20, No. 6, Sept. 21, 2000
Trustees laud Aikens accomplishments,
review Siebel Center drawings
Mabry, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; email@example.com
Aiken told the UI Board of Trustees Sept. 14 of some of the accomplishments
achieved at the Urbana campus over the last five years, and when he was
finished the board and others gave Aiken a hearty and lengthy ovation.
The trustees met Sept. 13 and 14 in the Illini Union.
"Its a better campus and a more competitive campus,"
said President James J. Stukel at the end of Aikens presentation.
"On behalf of all the trustees and the faculty, administrators
and staff, we thank you."
Aiken, who has announced hell retire next August, created a plan
that he called "Framework for the Future" shortly after he
took the position in 1993. Of the 134 specific initiatives in the plan,
most have been accomplished, he said.
Highlights of the accomplishments include:
- Faculty salaries increased an average of 5.4 percent. Full professor
salaries moved from seventh to third in the Big 10. In the IBHE
comparison group, however, the salaries rose only from 20th to 17th,
and Aiken said this issue needs to remain a priority.
- Campaign Illinois raised more than $1 billion for the campus.
One of the accomplishments of the campaign was increasing the number
of endowed chairs and professors from 32 to 194.
- The campus moved toward rebuilding faculty strength. Nineteen
new faculty members were hired through the Faculty Excellence Program,
with 22 additional offers outstanding.
- More women are at the associate professor level now, up about
19 percent since 1994, and theres been a 20 percent increase
in the number of women in the full professor ranks, despite an overall
decline in the size of the faculty.
- The base stipend for all graduate students increased from $7,500
for a nine-month, 50 percent appointment, to $10,600. There have
been improved health-care benefits and services for graduate students.
- The first-year undergraduate experience was expanded by offering
more living and learning communities now at six and
offering the New Student Convocation in the fall. The Discovery
Program brings freshmen together with faculty members in small classes
of 20 students or less. The Discovery Program now serves nearly
66 percent of the freshman class.
- The Teaching Advancement Board was formed to support teaching
excellence, much like the Research Board does for the research mission
of the campus.
- Major new facilities were constructed, such as the Chemical and
Life Sciences building, Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunications
and Spurlock Museum. Major projects under way include the College
of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Library and
the Graduate School of Library and Information Science addition.
Other projects in the planning stage include the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications building, the Post-Genomics Institute
and the Siebel Center for Computer Science.
- In addition, major renovations were made to the Assembly Hall,
Daniels Hall, Commerce West and $12 million was spent for improved
seating, lighting, multi-media capabilities and air conditioning
- The South Campus Master Plan was completed, which includes the
relocation of the South Farms and animal research centers to areas
south of Windsor Road.
- Participation in study abroad programs increased by 35 percent,
with about 1,200 students participating, ranking the UI sixth in
the nation for the largest study abroad program of all U.S. universities.
- The developer has been selected and construction initiated for
the Research Park on the south campus.
- Two womens sports have been added soccer and softball
which helped increase female participation in intercollegiate
varsity sports from 29.9 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 2000.
- Campus budget reform was implemented beginning in FY99. Refinements
and improvements are made each year to improve the process.
Trustees received architectural drawings for the Thomas M. Siebel Center
for Computer Science. The 218,000-square-foot building is being built
with gift money from alumnus Siebel, and money from the state and College
of Engineering. The building will be located near the proposed NCSA
building on the northeast corner of campus.
The Siebel Center will provide classrooms, faculty offices and research
labs, and administrative offices for the department of computer science.
The plans call for a site encompassing two square blocks. The NCSA building
will occupy the northern half of the site and the Siebel Center will
be on the southern half. The north boundary is Clark Street, and the
south is Stoughton Avenue; the east-west boundaries are Goodwin and
Mathews avenues. The building will be brick and limestone, to match
the historic buildings on campus, and it will be four stories tall and
also have a lower level.
Trustees also considered the proposal from an alumnus to build a chapel
or "quiet place" on campus. Aiken said the donor proposes
the building be available to those who seek a quiet place of solitude
for meditation or reflection, and also as a meeting space for religious
groups or for personal counseling. The 6,300-square-foot building would
cost $4 million to $5 million, all of which would come from the donor,
according to the proposal.
Some trustees expressed concern about a "chapel" on state-owned
property. Chairman William Engelbrecht suggested the donor be asked
if it could be called the McFarland Quiet Place, rather than McFarland
Chapel, and if it could be open to all groups, and not just religious
Also at the meeting, trustees learned that the search for a new chancellor
for the Springfield campus has resulted in 16 active applicants and
14 nominations. The committee hopes to have a list of finalists to the
board by January. Chancellor Naomi Lynn announced her retirement last
year and has agreed to stay on until a new chancellor is hired.
The board also heard concerns from three people who spoke against the
sale of 1,800 acres of farmland at Allerton Park. The board is considering
the sale of the land to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources,
which wants to restore it to a natural prairie. Proceeds from the sale
would go toward maintenance and improvements at the park.
A representative from Women in Computer Science asked that the new Siebel
Center be designed to include a "parents office." The
room would be a place where a parent could work while supervising a
child, but the parents would not leave their children unattended, said
Kay Connelly, the representative. She said it would allow parents to
get some work done without bothering their co-workers at times when
they must bring their children to work.
Stacy Fifer with the Graduate Employees Organization urged the
trustees to provide more child-care facilities on the Urbana campus.
She said the UIs lack of response to a child-care shortage demonstrates
the need for the graduate employees to be recognized as a collective
bargaining unit. She said the graduate assistants need a union in order
to have their concerns heard.
Trustees approved a resolution that allows the university to use its
power of eminent domain to acquire land for the South Campus expansion,
if needed. The resolution states that if the land purchases cannot be
negotiated with the owners, the UI can use eminent domain to acquire
specific parcels of land north and south of Church Street, between Curtis
Road and Airport Road.