U-C Senate discusses shared governance, grade replacement
Changes to university statutes and to the campus grade-replacement policy were ratified at the Urbana-Champaign Senate meeting March 29.
Shared governance clarification
At the last meeting, senators discussed clarifying language in the statutes that stipulates that tenure-track faculty members have a specific tenure home – or an academic unit that is eligible to vote on promotion and tenure decisions.
The language also specifies that tenure-track faculty members may belong to more than one tenure home, but must have at least one.
The other major language clarification specifies that the formation of new units or changes to existing ones, such as through consolidation with other departments, must include the advice of each unit. That advice is to be taken and recorded by faculty vote through a secret written ballot.
Senate Chairwoman Joyce Tolliver said these language changes have been discussed and debated over the last few years, but their implications are more important now because of the university’s financial and strategic review of programs and units as a result of the budget crisis.
In her remarks to the senate at the beginning of the meeting, Tolliver said she feels the Stewarding Excellence @ Illinois initiative has a good process that includes transparency and input from several groups, and that she is optimistic about the shared governance process.
She and others on the Senate Executive Committee are working to give the senate a more direct voice with the UI Board of Trustees.
Interim Chancellor Bob Easter told the senate during his remarks that he wanted to clarify a rumor that the UI is considering cutting assistant professor positions to save money.
“Let me assure you we’re not doing that,” he said.
Indiscriminately terminating hardworking employees whose future depends on their success at Illinois isn’t something the university would consider doing, he said.
Easter said the state’s appropriation for next year will be about what it was for this year.
The state funding for the 2009 fiscal year was fulfilled in October 2009.
The 2010 appropriations will be received at a later date, although no one knows when, he said.
The state is currently $500 million in arrears to the university.
Easter said a tuition increase probably won’t be as high as earlier estimates of 20 percent.
Senators approved a motion to make changes to the existing grade-replacement policy.
The senate approved a new policy in December 2008 that allows students to repeat a course under certain conditions and replace the original grade.
The changes senators approved include:
- Deleting a clause that says courses taken for grade replacement must be eligible for repeat as indicated by any repeat restrictions in the University Class Schedule list.
- Adding a clause that states an official academic integrity violation eliminates eligibility for a course repetition.
- Deleting a rule that says that if a course was taken for credit on the first attempt it must be taken for the same credit for a replacement grade.
- Adding a clause that states variable credit courses must be taken for the same number of credit hours when repeated for grade replacement. Special topics courses must be taken for the same topic when repeated for grade replacement.
The changes now go to the Senate Conference on Conduct Governance to be added to the Student Code.