FOR December 5, 2000
(Vol. XXX, No. 15)
I. Call to order by James Tidwell at 2:05 p.m. (Conference Room, 2540 Buzzard Hall)
Present: W. Addison, R. Benedict, J. Best, G. Canivez, J. Dilworth, C. Eberly, P. Fewell, F. Fraker, R. Gruber, G. Kelly (S), J. Tidwell, B. Young, and A. Zahlan. Excused: B. Fischer, M. Toosi Absent: N. Greer Guests: L. Wall, J. Ryan, D. Righter, J. Nilsen, J. Parker, D. DiBianco, A. Weyhaupt, M. Beurskens, L. Hyder, and D. Radavich
II. Approval of the minutes of November 28, 2000.
Motion (Canivez/Dilworth) to approve the Minutes of November 28, 2000.
Corrections: Best: The volume and number of the minutes is incorrect. Last week is 14; this week is 15. Tidwell: page 2, Tentative Recommendation 12: "inpute" should be "input." Zahlan requested the original language of Tentative Recommendations 13 and 14 be printed with the minutes:
Tentative Recommendation 13: The Faculty Senate of Eastern Illinois University recommends that the resources of talent, time, and funding available to the university for technology be applied according to the following priorities: first, to build and strengthen the electronic infrastructure; second, to enhance on-campus instruction; and third, to develop web-based instruction.
Tentative Recommendation 14: The Faculty Senate further recommends that administrators, campus governing boards, and faculty and staff do all in their power to ensure that technological innovation shall be used so as to maintain and strengthen the quality of instruction that is central to the mission of Eastern Illinois University. In no case should web-delivered instruction sponsored by the university be of lesser quality or subject to less rigorous "quality control" than traditional classroom instruction, nor should resources be diverted from classroom instruction to web-based distance education.
Yes: Addison, Benedict, Best, Canivez, Dilworth, Fewell, Fraker, Gruber, Tidwell, Young, and Zahlan. Abstain: Eberly. Passed.
A. Minutes of the Council on Academic Affairs--Nov. 16, 2000
B. Agenda for the Nov. 30, 2000, CAA Meeting.
C. Minutes of the Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning--Nov. 14, 2000
D. E-mail from Professor David Radavich concerning Fall Forum--Dec. 1, 2000
He noted Recommendation 13 involving priorities, and requested to keep the original priority language.
E. Minutes of Academic Technology Advisory Committee--Oct. 13, 2000
F. Agenda for Dec. 8, 2000 ATAC Meeting
The subcommittee on fees will make recommendations for expenditures. There is $600,000 in proposals and $200,000 available, with 18 proposals recommended for funding.
G. Other communications
IV. Old Business
A. Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee: Tidwell received an e-mail from President Surles. She will keep up on proceedings through the minutes. Surles has asked that a comprehensive list of Technical Services projects be drawn up and timelines established for completion. Action is being taken and work is on an accelerated schedule. Surles requested that Tidwell let her know if technical services were not making progress. Work can be accomplished without interruption. Wall has received a list of computers not installed from the Deans.
2. Elections: No report
3. Nominations: No report
4. Student-Faculty Relations: No report. Benedict encouraged Senators to attend the External Relations Committee scheduled for the 1895 Room on Wednesday, December 6.
5. Faculty-Staff Relations: Staff Senate will be represented by Doug Sloat on the VPBA Search Committee.
6. VPAA Search Committee: Best: We currently have 10 applicants. Some have come on-line. A form has been developed to check materials and the committee will begin reviewing bios shortly prior to spring semester on Jan. 4, 2000. The applications deadline to apply for the position is Jan. 16.
7. VPBA Search: Tidwell distributed the VPBA position announcement to the Senate. An advertisement will appear in the Dec. 15, 2000, Chronicle, and again in mid-January. The committee has advertised in 11 different publications and websites. Discussion about qualifications was continued. Tidwell quoted from the announcement:
"The successful candidate will have at least a bachelors degree in a business-related field and seven years experience in related high level administrative positions within a comparable public or private institution. An advanced degree, appropriate professional certification or equivalent combination of education and experience are desired."
Zahlan: What is meant by "comparable public or private?" Is it to Eastern? Tidwell: Yes, I assume it means within a higher education institution. The Committee will not meet until they receive applications.
8. Steering Committee for Technology Enhanced and Delivered Education: Tidwell: The grant proposals are out, and we have no idea of how many to expect. The deadline is Jan. 12, 2000. We have not decided how to make determinations. The last meeting was about organizational models, and we will be meeting all day next Wednesday. We hope to present proposed organizational models to the campus after the New Year.
9. Other Committees: Fraker: The CAA Task Force will expect to meet next semester. The same is true with the grade book committee.
B. Fall Forum: Tidwell: We haven't received a lot of comments about the Forum. There was a nice editorial in DEN this morning. The Senate has not reviewed the Council of Deans Report. Maybe we need to take a look at it prior to making our final report on the Forum. Zahlan: May we ask constituents anything we want? Tidwell: We take the recommendations and in the report reflect the consensus of the people who attended the Forum. Zahlan: I did not want to ask questions without checking with the Senate. Tidwell: We can fine tune then. The only controversy seems to be on budget priorities. Benedict: I like the idea that our recommendations should be in unison with the Dean's report. Tidwell: Some items in the Dean's report have already been acted upon, such as the Task Force. We could wait until January, or meet next week. If so, it would be Wednesday at 2:45 p.m., the Tuesday final exam period. Benedict: There should not be a rush here. We can do this in January. Young: Are we planning to do another survey of the faculty this year? Tidwell: We had not considered it. Young: If we were, the material generated in these meetings might lead to a deeper sounding of our constituency. There is always the problem of the people who do not come to the Forum. Some have legitimate reasons for not being there. Tidwell: We are still looking for comments from faculty about the forum and technology. We seek anything related that they wish to express. Fraker: Is our mission to make recommendations or listen to concerns. Should there be two formats? I do think people want to be heard. We should list Senate goals to reflect faculty concerns. Zahlan: Agreed. Tidwell: Please re-read the Council of Deans recommendations again.
C. Other Old Business: Tidwell: Two future items are the Radio-TV Center and the EIU Foundation. Jon Laible has requested to tell about the foundation. Tidwell: [In response to a question]: Senate will not meet next week during the final exam period.
V. New Business: Tidwell: Rep. Righter is here to visit with us. He has a few brief comments.
Righter: It is good to see all of you. First item: The fall veto session wrapped up this past Thursday. We seemed to have time to build the Bears a new stadium, but not to consider the permanent repeal of the gas tax or the Miami tribe lawsuit. Many of the defendants do not have title insurance, and are currently paying the legal bills. Hopefully that bill will clear the Senate in January. The Governor has committed to sign the bill.
Spring Session: Redistricting will be the first issue on every legislators mind. The demographic shifts will show population increases in the collar county area. Downstate districts in square miles will become larger. In the U.S. Congress, Illinois lost one seat, 20 to 19. Tidwell: Isn't there a commission established to recommend those changes. Righter: There may be, but it will be ignored unless it is consistent with the majority party.
Second issue: An enormous issue will be state education funding. This school year is the last of the foundation level funding of fall, 1997, that will be in place. We will decide the state aid formula, and a myriad of other issues. The Governors Task Force on Education Funding has just released its report, and it recommends an increase in poverty grant funding. It also recommends adoption of additional foundation level funding for one year. That will receive a good deal of discussion during the spring session.
At end of last session, Speaker Madigan put together a proposal to reimburse private schools $200 per student for state mandated assessments. That would begin to chew a hole in public school funding. What you saw was a coalition of downstate Republicans and Democrats get together, and said this was the wrong thing. They also refused a lower proposal of $34.00/student, and the bill never made it to the floor of House because of the strength of objections of downstate legislators. The numbers even more than now will be north with redistricting.
The third issue is higher education. I have had a couple good meetings with Keith Sanders, IBHE, who is committed to raising the levels of all public universities in Illinois in funding and faculty salaries. Illinois sags in comparison with all public universities. In the last two years, EIU has received the first and second highest increases in funding. If we are following a percentage increase when you are already behind, that helps to make up, but not to a good degree. From 1995 to 200l, the average increase for faculty salary at EIU has been $10,000, and for others, it has been $8,500. That is good, but it is not a record a pace. There are too many players in the system to move the pie very quickly in one direction or the other. The Legislature will receive 820 million more than the previous fiscal year, a lower figure than a year ago. If you increase the size of your wedge, you clip off someone else's. The increase that EIU is getting is a compilation of players. It makes my job much more difficult if I do not have a team player at EIU, and that is the University as a whole. I have had that. When we have gone before committees, we have gone there as a team, and when revenue figures begin to shrink, it is even more important for that team effort to be obvious.
Down the road, I will say that within the next 5-10 years, we will see a continued recognition of the importance of the faculty issues. Within K-12, the issue is accountability. Remember that there are some points at which things cannot be measured with regard to teacher effectiveness. As children become older, there is more a realization that the tests do not affect their grades, and there is a more relaxed approach to taking them. Accountability measures in higher education are even more complex, and should be addressed. Whether that can be done in higher education is not known.
Technology Enhanced and Delivered Education: Capital improvements will be less about buildings and more about technology and wires. Those institutions that fail to move on technology will be left behind. It is more important for educational consumers not to have to drive to campus. A greater percentage of students will be non-traditional, and to the extent that institutions do not do that, there will be long-term ramifications to that. UI has 4,000 on-line students, and it is important for us to access that too.
Do you have any questions: Zahlan: You know the mission of EIU. We are working to figure out how we are to reconcile the traditional missions and the technological mission. Righter: A good deal of EIUs students originate in the Chicago area, where there is more technology. Those students will expect more and more to have easily accessible technology on campus. The non-traditional student base will also be growing. The institution must make an informed choice.
Zahlan: What you suggest about Chicago students is true. We are trying. Righter: Technology enhancement is important for everyone. The trend in Springfield is good, because we have a lot of Chicago area legislators where we have a lot of non-traditional students who need courses at convenient times.
Best: The DeVry Technical Institution is working closely with Chicago-area community colleges. There is an agreement not to offer lower division courses, so there is a niche there for all institutions. There is another thing, which is the amount of work we have done to measure our effectiveness. We have done so, and we are doing a lot of things extremely well. We are better than some of the comparison institutions and we should get some of those dollars.
Righter: Senator Rauschenberger, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, is a small business person, and his view of higher education is in large part good for Eastern Illinois University: "If I am investing in something, what am I going to get out of it?" EIU has demonstrated a good job of allocating its dollars, and meeting outcomes that can be measured. We are starting to do that.
Fraker: Distance learning is seductive, it seems easier to sit at home, but there is a limit to what we can do on campus if the money is being invested in distance education. Righter: Each institution will have to make its judgments. Addison: A couple of presidents ago, he emphasized that students could get more bang for their buck here. Has that reputation haunted us? You have done well with so little for so long, why do you need more? Righter: There was a period of time when that was true. I don't know if it haunted EIU's reputation, but when you have every group in Springfield working the legislators, you have to be competitive, aggressive, and say that you are here. Young: In Faculty Forum, many people said that we need to take the technology and make certain all students know what the technology can do. A liberal arts education is supposed to prepare people to be able to change. We need to have the cutting edge technology, but prioritize things so students are capable of going forward successfully. We can't jump into a market in competition with the UI or Phoenix University.
Benedict: What can we do as an institution to support our plight of under funding in cooperation with you? How can we get that slice of pie a little bigger? Righter: The last several years, there has been more attention paid to Springfield. President Surles was present to meet legislators right from the floor soon after the beginning of her administration. The same thing can be said of the faculty and students, as well. Any time that a group of faculty members come to Springfield, I'll do that for them as well. Tidwell: Is there any realistic chance of getting supplemental funding? Righter: Not this year. The State is projecting a 200 million shortfall in Medicaid funding. Prospects for a supplemental appropriation is not good for this term or next fall, either. Efforts have to be focused on the spring session budget. Tidwell: What about the gas sales tax. If the gas tax break had been made permanent, what kind of hole would that have made? Righter: That is $360 million for the year, but we should not make policy based on what is in the coffers. I have been an ardent advocate of permanently repealing the sales tax on gas, especially with three of my five counties on the Illinois/Indiana border. Truckers stop to top off tanks just so they can get across the border into Indiana where gas is 10 cents/gallon cheaper. I would be happy with a three-year moratorium on the gas sales tax. The Governor is much more hesitant to sign the bill than he was earlier. Health care costs have changed markedly. Speaker Madigan will not make him the bad guy anyway and have him veto it.
Gruber: Getting back to faculty salaries, thank you for the work you have done on behalf of the University. We have heard dozens of times that we are the lowest in the state of Illinois. Still, we think we are pretty good, but this is going to undermine our sense of whether we really are pretty good. There have to be other places where if I really were pretty good, I would be there. We have some difficulty recruiting because of that. We go down the list of names sometimes as we get turned down. Recently we have made some progress, but if we remain in last place .
Righter: At least generally, rewarding in terms of dollars is not the best measure of merit. I don't know when the funding hole started, but it was a long time ago. It will take some time to catch up. It will take continued aggressiveness in Springfield, and a measure of patience since it will not happen in a short period of time.
Tidwell: What do you see with reapportionment? There has been speculation that there will be an agreement between Philip and Madigan about drawing the lines for Senate and House districts. Righter: Politics in Central Illinois are not overly partisan such as the northern part of the state. I have found people in my district that without regard to party, once they know a person is working hard and listening to them, then party considerations become secondary at best. If those legislators who are redistricted listen, they will get re-elected.
Audience: Hyder: There has been speculation in recent weeks that the perception of Eastern might have suffered as a result of unrest on the campus. What is your take on that? Righter: I will know better in spring session. The focused team message is very important. To the extent that is chipped away, that is not helpful. It is true that the newspaper headlines are read in Springfield. The first thing that staff members do in the morning is going through the clippings. That is the reason we need to have a focused message, and bring it to Springfield. Fewell: What about capital funding for the fine arts center? Righter: We will continue to get that. It will remain high on the priority list because there is a commitment out there. A lot of institutions have serious capital needs, but with one project underway, Eastern has a priority. Tidwell: What about technology proposals? Will they be favored over bricks and mortar? Righter: The more applications in place, the better off that you are. Fads come and go in Springfield, and it has Springfield's eye.
Tidwell thanked Representative Righter for his comments.
VI. Adjourn: Benedict: 3:25 p.m.
Future Agenda Items
A. Radio-TV Center
B. EIU Foundation Respectfully submitted: Charles G. Eberly, Recorder