Faculty respond to new capitalism academy

By Janet Reis

I write on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Campus Faculty Association to express concern with relationship between the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund and the statutorily dictated roles for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Faculty.

Threaded through statements and opinions offered about the ACLGF are characterizations trivializing and diminishing the role of UIUC Faculty in developing and offering courses and programs of study. (e.g. News Gazette Sept. 24, Sept. 25, Sept. 28 and Inside Higher Education, Sept. 20).

The required levels of review and approval for curricular change reflect the essential accountability of the individual faculty member to offer the highest level of quality of education to all students at all levels and in all degree programs. We have learned through a long history of failed educational efforts that development of curriculum is time consuming, exacting and rigorous. To trivialize or diminish the faculty’s role in this process is to miss not only the function of University faculty but what a university as a collective is meant to accomplish.

The audience was told at the ACLGF’s Sept. 27 inaugural event that the Fund has been three years in the making and that faculty are now invited to carefully review the Fund’s proposed activities. We welcome this invitation to discuss fundamental questions of prosperity and growth.

We are hopeful that the ongoing dialogue between the multiple parties involved with ACLGF broadens everyone’s understanding of a university’s process and principle, thus allowing us to focus on the real and actual substance of the questions before us.