Senate Executive Committee supports CIUS statement of concern

By Andrew Nowak

The Senate Executive Committee met Monday and discussed issues concerning the State Universities Civil Service System and ways to structure Senate meetings so that one topic doesn’t take up too much time.

Melissa Madsen, SEC committee member who serves as the professional advisory committee representative, reported on the Council of Illinois University Senates and issues they had noted about SUCSS, including the way SUCSS conducts its meetings.

Madsen brought forward a statement of concern, which originated in CIUS and was sent to senates of member schools for consideration, including the University.

The statement described “the reclassification of administrative and academic professional positions within universities” by SUCSS and its lack of transparency, which the CIUS said it wouldn’t expect from a public body.

The SEC moved to support the statement, which it has previously discussed, although some members argued that the statement should contain specific incidents of the lack of transparency. 

Kevin Seymour, SEC committee member and graduate student, expressed concern on the vagueness of the statement.

“I’d really like to see written down ‘this happened and this is a fact’ before voting on this, and especially before sending it to the Senate itself,” Seymour said. 

Members decided the statement should be elaborated upon before being brought to the Senate for a vote. 

The SEC also discussed how they can make meetings more efficient.

Nicholas Burbules, SEC Chair of General University Policy, brought up the amount of time the Salaita issue was taking up in Senate meetings.

“I’m very concerned that we don’t turn every senate meeting into another extended discussion and debate of this issue,” Burbules said. 

The SEC discussed methods for limiting comment times in order to prevent one topic from taking over a meeting. It was tentatively agreed upon that time at the end of the meeting could be set aside for discussion and comment on issues that were not on the meeting’s agenda. 

Andrew can be reached at [email protected]