UI Senate discusses admission policies

University President Michael Hogan and Board of Trustees chairman Christopher Kennedy presented a revised enrollment management report to the University Senates Conference on Tuesday, drafted in response to growing faculty concerns about changes to University admissions policies.

The University did not release a copy of the draft, as changes were made during the meeting in Chicago that afternoon. These revisions will have to be made official before the response is sent back to conference chairman Don Chambers for distribution to members of the group.

Kim Graber,an Urbana campus representative on the conference, declined to speak about any specific recommendation but said many of the faculty concerns were addressed.

“Chairman Kennedy created a positive environment with dialogue … where faculty felt free to collaborate,” she added after the meeting.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said Hogan and Kennedy went “line-by-line” through the report with faculty members to clear up any confusion and listen to additional concerns. He added that there were “good edits” made as a result, and he does not expect any major changes to the report after Tuesday’s meeting.

In the University Senates Conference review report, the task force endorsed the concept of enrollment management but was hesitant to move forward on many of the recommendations, most notably one that would centralize admissions and financial aid processes. This concern was reflected on all three campuses.

In addition, many Urbana faculty members wrote to Kennedy in January expressing deep reservations about how discussions were being handled over the admissions recommendations. But professors indicated they were welcoming of Kennedy’s response to those concerns. In that response, Kennedy reiterated that there will be an ongoing dialogue and stated that any implementation of the enrollment management would be done with campus input.

Hardy said the campus provosts will serve on a council with the new associate vice president for academic affairs, previously titled the executive director for enrollment management. Along with Christophe Pierre, the vice president for academic affairs who would oversee the new position, members of the council will share “best practices, promote University-wide cooperation, and facilitate the initiatives of the (enrollment management council),” Hardy said.

The Urbana-Champaign Senate will meet Monday afternoon with undergraduate admissions director Stacey Kostell to discuss “where we go from here on enrollment management,” according to senate chair Matthew Wheeler, in an email sent to senators Tuesday.

Also at the University Senates Conference meeting, the group welcomed three new Springfield representatives after the resignations of former Springfield senate chair Tih-Fen Ting and her colleagues. Ting resigned after a vote of no confidence from her senate because she forwarded internal email threads to Lisa Troyer, Hogan’s former chief of staff.

Urbana representative Nicholas Burbules said Monday that he and Chambers have talked with the new representatives to “welcome them and to give them a chance to air their concerns about the conference and the University.”