Last November, North Park University in Chicago hosted the Fall meeting of the Illinois Conference. Our chapters were well represented. During our morning business meeting the Board reviewed the positive responses from the faculty members who we sponsored at the 2012 summer institute. The Conference provided support for ten faculty members to attend. This summer the institute will be held at the University of Washington in Seattle from July 25-28, 2013. At our upcoming April meeting we will again discuss supporting faculty from our chapters to attend these important workshops and seminars.
This June, the AAUP will host the annual conference on the state of higher education in Washington, D.C. from June 12-16. Members and chapter leaders interested in attending and serving as a delegate or alternate to the meeting can nominate or self nominate through the process outlined in this issue of Illinois Academe. The Assembly of State Conferences (ASC) will also meet during the annual meeting.
Over the past six months Conference officers and Board members have continued to advocate on behalf of our members and faculty throughout the state. Issues of academic freedom, tenure and shared governance continue to surface as major concerns. We have responded with support, guidance and expertise as needed. We also have reached out to the National office for additional support on these vital faculty issues. Our Committee A continues to be active and fully engaged in working with individual faculty. Chapter visits, daily phones conferences and e-mails have increased for our officers and Board. These communications are now common place as we meet the needs of our chapters. The expertise of the Illinois Conference as well as the National office can be drawn upon and consulted at any time in the interests of our membership.
As leaders we are dedicated to helping you and your chapters protect faculty rights and ensure academic freedom and true shared governance. Your involvement in shared governance is vital to the success of our students.
Our Elmhurst College Chapter will host our Spring meeting and conference on Saturday April 6, 2013. The conference will focus on methods, practices and strategies for improving working relationships among faculty, administrators and trustees in higher education. Presenting at the conference will be Leo Welch, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Eastern Illinois University; Ernie Benjamin, AAUP Chief Consultant and Past General Secretary of the AAUP; Dr. Ken Andersen, Professor of Communications, the University of Illinois; and Dr. Michael Grossman, Past Chair of the University of Illinois Senates Conference. Each presenter will delve into the topic with specific action steps and ideas to help our chapters improve these relationships. Please join us for this significant and important conference.
Since last November, the Illinois Conference has moved forward in efforts to add new members and chapters. To help us in that process we applied for and were awarded grants that will allow us to build membership and help our local chapters grow. Our chapter grant application can be found on our web site. On a regular basis we updated this site with national and state announcements, articles, best practices, documents, opportunities for committee participation and news that you can use.
In closing, I would like to thank the officers and Board of the Conference for the significant time commitment they make each month to provide timely help and guidance to our members and chapters. Together you have made a difference in higher education in Illinois.