By Craig Chamberlain A tentative proposal to reduce the size of the Urbana-Champaign Senate got both criticism and support from the senate at its regular meeting on Monday. Floated as a trial balloon by the ad hoc Senate Review Commission - by making it the designated topic for Monday's committee-of-the-whole discussion - the proposal calls for making the body one quarter of its present size. Instead of its current 250 members, the senate would be reduced to 63 members - 50 faculty members, 10 undergraduates and three graduate students. Thomas F. Conry, chair of the review commission, said the idea was being aired as an outgrowth of his group's deliberations, but it had not been voted on or endorsed. The value in airing the idea, he said, was that it pointed to the main issues that the commission believes are important to resolve: defining the nature of the relationship between the senate and the administration, the uneven quality of committee work, the lack of participation, and the perceived tendency by the senate to spend too much time on routine matters rather than larger issues. Conry noted that a previous review commission had proposed reducing the senate to 100 members, but the proposal had not been accepted. Ian Westbury, a member of the commission, argued in favor of the reduction noting that the senate and its work were "an acquired taste." The average turnout for senate meetings - currently about 140 out of 250 - demonstrated that the pool of people who had that taste and were truly interested was limited, he said. "A smaller body might be a more active body," and maybe more deliberative or effective, Westbury said. The fewer senate seats also might bring "actual competition" to fill them, he said, which would not be a bad thing "in any way, shape or form." Geneva G. Belford, another member of the commission, spoke in opposition to the reduction, claiming it would make the senate more "an exclusive club." Some departments would risk losing their voice in the senate, she said, because they would be sharing a senator with several other departments. Belford also said the failure of many senators to attend meetings was not all negative. The best way for someone to find out if he or she will "acquire a taste" for the senate is to join it, she said, but that also means that some will find they lack interest and will become inactive. Comments from other faculty and student senators through the rest of the half-hour discussion reiterated many of the same points outlined by the main speakers, but even several of those in favor of a reduction said a cut of three-quarters might be going too far. In other business, the senate: * Approved by a voice vote a proposal for the termination of the undergraduate program leading to the bachelor of social work degree. According to the proposal, "The [School of Social Work] can no longer provide the faculty and support staff needed to maintain four high-quality programs. The faculty has voted to eliminate the BSW to preserve the strength" of the other three programs, one of which leads to a doctorate and two of which lead to master's degrees. Those other three programs "are in far greater demand . and would be placed in jeopardy if the BSW program were continued," the proposal said. It further noted that elimination of the program "would have little impact upon the supply of undergraduate social work degree holders or on access to undergraduate social work education in Illinois." The UI program is one of the smallest in the state, currently enrolling only 51 students. If the proposal gains needed approvals from the UI Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the School of Social Work would move to close undergraduate admissions as early as January 1995. The school would continue, however, to offer required courses to enrolled students until they completed their degrees. * Heard from Larry R. Faulkner, the new vice chancellor for academic affairs, on the development of a freshman "discovery" program similar to efforts at other schools. The aim of the program is to give all incoming students at least one semester-long, small-group classroom or lab experience with a faculty member, Faulkner said. The campus Council on Undergraduate Education has developed seven different formats for these small-group classes or labs, Faulkner said, and a document explaining them will be sent out to deans within the next few weeks. "We hope to unleash a wave of inventiveness among our faculty" in developing courses or sections that fit the formats, he said. The program will be experimental this fall, with the hope that 1,000 to 2,000 students could be involved and faculty can gain experience with what works and what doesn't, Faulkner said. * Approved a proposal to reorganize the administrative structure of the library. * Approved a proposal to transfer the department of atmospheric sciences from the Graduate College to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.