A new working group is being formed on the Urbana campus to explore issues involving the Global Campus Partnership, Chancellor Richard Herman said at the April 26 meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Senate. As work progressed on the Global Campus, Herman said it became apparent that there is “an enormous desire for this campus to have its own working group” to explore fundamental issues.
The group will examine issues such as hiring policies for faculty members and the academic programs that will be provided through the online degree program. Herman told the senate that charge letters would be issued within the next couple of weeks to people who are being asked to participate.
Vernon Burton, chair of the Senate Executive Committee, said that when he spoke to the UI Board of Trustees at its March meeting, he tried to convey faculty members’ concerns and ambivalence about various aspects of the Global Campus, such as the possibility of the university’s partnering with external organizations to deliver programs, and the potential detriment the Global Campus might have on the highly successful online programs administered by the Springfield campus. Burton thanked senators for their work and feedback on the Global Campus, and he congratulated President B. Joseph White for encouraging and listening to faculty members’ feedback, which Burton said exemplified successful shared governance.
Senators were invited to participate on a committee that Herman has formed to examine and advise him on issues related to free speech and civility on campus. The committee will include representatives from the university’s legal counsel, academic affairs and students; a chair is yet to be named.
Additionally, a task force formed by Burton and chaired by Jorge Chapa, director of the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society, will conduct a broad study of the campus climate as it relates to diversity and problems such as race-based theme parties and alcohol use by students.
Belden Fields, chair of the Senate Equal Opportunity Committee, suggested that the three groups meet to discuss possible areas of overlap among them.
Burton reported that the results of the online election for SEC officers and members of the Committee on Committees for the 2007-2008 academic year indicated that Nick Burbules, educational policy studies, was elected SEC chair; Abbas Aminmansour, architecture, was elected vice chair. Also elected to serve on the Committee on Committees: Alfred Kagan, library; Kim Graber, kinesiology and community health; and Roy Campbell, computer science.
- On April 30, the Urbana campus will host a meeting of senate leaders from other schools in Illinois.
- A seminar on shared governance at Illinois also is being planned, and members of the UI Board of Trustees have been invited. A date will be set once the trustees’ availability is known, Burton said.
- The Campus Research Board, which is overseen by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and provides funding to campus scholars, has been expanded to include a representative from the humanities and one from fine and applied arts.