U-C Senate to talk about ethics policy

By Melissa Silverberg

The Urbana-Champaign Senate will meet Monday to discuss controversial campus topics, such as changes to the Global Campus program, the University ethics policy and adding new members to its senate.

University President B. Joseph White will attend the meeting to discuss a proposal to the Board of Trustees to change the struggling Global Campus program. The proposal would give Global Campus separate accreditation power, allowing it to award degrees independently from the University.

“This is going to be the biggest and most time consuming issue to discuss,” said Nicholas Burbules, chair of the senate’s executive committee.

The senate will also be discussing the University’s ethics policy, which has spurred discussion and controversy about state employee’s political activities while at work. The committee on General University Policy will be addressing more specifically the ethics of a University employee wearing political pins or buttons at work.

As the discussion falls the evening before Tuesday’s general election, Burbules said he does not think it will have very much of an influence.

“I think this is the kind of rule that would be very difficult to enforce even if you wanted to,” Burbules said. “People are going to do what they are going to do either way.”

Burbules added that the Committee on General University Policy just wants to express that they hold a broader view of what is or is not allowed under University policy, yet they believe buttons should be allowed. Whatever the senate discusses and decides on this issue is not a binding decision.

Another issue on the agenda is whether to add academic professionals to the senate. If passed, this resolution would add 11 positions to the senate that already has more than 250 members.

“This is not a very big percentage,” Burbules said. “But it is very important to the academic professionals that they have a voice on the senate.”

Other issues appearing on the formal senate agenda include a proposal from the colleges of Media and LAS to merge the unit for cinema studies into the College of Media’s department of media studies.

The senate’s committee on Educational Policy will also be proposing to fully establish the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society.

This committee will also be presenting a proposal from the College of AHS to establish a degree in health that will include concentrations in health and aging, health behavior change and health diversity.

The November meeting of the Urbana-Champaign Senate will be Monday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. at the Levis Faculty Center.