provost, this lack of interest was confirmed.

Standing committees:
The recommendation that the number of standing committees in the Senate be reduced to twelve was discussed at length. One of the main reasons for this recommendation was to insure that each chair of a standing committee was also a member of the Senate Executive Committee. However, we believe that not all committees need to be represented on the Senate Executive Committee at all times, and that the current arrangement of encouraging all committee chairs to attend Senate Executive Committee meeting is adequate. Three of the standing committees are required by The University Statutes (Academic Freedom and Tenure, Student Discipline, and University Student Life).

Composition and duties of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC):
The duties of the Senate Executive Committee need to be revised, clarified, and expanded to reflect such activities as the annual reviews of the Vice Chancellors; of the duties and salary of the Clerk of the Senate with the Chancellor; and of the Chancellor's performance with the President. Additionally, we recommend that the Senate Executive Committee should meet more frequently to discuss various campus issues with the Chancellor and to serve as the Chancellor's sounding board. Also, every other meeting of the SEC should include a report from the Provost, similar to the current Chancellor's report.

We recommend that the SEC should consist of the following 14 members:
Chair of the Educational Policy Committee
Chair of the General University Policy Committee
Chair of the Committee on Committees
Chair of the University Statutes and Senate Procedures Committee
Three (3) student members (two undergraduate and one graduate or
UIUC FAC-IBHE Representative
UIUC University Senates Conference Representative
Three (3) standing committee chairs (elected by the full Senate by ballot)
SEC Chair
SEC Vice Chair

At such time as a Research Policy Committee is approved, the SEC may wish to recommend that the Chair of that committee be one of the automatic members of the SEC.

Standing committees:
Following is a list of recommended standing committees:

Academic Freedom and Tenure
Budget and Faculty Benefits
Campus Operations
Committee on Committees
Conference on Conduct Governance
Continuing Education and Public Service
Educational Policy (including Academic Calendar)
Equal Opportunity
General University Policy
Honorary Degrees
Information Technology
Student Discipline
University Senates Conference
University Statutes and Senate Procedures
University Student Life

While some controversy is anticipated about the recommendation to incorporate Faculty Benefits into the Budget standing committee, we believe that this is a logical arrangement and parallels how other CIC institutions organize these committees and parallels the arrangement within University Senates Conference. Further, since the Campus Budget Oversight Committee serves as a primary budgetary committee on campus, the Senate could have more impact on budgetary and faculty benefits issues by combining these two committees. This should be reinforced by recommending that at least one member of the Budget Committee serve on CBOC.

Based on the fact that the External Affairs committee has not met in several years, we strongly recommend the elimination of this committee. It serves no current need, and reduces the credibility of the Senate to retain an inactive committee. It also needlessly consumes the time of the Committee on Committees to make nominations to a non-functioning committee.

Since the duties of the Academic Calendar committee have been handled routinely by Senate Office Staff over the past two years, it is recommended that this committee be incorporated into the Educational Policy Committee. This merging of the two committees will allow for any educational policy issues related to the academic calendar to be addressed immediately. Further, the Educational Policy committee already has an organizational structure that allows for the creation of subcommittees to address various issues. The Clerk of the Senate should be added as an ex officio member of the Academic Calendar subcommittee, since he currently handles the implementation of the formula that drives the academic calendar each year.

The Fifth Review Commission's recommendations regarding the Committee on Committee's role in assessing committee member's effectiveness is not recommended for implementation, nor is its proposed five-year review of every committee. The review process is already handled by the periodic Senate Review Commissions.

Size of standing committees:
In reviewing the composition of the Committee on Committees (CC) we agreed that seven faculty members with three year terms would be a viable committee size. Student membership of three members will remain the same. The rationale for increasing the size to seven faculty from five is due to the demanding workload of this committee. The reason for not increasing it beyond seven faculty members is because the committee may become too large to be effective, and because more faculty appointed to CC means that there are generally fewer faculty for CC to recruit to other committees. The increase from two to three year terms is due to the need for continuity and expertise on this committee.

We recommend that the Library committee have four student members (2 undergraduate and 2 graduate or professional) and that the number of faculty members on the Student Discipline Committee be reduced to five. We feel that the current membership numbers did not best serve the needs of these committees.

We believe that all other committee sizes should remain unchanged. Larger committees would be unwieldy, find it difficult to meet, and are hard to fill with conscientious members.

Election and nomination issues:
In discussions of consolidating committees when logical to do so, mechanisms for appointing subcommittee members were considered. On occasion it may be wise when appointing a subcommittee with a special focus to seek advice from the Committee on Committees and approval from the Senate Executive Committee.

We agreed that it was not necessary to be a senator to be appointed to a standing committee, but that the Committee on Committees should give preference to senators when making nominations.

The present practice of having individuals serve no more than six years on the Senate in a seven year period should continue.

Nomination and election procedures for the Chair and Vice Chair should be continued as they presently stand, by having separate ballots for each position. While there was some support for the recommendation to have an election for a vice chair who would automatically become chair in the year subsequent to serving as vice chair, we felt that more experience was needed with the current system before reviewing and revisiting this proposal. Further, there is concern that an individual elected as vice chair would not always be interested in or suitable for the chair position. We agreed that the election process could be improved by having adequate biographical information included on these and all other ballots for key Senate positions.

We recommend that the USC representatives from the UIUC campus elect their own representative to the Senate Executive Committee rather than having the Senate elect that person.

The difficulties associated with student elections being held at a time that allow a previous year's student members of the Committee on Committees to determine the composition of the successive year's student senator participation on committees was discussed. We recommend that student members of the Committee on Committees should have terms that end in March, so that the new student members of the Committee on Committees would have the responsibility for selecting nominees for the following year's committee appointments.


Recommendation 10 addressed orientation, recognition for participation and location of Senate meetings.

Recognition for Senate participation:
There is concern that more recognition is needed for internal service to the campus community. While there are existing mechanisms to acknowledge service external to the campus, little is done to recognize or promote campus service activities. The general sense is that to improve faculty participation in the Senate, it needs to be seen by the faculty as an organization having credibility. Recognition for faculty would not have to be monetary, but could consist of a certificate for significant Senate service at an appropriate awards assembly. Generally, campus recognition of years of service (similar to the certificates and announcements made for classified staff) would be welcomed by faculty.

The question of appropriate recognition for Senate participation by students was raised. Course credit could be explored as a means of recognition, with clear requirements for what would constitute credit. The possibilities were discussed with Vice Chancellor Askew and other campus administrators. There were concerns about making this option too broadly available, since it could conceivably be requested by every student organization. Restricting it to the primary undergraduate officers in the Senate was seen as the most likely way to successfully implement a recognition system. Course credit for participation would be selectively available to these student senator leaders if they request it and meet basic criteria such as attendance at a predetermined number of meetings and provision of a written report.

Due to the extensive time required by certain Senate activities, we recommend that the Chancellor should be asked to budget funds in support of the SEC Chair and the Chair of the Educational Policy Committee. An additional sum should be made available to others for exceptionally heavy Senate workloads, as needed.

Orientation to Senate:
We heartily endorse the concept of an orientation meeting preceding the organizational meeting for new senators each spring. A packet of information should be mailed prior to the meeting and the meeting should include reports from the chairs of selected Senate standing committees (Educational Policy, General University Policy, Committee on Committees, and University Statutes and Senate Procedures). An explanation of the University Senates Conference and its role should also be provided. In order to implement an orientation meeting for spring 2001, this recommendation will be brought to Senate Council for immediate discussion and implementation. The orientation and organizational meetings for new senate members should be held on a different day from the final meeting of the current senate.

Each Senate nominee should be sent a summary of the Senate committees and their duties in an initial mailing, before Senate elections are held.

A list of Senate committees and their current activities should be distributed at each annual meeting of the faculty.

Site for Senate meetings:
Finding a new location for Senate meetings is already under study, and no further action is needed.

IMPLEMENTATION (Recommendation 9)

Recommendation 9 addressed the implementation of the recommendations of the Fifth Senate Review Commission. We propose instead the following list of action items, based upon the preceding report.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to eliminate the External Affairs Committee.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to merge the Academic Calendar Committee with the Educational Policy Committee. This proposal should first be discussed by the Educational Policy Committee in consultation with the Clerk of the Senate. A four week deadline should be allowed for response.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to merge the Budget and Faculty Benefits Committees. The two affected committees should first discuss this matter with a four week deadline for response.

- Increase the faculty membership of the Committee on Committees (CC) from five to seven faculty. The CC should first discuss this proposal with a four week deadline for response. The proposal should then be taken to the Senate for approval.

- Decrease the size of the faculty membership on Student Discipline from nine to five. The committee should be given a four week deadline to discuss the proposal and respond. The proposal should then be taken to the Senate for approval.

- Increase student members on the Senate Library Committee from two to four. After discussion by the Senate Library Committee, this proposal should be presented as an action item to the Senate.

- Revise student election procedures to allow incoming student senators on the Committee on Committees to participate in nominations of student committee members for the next academic year.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to change the title of Senate Council to Senate Executive Committee.

- Review, revise and clarify the duties of the Senate Executive Committee. Appoint a small group to work on this task, and if needed, recommend revisions to the Senate bylaws and SEC Handbook.

- Increase the number of Senate Executive Committee meetings to address matters of concern more quickly.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to reconfigure the membership of the Senate Executive Committee, after discussion by the current Senate Council.

- Propose to the Provost that a member of the Senate Budget Committee be appointed to the Campus Budget Oversight Committee.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to increase terms for Committee on Committee members after discussion within CC. A four week deadline for response should be given.

- Submit an action item to the Senate to have the nine University Senates Conference representatives from UIUC elect their own representative to the Senate Executive Committee.

- Explore with the administration the issue of appropriate recognition for significant governance contributions by faculty.

- Explore course credit for student Senate leaders.

- Recommend that monetary support be provided by the Chancellor to the Senate Executive Committee Chair and Chair of the Educational Policy Committee. As warranted, other positions may be identified for monetary support in exceptional circumstances.

- Establish an orientation session for new senators each spring that precedes the organizational meeting.

- Distribute information about the Senate and its committees to all Senate nominees prior to elections.

- Distribute information about Senate committees and current activities at each annual meeting of the faculty.

Submitted to the Senate Council by the Senate Council Ad hoc Committee on the Implementation of the Report of the Fifth Senate Review Commission

Nancy P. O'Brien, Chair
F. Wade Ackerman
Ken Andersen
Geneva G. Belford
Robert M. Fossum