Campus Senate Meeting

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The second Campus Senate meeting took place on Friday morning, Feb. 1. After the senate approved the minutes, Chancellor Koch gave about 30 minutes of remarks providing updates of various happenings that affect UIS. Among these was the announcement that the University of Illinois system would be having a tuition freeze for the fifth year in a row. She also stated that the $240,000 art has been selected and purchased for the Student Union. It should be arriving in the near future. UIS is beyond expected fundraising goals for the academic year, so the fundraising goal may rise in future years. At this point, there was a short discussion about the poor state of the road that runs between TRAC and the Student Union. The road is scheduled to be resurfaced, but not replaced. After her remarks, the chancellor left the meeting.

The bulk of the meeting was then dedicated to an upcoming debate about the future of the Engage Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) requirements. Several departments have brought up concerns after many classes lost their ECCE accreditation. For example, the Public Health department lost accreditation on every single one of its classes. There are several departments that want to abolish the ECCE credit requirement entirely, citing concerns that students may have to take more credits than would otherwise be necessary to complete their degrees. Some of the departments that do not offer many ECCE classes resulting in students who then must take courses with little relevance to their degrees. Members of these departments also think that many students who would otherwise transfer to UIS choose not to due to these increased credit requirements for all students.

There are also many who support keeping the ECCE requirement. One of the members of the ECCE board pointed out that Public Health only lost its ECCE accreditation because the department missed its deadline to submit materials for review. Others said that there is much value to be gained by keeping the courses, as they provide students with a global perspective they would otherwise receive. One attendee of the meeting said that there are students who hate the classes while in them, but later come to appreciate the global perspective that is offered once they are in the workforce and interacting with a diverse population. Whether ECCE remains unchanged, is modified, or is abolished is still to be determined and may take months or even years to decide.

Due to the length of the discussion on ECCE credits, most of the end reports had to be put on hold and the meeting was adjourned after slightly more than two hours.

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