Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 11 January 2012
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Present: Roger Adkins, Tracy Bars, John Bonine, Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Ali Emami, Karen Estlund, John Foster, Deborah Healey, Anthony Hornof, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Theodora Ko Thompson Peter Lambert, Kelley Leon Howarth, Ryan Kellems, Peter Keyes, Robert Kyr, Huaxin Lin, Andrew Lubash, Stephanie Matheson, Carla McNelly, Ian McNeely, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Amy Nuetzman, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Nathan Tublitz, Glen Waddell, Peter Walker, Dean Walton
Absent: Pedro Garcia Caro, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Colin Ives, Jena Langham, Peng Lu, Jeffrey Measelle, Harlan Mechling, Vadim Vologodski,
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for January 11, 2012 to order at 3:04PM in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom. He offered a warm welcome to those in attendance and stated that he was personally grateful for such a large turnout to this very important Senate meeting.
1.1 Approval of the minutes of the Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 meetings
Senate President Kyr called for the approval of the November 30 and December 7 Senate meeting minutes. He asked the Senate body for suggested changes or revisions to the minutes. Seeing none, he called for a motion to approve the minutes. A motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken, and the minutes were approved unanimously.
1.2 Remarks by Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr stated that today was a special occasion because it was the first time that the university community has had the opportunity to engage with President Robert Berdahl (Interim President) in a public forum. He was personally thrilled that President Berdahl accepted the position. Senate President Kyr stated that this acceptance shows the President’s confidence in the university community and in the University of Oregon. He then personally thanked President Berdahl for his leadership and invited him to the podium to present his address.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Robert Berdahl, Interim President
Below are Interim President Berdahl’s remarks to the Senate.
Robert M. Berdahl, Interim President UO Senate Meeting Remarks Jan. 11, 2012
Good afternoon. Although, as I am sure you know, I am not pleased with the circumstances that have led to my being here today in this role of interim president, I am very pleased with the opportunity to return to the UO and to participate, once again in its wonderful and important activities.
I want to apologize in advance to everyone I will not have a chance to meet during my interim presidency, to every department and office I'm not able to visit, and to all who invite me to functions that I'm not able to attend. An interim presidency is different, and my orientation across the campus and with stakeholders across the state can't be as thorough as it was for Richard and will be for the next president. There simply isn't enough time to get to know each of you the way I would like to.
I am honored that the faculty, represented by this senate, was in favor of my appointment as interim president. Absence, it is said, makes the heart grow fonder; in fact, I suspect, absence only causes the memory to grow fainter, so that somehow whatever memory remains of my earlier incarnation here is colored more favorably than it should be. People seem to have an exaggerated esteem for me, so that it is certain and inevitable that my reputation will be worse by September than it is now. On the other hand, presidential honeymoons usually last about 9 months, so if we can keep this marriage happily together until September, I may escape before you entirely regret your recommendation to the Oregon Board of Higher Education.
Last night, as I was settling in to write these brief remarks at McMorran House, I chanced to pick up a brochure on the history of the UO president’s residence and I was surprised to learn that of the twelve UO presidents who have lived in McMorran house during the last seventy years, I have followed the University closely as a faculty member or champion through nine. And I have known reasonably well or worked in some fashion with six of them.
I served as a dean when Paul Olum was president; I knew Myles Brand when we were both deans, he at Arizona, I here, and then when we were both provosts in the Big Ten; I have known Dave Frohnmayer for forty years, from the time we were both young faculty, and I worked closely with him and admired his leadership when I was president of the AAU, where he served with distinction on the AAU executive committee and hosted one of its best meetings here at UO. And I have known and worked with Richard Lariviere at Texas and here; I have already offered public testimony of my admiration for his leadership.
Those are all tall shoulders upon which to stand, and it is because we stand on their shoulders that we have been given a more far-reaching vision of where this University can go, of what it can achieve.
But, however much inspired leadership these presidents may have provided, however far they can see to a distant horizon, it is ultimately the faculty that will take us there. For it is, in the final analysis, the quality of the faculty that determines the quality of the University. It takes excellent staff to make it all work, but this University will ultimately be judged by the quality of its faculty, nothing more, nothing less.
Excellence begets excellence across the entire University community. That refers to our faculty, to our students, to classified staff, officers of administration and everyone else associated with the university. I remember a comment from 1986 Nobel Laureate Yuan T. Lee who earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley then later in his career returned to teach at Berkeley. Professor Lee said that he originally came to study at Berkeley because of the quality of the faculty then he returned to teach at Berkeley because of the quality of the Students. Excellence begets Excellence.
So, you may ask, where do I hope we can go over the next few months?
First, it is essential that we recruit and retain the very best faculty we possibly can. Because of good financial management and a successful model for growing revenue, despite poor state support, the UO is relatively unique in its capacity to add faculty to its ranks over the course of this academic year. CAS currently has about 35 searches underway, many of them new lines; the other schools and colleges are also adding faculty. Few public universities are able to do this in this fiscal environment.
We must take care that we are recruiting the very best. The mark of a first-class faculty, a self-confident faculty, I believe, is the willingness to recruit people who are better than those of us who are already here. The other mark of a first-class faculty is the willingness to halt a search and start over, rather than filling a position with a lesser choice simply to fill it. I am confident that the deans and the central administration are determined to help you achieve successful searches in every possible way. This is how our momentum can be sustained.
Second, we must recruit a strong, visionary, effective leader as the next president of the UO. The search process is getting underway, as Chancellor Pernsteiner and Board member Ford will be discussing with the campus today and in the days ahead. I clearly have an interest in this process being completed by the beginning of the summer and a new president in place for the next academic year. But I also believe that the campus has a great interest in securing a president who can be in place by September.
We have a lot of momentum. Although morale has been damaged by the Board’s decision to terminate President Lariviere, it is generally high because of the momentum, the hope and expectation of the future, which he generated.
One of my tasks as a presidential consultant this fall was to help in planning for the upcoming capital campaign. I met with all the deans and a number of faculty. Contrary to one of the truisms coined by Peter Flawn, one of my predecessors as President of UT Austin, who observed that “Faculty morale is always at an all-time low,” I found faculty morale to be very high. One associate dean in CAS commented, “I would rather be at the UO right now than at any other public university in America.”
The key to keeping that sense of optimism alive is to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, but also to recruit an outstanding president. I believe I can be of help in that process, in part because my previous positions have enabled me to know a large number of potential candidates. I hope to be able to play an active role in the search process.
Our third imperative, upon which the others depend, is to advance the project of gaining an independent board for the UO. I believe this is essential to sustaining the morale of this institution. It is essential if we are to successfully recruit faculty. It is essential if we are to be able to spend the university’s resources to best support our people and our mission.
And it is essential to the successful recruitment of a strong, independent leader for the UO. Given the abbreviated tenure of the last president, all presidential candidates – at least any whom we would be interested in recruiting – are bound to ask whether, given the current abysmal support for the university from the state, is it possible to succeed in advancing the University unless it is liberated from its current constraints.
My answer is simply, no. One need only to look to the success of OHSU to realize how an institution provided with greater freedom of action can prosper. OHSU has moved from a middling medical school to being a first-rate medical school and research center, now competing for talent with the very best medical centers in the nation.
I believe the UO can experience a similar leap forward; I believe there is the possibility of a major restructuring of our revenue stream that can happen if we are given the freedom to do so. I believe there is substantial support for this within the context of the governor’s plan for restructuring education in Oregon and that the moment is ripe for such a change.
I am aware that there is opposition to the UO’s efforts from some quarters and that some other institutions in the State System view this initiative negatively. I confess that I do not understand why. We do not propose to take any resources from other institutions in the system; we do not propose to withdraw from any of the collaborations with the other institutions. We are as committed to the public mission of the University as any institution in the state, and we will remain committed to that public mission, as are other public universities who have their own boards.
Higher education in Oregon was not weakened by granting OHSU independence; it was strengthened as OHSU grew better and attracted to Oregon outstanding faculty and students. Excellence begets excellence; mediocrity begets mediocrity. If the UO becomes a stronger University, how is another institution weakened? I know from personal experience that UC Berkeley is a better university because it compares itself to Stanford, because it competes as well as collaborates with Stanford as well as with UC San Francisco.
So I am determined to advance the project of an independent board for UO. And, since members of the Board of Higher Education have indicated publicly as well as privately that the Board’s differences with President Lariviere were not over policy, but over style, I intend to work with the Chancellor and the Board to achieve those policies that will yield an independent board for the UO.
Since this is a meeting of the University Senate, let me close with a few words about shared governance. At the University of Oregon, in a manner that is almost unique to this university, the statutory faculty has included, through the creation of a broad-based University wide Senate, many voices in fulfilling the faculty’s primary responsibility of addressing academic matters.
I am a firm believer in the principle of shared governance. In my various capacities as a faculty member, or university administrator, or president of the AAU, I have seen a wide range of experiences in shared governance. I have seen examples where the faculty role in shared governance was extremely weak, held so by administrative design. I have seen cases where the principle of shared governance was present by design, but where it functioned very poorly and ineffectively because the faculty senate was controlled by faculty who commanded little respect from either the administration or their faculty colleagues; as a consequence, the best faculty refused to be involved and the faculty senate became the playground of the malcontents who ground their own axes and operated, not as an advisor to the administration, but as its adversary. As a result, mutual trust disappeared and shared governance failed to function properly.
At Berkeley, I experienced shared governance in one of its best manifestations. Shared governance at Berkeley dates back to 1920, when the faculty gained a major voice in the academic matters of the campus, advising the president on all appointments and promotions of faculty and deans, on all curricular matters and changes of educational policy, and on budget issues. According to one historian of shared governance at Berkeley, the faculty there enjoyed more influence on the academic direction of the university than any other faculty in the nation.
I happen to believe that this level of shared governance has been largely responsible for the excellence of Berkeley. The very best faculty at Berkeley, including Nobel laureates, take responsibility for maintaining the quality of the faculty. While post-tenure review at some universities is seen as an invasion of the right of tenure, at Berkeley, it is taken for granted. A powerful committee of the faculty reviews every member of the faculty every three years and makes recommendations on all merit increases. Every appointment, every promotion is reviewed by this committee, providing advice to the chancellor. It is the faculty, working with the administration that largely accounts for the quality of Berkeley.
So I approach the newly drafted constitution for the faculty senate of the UO from this perspective on shared governance: it works best when the most respected members of the faculty are willing to assume responsibility for it; it works best when the faculty takes most seriously its job for sustaining the quality of the faculty and the academic program; and it works best when it considers the administration as an ally in the quest for quality, not as its adversary.
Further, it works best when we engage in participatory decision making but with clarity about who then makes the decision. If, together, we trust that each of us, faculty and administration, want to build the best university we can, we may occasionally disagree on the means, but not the ends, and we can work together in a non-adversarial fashion.
Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you.
He then called for questions from the Senate and members of the university community.
2.2 Questions and comments with response
The first question came from Professor Ron Lovinger (Landscape Architecture). He first thanked Interim President Berdahl for his comments, and stated that he also arrived at the university during the time of President Arthur Fleming. He was concerned with the landscape structure of campus and the continued disintegration of walkways, roads, plantings, etc… A serious issue for him was who will take care of the universities living landscape treasure. He hoped that over the next few months, the university would seriously consider the beautiful legacy that has been inherited by our community. Instead of thinking about objects and buildings, he would prefer to see a shift towards the consideration of relationships and how ideals manifest themselves through our roles as stewards of our campus landscape for future generations of students, faculty, and staff. Professor Lovinger then stated that he has been reluctant to make this point until now, but he believed that a shift in receptivity was taking place. According to Professor Lovinger, over the years, the landscape infrastructure at the university has disintegrated. He hoped that the Senate and administration would seriously consider his plea especially in the areas of the Willamette River, the Riverfront Research Park, and the entire ecosystem of the Willamette Valley.
Interim President Berdahl thanked Professor Lovinger for his words and stated that he has always believed that the University of Texas at Austin has the best university physical plan in the nation. While he was President of that institution, his administration hired a development team to prepare a master plan for the university. This plan was one of his proudest achievements as President of that institution. His successors have followed through with this plan, which was noticed by city officials and soon integrated into the surrounding areas of the university. This process was repeated on a smaller scale when he was Chancellor at the University of California Berkeley. Interim President Berdahl then stated that he appreciated Professor Lovingers suggestions and would pass his concerns along to his successor if he could not attend to them himself.
The next question came from Senator John Bonine (Law). He wanted to know what Interim President Berdahl could offer as a selling point from his experience in working with state officials towards the hiring of a new University President.
In response to Senator Bonine’s question, Interim President Berdahl replied that all public universities are undergoing tremendous stress and are entering into newly defined relationships with their respective states as the percentage of state funding declines. Universities are working to renegotiate their relationships with their respective states. Some have had independent boards for most of their history (University of Michigan) and have flourished more often than not. He also thought that the new partnership, as outlined by Richard Lariviere, was a compelling vision for flagship public universities across the nation. Flagship universities have suffered the most as a result of state decline due to their more expensive cost structures. The struggle resides in how to sustain the public mission of a public university with a different governance and revenue structure. He then stated that the state’s contribution towards the University of Oregon’s operating budget was the lowest in the country. To him it was obvious that the state should not be able to have complete control of the institution while only contributing seven percent of the budget. He felt that the redefinition of structure was an important issue so that a President could feel that he or she could take the university forward. He then discussed the AAU’s meeting at the University of Oregon during the Frohnmayer administration and called it one of the most successful meetings in the history of the organization. He believed it was so successful because AAU members who came from other universities on the East coast were unaware of the quality that existed at the UO, and were very impressed. He believes that will happen to potential candidates who do not know much about the university.
The next question came from Ben Eckstein (ASUO President). He asked Interim President Berdahl what he thought the role of students was in shared governance at the university. Due to the fact that students have had to make up for the lack of state investment, he also wanted to know the level of influence students would have at the university and what Interim President Berdahl would do during his time to reach out to students.
Interim President Berdahl replied that it was important to have an open dialogue regarding all issues that involve students. If the faculty declines, student’s degrees will not mean very much. The students have a vested interest in their degrees, but they must recognize that it takes resources to maintain talented faculty. He then stated that it was dreadful that students must bear the brunt of their educational costs. Despite this issue, students, faculty, and the administration must work together to maintain the quality of the university. Tuition and fees are an inevitable component of maintaining these resources. He hoped that the students understood this due to their vested interest in the quality of their degrees. During the last meeting of the legislature, it was decided that fees would not be raised more than five percent per year.
Interim President Berdahl then mentioned that when he was Chancellor of UC Berkeley, his administration went five year without raising tuition. According to Interim President Berdahl, this was a terrible mistake. It necessitated an enormous tuition increase at the end of the five year period, and was extremely unfair to the students who came after the five years with no increase. Operating without tuition increases for years at a time passes the burden of maintaining the university to the next generation of students.
The next comment was from Professor Bruce Blonigen (Economics). He mentioned two concerns. The first concern was regarding the Presidential search and the second concern was an operational concern. He stated that the governor’s issues with the state will not be resolved until 2013, and as such the next UO President will not know whom to report to and he asked for Interim President Berdahl’s thoughts on that issue. His second concern was regarding retention of faculty. According to Professor Blonigen, the UO lost many good people last year and there was currently a hiring market crisis for post docs coming out of PHD programs. He also mentioned that university salaries were below AAU comparator schools and that this was very important for maintaining quality at the UO. He then asked Interim President Berdahl to address Richard Lariviere’s dismissal for attempting to close the gap between the UO and their AAU comparator schools.
Interim President Berdahl replied that the UO could not afford to lose faculty in large numbers without it profoundly affecting morale and the momentum surrounding the university. Retaining and recruiting people are tantamount and Richard Lariviere paid a very high price for increasing salaries, but he did the right thing. He then stated that the issue of salary compression was not new. Interim President Berdahl arrived at the University of Oregon in 1967, which was one of the most expansive times in the history of the UO, and even then there was salary compression. He was paid a higher wage than assistant professors who had been hired two and three years prior to his arrival, and those who were hired after him had even higher salaries. He then stated that he would be discussing this issue with the Chancellor and state board. In regards to Professor Blonigen’s comment regarding the next President not knowing who his boss would be, Interim President Berdahl stated that he will have to work to come out of the legislature with a clear path that can assure a future candidate that the goals that have been defined within the university can be achieved. This will be a critical component of the UO’s ability to recruit.
The next question came from Professor Shawn Lockery (Biology). He stated that approximately two thirds of the UO new hires are in the sciences. The Vice President for Research stated that the budget for start-up funds currently stands at five hundred thousand dollars. To put that into perspective, the last assistant professor hired in this department required one million three hundred thousand dollars in start-up funds. He believed this to be a serious problem that required extreme measures for resolution, and asked Interim President Berdahl what type extreme measures he was willing to support.
Interim President Berdahl replied that he could not answer that question. He recognized the problem and stated that start-up costs in the sciences are the largest stumbling block to the recruitment of new faculty. One solution might be to spread out new hires, but he did not know the answer. He then stated that he was conscious to the fact that start-up funds were relatively depleted and the UO will have to find the means of sequestering more in the years ahead. It will be much more difficult to secure federal money going forward than it has been in the past which means the university will have to carry current faculty much longer with start-up funds than previously. Interim President Berdahl will be working with the Vice President for Research and the deans on this issue. The current budget model disperses funds to the different colleges placing the funding responsibility on the deans rather than with the central administration. To close, Interim President Berdahl thanked the Senate and university community members for their interaction and stated that he looked forward to working together with everyone during his time at the university.
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl for his remarks and his leadership.
3. OPEN DISCUSSION: PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH PROCESS
Senate President Kyr introduced George Pernsteiner (OUS Chancellor) and Allyn Ford (Chair, Presidential Search Committee) to the Senate body and informed everyone that there will be another campus forum conjoined with a Senate meeting on February 8. At that meeting, a discussion will be held on the qualities sought after in a new President.
3.1 Remarks by Chancellor George Pernsteiner
Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked the Senate and members of the university community for attending the forum and sharing their comments and suggestions as the search process moved forward. He stated that he was very excited to be working with Interim President Berdahl because of his ability to act as advisor to both the Chancellor and board members regarding the selection of a potential presidential candidate. Chancellor Pernsteiner asked Allyn Ford to present his remarks to the Senate.
3.2 Remarks by Allyn Ford; Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Allyn Ford stated that he wanted to be sure that the state board of higher education was in agreement with Interim President Berdahl’s statement that their objective was to expedite the search process. The state board appointed Mr. Ford as chair of the search committee. The search committee will be working very closely with the Chancellor and other members of the university. It is his hope to be able to recommend a presidential candidate for the board’s approval during the month of June. He then introduced himself to the Senate and university community members. He stated that he has been on the state board for three years and lived in Roseburg, OR. He is the owner of a wood products business and his connection to the University of Oregon was fairly strong. Mr. Ford then stated that the objective of the search committee was to move quickly. The task at hand was to put together a search committee comprised of approximately twenty members with two thirds of the members coming from the University of Oregon. The remaining thirty to forty percent of the committee will be comprised of donors, alumni, and friends of the institution. Each member of the search committee must be able to effectively communicate the needs of their specific constituency.
Mr. Ford remarked that the search committees will focus on finding a quality candidate. If the committee does not find the right person for the job, they will continue the search until they do. He then stated that both he and Chancellor Pernsteiner were here to listen and then turned the conversation over to Chancellor Pernsteiner.
Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked Mr. Ford for his leadership and willingness to serve in this important role as chair of the Presidential search committee. He reiterated Mr. Ford’s comment regarding the committees focus on quality. He was interested in designing a process that will result in the selection a top quality candidate hopefully before the end of the spring term. According to Chancellor Pernsteiner, the committee will not scrimp on quality to meet a timeline. For the past month, Chancellor Pernsteiner has been in consultation with students, the Senate Executive Committee, and others around campus in an effort to identify who might serve most effectively on the search committee. He then asked the Senate and community members to contemplate whether they would be interested in adding additional names to the list that was under consideration. All names are to be submitted to Sona Andrews (Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategies) via email to email@example.com. The names of potential search committee members will be accepted through the end of the day on Friday, January 13, 2012. He then stated that it was very important that each member of the search committee be well respected within their respective constituencies. When submitting a name for nomination, the Chancellor asked to note that person’s affiliation and to provide a brief statement of support. The Chancellor then stated that he has and will be contacting the people whose names are put forth for service to ascertain their willingness to serve.
The Chancellor reiterated that there will be twenty people on the search committee; twelve of the twenty will be comprised of faculty, staff, and student from the University of Oregon. The remaining committee members will come from the community and will include donors, alumni, and other supporter of the institution. Appropriate representation from all constituencies was very important to the success of the new President and this was why both he and Mr. Ford were reaching out and seeking suggestions as to who ought to be on the search committee. Chancellor Pernsteiner remarked that the work of the search committee would mainly be concentrated during the months of March, April, and May of this year. They are currently in the process of seeking a search consultant firm. According to the Chancellor, proposals were sent a month ago to dozens of search firms around the country for their consideration in advising the search committee. A review panel, of which Interim President Berdahl was a member, will review each proposal and submit their recommendation to Chancellor Pernsteiner regarding who the panel believes is the best search consultant firm. Once the search firm has been selected, the Presidential Search Committee will invite the principle search member to their first committee meeting, which will hopefully take place around the first of February. S/he will also be invited to the February 8 campus forum.
Chancellor Pernsteiner informed the Senate that a review committee, comprised exclusively of campus representatives, was in the process of being established. This committee would have a role in interviewing presidential candidates before the search committee presents their selection to the state board. He hopes that this will bring a wider understanding of each potential candidate to university community members. They are still in the process of determining how this review committee will be established, but discussions are underway.
After Chancellor Pernsteiner concluded his remarks, Senate President Kyr called for questions and comments from the Senate and university community members.
3.3 Questions and comments with response
The first comment came from Professor John Moseley (Physics Emeritus). He stated that over the past twenty two years of his career at the University of Oregon, there was a lingering sentiment that the success of the university came at the expense of other institutions in the Oregon University System (OUS). He has never observed that to be true. Professor Moseley then asked Chancellor Pernsteiner what he was going to say when this issue was raised again.
Chancellor Pernsteiner replied that the current resource allocation model was based on several factors. There are targeted programs that are specified by the legislature in their line item reports that are not denominated by students. There was also an amount denominated by fundable students based on the level of the student, their division, and discipline level. What has happened over the last several years was that the mix of students in the system has shifted. In the late 1980s, thirty percent of fundable students were at the University of Oregon. Today that figure was twenty percent or fewer, and as a result, other institutions have increased their resident students at a much faster rate. Total students include non-resident and non-fundable students. He also added that higher cost disciplines including engineering and medicine are concentrated at Oregon State University which makes their numbers look different in comparison to the UO. He then stated that the model was still functioning in the fashion by which it was designed in 1999 and takes into account the shift in students. Chancellor Pernsteiner did not believe that that was the correct way to fund students going forward.
Professor Moseley replied that Chancellor Pernsteiner had not answered his question, to which the Chancellor apologized. Professor Moseley then repeated his question which was; did Chancellor Pernsteiner believe that the success of the University of Oregon over the last thirty years has come at the expense of other institutions in the system and does he see the future success of the university coming at the expense of other institutions in OUS.
In response to Professor Moseley’s first question, Chancellor Pernsteiner replied absolutely not. According to the Chancellor, all of the OUS institutions, on virtually every measure, are more successful than they have ever been previously. He then stated that the success of the UO, which was undoubted, has not in any way harmed other institutions. The state of Oregon has set a very high goal for education detainment that every institution will have stretch to attain, and none of the OUS institutions need harm any of the others in order for each to be successful.
At this point, Senate President Kyr mentioned that many have heard, from various resources around the state, statement that were quite inflammatory regarding this topic. Others have been working for many years to inspire a sense of understanding among the institutions in the state that the UO was operating on good will and collaboration. Each institution should be recognized for what it was and should be supported in that manner. He then asked Chancellor Pernsteiner for his help in communicating this to the state board because the UO has been frequently villainized in the press and among their colleagues at other institutions who do not understand what Chancellor Pernsteiner had just expressed. He then called for the next question.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) thanked Chancellor Pernsteiner and Allyn Ford for attending the Senate meeting and taking questions from the both the Senate and university community members. In regard to the search committee selection, he asked Chancellor Pernsteiner if he was giving greater weight to executive committees from the Senate, ASUO, and the classified staff union than from suggestions coming from others in the university community.
Chancellor Pernsteiner replied that he has agreed to consult with those groups once he has accumulated all suggested names for the search committee.
Senate President Kyr then stated that he, as Senate President, would be in close communication, providing updates, and participating in outreach. All of that has taken place through the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate, and the entire university community through emails from the Office of Communication asking for nominations to the search committee. He then reminded everyone that more names may be submitted to Sona Andrews as was previously mentioned by Chancellor Pernsteiner.
The next comment came from Senator John Bonine (Law). He disagreed with the Chancellor’s comment regarding whether or not the success of the University of Oregon would hurt other OUS institutions. Senator Bonine stated that there were those who believed that the university would hurt other institutions should it gain a greater measure of independence from the state. He believed that the precept stating nothing the university does shall harm other institutions focuses on the wrong issue. Senator Bonine stated that the right issue should be that the university shall persuade other institutions if things that are done for the benefit of the university will not be harmful because they will not be harmful. Structural change will not necessarily harm other institutions, but will enhance the universities independence.
Chancellor Pernsteiner replied that he would not prejudge what the right outcome should be. OUS was trying to do what was best for the state and the citizens of Oregon. The mechanisms employed and the resources garnered are yet to be determined. He then stated that there was no prima facie case to be made that says that any issue at the University of Oregon was automatically deleterious to any other institution.
Senator Bonine replied that the Chancellor’s previous statement could have been taken by some as a restriction to the changes that many feel are necessary and that he believes the Chancellor also feels are necessary.
The Chancellor replied that there was a process in place through the board’s governance committee that would bring closure to these issues. The governor has outlined this process to the governance committee in December and these issues will be addressed. According to the Chancellor, this process started in late 2009 which led to the adoption of Senate Bill 242 which changed the status of the University of Oregon. He then informed the Senate that nothing was off the table.
Senator Bonine replied that because the issue of the board’s internal governance committees had been raised, the November draft produced by that committee for the allocation of power between the state board and a university board was completely unacceptable. He then asked Chancellor Pernsteiner if there was something he could do or would be willing to do to involve stakeholders in the discussions of the internal governance committee so that it does not remain completely internal to the board. He was concerned that there would be little involvement from stakeholder groups outside of the internal governance committee.
Chancellor Pernsteiner replied that he would bring this concern before the governance committee. He then remarked that a way could be found to involve a broader set of people in these discussions. Currently, they will be involving the Presidents of the OUS institutions and are open to including other in the discussion.
Senator Bonine thanked Chancellor Pernsteiner for his consideration and remarked that this was consistent with the universities system of shared governance.
Senate President Kyr called for one final question before moving on to the rest of the items on the agenda.
The final comment came from Professor Brigid Flannery (Education). She asked that both the Chancellor and Mr. Ford keep in mind that the faculty was very diverse group and that there were both tenure and non-tenure related faculty. She also stated that the Senate was a very strong body, and that it had non-voting members that included research faculty. She believed that these research faculty members were a critical component of the university and should have a strong voice in the selection of the next President.
Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Flannery for her comment and mentioned that there was another forum taking place at 5PM in the Gerlinger Alumni Lounge. He invited everyone to this forum and stated that there would be more time for discussion with the Chancellor and Mr. Ford. Senate President Kyr thanked Chancellor Pernsteiner and Allyn Ford for their presentations and reminded those in attendance that at the February eighth Senate meeting, Interim President Berdahl would be addressing the university community followed by a discussion with Chancellor Pernsteiner and Allyn Ford.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
4.1 Policy on Policies; Nathan Tublitz, Immediate Past President
Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) stated that in December, under Senate President Kyr’s tutelage, the Policy on Policies was signed and approved by President Richard Lariviere. Last year, an informal agreement was reached with the university administration that all university policies should come before the Senate for review. The Policy on Policies established the procedure by which all policies go through before being adopted at the university. The policy flowchart was displayed on the view screen and Senator Tublitz briefly outlined the various steps that a policy must go through before being approved. He then stated that before the Policy on Policies was adopted, the Senate was never officially kept in the loop. Now every policy goes to the Senate President who decides whether or not the policy has an academic impact. If it does, even indirectly, it goes to the Senate Executive Committee who decided whether or not the policy was important enough to bring before the full Senate for a vote of approval. All policies are formally adopted after they are signed by the President. He then stated that this was a major change and thanked the administration for working very closely with the Senate to bring about this important change to the policy approval process.
4.2 Policies under consideration: Legal Representation; Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech; Facilities Use; Retirement & Emeriti; Research Misconduct (Nathan Tublitz)
Senator Tublitz briefly informed the Senate that the following policies listed above will be coming before the Senate for approval. He then asked for questions from the Senate body. He closed his comments by thanking Senate President Kyr for his great work towards the approval of both the Policy on Policies and the UO Constitution. Senate President Kyr invited Ben Eckstein (AUSO President) to the Senate floor to present the ASUO Report.
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Mr. Eckstein informed the Senate that the ASUO was embarking on their budget allocation season. The ASUO allocates approximately thirteen million dollars of student fees for various student related activities, services, and programs. He then stated that the ASUO was working very hard to renegotiate their agreement with the athletic department. Athletics encompasses sixteen percent of student fee expenditures. This expenditure has been growing over the years, and as a result, the cost of football and basketball student tickets has skyrocketed over the past ten years. The rates for these tickets were currently being renegotiated. He was optimistic that the ASUO would see a significant reduction in spending for athletics and a lower rate on student tickets. Another highly contentious issue that was and continues to be confronted by the ASUO was the restructuring of the Office of Multicultural Academic Success (OMAS). The office was being transformed into the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE). According to Mr. Eckstein, the ASUO Executive engaged the support of a coalition of students that has acted quickly in order to protect services on campus for student of color and to ensure that students have a role in the development of OMAS and CMAE.
He then mentioned a change to the sexual assault reporting policy that was discussed during the last Senate meeting. Last year, the ASUO Student Senate passed a resolution that was co-sponsored by the ASUO Executive which strongly objected to the university’s plans to change their policies on sexual assault reporting. He then stated that this issue was part of a national debate over the balance between legal responsibilities of public institutions of higher education and the needs of survivors of sexual assault. He felt that students had not been included enough in these conversations, and the ASUO Executive have been working to ensure that policies are being created that respect the needs of survivors of sexual violence on campus. The office of the dean of students has agreed to assemble a group of students to review these policy changes.
Mr. Eckstein commented that the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC) has continued to work with the Athletics Department in an effort to become more transparent regarding its finances and its contributions to academics.
5.2 Update on EMU vote and future action (Ben Eckstein)
The ASUO assured students that no approval of new student fees for the purposed EMU and student recreation center (SRC) projects would take place without a student vote in support of those projects. The ASUO reached an impasse after months of negotiations with the division of student affairs on a proposed memorandum of understanding that described fundamental protections for student governance, space, and a voice in the building design process. As a result, the election was postponed until the most basic commitments were achieved regarding those issues and within a week, the division of student affairs had agreed to sign the memorandum, and the election was rescheduled. Fifty-seven percent of students opposed the fee for the EMU project, and fifty one percent of students opposed the fee for the student recreation center project. Four thousand seven hundred students voted, which according to Mr. Eckstein, was a phenomenal turnout for a special election. The memorandum of understanding still stands and the commitments stated in the document remain in place for students. Steering committees have been created and will be providing oversight on the design process for both the EMU and SRC projects. He then stated that students have spoken and they do not want to pay the fees as currently proposed. There will be another proposal to come before the students in the near future and it must be different. The ASUO will be working to reduce the cost of the project and to return control of the project to the students. He believes that the project should be the result of the vision and ideas of the students who use and pay for those buildings. The user group that is designing the student union only has four student members. Mr. Eckstein believed this to be an uncommonly low student ratio. He then informed the Senate that the user group has operated without student members and that this was unacceptable under any circumstances. The ASUO will not allow this to continue.
Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for his report and leadership.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS & COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that there would be a second Senate meeting in February. The meeting on February 8 will be filled with a report from Interim President Berdahl and another presentation from Chancellor Pernsteiner and Allyn Ford. The second Senate meeting will take place on February 22, 2012 and will deal with Senate business only. Before concluding the meeting, Senate President Kyr invited everyone in attendance to congregate in Gerlinger Alumni Lounge for further discussion with Chancellor Pernsteiner and Allyn Ford.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. A motion was called, seconded, and a voice vote was taken. The motion was passed unanimously, bringing the January 11, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 5:04PM.
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 09 November 2011
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Present: Roger Adkins, John Bonine, Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Roland Good, Deborah Healey, Colin Ives, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Ryan Kellems, Peter Keyes, Robert Kyr, Theodora Ko Thompson, Jenna Langham, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Andrew Lubash, Carla McNelly, Ronald Mitchell, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Nathan Tublitz, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: Ali Emami, John Foster, Mark Gillem, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Peng Lu, Stephanie Matheson, Ian McNeely, Jeff Measelle, Debra Merskin, Emma Newman, David Riley, Gordon Sayre, Vadim Vologodski, Peter Walker
Excused: Tracy Bars, Robert Elliot, Peter Lambert, Harlan Mechling, Marilyn Nippold, Amy Nuetzman, Ying Tan
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for November 09, 2011 to order at 3:03PM in room 175 of the Knight School of Law.
1.1 Approval of the minutes of the October 12 meeting
Senate President Kyr called for the approval of the October 12 meeting minutes. He asked the Senate body for suggested changes or revisions to the minutes. Seeing none, he called for a motion to approve the minutes. A motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken and the minutes were approved unanimously. Before moving to the State of the University, Senate President Kyr reminded Senators to speak into the microphone and to state their name and affiliation when addressing the Senate body. He also notified Senators that there were refreshments in the back of the room for their enjoyment. Finally, he asked all Senators to sign in on the sheet provided. He then introduced President Lariviere and invited him to the floor to speak on the state of the university.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by President Lariviere
President Richard Lariviere thanked Senate President Kyr for the introduction and stated that, in general, the state of the university was quite good. The UO had another remarkable year of enrollments. According to the President, the incoming freshman class was the smartest and most diverse freshman class in the universities history. Their average grade point average was 3.6, twenty-three percent of students were students of color, and twenty-five percent of students were Pell-Grant eligible. According to President Lariviere, the UO also had a bumper year in terms of transfer students within Oregon. Most of the fourteen hundred students have come from community colleges as well as other Oregon University System (OUS) institutions. These numbers continue to place a considerable strain on the infrastructure of the university. The UO has added a considerable number of faculty in the last three years, a net addition of sixty to sixty-two faculty over that time period. He then stated that it is always very difficult to know exactly what the outcome will be for this year, but the college of arts and sciences has thirty-six new searches underway, twelve of which are for new appointments. Their intention is to sustain that rate of hiring for the next five years. The UO has to pay careful attention to their growth and expansion. When this situation exists, the temptation and danger of adding more students to solve financial problems year after year without adequate resources is a real possibility for the UO. The UO must add faculty, physical infrastructure/classroom space, and the materials to support those faculty. He then stated that adding infrastructure to increase productivity is the most difficult element of the equation.
President Lariviere informed the Senate that there were several administrative alignments under way. Jim Bean (Vice President and Provost) has recently stepped down from his position of Provost for health reasons for a twelve month period. Lorraine Davis (Acting Vice President and Provost) has valiantly stepped in to assist the university as acting Provost. In order to provide an institutional backup for the UO, the administration has asked Robert Berdahl (Special Assistant to the President), former president of the AAU, former chancellor at the University of California Berkeley, former president at the University of Texas at Austin, and a former dean of the college of arts and sciences to join the UO to help synthesize plans of development and offer his expertise on a variety of issues. He will remain with the UO through June 30, 2012 on a part-time basis. According to President Lariviere, there was a search for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position that was rather ambitious and as a result, the administration elected to not hire any potential candidates from the search pool and instead decided to hire from within. Jamie Moffitt (Executive Senior Associate, Intercollegiate Athletics) has been chosen for the position which will begin January 1, 2012. Frances Dyke (Special Assistant to the Provost) will be available to Jamie for consultation as she adjusts to her new position.
According to President Lariviere, other changes taking place will result from the passage of Senate Bills (SB) 909 and 242. SB 909 created a new structure for education in Oregon called the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB). It also created a higher education coordinating commission and mandated the OIEB return to the Governor and Legislature by December 15, 2011 with plans regarding the fleshing out of these reforms. Implicit and explicit in SB 909 was the promise to do away with the State Board of Higher Education and the State Board of Education. These boards will be replaced by the OIEB. The implementation of this task is the current charge of the OEIB. He stated that the Governor’s commitment to reform is unshaken and wants to move forward with all deliberate speed. SB 242 affected a number of changes, the most significant being that the UO is no longer a state agency. We are now an instrumentality of the state. President Lariviere then jokingly stated that if anyone can explain what that means, he would be happy to hear it. He believes the changes brought about by SB 242 have been for the betterment of the UO. In the past, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was the legal counsel for the university, and the general counsels of universities essentially served at the pleasure of the DOJ and attorney general. At the end of the day, the decisions of the DOJ overrode the decisions of universities general counsels and often enough the interests of each institution they represented. That will change on January 1, 2012. The DOJ has asked to not represent the UO and for a mutual release of liability. He believes that this is probably a good thing, but the difficulty lies in knowing what OUS will want as a result of this change. Whereas the DOJ was responsible for legal matters at each OUS campus, now the Chancellors office wants to be held responsible for employing general counselors of OUS universities reporting directly to the Chancellor. President Lariviere stated that he does not want this to happen and does not believe it would be in the best interest of the university. Both Portland State University (PSU) and Oregon State University (OSU) have discussed their displeasure with this prospect. The other four regional OUS universities do not have general counsels. He then stated that the administration will keep the Senate apprised of this ongoing situation, and the Chancellors office should not be responsible for legal policy associated with the University of Oregon.
President Lariviere stated that the university has been speaking to consultants regarding the issuance of debt. As a separate entity, the university is interested in issuing its own debt. Currently, the university has to go through the state in order to accomplish this task, and it has an impact on the state’s overall debt capacity. As such, arguments arise on whether or not to issue debt for a new building on campus or to build a new road somewhere in Oregon. The President stated that that kind of conversation is not very productive. The UO has been talking to bond counselors, and investment bankers who have shown very encouraging information on issuing UO debt. If the UO could issue its own debt, the university would have an extremely high debt rating of AA. According to industry metrics, the UO has considerable debt capacity on campus. The UO is a long way from doing any of these things, but it is a timely conversation to be having as we acquire more independence in our ability to fund our own financial affairs in a way that we currently are unable to.
President Lariviere then stated that he was looking forward to another year of working with the Senate. Thanks to the work of Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) and our current Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) we have piloted a new relationship to the development of policies. In the time honored fashion of academic tradition, this collaboration has resulted in a flow chart with fifteen to twenty stopping points along the way, three different colors of bands, four different colors of circles, and arrows going every which way. He believes it will streamline the process and make everything more comprehensible to the UO community than it has in the past. That morning, President Lariviere met with the Senate Executive Committee to discuss the flowchart among other items in an attempt to come to grips with several impediments regarding expeditious policy making in the past. He believes that progress is being made, and went on to say that this is a process that is never perfect, but significant strides have been made in the last year on this matter. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first question was from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus). He stated that the last time he viewed the flowchart on the web, it did not mention the Senate and he wanted to know if that going to be rectified. President Lariviere deferred to Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) who answered Professor Stahl question. Senator Tublitz stated that Professor Stahl was talking about the policy on how policies are adopted. According to Senator Tublitz, the existing policy currently does not include the Senate. The proposed new policy does include the Senate, and last year parts of that proposed policy have begun to be implemented. What is on the web is the current policy and there is some hope that the new policy which includes the Senate will be approved and posted very soon. Professor Stahl thanked Senator Tublitz for his explanation.
The next comment came from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). In his comment, he referenced the President’s comment that all three general counsels and presidents of universities did not want general counsels to work under the Chancellor’s office. He wanted to know why President Lariviere thought this would be a bad thing, and then added as an aside; what institutional safeguards exist to ensure that the general counsel does not become the counsel of the administration. President Lariviere stated that he did not understand the last part of Senator Sullivan’s question, to which Senator Sullivan replied that in his opinion, the general counsel should represent the interests of the university at large. President Lariviere responded by stating that that was exactly what the obligations of the general counsels are. He went on to say that there were a number of issues that are problematic around the general counsels reporting directly to the Chancellor’s office. He stated that there was a phrase called legal sufficiency that he did not understand until this issue arose. If in the course of conducting research in Chemistry, a professor must enter into a contractual relationship with a vendor to provide reagents to your lab on a timely basis under specific requirements; that is a legal contract that can really only be signed with the authority of the general counsel’s office representing the legal interests of the university. Under a legal sufficiency review, the state and other instrumentalities of the state must provide this information. Legal sufficiency must exist between the university and the vendor providing their services. Legal sufficiency is determined by the general counsel after consultation with the DOJ. He then stated that there was a time when every contract of twenty thousand dollars or more had to go through the DOJ. That number has since been increased. The Chancellor’s office is proposing to take on that responsibility. The difference is that DOJ has forty or fifty attorneys to process these requests and there is one attorney in the Chancellors office. He then stated that this was only one way in which this could become an operational bottleneck, and the Chancellor’s response to their objections was to say that he has the authority to delegate this power to the presidents of each OUS campus. The Chancellor has promised to do so by January 1, 2012. Since that power can be delegated, it can also be removed. If the UO is engaged in work that the Chancellor does not approve of, he could remove that authority and fire the general counsel, thus disrupting the work of the university in a very short order. There is no anticipation that this will happen, but it is worthy of discussion.
Senator Sullivan then asked if that provision might not be an appropriate check on the President’s power, to which President Lariviere jokingly responded that there are plenty of checks on the President’s power, including the fact that they can fire anyone they want.
Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) commented on the President’s earlier statement regarding the growth of the university. He believes that everyone is concerned with this growth and stated that it was very reassuring to hear that there will not be more growth during the foreseeable future. He has heard similar concerns from faculty, staff, and students that the UO has grown too much too fast and there are not enough classrooms to accommodate the number of students. As a result, students are taking longer to graduate and cannot get the classes they need. He stated that he realizes that there is a lot of building going on around campus, but classrooms are not being built and new faculty are not being hired. Senator Tublitz wanted to make sure that President Lariviere was aware of this crisis because he believes that the current situation is untenable and unsustainable. He then asked President Lariviere to comment on what should be done about this situation. President Lariviere responded that the UO must add more faculty appointments, which he mentioned earlier. According to the President, the UO is on track with their five year plan to add one hundred new faculty appointments. He then stated that the UO needs to add more classroom space and the big question is how to fund this addition. The pattern that the UO has engaged in previously was to add more students to engage more revenue, but this is not sustainable. He then asked; where will the money come from and stated that he would be happy to entertain any suggestions.
Senator Tublitz replied that the UO has raised tuition and this has not been effective. He then stated that the UO has built many new buildings but most of them do not have classrooms and he wanted to know how the UO will be placed on the right path to overcome the current space predicament. President Lariviere stated that he absolutely agrees with the concerns stated by Senator Tublitz. According to the President, it is not adequate to simply state that there is a problem. The burden placed upon the leadership of the UO, including the Senate, is to come up with solutions. The President stated that he has not heard any solutions today. Senator Tublitz responded that he did not feel that this was the venue for such a discussion. He then gave an example of a discussion on what to do with McArthur Court. He wanted the administration to seriously consider turning McArthur Court into a space for classrooms. President Lariviere stated that that was not a solution because the UO has many footprint areas where they can build, but they do not have the funds to build. The real challenge is coming up with the money to build classrooms. President Lariviere then acknowledged that there were plenty of conversations around McArthur Court and developing it into a space for classrooms. The UO is not going to be able to build buildings in the way they previously have. As pathetic as the state’s investment has been in the construction of classroom space, the political handicappers have indicated that there will probably not be G-bonds moving forward. G-bonds only pay for fifty percent of the cost of a building. The question still remains; where do we find the money. He then stated that the administration invested five million dollars toward faculty salaries, and as far as he is concerned, the faculty are the most important component to the success of the university. Not everyone agreed with that investment decision, including people in the Chancellor’s office. President Lariviere then stated that he was well aware of the space issue at the university and coming up with the money to fund these projects is the challenge.
At this point, Senate President Kyr called for one final question before continuing on to the new business portion of the meeting. Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr thanked President Lariviere for his update on the state of the university.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Revision of the Constitution, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr gave a brief update on the revisions to the university Constitution. He stated that the internal governance committee is currently working on the revisions, which are going well. A more complete update will be forthcoming. He then moved on to the second point of new business.
3.2 Election of IFS Senator, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that currently there was one open Senate seat on the Inter-Institutional Faculty Senate (IFS). Senator Nathan Tublitz has been nominated for this open position. Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body if anyone else would be interested in running for the open seat. He then stated that this is a two year commitment. Hearing no further nominees, Senate President Kyr called for an affirmation to appoint Senator Tublitz to the IFS. He then called for a motion. A motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken and Senator Tublitz was elected unanimously as the third IFS Senator for the University of Oregon.
Senate President Kyr then asked Senator Tublitz to speak briefly on the IFS. According to Senator Tublitz, the IFS in an institution comprised of representative from all OUS institutions. They meet every few months in conjunction with the state board, and in theory, are the voice connecting faculty, staff, and students from each institution with the board of higher education. He then stated that the IFS discuss a number of issues and sometimes they are effective. Senate President Kyr then thanked Senator Tublitz for his service.
3.3 Request Form on Committee Service, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that the last item of new business, the request form on committee service, relates directly to our system of shared governance. According to Senate President Kyr, there has not been the kind of response needed in the area of service, especially from teaching faculty. Because of this, Senate President Kyr asked the Senate to step up. A service request form was then circulated around the room by the Senate Executive Coordinator. Senate President Kyr stated that if you are able to serve, please specify, in your order of interest, a committee that you would like to serve on. He also asked Senators to make a list of their colleagues who would be willing to serve on committees. He then thanked the Senators for their assistance and moved to begin the open discussion portion of the meeting.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
4.1 United Academics Presentation and Open Discussion; Scott Pratt (Philosophy); Deborah Olson (Education); Julian Catchen (Neuroscience)
Senate President Kyr invited Professor Scott Pratt (Philosophy), Instructor Deborah Olson (Education), and Courtesy Post Doctoral Research Associate Julian Catchen (Neuroscience) to the Senate floor to discuss the unionization of the faculty under the United Academics Union. He also reminded the Senate that after the meeting, a reception was being held in room 110 of the Law School hosted the United Academics union representatives.
Professor Pratt began his discussion by thanking the Senate for the opportunity to address them regarding unionization. He stated that he has spent a number of years in various forms of university service including serving as a department head for seven years, three of which were as associate dean of the college of arts and sciences. His administrative responsibilities have given him the chance to seriously consider the role of the faculty in governing the institution and the ways in which the university has responded to this system. Professor Pratt then stated that the presenters will be giving three perspectives as to why they believe that unionization is an effective way to deal with the presence of faculty at the university and its role in faculty governance in regards to the institution as a whole. He then mentioned that there were informational flyers located at the back of the room.
Professor Pratt informed the Senate that he has spent a good deal of time thinking about a union at the university. He then came to the decision that he would support the union and listed two reasons for his decision. The first and most important reason was the potential relationship with shared governance. Professor Pratt serves on the Internal Governance Committee mentioned earlier that is charged with revising the Constitution. He believes that the document will be a good one, and that it will affirm the place of the University Senate by streamlining Faculty Assembly procedures in order to more closely align that body with faculty governance. He then stated that the new Constitution also outlines the limitations of faculty governance leaving both the Senate and Assembly in advisory roles with respect to most of the broader roles that affect how teaching, learning, and research are conducted at the university. He believes a faculty union is the best way to address this situation because it will ground faculty concerns regarding working conditions with the mission of the university in the wider context of labor laws. Based on information from the AAUP, a number of faculty union contracts have addressed governance issues by negotiating language that specifies that if the Senate makes a recommendation for the administration that is not accepted, the administration must explain their non-acceptance in a certain amount of time. The University Senate has already worked out, or is in the process of working out that scenario. He then stated that the problem is that the UO Constitution is an internal document and its enforcement is an internal affair. The union would provide a wider context of enforcement. A colleague of his was concerned that unions would not be able to address shared governance concerns because union contracts deal only with employment matters. This is correct in a sense; however employment matters do not stop a salaries, status, and benefits. They extend to teaching loads, access to research support, class size, classroom space, and even admission policies. Rather than having little to say regarding shared governance, the presence of a union and its ability to work with the University Senate, makes the union a key element in insuring the possibility of real shared governance. If done correctly, union and Senate leadership will coordinate their concerns and support each other in addressing the entire range of matters affecting our work at the university. Things have gone very well for the university over the last few years. Enrollments and the quality of enrolled students are up, and visibility is increasing. However, administrative expenses have increased much faster than instructional costs despite the increase in enrollments. This increase dramatically affects the work that teachers and scholars. Salary increases were provided, but they were selective, and it is unclear how that process was carried out. Transparency is a very important part of shared governance, and unions are very good at making transparency a priority.
Professor Pratt’s second reason for supporting the union was that the union can provide crucial information to support discussions of salaries while simultaneously supporting the work of the Senate on issues of academic requirements, program development, and student life. He then stated that some tenured faculty may be worried about the makeup of the bargaining unit. He has also shared these concerns. Will the unit include a group that is too diverse to adequately reflect the interests of the various constituencies? This question was address in two ways. The first is that diverse constituencies in a bargaining unit are a part of what makes a professors work possible. From this perspective, despite differences in circumstances, we share a broader organizing framework. It may be the case that at a different university, different bargaining units would make sense. Under the present context of labor relations, at the UO, a single unit brings the advantage of numbers and a wider commitment. His second point was that the union will not run itself. At the moment, some faculty members think that their time spent on committees and at Senate meetings is not time well spent. He then referenced Senate President Kyr’s appeal for service. These faculty members are actively passive; avoiding commitment while others deal with these pressing issues. Members of the Senate are an exception to this attitude, but he suspects that most Senators know colleagues who can sympathize with this attitude.
He went on to say that with a union, important things will be at stake. Tenure and non-tenure related faculty will have reason, perhaps even with institutional support, for finally taking up a role in shared governance. Strong participation means that all teaching and research constituencies will play a role in setting priorities and deciding how best to support the work that is done at the UO. According to Professor Pratt, the petition many professors have signed indicating their support of the union identifies what he understands as the focus of shared governance; the common ground between the administration, the University Senate, and the faculty. We are united to strengthen the quality of education and research at the University of Oregon, and together we will ensure that working conditions allow all members of the faculty to pursue excellence and innovation in their teaching, research, and service. This will serve the still larger goal of strengthening civil society through the vibrant system of public education in Oregon. He concluded by stating that he is supporting the union for the reasons listed above and thanked the Senate for listening to his presentation.
The second speaker was Julian Catchen (Courtesy Post Doctoral Research Associate, Institute for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). Mr. Catchen presented three points in support of the union. He began by informing the Senate as to who the post docs were and what their role was at the university. There are two categories of post-docs. The first category is permanent employees. These post docs work in the labs and teach graduate students. The second category is comprised of short term employees who will hopefully find employment in a tenure-track position. Mr. Catchen then stated that as important as post-docs are to the teaching climate at the university, they are not represented in the Senate or in any other body that he was aware of. He then stated that he feels very lucky to be in his current position, but on a higher level, post-docs lack hooks into the institutional mechanisms that exist within the university. During his first year as a post-doc, he received compensation from a standard research grant. He was considered a fulltime employee with health and retirement benefits and applied for and received a federal fellowship. In his new position he was no longer considered a fulltime employee and lost his benefits. This is a continuing problem for post-docs who are looking for a tenure-track job and want to continue to progress until a position becomes available. Along with losing his benefits, he lost his affiliation with the university and was reclassified under a courtesy appointment. He was contributing substantial research to the university, who was using this research and research techniques, but due to his reclassification, could not use the universities name. As it currently exists, there is no way to change the system because post-docs are not well represented. This can be problematic when striving to produce the best researchers. He believes that the union will provide greater stability to post-docs.
In his second point, he referenced conversations with his post doctoral colleagues. During the past year, he has been working with the United Academics. His colleagues believe that the union will come in and do certain things. He stated that this is not an accurate perception. The union is not an external entity. He then referenced a blog on university politics that asked the question; why has the faculty not organically created their own governance structure in order to improve upon these issues. Mr. Catchen believes that the union is the answer to this question. The union will be comprised of the faculty members. It is a democratic organization that allows faculty to represent themselves, and provides an institution for those who are short time employees or have adjunct appointments.
The third reason Mr. Catchen believed a union was important was the establishment of a political affiliation. The university recently gave raises to a specific group of employees. What bothered him about these pay raises came from an article he read in the letters to the editor section of the Register Guard. According to the article, people were very concerned with whom the faculty members were that received pay increases, why they were paid so much money, and how their salaries could be cut. He did not understand the mentality that residents of Eugene and Springfield share regarding these faculty members. The union will help the faculty tie into other areas of the state including giving them the ability to effectively lobby with the state.
After Mr. Catchen concluded his remarks, Instructor Deborah Olson (Special Education) addressed the Senate body and presented her thoughts as to why the faculty should unionize. She stated that she was here to represent non-tenure track faculty members (NTTF). She then acknowledged the wonderful victory that occurred yesterday in Ohio for all public employees across the country. A law was passed last year that attacked public employees and their bargaining rights. This law specifically singled out faculty at universities as not being able to unionize because they were being considered managers and not instructors. She then sarcastically asked the Senate body if they felt like managers. A coalition of public unions fought back and won this overwhelming victory. Instructor Olson recognized that a great deal of diversity among NTTF exists across campus. Some are instructional faculty, some are research, some are part-time and some are fulltime. Some are on part-time contracts while others are nine month or one year contracts. She has personally been employed under a nine month or one year contract for the past twenty-three years, and jokingly commented that she would like a sabbatical. Instructor Olson stated that she does and has done research, teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes (including master’s and doctoral level courses), and has been elected as a representative from the College of Education to the University Senate. She stated that she did not run for re-election because she was discouraged at the powerlessness of the Senate body. She is the appointed NTTF representative on the internal governance committee who is charged with rewriting the UO Constitution, and has been either a member, chair, or co-chair of the institutional review board for the committee for the protection of human subjects for the past fifteen years. She then stated that NTTFs have a commitment to the UO and they have many things in common with their tenure-track and post doctoral colleagues. Instructor Olson then stated that one thing that all three constituent groups want is a promotional policy that would clearly articulate criteria for advancement and pay increases. Her college became tired of waiting for the university to develop its own NTTF policy and several years ago, decided to write its own. The College of Education had no leverage to fight for the things it wanted within their policy statement. She emphasized that the key words were no leverage. She believes that would change with a two thousand person union. NTTFs who teach require the same academic freedom as tenure-track professors. Currently, she does not believe that NTTFs share that equality. Transparency in all aspects of working terms and conditions is something that she believes everyone shares at the university. She then stated that the secrecy around the salary increase fiasco could have been avoided if clear contracts that specified when and where merit and equity based raises will occur had been articulated. This would have better protected the administration from the political backlash it experienced.
She went on to say that NTTFs need a voice in shared governance, and the handout that was previously mentioned by Professor Pratt specifically describes shared governance and how the union contract can work together with the Senate to enhance shared governance. She then encouraged the audience to pick up a copy of the handout. Instructor Olson stated that everyone wants transparency or a voice in their health benefits package. We owe a debt of gratitude to the classified union for the great benefits we have received in the past. Now we all have to fight together to try to figure out and understand what is happening with our benefits package. She then stated that there are no conflicts of interest between the two thousand person bargaining unit, but NTTFs also have specific and unique concerns and a collective bargaining unit will not look the same for everyone. It will undoubtedly reflect some of the diversity and variance that exists within each unique situation. She has seen other faculty contracts for NTTFs that give her hope. One example would be to have clear and objective job descriptions and evaluation policies for all UO employees. Another would be to provide greater job security by initiating longer contracts after so many years of consecutive service. Her final example was to provide sabbaticals for NTTFs. She recognized that there are challenges in fulfilling the academic and research mission at the university and referenced President Lariviere’s comments on paying for these realizations. She also recognized that the university has a commitment to the state of Oregon to education its children in spite of the declining support from the state.
Her next point focused on the growth of administrative positions at the UO. She stated that this growth has occurred in spite of the fact that the institutional health of the university remains strong and that the universities unrestricted net assets in 2010 were fifty million dollars. In spite of this number, UO students face yearly tuition increases while faculty salaries lag behind comparator institutions. All of this information can be found in the Bunsis Report located on their website at www.uauoregon.org. In closing, Instructor Olson stated that NTTFs, along with tenure-track faculty and post doctoral researchers want a stronger voice in setting priorities for this institution. She believes the faculty along with the united academic and a collective bargaining agreement, negotiated by the faculty, can move educators in the right direction. She then quoted Cary Nelson (President AAUP), “United we negotiate, divided we beg.” She thanked the Senate for listening to the presentations and called for questions from the Senate body.
Senate President Kyr invited the three speakers back up to the Senate floor to receive questions from the Senate body. The first question came from Senator Pedro Garcia-Caro (Romance Languages). He thanked the presenters for their words and stated that he believes everyone is very excited that there is a driving force uniting the ranks of employees at the university. He then asked three questions: 1) how do you envision the process of creating the union itself? 2) How will employees begin negotiations? 3) What institutional changes will have to be implemented once the union is in place?
Instructor Olson responded to the first question by stating that the process has been ongoing for a couple of years and there is an organizing committee comprised of tenure-track, NTTF, and post doctoral members that direct the campaign with the help of staff AFT and the AUP. They are currently in the process of assessing support and trying to reach out to the two thousand plus teaching body at the university. She then mentioned that they are developing a petition to gauge the level of support that exists on campus. The groups would like to have eight hundred signatures on the petition by the end of the fall term. If this task is accomplished, they will proceed to an election done by card drop. Voters will fill out a card with their information and whether or not they are in favor or against unionization. These cards will be sent to the Oregon Employees Relations Board (OERB) to certify the names. Instructor Olson then stated that she was not exactly sure of the entire process, but if the voters favor the union, it will be certified. The next step involves forming an organizing committee comprised of tenure-track, NTTF, and post doctoral members towards the formation of a union and a negotiating team. She then stated that the union representatives need to hear concerns from the various constituent groups.
Professor Pratt commented that after the union is approved, the faculty must take a greater participatory role in order to establish guidelines of negotiation. Elections will be held for union representatives from each constituent group, and according to Professor Pratt, each person must take the responsibility and speak up, look at the proposals being circulated, and voice concerns to your representatives.
Mr. Catchen summarized that the petition drive is currently taking place and asked all in attendance to please sign the petition if they have not done so already. Once the petition has its signatures, a card drop will occur. If you support the union, sign a card. If you do not support the union, do not sign a card. The cards go directly to the state, not to your employer. The state will then evaluate if the election was successful. If so, there will be a transition to a new platform and a negotiating committee will begin negotiating new contracts. At the present, the platform has remained vague in order to address everyone’s concerns and will become more specific if the election is successful.
The next two questions came from Professor Philip Romero (Finance). He stated that it was mentioned that the OERB will evaluate the cards in order to determine whether or not the union would be certified. He then stated that only “yes” votes will go on cards and thus there will be no record of “no” votes. He then asked; what threshold will the OERB use to determine the certification of the election. His second question was regarding union membership. He has previously observed that union managers enact policy whereby every employee, whether they are a member of the union or not, are charged dues. He wanted to know if that was also the case for the UO’s proposed union.
Mr. Catchen replied that the union will make a claim as to who the unit includes and the university contributes to that cause by supplying a list of employees. The card would be checked against that list. He then stated that it was possible that various parties would challenge the definition of who is a part of the union and who is not, but the “no” votes would be counted from the university supplied list. Professor Romero then stated that the union must essentially have a majority of the relevant population of employees. Mr. Catchen stated that he was correct. He then stated that in respect to dues, everyone would be required to pay a fair share of dues, but the makeup and assessment would be up to the union to decide.
The next comment came from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) who remarked on the statement made by Instructor Olson regarding the Senate being powerless. He stated that the Senate was created as the sole governing body of the university in 1995. The influence that was given to the Senate was minimal and it was by and large ignored by the administration. He went on to say that the university is now writing a new Constitution, one that gives the Senate appreciable more influence. He did not want to confuse the word influence with the word power. According to Professor Stahl, power comes from the threat of strike, and influence comes from having an effective communication with the President and other members of the administration at the university. The new Constitution is designed to maximize that influence within the laws that govern the university. He personally believes that influence is sometimes more valuable than power as expressed through the threat of strike. He then stated that he was speaking on behalf of the future of the Senate. Yes, it is powerless, but does not threaten strike, and the Senate is not non-influential. He believes the Senate can be very influential.
Professor Pratt responded and stated that he agreed with Professor Stahl’s comments regarding the Senate. The main point in revising the Constitution is to have an effective way of communicating on a wide range of issues. He then reminded those in attendance that the Senate represents all constituent groups at the university. With everything that is going on at the university, he believes that now is the time to begin to think about unionization. He then stated that cooperation between the union and the Senate could create a very effective form of shared governance.
Senate President Kyr then asked the question; how would the union help the university acquire more classrooms. Professor Pratt responded by stating that currently there are conversation going on regarding available borrowing options for the university and also how to use certain types of space. The first line of response is a discussion, but if the Senate is unable to effect change, the union will be able to add leverage regarding limits to class size, etc… He believes the union and Senate can work together for the betterment of each other’s respective goals. Senate President Kyr then replied that what was not clear to him was the practical aspect of unionization, and asked the question; why would the union have any particular authority. Professor Pratt responded that the union has the ability to negotiate working condition issues including employment matters regarding how many students instructors are allowed to teach. Senate President Kyr then asked what are these negotiations based on, to which Professor Pratt answered they are based on labor laws. He then stated that the union brings outside authority to the table, which does not exist in the Senate. The union also offers the option for appeal due to its association with labor laws. Mr. Catchen added that there are a number of faculty unions across the country, and the ability to look at contracts that have already been negotiated will provide proof regarding a basis for negotiation.
Senator Huaxin Lin (Mathematics) asked the presenters to clarify two points regarding the paying of dues and union membership. He was not sure if he is automatically in the union if it passes, and if he does not want to participate, will he still have to pay dues. Professor Pratt stated that once the union is established, the question regarding who pays dues and at what level becomes a matter of negotiation. Instructor Olson commented that other faculty unions have lower pay scales for faculty member who do not choose to join the union, and also mentioned that none of those decisions have been made yet. She believes that everyone will reap the benefits of better working conditions if the union succeeds. If you benefit from the union, you should give something back to the union.
The next comment came from Professor Michael Tedesco (Law). He stated that he was on a brief break from his labor law class and answered Senator Lin’s question regarding the payment of dues. Under Oregon State Law for public employees, people who choose full union member pay full union dues. The university or any public employer can bargain a fair share deduction that allows a level of payment to be made that covers collective bargaining, grievance processing, and contract administration for employees who choose not to join the union. He then asked; why is that fair. It is fair because if you are a non-member, you still enjoy the benefits of the labor contract. For example, you still get the same pay rate as a member, and your grievance is still taken to arbitration. Because of this, it was determined by the Oregon State Legislature through multiple past cases and on the national level by the National Labor Relations Board that people who choose not to be a union member can make that choice, but they may have to pay a percentage of the total so that their collective bargaining rights and their benefits that are enacted as a result of the labor agreement remains covered. The people who are doing the work on the union side are also working for the non-members.
Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) asked two questions for clarification purposes. In his first question, he wanted to know if an election will be held for the following three separate groups: officers of research (post docs); officers of administration, and NTTFs. Mr. Catchen replied that only one election was being held. He then added that officers of administration are not a proposed constituency of the union. The union will consist of officers of research and officers of instruction (tenure-related and NTTF). Senator Tublitz then stated that these three groups are essential to the university and all three have very different roles. As such, he was confused as to how one will effectively bargain for such diverse groups. Professor Pratt then asked for an example. Senator Tublitz offered the example of teaching. He stated that tenure-related faculty members have a set of duties which include teaching, administration, and research/scholarship. NTTFs have a different kind of contract. He did not understand how one could bargain for these two groups without jeopardizing the advantages of one or the other unless the union has the option of bargaining independently for each subset.
Professor Pratt stated that he understands the problem and offered two possible solutions. One solution was to raise the issue that the union has many different groups to represent and these groups intersect with each other. The fact that there are instructors in a department that makes it possible for the tenure-related faculty teaching load with be so much so that research can continue means that these constituencies are bound together through the work of that department. The level of consideration does not reside with the individual person, but rather with the department and the task. He stated that negotiating on behalf of both constituencies was beneficial. In his second reply, he mentioned that there was great diversity among tenure-track faculty. There are also many commonalities. Students take both philosophy and biology, and both of these subject must be taken care of so that students become well educated. He then stated that he would not ask for the same teaching load as a Biology professor, but he would ask for a teaching load that is manageable. He believes that faculty have common interests that organize their relationships, and in that context, they are well suited to figure out what all three constituencies need. Instructor Olson believes the union contracts will be the size of telephone books due to the many needs that must be addressed.
The next question came from an unidentified audience member. Her question was regarding the union’s role in striking. Mr. Catchen replied that there are legal restrictions to what a strike can and cannot do. He then stated a strike is the end result of a long process. Instead of jumping to the end to see what it would look like, he believes there are many more problems to focus on. As far as he has experienced, a strike is a very uncommon event. He then asked for a more specific question. She replied that once the union is formed, will the union set parameters for what a strike will look like, or are there laws in place to determine that. Mr. Catchen replied that there are labor laws regarding striking and the union must act as a single entity through its representational structure. A small group cannot hijack the union and declare a strike. It is a very long process. He then stated that the union would only strike as a last resort.
Senator Debra Merskin (Journalism and Communication) stated that she was co-president of the universities chapter of the AAUP. She stated she supports the union for all of the reasons that have been beautifully articulated today.
The next comment came from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He asked could the union serve as a vehicle for reconciling various factions within it. Professor Pratt replied yes. He stated that the union could provide a platform to work through longstanding issues among various interest groups.
Senate President Kyr then asked which other schools in the OUS (Oregon University System) have unionized. He then asked for a description of each union and also wanted to know if they were successful at their respective institutions. Professor Pratt stated that this information could be found in the brochure. Mr. Catchen commented that Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, and Portland State University are all organized. He then stated that he thinks their unions work well. The only two that have not unionized are Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. Mr. Catchen has interacted with the unions from Western, Southern, and Eastern and according to him, the unions are very effective at those respective schools. He stated that the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Oregon is currently represented by a faculty member at Western (he thinks).
Senate President Kyr stated that there was time for one more question before the open discussion portion of the meeting must come to a close.
Instructor Olson briefly commented that additional information on other AAU universities that have faculty unions could be found in the informational pamphlet at the back of the room. She believes our best comparators are other AAU schools, not other schools in Oregon.
The final comment came from Professor Jack Maddex (History Emeritus). He stated that in regard to the situation that Mr. Catchen described as a post doctoral student in terms of losing his funding and benefits, Professor Maddex wanted to know how Mr. Catchen identified his professional association when publishing a paper. Mr. Catchen stated that his affiliation was the University of Oregon. Professor Maddex stated that everyone benefits from the University of Oregon research, to which Mr. Catchen agreed. Professor Maddex went on to say that during the 1970’s, in a previous organizing faculty drive, he was on the committee for the AFT. During that time, local 3544 of the AFT acquired bargaining rights for the university GTFs. According to Professor Maddex, negotiating that first contract was more complicated than any subsequent one. Due to his connection with the AFT, he was invited to witness several contract negotiation meetings. Also, due to the turnover rate of GTFs and administrators, he did not think anyone else was still working at the university since that time. He then stated that the roles of GTF were extremely diverse before the first contract was written. Considering the difficulty of negotiating contracts for GTFs, Professor Maddex believes it will be even more difficult to negotiate contracts for tenure-track faculty, NTTF, and post doctoral candidates.
At this point in the meeting Senate President Kyr interrupted Professor Maddex and stated that unfortunately the open discussion portion of the Senate meeting had expired. He then reminded all in attendance that there would be additional time for questions and answers at the reception which was being held immediately after the Senate meeting in room 110 of the Law School.
5.1 Senate Retreat, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that the Senate retreat was very productive and rewarding. The retreat established two working groups.
5.1.1 Mission Statement Working Group
The first group formed from the Senate retreat was the mission statement working group. This group is charged with reviewing the mission statement of the university.
5.1.2 Media Connectivity Working Group
The second group formed from the Senate retreat was the media connectivity working group. This group is charged with establishing better connections with various forms of media in an attempt to more adequately express who the Senate is and what the Senate does. He then stated that these groups will provide more information regarding their respective charges and progress as the year continues.
5.2 Coalition of PAC-12 Faculties, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that he attended the Coalition of PAC-12 Faculties at the University of Colorado, Boulder. According to the Senate President, it was a very productive meeting. Both he and his colleagues who attended the meeting are very committed to coming together and representing academics in a way that would be a complement to the way the PAC-12 is organized around athletics. At the conference, the Coalition of PAC-12 Faculties was formed and they are currently in the process of drafting a letter to all of the presidents of the PAC-12 regarding educational needs. He stated that the coalition was a very strong group and that everyone should be hopeful for the future.
5.3 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
ASUO Vice President Katie Taylor gave the report in place of ASUO President Ben Eckstein who had to leave the Senate meeting early. Both she and ASUO President Ben Eckstein postponed the referendum regarding the EMU question due to not receiving guarantees of student space and student involvement in the decision making process. Currently, their plan is to postpone the referendum until the spring term. She believes that once the vote has been taken, the students will decide whether or not they want to pay for the renovations. She then stated that the ASUO wants to make sure they have guarantees for the things that they want. Students are paying for seventy percent of the EMU renovation project and should have more say in what the building looks like. She then used the example that donors who funded the Jaqua Academic Learning Center had a great deal of influence on the final product and she feels students should as well. The ASUO has also been supporting students who are fighting to secure the office of multicultural academic success. A coalition has been formed called UO Truth, and the ASUO has been trying to form a student and community oversight board for their new proposal. Finally, she informed the Senate that there are two resolutions currently being worked on in the ASUO Senate. The first has to do with freedom of speech which was brought on by the Occupy Eugene movement, and the second resolution deals with mandatory reporting. RAs that reside in residence halls are required to report to DPS if someone reports an instance of sexual assault. Senate President Kyr thanked ASUO Vice President Taylor and moved to the final portion of the meeting.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Notice of Motion(s)
6.1.1 US11/12-03 Improving Campus Communication, Emma Newman (ASUO Student Senator)
Senate President Kyr invited Emma Newman (Student Senator) to the floor to discuss US11/12-03 Improving Campus Communication. Senator Newman stated that at the Senate retreat, a discussion was held regarding communication across campus. She then remarked that as a freshman, she was in the school of music and realized just how isolated that section of campus was. She believes that other areas are just as isolated. She then asked Senators to support her in an effort to increase the accessibility of information flow across campus by sharing events, and informing others on academic opportunities. She also wanted to increase listserv access for students. As an academic Senator, she believes it is her responsibility to inform her constituents of Senate activities, but it is difficult to accomplish this task when forms of access do not exist. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Newman for her comments and invited ASUO Senate Vice President Katie Taylor back to the floor to discuss the next motion.
6.1.2 US11/12-04 EMU Project Oversight and Stakeholder Participation, Ben Eckstein (ASUO President)
ASUO Vice President Katie Taylor stated that the EMU project oversight and stakeholder participation motion involves multiple stakeholders. The ASUO wants to make sure that more students are involved as well as other constituent groups across campus including classified staff workers who are employed at various food and beverage installations throughout the EMU. ASUO Vice President Taylor stated that she is unsure if these positions will be secure after the EMU is renovated.
Senator John Bonine (Law) then asked Senate President Kyr for a point of process. When Senators present a notice of motion, it would be interesting to know whether the motion has come from a certain committee or other groups, and to what degree consultation has taken place with other interest groups. Senate President Kyr responded by stating that all motions are currently in process due to the complexities of various issues surrounding them.
6.1.3 US11/12-05 Athletic Contribution to the Educational Mission of the University, Cedar Cosner (ASUO Elections Coordinator)
Senate President Kyr introduced Cedar Cosner (ASUO Elections Coordinator) who briefly discussed US11/12-05. He informed the Senate that the ASUO Executive is running a campaign in support of the academic mission of the university. They are interested in bringing this mission more clearly into focus. He then stated that they are interested in highlighting the student aspect of a student athlete. The campaign is exploratory and discussions will continue as the campaign moves forward. Senate President Kyr then personally thanked the students for their exceptional work within the Senate
6.1.4 US11/12-06 Changes to the Charge and Membership of the Academic Council, Ian McNeely (Chair, Academic Council)
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that Senator Ian McNeely (Academic Council chair), who was unable to attend the Senate meeting, had prepared a brief statement regarding the changes to the charge and membership of the Academic Council. Senate President Kyr did not read Senator McNeely’s statement due to the lack of time remaining. He informed the Senate that the council was in the process of revising its charge and membership description. He then thanked Senator McNeely for all his hard work with the Academic Council. Senator McNeely’s comments are displayed below in their entirety.
The Academic Council's first year of existence revealed a few problems in its charge and membership, some of which were described in its 2011 end-of-year report. Making the needed changes requires amending the UO Constitution, however. After consultation with the Internal Governance Committee, a two-step process was decided upon. First, the passages specifying the Academic Council's membership and charge will be stricken from the revised constitution that will be voted upon by the Statutory Faculty Assembly later this academic year. The only constitutional provisions remaining will be the ones requiring that an Academic Council in some form be established and that its chair have a seat in the Senate. Then, in the motion being announced today, the Academic Council will be reconstituted as a regular standing committee. No other committee, after all, has its membership and charge specified in the UO Constitution. Doing so by Senate motion instead of swapping in new constitutional language will preserve flexibility for the future without compromising the Academic Council's key role in the UO shared governance system. Details on the precise changes that will appear in the final version of this motion are still under discussion, but those with questions or concerns are welcome to contact the Academic Council chair, Ian McNeely (firstname.lastname@example.org).
6.2 Formation of Ad Hoc Committees (AHC), Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that there are three ad hoc committees that are in the process of being formed.
6.2.1 Policy on Policies AHC
The first ad hoc committee was the Policy on Policies Ad Hoc Committee.
6.2.2 Review of Charge and Purpose of FAC AHC
The second ad hoc committee was the Review of Charge and Purpose of FAC (Faculty Advisory Council) Ad Hoc Committee. Senate President Kyr reminded the Senate that all committees were undergoing their tenth year review period, including the FAC. He also informed the Senate that the FAC was one of the longest standing university committees, and the Senate was forming this ad hoc committee, comprised of mostly former FAC chairs, to review the charge and purpose of the council.
6.2.3 Instructional Faculty Grievance Process AHC
The final ad hoc committee was the Instructional Faculty Grievance Process Ad Hoc Committee. According to President Kyr, this committee will be investigating the structure of and process for instructional faculty grievance as it relates to instructional faculty, officers of administration and every other constituency of the Senate.
6.3 Change of Senate Meeting Date for December
Senate President Kyr stated that the final Senate meeting of the fall quarter was scheduled to take place during exam week. Because of this, the possibility existed that relatively few Senators would be able to attend the meeting. He recommended cancelling the December meeting and scheduling an additional Senate meeting during the month of February. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
Andrew Marcus (Associate Dean of CAS Social Sciences) stated that his one concern was that normally the Senate votes to approve the fall curriculum report at the last meeting of the fall term, and if the meeting was cancelled, this would cause a substantial delay for a variety of curricular matters. After it is approved by the Senate, the report is sent to the Oregon University System (OUS). Senator Debra Merskin (Journalism and Communication) stated that she sat on the Committee on Courses who is charged with updating these reports, and as far as she knew, the report must be approved by the Senate at the last meeting of every term. Senate President Kyr then stated that in light of this news, the December meeting should not be canceled.
Senator John Bonine (Law) then asked Senate President Kyr if approving the fall curriculum report at the final Senate meeting of the term was a routine procedure. Senator Bonine stated that there might be a way to vote on matters that are routine to the Senate without meeting. He also recommended meeting a week earlier on November 30. Senate President Kyr stated that meeting a week earlier was not advisable at this time.
Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) commented that the curriculum reports have recently been approved pro forma in the Senate, however in the past there have been significant questions raised over the report and departments need to have the ability to raise questions. He then asked Andrew Marcus and Senator Merskin if the approval of the report could be deferred to the January meeting. Mr. Marcus responded that if the report is not passed during the December meeting, several departments would not be able to offer specific classes contained within the report.
Senator Emma Newman (Student Senator) proposed that the Senate have a shorter meeting in December. Senate President Kyr approved of this idea and said he would be in touch regarding the additional meeting in February.
Senator Bonine (Law) then asked Senate Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) if the Senate meeting in December was shortened in length and had poor attendance, and if a motion was passed noticing the absence of a quorum, could the Senate still have the ability to take action. Senate Parliamentarian Simonds replied that the Senate cannot take any action without a quorum.
Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr called the November 9, 2011 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 5:02PM.
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 07 December 2011
Prepared and Submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Present: John Bonine, Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Ali Emami, John Foster, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Deborah Healey, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Ryan Kellems, Peter Keyes, Theodora Ko Thompson, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Peng Lu, Andrew Lubash, Ian McNeely, Jeffery Measelle, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Amy Nuetzman, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: Tracy Bars, Karen Estlund, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Jena Langham, Stephanie Matheson, Harlan Mechling Steven Pologe, David Riley, Vadim Vologodski, Peter Walker
Excused: Roger Adkins, Colin Ives, Carla McNelly, Nathan Tublitz
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for December 7, 2011 to order at 3:05PM in McArthur Court. He first thanked everyone for attending the meeting and stated that it was one of the most important meetings in the history of the university. Senate President Kyr then asked Professor Paul Engelking (Chemistry), chair of the committee on courses, to come forward and present the fall curriculum report, which the Senate is required to approve by the Oregon University System.
2. NEW BUSINESS
2.1 Fall Curriculum Report, Paul Engelking, Committee on Courses chair
Professor Engelking stated that the curriculum report from the committee on courses had a few minor corrections that were outlined in red on the overhead projector. Physics, Biology, and Finance all had minor word and number corrections. An addition to “other matters” concerning the Human Physiology degree was also updated. Professor Engelking then asked for corrections from the floor. Hearing none, he moved that the Senate adopt the fall curriculum report. Senate President Kyr then called for a voice vote to approve the report. A vote was taken and the fall curriculum report was unanimously approved. Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Engelking for all the hard work he has done with the committee on courses throughout the years.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called for a motion of adjournment. The motion was called and seconded bringing the December 7, 2011 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 3:10PM.
The Faculty Assembly was convened immediately following this Senate meeting. At the meeting, the new Constitution was unanimously approved. To view the Constitution, please click here:
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 30 November 2011
Prepared and Submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Present: Roger Adkins, Nancy Bray, John Bonine, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Colin Ives, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Theodora Ko Thompson, Ryan Kellems, Robert Kyr, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Ian McNeely, Carla McNelly, Jeffrey Measelle, Harlan Mechling, Deborah Merskin, Emma Newman, Amy Nuetzman, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Nathan Tublitz, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: Tracy Bars, Ali Emami, Christian Erichsen, John Foster, Mark Gillem, Deborah Healey, Peter Keyes, Peter Lambert, Jena Langham, Peng Lu, Stephanie Matheson, Ronald Mitchell, Marilyn Nippold, David Riley, Donna Shaw, Vadim Vologodski, Peter Walker
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for November 30, 2011 to order at 3:07PM in McArthur Court.
2. NEW BUSINESS
2.1 Motion to call a meeting of the UO Statutory Faculty Assembly 30 November, 2011; Sponsor Senate Executive Committee
Senate President Kyr called for a motion to call a meeting of the UO Statutory Faculty Assembly on November 30, 2011. The motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
2.2 Motion to call a meeting of the UO Statutory Faculty Assembly 07 December, 2011; Sponsor Senate Executive Committee
Senate President Kyr called for a motion to call a meeting of the UO Statutory Faculty Assembly on December 7, 2011. He then stated that the meeting would take place in McArthur Court at 3PM. The motion was called. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called for a motion of adjournment. The motion was called and seconded bringing the November 30, 2011 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 3:10PM.
The Faculty Assembly was convened immediately following this Senate meeting. At the meeting, four motions were approved as follows:
SFA 11/12-01: Motion on the replacement of President Richard Lariviere; Senate Executive Committee presented by Professor Ian McNeely, History (APPROVED)
SFA 11/12-02: Motion for the Establishment of a UO Board of Trustees, Senate Executive Committee presented by Professor Peter Keyes, Architecture (APPROVED)
SFA 11/12-03: Motion for the Senate Executive Committee to provide a candidate for the Interim President of the UO; University Senate presented by Huaxin Lin, Mathematics (APPROVED)
SFA 11/12-04: Motion requesting the OUS Board to vote on the renewal status of Chancellor Pernsteiner's employment; Senate Executive Committee presented by Bill Harbarugh (APPROVED)
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 12 October 2011
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: Roger Adkins, Tracy Bars, Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Roland Good, Colin Ives, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Peter Keyes, Theodora Ko Thompson, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Jena Langham, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Stephanie Matheson, Carla McNelly, Harlan Mechling, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, David Riley, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Yin Tan Nathan Tublitz, Vadim Vologodski, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: John Bonine, Robert Elliot, Ali Emami, John Foster, Mark Gillem, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Ryan Kellems, Peng Lu, Ian McNeely, Jeffrey Measelle, Peter Walker
Excused: Deborah Healey, Marilyn Nippold
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for October 12, 2011 to order at 3:04 PM in room 175 of the Knight School of Law. He welcomed everyone in attendance to the first meeting of the year, and stated that he was very excited for the coming year as it would surely be one of the most important in the history of the University.
1.1 Introductory Remarks, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr then listed ten points that the Senate is facing during the coming year. The first issue was concerning policies. The policies that were not signed by President Lariviere have now been reviewed by the general counsel and some of them will be going back to their Senate committees. The Senate has received new policies from Lynette Schenkel (Associate Vice President for Responsible Conduct of Research/Director of ORCR) to consider in a revised version. Senate President Kyr then mentioned that these points were not in order of importance. The second point was the UO Constitution which must be ratified this year. There will be a calling of the Faculty Assembly to accomplish this task. The third issue concerned public safety officers transferring to a police force and the various questions that community members have been discussing in relationship to the various statements and policies that are being put into force. According to Senate President Kyr, the Senate will be holding a special open discussion on this topic at its November meeting. Point four was concerned with enrollment increases. He then asked the Senate body if they had noticed the increase in traffic on campus from bicyclers and automobiles. He then stated that it is very important to be aware of these traffic concerns because there are difficulties on both sides of the equation. The safety of every member of the UO community is very important. The fifth point was the Senate’s vision plan for the University, which will be formulated through the Senate Retreat, the first of its kind at the UO. He told the Senate body that they need to remember, as he mentioned in his May address to the Senate, that we are unity of constituencies. This applies to faculty, students, officers of administration, officers of research, and classified staff. Each group has a stake in this University, and as Senators, we need to formulate the vision plan together as an expression of our common will. This plan will be presented to the central administration and will be used to engage them in an open discussion. Open and respectful discussion about matters of importance is a tradition at this University. The sixth point involved shared governance. Senate President Kyr has instituted the President and Provost Forums; one each quarter. He stated that he was thrilled that both President Lariviere and Interim Provost Davis are excited about these upcoming events. The first Provost Forum will be held on Wednesday, October 19 in Beall Concert Hall inside the School of Music and Dance from 4 – 6PM. The first President’s Forum will be Wednesday, November 2 in Beall Concert Hall also at the School of Music and Dance from 4 – 6PM. According to Senate President Kyr, this will be a time for the entire community to come and have an open and respectful discussion with the President and the Provost. Point seven has to do with the policy on policies. The Senate Executive Committee will be formulating a policy on policies related to the flow of policy making at the University and the role the Senate plays in policy making. The eighth point was the proposed union. Senate President Kyr stated that he invited representatives from the AAUP to the November Senate meeting to give a presentation on unionization and field questions. The ninth point was communication and service. This is a crucial point that must be strengthened. The UO needs each and every person now more than ever to join in this common effort in order to move our shared governance system forward. The tenth and final point was the academic plan, which is now under review. It will be going before various bodies at the University including the Senate. Senate President Kyr then introduced Jane Gordon (Associate Dean, School of Law) to give a brief welcome to the Senate body on behalf of Michael Moffitt (Dean, School of Law).
1.2 Welcome from the Dean of the Law School (Jane Gordon, Associate Dean)
Ms. Gordon welcomed the Senate to the Law School and asked if Senate meetings were going to be held in room 175 in the future. Senate President Kyr responded that meetings will be held at the Law School in the fall term. Ms. Gordon then stated that about thirteen years ago, before the Law School was built, the grounds were surrounded by swamp land. Previously, the Law School was located on Kincaid Street and the decision was made to move to its current location because they do not have undergraduate student who need to factor in traveling across campus. She then stated that the Law building is eleven years old and had thought that one day it might become the center of campus. Ms. Gordon then delivered a message from Dean Moffitt which was that the Law School is very happy to be in a more centralized area of campus. The Law School hopes to be even more integrated with the rest of the UO despite their composition of only graduate students. She again welcomed the Senate body and stated that the Senate will always be welcome at the School of Law. Senate President Kyr then thanked Ms. Gordon for her welcoming statements and said it was a pleasure to be meeting in the Law School.
1.3 Approval of the minutes of the May 11 & 25 Meetings
Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 11 and 25 Senate meetings. A motion was given and seconded. He then called for a vote from the Senate body. A voice vote was taken and the minutes of the May 11 and 25 Senate meetings were approved unanimously.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Senate President Kyr then stated that Ben Eckstein (ASUO President) would be giving his report at this time due to a conflicting meeting that he had to attend during his scheduled report time. Mr. Eckstein thanked the Senate body for allowing him to present his report ahead of schedule. He then asked the student Senators to stand and introduced them to the Senate body. The student Senators present at the meeting were Harlan Mechling, Jena Langham, Emma Newman, and Stephanie Matheson. He then thanked Senate President Kyr for his commitment to equal participation in shared governance by all stakeholders. Mr. Eckstein has been working with Senate President Kyr throughout the summer and he has shown that he is committed, not only to fully including students, but he is also committed to the creation of an environment where student feel consistently valued, respected, and wanted. He then updated Senators on two pressing issues that the student body is facing. The first issue dealt with student voting for a one hundred dollar per term student fee for the next thirty years to fund the renovation and expansion of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) and the student recreation center. According to Mr. Eckstein, his administration and other students groups within the EMU are working hard to promote this very important referendum and to educate students on this issue. His administration also felt it was important that students be given a chance to vote on this issue to decide whether or not they wanted these projects to occur. Students need to be informed about the impact of the decisions they make when voting on this critical issue. Many student concerns have already gone unaddressed regarding the plans for the new EMU. Student groups could be receiving less space and privacy. This is a concern with the current proposed project. There are many student programs that need safe spaces within the student union, and this change would not be acceptable. According to Mr. Eckstein, students and proper stakeholders have not been properly engaged in the building process and in the decisions that are being made throughout this process. He is concerned that the EMU could lose accountability from the student body, who throughout history, have been its primary investors. His administration is working very hard to insure the election process for this referendum maintains full integrity as a student run election and that student rights are upheld.
The second issue deals with the University converting the Department of Public Safety (DPS) into a police force. The ASUO opposed this decision and will be maintaining a very high level of involvement in the planning process as this conversion moves forward. All constituencies need to be fully engaged in this process. His administrations vice president, Katie Taylor serves on the police department complaint resolution board working group which is charged with developing an effective oversight mechanism to handle complaints and to protect the central rights of the campus community. Although the decision made by the state board was inconsistent with the opinions of the student body, his administration will continue to work to insure that student voices are heard and that the campus community is very engaged in the process as it moves forward. He closed his comments by stating that as the year moves forward, he is very thankful for having such an outstanding body in support of shared governance, and welcomed the Senate to reach out to the ASUO for information or support as they are always happy to partner with other stakeholders on campus.
Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for his comments and stated that he was extremely grateful for student participation in the Senate. He then mentioned that the state of the university address was supposed to be given by President Lariviere, but the President was called to Washington by Hilary Clinton to attend the American Summit on higher education and was unable to attend today’s Senate meeting. He then invited Lorraine Davis (Interim Provost) to the Senate floor to give her remarks on the state of the university.
2.1 Remarks by Interim Provost Davis
Interim Provost Davis thanked Senate President Kyr and stated on behalf of President Lariviere his invitation to Washington D.C. was a late invitation but it is fortunate that the UO has representation at that event. The President will be returning quickly to participate in the forthcoming UO Foundation meeting. She then stated that from one perspective, the state of the university at the present time is transitional, at least from the leadership perspective. That is not a mark of unrest but a mark of circumstances and continual change which often can be very positive. Changes cause you to reexamine what you are doing, how you are doing it, and who is doing it. She reassured the Senate body that even though there are, have been, and will be a number of leadership transitions, she is hopeful that they will be positive and will have the support of all constituents at the university in order to move forward.
The first transition is her position as Interim Provost. It is her hope that James Bean (Senior Vice President and Provost) will return to his position after the current academic year has expired to reassume his duties as Provost. Another transition that has been announced is the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Francis Dyke had announced her intent and desire to retire at the end of this academic year, June 30, 2012. A search was undertaken for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position with a broader and more sophisticated portfolio than the current portfolio for the Vice President for finance and administration. Due to the complicated job description, Interim Provost Davis stated that only three to five people in the United States would be able to meet the qualifications. As a result, President Lariviere declared the search a failure and has appointed Jamie Moffitt (Intercollegiate Athletics) as the Vice President for finance and administration on a permanent basis beginning January 1, 2012. Francis Dyke will continue to serve in her position until the end of June 2012 in order to assist Jamie Moffitt in her new position. She then stated that Charles Martinez (VP for Equity and Diversity) has repositioned himself in the college of education. Currently, there is a search under way for the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. In the meantime, Robin Holmes (VP for Student Affairs) is assuming the responsibilities of Charles Martinez’s former office. Since last year, there has been a new appointment for the Vice President for Research and Innovation and Kimberly Espy (Dean, Graduate School) is working hard to structure that office in a way that will move it forward. Former history professor, former dean of the college of arts and sciences, former Provost at the University of Illinois, former President at the University of Texas, former chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley, and former President of the American Association of Universities (AAU), Bob Berdahl (Special Assistant to the President) will be assisting the university leadership in an advisory capacity. She then stated that the Senate will more than likely be interacting with him and identified three area of interaction.
The first involves new challenges and opportunities that face the UO and are positive challenges related to the Oregon legislation of Senate Bill 242 and 909. The Senate will be involved in these issues through various policies and constitutional matters. She believes Bob Berdahl will have a great deal of insight and wisdom into these issues and will also greatly contribute to the organizational structure of the UO. During her upcoming Provost Forum, Interim Provost Davis will be giving a presentation on the progress of the Academic Plan. At the same time, the foundation office and the office of the VP for development have begun the initial steps for a financial campaign regarding fundraising. Due to the current amount of support that the University receives from the state, it is critical that external donations and fundraising remain at a very high level. Interim Provost Davis believes that Bob Berdahl can assist the administration in matching some of the values, which are very well expressed in the Academic Plan, of prioritizing as they move through the process of implementing these initiatives.
Interim Provost Davis stated that this year there will be a search for the Senior Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and the Senate will hear more details as the search begins. Earlier that morning, she delivered a campus-wide announcement that the vice provost for international affairs is leaving the university at the end of December. Interim Provost Davis will appoint an interim person to that position within the coming weeks given the quick timeframe of departure. Those are some of the transitions occurring in regards to leadership at the UO. She then stated that the University is about the students who are at the core of the UO’s mission, and then mentioned a few points regarding the student body. The UO has more than twenty-four thousand students, as was mentioned by Senate President Kyr. That number is a challenge in many ways, but at the same time allows the UO to be the robust research university it is today. There are four thousand freshmen at the UO with an average GPA of 3.59. They are well prepared to participate academically and she believes the Senate will find them to be very well qualified. Twenty-three percent of incoming freshmen are students of color and the first year retention rate between freshmen to sophomore year was almost eighty-six percent. Interim Provost Davis stated that that was exceptional and a tribute to the faculty, staff and students. People are working together to accomplish their goals. There is also a fair amount of capital construction ongoing. She stated that the construction is costing five hundred million dollars which does a great deal for Eugene’s economy but also presents many challenges in facilitating movement around campus. She had the privilege of walking through the east campus residence hall that will open fall of 2012 and though it was an incredibly nice and facilitative facility that will serve the UO well.
Interim Provost Davis has been meeting with the deans of every school and department at the UO. She asked every dean three questions. The three questions are; what are the good things going on in your school or college; what are the things you are working on; and how can the provost’s office be of help. She was very impressed with the faculty, personnel, and the support that surround the various schools and departments. Many of the challenges that were identified deal with accommodating faculty, staff, and students as a result of the increase in student enrollment. According to Interim Provost Davis, the deans do not want her to hinder their progress. She will not get out of their way, but will participate with them on their way to reaching their goals. Interim Provost Davis has been at the UO for forty-one years and there has been a great deal of change since her last appointment as Vice President of Academic Affairs. The one thing that has not changed is the quality of people at the UO who care about the University, students, our mission, and each other. She then thanked the Senate body for the opportunity to speak on behalf of President Lariviere and to participate centrally at the UO in its excellence.
3. NEW BUSINESS
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim Provost Davis for her comments and moved on to the next point of the agenda which was the affirmation of appointments to senate elected committees.
3.1 Affirmation of appointments to senate elected committees, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that the appointments have already been made and accepted by the members. He then thanked the appointees for accepting their positions and for their service and read the names before the Senate body. The list of the committees and names are as follows: Faculty Advisory Council (FAC): Edward Kame’enui (Center on Teaching and Learning), Anne Laskaya (English); Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC): Michael Russo (Business), Hailin Wang (Physics), Van Kolpin (Economics); Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC): Brian McWhorter (Music and Dance), Nathan Tublitz (Biology), Glen Waddell (Economics); Senate Executive Committee: Glen Waddell (Economics), Peter Keyes (Architecture), Harinder Kaur Khalsa (Romance Languages), Carla McNelly (Classified Staff), Kim Sheehan (Journalism); Senate Budget Committee: Angela Davis (Business), Lisa Freinkel (English). Senate President Kyr then asked the Senate body for a motion to affirm the names of appointees. A motion was given and seconded. Senate President Kyr then called for a vote. A voice vote was taken and the slate of appointments was approved unanimously. He then moved on to the policy update.
3.2 Policy Update, Robert Kyr
According to Senate President Kyr, the five policies that the Senate will be focusing on for the moment are the Facilities Use Policy, the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy, the Retirement and Emeriti Policy, the Research Misconduct Policy, and the Classified Research Policy. The first two were sent by the Senate to the President who did not sign them and were then sent to the general counsel for review. The general counsel has made extensive revisions to these two policies and they must be sent back to the Senate committees that first reviewed them. Senate President Kyr then stated that the Retirement and Emeriti policy was reviewed over the summer by its committee and will come before the Senate, hopefully at the next meeting or meeting after next. The fourth and fifth policies, Research Misconduct and Classified Research have just been resubmitted to the Senate in a revised form by Lynette Schenkel (Office of Responsible Conduct of Research). These polices will again be reviewed by the Senate before being brought to the floor for a vote. He also stated that under point six of the agenda, there will be a notice of motion regarding the policy on policies.
3.3 Senate retreat on October 22, 2011, Robert Kyr
Senate President stated that he was thrilled about the upcoming Senate retreat. This will be the first time in the history of the university that the Senate has had a retreat. He then reminded the Senators that they must remember that the Senate is the only body that is constituted with five constituent groups. At the retreat, Senators will be formulating a vision plan for the University that expresses the common will of these five groups. The vision will become the focus for interaction with the central administration. Senate President Kyr then thanked all those who have responded to the invitation to the retreat and then asked all who have yet to respond to please fill out your RSVP very soon as final preparations are being made. The retreat will be held on Saturday, October 22 at the Lillis Business Complex in room 282,and breakfast will be served at 8:30AM in the east courtyard. At 9AM the first session will begin and will focus on formulating the vision plan. Senators will break into caucus groups to discuss specific questions. Lunch will be served at noon in the School of Music and Dance and from 1:30 – 4:30PM in room 190. The rest of the retreat will focus on discussing the various points across constituencies that were formulated during the morning session. Several task-forces will be formulated that will continue the process of molding and refining the vision plan. He then stated that he really looks forward to all Senators participation in this time of change, challenge, and opportunity at the university.
3.4 President’s Forums and Provost’s Forums, Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that he sees these forums as an important step forward in our shared governance system. Now every member of the university community can come and have an open discussion with the Provost and the President. He encouraged all Senators to attend the forums and mentioned that the vision plan would be well on its way to formulation by that time and should be woven into these discussions.
3.5 Respectful Workplace Ad Hoc Committee, Robert Kyr
Over the summer, and at the request of Senate President Kyr, Senator Carla McNelly (Classified Staff) formed a task force that began looking into questions that she raised related to respectful workplace when she presented her acceptance speech upon receiving the UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award. Senate President Kyr stated that the many ways in which each of us interact with classified staff must change. He was very moved by her speech and immediately approached her to offer his assistance. Together they formed a task-force which met during the summer and since that time; they have been doing phenomenal work. Based on their substantive work, the taskforce is now becoming an official Senate ad hoc committee. This work will go forward and the committee will present a report at the November Senate meeting. Senate President Kyr then thanked Senator McNelly for all her hard work and asked the Senate body if anyone had specific needs for their constituency. These needs will be discussed at the retreat, but there are certain pressing issues that might go beyond what transpires at the retreat. He then stated that if this is the case, please contact him privately to discuss your needs.
3.6 Senate VP Election in November, Robert Kyr
According to Senate President Kyr, the election for the Senate Vice President will be held at the November meeting. He then invited Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) to the Senate floor to lead an open discussion on the revisions to the UO Constitution which will be coming before the Statutory Faculty Assembly later in the year.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
4.1 Revision to the UO Constitution, Nathan Tublitz, Chair; Internal Governance Committee
Senator Tublitz explained why the governance committee is updating the UO Constitution. He then provided Senators with contextual information and stated that back in the mid 2000s, there was an issue on campus regarding opposition to the Iraqi War. That issue landed in the Senate then moved to the University Assembly. There was a potential vote in the Assembly, but that vote was squashed by a presidential decision that stated there was no quorum. The President decided that the Assembly could not vote. There was a question as to whether that legal argument was appropriate, and the Senate, in 2007 asked the Department of Justice to write a report and issue a ruling on what the quorum requirements were for the University Assembly. That ruling was issued in November 2008 and stated that the Charter of the University, which states that the President and the professors shall govern the University is sacrosanct and should be followed. According to Senator Tublitz, because the Assembly did not have a document that actually turned that sentence into a working set of procedures, the University developed a Constitution. He believes it is a very good one and is the one that is being worked on currently. The Constitution was adopted by the Assembly in 2010 and approved by the President shortly thereafter. In the present, it was realized that there were gaps in the current version of the Constitution. The Assembly quorum requirement was not discussed. It was also realized that the document had room for improvement. He then stated that he is here to present the work of the committee and asked Senators to please listen to his presentation and then provide feedback that will be brought back to the committee. The document will be brought before the Senate for approval at the November meeting, but will not go into effect because the Senate does not have the authority to approve the Constitution. The Constitution must be ratified by the Statutory Faculty Assembly. However, out of respect for the Senate it will be brought before the Senate body for approval. All sections in the Constitution document were reviewed for clarity and all committee members felt that almost every word should be changed. This is what the committee has done, but the meaning has remained the same. Every section has been clarified and there are three sections that have been significantly updated. Instead of going through the document section by section, Senator Tublitz thought it would be best to go through the table of contents and make comments on the sections that were updated. The UO had an Assembly, which was the overarching governance group at the UO, which consisted of all teaching professors at the University. It also included others that had the rank of professor and students. The Department of Justice said that these other groups were inappropriate because of the language in the Charter of the University. The teaching faculty have been replaced by the Statutory Faculty.
Senator Tublitz then discussed the laws and rules that are mentioned in the Constitution, the composition of the Senate, and the eligibility of participation or how the Senate election is run. He then discussed the more involved changes. The first major change involves the power of the Senate and asked the Senate body; what power does the Senate have? He answered his own question and stated that the Senate has legislative power. The Senate can legislate changes to the University based on a consensus by the University attorneys, the President, and the faculty through their respective roles. The Senate can mandate legislation and pass resolutions. The President has to listen to the Senate on matters of legislation. Senator Tublitz then discussed section seven of the document. The distinction between legislation and resolution is the first major change to the Constitution. The second major change is to propose a process by which the Senate passes a motion that the administration does not like. When this occurs, there is now a higher level for action. He then stated that this is the same for policies, but does not apply to resolutions because they are non-binding. The President has the right to veto all decisions made by the Senate, and because of the change in the structure of the Oregon University System (OUS), there is no higher authority than the President. Continuing his discussion of the document, Senator Tublitz stated that section eight remained virtually unchanged. The next section clearly delineates the process by which the Faculty Assembly operates. He then discussed the quorum requirement which is one quarter of the members of the Assembly and one third of the members in the event of a Constitutional amendment. The final section was newly written into the document and discusses the policy library; an online archive that will list all legislation passed by the Senate and the Assembly. The policy library will post all policies approved by the President. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
Dr. David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) stated that he was reticent to ask the first question and offered a point of context. He has worked with the faculty governance group on the Constitution and he believes it is significant that the university is headed towards completing the revisions. Both Dr. Hubin and Senator Tublitz are aware that the revised Constitution will be reviewed by the university general counsel. Dr. Hubin then stated that both he and Senator Tublitz have talked at length about the next steps in refining the revisions and then having the document signed by the statutory faculty and President Lariviere. The revisions have been read by general counsel and Dr Hubin stated that he will share the revisions with the Senate. General counsel’s comments are not meant to be dispositive, but rather are meant to be the general counsel’s reading of whether a word should be “consult” or “confer.” He then stated that he was not trivializing legal advice. There will be changes throughout the document that reflect discussions within Johnson Hall prompted by general counsel that begin with the third line of the document. General counsel prefers the word “ratified” by the statutory faculty versus “adopted” by the statutory faculty. There is a great deal of these types of changes in the general counsel’s edits and Dr. Hubin stated that he is not quite sure what the distinction is. He is not interested in making it a point of contention between the two documents. For this reason, he has not shared the general counsel’s comments on the document. The changes will be discussed within the faculty governance group and a recommendation will be brought to the Statutory Faculty.
Senator Tublitz then summarized the process and stated that hopefully, Senators will discuss the Constitutional revisions and send their comments to the governance group. He then thanked Chris Jones (Research Assistant/Program Manager Sustainable Cities Initiative) for doing this and asked the rest of the Senate body to follow suit. Senator Tublitz then stated that the general counsel will also send his suggested changes. Members of the community will send their suggested changes, and then the internal governance committee will meet and deliberate on these changes to the document. He then listed the names of the committee members. The internal governance committee is comprised of Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator), David Dusseau (Business), Debra Olson (Education), Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus), Gordon Hall (Psychology), David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President), John Bonine (Law), Jette Foss (Biology), Peter Keyes (Architecture), Robert Kyr (Music and Dance), Susan Gary (Law), Scott Pratt (Philosophy) and Anne Tedards (Music and Dance).
A question was asked from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He wanted to know if the committee had any legal advice in drafting the document. Senator Tublitz responded that the governance group has not employed legal advice, but two attorneys, John Bonine (Law) and Susan Gary (Law) are group members and have done an outstanding job of providing potential alternative interpretations.
Another comment came from Senator Ronald Mitchell (Political Science) who thanked Senator Tublitz and the members of the governance group for revising the Constitution. He said that these are the kinds of things that you do not know are working until they do not work. He then stated that he was glad someone is doing this work because he would not have signed up to do it. Senator Tublitz then stated that this Constitution is the document that faculty and others will run the University from, and as such, it needs to be very clear. He then stated that there is another step that will perhaps be even more contentious, which is a discussion on whether or not the Constitution will mandate how decisions are made at the unit level. He then repeated that the document needs to be very clear.
Senator Emma Newman (ASUO Student Senator) asked what date revisions should be sent to Senator Tublitz. Senator Tublitz jokingly replied by 5pm today. He then stated that an email had gone out to all Senators requesting comments by Friday, October 21.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) then asked if a unit within the University has implemented a policy without the approval of the University Senate, is there a method specified within the Constitution to bring them to task for their actions. Senator Tublitz responded by stating that there is no such provision, but that Senator Sullivan brought a really important and interesting point. Senator Tublitz will bring this point to the governance committee for further discussion.
Dr. David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) offered a comment regarding policies. He stated that the Senate deals with policies that will rise to the policy library. If the teaching and learning center had a policy on whether or not to give a refund for a workshop, that policy would not be brought to the Senate. If a policy is being proposed and will eventually be moved to the policy library, each proposed policy will go before the Senate Executive Committee in order to determine whether or not the Senate will play a role in its adoption. At that point, Senator Tublitz confirmed Dr. Hubin’s statement. He then added that there is another aspect that has not been defined which is how a unit runs its governance system. Those issues will be discussed with the governance group.
Senate President Kyr asked Dr. Hubin a question. He wanted to know what the deadline was for the general counsel to give his comments and will those be available to the university community. Dr. Hubin then stated that both he and Senator Tublitz discussed whether Dr. Hubin should suggest a series of changes based on the general counsel comments. Those comments have been completed. Senate President Kyr then asked; what part will the general counsel’s commentary play in the revision process. Dr. Hubin stated that some of the suggested changes are such that the faculty will want to weigh-in and consider, and some of the suggested changes address questions regarding the quorum among other items. This was discussed by the committee and as far as Dr. Hubin knows, there is no legal issue in regards to the quorum; however there is a question regarding the definition. He then stated that he would like to post general counsels suggested revisions for the campus community to discuss. Senate President Kyr then stated that he believes there should be one document for people to consider posted in one place to avoid confusion. He did not believe it was fair to ask his colleagues to look at different documents in different locations on the web, especially this late in the revision process. Dr. Hubin asked Senate President Kyr what his recommendation would be. Senator Tublitz then proposed a solution and stated that the response by the general counsel has two parts to it. The first is a legal response. The second involves suggested changes. The committee will review all changes and come forward with a final revised document which will be presented to the community for conversation. At that time, the general counsel can again offer comments at the Statutory Faculty Assembly. It is the Statutory Faculty who will be making the decision on whose suggested changes/comments will be added to the revised Constitution.
Dr. Hubin stated that he would work with Senator Tublitz and Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) and does not want the general counsel’s comments on the Constitution to be seen as a competing document. Senator Tublitz then asked Dr. Hubin to submit to him a copy of the general counsel’s comments and he would take the comments to the internal governance committee for discussion. Dr. Hubin agreed. Senate President Kyr then stated that what the Senate wants is clarity of discussion, and in order to accomplish this, the parameters must be set in a way that is helpful to everyone.
Senator Tublitz stated that some of the motions regarding policies passed by the 2010-2011 Senate were approved by the administration. After they were approved, the general counsel claimed the policies were illegal and/or inappropriate. Senator Tublitz does not believe the Senate and administration should operate in this manner. There needs to be a system by which general counsel, the administration, students, faculty, classified staff, and officers of administration have a voice in a consensus mediated discussion on the document in consideration. Once the final document is passed it must remain passed. The general counsel should have to follow the same rules that everyone else follows.
A comment was offered by Senator Carla McNelly (Classified Staff Senator). She thanked Senator Tublitz for eloquently explaining the background information regarding policies and shared governance. She also thanked Senate President Kyr for allowing the Senate body to discuss the revisions to the Constitution. She wanted to know if the general counsel could provide the Senate with the IMD’s (Internal Management Directives) in the spirit of transparency. Dr. Hubin responded to her question by stating yes. He stated that he has seen the IMD’s and that he was not general counsel, but that it was a reflection on an OUS system that has not worked well. According to Dr. Hubin, IMD 3.105 was passed in January of last year and is not up on the OUS (Oregon University System) website, but he will share it with the Senate. IMD 3.105 removed the Chancellor’s authority to override an OUS President. Senator Tublitz located the OUS homepage and announced to the Senate body that the page was last updated in 1998. He then apologized for having to mention these issues, but he believes that these discussions are crucial to our system of shared governance. He then reminded the Senate body to email him with their issues and concerns regarding the revisions to the Constitution.
Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Tublitz for his hard work and stated that while Senator Tublitz was Senate President, not only did he rewrite, with consultation and consensus building, the Senate By-Laws, but he also stepped into the chair position of the Internal Governance Committee and championed that groups efforts. The Senate body gave Senator Tublitz a warm round of applause for his service.
5.1 ASUO Report, Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Due to the fact that ASUO President Ben Eckstein gave his report at the beginning of the meeting, Senate President Kyr moved to the notice of motions.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Notice of Motion(s)
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Tublitz to announce the first notice of motion.
6.1.1 Notice of motion to approve the revised constitution Nathan Tublitz, Chair; Internal Governance Committee
Senator Tublitz gave a notice of motion to approve the revised Constitution. Senate President Kyr stated that this motion will be presented to the Senate at the November Senate meeting. He then asked Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) to introduce the notice of motion for the Policy on Policies legislation.
6.1.2 Policy on Policies, Senate Executive Committee (SEC) Glen Waddell, SEC member
Senator Waddell stated that ten years ago, he was introduced to the academy with a confusing piece of paper from the committee on committees. Now he has the privilege of introducing the policy on policies. This policy will come before the Senate at the November Senate meeting. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Waddell and jokingly mentioned that we’ll all be in trouble when the UO has a Constitution on Constitutions.
Senate President Kyr asked if there were any other announcements from the floor. Senate Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) asked Senate President Kyr if he could introduce himself to the Senate body. Senate President Kyr stated that he could.
Senate Parliamentarian Simonds stated that he was the Senate Parliamentarian, and all Senators have access to his advice on parliamentary procedures. The easiest way to contact him is by email or phone. Senate President Kyr thanked Parliamentarian Simonds for his service, which he feels is crucial to the proceedings of the Senate.
Senate President Kyr then asked if there were any other comments from the Senate body. Senator Tublitz raised an issue that he was recently made aware of regarding the Distinguished Service Award and the ceremony associated with that award. He stated that the University Senate issues very few awards and one of its highest awards is the Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to one to three individuals every year from outside the University of Oregon who have given outstanding service to the state of Oregon and beyond. He then repeated that this award is given by the Senate. There is a committee that runs the selection process, approves the award, and the results are brought to the Senate who then convenes in executive sessions for a vote on each nominee. The awards have been issued every year since 1956. Last year the Senate initiated a process, with full cooperation from the administration, of having a reception for the nominees at the end of the first Senate meeting of the fall term. He then stated that this year, for some unknown reason, the administration has unilaterally not allowed the Senate to host the reception for the award nominees. Instead, the administration is holding its own separate awards ceremony for the awardees, and according to Senator Tublitz, the Senate has not been invited. He then stated that one could argue that this is not that important but is merely symbolic; however it is a duty of the Senate. If this duty can be taken away by the administration without a discussion with the Senate body, then why should the Senate do any work at all. Senator Tublitz then stated that he officially objects to the process by which the giving of the Distinguished Service Award has been effectively taken away from the Senate by the administration. Senate President Kyr offered a point of clarification that by giving, Senator Tublitz meant the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, to which Senator Tublitz agreed.
Dr. Hubin replied to Senator Tublitz’s objection. He stated that from 1956 to 2009, the Distinguished Service Award, which was established by the Faculty Assembly who authorized the President to bestow the award, was given at commencement. Under President Lariviere’s leadership, the presentation of the award was changed and it was given away at a brunch before commencement to a very small group of people. Last year, the administration realized that there was no appropriate venue to distribute the award. Dr. Hubin stated that he worked with then Senate President Tublitz to link the award presentation to the Senate. He then corrected Senator Tublitz’s previous comment and told the Senate that it was not due to a lack of communication. One of the recipients, Robert Berdahl, will not be in Eugene on the day of the award presentation but could make it to a reception on the day after today’s Senate meeting. Due to this conflicting schedule, the administration decided to move the reception to accommodate the recipient. Dr. Hubin then stated that President Lariviere has invited all faculty, staff, and officers of administration to the reception. Everyone should have received emails from the Deans and Directors list and through the President’s Office. Senator Tublitz then replied that this was a Senate ceremony. He then repeated that there was an agreement that this was to be a Senate ceremony and not an administrative ceremony. As a result, if that is going to change, it needs to be changed by the Senate and not by an edict from the administration. Dr. Hubin stated that Senate President Kyr, Senator Tublitz, and he should talk further about this issue. According to Dr. Hubin, the ceremony was changed to be linked to the Senate through a bilateral conversation between Dr. Hubin and Senator Tublitz. The Senate did not vote on this issue. He stated that it was a good change but did not work this year and will be held the day after today’s Senate meeting. Everyone is invited. Senate President Kyr has graciously accepted to give opening remarks at the reception. Dr. Hubin believes that this issue should be solved by the Senate President. Senate President Kyr then commented that earlier that day he had a discussion with Dr. Hubin regarding this issue and he feels confident they are headed in the right direction. In the spirit of shared governance, there is no reason why we cannot present this award together in the future with appropriate consultation. This is another example of what we must work together on to resolve. Dr. Hubin again invited the Senate body to please attend the ceremony for the Distinguished Service Award.
Before adjourning the meeting, Senate President Kyr reminded Senators to please sign in on the attendance sheet. He then thanked the Senate body for their participation.
Seeing no further comments, Senate President Kyr called the October 12, 2011 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:47PM.
Minutes of the University Senate Meeting Wednesday December 2, 2009
Present: T. Bars, A. Berenstein, J. Bonine, C. Bybee, K. Dellabough, L. Forrest, H. Gangadharbatla, P. Gilkey, N. Gower, M. Henney, A. Hilts, J. Hurwit, K. Jensen, C. Jones, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa Kaur, R. Kyr, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, L. Middlebrook, S. Midkiff, D. Olson, N. C. Phillips, M. Price, N. Proudfoot, L. Reichardt, L. Sugiyama, T. K. Thompson, N. Tublitz, S. Verscheure, M. Williams
Excused: A. Laskaya, J. Piger
Absent: G. Baitinger, C. Bengtson, S. Chakraborty, E, Chan, T. Dishion, C. Ellis, A. Emami, M.A. Hyatt, M. Jaeger, T. Minner, P. Southwell, Z. Stark-Macmillan, T. Toadvine, L. Van Dreel, P. Walker, P. Warner
CALL TO ORDER
University Senate President Peter Gilkey called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 220 HEDCO Building.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes of the November 11, 2009 senate meeting were approved as distributed.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Remarks from University President Richard Lariviere. The president began his remarks by reminding everyone that the university is reaching the end point of the annual charitable giving drive and he emphasized the importance of donations with so many people in need during these difficult financial times. He commented next regarding the fiscal situation of the state and the university, reaffirming that this past year has been very bad financially for the state and that next year may be even worse. The president reported that the state contributes a mere 8% to the universityÕs general fund; consequently, the anticipated 20% budget cuts yet to come will have less impact on our campus than if we had been funded at a higher percentage (like many of the other state supported institutions across the country). The president went on to say that in order to meet the funding challenges, we need to change the manner in which we receive funding from the state. Currently, the annual appropriation process is designed so that whatever the fiscal shortfall, the state first meets legislated mandates for other state agencies, then makes up the shortfall from the higher education budget. We must address the fact that there are no mandates for higher education. For the current biennium, the state appropriated $650 million dollars for state agencies, and higher education will only receive $128 million of that amount; however, there may be more budget cuts in February 2010 depending on whether proposed tax increase Measures 66 and 67 pass in the special election. In general, the budget for this biennium looks rather grim.
The president went on to express the frustration of not knowing what the universityÕs budget was until well into the fall term of classes. He suggested several changes that are needed: one is to regularize the stateÕs funding of higher education, that is, to change the manner in which we receive funding from the state so that what we receive is predictable. Another is to change the governance of the university in relation to the state; for example, the president would like to see a board of regents or a board of governors governing the UO specifically, with sole responsibility for ensuring the institution is making policies and directing its mission based on what optimally affects the institution. He noted there are a number of models that could be explored in this regard. President Lariviere said that it is important for the university to have accountability with the state, so he would like the faculty to devise a set of metrics to determine whether the university is doing its job or not. And third, the president suggested that we should examine ways to re-cast our relationship with the state – some suggestions are provided in former President FrohnmayerÕs recent report to the chancellor (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/DF-18Nov09.pdf ).
During a question period, President Lariviere amplified several points. He noted that the UO already has many accountability measures – but he would like the faculty to advise him on the types of meaningful metrics that can explain and articulate to the public what we do at the UO. Regarding the governance of the university, the president said an ideal set up would be the UO having its own board that understands its role, one that says the president is in charge of running the university and managing the accountability metrics. He commented further that the Frohnmayer document only speaks of the three big research institutions (UO, OSU, and PSU), and we need all seven OUS institutions agreeing that some kind of changes must be made. The president that what is clear is that we have to go into discussions with the state as a group of seven universities and with a common agenda to change the way we see things, that is, to work collectively on this issue. President Lariviere recognized that a considerable amount of consultation between faculty, staff, and students is required on all of these issues so that the outcome is meaningful to all people involved. He plans to consult with the faculty in the near future and has asked Senate President Gilkey to suggest faculty members for a joint task force to begin this process. Lastly, regarding the relationship between the faculty and the administration, the president said that the faculty and the administration must work together. He went on to say that the faculty determines the quality of the institution, and he would like to see the facultyÕs focus and judgment be on such matters.
Remarks from Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes. Vice President Holmes opened her remarks explaining that a general goal of Student Affairs is to enhance the overall quality of the student experience at the university, which is done through strategic partnering that provides learning opportunities, programming, and services supporting the academic mission of the UO. She noted that Student Affairs seeks to create purposeful environments that will enhance the studentsÕ experience both in and out of the classroom. The vice president said that students attending the UO are better prepared academically than in previous years and they have higher expectations. In the current year, there are record numbers of out-of-state and international students, and the ethnic and racial diversity of the student body continues to increase as well. Student Affairs works to ensure that students are prepared academically, emotionally, and physically to take their place in the UOÕs community of scholars, and to benefit from the academic opportunities provided by the faculty. She commented that Student Affairs is taking a holistic approach to educating the entire student, by moving from a purely service-oriented approach in student services to a student learning paradigm that better aligns with the academic mission and academic plan of the university.
The vice president provided a visual presentation that outlined goals that Student Affairs would like to achieve by 2020 (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/Holmes02Dec09.pdf). Included in the presentation were four cornerstones: (1) community, the notion that students can be part of something at the UO; (2) capacity, which includes a plan to build and renovate facilities that are reflective of a preeminent residential university; (3) quality, that is, support for the metrics that support institutional quality, such as the positive reputation of our students demonstrated by acquiring the best jobs and being admitted to the most prestigious graduate schools; and (4) capitalizing on what makes the UO so special, the physical environment, people, hands-on learning, student engagement, student activism, and preparing future leaders and global citizens.
Vice President Holmes commented briefly on progress made in the strategic housing plan, which will lead to replacing all the older residence halls between by 2027. An East campus residence hall that is nearly ready to break ground for construction will be the largest residence hall with over 170,000 square feet, providing 450 more beds with traditional rooms and semi-suites that will be attractive to freshman and sophomores. It will be built with ÒgreenÓ efficiencies and will have specific academic functions within the building, such as honors programs and language immersion, and a resident scholar apartment so that the faculty member that has the responsibility for the curriculum that he/she is leading can be on site with the students. In addition, the building would have a learning commons, including a librarian office and a librarian on staff, study rooms, computer labs, and classrooms. The vice president concluded her remarks by noting that the building will have the same architect as the new Living Learning Center in order to capture the same efficiencies built into that residence. Also, honors and language immersion programs are planned for the new building; as future needs change, the academic focus of the building may change as well.
Move to paperless UO Catalog. Mr. Colin Miller, director of Design and Editing Services, updated the senators regarding progress on having the UO Catalog and Law School Catalog go paperless (see SenateCatalogHistory.pdf and SenateCatalogTimeline Going paperless.pdf). A paperless catalog is supported by the major consumers of the catalog as well as the president and provost. The conversion from paper has begun and will proceed in 2010. Mr. Miller explained that the entire catalog currently is on-line at the UO as it is with all the AAU schools. Printed copies are available for $25, and soon the on-line catalog will be formatted to have a ÒprintÓ feature that individuals can use if desired (currently, a PDF version is available). During a question period Mr. Miller clarified that student advising units agreed that a paperless catalog was the right direction for the catalog. Also, the catalog will follow the same schedule for updates that is in place now and will have previous versions of the catalogue preserved for access in future years for reference.
Fall 2009 Preliminary Curriculum Report. With Committee on Courses Chairman Paul Engelking unavailable to present the Preliminary Curriculum Report, UO Registrar Sue Eveland moved to have the report accepted with a couple noted corrections: (1) eliminate the Multicultural title under the Other Curriculum Matters section, and (2) ART Drawing II has been approved. The report was approved as amended (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/FinCurrRptF09.html for the corrected, final version of the fall 2009 report).
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Gilkey noted that the next meeting of the Faculty Governance Committee was scheduled for Thursday, December 4th from 9:30 to noon in the Lewis Lounge (see Report for more information). Also, President Gilkey drew attention to a November 18, 2009 report from Dave Frohnmayer to George Pernsteiner (alluded to earlier by President Lariviere) regarding a document titled The Coming Crisis in College Completion: OregonÕs Challenge and a Proposal for First Steps, and encouraged the senators to peruse the report if they had not already done so (see The Coming Crisis in College Completion: Oregon's Challenge and a Proposal for First Steps).
Notice of Motion – US09/10-11 regarding the Riverfront Research Park. Senator Zachary Stark-MacMillan, ASUO, gave notice of a motion that would declare senate opposition to the renewal of the conditional use permit extension for the planned development of the first 4.3-acre increment of the Riverfront Research Park North of the railroad tracks (on the South bank of the Willamette River). The opposition would allow for a student and faculty inclusive permit review process and an updated evaluation of the UO owned Willamette Riverfront property (see US09/10-11).
Motion US09/10-6 –concerning nominations for the Senate Vice Presidency. Action on this motion was postponed until the January 13, 2010 senate meeting (see US09/10-6).
Motion US09/10-7 – concerning increasing access to public records. Action on this motion was postponed until the February 10, 2010 senate meeting (see US09/10-7).
Town Hall meeting regarding unionization. President Gilkey announced that he is working with the FAC, at their request, and with the OA Council to set up a Town Hall meeting on the topic of unionization. (Date for the meeting has been changed from January 15th to Friday, January 29th from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in 150 Columbia.
Motion US09/10-9 – concerning the appointment of members to a joint administration/senate committee on state accountability metrics related to a possible new governance model with the state. President Gilkey asked Senate Vice President Nathan Tublitz to preside over the meeting for this and the next motion so that he could put the motion on the floor for discussion and speak to it. President Gilkey moved the following:
The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to recommend faculty members to the UO President for appointment to a joint administration/faculty committee concerning state accountability metrics that may be part of a new governance structure/relationship to the State of Oregon. The UO Senate President shall consult widely and shall contact the UO Senate, the Faculty Advisory Council, the Senate Budget Committee, and the Senate Nominating Committee in this regard.
University of Oregon leaders are currently engaged in conversations with the chancellor, OUS presidents, and elected leaders regarding fundamental changes in how OUS institutions are funded and governed by the state. This conversation will continue to occur over the next few months and will include a dialogue with our campus community and state policy leaders. The internal conversation will focus on how the UO can continue to fulfill its critical public mission and remain accountable to the state under a more autonomous structure. The campus conversation will help reinforce the idea that under any model, the University of Oregon remains focused on meeting the needs of Oregonians.
Discussion on the motion centered on concerns as to whether the joint committee should be appointed by the university president or the senate president. Senator John Bonine, law, expressed concerns about erosion of faculty responsibility if President Lariviere appointed the committee instead of Senate President Gilkey. He moved to amend the first sentence to change the word ÒrecommendÓ to ÒappointÓ and to remove the words Òto the UO President for appointmentÓ. There was general consensus around this wording change as senators wanted to avoid setting a precedent for how such committees are appointed. Mr. Dave Hubin, presidentÕs office, pointed out that the president has appointed standing committees in past years; however he saw no difficulty in the proposed amended wording. The amendment was put to a vote and passed by voice vote. The first sentence now read:
The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to appoint faculty members to a joint administration/faculty committee concerning state accountability metrics that may be part of a new governance structure/relationship to the State of Oregon.
The main motion, as amended, was again back on the floor for discussion. Mr. Nick Gower, ASUO, asked why the committee was limited to faculty members and had no students. He proposed amending the first sentence further to read Òfaculty members and other members of the university communityÓ, which after a brief discussion was simplified to strike the word ÒfacultyÓ read Òmembers of the university communityÓ. Mr. Hubin expressed his belief that the original wording of Òfaculty membersÓ reflected the presidentÕs belief that accountability metrics were primarily a faculty issue; however Mr. Hubin indicated that he would convey the desirability of student input to the president. With little further discussion, Senator GowerÕs amendment was put to a vote and passed. The first sentence now reads:
The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to appoint members of the university community to a joint administration/faculty committee concerning state accountability metrics that may be part of a new governance structure/relationship to the State of Oregon.
Senator Leah Middlebrook, comparative literature, expressed concern that a senior faculty member from the humanities be included on the committee, and proposed simplifying the second sentence to end with the word ÒwidelyÓ and to delete the rest of the sentence. This amendment also met with approval and passed. With no other amendments forthcoming, motion US09/10-9, as amended, was put to a hand vote and passed (24 in favor, 4 opposed, and 3 abstentions).
The final version of motion US09/10-9, as amended reads:
The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to appoint members of the University Community to a joint administration/faculty committee concerning state accountability metrics that may be part of a new governance structure/relationship to the State of Oregon. The UO Senate President shall consult widely.
University of Oregon leaders are currently engaged in conversations with the chancellor, OUS presidents, and elected leaders regarding fundamental changes in how OUS institutions are funded and governed by the state. This conversation will continue to occur over the next few months and will include a dialogue with our campus community and state policy leaders. The internal conversation will focus on how the UO can continue to fulfill its critical public mission and remain accountable to the state under a more autonomous structure. The campus conversation will help reinforce the idea that under any model, the University of Oregon remains focused on meeting the needs of Oregonians.
Motion US09/10-10 – to authorize the Senate President to appoint a Senate Advisory Group to implement US08/09-8 concerning fiscal transparency. Senate President Gilkey indicated that Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke requested having an advisory group to help with the implementation of senate legislation US08/09-8 passed last May, which deals with creating an on-line, publicly accessible budget reporting system. The system will allow users to track current and retroactive individual university expenditures as is currently available at Oregon State University. (See OSU budget reporting website at https://bfpsystems,oregonstate.edu/webreporting/). The administration has made good progress, but a working advisory group will help to remove any ÒbugsÓ in our on-line system. The proposed motion reads:
The UO Senate passed a motion (US08/9-8) stating The University Senate respectfully requests the University of Oregon Administration to establish a publicly accessible, on-line budget reporting system at the University of Oregon by 15 November 2009 that will allow users to track current and retroactive individual university expenditures as is currently done at our sister institution Oregon State University on their budget reporting website (https://bfpsystems.oregonstate.edu/webreporting/). "
At the 11 November 2008 UO Senate meeting, Frances Dykereported"The tool you will be able to access starting next Monday is the initial roll out of a financial reporting tool for compliance with the university Senate motion on financial transparency. In the course of discussions related to development the work group has identified impediments to our ability to provide transactional level detail in a publicly available financial reporting tool. There are issues of both security and legally binding confidentiality that must be balanced against the desire for full transparency. As mentioned at the October Senate meeting I am now asking the Senate President to appoint an advisory group to help analyze these problems and find solutions that can be legally and operationally implemented. In making this request I also recommend that the Senate President consider creating this advisory group by drawing on membership of the Senate Budget Committee and other members of the Senate or university community who have a particular interest or expertise in financial management reporting."
The Senate President is directed to consult widely and to appoint the advisory group recommended above.
Vice President Tublitz spoke briefly to provide background information on the motion saying that OSU has a very good on-line system that allows users to view budgeting information directly. He agreed that the administration has made a good first step to implement a similar system for the UO. Ms. Carla McNelly, multicultural academic success, suggested that classified and administrative staff members that work with the Banner system and budgeting would make very good members for the committee. With no other discussion forthcoming, the question was called. Motion US09/10-10 to appoint a working group for implementation of US08/09-8 was passed by voice vote. Senate President Gilkey asked Vice President Tublitz to chair the committee.
Other Business. Senator Bonine referred to a posted email he sent to the senators concerning General Counsel Melinda GrierÕs recent statement about the facultyÕs role in shared governance at the UO (see Email on shared governance). He was concerned that Ms. GrierÕs statement was a very narrow view of the facultyÕs role in shared governance. His basic message was that the General Counsel Grier cited several statutes giving power to the president but did not cite the statement about the Òpresident and the professorsÓ having the Òimmediate governanceÓ of the university. He opined that the statutory authority of the faculty has long been recognized at the University of Oregon, and that the statutory faculty authority is not limited to curriculum and student discipline. In disagreeing with Counselor GrierÕs statement, Senator Bonine argued that one should not accept words that come from a lawyer simply because they come from a lawyer – they can be challenged. (General Counsel GrierÕs statement can be viewed at http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/Grier-10Nov-PublicMeetingspdf.)
With no other business at hand, the meeting was adjourned at 4:51 p.m.
Minutes of the University Senate November 11, 2009
Present: G. Baitinger, T. Bars, A. Berenstein, J. Bonine, E, Chan, K. Dellabough, A. Emami, L. Forrest, H. Gangadharbatla, P. Gilkey, J. Hurwit, A. Hilts, M.A. Hyatt, M. Jaeger, K. Jensen, C. Jones, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa, A. Laskaya, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, L. Middlebrook, S. Midkiff, T. Minner, D. Olson, N.C. Phillips, M. Price, P. Southwell, Z. Stark-Macmillan, T. K. Thompson, L. Van Dreel, S. Verscheure, P. Warner, M. Williams
Excused: C. Ellis, J. Hurwit, J. Piger, N. Tublitz
Absent: C. Bengtson, C. Bybee, S. Chakraborty, T. Dishion, N. Glower, M. Henney, R. Kyr, N. Proudfoot, L. Reichardt, L. Sugiyama, T. Toadvine, P. Walker
CALL TO ORDER
University Senate President, Peter Gilkey called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 220 HEDCO Building.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes of the October 14, 2009 senate meeting were approved as distributed.
Senate Nominating Committee. Committee chair Anne Laskaya, English, reported that the committee nominated Lise Nelson, geography, to fill a vacancy on the Graduate Council due to an unforeseen resignation; the senate confirmed Ms. Nelson's appointment.
Climate Action Planning. Professor Art Farley, computer and information science, began the report by explaining that former UO President David Frohnmayer, along with the other OUS institutions and 650 colleges and university presidents across the country, signed the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment sets a goal of achieving a 10% emissions reduction by 2020 and zero net greenhouse gas emissions on all campuses by 2050. For our campus, the first step is to develop a Climate Action Plan. The plan will be a living document that will be modified and updated as technologies and understanding of the problems and issues advance over time. A first draft has been completed and the Environmental Issues Committee would like feedback and input on the draft document from faculty and the university community (see http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/content/introduction). The Environmental Issues Committee has spent much of its time over the last 2 years putting together an emission responsibilities chart (see http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/content/emission-profile). The chart is an important part of the Climate Action Plan which states the various classifications of greenhouse emissions that occur as part of university activity. There are a number of opportunities to capture renewable resources, but the campus must have the will to do it. Reductions can occur, but the cost is estimated at $25.8 million, with a simple payback of 18 years; $65 million is needed for renewable energy projects. The university has a long-term investment horizon to spread costs of reducing emissions. The question is, of the various options the university has, which will it take responsibility for dealing with, and which will it not.
Mr. Steve Mital, director of the Office of Sustainability, provided a PowerPoint presentation of some highlights of the Climate Action Plan (see http://sustainability.uoregon). The draft plan consists primarily of strategies to begin dealing with emission reduction, hence the request for faculty input on ways to achieve reductions. Mr. Mital said that the United States produces the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world. And although people often associate a reduction in one's carbon emissions with a reduction in lifestyle, this is not necessarily true. He said the US has an abundant amount of renewable resources to capture; for example, concentrated solar power (CSP) is mostly in the southwest, there is a lot of wind energy potential in the Willamette Valley as well as the Columbia River Gorge and in other parts of the country, and geothermal energy is also available. Such resources could be widely distributed across the US. Mr. Mital said that higher education is becoming active in emissions reduction because it is training future leaders – this current generation of students will bear the brunt of solving carbon emission problems already created.
Turning to some illustrations relevant to the UO, Mr. Mital said that utility combustion (the emissions that come from the power plant) comprise about 47% of the UO's total. The purchase of electricity from EWEB is 13%. Emissions related to university air travel is 31% (athletics was not included in this total). Only 50% of faculty and staff travel to campus each day by car and 11% of students do; the rest get to campus by riding bikes, taking the bus, walking, and car-pooling. This improvement in commuting behavior is an example of ways in which we are changing behaviors to reduce our commuting emissions and have made a dent in the rising amount of the UO's total emissions.
Lastly, Mr. Mital indicated that student-faculty interaction is a large part of the Climate Action Plan. One example of how the university could move forward is to set up its own carbon offset business in the business school. He suggested that the carbon market is going to be one of the largest markets in the future. Mr. Mital said that the UO strategy is flexible right now and there are very broad planning strokes ready for faculty input now because the plan is due to President Lariviere in early January.
During a discussion period, Senator Kassia Dellabough, AAA, mentioned the redesign of Lawrence Hall, which integrated design issues into academic programs, as a positive step toward having greener buildings. Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, suggested that more people take advantage of existing Media Services technology for video conferences (instead of traveling to the conference). He has participated in such conferencing and it worked very well. Finally, Mr. Mital responded to a question about campus goals by saying that the UO is in the process of defining realistic goals for the campus and seeing what types of resources are available on our campus.
Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Report. Professor Jim O'Fallon, NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for the UO, began his remarks by noting the passing of former UO president Myles Brand, who was President of the NCAA. Mr. O'Fallon commented that Mr. Brand, through a task force, had instituted a number of positive changes to improve the academic side of the student-athlete experience. In particular, he pushed hard on academic eligibility of student athletes to assuring that athletes were taking courses that provided progress towards graduation in a reasonable time frame. A combination of strengthening of the individual eligibility requirements and some mechanisms to move teams toward making judgments about how they can promote academic success of their student athletes have changed the atmosphere relating to academic success of student athletes on campus. Student athletes operate under a set of regulations designed so that as they enter the final year of their eligibility they will have 80% of their designated degree program completed. The UO has very good graduation rates to show this academic improvement.
Mr. O'Fallon continued his report, explaining that the Academic Progress Rate (APR) metric used by the NCAA is a three digit figure (925) based on a number of distinct measuring points for each athlete then applied team by team: if the team has a 925 score, the expectation is for a 50% graduation rate at the end of the students' last (5th) year of eligibility. If a team fails to make at least the 925 score, the team can be subjected to loss of scholarships, and penalties related to the team's ability to participate in NCAA championships. The UO has no team below 925, nor is it subject to any penalties. The football team is lowest with a 935 score (this is last year's score – this year's score is in the process of being computed). Mr. O'Fallon explained that the football team has the lowest score in part because the football players finish their eligibility at the end of the first term of a 3 term senior or 5th year. A number of the players have serious professional opportunities in the sport, and they tend to get ready for the National Football League try-out camps right after the finish of football season in fall term.
Other examples of UO team scores are women's basketball at 988, women's golf at 1000, softball at 986, men's basketball at 975, and men's and women's cross country at 974. These scores are among the best in the country. Student athletes at the UO have a graduation rate of 71% compared with the general campus graduation rate of 62%. Mr. O'Fallon concluded his remarks by highlighting some notable accomplishments of current athletes, such as Nicole Blood, and Galen Rupp, who are NCAA Academic All Americans in track and field, and Nick Reed, a first team Academic All American in football. Both Rupp and Reed also have been awarded NCAA post-graduate scholarships.
Report on implementation of resolutions for a smoke free campus, and transparency of university financial transactions. Senate President Gilkey noted that a report from Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke addressing the senate resolutions from last year concerning progress toward implementation of a smoke free campus, and transparency of university financial transactions, had been posted previously on the senate web page for senators review (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Dyke6Nov09.html). He indicated that Vice President Dyke was available for any questions.
Senator Deb Olson, education, asked why the list of concerns regarding going to a smoke free campus were not being addressed by a task force. Vice President Dyke replied that the first piece of implementation is the fundamental education of the campus. The vice president said that both the Student Health Center and the Office of Human Resources are charged with providing educational programs on a variety of life- and health-related issues. There have been conversations among Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes, Director of the Student Health Center Mike Eyster, and Director of Human Resources Linda King to create an inventory of things that we are already doing, and to investigate best practices in the area of going to a smoke free campus. When this process is done, Vice President Dyke said she would be ready to take a look at the question of implementation. She noted that progress in this area was not a lack of will, but rather a question of balancing priorities in a very busy environment.
On another topic, Senator Terrie Minner, academic advising, asked if Vice President Dyke would provide a written report for the December Senate meeting regarding the status of the Officers of Administration (OA) employment policy initiatives. She also questioned whether the administration has decided on holiday closure and whether there is there any conversation on developing a standard process for holiday closures. The vice president replied that she and Human Resources Director Linda King were planning to attend the January senate meeting to discuss the work that has been done on the OA policy initiative. She said they would be happy to move it up to the December depending on the senate's schedule. Also, she added that some records and materials are available and linked through the HR website (see http://hr.uoregon.edu/oa-employment), and that Ms. King is willing to take questions if senators wished to email them her. Regarding holiday closures, there has been a preliminary discussion in the president's Executive Leadership Team meetings. She said that the expectation is to have a closure policy similar to last year, with some improvements on communication and for having the vice presidents decide the closure protocols for their areas.
Faculty Governance Committee. Former Senate President Paul van Donkelaar, human physiology, chairs the Faculty Governance Committee (FGC) and provided an update on its recent meetings (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~assembly/dirSF/dirExtra/facgovcom10-14-09.pdf and also see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/intgovcomm-report-11-11-09.pdf). The committee has proposed a timeline for its activities: for fall 2009, there are several options to review for governance reform, the website is nearly ready for comments and input on these options, and the committee intends to hold a town hall meeting for further feedback on the several governance documents and also receive initial input from President Lariviere; for winter 2010, compile input/feedback and revise alternatives, solicit additional input/feedback from UO community via the website, hold a statutory faculty meeting to select one of the alternatives, revise, refine and add detail to the selected alternative; hold a statutory faculty meeting and vote on the proposals, revise and refine the selected version; in spring 2010, present the new governance enabling legislation to President Lariviere for his consideration, and make adjustments to the faculty election process as necessary based on the new governance document (may need to delay spring elections if implementation is late in Spring term).
The FGC has identified a number of goals and priorities that are the focus of internal governance revisions. General goals are to have: (1)a mechanism for statutory faculty to meet, (2) a mechanism for statutory faculty to oversee whatever elected body or bodies carry out day-to-day governance functions, (3) broad-based representation of the UO community, (4) the ability to respond to matters that arise with reasonable speed, (5) procedures that define how the president can respond to matters coming from an elected body (e.g., recommendations vs. directives), and (6) possible consolidation of various types of committees (e.g., elected vs. appointed; committees established by elected body or bodies vs. committees established by central administration).
Current ongoing priorities of the FGC include: (1) curricular matters and the impact of budgetary decisions on the curriculum, (2) other issues related to budget, (3) student conduct and discipline, (4) student life issues, (5) personnel policies, (6) admissions policies, (7) issues related to space, (8) issues related to parking, (9) issues related to faculty insurance liability, and (10) issues related to faculty grievances.
Mr. van Donkelaar encouraged senators to visit the Faculty Governance Committee website that provides the information that is being used in the committee's deliberations as well as a schedule of meetings, which are open meetings (http://www.uoregon.edu/~assembly/dirSF/FGC.html). Anyone who wishes to contribute to the discussion is welcome. During a brief question and answer period, Senator John Bonine, law, asked who is looking into the legal analyses of the various proposed governance alternatives. Mr. van Donkelaar responded that a member of the law faculty is serving on the committee.
Notices of motions. President Gilkey reported that h has received several notices of motion. Motion US09/10-7 concerning increasing access to public records, sponsored by Bill Harbaugh, economics, has been transmitted to the Senate Rules Committee for action. Motion US09/10-8 concerning promotion and tenure results, sponsored by Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, has been withdrawn and proposed to Senior Vice Provost Russ Tomlin instead. Motion US09/10-9 concerns appointment of a joint administration and senate committee dealing with state accountability metrics that may be part of a possible new governance model and relationship with the State of Oregon, and is sponsored by Peter Gilkey, mathematics. Motion US09/10-10 to create an advisory group concerning the implementation of legislation US08/09-8 passed last May regarding transparency of university financial transactions, is sponsored by Peter Gilkey at the request of Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke, who feels it would be useful to have an advisory group on this matter.
Other reports received. President Gilkey reported that he received the annual report from General Counsel Melinda Grier regarding the university's policies and procedures in response to the USA Patriot Act, CAPPS II, and other similar legislation (pursuant to US02/03-4); the report indicated that no subpoenas from the federal government under the Patriot Act have been received by the UO in the past year (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/PatriotActSubpoenas2009.PDF).
President Gilkey also commented that he had received a note of clarification provided by Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin regarding practices that have been followed to organize the interaction between the Faculty Personnel Committee and the provost and his staff (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Tomlin10Nov09.pdf).
Lastly, President Gilkey indicated that he has received information provided by General Counsel Grier concerning the extent to which the Oregon Public Meetings Laws is applicable to the University Senate (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Grier-10Nov-PublicMeetings.pdf). Senator Bonine took issue with Ms. Grier's opinion saying that it failed to cite a relevant Oregon Administrative Rule and had a narrow interpretation of the Òimmediate governmentÓ phrase of the Charter statement, which he felt was a much broader term. In essence, Senator Bonine was concerned that because Ms. Grier reports to University President Lariviere, there was a possible conflict of interest in providing an objective legal opinion for the University Senate on this issue. He indicated that he would send a more detailed email of his concerns to President Gilkey for posting on the senate website. In addition, Senator Bonine gave notice that he intends to sponsor a motion that the University Senate appoint its own legal counsel. President Gilkey requested that Senator Bonine send the text of his motion to him as soon as possible so that the Rules Committee can review it, and because the December senate meeting is scheduled a week earlier so as to not conflict with the fall term final exams schedule.
Motion US09/10-3 –to establish a Senate Ad Hoc Committee on public (open) access to scholarly publication. President Gilkey asked Senate Rules Chair Tracy Bars to temporarily preside over the senate for this motion so that he could step down to introduce and speak to the motion (Senate Vice President Nathan Tublitz was unable to attend the meeting, and thus was not available to preside). President Gilkey moved adoption of Motion US09/10-3 which reads:
The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to create a Senate Ad Hoc Committee. The members of the Committee will be appointed by the UO Senate President in consultation with the Senate Nominating Committee, with the FAC, with the Provost, and with the UO Library.
The University of Oregon has a longstanding commitment to making its research widely available, both to the scholarly community and to the general public. Technology is now enabling faculty, universities, and disciplines to adopt new ways to provide enhanced visibility and access to research, usually through digital repositories that are freely accessible. The terms "public access" or "open access" are used to describe these methods that help to remove financial and permission barriers to scholarship and readership. The Committee will
Investigate policies facilitating such public access at other AAU Universities.
Consult widely within the UO community.
Take into consideration UO Policy statements, OUS Internal Management Directives, and other relevant documents.
Draft a University Policy Statement that, if endorsed by the UO Senate and promulgated by the President, would enable the University to:
support wider access to UO faculty research.
enhance the visibility of UO faculty research.
Mr. Gilkey expressed his belief that open access to scholarly publication is a very important issue, thus he would like to address it by forming an ad hoc senate committee to write a policy on the issue for senate approval and then send it to President Lariviere. Mr. Gilkey indicated that if the motion passes, he will consult with groups as stated in the motion to appoint the committee that he would chair. Senator Bonine asked if the policy investigation would include print journals and any restrictions on them, and Mr. Gilkey responded that it would. Since there were no other questions, Ms. Bars brought the question to a vote. Motion US09/10-3 passed unanimously. With the voting on the motion completed, President Gilkey thanked Ms. Bars for her assistance and resumed the chair.
Motion US09/10-4 concerning eligibility for the Senate Vice Presidency. Speaking on behalf of the Senate Rules Committee, which sponsored the motion, Ms. Bars moved to:
Revise the final sentence of section 5.2 of the Enabling Legislation to read: ``The vice president shall be elected from among the officers-of-instruction who are currently serving senators and will become president at the end of the following year by confirmation of the senate.Ó
Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, began the discussion by wondering if there were problems with the current legislation that prompted the change. Ms. Bars indicated that the Rules Committee crafted this motion and the next two motions to be considered in response to the confusion and uncertainty that occurred during the senate's organizational meeting last May when the vice president is elected. Senator Mary Ann Hyatt, law, questioned why librarians were not included among those eligible to serve as vice president because they hold academic rank (note: librarians are contracted as officers of administration, not officers of instruction). Ms. Bars responded that the proposed motion simply reverts to the original enabling legislation regarding vice president eligibility, that is, an officer of instruction who is a current member of the senate. The motion does not address the issue of whether officers of administration should be eligible for the senate vice presidency. Senator Chris Jones, AAA, asked if the proposed change allows for more people to be eligible. Ms. Bars indicated that the candidate pool would be smaller, limited to those in the senate rather than including people who had previously served in the senate in the preceding five years, which is the current legislation. Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology spoke in opposition to the motion, saying that having a larger pool of candidates was preferable, and he also questioned why a change was necessary.
Senator Bonine said that he wanted to think further about the motion, to let it percolate longer, and that he did not want to vote on it at this time. There were some additional comments regarding the nature of the candidate pool, and Ms. Bars indicated the intent of the motion was to remove the Óex-officioÓ nature of the candidate pool. Senator Bonine then moved to table the motion. President Gilkey called for a hand vote which resulted in 21 in favor of the motion to table, none opposed, and 5 abstentions. Motion US09/10-4 regarding eligibility for the senate vice presidency was tabled.
US 09/10-5 concerning the election of the Senate Vice President. Once again Ms. Bars, speaking for the Senate Rules Committee, introduced motion US09/10-5 which reads as follows:
Solely for the purposes of the election of the Vice President of the Senate and the affirmation of the President, the voting body shall consist of all incoming senators for the following academic year. This will allow newly elected senators a chance to vote on the person who will be the President during their term.
Before beginning a discussion of the motion, President Gilkey explained that the senate by-laws are rather unclear regarding who actually votes for the senate vice president: the senators in office during the May organizational meeting, or the senators who will serve during the academic year that begins fall term. He noted that there was some confusion last May about who votes for the vice president.
There were senators supporting both sides of the proposed motion. Senator Priscilla Southwell, political science, was in favor of the motion saying that elected governance bodies typically elected their presiding officers from within their own ranks. On the other hand, Senator Huaxin Lin, mathematics, opposed the motion saying that the serving senators know more about the candidates' experience from working with them during the academic year. The discussion continued and seemed to be moving in favor of the newly elected senators electing their officers when Senator Zachary Stark-Macmillan, ASUO, moved to amend the motion to read as follows:
Voting for the vice president shall occur at the first meeting of the senate fall term.
Discussion of the amendment focused on the ramifications of moving the voting to fall term, and whether there were duties that the vice president must attend to over the summer months. Mr. Dave Hubin, president's office, noted that the senate vice president is chair of the Committee on Committees, but the committee does not meet over the summer. Senator Phillips spoke against the amendment, saying that it would be useful to have a vice president in place over the summer for other issues that arise. Senator Southwell, who supported the original motion, spoke in favor of waiting until fall term to elect the vice president. There was a motion to call the question, which passed. President Gilkey then put the amendment to a vote. US09/10-5, as amended to read that voting for the vice president shall occur at the first senate meeting of the fall term, passed.
Motion US09/10-6 concerning nominations for Senate Vice President. Due to the lateness of the hour, President Gilkey indicated that discussion on this motion will be held over until the December senate meeting.
As a final item, Senator Bonine requested that for future discussions on motions, the Rules Committee provide background information and include strike-outs of any pending changes for the motions that change previous legislation.
Minutes of the University Senate Meeting October 14, 2009
Present: T. Bars, J. Bonine, C. Bybee, S. Chakraborty, E, Chan, K. Dellabough, A. Emami, L. Forrest, H. Gangadharbatla, P. Gilkey, M. Henney, A. Hilts, J. Hurwit, M.A. Hyatt, M. Jaeger, K. Jensen, C. Jones, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa, R. Kyr, A. Laskaya, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, S. Midkiff, T. Minner, D. Olson, N. C. Phillips, M. Price, L. Reichardt, Z. Stark-Macmillan, L. Sugiyama, T. K. Thompson, T. Toadvine, N. Tublitz, L. Van Dreel, S. Verscheure, M. Williams
Excused: A. Berenstein, C. Ellis, S. Libeskind, L. Middlebrook, J. Piger, P. Southwell
Absent: C. Bengtson, N. Gower, S. Plummer, N. Proudfoot, P. Walker, P. Warner
CALL TO ORDER
University Senate President Peter Gilkey called the first regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 220 of the HEDCO building. President Gilkey welcomed everyone.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
After several minor errors of a clerical nature were noted, the minutes from the last regular senate meeting of May 13, 2009 were approved as amended. Minutes from the May 27, 2009 and May 28, 2008 senate organizational meetings were approved as well.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Remarks from University President Richard Lariviere. President Lariviere thanked Senate President Gilkey for the opportunity to address the senate for the first time as the new university president, saying that it was both an honor and a privilege. He has been working to familiarize himself with the university campus, university committees, and the university in the context of the entire state; in doing so, he said he continues to be humbled by the depth and quality of the UOÕs faculty and programs. The president noted that more budget and faculty hiring details will be provided later in the meeting, but everyone should be aware that we are in the midst of the worst economic environment of our working lifetime. He explained that the stateÕs portion of our budget accounts for only 9½ % of our operating budget (and about 8% without the federal governmentÕs stimulus money). But because we have adapted to getting by on next-to-nothing from the state, we are in a better economic position than our peer comparator institutions who are accustomed to receiving much higher percentages of their budgets from their states and whose budgets are cut drastically. As an example, President Lariviere reported that the University of California at Berkeley typically hires about 100 new professors each year – this year they hired 10. On the other hand, we will be able to continue with our usual hiring pattern, which means that we have had an especially good year hiring new highly qualified faculty for this year. Nevertheless, with so little state support, we will need to find new funding solutions and budget models to keep moving forward to fulfill our mission.
The president reported he has been meeting with deans, department heads, and faculty members his first few months on campus. He spent much of the summer traveling around the state meeting with editorial boards, civic leaders, legislators, community college leaders, and other leaders, talking with them about the role of the university and about their situations within the state. He commented that there is an enthusiasm for some kind of new educational model in higher education, but with no certainty as to what it is. The president stated that the current climate provides and opportunity to find those solutions for higher education and achieve a new relationship with the State. He affirmed that the UO is not willing to set out on a path of mediocrity, and that the university needs to find ways to avoid mediocrity.
During a question and answer period, Senator Chris Jones, AAA, asked the president what conditions besides the economic conditions make him optimistic that he would be able to accomplish things that others who preceded him could not. President Lariviere responded that it must be a collective effort that has to be supported by the faculty. Second, ideas proposed will need to be supported by the social and political entities of the state – the business community, the labor unions, and so forth. He continued that these factions will have to understand why what we propose is beneficial for them; if the university aligns all these factions in the proper way, this will be a very different moment for legislators in terms of their attitudes in solving this problem. He added that he thinks this is the right moment. Next, Senator John Bonine, law, asked the president to comment about his view of faculty governance and the role and relationship of governance with the administration. The president answered that he believes in the collective harnessing of ideas toward solutions, and did not profess to have all the ideas, answers, or solutions. He said that he had some ideas about how to attract the ideas and solutions, and added that he much prefers, and finds it challenging, to get the issue in front of people and see what they have to say about the matter. He added that his sense is that this is the appropriate time to reevaluate the structure of governance and its support.
Remarks from ASUO President Emma Kallaway. Ms. Kallaway reported on a number of activities underway in the student government, which is in charge of funding for many student activities and projects. The recent Street Fair raised $3,000 and work is underway on a winter fund raiser. Another project includes ÒWeaving New Beginnings,Ó a cultural event staged strategically to talk about safety. The ASUO will also choose which issues to tackle for the year, such as the multicultural requirement, having a local farmers market, and a ÒgreenÓ campus infrastructure.
Ms. Kallaway also noted that classes are very full and students are saying that class size is larger than what they expected. She indicated that the ASUO will continue to advocate for Oregon Opportunity Grant money, which is nearly depleted at this time, in order to ensure that students have access to educational funding. Lastly, Ms. Kallaway said that students and representatives from Facilities walked through campus last evening along with Dean of Students Paul Shang to identify the areas around campus where lighting is not satisfactory. Changing from the yellow light to a white light will spread light further at ground level which will make a difference in campus safety for students. The university will also be adding Òduck feetÓ on some pavement to provide better path guidance and visibility. Ms. Kallaway concluded her remarks saying that student government hopes to work well with the University Senate in a professional relationship this year.
Update from Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke. Vice President Dyke began her remarks saying the unofficial enrollment numbers were strong at the end of the second week of classes, showing an increase in both headcounts and credit hours. Compared to last year at this time, student headcounts have increased 4.3% (22,347 student this fall compared with 21,435 last fall) and credit hours have increased 4.5% (310,865 compared to 297,212). Official numbers will be available at the end of fourth week and at the end of the term. Vice President Dyke reported that the university finally has its budget numbers for FY10 and that Provost Bean has posted a message to this effect in the provost office web page (see October 7 update at http://provost.uoregon.edu/). She noted that a 2.5% general fund budget reduction will be implemented immediately, retroactive to July 1, which was anticipated and discussed with deans last spring. No other take-backs are planned at this time. The State appropriation amount is $16 million less than the FY 2009 beginning state appropriation. The expected tuition increase revenues will yield about $37 million. However, obligations against the tuition increase revenues are backfill against the reduction in state appropriation ($16 million) increases in student scholarships and fee remissions to help maintain accessibility ($4 million), backfill for loss of funds from the UO Foundation and other income ($7 million) and the requirement replenish reserves to state-mandated levels ($2 million). Thus the net amount available is about $8 million.
The Vice President went on to say that base budget additional requirements are estimated at $14 million. These include funding for enrollment increases and an increase in fixed obligations, such as annualized amounts of November 2008 salary and OPE increases for classified staff, officers of administration and officers of instruction/research, and increases in utilities. These are covered by the net available from tuition increases mentioned previously ($8 million) and the 2.5% general reductions assessed to units ($6 million). Next significant financial discussions will take place regarding the January referendum to appeal tax measures passed in June by the Oregon Legislature to balance the budget. These tax increases included a tax increase on high income individuals and an increase in the corporate minimum tax. If the tax referendum passes, the estimated funding loss to the Oregon University System is at $40 million for the biennium. The UOÕs share could be a loss of an additional $3 million of state appropriation per year, or $6 million for the biennium; it could also be a greater reduction.
Moving to another topic, Vice President Dyke reminded senators to check the web for H1N1 influenza updates (see http://emc.uoregon.edu/). Currently the Student Health Center is seeing a surge in student visits and increased absences for illness from staff. There is a small amount of H1N1 vaccine available CDC listed for priority groups, and more expected to be sent. Seasonal flu vaccine supplies also are depleted, so UO staff and faculty are advised to seek vaccinations through another provider.
On the construction front, the vice president reported that the new (HEDCO) Education building opened at beginning of summer term and the Jaqua Learning Center for Student Athletes expects to open in January 2010. Space in Esslinger now occupied by student athlete services will be reassigned by the Campus Space Committee. Discussions regarding scheduling for the first floor auditorium and classroom space in the Jaqua Learning Center are underway. The new basketball arena is progressing on time and on budget. The arena will be open for the start of the 2011 PAC‐10 basketball season. To date, $111.6 million in arena construction contracts have been awarded with 83% going directly to Oregon companies. There are 200 trade workers on the site daily and there will be 450 workers there at peak activity. The parking garage is progressing on time and on budget as well. One hundred percent of the contracts for the underground structure have been awarded to Oregon companies.
Ms. Dyke next reported updates on several other construction projects. The chiller replacement project and electrical distribution project are now completed, which represent phase one of the new power plant construction. The State Board of Higher Education has approved, and the university is requesting an increased expenditure authority (to $75 million) for the East Campus Residence Hall. The resident hall project was approved by the legislature in 2007 so that the university could initiate planning; construction is expected to begin in June 2010. Finally, the university ended up with $3 million in state stimulus funds for projects that were Òshovel readyÓ in May 2009. These dollars have been spent on projects that included improving roofing, sidewalks, and other similar improvements. Requirements for these funds were that contracts go to minority, women or small business enterprises in the private sector.
The vice president noted that Information Services (IS) is working to comply with the Senate motion US08/09-8 regarding transparency of university financial transactions. She indicated that it appears IS will complete the on-line budget tracking project by the November 15th deadline. The plan is to present a reporting tool that balances the need for transparency with security and legally binding confidentiality concerns. Once the reporting tool is available, the vice president will work with senior senate leadership to identify a task force to work through any problems or challenges that are identified.
Lastly, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is implementing a community oriented policing and problem solving model (COPPS). The model requires strong partnership with the campus community and the city. Vice President Dyke said that the Targeted Crimes Unit was inaugurated during spring 2009. The unit delivers community outreach and awareness programming, manages investigations, and uses information to develop effective prevention and response strategies. The Safe Campus Initiative was launched during the summer, which includes restructuring the relationship with the Eugene Police Department with a dedicated officer integrated with the DPS team.
During a brief discussion period, Senator John Bonine, law, requested that future numerical financial presentation be accompanied with visual information to make it easier to follow the presentation. The vice president responded that she would provide the information to eh webmaster for posting (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/FDYKE-14Oct09.pdf). Senate Vice President Nathan Tublitz asked about the progress on the on-line budget transparency project, to which Vice President Dyke reiterated her earlier comments that Information Services is on track to have financial posted by mid November. There have been some difficulties with the software, but the intention is to work through those with the senior senate leadership.
Update from Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin. Vice provost Tomlin expressed his appreciation to Senate President Gilkey for the inclusion of Academic Affairs in the first senate meeting of the year. He commented that it affords the chance to participate in what many people are optimistic will be a year of improved transparency, collaboration, and shared commitment to the health of the university and its component missions and communities.
Mr. Tomlin reported on several matters of interest and projects that are underway for the current year. Regarding new faculty appointments, the UO was able to appoint 47 new tenure-related faculty members. It was an exceptional year, with great success in hiring from exceptionally deep pools of superior faculty candidates. Of the new appointments at least 14, or 30%, are individuals who self-identified as members of under-represented groups; 16, or 34%, are women. The vice provost added that he expects this hiring year to be similarly exceptional. With respect to faculty promotion and tenure, Mr. Tomlin provided a summary of the promotion and tenure process for tenure-related faculty. This past year, there were a total of 55 promotion and tenure cases considered, 29 cases of promotion to associate professor with tenure, 20 cases of promotion to professor, and 6 cases for tenure only. Fifty-two of the 55 cases resulted in promotion or tenure or both, which is consistent with patterns of success in prior years. The vice provost also noted that the process was completed by May 1st -- six weeks earlier than required, thus reducing anxiety for those under consideration.
Vice Provost Tomlin next mentioned several projects underway. The University of Oregon Academic Extension project is focused on the transformation of the current Summer Session and Continuing Education programs into an expanded vehicle to deliver UO academic expertise to a broader set of audiences. The goal is to empower faculty to create academic programming attractive to new populations that returns significant resources back to the program creators and their academic departments. The university grosses about $12 million per year through Summer Session and Continuing Education; the expectation is to double this revenue flow over the next three to five years. Restructuring of Summer Session is currently underway. The previous financial model will be replaced by one that drives most of the resources into the schools and colleges and their component departments. There will also be an enhancement of academic quality through more robust oversight by the schools and colleges. The larger Academic Extension project is expected to roll out January 1, 2010. Some new opportunities will be initiated at that time and academic affairs will work with faculty, department heads, and deans to explore new opportunities in distance education, in domestic markets, and in international markets. One example of an innovative direction is an E-textbook project, led by Dev Sinha, mathematics, which aims to reduce costs to students while being self-sustaining for the long term. The vice provost noted that a faculty advisory board for academic affairs will be established this term; Mr. Tomlin will consult with the Senate President on this effort over the next few weeks.
Vice Provost Tomlin next explained that Academic Affairs is engaged in an extensive codification project to improve the quality of information available to faculty and staff about policies, procedures, and practices that affect academic appointments, opportunities, and success. He commented that university policies, procedures, and practices are often out-of-date, or inconsistent, vague, and difficult to pin down, which is frustrating to many users seeking information. The codification is aimed at increasing consistency across the schools and colleges, updating and revisiting formal policy or practice where policy and practice are in conflict, and providing more transparent information to support faculty and staff in various efforts. Mr. Tomlin highlighted a few examples currently underway. In response to a requirement in our current accreditation process, the ProvostÕs Office, is close to opening a UO Policy Library which will include an indexed inventory of all policies that govern the university. Associate Vice Provost Ken Doxsee is working on web-based assessment infrastructure to meet current accreditation requirements. And lastly, Academic Affairs will soon provide an updated website aimed at creating more accessible and transparent information on faculty matters, including: an updated and electronic promotion and tenure guide, and an intranet for faculty that will include more elaborate suggestions or coaching than is customarily done on a public site. Some matters for the intranet would include post-tenure review, emeritus status for faculty, courtesy appointments, implementation of remaining NTTF matters (evaluation & promotion), and Conflict of Commitment, to name a few.
During a discussion period, Senator Nick Price, mathematics, asked about policies for adjunct faculty. The vice provost replied that the main project this year is the development of an evaluation and promotion process for NTTF that parallels what is done for promotion in tenure-related appointments. There are department level guide lines for promotion of tenured related positions that are consistent with needs and expectations relevant to the peculiarities of the department. Faculty members are reviewed at the college and school level and, in turn, are reviewed centrally for cross unit consistency. Academic Affairs will be rolling out a process, based in part on units that have already done good work with NTTF in regards to evaluation and promotion, and make that process available to deans that do not have a good policy in place. We will work to develop with deans to develop appropriate strategies. Mr. Tomlin noted that consistency of practice across units is a challenging issue. He also said that there are a few people that have been at the UO for considerable time that may need to be grandfathered into the system. Senator Kassia Dellabough, AAA, asked if the policy will address the single-term adjunct faculty who are not NTTF. Mr. Tomlin answered that right now the policy is aimed at NTTF and that every adjunct can tell whether he/she is a career NTTF, and covered by the promotion policy, by looking in the upper right hand corner of their contract.
Senator John Bonine, law, asked whether the on-line policy library will be dated, and raised some privacy issues with the type of information that would be included on the proposed Academic Affairs intranet. The vice provost answered that the policy library is web-based and will be dated. As for the types of information found on the intranet, Mr. Tomlin was sympathetic to the privacy issue raised and explained that what he is wrestling with is how to deliver information that is useful to people without making a public statement or case out of every proposition that supports our faculty. He said that there will be nothing in the intranet that a freedom of information request will not reveal.
Senate Nominating Committee. Committee Chairwoman Anne Laskaya, English, presented names of persons nominated for positions on the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. Each was approved for appointment as follows: Erin Moore, AAA, to serve a term on the IFS expiring June 2011; Ron Severson, LCB, to fill a vacancy on the IAC-with term to expire June 2010; James Isenberg, mathematics, to serve as a Senate Representative to the IAC with term expiring June 2011; and Grace Golden, human physiology, to serve as a Senate Representative to the IAC with term expiring June 2010.
UO Chapter of the AAUP. AAUP UO chapter president Carl Bybee, journalism and communication, spoke about academic freedom in an era of budget cutbacks. He began his remarks making three points: (1) academic freedom at the UO campus and across the country is under siege, but it is not due to this Òbudget crisis;Ó (2) academic freedom and the business side of a university are not two separate concerns – they are deeply interconnected concerns; and (3) academic freedom requires a strong, independent, informed, voice of higher education professionals capable of exerting significant, visible influence on university governance.
Speaking to the first point, Senator Bybee said that the current budget does pose significant threats to academic freedom and to the ability of the UO to carry out its public mission to the citizens of Oregon and to the nation. To survive, he said the UO will need to continue to raise tuition and find ever increasing sources of outside financial support. He suggested that there are major transformations taking place today in terms of how we understand economics, the value of public institutions, and the ideas themselves of what freedom and a free society mean. On the second point, Senator Bybee said that looking at the number of tenure-related faculty on our campus over the past 15 years, the faculty has increased by 6% while overall enrollment has increased more than 20%, which is a matter of concern. He continued that the AAUP, in recognizing the dramatic rise of adjuncts and instructors on campuses, incorporated specific steps of moving adjuncts, fixed appointment faculty and part-timers to more secure, stable economic footing into its ÒRecommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and TenureÓ. The numbers of who teaches and with what protections raise questions about the health of academic freedom on our campus that need to be addressed.
Senator Bybee continued by raising a number of questions that well may impact academic freedom on campus: when the academic freedom of a member of the professional higher education community is challenged, does the university need to provide the economic support for the faculty member to engage that challenge? When there are calls for budget cutbacks, where and how they will fall and take place, are these matters of academic freedom? When the legislature allocates resources to the university, is tracking the flow and distribution of these resources matters of academic freedom? When fund-raising priorities are set, are these matters of academic freedom? Last, Senator Bybee said that the idea of shared governance does not work without substantial resources for faculty and other higher education professionals to act, to have timely access to crucial materials they deem relevant to their work, and to see the outcome of their work in determining crucial university decisions.
Senator Bybee concluded his remarks by inviting faculty members to contact him any time they feel their academic freedom in being challenged. He said that the AAUP can provide advice and assistance regardless of whether the person is an AAUP member, an adjunct, or a full professor. To have a public university serving a public mission in a democratic society, he opined that there can be no budget cuts to academic freedom or to the institutional resources and culture that support academic freedom. (See http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen090/BYBEE-14OCT09.pdf.)
Senate Budget Committee. Mr. Tim Duy, economics, reported on work of the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) saying the last year the SBC spent a lot of times deciding on what the budget would look like as far as the revenue side from the state. He noted that Vice President Dyke had already provided base details earlier in the meeting, and he added that there is some risk to the stability of that budget going forward, one of which is the $700 million in tax revenue that might not materialize if ballot measures to overturn new taxes are passed. Mr. Duy explained that the governorÕs office believes the revenue forecast have been overly optimistic, and that actual revenue received may not be able to support the state budget, and in turn, the universityÕs expected level of state support. Mr. Duy agreed that the rebound from the current recession may not come back as strongly or as quickly as originally thought, which paints a less than rosy picture of the budget situation. He added that the biggest near term challenge for the state of Oregon is that it has not added nearly enough (net) jobs to pull itself clear of the recession, and has not added many in nearly a decade
Faculty Governance Committee. Last year senate president Paul van Donkelaar, human physiology, chairs the committee which is looking into restructuring faculty governance. The charge of the committee is to use the Department of Justice opinion from November 2008 to guide revisions of the internal governance structure of the university. He said there are a number of issues around that general concept of faculty governance that the committee will be working on. Mr. van Donkelaar encouraged senators to visit the Faculty Governance Committee website that gives the information that we are using in our deliberations as well as our scheduled meetings, which are open meetings (see http://pages.uoregon.edu/assembly/dirSF/FGC.html). He added that anyone who wished to contribute to the discussion was welcome. He also noted that a Statutory Faculty Meeting was scheduled for November 18th during which potentially one or more motions would be discussed and voted upon related to these issues. Mr. van Donkelaar said there are a number of potential motions that will be actively considered at this point in time, and that the committee will discuss these motions and provide information about them to the UO community.
During a brief question period, Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, asked if we are bound to have a statutory faculty meeting on November 18th if the committee was not ready to present any motions. Mr. van Donkelaar said the date had been set last May by President Frohnmayer, but that he would contact President Lariviere about the whether the November meeting could be changed. (Note; the November 18th Statutory Faculty Meeting has been canceled and will be held at a time to be announced in the future.) Senator Carla McNelly, multicultural academic success, asked why there were no students, classified staff, or officers of administration on the Faculty Governance Committee to which Mr. van Donkelaar replied that his understanding was that the committee is comprised of statutory faculty members who will be the faculty voting on the revising the governance system. However, he indicated that the committee was open to communication from the broad community and invited that communication.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATONS FROM THE FLOOR
Climate Action Plan draft ready for review. Art Farley, chair of the Environmental Issues Committee and Steve Mital, director of the Office of Sustainability, spoke briefly about the first draft of the Climate Action Plan (see http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/files/uploads/Climate_Action_Plan_1_1.pdf). Mr. Farley explained that in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the UO has embarked on a journey toward climate neutrality, a long-term goal for a large institution. He said that although the university already has progressed further down toward this goal than most other universities in the country, our new commitment cannot be simply another "green" effort that involves certain environmental interests. Rather, he suggested that the commitment must span all the disciplines and departments -- everyone on the campus has a role to play.
In preparing the draft Climate Action Plan (CAP), information was gathered from several units, and outside consultants were hired to assist with data collection and modeling to estimate the emissions profile of our entire campus. The CAP represents the best information currently available regarding how much the university is emitting and where opportunities exist for emission reductions. He continued that although the CAP provides a good sense of what climate neutrality will require at UO from an operational perspective, it does not yet include details regarding faculty, staff, and student engagement. Consequently, Mr. Farley asked senators and colleagues for their input on the draft plan to ensure that it reflects broad institutional goals. A final version will be readied in early January 2010 which will be published on the ACUPCC website along with climate action plans from 650 other institutions of higher education.
Mr. Farley stated that the CAP is intended as a living document, changing and adapting to different circumstances as the university moves forward. The process through which potential projects and strategies are solicited and evaluated is important; thus, he asked faculty and students to identify areas where curriculum and research tie in, staff to recommend operational initiatives, and everyone to suggest outreach programs for the campus and surrounding community. Due to the rapidly arriving publication date, Mr. Farley implored everyone to give the CAP review process special attention and thought, submit feedback to him by November 30, 2009. Mr. Farley concluded his announcement by saying that there are many questions left to be answered in this undertaking, but that it is in the best interest of this institution and of future generations that the UO Climate Action Plan be as inclusive and effective as possible. The input solicited will help lay the groundwork for a long-range strategic plan for the UO and will help determine what type of university we are and create the type of university that we want to be.
Motion US09/10-1 – to create a Senate committee on faculty governance. MotionUS09/10-1 was tabled at the May 27th organizational meeting of the senate for consideration at this first senate meeting of the academic year. The motion reads:
That the Senate forms a committee to prepare a draft university governance document for discussion at the announced meeting of the Statutory Faculty on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 15:30. The Senate President is directed to contact the so-called ÒDead PresidentsÓ [former Senate President, excluding the current (2009-2010) President] and to contact the members of the UO Senate and to invite the individuals contacted to serve on said committee.
Senator Tracy Bars spoke in opposition to the motion saying that the membership was too limiting and offered the following amendment: ÒThe Senate President shall be named chair of the committee and shall have the authority to invite additional members from outside the Senate body to serve on the committeeÓ. The amendment was seconded. After a brief discussion clarifying the relationship of the proposed committee (to be appointed by the senate president) with the statutory Faculty Governance Committee appointed by President Lariviere with membership advised by the Faculty Advisory Council, and some other supports speaking in favor of broadening the committee membership, the motion was put to a hand vote and was passed.
The main motion, as amended was now on the floor for discussion. Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, provided some historical context for the motion. He said that last spring, retiring President Frohnmayer intended to create a committee to construct a faculty governance document. Mr. Stahl continued that it seemed inappropriate to him to have a retiring president to take on that activity, and that it would be more appropriate for the incoming president or for the faculty to engage in that activity. Further, Mr. Stahl explained, he was concerned that any committee so constructed might represent the philosophy of the outgoing administration, which he did not want to see happen. As a consequence, he brought the motion to the Senate to ensure that faculty viewpoints on governance were properly presented to the statutory faculty when it met to decide on a governance document. Since that time, incoming President Lariviere undertook steps to create a Faculty Governance Committee via the FAC. With this explanation, Mr. Stahl suggested that the motion be tabled. Senator John Bonine, law, moved to table the motion. The motion to table US09/10-1, as amended, was put to a vote and passed.
Motion US09/10-2 – regarding voting privileges for the University Senate Vice President. The following motion was brought to the floor:
If the Vice President of the UO Senate is not a serving UO Senator, he shall serve ex-officio on the Senate with full voting authority and the membership of the Senate will be temporarily increased by one senator for the period in question concerning questions of quorum.
With little discussion or dissent, Motion US09/10-2 was put to a vote and passed.
Notice of Motion US09/10-3 to create a Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Public Access. Senate President Gilkey announced he has received notion of a motion to create a committee to address issues of public assess for scholarly publications which will be discussed in more detail at the November 11th meeting.
With no further business at hand, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00.
Present: A. Berenstein, J. Bonine, S. Chakraborty, K. Dellabough, A. Emami, H. Gangadharbatla, J. Hurwit, M. Jaeger, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa Kaur, P. Keyes, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, S. Midkiff, D. Olson, N. C. Phillips, M. Price, N. Proudfoot, Z. Stark-Macmillan, T. K. Thompson, N. Tublitz, L. Van Dreel
Excused: T. Bars, C. Bybee, T. Dishion, L. Forrest, N. Gower, C. Jones, R. Kyr, A. Laskaya, L. Middlebrook, J. Piger, L. Reichardt, P. Southwell, P. Walker
Absent: G. Baitinger, C. Bengtson, E, Chan, C. Ellis, M. Henney, A. Hilts, M.A. Hyatt, K. Jensen, T. Minner, L. Sugiyama, T. Toadvine, S. Verscheure, P. Warnek, M. Williams
CALL TO ORDER
University Senate President Nathan Tublitz called the meeting of the University Senate for May 26, 2010 to order at 3:03 p.m. in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Center.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes of the May 12, 2010 regular meeting of the senate were approved as distributed. President Tublitz reminded all in attendance that the meeting was streaming live by video.
Wayne T. Westling Award for Leadership and Service. President Tublitz announced that John Nicols, history, was the 2010 recipient of the senate’s annual Wayne T. Westling Award. The president introduced CAS Dean Scott Coltrane to make the presentation and provide some remarks about to Mr. Nicols. Dean Coltrane’s remarks follow:
It is my great pleasure today to present The Wayne T. Westling Award for University Leadership and Service to John Nicols, Professor of History.
The Westling Award was established by the University Senate in 2001 to honor faculty or staff who have provided long-term leadership and service to the university community. Many of you knew Professor Wayne Westling, in whose honor this award was named. Professor Westling set the standard of exemplary scholar, teacher and university citizen. In giving this award we acknowledge and remember the remarkable contributions that Wayne Westling made to the University of Oregon and are grateful for the other dedicated faculty who have followed in his footsteps.
John joined the University of Oregon’s History Department in 1980 as an associate professor and has contributed greatly to university life during the past thirty years. In addition to being an accomplished scholar, teacher and citizen here at the University of Oregon, he has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Munich, Heidelberg, Cologne and M�nster. John has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and research grants from prestigious professional organizations, including the German Academic Exchange Service, the Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
During the past two years I have come to know John through his service as both Director of the College Scholars Program and as Head of the Humanities Program within the College of Arts and Sciences. His contributions to each have been phenomenal. John has devoted himself to the success of these two programs with enormous efforts on behalf of students and countless hours working with faculty, administrators and donors. John’s hard work and dedication has paid off in a dramatic increase in the number of College Scholars and the number of Humanities majors. Students rave about how these programs have enriched their intellectual lives and awakened them to scholarly inquiry.
John’s service contributions to the university have been long running and truly extraordinary. Joe Stone, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was one of several faculty who nominated John for this award. In his nomination letter Joe stated “John’s service to our campus is exemplary and represents the highest ideals of the Wayne Westling Award. In my 30 years on our campus, I can think of no member of our faculty whose service has reached across the campus as broadly and profoundly as John’s.”
I fully agree. The following partial list enumerates John’s service to his department, to the College of Arts and Sciences, and to the University: Director, College of Arts and Sciences Society of Scholars, 2006 – 10; Director, Humanities Program and Independent Study Program, 1991 –present; University representative to Inter-institutional Faculty Senate ,through 2008; University Classroom Committee 2002- 2005; 2007; 2010; University's Distinguished Scholarship Committee 2010; University Committee on Courses, 2003-5; Undergraduate Council, Member and then Chair: 1999-2003; UO Committee on Courses, through spring 2006; Department Head, Classics 1991- 98; CAS Curriculum Committee, Member then Chair, 1997-2000; Academic Requirements Committee, Chair, 1994-96; Senate Budget Committee, Member then Chair, 1996-99; Faculty Advisory Committee, Member then Chair, 1996-98.
Throughout his distinguished career, John Nicols has consistently volunteered to take on additional duties both in teaching and service. For example, though a full time member of the History Department, Professor Nicols served for eight years as head of the Classics Department. John has also been recognized for his outstanding teaching. His most recent teaching awards includes the 2009 Williams Foundation Award for notable contributions to undergraduate education and the 2009 Lorry Lokey Foundation Award for contributions to digital media (shared with Professor Gregory Bothun, Physics). It is therefore with great pleasure and deep appreciation, that on behalf of the University of Oregon Senate, I present John Nicols with this year’s Wayne T. Westling Award for University Leadership and Service.
Mr. Nicols thanked everyone and noted that he knew Wayne at the end of his life, when he was on the Faculty Advisory Committee. He also commented that it was flattering and a real pleasure to be among the group of Westling Award winners. Mr. Nicols said that many people begin their academic careers because they seek independence, and he could attest that he has enjoyed that feeling of independence, although others may recognize it as a tendency toward orneriness. He added his appreciation for all the colleagues over the years on all the committees that were mentioned, who put up with his independent spirit, and whom he tried to respect as well.
President Tublitz commented that the Westling Award is a faculty award, but that he intends next year to establish similar separate awards for officers of administration and classified staff for their leadership and service recognition in future years. (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/WestlingAward.html for more about the Westling Award and past recipients.)
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Remarks by Provost James Bean. The provost noted that due to the meeting’s full agenda the Diversity Report was submitted in writing and is posted on both the OIED and Senate web sites. The provost commented on the amount of progress made over the past several years, which has been exceptional in comparison to the previous similar time period; he encourage all in attendance to read about the accomplishments. Also, the Strategic Action Plan achieved a great deal this year and represents serious work done across the university.
Moving on to budget issues, the provost noted that the recent (May) revenue forecast for the state was down $560 million from three months earlier. The forecast is the first one since income taxes were due and there were two surprises. First, profits from businesses in the state of Oregon went down 80% from reporting the previous year. It was expected it to go down, but not that much. If there is no profit by businesses, there is no tax revenue. Second, tax refunds to individuals went up faster than anticipated, and the combination of both of these circumstance resulted in revenues that were far below their original forecast. The state constitution says the governor must rebalance the state budget immediately, and because the legislature is not in session, the balancing must be done across the board. So each agency gets a budget cut in portion to the size of their budget. Oregon University System has about $31 million to cut. The UO fair share would be about $4.6 million, but the UO often is assessed at more than its fair share, so we do not yet know the exact amount to pay back. But with 13 months left in this biennium, it will be an easier task than the last rescission of $8.9 million with only 6 weeks to make the cuts. He noted that some of the money may be used to cover the Oregon Opportunity Grants, which is a state funded, need-based scholarship fund for students that are Pell grants eligible. The organization running the Oregon Opportunity Grants has been recognized as lacking the skills needed to run such an organization, and they over committed the fund by a large margin; the UO may be requested to cover the state’s opportunity grant promises to all of our students. The provost commented that if the UO must have budget cuts, he would rather see returned funds go to our students than to other state agencies.
The provost also noted that the White Paper proposal (addressing funding and operational issues at the UO as part of the OUS) that was released by President Lariviere in the middle of the month has created quite a conversation around the state. There is a similar White Paper by Portland State’s president and Western Oregon’s president, which along with the UO paper, will be discussed at the upcoming State Board meeting. One consistency is that every model is not like anything in place now; everybody believes the current system is broken. A number of issues are up for discussion and the provost said he believes we have a good chance in the next legislative session to get a rewriting of the governance structure of the system. Clearly the proposal that the UO released had a lot of detailed work behind it with faculty involved and an outside bond council reviewing all the work.
During a brief discussion period, the provost noted that the Portland State proposal is similar to ours in governance structure, but because they have a special relationship with the City of Portland they would like the kind of taxing authority that a community college has over the tri-county area. He added that the UO worked with both Portland State and Oregon State through the entire proposal development process. There is the possibility, for example, of having a single piece of legislation that works for the three “bigs” – PSU, UO, and OSU -- or all seven institutions, but that has certain changes in structure that would be for everyone and other parts that would be flexible for each campus. We are working closely with Portland State right now. It is a much more difficult question for Oregon State because, as a land grant university, many of the state-wide services that they run really are state agency types of activities. So for OSU to say they are not a state agency anymore is a much more profound statement than for the UO to say that the UO is not a state agency anymore. The provost said that the UO is a state agency in name only. Given that the vast majority of our financial support is from tuition income, strong development income, and research grants income, we really do not look like a state agency.
Senator Carla McNelly (multicultural academic success) asked if there is any plan to add other stakeholders such as classified staff and officers of administration to the government structure. The provost answered that those discussions are going on right now. He said that the president has been meeting with the leadership of SEIU to determine what their views are with the idea that this is going to be a partnership, and that the UO will explore what fit is best for all stakeholders; the White Paper proposal is not about privatization.
With the discussion winding down, President Tublitz thanked the provost for his comments, and then took a few moments out of the regular agenda to acknowledge the ongoing contributions of Parliamentarian Paul Simonds, emeritus professor of anthropology, and Secretary of the Faculty Gwen Steigelman, academic affairs, who is retiring at the end of the academic year after serving as secretary for 14 years. President Tublitz thanked both for their years of outstanding service to the University Senate and presented each with gifts of appreciation on behalf of the senate members. Both Mr. Simonds and Ms. Steigelman gave a heartfelt thank you to President Tublitz and members of the senate for the kind words and recognition of their respective efforts.
Motion US09/10-16b: Conflict of Commitment policy. President Tublitz explained that the policy statement that relates to this motion has not yet been written, thus the motion is being postponed until fall 2010. (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/US090-16b.html for text of the motion.)
Motion US09/10-18 -- Academic Freedom Policy. Senior Vice Provost Russ Tomlin, academic affairs, brought the following motion to the floor (second by C. Phillips, mathematics):
The University Senate adopts the Freedom of Inquiry policy and recommends that this policy be adopted by the University President on behalf of the University.
Mr. Tomlin introduced the motion by saying that the policy it seeks to adopt comes from a lengthy and thoughtful process that looked at two complementary issues: academic freedom, and use of campus facilities. Although stimulated by events surrounding the meeting of the Pacifica Forum, the policies generated relate to everyone on campus and all users of campus facilities. The process involved a working group (M. Skalberg, B. Stilwell, T. Gleason, M. Paris, B. Smith, K. Stanley, R. Geller, M. Grier, and R. Tomlin) that examined current policy, researched other campuses’ policies, consulted widely with campus leadership groups, posted a draft policy on the web for comment, and previously brought a draft of the policy to the senate for discussion. From those interactions, the draft policy was revised again after soliciting more input from the campus community. The policy under consideration, thus, is the result of many suggestions that have been heard and incorporated into the policy.
Vice Provost Tomlin acknowledged that some of the policy is drawn from a similar one at the University of Michigan, which recognizes the critical importance of ensuring that all parties in the university community have the opportunity to speak, to be heard if they wanted to speak, to hear others, and to protest what is said without disrupting others’ speech. The UO policy tries to be very simple and have a high standard of public discourse so that individuals have the opportunity to speak their minds, independent of their status, to be heard if someone chooses to listen, and to protest with respect. He noted that if the policy is approved, it would supersede the current visitor speakers policy.
During a discussion period, there was concern regarding the real intent of the policy and whether its purpose was to address academic freedom, or, freedom of inquiry and free speech. President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer, law, noted that the policy’s use of the term academic freedom might be applied in cases that involved academic judgments such as in promotion and tenure cases, or whether to renew appointments, for example. Rather, he said he believed the intent of the policy was to deal with issue regarding speakers, and not from the context of judgments reached in academic disciplines under the peer review process. Dean Margie Paris, law school, agreed and said the policy is about freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech, not academic freedom. Senator John Bonine, law, then suggested several wording changes in the draft policy which were agreeable to both Mr. Tomlin, who made the motion, and Senator Phillips, who seconded the motion. The policy Title was changed to read “Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech” (added text in italics). And, the policy Purpose was changed to replace “academic freedom” with “free speech”. Two other changes in the body of the policy included removing “academic freedom” from the second sentence, and adding a second “is “ in the first sentence of the second paragraph after the word “and”.
With these changes the revised policy statement reads:
Title: Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech
Purpose: To describe University policy and commitment regarding free speech and freedom of inquiry.
The University of Oregon values and supports free and open inquiry. The commitment to free speech and freedom of inquiry described in this policy extends to all members of the UO community: Faculty, staff, and students. It also extends to all others who visit or participate in activities held on the UO campus.
Free speech is central to the academic mission and is the central tenet of a free and democratic society. The University encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to this community. Further, as a public institution the University will sustain a higher and more open standard for freedom of inquiry and free speech than may be expected or preferred in private settings.
Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.
The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.
Access to UO facilities and space is governed by a complementary policy [Scheduling Use of Facilities].
[The UO recognizes the contribution made by the University of Michigan policy statements and practice guides in this formulation of UO Policy.]
With discussion winding down, President Tublitz put motion US09/10-18 regarding adoption of the now revised freedom of inquiry and free speech policy to a vote, which passed unanimously. With its passage, President Tublitz indicated the policy would be forwarded to University President Lariviere for adoption and inclusion in the university‘s policy library. Lastly, Mr. Tomlin expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their suggestions and effort in framing the policy.
Motion US09/10-19 -- Facility Use Policy. Vice Provost Tomlin brought the motion to adopt the revised facility use policy to the floor for discussion (second by C. Phillips).
The University Senate adopts the Facilities Use policy and recommends that this policy be adopted by the University President on behalf of the University.
Mr. Tomlin introduced the motion by saying this proposed revised policy went through the same writing and review procedures that were explained earlier with the freedom of inquiry and free speech policy; that is, there was extensive research into policies on other campuses, broad consultation, and opportunities for feedback and comments. All faculty responses were incorporated in the revised policy. He summarized the key points in the proposed policy compared with the current policy. Essentially, requests for facility use sponsored by entities which are departments, centers, institutes, regular student groups, or other recognized academic units, continue to schedule facility use through the facility’s scheduling manager as they have done in the past. However, if an individual faculty member, staff, or student wishes to access UO facilities, he/she must have sponsorship of an academic entity, and if not, then the access is subject to facility use request in the same manner as any other outside community member by going through a university scheduling manager; the request is subject to the decision of the scheduling manager and is ultimately overseen by the university administration. Currently, a faculty member may have access to facility use regardless of whether he/she has the support of an academic entity for use of the facility or not.
During the discussion period, Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, commented that he approved of the proposed change in policy that opened up facility access to individuals and not just groups. To a question of whether an individual would have to be part of the university community to access facilities, Mr. Tomlin clarified that as a public institution managing public space the university must allow reasonable access to facilities. Such requests from the public would be treated as non-university entities in the proposed policy, scheduling of facility use would be done by a university scheduler, and there would likely be a facility use fee assessed as well. Dean Paris added that the proposed policy is aimed at internal UO use; non-university users would go to the university scheduler to request facility use. Next, to a question regarding who in the academic community might have academic entity sponsorship or not, Mr. Tomlin explained that academic departments and units each have their own cultures as to how they manage and schedule their own facilities. They may have a faculty committee or a department head who determines internal department use of facilities, for example. Even if a faculty member is not supported by his or her own department, the faculty member may find another department that is willing to support the requested facility use.
There was a brief discussion regarding what appeared to be inconsistencies in paragraphs number 3 and 4 that were pointed out by Senator John Bonine, law, who thought perhaps some wording changes should be made. With other questions posed seeking clarification on issues such as whether outside academic organizations would have access to facility use on campus, for example the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, there was a suggestion by Mr. Stahl and supported by Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, that the policy be referred to the policy working group again for more work addressing the questions and concerns raised. Mr. Tomlin responded that the proposed policy has been posted and available for comment for a considerable amount of time. He opined that passing the policy now would allow implementation during the summer and would move the university forward on the facilities use issue more so than leaving the current policy in place until sometime later in the fall term. Senator Bonine added his support for passing the motion to adopt the policy now, saying that although the policy is not perfect, it is a big improvement over the policy currently in place. He suggested adding a short clarifying phrase -- “unless invited by a university entity under paragraph 5,”-- after the first comma in the first sentence of paragraph 6. Both Mr. Tomlin and Senator Phillips accepted the proposed additional policy text, so that sentence was amended to read:
The university will charge a fee for the use of facilities by non-university entities, unless invited by a university entity under paragraph 5, which may include an application fee payable prior to approval of the use.
With this amendment made, President Tublitz reminded the senators that any policy passed may come back to the senate for changes at a later date; the policies are not written in stone and can be revised. Senator Phillips called for the question, which received a positive vote. President Tublitz then put Motion US09/10-19 regarding adopting the proposed facilities use policy to a vote and the motion passed with two abstentions. President Tublitz also added that the concerns raised would go to a senate committee for review and to suggest revisions as necessary, and if needed it would come back to the senate for discussion. Vice Provost Tomlin then expressed his appreciation to the senators for passing the motion and policy and indicated that he would with the senate committee to achieve greater policy clarity. (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/US090-19.html for both the original and amended versions of the facility use policy.)
Motion US09/10-20 – regarding proposed changes to the Student Conduct Code (OAR 571-021-0200 2d & 3b). Mr. Malcolm Wilson, chair of the Student Conduct and Community Service Committee, brought the following motion to the floor on behalf of the committee:
The University Senate adopts the following changes in the student conduct code:
Present text: OAR 571-021-0200
2 (d) The requirement to respond within 14 calendar days, excluding breaks between terms or when the student is not registered, to arrange a meeting with the hearing officer. The hearing officer will proceed as provided in (3)(b) if the Student does not arrange to meet or fails to meet with the hearing officer as arranged.
3 (b) If after receiving notice, pursuant to this rule, the Student does not arrange to meeting with the Director to select an option for disposition of the case within 14 days, excluding breaks between quarters or when the student is not registered, or if the Student arranges to meet with the Director to select an option to dispose of the case but does not attend such a meeting, the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may take any of the actions specified in OAR 571-021-0205 or 571-021-0210 for disposition of the case without consultation with or agreement by the Student.
Proposed revised text: 571-021-0200
2 (d) The requirement to respond by the fourth business day after the electronic mail , excluding University holidays, breaks between terms or when the student is not registered, to arrange a meeting with the hearing officer. The hearing officer will proceed as provided in (3)(b) if the Student does not arrange to meet or fails to meet with the hearing officer as arranged.
3 (b) If after receiving notice, the Student does not arrange this meeting, or if the Student arranges it, but does not attend, the Director may take any of the actions specified in OAR 571-021-0205 or 571-021-0210 for disposition of the case without consulting the Student.
Mr. Wilson highlighted the proposed changes to the code saying the change comes down to decreasing the number of days from 14 to 4 that a student has to respond to, or arrange a meeting with, a hearings officer once a notice of allegation letter is sent to the complained about student. Under the present code, a student who receives such a letter by email from the Office of Student Conduct has 14 calendar days from the date of the letter to respond. Consequently, if another complaint-worthy behavior by the same student occurs, there is no good way to deal with the intervening bad behavior. This has caused a hardship for the administrators of the dormitories, particularly with underage drinking cases and unruly behaviors. The proposed change would reduce the response time to four business days. Student members of the committee agreed that four days was sufficient time to respond, and the proposed new time frame would enable the university dorms to respond quickly to disruptive behavior that does not rise to the level of an emergency. The procedures by which the complained against student arranges to meet with the Office of Student of Conduct hearings officer, and/or appeal the case, remain the same; only the number of days to respond would changed.
During the discussion period, Mr. Wilson clarified that notices can be sent to offending students by email or US mail; the email notice is independently verifiable regarding date sent. Also, a senator commented that it appeared the words “has been sent” were inadvertently omitted after the words “electronically mail” in section 2(d); Mr. Wilson agreed that indeed the words “has been sent” should have appeared and now were added. There were a few comments related to whether the offending student would receive the notice of alleged misbehavior in a timely manner (for example, some US mail may be sent to a home/parent address rather than to a campus address. However, Interim Vice President Peter Keyes pointed out the UO policy that students are responsible for regularly checking their UO email for any communication from the university.
With the discussion winding down, President Tublitz brought US09/10-20 concerning reducing from 14 to 4 the number of days a student has to respond to notices of alleged misbehavior to a vote. The motion passed, with one dissenting vote. The revised OAR 571-021-0200 section 2(d) now reads:
2 (d) The requirement to respond by the fourth business day after the electronic mail has been sent, excluding University holidays, breaks between terms or when the student is not registered, to arrange a meeting with the hearing officer. The hearing officer will proceed as provided in (3)(b) if the Student does not arrange to meet or fails to meet with the hearing officer as arranged.
3 (b) If after receiving notice, the Student does not arrange this meeting, or if the Student arranges it, but does not attend, the Director may take any of the actions specified in OAR 571-021-0205 or 571-021-0210 for disposition of the case without consulting the Student.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Comments from outgoing and incoming ASUO presidents. Outgoing ASUO President Emma Kallaway noted several accomplishments of the year, particularly with public safety issues in which campus lighting was increased and improved, and a number of conversation occurred regarding ways to further improve safety around campus. Ongoing issues include videotaping the exits at the EMU, and concern about students feeling safe when walking to their cars at night. She thank faculty for their help with the students’ drive to sign on more voters this past year. She noted, too, that the ASUO will continue to work on environmental issues and toward more “sustainable” projects.
Incoming ASUO President Amelie Rousseau briefly listed a few goals for the next academic year. She said the ASUO will be working on creating a civic engagement minor; it would offer students recognition in academic credits for their participation in either on-campus or outside community activities. The ASUO is looking for faculty to provide feedback on ways to structure such an academic program, and for a department to sponsor it. Ms. Rousseau also commented that she was open to dialog regarding the university’s movement toward a smoke-free campus. On the proposal from the Oregon Research Institute’s to build on the Riverfront Research Park property, she noted that she was in agreement with both the Student Senate and the University Senate in opposing the building development as proposed, so she will keep an eye on that project. Lastly, she noted that like many people, she has some questions about President Lariviere’s White Paper proposal on a new model for university funding and governance. She concluded by saying that she would like students, faculty, and staff to work together and will work in the upcoming year to achieve these goals.
With the business of the meeting concluded, President Tublitz thanked all senators for their efforts this year, especially those who were finishing their term of service, and pronounced the meeting adjourned at 5:07 p.m.