Champaign Senate, though they added a caveat to allow future discussion of some of the more complicated or interlinked passages.
"There's a phenomenal amount of material and it needs to be studied carefully," said George Friedman, a professor emeritus of computer science, speaking on behalf of an absent William Maher, the chair of the University Statutes and Senate Procedures committee and the university archivist. "It is a complex document with articles that interplay with one another, sometimes in subtle ways."
Senators voted on two motions containing an initial round of revisions offered by the senate's USSP committee during its recent deliberations, mostly editorial changes in the statute's preamble and through much of the first two articles.
The two-year universitywide statute revision process has been led by a committee charged by the U. of I. Board of Trustees, which asked that the process, including reviews by all three campuses, be completed by February.
The statutes, which have not been revised in 30 years or more, contain the basic organizing documents of the university and define its governing structure. They already have been reviewed and reworked by the University Senates Conference and by the senates of the other two campuses.
Because of the document's complexities, USSP members opted to break their review into eight separate parts, with each brought separately before the senate for a vote.
Friedman said the volume of work still to be done, as well as several more complex or interrelated issues that need to be discussed separately, would make meeting the board's deadline difficult.
"We feel like there's been a lot of rush on this process," he said. "We're going to do our best to meet the board's deadline, but to present the entire thing in one meeting is ridiculous."
To retain the ability to revisit individual statutes, the senate passed an additional resolution "reserving the right to reconsider or supplement that advice when considering later motions dealing with later parts of the statutes if interactions are discovered which impact previously approved parts of the amendments to the statutes."
The first motion on the statutes was for authorizing changes that included the addition of "political affiliation" to the university's nondiscrimination section. The other changes in Article 1 concerned the definitions and roles of university officers. One issue was whether to include the president as a faculty member for every unit on each campus, as has been the tradition. That provision was revised to say simply that the president must be a faculty member.
The second article concerns the organization and function of the senates. One revision states that the senate "is the authorized partner" to engage administration in planning and policy deliberations and is the "elected representative of the faculty." It also adds academic professionals and students as part of that group.
Roy Campbell, Senate Executive Committee chair and a professor of computer science, urged senators to carefully review the remaining statutes for upcoming discussions to ensure the document's quality and value to future leaders.
"Please do study these revisions very, very closely," Campbell said. "Do please take your time."