The recently announced resignations of UI President James J. Stukel and Urbana Chancellor Nancy Cantor prompted several resolutions that were passed by the Urbana-Champaign Senate at its Feb. 16 meeting.
The resolution that inspired the most debate was a resolution that exhorted the UI Board of Trustees to use the occasion of the president’s and chancellor’s departures to formally retire Chief Illiniwek. The continued controversy surrounding the Chief not only inspires divisiveness and personal attacks that diminish the effectiveness of the president and the chancellor, it also may hamper the university’s efforts to recruit successors for Stukel and Cantor, the resolution said.
“What we’re asking the board to do is get moving on it now because it is going to affect what happens in the conduct of these next couple of searches and (we) would not have it clouding the horizon any further,” said Dick Schacht, chair of the General University Policy Committee.
Some who objected to the resolution said that the decision to retire the university symbol should be considered on its own merits and not be tied to the searches.
Another resolution passed by the Senate conveyed the Senate’s regret at Cantor’s decision to leave Illinois and commended her for leadership and her willingness to take public stands on controversial issues.
The senate also unanimously supported the General University Policy Committee’s proposal to formalize the selection procedures for major administrative positions that were outlined in a select committee’s 1991 report to the board of trustees. The guidelines in the report, which the trustees reaffirmed in 2001 while seeking to fill the chancellorships at Chicago and Champaign, called for regular and frequent communication with faculty and other members of the university community prior to and during the search and selection process.
In anticipation of the presidential search, eight faculty senators and two student senators were elected to a slate of candidates that the University Senates Conference is to consider for membership on an intercampus consultative committee, if the university follows the precedents set by previous searches and assembles such a committee to assist in the search.
Oliver Clark, executive director for public safety, presented his annual report on the Division of Public Safety’s operations.
In other business, the senate approved:
A proposal to transfer the department of economics from the College of Business to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Curricular revisions to the cinema studies option of the LAS interdisciplinary major, the engineering physics program and the undergraduate programs in elementary education and early childhood education. The senate also approved proposals to create four areas of concentration within the bachelor of fine arts theater degree program and formalize three areas of concentration within the bachelor of fine arts degree in crafts. The changes were necessary to accommodate academic structure codes used by the Banner software system.
Slates of nominees for election to the Athletic Board, the Educational Policy Committee and the Library Committee.
Revisions to the senate bylaws regarding the composition of the university senates conference so that the bylaws would concur with the university statutes. The bylaws also were amended to reflect the inclusion of the Office on Continuing Education as a member of the Committee on Educational Policy.