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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 21, No. 11, Dec. 6, 2001

Senate discusses state budget, other issues in final meeting of semester

By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu


The future of the Post-Genomics Institute and the past as it related to the creation of the Research Park were hot-button issues at the Dec. 3 Urbana-Champaign Senate meeting.

\Provost Richard Herman, presiding in the absence of Chancellor Nancy Cantor, told the Senate that the state of Illinois budget crisis would result in a $25 million funding cut for the Illinois Board of Higher Education and a $4 million cut in funding to the Urbana campus. However, Herman reassured Senate members that the campus administration would "try to ameliorate the effect on units."

"The problem is how to keep the enormous momentum that we had last year, in which we hired 195 faculty," Herman said.
In an effort to save $220 million, Gov. George Ryan issued a stop-work order for the Post-Genomics Institute, which was slated for construction on campus.

Despite the governor’s stop-work order, planning for the institute is still under way, said Paul Bohn, interim vice chancellor for research. The final bid documents for the facility are to be submitted in March 2002 and administrators still are actively searching for a director for the institute, Bohn said.

Referring to a series of News-Gazette articles about the university’s role in the development of the Research Park, senator Thomas Anderson said the articles had shaken his confidence in the administration’s handling of big policy initiatives, and he asked how university administrators planned to respond to the articles.

Herman assured the group that the Senate, the faculty as a whole and department heads would be involved in any future initiatives.

Administrators also are planning a town meeting on economic development issues such as the research park, as well as on construction of sponsored-research agreements, property management and the university’s partnering with start-up companies originating from faculty, staff or student research, Bohn told the Senate.

The Senate also revisited the issue of the Terms of Faculty Employment, revisions to which were approved at the
Oct. 29 meeting. Some senators voiced displeasure that the Senate Council had issued an advisory letter to UI President James J. Stukel along with the approved revisions to the statute recommending that a provision be added that the provost must concur with a decision by the Faculty Advisory Committee not to follow through on charges in order for a disciplinary matter to be dropped. The Senate in general had not agreed upon such a provision, said Senator Peter Loeb.

The senators were advised that the Senate Council was within its jurisdiction to issue such a recommendation; however, copies of the letter will be sent to them for review.

In other business, Senate members unanimously passed a revision to the Senate bylaws changing the name of the Senate Council to the "Senate Executive Committee," a title more closely reflecting the purpose of the committee.

The Senate also passed proposals creating minors in animal sciences and fiber sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. A proposal from the college for a minor in quantitative methods in natural resources and environmental sciences, which stipulates a minimum of 16 total hours, was also passed with the provision that the Senate verify that the 16-hour-minimum is the standard requirement.

In addition, the Senate approved a proposal creating a Singapore Study Abroad Option in the master’s program in chemical engineering.

 



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