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; email@example.com
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
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
Despite the governors 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 universitys
role in the development of the Research Park, senator Thomas Anderson
said the articles had shaken his confidence in the administrations
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 universitys 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 masters program in chemical engineering.