Three resolutions put Hogan in crosshairs
URBANA — Faculty and student senators challenged President Michael Hogan with a trio of strongly worded resolutions Monday, citing a "failure of leadership" in the events surrounding anonymous emails linked to his former chief of staff.
One also urges UI trustees to hold off on many aspects of a contentious enrollment-management plan pushed by Hogan, including the hiring of a central enrollment management director, until they can be explored further by faculty and campus leaders.
Ramping up criticism of Hogan, the campus senate unanimously approved a resolution on ethical leadership and shared governance that said the emails sent from Lisa Troyer's computer were not an isolated event but just one piece of "a broad pattern of surveillance and intrusion into legitimate faculty governance deliberations."
"As elected faculty, staff and student leaders, we believe that there must be accountability for this broader failure of leadership," the resolution said, citing efforts by Hogan and board of trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy to push the enrollment-management plan with faculty and the three campus chancellors.
The campus governance group also endorsed a letter delivered to the UI Board of Trustees by University Senates Conference Chairman Don Chambers in which he said that leaders must accept responsibility for what happens on their watch even if they may not have personally directed or approved it.
Earlier this month, an ethics investigation concluded Troyer had posed as a faculty senator in anonymous emails to try to influence a University Senates Conference report on Hogan's plan, which covers admissions, financial aid and related issues.
Troyer resigned her position but denied authoring the Dec. 12 emails, which investigators traced to her laptop computer.
On Monday, Urbana Professor Joyce Tolliver delivered a statement harshly critical of Hogan, saying he pressured senate conference members with an irate phone call and "leaked" information to prevent them from issuing a report that criticized the proposals; made "false or misleading" statements about the Troyer investigation and mischaractized faculty from the three campuses as "hopelessly divided" on enrollment management; issued an apology that did not admit personal responsibility for the incident; and "led the effort to secure a campus position for his disgraced chief of staff."
"The fact that he sees no conflict of interest in pursuing a faculty position for the one person whose silence protects him from any further disclosures suggests an ethical standard far below what common sense would dictate," she said.
"All of these actions fall far short of our ideal of ethical leadership, and violate both the spirit and the letter of shared governance," she said.
Her remarks were greeted by sustained applause.
Senate Chairman Matthew Wheeler said the resolution on ethical leadership doesn't seek any particular action.
"This is a statement of our values," he said, citing a line that reads, "This is not the Illinois way."
Wheeler told the group that Troyer had contacted him about the resolution and reiterated, "I neither wrote nor sent the anonymous emails, and I will continue to assert this."
The resolution was amended after a complaint from Professor Tih-Fen Ting, who stepped down Friday as chair of the UI Springfield senate after a vote of no-confidence from senators there. The resolution originally said Ting had "leaked" with Troyer a draft report that senates conference members had agreed not to share publicly, but Wheeler said a review of minutes showed that only a subcommittee had discussed keeping it confidential.
Investigators found that Ting had sent three dozen anonymous emails to Troyer about the senates conference deliberations.
After Monday's meeting, UI spokesman Tom Hardy reiterated that Hogan had already apologized and said the anonymous emails were "regrettable."
"Certainly, this is an emotional issue for the senate, for a lot of people in the institution," Hardy said.
He noted that Tolliver and others had touted the importance of a thorough, independent investigation, "yet they don't want to accept the finding that a single person was responsible for this, and nobody else, including the president, had any involvement in it."
Hardy also said Troyer was given her zero-time tenured appointment when she was hired in 2010, "and it was vetted by the campus at the time and approved by trustees."
She is now transitioning to a paid appointment, and "the campus can take whatever it deems the appropriate action by the statutes."
The resolution on enrollment management, diversity and shared governance calls for postponing any recommendations other than those implementing campus-level enrollment plans and collaboration, as a senate task force had recommended.
It also calls for campus-level programs to promote student diversity and urges Hogan and UI trustees to affirm "a commitment to genuine shared governance where the advice of the faculty is not only encouraged but seriously considered."
The three resolutions can be found at the senate's website.