U-C Senate approves academy resolution

By Michael Logli

The Urbana-Champaign Senate approved A. Belden Fields’ revised resolution concerning the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund at Monday afternoon’s meeting.

The fund, which was created in 2006, aims to encourage and finance conservative studies on campus.

Fields, senator and professor in political science, proposed a resolution that was tabled at the Oct. 1 meeting.

His resolution, which was revised based on a report by an ad hoc advisory committee created to help regulate the uses of the fund, says that the University agrees with the fund’s goals of facilitating discussion concerning civil liberties and limited government. The committee found that the fund’s methods for accomplishing its goals would have the potential to introduce bias into the curriculum, among other concerns.

Senators were also concerned about being unable to see the memorandum of agreement between the fund and the University. Because senators were unable to see the document, many of them were not sure why the fund was a concern, Fields said.

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“I find it disturbing that when the senate decided not to vote on my resolution last month, it was because many people did not know what was going on,” Fields said.

Other senators agreed that without seeing the document, they could not prevent other cases involving financial contributions from similar institutions from occurring.

“There’s still too much under the rug and too much I didn’t understand about what was going on,” said Susan Davis, LAS senator.

Chancellor Richard Herman said he agreed with the concerns involving the memorandum and wanted to post it publicly. Legally, because the memorandum is not property of the University, Herman said the University cannot release it without the fund’s consent, which has not been given.

“Even though the memorandum is in my possession, I do not own it and cannot release it publicly,” Herman said.

The senate also passed a resolution to change the name of the Department of Speech Communication to Communication. This will not cause any confusion with the College of Communications though, said Abbas Aminmansour, committee chair of the educational policy committee. The College of Communications plans to change its name to the College of Media Arts and Sciences, which may be approved by the committee within the next few weeks, Aminmansour said.