AAUP delegate statements against lifting censure now

 

Statement by Harry Hilton, Chapter President, AAUP, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Let me assure you that my campus colleagues can and will vouch for me that in the 6+ decades that I have been on the UIUC faculty, I have never been an administration apologist. I supported and voted for censure in both the Koch and Salaita cases.

The June 13, 2015, AAUP UI censure resolution did not carry any suggestions as to requirements for removal from the list. Joerg Tiede, AAUP associate secretary, indicated that the following needed to be observed: “The process of censure removal has usually three elements:

  1. some measure of redress toward the person or persons affected,
  2. changes to policies that would prevent a recurrence of the issue that brought about the censure,
  3. an assessment of the climate for academic freedom from a representative of the Association.”

The following is a short summary of the current status on these pertinent topics:

1. Salaita Settlement

The mutually agreed to settlement between the Dr. Salaita and the University satisfies Item 1.

2a. Improved University Hiring Policies

On May 2, 2016, the UIUC Senate passed amendments to the University Statutes that will correct certain current deficiencies. When approved by the other two Senates and the Board of Trustees (BoT), new operational protocols will include

  1. no one will be allowed to perform university services prior to receiving a Notice of Appointment (NOA) with an appropriate prior starting date
  2. approval of appointments below the rank of dean will be delegated by BoT to the president who in turn will delegate this authority to the chancellors

Before disapproval of a proposed tenured or tenured track individual appointment by the provost, chancellor and/or president is announced proper consultations should take place with the committees and unit heads that forwarded the recommendation. The UI and UIUC administrations have agreed to follow these shared governance procedures. In the meantime, the UIUC provost has issued appropriate procedural directives to implement additional definitive hiring procedures and timetables. These are currently operational and will prevent any reoccurrences of past deficiencies.

2b. Academic Freedom

Official written policy statements have been issued by the UIUC chancellor, UI president and the Board of Trustees president reaffirming their individual and institutional support of the AAUP principles of academic freedom as spelled out in the AAUP RED BOOK.

2c. Shared Governance

The Provost, in conjunction with the Senate, created Provost’s Communication No. 27, Shared Governance for Academic Units. Additionally, the president, vice president for academic affairs, chancellor and provost have been extremely outgoing and frequently meet with faculty, staff and student groups, including UIUC AAUP chapter representatives. Our concerns have been listened to and many suggestions have been implemented.

I have asked the provost to implement the following: When units file their promotion dossiers the provost should require certification by the unit head that shared governance procedures are specifically included in the unit’s bylaws and cite examples where these procedures were applied and observed by the unit. I am confident that these procedures will be implemented starting with the Fall 2016 promotion cycle at UIUC.

I also draw you attention to the fact that UIUC has a new interim chancellor and interim provost who have worked tirelessly and successfully to improve conditions on the Urbana campus. However most importantly, former chair Chris Kennedy has departed from the BoT and with him are gone his misplaced micromanagement style and his much too frequent preemptive interferences in traditional faculty decision making prerogatives.

3. Visit by AAUP Representative

I have made arrangements to be available during such a visit and am prepared to testify and fully answer questions.

Removal of the University of Illinois and UIUC administrations from the AAUP censure list

While we commend President Killeen, Interim Chancellor Wilson and Interim Provost Feser, who supported and instituted numerous changes in improved procedures and University as well as UIUC climate, we would prefer to wait for the BoT decision on statute changes pertaining to shared governance, which remains as unfinished business. If censure were effectively to be removed today, pending the Association’s representative’s campus visit and favorable report, BoT would have no incentive to accept the three senates’ approved statute amendments.

————————————————————————–

 

Statement by Bruce Rosenstock, AAUP delegate to national convention, Associate Professor of Religion

As Harry Hilton [president of the local AAUP chapter] has pointed out, the administration of President Killeen and Chancellor Wilson has taken important and significant steps to rectify the causes that led to censure. I will remind the convention, however, that shared governance at Illinois, as elsewhere, also includes faculty, students, and their representatives in the Academic Senate. They too are engaged in work to rectify the causes that led to censure, but their work has not yet reached completion.

Over the past 18 months, shared governance process at the University of Illinois has gone through three very important steps: (1) on December 12 2014, the Hiring Policies and Procedures Review Committee published a report recommending changes in the approval process for faculty appointments; (2) on March 9 2015, the UIUC Senate  endorsed these recommendations and mandated the University Statutes and Senate Policy committee to determine how to amend the university statutes to implement those recommendations; and (3) on May 2 2016, the UIUC Senate approved the proposed statutory amendment for transmission to the Senates of the other campuses and ultimately for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

The statutory amendment asks the Board of Trustees to delegate hiring authority for academic personnel below the rank of dean to the President of the University, who is empowered to delegate it in turn to the appropriate officers and bodies at the various campuses.

It would a disservice to our three Campus Senates to essentially discount this work, to say nothing of undercutting whatever chance this work has of actual success, if we lift censure before the Board of Trustees is presented with this statutory amendment.

The process of finalizing this statutory amendment for presentation before the Board of Trustees will take up to a year, so it is not appropriate to expedite the lifting of censure at this time. We may return next year to hear a resolution to lift censure despite the amendment having been rejected by the Board of Trustees, as is possible. At that time, we may all choose to honor the impressive work undertaken not only by the administration but also by the shared governance bodies in all the University Senates. Honoring all the shared governance work done by all parties — the administration, faculty, and students of the three campuses — to rectify the causes of censure, we may then decide to vote in favor of  lifting censure, if Committee A so proposes.

We have nothing to lose by waiting a year for the shared governance process of statutory amendment to reach completion. And we have much to gain if the process is successful. But we completely disrespect that process and those faculty and students who have devoted many hours of their time if we choose now to expedite the lifting of censure by delegating our authority in the matter to Committee A.

The UIUC local AAUP chapter therefore respectfully asks the delegates to vote “no” on the resolution put forward by Committee A. We ask you to respect the ongoing work of our three campus Senates in their efforts to rectify the causes that led to the censuring of our University. Let us return to this question next year, if Committee A feels prepared at that time to recommend a lifting of censure. Please vote “no” on this resolution and demonstrate your respect for the ongoing efforts of shared governance at Illinois, which are a response to one of the structural causes that led to censure.

Advertisements