Governing Policies

Issued: January 16, 1996


Article I. Policy-Making Authority

A. Powers and Duties.

The Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University (“the Board”), as the designated policy-making agency for Eastern Illinois University (“the University”), shall have all of the powers and duties established by its enabling statutes appearing in the Eastern Illinois University Law (“University Law”), 110 ILCS 665/10-1 et seq., as may be amended from time to time. Although the Board is responsible for assuring that its policies and regulations are followed, it shall not participate in the details of institutional management, which are hereby delegated to the university administration. Board members, as representatives of the State and its citizens, may exercise official board authority only when the Board is in session or when they are acting on behalf of the Board pursuant to its direction. With the exception of the Executive Committee, which may take final action on behalf of the Board in accordance with the Board’s bylaws, Board committees shall function only as fact-finding, deliberating, and advisory bodies that may present proposals to the Board for approval.

B. Policy Decisions.

Assisted in its deliberations by the guidance, advice and recommendations of the President, and by the advice of other officially constituted university constituencies; the Board shall undertake policy-making decisions in such areas as the following:
  1. Consideration of proposals of the President, faculty, staff, and students presented in accordance with established Board procedures.
  2. Adoption of policies and regulations to insure the effective administration and management of the University and to encourage the highest quality of instruction, scholarship, and appropriate service by the faculty.
  3. Review and approval of educational goals and purposes, including statements of the University’s mission, scope, and organization.
  4. Evaluation of the administration and execution of Board policies and regulations by its employees.
  5. Approval or disapproval of other matters requiring action by the Board.

Article II. Eastern Illinois University

A. The University.    

The University offers superior yet accessible undergraduate and graduate education. Students learn the methods and outcomes of free inquiry in the arts, sciences, humanities, and professions guided by a faculty known for its commitment to teaching, scholarly research, creative activity, and academic service. The University community strives to create an educational and cultural environment in which students refine their abilities to reason and to communicate clearly so as to become responsible citizens in a diverse world. Eastern Illinois University is a public university of the State of Illinois operating in accordance with policies and regulations established by the Board.

B. The President.

  1. The President is the chief executive officer of the University. The President is responsible to the Board for the execution of Board policies and for the management and direction of university operations. The President shall have full authority and responsibility within the framework of the general policies determined by the Board for the organization, management, direction, and supervision of the University and shall be held accountable by the Board for the effective administration and management of the institution. In the discharge of these responsibilities, the President shall consult with such constituencies as are appropriate. The President shall be employed by the Board and serve at the Board’s pleasure, unless a contract of employment specifies otherwise.
  2. The President shall be accountable to the Board for performing the following duties within his/her designated areas of responsibility:
    1. Providing general leadership for the University.
    2. Making recommendations concerning the University’s mission, scope, and organization and recommendations concerning plans and policies for the development and enhancement of University operations and activities.
    3. Administering and directing University plans, operations, programs, and activities in the areas of academic affairs, administrative and fiscal affairs, student affairs, and public affairs and development.
    4. Serving as the principal spokesperson and representative for the University with Illinois’ Governor and General Assembly, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and other external constituencies.
    5. Developing and maintaining positive public relations including establishment of a good rapport between the University and the region in which it is located and with the public whom it serves.
    6. Making recommendations concerning the initiation, continuation, or modification of University programs and activities.
    7. Making recommendations concerning the University’s operating and capital budget requests, appropriation requests, and internal budgets.
    8. Making recommendations concerning the selection and appointment of such officers as may be designated by the Board.
    9. Coordinating the release of information about the Board and matters pertaining to the University.
    10. Coordinating the development and presentation of reports from the University, including the formal agenda at each Board meeting, so that the Board receives the information it needs to act in the best interests of the University.
    11. Developing guidelines, procedures, and interpretations for the application of Board bylaws, policies, and regulations.
    12. Performing such other duties as the Board may delegate.
    13. Planning and implementing emergency responses to critical incidents, involving the University directly or indirectly, whether natural or manmade, utilizing recognized management models to maximize public safety response.

C. Employees.

University personnel practices shall ensure freedom from discrimination based upon race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other basis of discrimination precluded by federal and state statutes. Current state and federal legal definitions of the above prohibited bases of discrimination shall be followed, when applicable. In addition, the University shall develop a plan for achieving diversity among its faculty and staff, and report annually to the Board on progress toward achieving the goals stated in the plan.
The following categories of personnel employed by the University define the various constituencies that enable the University to achieve distinction in its mission. The University may recognize subgroups within the categories designated herein and shall specify in writing the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of persons in the different categories and subgroups.
  1. Faculty Employees.

    Faculty employees comprise all persons with fifty percent (50%) or more of their appointment as faculty and with the faculty ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor, including those Counselors and professional Library, Educational Media, Audio-Visual, and Learning Services staff with such ranks.
  2. Administrative Employees.


    Administrative employees comprise those administrative and professional employees who are not employed under the State Universities Civil Service System, including medical doctors engaged in providing health services appointed in accordance with Board Regulations. Administrative employees may be granted faculty rank and tenure in appropriate circumstances as provided in Board Regulations. In some cases, the President, with the prior approval of the Board, may offer employment contracts to specific senior administrative employees and coaches provided that such contracts may not exceed five (5) years in length unless a longer term is required by law.
  3. Civil Service Employees.


    Civil Service employees are those employees who are employed under the State Universities Civil Service System.
  4. Other Employees.


    Other employees, including but not limited to lecturers, faculty assistants, graduate assistants, and other student employees shall be employed in accordance with Board Regulations and the procedures adopted by the university.

D. Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

In adopting the following statements concerning academic freedom and responsibility, the Board affirms that academic freedom should not be abridged or abused and joins the numerous other organizations which have endorsed such principles.
  1. Academic Freedom.

    Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for knowledge and truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to teaching, research, and publication. Academic freedom in research is fundamental to the search for knowledge and truth. Academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Academic freedom in publication is fundamental to foster an environment of intellectual curiosity and dialogue. This freedom carries with it duties and responsibilities correlative with these rights.
    1. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
    2. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, but they should be careful not to persistently introduce into their teaching controversial matters having no relation to their subject.
    3. College or university faculty members are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as a citizen, on matters of public concern they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons.
    4. In accordance with 110 ILCS 665/10-155, all faculty and staff members are free to communicate views on any matter of public or private concern to any branch of the state or federal government or any member thereof provided that the employee does not represent that he or she speaks for or on behalf of the university unless otherwise authorized. Faculty and staff members may also:
      1. display political buttons, stickers, or patches provided that such display by faculty members in instructional settings is relevant to the instructional purpose;
      2. attend partisan political rallies provided that the faculty or staff member is not on duty; and
      3. display partisan bumper stickers on his or her vehicle.
  2. Academic Responsibility.


    Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, and administrators an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge the right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression both on and off campus. The expression of dissent and the attempt to produce change, therefore, may not be carried out in ways that injure individuals, damage institutional facilities, or disrupt the classes being taught at the University. Speakers on campus must not only be protected from violence, but also given an opportunity to be heard. Those seeking to call attention to grievances must not do so in ways that significantly impede the functions of the institution. Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to even-handed treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. Faculty members may not refuse to enroll or teach students on the grounds of the student's beliefs or the possible uses to which the student may put the knowledge gained from a course. Students should not feel forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political or social action. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on professionally assessed academic performance and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, such as personality, race, religion, political views, and personal beliefs.

    It is the faculty members' mastery of their subjects and their own scholarship that entitle them to their classrooms and to freedom in the presentation of their subjects. Thus, it is improper for faculty members to persistently introduce material having no relation to their subjects, or to fail to present the subject matter of their course as announced to their students and as approved by the faculty in their collective responsibility for the curriculum..

    Because academic freedom has traditionally included the faculty members' full freedom as a citizen, most faculty members face no insoluble conflicts between the claims of politics, social action, and conscience, on the one hand, and the claims and expectations of their students, colleagues, and institutions, on the other. If such conflicts become acute, and the faculty members’ attention to their obligations as citizens and moral agents precludes the fulfillment of substantial academic obligations, they cannot escape the responsibility of that choice, but should either request leaves of absence or resign their academic positions.

E. Participation in University Governance.

  1. Shared Participation

    To better promote shared participation in responsible and wise decision-making and to ensure channels of communication, the University shall provide for elected campus organizations, the structures of which shall be determined by the constituencies they represent and approved by the President. Except as limited by the scope of collective bargaining negotiations between the Board and the academic employees and the requirements of good faith collective bargaining, the appropriate and duly constituted committees of faculty government shall participate in the decision-making process of the University in the following areas:
    1. Academic policies concerning but not limited to teaching, research, academic standards and curriculum.
    2. Creation of administrative positions at the level of Dean and Vice President and selection of administrative officers for such positions as well as of the President of the University.
    3. Policies relating to student life, conduct, and discipline, following consultation with the Student Government.
    4. Planning and the determination of priorities for the conduct and development of the University.
    5. Basic policies with regard to campus planning and facilities construction and utilization.
  2. Council on University Planning and Budget (“CUPB”).

    The University shall establish a university-wide budget committee composed of faculty, staff, and students selected so as to provide representation of academic and support areas consistent with a practical committee size. CUPB shall participate in making recommendations to the President and the Board with respect to:
    1. The setting of program priorities in the University budget.
    2. Periodic review of the University budget.
    3. Transfers of significant amounts among internal budget items.

      To operate effectively, CUPB members should familiarize themselves with previous budgets and with existing budget formulas; familiarize themselves with the data reporting procedures used in the University; and develop a good working knowledge of the financial operation of the University. To aid CUPB in its functions, the appropriate administrative officers shall keep CUPB members and all fiscal agents informed concerning budget formulas, budgetary procedures, and calendars as they are formulated at the University and higher levels. It is expected that broad committee representation will provide maximum opportunity for a voice for the faculty, staff, and students as a whole.
  3. Constitutions.


    The University’s three (3) senates, faculty, staff, and students, shall each develop constitutions for their own duly established government organizations. Such constitutions shall be reviewed and approved by the President and submitted to the Board for review. Such constitutions shall be consistent with Board policy and shall ensure the democratic involvement of the constituencies so represented, and shall be placed in the University library and posted on the University’s official website for interested persons.

F. Students.


As members of the academic community, University students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills and to engage in a sustained and independent search for knowledge and truth. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and respect conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. Therefore, the University shall provide means by which students participate in university governance. Students shall be guaranteed due process in disciplinary proceedings and freedom from discrimination based upon race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other basis of discrimination precluded by federal and state statutes. Current state and federal legal definitions of the above prohibited bases of discrimination shall be followed, when applicable. Appropriate and duly constituted committees of student government may develop and propose to the President, or such other administrative officers as the President may designate from time to time, advisory recommendations with respect to student concerns.

G. Selection and Evaluation of the President.

  1. Selection of the President

    1. The Board shall determine the qualifications, experience, and characteristics it seeks in a President. The Board will determine the process it shall follow in selecting a President in accordance with State law. The Board shall determine whether to function as a committee of the whole in the process of selecting the President.
    2. The Board shall decide the composition and function of any advisory committee and the terms and conditions of employment of any consultants used in the process of selecting a President. Various constituencies of the campus community shall be represented on the advisory committee in order to ensure broad, diverse membership.
    3. The Board shall select and interview the final candidates for the position of President, providing members of the campus community opportunities to meet all finalists.
    4. The Board shall appoint the President and the President shall serve at the Board’s pleasure unless the contract of employment specifies otherwise.
  2. Evaluation of the President

    1. The Board shall review annually the performance of the President before the end of the last quarter in the fiscal year.
    2. The material used in the President’s annual performance review shall include: (1) a statement of the President’s goals and objectives and (2) such other material as specified by the Board. Additional material may be submitted at the discretion of the President.

Article III. Adoption, Amendment, or Repeal of Policies

The Board’s Governing Policies may be adopted, amended, or repealed at any regular Board meeting by a majority vote of the voting members then serving on the Board. Requests for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of Governing Policies shall be submitted to the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall report such requests with recommendations for action to the Board. Board action on the proposal shall not be taken earlier than the next regular meeting following first reading. When circumstances warrant, the Board may waive the first reading.  The Chairperson will make the proposal available to interested parties through the library. No less than ten (10) days prior to the Board meeting at which action is to be taken, members of the faculty, staff, and student body may submit their views and comments in writing, via a written correspondence or email, to the Chairperson for distribution to the Board together with a recommendation for action on the proposal.

Article IV. Reservation of Powers

The Board is charged by law with full responsibility for governing the University. Although the Board properly and necessarily delegates authority to designated officers of the institution, it cannot divest itself of its ultimate legal responsibility. Accordingly, the Board expressly reserves to itself the power to act on its own initiative in all matters affecting the University.