25, No. 17, March 16, 2006
Trustees approve CAS appointments
and renovation projects
Sabryna Cornish, UIC News
The UI Board of Trustees
met at the Chicago campus on March 9 with half the members attending
by conference call from the Urbana campus. The special meeting was convened
because there were too many items that needed timely attention prior
to the next regular meeting on April 11.
The board approved various appointments and phases of construction projects
on each of the campuses.
At the Urbana campus, the board approved the appointment of eight faculty
members as associates and eight faculty members as fellows in the Center
for Advanced Study for the 2006-2007 academic year. The appointments
stem from an annual competition and allow faculty members one semester
of release time for creative work.
“These are all worthy scholars,” said Chancellor Richard
“This is an exciting concept,” said Kenneth Schmidt. “We’re
very pleased with the appointments.”
The board approved a $770,000 roofing contract to Henson Robinson Company,
Springfield, part of the final phase of a multiphase renovation and
expansion project for the Intramural-Physical Education Building and
the Campus Recreation Center East. The final phase of work at IMPE includes
renovating 30,000 square feet of strength and conditioning space; enclosing
ground level space at the existing tennis courts up to the existing
roof level; and installing a 1/6-mile track, a climbing wall, three
additional basketball/volleyball courts and seven multipurpose rooms.
The SportWell space and locker rooms will be modified, and the building
will be expanded to provide new office space and a snack bar area with
an instructional kitchen.
In February 2005, the board approved a final budget of $82.7 million
for the Campus Recreation renovation and expansion project after construction
bids received in the fall of 2004 exceeded the original project budget
of $77.6 million. The roofing work will be paid from the proceeds of
a future sale of auxiliary facilities system revenue bonds.
The board also approved relocating the Poultry Research Facilities at
Urbana to accommodate expansion of the Atkins Tennis Center. The $2.8
million poultry project will include five buildings, two of which will
be used for highly controlled, intensive and/or specialized research,
with approximately 16,6000 square feet of new space and approximately
2,800 square feet of remodeled space.
A proposal from the president’s office to hire the executive recruitment
firm of Russell Reynolds at an estimated $125,000 to help fill the newly
created position of vice president and chief financial officer for the
university also received the board’s approval.
President B. Joseph White said the outlook for governmental funding
of higher education during the next fiscal year is cautiously optimistic.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has proposed a modest 1.5 percent increase
in the higher education budget during FY07, which begins July 1.
“My hope is that this is the beginning of a turnaround for public
support in higher education,” White said, and added that he is
concerned that the university remain accessible to all students, which
can be compromised during tough financial times.
“The University of Illinois deserves the support of the state,”
White said. “I’d say with guarded optimism that finances
are turning around.”
Among items approved for the Chicago campus was a proposal to retain
the law firm of Stadheim and Grear on a contingency fee basis to enforce
the university’s intellectual property rights with regard to a
UIC-developed vaccine. An audit of licensee Organon Teknika Corp. conducted
by the accounting firm of McGladrey & Pullen during 2005 at the
request of the Chicago campus Office of Technology Management revealed
that during a three-year period Organon Teknika Corporation underpaid
its royalties to the university on sales of the vaccine by more than
$2.5 million. The board previously had approved retaining Stadheim &
Grear in July 2005 to pursue license negotiations with various companies
that had infringed on a patent portfolio donated to the university by
Procter & Gamble Co., action that is expected to bring “significant
revenues” to the university, according to the proposal.