Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music & Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for October 10, 2012 to order at 3:04PM in room 101 of the Knight Library. He informed Senators that a sign-up sheet was being distributed and instructed them to please sign in for the attendance record.
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the May 9 & 23 Meetings
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that the Minutes for the May 9 and 23 meetings had not yet been completed. Chris Prosser, the former Senate Executive Coordinator, had recently left the university over the summer, and the Senate was currently conducting a search for his replacement. According to Senate President Kyr, the minutes would be approved at the November 07 meeting. He then welcomed the new University President Michael Gottfredson to deliver his first State of the University Address to the Senate body.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by University President Michael Gottfredson
University President Michael Gottfredson thanked Senate President Kyr and remarked that he was very happy to be at the University of Oregon and at the Senate meeting. He also commented that he was very much looking forward to working with the Senate during the academic year. President Gottfredson stated that he had been at the University since August and in that short period of time the weather had been perfect. According to the President, the university had recruited a distinct group of students, and so far the football team had not lost a game. He then stated that it was a privilege to be the President of the UO and that the university was one of the nation’s premiere public research universities and he was delighted to have the opportunity to serve the institution along with its excellent faculty, staff, and students.
President Gottfredson remarked that he had toured the state of Oregon and stated that he was very encouraged to find an enormously supportive and enthusiastic community of alumni, friends, and admirers of the university around the state, nation, and world. He then commented that both he and the Senate had a great deal of work to accomplish and offered his own views on matters relating to governance. His comments pertained to administrative reorganization and institutional governing boards. President Gottfredson stated that his ideas on governance stemmed from the university itself, specifically related to the kind of university that the UO was. He then repeated that the UO was one of the premiere public research universities in the country, and to him, this statement provided the basis for the universities governance model. According to President Gottfredson, being a research university meant valuing certain things as faculty, staff, and students. These values included discovery and creativity, the admiration of and rewarding for accomplishment through scholarship, research, and creative activities. Peer review was the standard for acceptance of these accomplishments. Nearly above all else, as a research university, the UO valued freedom of inquiry and expression, and academic freedom and freedom of speech. He could not imagine a research university that did not have these ideals at its core. He then stated that the UO valued community that had a very high level of respect for ideas, collegiality, and civility in its interactions. The President remarked that such a community enhanced and supported the pursuit of ideas, creativity, and provided the environment for academic freedom and freedom of expression. He also mentioned that the university valued the transmission of knowledge, because teaching and learning were essential values that were imbedded in the idea of the university.
President Gottfredson reminded Senators that the UO was a public university, which opened the door to other essential core values. As a public university, the UO valued access to education for Oregonians. He believed that the test for access was preparation not financial status or stature, which was embedded in the DNA of the university. According to President Gottfredson, the university also valued quality, and he stated that access without quality was akin to a hollow promise. He commented that the University valued quality in everything they did, especially in regards to the faculty, which he believed was essential to underwrite the public interest. Another value that stemmed from the public nature of the university was integrity, which encapsulated open, honest, forthcoming, and transparent activities referring to governance and administration. He then stated that all of these values underwrote the critical nature of what the university represented, which was a kind of institution like no other and that had a very noble purpose which was to enhance the quality of life for citizens of the state, nation, and world.
According to President Gottfredson, all of these values instructed the university in the ways it should be governed. In order to protect the aforementioned values, the governance model must be one of shared governance. He found that effective shared governance required active and meaningful collaboration, active faculty participation, and a faculty authority regarding academic matters. He remarked that these points were a part of the universities history and peer reference. Proper shared governance expected competency and placed responsibility for the nature and care of the central mission of the university with the faculty, all which included programs of study, academic degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the qualifications of students (admissions and academic scholarships), and qualifications of faculty (hiring and promotion). In President Gottfredson’s mind, these were the responsibilities in a shared governance model for the faculty that were derived from the idea of the university and were shared with the principles of community.
He also believed that it was the faculty’s responsibility to defend the core values of freedom of inquiry and expression. At the same time, the principles of shared governance informed the responsibilities and competencies that were expected of an administration, which were to manage the university to the public interest. He believed that this concept was implicit in the ideals associated with a public university. Administrators must be capable stewards consistent with the notions of community and to the requirements of the governing board and other authorities. According to President Gottfredson, those were the responsibilities of an administration operating within a shared governance model. In his view, the only way that administrative governance models worked was when important policies and practices were informed by consultation and advice from the faculty, staff, and students. He then commented that such consultation could only be meaningful if it took place in a spirit of transparency, knowledge, and in a timely manner. He then stated that an essential advisory role existed for the Senate on administrative matters and that role was essential in executing the mission of the university. President Gottfredson also mentioned several other areas where the Senate’s advice would be welcome, which included budget and finance, capitol planning, athletics, and participation in the selection and evaluation of academic administrators.
According to the President, those were the general divisions of response that he believed were implicit in the ideas of the university. He then mentioned that there were two issues being discussed at the Senate meeting, which he believed helped illustrate the kind of shared responsibility that existed between the Senate and administration. The first topic was in regards to the Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech. President Gottfredson commented that he had read the policy and did not believe that it was ready for Senate action, but believed that the concept/idea/principle and its defense was a faculty matter. The second agenda item that he mentioned was the discussion of a new Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) regarding drug testing. The President believed that the Senate’s insights on this topic was of great value and should be considered in a timely manner, but that in the end, it was an administrative decision. He believed that administrative decisions were always best informed by broad engagement and commentary, and was pleased that former Interim President Bob Berdahl had postponed the OAR until the present time.
President Gottfredson commented that together with Senate President Kyr, he had been reading through the University of Oregon Constitution. He stated that the document appeared to express shared governance ideals consistent with the manner in which he had just described and was solidly grounded in law and with the systems of internal management directives. He then stated that he looked forward to conversing with the Senate on issues regarding the Constitution as the year progressed. He also realized that with public institutions, the ultimate responsibility of many decisions rested with the president and that he or she reported to a governing board from which all authority was ultimately derived, but on matters regarding the academic core, he stated that decisions should be derived from the faculty.
The President then mentioned several recent developments he thought were worth commenting on. The first was regarding administrative reorganization. Both President Gottfredson and Provost Bean had recently created a new reporting structure/organizational chart for the central administration which had several features in which several officers would report directly to the President. Those officers were the General Council, the Athletic Director, the Vice President for Development, and the Vice President for Finance and Administration. All other senior officers would report directly to the Provost. He also mentioned that this information could be found on the President’s website (http://president.uoregon.edu/) and he welcomed any and all comments regarding the new structure. The President stated that this box-like structure had several purposes, one of which was to establish a division of labor, and it also established the Provost as the chief operating officer of the university.
The second development mentioned by the President was regarding institutional boards. He stated that he had recently addressed this matter to the campus and had posted a letter sent to the chairs of the special legislative committee who worked over the summer and early fall to produce a report, a set of recommendations, and a draft bill which would authorize an institutional board both for the University of Oregon and for Portland State University. The President was very encouraged by the work of the special committee and felt that the committee had made great progress that was consistent with the ideals of the public interest and the interests of the university. President Gottfredson stated that there were a few issues that needed some attention, but in general, he was very optimistic about the process. He commented that the issue of institutional governing boards was a response to a nation-wide withdrawal of state support to public institutions, which had resulted in many states, including Oregon, to seek out a governance model with more flexibility in financial strategies and a sensitivity of governance. President Gottfredson stated that he had no intention of changing the mission of the university. The university was not going to change their focus on access, or quality, but what they were doing, with the help of many friends of the university, was changing its financial strategies. President Gottfredson commented that he was very optimistic with the potential restructuring involving institutional governing boards, and repeated that any change would be consistent with the mission of the university.
The President concluded his remarks by stating that he came to work in a research university for the same reasons that many other Senators had, which was due to the fact that he had become very engaged in his discipline through research, scholarship, and teaching. His own values were most consistent with and were best expressed at public universities that had a commitment to research and being associated with the top tier of institutions nationwide. He then commented that he was delighted and privileged to be at the UO working with the Senate and sustaining and enhancing what he believed was a very noble enterprise. The President commented that the university only stood for very good things. These things were in the mission of the university and were what a public university was for. According to President Gottfredson, when Abraham Lincoln took time out during the Civil War to sign the Morale Act, he stated that what was very important for the country was individual, social, and economic mobility and collective social and economic mobility and the very best way to underwrite that was through access to higher education and access that did not depend on status or stature. The President very much believed in these ideals and commented that the university was doing and would continue to do a good job at this.
2.2 Questions and Comments with Response
Senate President Kyr thanked President Gottfredson for his comments and asked if there were any questions or comments from the Senate body. The first comment came from Senator John Bonine (Law). Senator Bonine thanked President Gottfredson for his comments and stated that he believed that everyone was excited at his arrival to the university. Senator Bonine had written down a few of the President’s remarks and repeated them back to President Gottfredson. He believed that the Senate was in accord with the President’s view that the authority of the faculty and therefore the Senate, to whom it has delegated authority, was for academic matters, and that the Senate and faculty also had an important role of consultation regarding other matters that did not fall within the purview of academics. Senator Bonine also stated that, as was mentioned in many documents composed by Senators, including the Constitution, the President had the final word. He again reiterated his enthusiasm and stated that there would be disagreements ahead from both the Senate and administration on whether something was an academic matter or not. He also commented that the Constitution was not written to define the indefinable, but to establish a process of collaboration in which eventually an answer could be derived. According to Senator Bonine, scholarship and policy making were faculty matters and in the past, with the use of Oregon Administrative Regulations, there had been several disagreements regarding these issues. If a policy involved an academic matter, it should proceed through the processes outlined in the Constitution. This was his view on the matter and he believed it was consistent with what President Gottfredson had stated. Senator Bonine also commented that there were three sources of authority in the university under the State Charter that did not stem from the State Board of Higher Education. This was only one of the three sources. The other two were the faculty and the President. Senator Bonine believed that President Gottfredson was in accord with this idea and merely wanted to highlight this concept.
Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr thanked President Gottfredson for his remarks.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Remarks by Senate President Kyr
Senate President Kyr remarked that the Senate had come a long way in the last ten months, and in a way everyone had relived the entire history of the university in his or her own way. He then commented that President Gottfredson had given the university a great gift by articulating how the Senate and administration could work together in a respectful manner. He recognized that the Senate’s primary importance was to focus on academic matters and to fulfill the universities academic mission through shared governance. Senate President Kyr then laid out many initiatives that the Senate would be undertaking during the upcoming academic year.
The first item was the tenth year review of all university standing committees, whose purpose was to improve the consistency of university service and to clear up confusion regarding committees. According to Senate President Kyr, the Committee on Committees would perform the tenth year review, which would tackle such items as committee membership, charges, and how service was acknowledged. Senate President Kyr would be leading the review, but the Senate Vice-President would be presiding over the end of the year committee assignments. He then mentioned that it had been proposed that several new committees might emerge as a result of the tenth year review process such as a committee on undergraduate education, graduate education, and a committee on admissions and standards. The Senate would have the opportunity to participate directly in this process via a campus-wide survey and a campus forum hosted by the Senate, which he hoped that all Senators would attend, as their input was extremely valuable.
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that he would be creating two new Senate Ad Hoc Committees. The first was the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Excellence, which would focus on strategies for improving the universities standing in the AAU (American Association of Universities) and would review the universities academic needs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in order to achieve and sustain the highest levels of excellence. The members of the Ad Hoc Committee would develop the committee’s charge. The second committee was the Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Technology. According to Senate President Kyr, many distinguished universities such as Harvard University and Stanford University had taken the lead by offering online education. This committee would discuss strategies to implement similar online educational opportunities at the UO. He then mentioned that the committee members would also develop this committee’s charge. Senate President Kyr stated that he was very excited about these committees and the work they would be undertaking.
Senate President Kyr then mentioned that the Senate would host President and Provost’s Forums in the winter and spring terms. These forums would give everyone an opportunity to interact publicly with both the President and the Provost. He then mentioned that the Senate would soon be receiving a survey from the Provost’s Office, which would give everyone an opportunity to voice his or her own priorities of the university. He encouraged all Senators to respond as soon as possible to the survey.
Senate President Kyr then took a moment to clarify the relationship that existed between the Senate and the Union. He stated that the Senate did not have a seat at the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) table. The Senate was focused on academic matters, the administration was focused on management, and the union was going to be negotiating with management in regards to compensation, working conditions, and other matters related to the CBA. Senate President Kyr had been asked what the relationship would be with the Senate and the Union, to which he replied the relationship would not be contentious as the Senate was a legislative body and had an excellent relationship with the two of its five constituencies that had union representation; Classified Staff and Students. He informed the Senate that the UA (United Academics) Senate Liaison Committee had recently been formed. According to Senate President Kyr, the chair of that committee was Professor David Luebke (History), and the committee was created to foster communication between the Senate and the Union. The Senate’s primary purpose regarding the Union was to provide communication.
After discussing the Union, Senate President Kyr discussed five upcoming policies that were of critical importance to the university. The first two policies were the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy, and the Facilities Scheduling Policy. These policies had come before the Senate in the recent past. According to Senate President Kyr, both of these two policies were posted on the Senate website, and he asked that all Senators become well acquainted with each policy as they would both be coming to the Senate floor for discussion and a vote. The next policy was the Legal Representation Policy. This policy was also posted to the Senate website, but had not come before the Senate, and he asked all Senators to again become well acquainted with this policy. The next two policies, the Fee for Service Policy, proposed by Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) and the Financial Conflict of Interest in Research Policy were currently being developed and would be posted to the Senate website once they were complete. He again encouraged Senators to review these policies in order to engage in meaningful discussion when they came before the Senate floor.
Both Senator John Bonine (Law) and Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) commented that several policies posted to the Senate website did not coincide with similar policies found in the online Policy Library. Senate President Kyr thanked them for bringing that piece of information to his attention and replied that he would look into the matter and make sure it was corrected. He then provided a brief account regarding the background of both the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech and Facilities Scheduling Policies.
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that a search was underway for the next Senate Executive Coordinator. The position was open until filled and applications were still being accepted. He encouraged all Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) to apply for the position, as it was possible to have a dual appointment. He then commented that this was one of the greatest years in the history of the university and the Senate was going to play a large part in making it such a great year through their service and participation. He again encouraged Senators to fill out their surveys and to attend the Provost and President’s Forums as both the President and the Provost were interested in hearing Senator’s ideas and concerns. He then thanked everyone for their service and hard work.
3.2 Questions and Comments with Response
3.3 OAR on Random Drug Testing; Robert Kyr
Senate President Kyr stated that the OAR on Random Drug Testing had been sent to every member of the Senate, and it had been posted to the Senate website. According to Senate President Kyr, a public hearing had taken place which was not very well attended, and only one person, Associate Professor Brian McWhorter (Music & Dance), provided public testimony on the issue. Senate President Kyr then opened up a period of discussion on the OAR.
The first comment came from Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics). He stated that the issue regarding the OAR centered on the Senate voting or not voting on the proposal before it went forward. He believed that it was clearly an academic issue and as such, the Senate should have been consulted before the preliminary policy was enacted. Senator Harbaugh stated that he wanted to vote on the proposal. Senate President Kyr then called for further discussion.
The next comment came from Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages). She commented that since Professor McWhorter was at the Senate meeting, might he want to summarize his comment. Senate President Kyr replied that Professor McWhorter had just recently left the meeting as he had teaching responsibilities elsewhere on campus. Senate President Kyr then provided a brief summary of his comment, which was that Professor McWhorter had hoped that there would be Senate consultation.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) stated that he was concerned about the process, and believed that it was terribly important that the process outlined in the UO Constitution be respected. According to Professor Stahl, if the Constitution was not respected, the Constitution would die and shared governance would die with it. As he understood it, the OAR was an emergency policy and according to the Constitution, emergency policies were valid for sixty to ninety days (he was not sure) and then became non-renewable. He believed that that time period gave anyone a reasonable amount of time to bring a proper policy proposal to the Senate, and once adopted, an OAR could be properly based. He reiterated that respecting that Constitutional process was much more important than the particular OAR. He asked the Senate to not vote on the OAR as a protest to the manner in which things had gone forward regarding the OAR and encouraged the administration to bring the OAR forward properly.
Senator John Bonine wanted to know whether or not the proponents of the draft regulation could state why a time or compliance issue existed with NCAA standards. He then commented that there were three issues to consider. The first was whether it was a good rule or not. The second was whether the rule was urgent or not, and the third issue was regarding the proper process. He did not believe that the Senate could properly evaluate the issue at the meeting, but suggested that a committee be formed to consider the particulars. He then called for a point of clarification regarding the aforementioned issues before further discussion continued.
Gary Gray (Senior Associate Athletic Director) commented on the time issue. He stated that the Athletic Department wanted to complete the OAR by the beginning of the school year, and that his department had wanted to complete this update for many years. According to Mr. Gray, there was an NCAA ruling that occurred around 1997 that would not allow for random drug testing, and that ruling had recently been changed. Both Oregon and Oregon stated were interested in beginning random drug testing, which would conform to standard practices of 90 – 95% of pier institutions. He believed it was a student welfare issue, and random drug testing would help students to make wise decisions. He then asked Senator Bonine if his reply answered his questions, to which Senator Bonine replied that it only answered his first question regarding if it was a good idea. He was still interested in addressing issues of urgency and process. Mr. Gray then commented that the NCAA was not mandating the university to institute random drug testing, as they have their own system for random drug testing, which was fairly infrequent and was centered on performance enhancing drugs. According to Mr. Gray, the university wanted to instill a year-round process to prohibit drug use and enhance student welfare.
Senator Bonine then asked why the Senate was not consulted before this policy was put into place, to which Mr. Gray replied that he was not in on any of those conversations. He believed that changing an OAR did not require Senate approval, but did not know the particulars regarding administrative law. Senator Bonine replied that as a professor of administrative law, he was well versed in the Oregon Administrative Procedure Act. According to Senator Bonine, regulations were considered policies enacted into law and must therefore come before the Senate for approval. He then stated that the administration dealt with policies regarding the practical matters of the university and the Senate dealt with policies regarding academic matters of the university, but under the Policy on Policies, the Senate President must be informed of all policies. S/he would then consult with the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) to determine if the policy was academic and if so, it would come before the Senate for a vote. It seemed to Senator Bonine that no one had informed the Athletic Department that the process outlined in the Policy on Policies was in place.
Senate President Kyr asked for a point of clarification regarding Senator Bonine’s statement. He wanted to know if Senator Bonine meant that it was the Senate’s job to determine in part if a policy was academic or not, to which he replied that in part it was, but the administration could disagree with the Senate on this issue.
Mr. Gray commented that the university had always had an institutional drug testing policy that was based on reasonable suspicion that the student athletes were required to sign-off on at the beginning of the term. The change was going from a policy based on reasonable suspicion to a random drug testing policy.
Professor Frank Stahl commented that the problem concerning the OARs was that they might be used to set policy. If this became the case, he believed that the university would suffer from two parallel policy making processes, one of which seemed to come through the Office of the General Counsel more than any other. The other comes from the University Constitution, which involved the Senate. Whether or not the Senate was involved in any given policy was up to the Senate Executive Committee. According to Professor Stahl, the use of OARs to set policy was forbidden by the UO Constitution, and the role of the OARs was to describe how a policy would be implemented and must not be used to set policy, otherwise there would be two policy setting processes running off in all directions and eventually leading to inconsistency and chaos.
Senator Bonine stated that the OARs could not be seen as an alternative to the Constitutional process, but could be used to set policy if the Senate Executive Committee decided that a policy proposal was not an academic matter. Likewise, if the Senate set policy on an academic matter, it may either adopt it as legislation or ask that it be formalized into an OAR, which was what took place regarding the student conduct code. The pathway to deciding these matters was the important issue to him.
Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) read from the rule summary that was distributed from the Office of the General Counsel:
The university seeks to educate its student athletes about the detrimental effects of drug-use on their health, safety, academic work, and future careers.
He then commented that this issue seemed to be an academic matter, and continued to read from the rule summary:
The university must abide by NCAA rules and uphold the integrity of its athletic department.
Senator Harbaugh stated that this statement contradicted what Mr. Gray had just told the Senate that there was not an NCAA rule requiring random drug testing. According to Senator Harbaugh, that conflict was a good example of why the Senate should be involved in these types of processes.
Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA) thanked Senator Bonine for clarifying the Policy on Policies process, and speculated that there were probably several policies in place that had not gone through this process. She thought it would be a good idea to discuss how the Senate would deal with these policies as they encountered them. She stated that the Senate was sounding awfully bureaucratic, but was glad that there was a streamlined process in place for the future. She supported the direction that the Senate was heading toward and wondered how things would proceed going forward. Senate President Kyr stated that things were moving in the right direction, but more clarity was needed across the university about the Senate’s involvement in the policy process. He then asked how the Senate should proceed regarding this issue.
Senator Bonine stated that the principle was what was important and he thought random drug testing was a good idea. He believed it was up to the Senate to decide whether or not it wanted to spend the time evaluating the policy. He then read a draft policy regarding the OAR to the Senate for their consideration:
Whereas the proposed policy on random drug testing has been put forth in a proposed state regulation without being first sent to the President of the University Senate as required by the Policy on Policies, but whereas this action that was initiated prior to the arrival of the universities new President and whereas urgency is expressed by the Athletic Department, and whereas the Senate will be busy this academic year with a variety of matters, resolved that the shared governance of the University of Oregon embedded in state law through the University Charter of 1856 and the Constitution of the University of Oregon contemplates that policies should come to the Senate President and Senate Executive Committee for an opinion on whether an academic matter is involved, nevertheless, we do not choose to act upon this matter, but to leave it to the administration.
The next comment came from Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics). He believed that the Senate needed to discuss the content of the OAR. He did not like the OAR and believed there to be factual inaccuracies in the current language of the policy.
Senate President Kyr recommended referring the motion to the Senate Executive Committee who would then decided on a possible way forward for the motion. Senator Bonine pointed out that once a temporary rule was established, it had a shelf life of one hundred and eighty days. He then stated that the Senate could not act on the rule during this period of time.
Senator John Ahlen (International Affairs) commented that he was unclear on the issue of urgency regarding the OAR. He was also interested to learn if this issue regarded student safety and if so, had an incident occurred in the past that necessitated urgency. He then asked if student athletes had been unsafe in the past. Senate President Kyr asked if anyone could address Senator Ahlen's questions. Mr. Gray replied that student welfare was the utmost reason for changing the OAR, and the Athletic Department had wanted to make this change for quite a while.
Senator Christopher Sinclair commented that the overturned NCAA court ruling did not sound like an emergency situation to him and as the Senate could not act on the rule for one hundred and eighty days, he recommended taking that time to seriously consider the policy through discussion as the Senate had always done.
Senator Mark Gillem (AAA) agreed with Senator Harbaugh that based on the language of the motion it was clearly an academic matter that the Senate should consider. He offered a friendly amendment to Senator Bonine's motion, which was then seconded.
David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) asked for a point of clarification. He wanted to insure that the current rule that was in place was not going to be repudiated by the vote, to which Senator Bonine insured him it was not. Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. Before the Senate could vote, Senator Charles Martinez (Education) stated that Dr. Hubin’s clarification was important and asked for the motion to be read aloud for final clarity. Senate President Kyr asked Senator Gillem to reread his motion to the Senate body. Below is his motion:
The Senate moves that the Senate Executive Committee establish a committee to review the OAR policy on random drug testing in light of its impact on academics and the Senate requests that the administration not enact a permanent rule any sooner than legally necessary.
After the wording of the amendment was agreed upon, Senate President Kyr called for a hand raise vote on the motion. The vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously. He thanked the Senate for their action and proceeded to the Open Discussion portion of the meeting.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
Senate President Kyr invited Jay Kenton to the Senate floor to discuss issues related to ORP and PEBB.
4.1 ORP & PEBB; Jay Kenton, OUS Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration
Before beginning his discussion, Mr. Kenton thanked the Senate for their time and the opportunity to come before them to discuss issues related to ORP and PEBB. According to Mr. Kenton, when the Oregon State Legislative Assembly adopted Senate Bill 242 at the previous session, it included a requirement that OUS form two labor management committees to study the optional retirement program as described in the ORSs and to evaluate continued participation in the PEBB program transferring to a different program called OWEB, a program operated on behalf of the K-12 school districts throughout the state as well as the community college system, or to look at other alternative plans. It was mandated in the statute that the committee report back to OUS, originally in October, but Mr. Kenton appealed to OUS asking for more time to for all constituents to comment on their findings. He had come to the Senate to discuss the committee’s preliminary recommendations and requested that the Senate provide feedback on their recommendations.
The first committee discussed was the Optional Retirement Program (ORP). He showed a series of slides to the Senate and stated that he was the chair of the committee, but actually was more of a facilitator during meetings and did not participate in committee action including voting. He then thanked Associate Professor John Chalmers (Finance) for his hard work on the committee. Moving on, he mentioned that the committee surveyed 100% of program participants and received a 45% response rate. One challenge with the program was that ORP was a defined contribution plan and was linked by statute to the PERS Program, which was a defined benefit program. He then explained the concept of a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan to the Senate body. Mr. Kenton stated that linking both ORP and PERS was problematic for a variety of reasons. The first was continuing eligibility. PERS would not provide one year of credit until an employee had worked six hundred hours in each year of their employment. ORP contribution would be lost for any year where an employee worked less than six hundred hours. The committee was interested in changing that stipulation. PERS rates fluctuated and every time a rate fluctuation took place, the ORP rate adjusted accordingly. Many people on the ORP plan were not aware that their rate had been subjected to a PERS rate fluctuation.
During the last IRS certification process (which took eighteen months to complete) the IRS wrote to OUS stating that they had never seen a defined contribution plan linked to a defined benefit plan and the IRS wanted to see a definitely determinable rate for the ORP plan. Mr. Kenton assured the Senate that the IRS recertified the programs, but the IRS mentioned the lack of a definitely determinable rate as an issue that should be address by OUS. According to Mr. Kenton, the committee’s preliminary recommendations were three fold. He then mentioned another point he had forgotten and stated that the statute also required OUS to offer participants in the plan a choice between two annuity providers and two mutual fund providers. Recently, the industry had changed with the development of open architecture fidelity platforms that offered unlimited annuities and mutual funds through one company. Due to this recent change, the committee suggested the removal of that language requiring OUS to provide two annuity and two mutual fund providers. Their second recommendation was to restate the eligibility requirement. Once a person was initially eligible for retirement, they would use the six hundred hours to determine initial eligibility, and once eligibility was attained, a person would always be eligible no matter how many hours they worked in a year. He stated that benefits officers at the seven campuses looked at each person and made an informed decision regarding whether or not a person was going to hit the eligibility mark. Around forty times per year, someone who they thought was going to be eligible did not make the mark and vice versa. These mishaps were very time consuming and disruptive to all involved. The committee’s third recommendation was to establish a new contribution tier for people who were hired by OUS after July 1, 2014. He made it a point of mentioning that OUS was not changing anything for current participants. What they had would remain unchanged. The rate would only change for future participants. He then mentioned that this was an area where the committee could not come to consensus. The current report guaranteed an eight percent contribution rate with a match of four percent for every four percent that someone contributed to a 403B. Mr. Kenton stated that according to HR professionals, employees should invest 14 – 16% of their salary for thirty years in order to have enough money to comfortably retire on, and this was why they set the new rate for employees hired after July 1, 2014. The current rate was 12.23%, and the new system would keep the rate of contribution at 12% encouraging employees to contribute an extra 4% to achieve the full rate. He reiterated that the committee did not reach a consensus on this recommendation. Some thought the rate was too high and some too low. A lively debate took place within the committee, and they came up with the current recommendation. He then called for questions from the Senate body.
Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA) asked if people who were currently in ORP would continue to be linked to PERS or would they be severed from the current system, to which Mr. Kenton replied that nothing would change from participants current plan. He explained that the reason why the July 1, 2014 date was selected was that the committee did not want anyone to have been offered a job and have their decision to accept or reject based on one benefit program that had been recently changed. She then asked if the rate fluctuation would continue between PERS and ORP for those currently enrolled, to which Mr. Kenton replied that the fluctuation would continue. He commented that the committee sought legal advice regarding this matter. He asked the OUS Legal Counsel that if the fluctuating rate ever dropped below the fourth tier rate, could participants opt into the fourth tier, to which OUS Legal Counsel replied no, as it was against IRS rules, but a participant could decide to roll their entire PERS or ORP contribution en mass to the fourth tier plan. Currently, this option did not exist, but it was a legal option and would be monitored moving forward.
Associate Professor Marcin Bownik (Mathematics) stated that he had read Mr. Kenton’s report and identified a huge inequity in employer contribution rates between tier one, tier two, and tier three members. He stated that tier one and two members were receiving roughly 16% contribution rates and tier three members were receiving only 6%. According to Professor Bownik, UO employees who were hired after August 2003 were receiving less than two fifths of the employer contribution rate than those who were hired before that date. He stated that this inequity needed to be address by Mr. Kenton and the committee and at the very least, should be mentioned in their report. Mr. Kenton replied that Professor Bownik was absolutely right. Under former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski a PERS reform was initiated that established this third tier rate structure. He then mentioned that this was a larger issued that was the business of the PERS Board, but he was willing to bring the issue to the committee for a discussion and possible inclusion in the report.
Senator Steven Pologe (Music and Dance) referenced Mr. Kenton’s previous remark regarding the open architecture fidelity platform investment option, which Senator Pologe believed was being eliminated and did not know how this would benefit OUS employees. Mr. Kenton stated that it was not being eliminated, but would be retained and would lower administrative fees currently paid by OUS employees.
Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics) stated that he believed the committee was charged to examine the ORP program and to make various recommendations to the State Legislature. He also believed that the report was required to include faculty feedback as a part of that report. If that was the case, he stated that it should be made clear that the inequity between tier one/two and tier three existed. He realized that the committee had limited power to change the inequity, but wanted to make it clear that approximately half of all UO employees were in the tier three category and this was not reflected in the committee membership who were evaluating these benefit programs. He then stated that he would be putting a motion forward at the next Senate meeting that would address this inequity. Mr. Kenton replied that Senator Sinclair’s request was noted, and he would bring the information to the committee.
The next comment came from Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology). He wanted to know if the committee could include in their report the option for an employee to request an en mass roll over of their retirement funds if the PERS percentage rate fell below the tier three rate, to which Mr. Kenton replied that he was happy to bring that request back to the committee. He remarked that in the short run, with PERS rates being what they were, he did not feel that people would be interested in pursing that option, and stated that the rates were likely to increase in the future. He then stated that the tier three account was linked to PERS and when the PERS rate changed, the tier three rate changed. The tier four rate that the committee was suggesting would be a stand alone rate written into statute and would not change.
The second committee was charged with looking at health and wellness issues and continued participation in PEBB. He displayed the committee membership, which included several faculty members from the UO. With health care reform happening at the national level, the committee felt that it would be in their best interest to obtain a consultant. The committee selected Gallager Benefit Services to advise the committee, and also sent out a survey to 100% of participants. They received a 40% response from those surveys. They also talked to the Governor’s health advisor who had recently become the chair of the PEBB Board, and adopted a filter, which was used to evaluate various options. The committee came up with nine options that they felt were important to offer to their employees. 70% of employees expressed a desire to evaluate options other than PEBB. According to Gallager Benefit Services, OUS paid sixty-seven million more dollars than claims costs. Mr. Kenton stated that the OUS System was very healthy, and that PEBB covered over fifty two thousand lives, and over 25% of those lives were from OUS. He then stated that Governor Kitzhaber was a national leader in healthcare reform and had established coordinated care and was partly responsible for the HEM requirement. The Governor believed that disaggregating the pool would disadvantage the reforms, and wanted to amalgamate PEBB, OWEB, the Oregon Health Plan into one pool of around one million lives in order to apply pressure to the various networks to bend the cost curve. The committee agreed that if the decision was made to separate from PEBB, they wanted a stronger voice in the debate, subsidization should decrease over time, and transitory workers should have better options when working abroad. Mr. Kenton stated that their reports were due by December 1, 2012, and he wanted to hear from all constituent groups. Senate President Kyr stated that this report would be posted to the Senate website and he would be happy to include any other information that Mr. Kenton would like to submit. Mr. Kenton thanked the Senate for their time, and asked for any further questions.
Senator Christopher Sinclair stated that vesting for post-doctoral students must be less than two years. Currently, it was at five years, and half the money that was deposited into their accounts was taken away if they did not reach the five year vested period. Mr. Kenton thanked Senator Sinclair for his comment.
5.1 ASUO Report; Laura Hinman, ASUO President
Laura Hinman (ASUO President) greeted the Senate and thanked them for allowing her to present her report. She then introduced Will Campodonico, the University Affairs Commissioner, who was responsible for recommending student appointments to committees that faculty and staff served on at the UO. She echoed Senate President Kyr’s sentiment that this was a year filled with hope and promise. She began her report by mentioning the street fair that was taking place on 13th Street, which supported the ASUO’s vision of community on campus and brought a little slice of Eugene to campus. She also mentioned the homecoming parade, which was held in a similar spirit and invited the Senate to attend these events. Her administration had recruited a sexual violence preventative task force to address five specific charges regarding reported and unreported sexual violence crimes that took place on campus. She stated that many campus crime alerts were sent out over the summer and the results of the taskforce’s work would be presented to her on how to move forward on this issue.
According to Ms. Hinman, there was an enormous lack of academic focus in the ASUO, and Harlan Mechling, the ASUO Academic Director was working hard to provide a structure with expanded opportunities for undergraduate research. His initiative also focused on expanding the undergraduate symposium, and increasing study space at the EMU. Her administration created a taskforce to address the capacity issues on campus regarding services that the ASUO provided and other campus provided services like counseling and classroom capacity. She hoped that the Senate would take up the issue of classroom capacity as well.
The ASUO was also working on three educational campaigns to get students involved in the social ordinance/unruly gathering policy proposed by the City of Eugene. They were also running an EMU Referendum Campaign and she encouraged Senators to visit the EMU to view its current condition. Her administration would be putting forward a proposed fee in November. Finally, her administration was working on an educational campaign urging students to vote and they had already registered over four thousand students to vote in the past two and a half weeks. She ended her comments by thanking the Senators for helping students to become more involved in various committee and governance issues and mentioned that she really appreciated their collaborative spirit. Senate President Kyr thanked Ms. Hinman for her report.
5.2 Student Voter Drive; Lamar Wise, ASUO Senator
Laura Hinman delivered the Student Voter Drive Report (mentioned above), as Lamar Wise was unable to attend the Senate meeting.
Items 5.3 – 5.11 were discussed in Senate President Kyr’s opening remarks.
5.3 President’s Forums in Winter & Spring Quarters
5.4 Provost’s Forums in Winter & Spring Quarters
5.5 Search for Senate Executive Coordinator
5.6 Policies for 2012 – 2013: Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech; Facilities Use Policy; Legal Representation Policy; “Fee for Service” Policy; Financial Conflict of Interest in Research
5.7 Tenth Year Review of All University Standing Committees
5.8 Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Excellence
5.9 Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Technology
5.10 UA Senate Liaison Committee
5.11 Survey on University Priorities (Provost’s Office and Senate)
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Kyr read the three notices of motion (as they are listed below) aloud to the Senate body.
6.1 Notice of Motion: Faculty Input into Hiring Executive Administrators; Bill Harbaugh, Senator (Economics)
6.2 Notice of Motion: Review of Executive Administrators (Harbaugh)
6.3 Notice of Motion: Release Time to Enhance Senate Effectiveness; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Christopher Sinclair to place his notice of motion, which was on the inequity of contribution rates. Senator Sinclair placed the notice of motion and stated that he was looking forward to a discussion at next months Senate meeting. Senate President Kyr mentioned that there were two other motions that would be announced later on in the coming weeks. He then thanked the Senate for their hard work and participation.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the October 10, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 5:16PM.
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: Kate Bidwell, John Bonine, Jane Brubaker, Carl Bybee, Kassia Dellabough, Jennifer Ellis, Ali Emami, Deborah Healey, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Peter Keyes, Theodora Ko Thompson, Robert Kyr, Carla McNelly, Stephanie Midkiff, Reza Rejaie, Sonja Runberg, Zachary Stark-MacMillan, Ying Tan, Nathan Tublitz, Marie Vitulli, Dean Walton, Melanie Williams
Absent: Arkady Berenstein, Elisabeth Chan, Harsha Gangadharbatla, Roland Good, Michele Henney, Grace Hockstatter, Mary Ann Hyatt, Colin Ives, Doug Kennett, Peter Lambert, Anne Laskaya, Huaxin Lin, Ian McNeely, Leah Middlebrook, Terrie Minner-Engle Marilyn Nippold, Jeremy Piger, Brian Powell, Michael Price, Nick Proudfoot, Priscilla Southwell, Larry Sugiyama, Evan Thomas, Vadim Vologodsky, Peter Walker, Peter Warnek
Excused: Tracy Bars, Lydia Van Dreel, Glen Waddell
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Nathan Tublitz (Biology), called the meeting of the University Senate for May 11, 2011 to order at 3:05 P.M. in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Academic Learning Center. Before approving the minutes, Senate President Tublitz asked the Senators to join him in welcoming newly elected Student Senator Kate Bidwell to the Senate body. He then reminded the Senators that the meeting was being streamed live over the internet, and therefore, Senators must speak into a microphone when commenting or asking questions.
1.1 Approval of the Minutes
Senate Senate President Tublitz asked the Senate body for a motion to be made to approve the minutes. A motion was made by Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) to approve the minutes from the April 13, 2011 meeting of the University Senate. Seeing no corrections, a voice vote was taken, and the minutes were approved unanimously.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by President Lariviere and/or Provost Bean
Senate President Tublitz stated that President Lariviere was unable to attend the May 11 Senate meeting because he was attending the funeral of philanthropist and real estate pioneer Harold Schnitzer. The President asked his Senior Executive Assistant, Dr. David Hubin (Office of the President) to deliver the President’s remarks. Dr. Hubin stated that President Lariviere wanted him to convey that he was absent due to the memorial for Harold Schnitzer, a person that President Lariviere has characterized publically as an Oregonian for the ages. He is attending the memorial with Judith Basken, Deborah Green, Larry Fong and several other faculty and staff members from the UO. Dr. Hubin then stated that later in the Senate meeting, he will be returning to discuss the nominees for the Distinguished Service Award of which Harold Schnitzer was a recipient in 2001. At that time, he was known, not only for his philanthropy across the state of Oregon, but also for his founding gifts towards the Judaic Studies program at the University of Oregon. He then mentioned another topic on behalf of the President which was to convey his congratulations to Professor Geraldine Richman for achieving the very high honor of election into the National Academy of Sciences. This is a very distinct honor and he wanted to make sure it was noted for the archives. Dr. Hubin then announced a new tradition entitled, UO Remembers, which President Lariviere will be implementing at the end of the spring term. During the time of the Assembly, faculty and staff members who had passed away were recognized and acknowledged by the Assembly, and President Lariviere has asked that on May 25, a brief reading of the names of those who have passed will transpire by the Pioneer Mother to memorialized those UO faculty, staff, and students who are no longer with us. Finally, Dr. Hubin stated that President Lariviere does not always comment on the agenda of the Senate meeting, but he wanted the Senate to know that he is pleased that the Senate is discussing the Resolution to support Oregon Senate Bill 742. He then referenced two letters that were signed by President Lariviere in support of this Bill which were posted to the Senate website. He stated that he felt a little tentative in conveying a Presidential endorsement of a UO Senate Resolution, but instead stated again that President Lariviere was pleased that it was a part of the May 11 agenda.
After Dr. Hubin concluded his comments, the Senate was informed by an online viewer that the sound of the live internet broadcast was not working. Senate President Tublitz took this brief interruption to mention two points. First, he informed the Senate that the motion Dr. Hubin was referring to was Motion US10/11-14, Resolution on Tuition Equity, and secondly, he mentioned that during the Distinguished Service Awards portion of the agenda, the Senate will convene in Executive Session. Due to the nature of the awards, all non Senators must leave the room with the exception of the Senate Executive Coordinator, Senate Parliamentarian, and the media. The media must turn off all cameras and the live feed to the internet must also be shut down for that portion of the Senate meeting.
At that point, Senator John Bonine (Law) asked Senate President Tublitz if Senators were able to comment on the President or his representatives statements made during the Senate meeting. Senate President Tublitz stated that Senators were able to give comments on the Presidents statements. Senator Bonine then offered up a comment on Dr. Hubin’s remark that the President is not in the habit of commenting on the Senate’s agenda. He asked the Senate to begin thinking about this comment and then stated that the Senate wants the President to come together with them in shared governance. He had heard before that occasionally President Lariviere might think that in order to allow the Senate to exercise their authority, there needs to be some distance. Senator Bonine feels the opposite is true and he would welcome comments by President Lariviere on the Senate’s agenda. He then asked Dr. Hubin if he had any comments on his remarks. Dr. Hubin responded by stating that it was a point well taken. He might have expressed that sentiment more gingerly than President Lariviere and did not want to overstate the President’s reticence. According to Dr. Hubin, the topic of free exchange is a positive one but the President is not trying to tell the Senate how it should vote. Seeing no further comments, Senate President Tublitz moved to begin the New Business portion of the Senate meeting.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Motion US10/11-13: Legislation to adopt New Senate By-laws, Senate Executive Committee
Senate President Tublitz began by offering background information on the new Senate By-laws. He stated that approximately one year ago, the Statutory Faculty adopted a new Constitution. As part of that adoption, the Senate was asked to rewrite its By-laws. The current By-laws were written by Senate President Tublitz and others, reviewed by members of the Senate Executive Committee, sent out for comments by the Senate, and now the Senate Executive Committee is bringing the By-laws to the Senate floor for a discussion and hopeful approval. Due to the length of the By-laws, Senate President Tublitz recommended going over the changes that have occurred until all Senators are comfortable. Questions are welcome at any time. At this point, Senate President Tublitz discussed the major changes to the Senate By-laws. He pointed out that sections highlighted in yellow are taken directly from the UO Constitution and are unalterable by the Senate. The first two sections of the Senate By-laws were taken directly from the UO Constitution and cannot be changed. The first section describes the scope and authority of the UO Senate. The second section describes the apportionment of the Senate, the terms of office, the election process, and voting rights and procedures. Senate President Tublitz stated that the Senate has been reapportioned for the upcoming year. Article three describes Senate rules and procedures. The Senate follows Robert’s Rules of Order (newly revised). There is no change from the current By-laws in Article three. The agenda has been changed. For many years, the Senate has run an agenda by which the motions have been left to the end of the meeting, and as a result, business is occasionally not taken care of. This has been changed for 2010 – 2011, and new business has been moved to the top of the agenda. This change is reflected in the new edition of the By-laws.
Senator Marie Vitulli (Mathematics) stated that before the Senate meeting, she printed the By-laws and section 3.1 is missing from her edition. Senate President Tublitz directed her to section 3.1 which was posted to the Senate website and taken directly from the UO Constitution.
According to Senate President Tublitz, the section on dealing with writing a Senate motion had been rewritten and expanded in order to clarify the steps involved when creating a motion. Section 3.8 addresses a change that has resulted from an amendment to the current UO Constitution. According to this recent amendment, the President has the right to veto any Senate decision if s/he feels that the decision is not in the best interest of the university, but s/he must do so in sixty days from the time the Senate decision has been formally adopted. Senate President Tublitz then mentioned to the Senators that currently, the UO Constitution is being revised and this section of the By-laws may have to be changed if the UO Constitution is changed.
There is a section on Senate officers that puts into writing processes that define lines of authority and what happens when a Senate officer steps down or is no longer able to serve in his or her position. It also states that the person who is elected Senate Vice President is also the President Elect of the UO Senate. The only significant change to this section requires the Senate to elect a vice president during the end of spring term instead of electing a vice president during the fall term, which is the current practice. Senate President Tublitz believes that it is important to have a Senate vice president during the summer to help the incoming Senate President. It is also important to have a backup if the current Senate President resigns or is unable to perform his or her duties during the summer. The position of Senate Secretary has been updated to Senate Executive Coordinator, and the list of duties has been increased accordingly.
All Internal Senate Committees have been written into the By-laws. Aside from providing greater detail as to the proceedings of these committees, the only change to this section is in regards to the membership of the Senate Executive Committee. The membership has been increased to include all constituencies of the UO Senate. Senate President Tublitz stated that because the Senate Executive Committee sets the agenda for the Senate meetings, it is very important to have a wide range of viewpoints from all constituencies represented on this committee. In order to maintain close connectivity with the administration, the UO President shall now be invited to attend all Senate Executive Committee meetings, although s/he is not required to attend.
Article six describes the Academic Council, which was created by the UO Constitution, and whose members consist of all the chairs of the major academic councils on campus. According to Senate President Tublitz, the final two sections of the By-laws included no change to the current By-laws. After going through the By-laws, Senate President Tublitz opened the floor up for discussion. The first comment was from Senator Dean Walton (UO Libraries). He asked for a point of clarification regarding student senator voting. He wanted to know if student senators could vote for the Senate Vice President even thought they are leaving at the end of spring term. Senate President Tublitz replied in the affirmative. Seeing no further comments, Senate President Tublitz reminded the Senators that as a result of revisions to the current UO Constitution, the Senate By-laws will almost certainly need to be revised during the coming academic year. After a final request of questions or comments on the By-laws, Senate President Tublitz moved to a vote. A voice vote was taken, and the new Senate By-laws were passed with one abstention and will go into effect immediately. After the new By-laws were passed, Senate President Tublitz thanked the Senate Executive Committee for their hard work on the By-laws. He then gave a special thanks to Senate Parliamentarian, Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) for his repeated and extensive assistance in the development of the Senate By-laws. Senate Vice President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) then formally thanked Senate President Tublitz for his hard work and dedication and for taking on the lion’s share of the work in preparing the By-laws. The Senate body applauded his efforts.
3.2 Motion US10/11-14: Resolution on Tuition Equity, Zach Stark-MacMillan, Student Senator & Jill Torres, Student
Senate President Tublitz invited Senator Zachary Stark-MacMillan (Student Senator) and Jill Torres (Curriculum and Teaching Graduate Student) to the Senate floor to discuss the Resolution on Tuition Equity. Ms. Torres stated that she is a graduate student in the College of Education, and is training to become a teacher. She has been a student at the UO since 2006. Senator Stark MacMillan stated that he was a Student Senator and was the President of the ASUO Student Senate. Ms. Torres then stated that both she and Senator Stark MacMillan were at the Senate meeting to discuss the Resolution on Tuition Equity which is derived from a resolution passed by the city council for the Dream Act. Senate President Tublitz asked for Ms. Torres to review the Resolution for the Senators and to provide pertinent background information. Ms. Torres commented that Senate bill 742, which was recently passed by the Oregon Senate, is currently being voted on in the House of Representatives. The bill provides in-state tuition for undocumented students who have been going through the Oregon school system and have been accepted to college and not been provided financial aid. The bill provides an equitable solution for students who would have to pay three times the amount in order to attend college. Currently, undocumented student are required to pay out of country tuition which is over twenty-one thousand dollars per year and are ineligible to apply for financial aid. This bill allows those students a more affordable opportunity to obtain an advanced degree. Ms. Torres stated that there is no cost to the University. The UO will simply be charging less money to these students. She believes that this will generate a greater financial opportunity for the UO because student who could not afford tuition will now be able to pay for their college education at these reduced tuition rates. Ms. Torres then reminded the Senators that this resolution is not offering financial aid. She then explained her decision to bring this resolution before the University Senate. One aspect of her work in education is to provide outreach to the Latino communities in underrepresented areas. Senator Stark MacMillan stated that these students would have to have graduated from an Oregon high school. Senate President Tublitz then reminded Senators that they would be voting to accept this resolution to support this initiative. Before opening the floor for comments and discussion, Senate President Tublitz stated that that very morning, President Lariviere had testified to the House Rules Committee in support of the Resolution and displayed a letter to the Senate body that President Lariviere signed and submitted to the Committee. President Lariviere has also signed another letter in support of this bill along with the presidents of Oregon State University and Portland State University. Both letters are public and support Senate bill 742. Dr. Hubin then stated that the two letters were not dated and he informed the Senate that the letters were sent on March 3, 2011.
A comment was made by Professor Edward Olivos (Education Studies). He stated that all faculty and staff from Education Studies fully support the resolution on tuition equity. He then recounted a story about his recent visit to a local high school with a colleague. During their visit, Professor Olivos had a discussion with several career counselors about their first experience in working with Latino students. The counselor was advising the student on how to apply to various colleges and financial aid programs but did not know that the Latino student was undocumented. According to Professor Olivos, the result of the counselor’s efforts ended in deportation for the Latino student. Professor Olivos believes that the resolution on tuition equity would provide a greater opportunity to local high schools and career counselors on how to advise undocumented Latino students who have lived most of their lives in Oregon and who have been brought up through the Oregon education system.
Senate President Tublitz stated that the resolution on tuition equity is completely student generated, and one of the nice things about working so closely with the Student Senate, the Senate leaders, and the ASUO leaders is that each group has a great deal in common and can continue to make strong ties and bringing us together on important issues such as the resolution on tuition equity. Seeing no further questions or comments, Senate President Tublitz called for a voice vote on the resolution on tuition equity. A voice vote was taken and the resolution on tuition equity passed unanimously.
3.3 Motion US10/11-15: Adoption of Policy on the Appointment of Officers of Administration, Linda King, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Senate President Tublitz invited Linda King, Vice President for Human Resources, to the Senate floor to introduce the policy on the appointment of officers of administration (OA). Ms. King stated that the policy establishes and defines employment appointments for OAs. The policy is comprised of two types of employment. The first is called indefinite tenure which are positions that are expected to continue from year to year. The second is called other and are for a shorter duration, are more than likely grant funded, and are project based. According to Ms. King, the new policy provides provision for OAs and is labeled an H contract. A major difference in the new H contracts is the time an OA receives before nonrenewal. Currently, there are A contracts that have up to a one year notice of nonrenewal. Almost half of all OAs have F contracts which have no renewal provision. The H contract will provide one month notice of renewal for the first year and three months notice for every additional year. All new OA appointments will receive H contracts. OAs that currently hold A contracts will retain their A contracts for as long as they are university employees. OAs that currently hold F contracts will be moved to H contracts, unless their position is of a short enough duration that H contracts would not be appropriate. She then stated that the reason for creating the H contract was consistency. Another reason was to reduce the financial and organizational constraints that are inherent in having one year notice periods, but at the same time acknowledging that it is important to provide reasonable notice periods for OAs. They also wanted to better align their practices with comparator institutions both in Oregon and nationwide. Ms. King then provided background information on how Human Resources arrived at the decision to create H contracts. Human Resources met with the OA council and the steering committee for the OA policy initiative. These two groups helped HR in developing the H contracts as well as other policies. From these meetings, HR developed a proposal that was presented to various deans, vice presidents and the OA council. During the month of January, HR posted an OA policy forum where people could offer comments on OA policies. Two open forums were held, also in January, to discuss the policy on OA appointments. The final draft of the policy was posted to the HR website during the months of February and March with the completed version being posted during the month of May. HR is hoping to implement the contract by July 1, 2011. Senate President Tublitz then asked for questions or comments from the Senate body.
The first comment came from Senator Melanie Williams (Romance Languages). She recalled a past instance where two administrators were given timely notice and it took the university five months to sort out the details of the action. She then asked if this type of scenario could repeat itself under the new H contract guidelines. Ms. King responded by stating that she did not think the situation Senator Williams was referring to lasted five months, but transpired over a shorter timeframe. She then stated that if a decision is made to rescind timely notice, it could happen during or after the time period allowed in the contract. Senator Williams then offered a follow up questions and asked Ms. King to discuss the comments and discussions that transpired regarding the H contracts. Ms. King replied that on the open forum various comments were made. There were very few comments on the three month time period. Several comments were made from OAs that currently hold F contracts requesting an upgrade to A contracts before July 1.
The next comment came from David Landrum (Finance Director, Provost Office). Mr. Landrum reaffirmed Ms. King’s comments regarding the participatory manner in which the policy had been drafted among OAs. He stated that the overall impact of the policy is a positive one for OAs. He then stated that he is currently employed under an F contract which gives him no renewal provision. The H contract will enhance his benefit by providing the three months of notice. He then stated that have had ample time to address this policy and while it is not a perfect solution, it is a very good solution in moving forward for the OA community.
Senator John Bonine (Law) asked Ms. King if there were previous policies on contracts. She responded that there were previous policies developed for OA employment. Senator Bonine then stated that the policy, US10/11-16 adoption of policy on classified research, uses a form that talks about policy update. One of the purposes of that form is to display changes to the policy. According to Senator Bonine, this OA policy is a new policy and provides very little information, apart from what was mentioned orally, regarding previous OA employment policies. He wanted to know why the drafters of the policy decided to not include information on past OA employment policies. Ms. King replied that the other policies were not other versions of the current OA appointment policy, but were completely different policies. In terms of the form and documentation of the policy, Ms. King stated that this was her first time drafting a policy and if there were additional documentation requirements, at which point, Senator Bonine stated that policy formatting was not the issue under discussion. He was more interested in the internal process that went on in the development of the policy. Senator Bonine then mentioned an exclusion/grandfather clause that allows for one year of timely notice. He asked if there were any contracts that provide more than one year for timely notice. Ms. King replied that as far as she understood one year is the longest time period for giving timely notice. Senator Bonine then asked if OAs who do have up to one year will continue to have that benefit during their time at the university. Ms. King stated that they will as long as there are employed as an OA. Senator Bonine then asked what percentage of OAs will not be subjected to the three month rule but to a longer rule. Ms. King replied that approximately half of all OAs have the longer contract. According to Ms. King, this is an issue that OAs care very deeply about. It was part of the Universities commitment for those OAs who have the one year contract that those contracts remain as assigned.
Senate President Tublitz commented that Senator Bonine brought up a good point about policies. If this policy is adopted, it will be posted to the policy library, and as it currently stands, provides very little background information. In the future, the Senate will ask policy drafters to provide background information to establish a sense of context. He then asked for final questions and comments from the Senate body. Seeing none, Senate President Tublitz reminded the Senate body that the Senate was voting to adopt the policy on the appointment of officers of administration and forwards it to the University President for his action on behalf of the University. He then added an additional comment that if the Senate votes affirmatively on a particular motion and if the president chooses to veto the Senate vote, he has to return to the Senate and the Statutory Faculty and explain why he chose to veto the Senate vote. A voice vote was taken and the policy was passed with four abstentions. Senate President Tublitz then thanked the OA Council and Ms. King for presenting the policy before the Senate.
3.4 Motion US10/11-16: Adoption of Policy on Classified Research, Lynette Schnekel, Assistant Vice President for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Senate President Tublitz informed the Senate that the policy on classified research has been tabled until next year. He then went on to explain the reasons why it was tabled and stated that in 1967, the University Assembly passed a resolution stating that there will be no classified research conducted at the University of Oregon. By classified, the Assembly meant secret research or research that was not open for public dissemination. The office of research has decided to update the current policy and after completing their update, several discrepancies were brought to light. One such discrepancy was that the update failed to address the private funding of classified research at the UO. The University General Council is in the process of determining these and other discrepancies that exist in the motion. Until these issues have been resolved, the Senate has requested to table the motion until the fall.
Senator John Bonine (Law) asked if Senate President Tublitz could elaborate on the current review process for the policy on classified research. Not knowing that the motion was going to be tabled, Senator Bonine performed a side by side comparison of the 1967 resolution and the current policy as was posted to the Senate website. According to his comparison, there are many differences between the two documents and his concern was that there is nothing in the current document stating that such differences exist. The policy update did not address changes made to the 1967 version. In addition to knowing the procedure of review, Senator Bonine asked the administration, concerning this policy and all future policies, to provide context, background, and specific information as to why a change is being made to an older policy. He then stated that the current policy update is an agenda document that says the policy was updated because of periodic review of policy to insure relevance, accuracy, and compliance with federal and state regulations. Senator Bonine seriously doubted that every change to the classified research policy was done in order to comply with these regulations. Senate President Tublitz responded by stating that the basic rule is that the Senate and Administration must agree on all policies. To reach that goal, a policy, which is almost always drafted by the Administration, comes to the Senate. First it goes to the Senate President who takes it to the Senate Executive Committee. If both the Senate President and Senate Executive Committee find some virtue in the policy, it is posted to the Senate website and comes before the Senate. In this particular case, several Senators found problems with the original update of the classified research policy and it was sent back to the Administration who then rewrote the policy and resubmitted it back to the Senate President and Senate Executive Committee. Further discrepancies were found by Senators and the policy was again sent back to the Administration where it is currently being redrafted. Senate President Tublitz believes that this iterative process is a positive one and will continue. Due to the face that this policy has been twice handed back to the Administration, Lynette Schenkel (Associate Vice President for Responsible Conduct of Research) and the person who has been carrying the policy updates forward, has agreed to establish a faculty committee to review the document in greater detail. That committee will soon be established and will review the verbiage presented by the Administration and perhaps revise the document before bringing it before the Senate. Senator Bonine then stated that in addition to the formation of the faculty committee, he would like to ask the Administration to request that there be a more robust explanation of changes made to the document.
Senate Vice President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) thanked Senator Bonine for the points he just made and then asked if there was a way to put into practice some format which would request that updates made to older policies be accompanied by an explanation of changes made to policies before coming to the Senate. Senate President Tublitz stated that this is a good idea, and since the Constitution is currently being rewritten, perhaps it could be placed inside that document. Senator Dean Walton (UO Libraries) asked if there was going to be a discussion on proprietary commercial research. Senate President Tublitz responded by stating that today he learned there was no legal definition of the word secret and there is no legally accepted definition of the word proprietary. The wording in the policy had to do with secret proprietary research which is what caused the problem. In his opinion, the issue with the policy has to do with coming together to solve a problem involving a sticky situation and allowing our research to go on while not violating moral or ethical rules for our community.
3.5 Spring Curriculum Report, Committee on Courses, Paul Engelking, Chair
Senate President Tublitz invited Professor Paul Engelking (Chemistry) to the Senate floor to discuss the Spring Curriculum Report. Professor Engelking then elaborated on the various changes that were made to the Spring Curriculum Report by the Committee on Courses. When discussing a change made to English 455, Professor Engelking stated that the words “UO administrative actions” were added to the course description. Senate President Tublitz then asked for a point of clarification to the meaning of this term. Professor Engelking responded by stating that the Committee on Courses has delegated to several employees, including the registrar, the authority to make changes to the curriculum report and to bring those changes before the Committee on Courses who would then ratify them and bring them before the Senate for approval. Several more curriculum changes were discussed as well as the curriculum report. Senate President Tublitz then asked for questions and comments from the Senate body and seeing none, moved for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously. Before leaving the Senate floor, Professor Engelking revealed that today was his birthday and jokingly asked for volunteers to take over his position as chair of the Committee on Courses. As he was leaving the Senate floor, an impromptu chorus of the Happy Birthday song was sung by the members of the Senate body in his honor.
3.6 Results of Spring Senate Elections, Chris Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Senate President Tublitz invited Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) to the Senate floor to discuss the results of the Senate and Elected Committee Elections. Mr. Prosser stated that the election ran for two weeks and went relatively smoothly. He then informed the Senate body that the election results were posted to the Senate website under the latest news section of the homepage. Senate President Tublitz then thanked Mr. Prosser for his work in running the election.
3.7 Distinguished Service Awards, Dave Hubin, Senior Assistant to the President (N.B. The Senate will convene in Executive Session for this discussion)
For the discussion of the Distinguished Service Awards, the Senate convened in Executive Session.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
Due to the large number of new business items, there was no open discussion during the Senate meeting.
5.1 Report on Non-tenure track faculty, Ali Emami and Michele Henney, NTTF committee co- chairs
Senate President Tublitz then welcomed Senator Ali Emami (Business) to the floor to discuss the Non- tenure Track Faculty Committee’s report on Non-tenure track faculty (NTTF). Senator Emami stated that the report focused on 2010 – 2011 NTTF activity. Over the last five years they have seen continuous positive changes in NTTF affairs due to the excellent work of many groups and people, especially deans, department heads, and Academic Affairs, who worked in consultation with and provided recommendations to the NTTF committee. The result of their work was the creation of a document entitled U of O Policies for NTTFs dated November 12, 2007 and posted to the Academic Affairs website. According to Senator Emami, this document defines adjuncts and career NTTFs and establishes guidelines for NTTF appointments, ranks and titles, salary and compensations, evaluations and promotions, and ways to dispute conflicts. The previous chairs and members of the Senate NTTF committee deserve a special recognition for their hard work in creating the NTTF document. Currently, Academic Affairs is in the process of completing the activations of the rank of lecturer and the reclassification of academic librarians from officer of administration status to NTTF status with associate ranks and titles as well as establishing the professor of practice category for adjunct faculty to attain significant prominence in their respective fields and disciplines. This process is currently in the hands of the Oregon University System. Current accomplishments of the NTTF Committee include working with Academic Affairs on the review and revisions of the NTTF evaluation and promotion process, which is in the draft stages of development, and at the suggestions of the committee with the commitment of the system presidents, to the improvements of salaries for all unclassified staff and OAs. Academic Affairs is undertaking the review of salaries across campus in comparison to comparator schools. The NTTF Committee is in the process of conducting a survey of NTTFs to determine the existence of the 2007 NTTF Policy document and its implications. Upcoming issues include the development of the unit specific standards and statements regarding the evaluation and promotion of NTTFs and the process by which these criteria statements will be weighed, reviewed, and approved. Another future issue is to provide a unified standard for the process of hiring adjunct professors to insure consistency, fairness, and openness. The main objective is to insure that the job position defines the appointment and that academically it does not defined the position. A third item is in regard to the length of contracts for career NTTFs. Currently, the contract length is one year. Senior instructors have two year contracts. It is the hope of the NTTF Committee that the one year contact length will be extended. The fourth upcoming item is a discussion on creating an elected committee for the evaluation, promotion, and retention of NTTF similar to that of tenure track faculty. According to Senator Emami, the surveys will be distributed during the coming week and the committee has asked all NTTFs to respond as soon as possible. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first question was from Senator Melanie Williams (Romance Languages). She thanked Senator Emami for his report and stated that she was curious about implementation timelines. According to Senator Williams, instructors in her department have not heard anything regarding when the implementation of Instructor and Lecturer 2 will occur. She then asked what the timeline would be for implementation of these new positions and if there were any discussions regarding salary increases. Senator Emami asked Senator Williams if she was referring to Senior Instructors, and she replied that she was. Senator Emami stated that he thought Senior Instructors were all dependent upon their own initiative. They can apply for promotion by writing a letter to their department heads. Senator Williams asked if this was correct for Senior Instructor 2 and Senator Emami replied that he believed so. He then turned to Dr. Kenneth Doxsee (Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs) for further information. Dr. Doxsee stated that he was not entirely sure in regards to Senior Instructor 2. According to Dr. Doxsee this is an internal matter for Academic Affairs and he recommended proceeding with that recommendation but wanted to double check to make sure that there was nothing pending with OUS (Oregon University System) regarding the position of Senior Instructor 2.
Senate President Tublitz then asked Dr. Doxsee and his colleagues in Academic Affairs to please send a reply to Senator Williams directly and to the Senate answering her question regarding the position of Senior Instructor 2.
Senator Williams then asked a follow up question regarding a power point presentation that was posted on the Academic Affairs website. The presentation discussed the possibility of NTTFs being able to accept a sabbatical. Senator Williams stated that it was wonderful that these discussions were taking place and asked if a timeline had been established for implementation of NTTF sabbaticals. Dr. Doxsee replied that there are some interesting questions that Academic Affairs is looking into towards implementing this policy. He stated that Senator Emami mentioned one in particular regarding the development of a PC type committee. Dr. Doxsee stated that he wanted to get the opinion of the Senate on this item. He believes the NTTF Committee will put forth two proposals one of which would call for the creation of such a committee and one of which would not call for such a committee. Dr. Doxsee stated that he waffled on whether or not this committee should be created, and went on to say that conceptually, it makes sense. At the same time, he does not believe there will be problematic promotions for NTTFs. Every year NTTFs are evaluated by their colleagues for contract renewal. When it comes time to be considered for promotion, he hopes people will see this as an opportunity instead of a risk. Dr. Doxsee then stated that the timeline will be discussed at a later date. Turning back to Senator William’s question, he replied that Senior NTTFs would be eligible for sabbatical under the same considerations that tenure track faculty are up for sabbatical. One of these considerations is that your sabbatical be a period of time for professional development, not just a year away. A second consideration, and tenured faculty face the same thing, is requesting time away when your department cannot afford your absence. Often times these sabbatical requests will not be approved. Dr. Doxsee then discussed whether or not NTTF promotions should be on a standard clock as tenure track faculty promotions are. According to Dr. Doxsee, there are no legal requirements for NTTF promotions as there are for tenure track faculty. He hoped that there will soon be a document posted and open for comments interpreting the policy in terms of practicality on whether NTTFs should be promoted in a similar manner as tenure track faculty.
Senate President Tublitz stated that all of these discussions are very important and that great progress was being made. He then stated that he established the NTTF Committee when he was Senate President nine years ago and the committee has done a very good job. However, none of the policies for NTTFs have come through the Senate. It is very important that from now on every NTTF policy, because they deal with academic issues, be approved by the Senate. Senate President Tublitz then stated that the implementation and explanation of the current policy, which was not approved by the Senate, should come before the Senate for approval. He then asked formally that everything regarding NTTF come to the Senate for approval just as everything regarding tenure track faculty does. He then reminded the Senate body that since 1990, the number of tenure related faculty members has gone from six hundred fifty to six hundred seventy-five while the number of students has increased from seventeen thousand to twenty-four thousand. The number of NTTF has increased from under two hundred to over three hundred fifty. NTTFs are a significant group of people who have dedicated their lives to this University and it is extremely important that the Senate helps them feel comfortable at this University. He then told Dr. Doxsee that he appreciated his efforts but asked that they come before the Senate for approval. Dr. Doxsee replied that he would bring the final implementation plan before the Senate. He then stated that sometimes it is forgotten that NTTFs are not just instructors, they are also research assistants and associates and that there are well over six hundred NTTF. Senate President Tublitz stated that he was correct and that he was referring to the instructional faculty component.
The next question came from Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA). She stated that she was also involved with early NTTF policy work in 2007. The piece of information that was not included in their legislation addressed adjunct faculty under 0.5 FTE. This is a large group of people, and the committee has not been able to take a more proactive approach in terms of addressing issues of work environment, access to resources, etc...She then asked for an update in this area and if there were any plans to incorporate adjunct faculty in a more inclusive way. Senator Emami stated that as far as the committee is aware, adjunct faculty are on different contracts. They are on D contracts and by definition are employed at 0.5 FTE or lower. He did not know if they would be a part of the committees work. Senator Dellabough then remarked that she would like to go on record that adjunct faculty are an urgent group that must be addressed. She is concerned that they will be left out and are not included or recognized as a significant group. She then stated that adjunct faculty need more attention around working conditions, and just because they are not formally classified as NTTF at 0.5 FTE or greater, they are still a very large group of participating professionals that make our campus work. According to Senator Dellabough, if the committee feels it is not appropriate, then the Senate needs to address the issue through an ad-hoc committee. Senator Emami then asked Senator Dellabough to be more specific in her request to the NTTF committee. She replied that the committee has done an excellent job in continuing to move forward with NTTF working conditions, but there are a group of people who are employed below 0.5 FTE whose working conditions are unacceptable. According to Senator Dellabough, they do not have representation and she wants to know when they will be attended to. Senate President Tublitz then stated that faculty in the College of Arts and Science (CAS) do not experience this very often, but most of the professional schools hire adjunct faculty to come and teach one class every once in a while. It is a significant group of people and as we are moving forward trying to improve working conditions for the various groups on this campus, this particular group should not be left behind.
Senator Harinder Kaur Khalsa (Romance Languages) asked a question regarding promotion. As she understands, only career instructor positions are eligible for promotion. There is a pool of instructors who are eligible, but because there is no career instructor position there is no opportunity for them to be promoted. She then asked how the committee will handle this situation. Senator Emami stated that by definition, there are temporary staff employees or faculty that are hired and have no criteria for them to have a career path in which they can be promoted. Senator Kaur Khalsa then stated that if these people have been teaching full time for three years they will be hired. If they are not hired as a career instructor, then how will they be promoted? Senator Emami then replied that he believes there is a policy that states that if these people want to be hired as a career instructor, they have to go through a national search. Senate President Tublitz then added that it is a different type of appointment, application, and review process. Dr. Doxsee then offered a point of clarification and stated that part time NTTFs need to be explored with the NTTF committee. Adjunct appoints are, by definition, of limited duration. All NTTF appointments correlate to the specific needs of the University. Adjuncts are employed for a three year maximum time period. If you are currently an adjunct, and have been employed for a considerable amount of time, the rules are changing and your department might need to consider transitioning to a career instructor position. If they announce a career position, an adjunct is certainly eligible to apply and that adjunct might have a competitive edge. To be eligible for longer term appoints and promotion, you must be in a career instructor position. Senator Emami then stated that one of the purposes of their survey is to gather information regarding the number of people with adjunct positions and then figuring out how to convert that position into a career position.
Senate President Tublitz then stated that time was running out and brought the conversation to a close. He stated that this is a very important issue and the conversation should continue. He asked Senators to send all question regarding NTTF to himself, Senator Emami, and Academic Affairs. Senate President Tublitz then thanked the NTTF committee for their excellent work and asked the Senate body if there were any notices of motion.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Notice of Motion(s)
Seeing none, Senate President Tublitz called the May 11, 2011 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 5:05PM.
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for May 23, 2012 to order at 3:06PM in room 101 of the Knight Library.
He informed the Senate that the minutes would not be approved as they were still in the process of being transcribed, but would be approved at the first meeting in October. He then invited Interim President Robert Berdahl to present his state of the university address.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Interim President Berdahl
Interim President Berdahl stated that he greatly appreciated being in attendance at the final Senate meeting of the year, which he presumed would be his final meeting as the search for the next university president was proceeding well. He hoped that the new president would be in place by September 15 or earlier. He welcomed all new members of Senate who were in attendance and thanked who had served on the Senate whose membership was expiring. He commented that a strong Senate and a strong system of shared governance was an important component of successful universities, and thought that this was clearly the case for the University of Oregon. Interim President Berdahl outlined several events that would be taking place in the coming months at the university.
On June 18, the university was going to celebrate one of its great annual traditions of any university; commencement. According to Interim President Berdahl, the quality and percentage of those graduating reflected the great accomplished over the past several year in attracting some of the best student to pass through the university. He recognized that due to the substantial growth in enrollment over the last several years, faculty and staff had taken on additional burdens as a result of this growth. He thanked everyone for their tremendous support for the student who would be receiving their degrees and those who would be continuing their education going forward.
The university was hosting many rehearsals and performances associated with the Oregon Bach Festival that was taking place at the end of June, and there are new exhibits installed at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The university was also hosting the Olympic Track and Field Trials, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, which was an association of forty universities surrounding the Pacific Rim Basin. Interim President Berdahl stated that he was a part of the initial groups of University Presidents and Chancellors who organized the first meeting in 1997 as the Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. The group consisted of AAU Universities on the West Coast from California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as international universities from British Columbia and around the Pacific Rim. He appreciated the work that was being done by many of his colleagues at the UO in preparation for the meeting.
Interim President Berdahl stated that the university was in the midst of a search for the Presidency. He commented that the search was progressing exceedingly well. During the search process, Interim President Berdahl provided assistance in the areas where he could be of help, and mentioned that he was very pleased with the process that he been undertaken. The leadership displayed by the members of the search committee was extraordinarily edifying, and he was convinced that the university would be pleased with the outcome of the search.
James Bean (Senior Vice President and Provost) was scheduled to return to work on July 1, 2012, and would be transitioning back during the month of June as well. In addition, he remarked that Professor Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh (Political Science) was taking on a new role as Associate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion in early August. Interim President Berdahl commented that he anticipated the fall campus enrollment to be around twenty-five thousand students, reflecting an uptick in international and non-resident students. He believed there was work to be done in order to increase the yield rate for Oregon’s best and brightest. It was very important to him that the university kept a strong contingent student from the state of Oregon.
According to Interim President Berdahl, the next University President would face some significant challenges. He remarked that they were not unique challenges and mentioned that the level of state provided support had been declining for some period of time, with the coming year being a low point in terms of the state subsidy for the universities budget. There was also a structural challenge that awaited the new president in regards to the newly formed union. He believed that the union would have an effect on how the university thought about governance itself, and some of the functions that had typically been performed under the context of shared governance would be shifted to the union realm. He thought that this one change was going to be extremely challenging for a new President. According to Interim President Berdahl, maintaining relationships with the faculty under the new terms of the union while at the same time balancing the more established practices of shared governance was a very complicated task. He then commented that a union and its relationship to an administration, especially during the course of defining an initial contract, could be contentious and adversarial. He believed it was essential that as the university entered a new year and a new term of a new president that the focus be one of comity. Interactions must be ones of mutual respect on both sides of the table and respect for those who are not supportive of the union as well as for those who are a part of the union, and respect for the administration that will be navigating these issues with a portion of the faculty who are in the union whether they want to be or not. Interim President Berdahl commented that those were all difficult moments to get past, and he believed that it would be very important for everyone to pull together to support and make certain that the transition was handled with a degree and sense of community. He asked the Senate to go forward in that spirit, and commented that he was honored to have served with the Senate body over the past five months. When he returned to the university, he mentioned that he was not the second coming, but was merely coming back for a second time. He then stated that it had been a privilege and an honor to be back at the university and he appreciated the good and hard work being done on behalf of what he believed to be a fine university.
2.2 Questions and Comments with Response
2.3 Remarks by Robert Kyr, Senate President-elect
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl and stated that wished to commend him in a variety of ways and would then comment on the Senate agenda for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, which according to him, was going to be the most challenging in the history of the university. Senate President Kyr stated that 2011 – 2012 had been a year like no other at the university, one that would not be forgotten and one of redefinition for all. In order to move forward, he believed that it must be together. Unionization was one thing, but respectful dialogue and respect for each other and our differences must be remembered at all times.
He remarked that the UO began the year with an inspiring president and ended the year with an inspiring interim president. He then commemorated Interim President Berdahl on behalf of the Senate with the following words:
On behalf of the University Senate, I am writing to express our gratitude for your vision and leadership as the Interim President of the University of Oregon. We are deeply grateful for all of your work at the University, especially in regard to the agenda that you set on your arrival in January 2012: faculty recruitment and retention, the Presidential Search, the capital campaign, and independent governing boards. Thank you for offering your guidance and wisdom to us, which will enable us to better educate our students and to serve the highest interests of our institution and the state of Oregon. With gratitude and respect, University of Oregon Senate.
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl again and presented him with a copy of those words.
2.4 Questions and Comments with Response
Interim President Berdahl thanked Senate President Kyr for his commemoration and stated that it meant a great deal to him. He then wished the Senate good luck and excused himself from the meeting, as he had to attend a meeting with students.
Senate President Kyr remarked that the principle achievements of the year, as he saw in, involved the ratification of the new Constitution, the establishment of the Policy on Policies, the passage and signing of four policies in 2012 (Retirement and Emeriti, Research Misconduct, Classifies Research, Proprietary Research), all of which would not have been possible without the help of Interim President Berdahl and his guidance. He then mentioned that there were three other policies that were going to come before the Senate in the coming academic year. Those were the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy, the Facilities Use Policy, and the Legal Services Policy. Senate President Kyr then provided a brief history on the three policies. He recounted how former UO President Richard Lariviere did not sign the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech and Facilities Use Policies and before he was able to explain his veto, he was fired by the state board. After the Policy on Policies was signed and Interim President Berdahl was hired, Senate President Kyr discussed with him the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees. Upon learning that Interim President Berdahl was not going to approve any changes to committees, the Tenth Year Review was postponed until the 2012 – 2013 academic year.
He commented that the agenda that he read during Interim President Berdahl’s commendation was very similar to three points on the Senate’s agenda for the coming academic year. According to Senate President Kyr, faculty recruitment and retention, the Presidential Search, which would now become working together with the new president, and the establishment of independent governing boards were all major ticket items for the Senate during the coming year.
Senate President Kyr then commented on the collective bargaining agreement. In an effort to craft a meaningful, substantial, and truly helpful agreement, the university must maintain their sense of community. He would be collaborating with the Union Coordinating Committee and hoped to begin discussions very soon in an effort to understand the processes involved. According to Senate President Kyr, the Senate was willing to help as was appropriate in the drafting of the bargaining agreement.
His next point was regarding the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees. He stated that he would be calling on many members of the Senate to assist him in the review of all University Standing Committees. The slate would be wiped clean and a new review document would be sent to the chairs of all university committees for new input. He apologized to all committee chairs for the increased amount of work, but in order to complete the review accurately and serve the university community, the review had to be conducted in this manner. Senate President Kyr asked all committee chairs to consult with committee members via email or at committee meetings when completing the Tenth Year Review. The Committee on Committees was charged with completing the review in collaboration with committee chairs and committee membership. He believed that this was an opportunity to strengthen the UO’s system of shared governance, and he was very much looking forward to the review.
Senate President Kyr then commented on a series of emails that were distributed to members of the Senate and Senate Executive Committee, but were supposed to be sent to the members of the IAC (Intercollegiate Athletics Committee). Rather than point fingers, Senate President Kyr discussed three important points that resulted from these improperly sent emails. Interim President Berdahl has had some dialogue with Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) who was chair of the IAC and with Professor Bill Harbaugh (Economics) who was chair of the Senate Transparency Committee. According to Senate President Kyr, what had emerged from the email chain was a system of very healthy questioning that, in his opinion, was going to help the university move forward on three important points. The first point was regarding conflicts of interest as it related to committee service and Senate service. The second point was regarding correct mode of communication in reference to personal attacks. Several email exchanges had been rather heated and had gone over the line to such a point that personal animosity had arisen from the exchanges. Senate President Kyr stated that this was not acceptable, and remarked that these types of exchanges hindered the university into becoming the kind of community that everyone was striving toward. His third point involved leadership. Senate President Kyr stated that in one of his email responses, Interim President Berdahl questioned the nature of the Senate leadership in a productive way. This was very helpful to Senate President Kyr, and he viewed this questioning as an opportunity to move forward through constructive dialogue. He then mentioned the cultivation of university leadership and reported that this year the university largest number of responses for a Senate Election. The ballot was filled and there was more than the required amount of candidates for each of the categories. Leadership must be developed further throughout the university community across all age groups and academic generations. He then offered his solution to achieve these three goals. Senate President Kyr planned on convening a group of Past Senate Presidents, which he called the President’s Council, with the Committee on Committees. Within that combined body, the three points would be discussed and the groups would then report back to the Senate with recommendations. He then welcomed all members of the Senate to participate in the process, as there would be many opportunities in the future.
Finally, he made a plea for service to all in attendance in order to fulfill the six Cs. The six Cs were communication, community building, connectivity (between communities), creativity, cooperation, and commitment. He then thanked the Senate for re-electing him as Senate President and mentioned that the last year was one of the hardest of his entire life. With the Senate’s confidence and trust he felt confident that the university would move forward together as one community. He then moved on to the New Business portion of the meeting and invited Professor Paul Engelking to present the Spring Curriculum Report.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Spring Curriculum Report; Paul Engelking, Chair; Committee on Courses
Professor Paul Engelking (Chemistry) commented that all Senate members had seen the preliminary curriculum report for the Spring Term 2012. He offered several corrections to the preliminary report, which can be found on the Senate website at the following location: http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/2011-2012-reports. After presenting the amendments to the preliminary curriculum report, Professor Paul Engelking asked if there were any further corrections or amendments from the Senate floor. Seeing none, he recommended that the 2012 Spring Curriculum Report by approved as amended. Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote to approve the report. A voice vote was taken, and the 2012 Spring Curriculum Report was approved unanimously. Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Engelking and the members of the Committee on Courses for their tireless work on the curriculum report process.
3.2 UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for Officers of Administration, Presented to Rachele Raia, Assistant Dean, CAS
Senate President Kyr called Senator Sonja Runberg (Academic Affairs) to the Senate floor to present the UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for Officers of Administration to this year’s recipient, Rachele Raia (Assistant Dean, CAS). Senator Runberg greeted the Senate body and informed them that she was representing Officers of Administration. She stated that she was honored to present the 2012 OA Award to Rachele Raia. The award, which was created in 2011 recognized an outstanding Officer of Administration for his or her exemplary service over a period of years to the university through participation in committees, advisory bodies, or elected positions, and for inspired leadership and commitment to the principles of shared governance, participatory decision making, and fostering a campus climate of inclusiveness, respect, and professional excellence. According to Senator Runberg, the UO Senators representing Officers of Administration, and the Officers of Administration Council (OAC) served as the award committee and reviewed the nominations. After a recipient was selected, the information was forwarded to Senate President Kyr. She then invited Rachele Raia, the 2012 UO Senate Leadership and Service Award recipient to accept her award.
Senator Runberg stated that Mrs. Raia had been at the University of Oregon for over twenty years and had served in a wide variety of capacities including as a member of the OAC, the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), and other advisory positions. She had demonstrated an enduring commitment to the university through her service and by encouraging all campus members to participate in shared governance. Through this award, the Senate and the university community wished to thank her for her service. Senator Runberg then shared several comments from those who nominated Rachele Raia for the award. The first comment was from Scott Coltrane (Dean, CAS). He noted that in his three years of working with Rachele, he had witnessed her profound contributions to the welfare of the institution. He stated that it was safe to assume that the influence of her contributions to the UO would last well beyond her tenure on the job. Wendy Larson (Vice Provost for Portland Programs) added that Rachele had a deep understanding of the university and its multi-layered deeply faceted structure. She also comprehended the illusive culture of the academic community including faculty governance and the importance of democracy and wide participation in decision-making. Professor Daniel Pope (History) stated that he was surprised to learn that Rachele had not already received the award, but her impending retirement marked an opportunity to honor her remarkable contributions to the University of Oregon community. In closing, Senator Runberg remarked that it was a well-deserved award and was given in recognition of her tireless work. Her friends, peers, and colleagues wished to sincerely and most humbly say thank you.
Below is Rachele Raia’s acceptance speech:
I would first like to thank the Senate for creating awards to honor the service of both Officers of Administration and Classified Staff.
These awards recognize the collaborative efforts of faculty and staff in making our university an inclusive and quality driven community of learning.
I’m very fortunate because each of the three Deans I worked with in CAS believed it’s important for all University employees to serve our community. I would like to thank them for their support and ongoing encouragement.
I would also like to thank my colleagues who nominated me for this award. With our busy schedules, the extra work of writing a nomination letter can easily be put aside until the deadline has passed, but you valued my efforts and made the time to nominate me. Thank you.
I'm deeply honored to receive this award. It is recognition of the many hours spent on the Faculty Advisory Committee, the Officers of Administration Council and other innumerable committees.
Frankly, serving on a committee is time consuming and sometimes frustrating. I can remember one committee, which met 2 hours per week for two years. Somehow my husband tuned in to the schedule and on every Monday evening I was greeted at the door with a glass of wine.
But committee service can also be enlightening - it broadens our perspective of the institution, helps us develop contacts beyond our regular circle and offers the opportunity to make things better. We can't do that alone, and so my final thank you is to everyone who served with me on all of those committees, this award honors all of our service.
Senate President Kyr moved on to the next award, the UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award, and invited Classified Staff Senators Carla McNelly (Office of Multicultural Academic Success) and Theodora Ko Thompson (Admissions) to the present the award to Senator L. Jane Brubaker (Campus Operations).
3.3 UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award. Presented to L. Jane Brubaker, Trades/Maintenance Coordinator, Campus Operations
Senator Ko Thompson informed the Senate that in 2009 the three Senate representatives from Classified Staff identified three issues/areas that were based on the values found in the mission statement of the university. Those areas were personal and professional development, a respectful work environment, and diversity. She commented that it was bittersweet for her because both Senator Carla McNelly and Senator Jane Brubaker’s terms were expiring on the Senate, but she welcomed the two new Senate representatives from Classified Staff.
Senator Carla McNelly stated that it had been great working with her over the last few years on the Senate. Senator Brubaker had been working for the UO for the past fifteen years and Senator McNelly was certain that everyone had enjoyed her work and the work of her department on the grounds of the university. According to Senator McNelly, Senator Brubaker was currently serving on the Senate Ad Hoc Committee for Respectful Workplace, and was one of three original university Senators from Classified Staff who began the taskforce last summer. Senator McNelly also stated that Senator Brubaker served as the director of the Campus Operations Diversity Committee whose mission was to oversee the implementation of the campus operations diversity plan. Senator Brubaker provided leadership and support to the facilities management team and monitored the progress toward achieving the goals of the diversity plan. She was constantly looking for guest speakers to engage with the diversity committee and she embraced and respected the differences in all. Senator McNelly stated that today Senator Brubaker was being honored for her peaceful, collaborative, humble, and consistent leadership in the areas of professional development, respectful workplace, and diversity on campus.
After receiving her award, Senator Brubaker thanked both Senator McNelly and Senator Ko Thompson and stated that she was very honored to have served the last two years on the Senate with those two lovely ladies whom she had learned a great deal from and had been inspired by. Below is Senator Brubaker’s acceptance speech.
Thank you- Carla and Theodora, President Berdahl, Senate President Kyr, Members of the Senate and other guests here today,
I am immensely honored and humbled to accept this award. It has been my privilege to serve the past 2 years as a Senator representing Classified Staff. There are many Classified folks across campus who are deserving of this award –I know many personally and it would take a LONG time to go through the list. So this is for all of you too!
Today, I would like to say a few words about healthy soil. Why, you ask, does this have anything to do with the University of Oregon and leadership? Well- I believe that maintaining a healthy University has much in common with maintaining healthy soils.
Why care about soil? It sustains all plant life, which we depend on and so do many other species. It cleans water and filters pollutants. It sequesters carbon, possibly more than what is stored in large trees. It supports structures.
Soil gets no respect-look at the expressions we use: in politics, there is “mud- slinging’, someone’s reputation may get “soiled”, when there is slanderous journalism, it’s called “dirt”.
We need to have greater respect for our soils. When we build new buildings and landscapes, we need to protect our soil; there seems to be an attitude that the soil can be easily replaced, we haul it off by the truckload and bring in a lighter sterile soil that has no life or texture. Often we have large amounts of construction rubble and junk left at the bottom of planting spaces and then we stick in a few huge trees and wander why they die in 2 years. And we want to avoid soil compaction-it is very easy to destroy soil, it can happen in a few hours, and may take many years to build back up. It can take 15 years in a wet climate to make only about a half inch of soil. It’s even slower in a dry climate! Sometimes unknowingly and with good intentions, we disrupt the delicate balance, the connections between organisms when we think we are doing the right thing. We have a collective memory and a richness in our shared experience and in the wisdom of our elders, that we sometimes do not draw on very well.
Secondly, the biology of our soils is made up of many many organisms-each has a very important role. Over the past years, I have been a disciple of Dr Elaine Ingham’s work at OSU which details and explains what she calls the “Soil Foodweb” There are amazing relationships below the surface, mysterious and mostly invisible to the naked eye. Millions of tiny bacteria break down organic material and release nutrients. Tree roots are dependent on tiny strands of mychorrhizal fungi to make intimate bonds with them and to draw in water and nutrients from the soil. And-even though we only see the larger earthworms and insects, there are millions of tiny fungi, bacteria and other organisms present- without them the larger members of the food chain would never be there. We need to nurture and enrich ALL organisms, find ways to honor and celebrate the invisible and hard -working individuals on our campus, or we never will be able to grow large trees and beautiful rhododendrons. And isn’t that what Oregon is known for?
We do funny things in the horticultural world-one can purchase mychorrhizal fungi in tiny packets to sprinkle around a new tree’s root zone when we plant; there is limited research to show that this does any good, but it can’t hurt and it makes us feel good. We don’t know if those fungi will stick around or even if they will be compatible with the soil chemistry and the plants that are already present. It is very easy to promote and invite diversity, much harder to maintain it over time.
Thirdly, we need to occasionally aerate the soil and add new organic material, bring new life, fresh ideas. Soils get stale, and sometimes develop a hard shell from the rain and sun pounding on the surface. This can be hard work and can also be painful, but it pays off. Sometimes on our campus we need to break through the hard shells, forget “the way we have always done things”, and stir things up a little.
Lastly, we need to test the soil periodically, and preferably before the plants show stress and the whole system falls apart. This may involve a simple pH test or sending samples off to laboratories for more extensive tests. But sometimes the easiest way to test the soil is to take a shovel and dig down into the soil, to feel it in your fingers and even smell it. Good soil smells good; if it smells like a sewer, there is something wrong. There is no drainage, no air space and no oxygen, anaerobic bacteria are thriving. This is not a good environment for growth, at least not for the things we want to grow.
In conclusion-You can read into this whatever you like.. if you are just thinking about soil, well, that’s a good thing. But I hope you will take this further and be inspired by the metaphor.
Dr. Ingham says that soil health is not an end in itself; that soil needs to be evaluated by how it protects and improves its functions as habitat, sustaining agriculture, maintaining water quality...just as a University’s health should be evaluated by how it serves its students, faculty and staff, and the greater community.
I hope you will think about what we can do as individuals and collectively as a group, to feed and sustain a healthy University “foodweb”.
Senate President Kyr introduced the final Senate Award, the Wayne Westling Award, which was presented to Professor Andrew Marcus (Associate Dean, Social Sciences, CAS).
3.4 Wayne Westling Award. Presented to Andrew Marcus, Associate Dean of Social Science, CAS
Senate President Kyr presented the Wayne Westling Award to Andrew Marcus (Associate Dean of Social Science, CAS) and commented that the Senate was honoring him for his exceptional leadership and service to the university and to the entire community. He then read Professor Alexander Murphy’s (Geography) letter of nomination, which is below:
I am writing this letter to nominate my colleague W. Andrew Marcus for the 2012 Wayne T. Westling Award. Andrew’s record of service at the University of Oregon makes him an ideal candidate for the Westling Award. He has been an exceptionally dedicated and capable department and campus leader since shortly after he came to the University of Oregon more than ten years ago.
Through inspired leadership, he has made a signal contribution to the working and social climate of our campus. When Andrew came to the University of Oregon, I remember him telling me that one of the things that drew him to the UO was the strong tradition of faculty governance. I was not surprised when he showed a willingness, shortly after his arrival, to take on university as well as departmental service responsibilities. Most notably, he became involved in the University Senate within a few years of his arrival on campus and was elected to the presidency of that body in 2004 – 2005. He also served in that capacity in the spring of 2007 to fill-in for a Senate President who was unable to complete his term.
In or related to his Senate Presidencies, Andrew has served on the Senate Budget Committee, the Enrollment Management Committee, and other committees. In addition, he has served on the UO Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) from 2005 – 2007 and on the Provost’s Academic Excellence Committee. Just as Andrew’s most intense period of University Service was beginning to wind down, he stepped in to head the Department of Geography in 2008. He was an able good-humored chair of the department for three years. During his stint as department head, he also served on the CAS Dean’s Council and became involved in a variety of campus committees including the tuition and fees advisory committee from 2010 to the present, and the Faculty Policy Review Committee from 2011 to the present. His tenure as head of the Department of Geography was so successful that Dean Scott Coltrane (Dean CAS) encouraged him to apply for the position of Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in spring of 2011. Andrew was selected for that position and began his work in the Dean’s Office this past fall. My sense is that his tenure as Associate Dean is off to an excellent start.
As someone who has had the privilege of knowing Wayne Westling, I can say with great confidence that Andrew Marcus is the kind of person we should be honoring with an award named in Wayne’s honor. Andrew has been an exceptional contributor to the university community over the last decade both through what he has done and because of how he has done it. He has made these contributions while continuing to function at a high level as a scholar and educator. I think he would be an outstanding choice for the 2012 Wayne T. Westling Award.
Senate President Kyr then presented the 2012 Wayne Westling Award to Associate Dean Andrew Marcus. He thanked him for his service, and remarked that he was a model of service and leadership for everyone at the university.
Associate Dean Marcus stated that it was an honor to receive the award. He was completely shocked and surprised upon receiving his notification email from Senate President Kyr. It was all the more meaningful to him in this particular year because of the kind of year that the university had been through. He commented that it had been a year of adjustment for him both personally and professionally due to his new responsibilities as Associate Dean. He then acknowledged Rachele Raia and commented that one of the amazing things about her was her ability to mentor others, including him. She had guided him through many sticky situations in his new position and remarked that she was a true leader in a very quiet way that he greatly appreciated and thanked her for that.
He had spoken with many people in the room during past Senate meetings and his message had remained the same. According to Associate Dean Marcus, what set the University of Oregon apart from other institutions was that the UO had a culture that was radically different from any other university he had ever been associated with. That culture was one of community. The UO was a place where people came together to work out their difference in an attempt to find ways to move forward and to create a unified vision for the university. He had learned that occasionally there are those people do not feel engaged within that community in the same ways as others for various reasons, but even those individuals are interested in stepping forward and making a difference through collaborative endeavors that are taking place in the Senate body. The UO engaged in a remarkable and, he jokingly remarked teeth grinding, annoying, and terrible, committee structure. He believed that the power of that process was one that truly brought inclusiveness in a way that he had not seen at other institutions. It was most stunningly displayed this year by the great attendance of the university community in McArthur Court to cheer on former University President Richard Lariviere, and even more profoundly at the display of silence as that group greeted Chancellor Pernsteiner. He commented that this was taken a step further by the unanimous passage of radical changes to the UO Constitution, which in his opinion and the opinion of several colleagues not affiliated with the UO who were in attendance at that meeting of the Statutory Faculty Assembly was virtually unheard of. For him, that moment was very validating.
Associate Dean Marcus asked why was the UO so different and what was the culture he was referring to. He believed it was because of service and the day-to-day functions of the university. He then referenced a meeting of the CAS Dean’s Council that had taken place just that morning where a very engaging conversation had taken place regarding the quality of education that was taking place at the university. He also mentioned that he was serving on the administration’s committee that was negotiating with the GTFF (Graduate Teaching Fellowship Federation) Committee, and he realized that sometimes a table could feel like a barrier. This made him feel concerned about the future of the university as it went forward in negotiations with the newly created faculty union. His hope, which had been echoed today by many others, was that this new opportunity could be seen as a chance to highlight a wonderful social experiment where a new way forward could be found for the future. He believed that service would make that possible.
He closed his remarks by sharing a quote from his mother with the Senate body. When he entered academia, his mother told him that she only had one request of him, which was, “for goodness sakes, don’t become a cynic.” His mother had grown up in academia and it seemed to him that academics were bred to be critical. He believed that through this process, a sense of hope and vision could become lost. He never wanted to see that happen, and believed that the biggest threat to the university was not budget deficits, enrollment increases, or unions, but was cynicism. He remarked that the University of Oregon was the place where public education could be defined for the future. As he accepted the Wayne Westling award, he asked the Senate body to consider the deep joy that could be found in contributing to a place that was so remarkable.
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Alexandra Flores-Quilty (Student Senator) to deliver the outgoing remarks by ASUO President Ben Eckstein, as he was unable to attend the Senate meeting.
3.5 Remarks by outgoing ASUO President Ben Eckstein
Ben Eckstein outgoing remarks are listed below:
Members of the University of Oregon Senate, I apologize that I am unable to attend our last meeting of the 2011 – 2012 academic year, however I thank Senator Alexandra Flores-Quilty for conveying my brief written remarks to you in person. This has been a turbulent but productive year for the university and for the ASUO. While this year has confronted us with many challenges, both expected and unforeseen, I am confident that we are ending this year stronger than we began it. In my time as a part of the University Senate, I have learned a great deal from participation in our unique system of shared governance.
Among the most important lessons I have taken away from our shared experiences this year is the power of our shared investment in the mission of our university. All of our constituencies do not always agree completely on how to respond to the challenges facing our community, but our shared values empower us to engage in meaningful dialogue that respects complexity and nuance and raises our diverse perspectives. I want to thank the University Senate on behalf of the ASUO and our constituents for your invaluable partnership in making our university a better place. While this year brought many challenges and opportunities to the ASUO and our representation, advocacy for our diverse student body of twenty-four thousand, my team and I have consistently appreciated the partnership of our fellow constituents represented in this body.
From advocating to protect student voices in our student buildings, to fighting for increased transparency in our athletic department, to pushing for strong oversight of our new campus police force, to ensuring strong student involvement in the presidential search process, it has meant so much to student to have the support of the campus community in facing some of these key issues. Without recounting the details of our agenda for this entire past year, let me thank the Senate for its support of these issues and many more. I believe that your support has been integral to the work of our association. I am incredibly proud of the work of my team this year to serve and represent students. We entered office with an ambitious agenda to make our campus a better place, and I know thanks to their passion and dedication, this campus is a better place for all students.
I want to recognize the invaluable work of our many student leaders across campus in engaging and activating student to create positive change, and I want to wish the best of luck to an outstanding leader, Laura Hinman, the President-Elect of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon as she takes on her important role as a spokes-person for our student body and the Chief Executive Officer of our thirteen million dollar student government, one of the largest and most autonomous in this country. I have been fortunate to work with Laura during my several years at the ASUO, and I hope that every member of this body has the opportunity to work with Laura throughout the year as we continue our work to serve the campus community. It has been my honor to serve students this past year, and I have been humbled to have your friendship and partnership. Thank you so much to all of you and best of luck to the Senate in the next year. Thank you.
Senator Flores Quilty thanked Ben Eckstein for his dedication and service to the university as well as his commitment and relentlessness in advocating for students.
Senate President Kyr invited the incoming ASUO President Laura Hinman to present her remarks to the Senate body.
3.6 Remarks by incoming ASUO President Laura Hinman
ASUO Present Elect Laura Hinman greeted the Senate and remarked that for the past three years, she had served as a student senator on the ASUO’s Programs Finance Committee. The Programs Finance Committee supported over one hundred and eighty student programs on campus. She then remarked that, while students main priority at college was to gain an education, she argued that her experience outside of the classroom has served her just was well. She believed that these programs offer more than just something to do and are often time a safe place for many students. She was also very active in Greek life on campus and had experience working with many student leaders on campus. According to Ms. Hinman, ethical leadership should be the core value of the ASUO. In addition to growing leaders, both she and her Vice President Nick would focus on increasing student programing and programming fees, keeping the ASUO incidental fee on campus while creating a sense of community, supporting building renovation, and working closely with the Senate on issues that included local institutional governing boards. She was very proud of several moments when faculty and student had come together in the past and mentioned the trip to Portland where both faculty and students came to together in support of former University President Richard Lariviere. Ms. Hinman stated that she came from a family of educators, and mentioned that her administration would provide the Senate with dedicated, knowledgeable, and willing students to serve on the various standing committee of the Senate. She also mentioned that she had an open door policy and if any member of the Senate was interested in hearing the student opinion, to please contact her. Ms. Hinman thanked the Senate for their time.
Senate President Kyr thanked Ms. Hinman for presenting her remarks and stated that the Senate looked forward to working with her in the upcoming academic year.
3.7 Announcement of Spring Election Results, Robert Kyr, Senate President
3.8 Introduction of New Senators; (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr read aloud the names of the newly elected University of Oregon Senators. He asked those in attendance to stand and be recognized. The newly elected Senators were: Ken Prehoda (Chemistry), Arkady Vaintrob (Mathematics), Huaxin Lin (Mathematics), Michael Dreiling (Sociology), William Harbaugh (Economics), Gina Psaki (Romance Languages), Richard Margerum (PPPM), Kassia Dellabough (PODS), Neil Bania (PPPM), Deborah Olson (Special Education), Charles Martinez (Education), Jennifer Ellis (Finance), Ali Emami (Finance), Bruce Tabb (Special Collections), David Landrum (DPS), John Ahlen (International Affairs), Many Chong (Erb Memorial Union). Senate President Kyr asked all in attendance to welcome the newly elected Senators to the Senate body and thanked them for their service.
The Senate then viewed the results of the Spring Election on the overhead as Senate President Kyr read through the names of each elected committee. The election results are listed at the following webpage:
Senate President Kyr thanked everyone for signing up for committee service and mentioned that this had been a record year for service commitments.
3.9 Approval of Committee Appointments (Kyr)
The committee appointments from the meetings of the Committee on Committees were displayed on the overhead for the Senate body to view and again thanked everyone for their continued service to the university. He then moved on to the next point on the agenda.
3.10 Motion US11/12-14: Authorization to Award Degrees (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr read Motion US11/12-14 to the Senate body. The language of the motion can be found here:
He then asked for a motion from the Senate body to approve the motion. A motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken and Motion US11/12-14 was approved unanimously. Senate President Kyr thanked the Senate for their action and invited Senator Emma Newman (Student Senator) to the floor to introduce her motion.
3.11 Motion US11/12-15: Coal Trains Resolution; Emma Newman, Climate Justice League
Senator Newman was unable to attend the Senate meeting and Elise Downing (student) presented the motion in her stead. Ms. Downing introduced herself to the Senate and stated that she was the Co-Director of the Climate Justice League. She then introduced Senator Andrew Lubash (Student Senator) who mentioned that he was the Senate Vice President of the ASUO. He informed the Senate the ASUO Senate had recently passed a similar resolution regarding the coal trains issue during their previous meeting. Another student named Zoey introduced herself to the Senate body and stated that she was a Coordinator within the Climate Justice League who was working on their fossil fuels campaign. According to Zoey, the Climate Justice League had been concerned with recent proposals to export coal through the Northwest via the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. Her campaign had been focusing on the transport terminal located in Coos Bay, Oregon, but so far, she had not been able to receive detailed information on the project. As a response to the proposed terminal, the Climate Justice League had been coming up with ways to unite students and community members not in opposition of coal, but in an attempt to bring the community together and ask for greater transparency regarding this issue. She was also interested in rallying the community to fight for cleaner energy that did not involve the use of fossil fuels. Her resolution stated that the community was opposed to the passage of coal train through the city of Eugene, OR. Zoey mention that there would be no job creation as a result of this train passing through the city and provided no benefit for the University of Oregon it’s students or community members. According to her, it seemed like a no win scenario and then asked for questions from the Senate body.
Senator Anthony Hornof (Computer and Information Science) thanked the students for coming before the Senate and presenting their motion. He stated that certainly there must be tradeoffs and remarked that if the trains did not pass through Eugene, they would have to go somewhere else and if no new jobs were being provided, it to him like a good thing for the state of Oregon to have a place to export coal. He agreed with the resolution on the surface, but he believed that there were larger issues at stake and asked the students to comment on his remarks. Ms. Downing replied that students were working with the city coalition as well as other organizations throughout the region on this issue, and she commented that the group was not saying no to coal for Oregon. As a region, their message was that the coal should stay in the ground. They were interested in finding an alternative to non-sustainable resources of energy. Zoey mentioned that the Climate Justice League had considered what Senator Hornof had proposed and they had been working with the Eugene Sustainable Commission who had raised similar concerns. She believed that there existed a disconnect between taking care of peoples concerns and the environment as coals reserves would eventually run out. She then asked for other questions.
Senator Pedro Gracia-Caro (Romance Languages) commended the students for their proposal and celebrated the fact that they were thinking about their future and renewable energy.
Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the resolution. Seeing none, he asked for a motion from the Senate body to approve the resolution. Senator Lubash moved that the motion be approved as written. The motion was seconded and a voice vote was taken. Motion US11/12-15 was approved with one nay and one abstention. He thanked the Senate for their action, and asked Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) to provide an update on unionization.
3.12 Update on Unionization; Peter Keyes, Member of the University of Oregon Faculty Union Coordinating Committee
Senator Keyes commented that there was not much to report, but as he was listening to the comments from earlier in the meeting regarding community and the upcoming academic year, he thought that the comments on comity and service were a good lead in to handling the issues regarding the union. He remarked that the union was being organized by colleagues from the university, not by outsiders, and included members of the Senate and past Senate Presidents, former deans, and associate deans. Senator Keyes stated that discussions of substance were happening and this encouraged him. As he mentioned at the last Senate meeting, the Coordinating Committee was meeting with various departments on campus in an effort to help people understand where they stood in the process. Working groups were being formed and a tentative list of the issues that the groups were going to be looking at included salaries, benefits, pensions, family and equity issues, contacts, working conditions, and grievance issues. Another group was being formed to draw up a Constitution and By-laws for the union. This work would be taking place during the summer. Senator Keyes stated that the Coordinating Committee was looking for people to join these working groups and they were interested in broad representation. He found it interesting hearing about the concerns of others on the Coordinating Committee, concerns that he did not know anything about on campus. He believed that by getting involved in the union these issues could be resolved. Senator Keyes then asked for questions from the Senate body.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) stated that Senator Keyes mentioned the term policy recommendations and wanted to know if he was referring to policies relating to the operation of the university. Senator Keyes replied that he was not. The type of policy he was referring to applied to the potential union bargaining agreement. Professor Stahl asked if Senator Keyes envisioned that these policies would be of significant academic relevance to the operation of the university, to which Senator Keyes replied that some of them probably would be. Professor Stahl then asked if those policies would come before the Senate as policies were expected to do before approval by the President. Senator Keyes replied that that was an interesting question. He had been pushing for the development of a working group on governance issues, but so far had not been successful. He believed that the reason for this lack of success was that people did not want the union to seem like it was usurping the prerogatives of the Senate. To this point he believed that there should be great coordination between the union and the Senate to see how both bodies could work together with the system of shared governance.
Senate President Kyr agreed with Senator Keyes and remarked that he was committed to this collaboration going forward. Senator Keyes asked for any further questions.
Ken Doxsee (Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs) asked who were the members of the Union Coordinating Committee, to which Senator Keyes replied that the membership of the Coordinating Committee was posted on the union website. He also commented that not everyone who was on the committee was listed on the website as some people wished to remain anonymous, but the majority of members were listed. Senate President Kyr asked for the URL of the union website, to which Senator Keyes replied that it was uauoregon.org.
Senator Jennifer Ellis (Finance) asked Senator Keyes how to join a working group, to which he replied that she could talk to him and also mentioned that soon the heads of each working group would be posted to the union website. After determining which working group she was interested in, she could contact the head of that group directly. Senator Ellis stated that she would appreciate having that information online as soon as possible. Senate President Kyr also recommended having a link on the Senate website for those who had questions regarding the union.
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Keyes if he knew of any additional information regarding bargaining contracts, to which Senator Keyes replied that the Coordinating Committee was working on a draft, which would be ready in the fall term. The fall term was the earliest time that the union would consider entering into negotiations. Senate President Kyr asked if the draft would be developed during the summer, to which Senator Keyes replied that the union would be developing the draft during the summer and early fall. A membership drive was scheduled to take place during the fall term. After the membership drive, negotiations with the administration would begin. Senate President Kyr then asked if the membership had been confirmed or ratified, to which Senator Keyes replied that the union’s existence had been certified, but there was currently no actual membership. Those who had signed cards needed to sign an additional piece of paper to join the union. Senate President Kyr asked when would that happen, to which Senator Keyes replied that he thought it could happen at any time. Senate President Kyr then asked if the collective bargaining agreement had been certified, to which Senator Keyes replied that it had and that there were names to check against if someone wished to join the union. Senate President Kyr asked for any further questions.
Professor Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) asked Senator Keyes to mention the survey that explained how the Coordinating Committee got information from members of the collective bargaining unit in an attempt to form the membership. Senator Keyes remarked that the Coordinating Committee would be sending out an online survey via email soliciting people for information regarding the issues that they felt were important for the union to address. Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr asked those in attendance who were not Senators to please vacate the room as the Senate was about to convene in Executive Session for the discussion of the Distinguished Service Award.
3.13 Distinguished Service Award; [Executive Session] David Hubin; Chair, DSA/Honorary Degree Committee
The Senate convened in Executive Session for the discussion of the Distinguished Service Award.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Kyr asked for any announcements or communications from the floor. Seeing none, he thanked Senators for their service and stated that he was looking forward to working with everyone next year.
With no further business, Senate President Kyr called the May 23, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 5:06PM.
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: Roger Adkins, John Bonine, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Harinder Kaur-Khalsa, Peter Keyes, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Huaxin Lin, Peng Lu, Andrew Lubash, Harlan Mechling, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Amy Nuetzman, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, David Riley, Sonja Runberg, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Vadim Vologodski, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: John Foster, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Colin Ives, Ryan Kellems, Ian McNeely, Jeffrey Measelle, Nina Nolen, Donna Shaw, Peter Walker
Excused: Tracy Bars, Nancy Bray, Ali Emami, Deborah Healey, Theodora Ko Thompson, Kelley Leon Howarth, Carla McNelly, Gordon Sayre, Nathan Tublitz
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for May 9, 2012 to order at 3:07PM in room 101 of the Knight Library.
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the April 11 Meeting
Senate President asked if there were any corrections to the April 11 meeting minutes. Seeing none, he called for a voice vote to approve the April 11 meeting minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously. He then asked Interim President Berdahl to present on the state of the university.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Interim President Robert Berdahl
Interim President Berdahl stated that it was nice to be back in front of the Senate and to see everyone again. For him, the last four months had been very remarkable and unusual. He noted that the university had garnered a number of awards and achievements during this period because of the excellence of the faculty. He asked the Senate to consider that biologist Eric Selker was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors given to any scientist in the United States. Kathy Cashman, a professor of geology, had been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This award recognized some of the most accomplished scholars, scientist, artists, and national leaders in many categories. Kathy was recognized for her research in Volcanology and was selected with a class that included the likes of Hilary Rodham Clinton, Clint Eastwood, and Paul McCartney. Neuroscientist Cris Niell was named a Searle Scholar, one of fifteen researchers nation-wide to receive such an award, which came with a three hundred thousand dollar grant in support of his work.
He then remarked that the University’s students had been honored as well. Undergraduates Amy Atwater, Opher Kornfield, and Brianna McHorse were named Goldwater Scholars for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, winning the nations premiere undergraduate scholarship award for the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, and keeping the university on pace with other universities nation-wide including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Michigan, University of California Berkeley, each of which had only two students recognized with this distinction. Undergraduate Savonne Miller was one of only one hundred undergraduate students from around the United States to receive the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, offered through the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration. The UO tied with UCLA for the largest number of Gillman Scholarships West of the Mississippi, and three of the UO’s seven scholarships went to students in the Pathway Oregon Program. This program directly provides access to Oregonians who were not able to afford college, but were given the opportunity because of the Pathway Program. He then remarked that the UO’s students were receiving an excellent education from professors, teachers, and advisors. The freshman retention rate was at an all time high of eighty-six percent, and the university would be graduating thirty-two hundred graduates reflecting the strongest four-year graduation rate in the history of the university. He then stated that the incoming students had a remarkable academic profile and could compete with any student across the country. Hayley Pratt-Stibich, who would be joining the student body in the fall, had been a member of the SAIL (Summer Academy to Inspire Learning) Program. She had recently received the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship and chose to attend the University of Oregon. Interim President Berdahl stated that this was a tribute to the quality of education provided by the SAIL Program. He then stated that life was pretty good at the University and that there was a great deal to be proud of and pleased about.
Interim President Berdahl then gave a brief update on the Presidential Search. He believed that it was proceeding well and that the committee was right where they were expected to be at this point in the process. If things continued to progress smoothly, he believed that there would be an opportunity for the state board to appoint a new University President in June. He then commented that there were several very fine candidates on the list, and he was very pleased at how well the search was proceeding. Before closing his remarks, he briefly commented on the forthcoming negotiation challenges as a result of faculty unionization. He thought that the university was committed to moving forward to complete the negotiations as quickly as possible. The university was committed to being fair and to a process of negotiation that would result in an outcome beneficial to all. He then stated that most of his efforts during the past several weeks were related to governance issues at the university. He remarked that the establishment of an institutional board was the most important goal for the university to achieve in the near future. He then asked for questions from the audience.
2.2 Questions and Comments with Response
The first comment was from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus). He stated that in his comments regarding governance, Professor Stahl thought that Interim President Berdahl might have mentioned how lower level administrators occasionally garble interactions between faculty and the President. Interim President Berdahl replied that he had not thought of commenting on that in those terms and did not know what he was referring to. Interim President Berdahl stated that faculty was quite free to criticize administrations, but he was interested in establishing a system of shared governance with as few bumps as possible between the faculty and administration. He hoped that the two groups could agree to disagree in a civil fashion. Professor Stahl stated that the UO Constitution was designed to provide that type of platform. Interim President Berdahl asked for further questions and seeing none, thanked the Senate for their time.
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl for presenting on the state of the University, and asked all Senators to please sign the attendance sheet as voting was about to commence. He then asked Senator John Bonine (Law), chair of the Senate Nominating Committee, to announce the slate of candidates for the Senate President Election.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Election of Senate President 2012 – 2013; John Bonine, Chair; Senate Nominating Committee
Senator Bonine jokingly stated that the Senate Presidential Election was about to compete with the Greek government for short term governing. He stated that the Senate would elect someone who will become president next year by action, but the Senate would not be electing the Senate President, they would be electing the Senate President Elect who would serve a two-week term and become Senate President for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. This procedure was taking place because the Senate had not had a President Elect (Vice President) for the past 2011 – 2012 academic year. He stated that the Senate Nominating Committee received one nomination for the position of Senate President, which was Robert Kyr. He then opened the floor to any other potential candidates to come forward. Seeing none, he called for a motion to close nominations for the position of Senate President. The motion was called and seconded. He then asked for any discussion from the Senate body, and seeing none, called for a hand vote to close the nominations for Senate President. The vote was taken and the motion to close nominations passed unanimously. The Senate then voted on the position of Senate President. Senator Bonine called for a hand vote for all those in favor of electing Robert Kyr to the position of Senate President Elect. With a count of twenty-seven hand votes, Robert Kyr was successfully elected to the position of Senate President Elect and will serve a second term as the University of Oregon’s Senate President for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Senator Bonine congratulated Senate President Kyr on being elected.
Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Bonine and stated that he was really looking forward to working with the Senate in the upcoming academic year. He thanked the Senate for placing their confidence in him and he promised to represent them to the best of his abilities. He then moved on to the next point on the agenda.
3.2 Two Research Policies for Consideration and Vote; Beth Stormshak, Associate VP for Research
Senate President Kyr explained that the policy creator, Beth Stormshak (Associate VP for Research) has asked to present both policies to the Senate followed by a period of discussion before moving to a vote on the motions. He then called Ms. Stormshak to the podium.
Beth Stormshak stated that the last time she visited the Senate was to discuss the Classified Research Policy. During her visit, there were several concerns brought up from members of the faculty especially concerning matters of proprietary research, or research sponsored by industry, which was not mentioned in the previous version of the policy. In response to those concerns, her department developed the Proprietary Research Policy, which stated that research sponsored by industry should also be freely disseminated, open, and published. Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on either the Classified or Proprietary Research Policies. Before the first question, he reminded all Senators to please speak into the microphone before posing a question or comment. Questions and comments were not recorded on the video if people did not speak into the microphone.
3.2.1 Classified Research Policy
3.2.2 Proprietary Research Policy
The first question was from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus). He commented that at Ms. Stormshak’s previous meeting with the Senate, the proposal regarding federally classified research was laid aside pending a resolution to the unaddressed issues raised by the possibility of proprietary research. In 1965, a policy prohibiting all secret research on campus was established, and now the Senate had before it a proposal that prohibited proprietary research, research published at the discretion of the funding agency. He then mentioned a paragraph in the Proprietary Research Policy that he wished to change. This paragraph was found under the Exclusions and Special Situations portion of the document and stated, “the policy prohibiting research with restrictions on publication does not apply to testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements.” He stated that this was not perfectly clear to him. According to Professor Stahl, no further explanation of the testing services was provided in the policy proposal leaving the door open to an interpretation of un-publishable contracted research of any kind, and because un-publishable research raised far reaching questions regarding the academic mission of the university, the proposal needed careful consideration. He continued to comment that unsung questions included what was the value of any research that could not be published, and why should the UO want to participate in such research, etc… A second point he raised was that if the UO was to allow un-publishable research to be carried out and funded by industries, how would the university continue to prohibit federally classified research where the reason for doing so had been that such research was un-publishable. If it was allowed by privately funded industry and refused by federally funded industry, the university would appear rather unpatriotic. He then remarked that these and other questions required a level of attention that was not provided in the proposed policy. Other universities participated in such “fee for service” research and had specified the conditions under which research was to be conducted. Because of the complexity of the issue, Professor Stahl moved that the section in the Proprietary Research Policy called “Exclusions and Special Situations” be deleted in the proposed policy and that the Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy for the conduct of “testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements.”
Professor Stahl continued and commented that since Ms. Stormshak had asked that both policies be linked as one unit, he offered a brief comment on the Classified Research Policy. According to Professor Stahl, the Classified Policy Propsal stated that if all or any portion of ongoing research contained a federal security classification, the research would be terminated, if possible, within a reasonable amount of time. He asked that the words “if possible” be removed from the policy, and stated that he would introduce these as separate amendments when the time was right.
Senate President Kyr asked Ms. Stormshak if she would like to reply to Professor Stahl’s comments. She asked Senate President Kyr if it would be helpful to hear more about what service contracts were, to which he replied that it would. She then invited Chuck Williams (Executive Director, Technology Transfer) to provide more detail on service contracts. Mr. Williams stated that he actually worked with service agreements, not service contracts, which were performed across campus by many different groups for the past several decades. He stated that the testing service agreement could be found online. It provided testing instrumentation on analysis and collecting data before it was sent out to companies, foundations, and other institutions. Testing services did not only involve industry, but also organizations, states, counties, other schools, etc… He then stated that many testing services had proprietary information for a variety of reasons and were fairly straightforward and had been in place for quite a while. According to Mr. Williams, the reason why the testing services comment was placed in the exclusion section of the policy was to be transparent about the types of arrangements that exist regarding testing services. He stated that the testing services were a fundamental part of what he called extension service activities.
Senate President Kyr asked Mr. Williams if he saw a conflict between the current practices regarding testing centers and what Professor Stahl was proposing. Mr. Williams replied that he thought Professor Stahl’s proposal was covered in the current language of the policy and mentioned that the members of the Science Council also felt comfortable with the proposed language. At this point, Senate President Kyr reminded the Senate that according to the Policy on Policies, before a policy comes to the Senate it goes through many layers of approval and the Science Council had approved the two research policies prior to it coming before the Senate. He then asked Professor Stahl if he had any further comments. Professor Stahl stated that perhaps the kind of proprietary research that was being done under the name of testing services would be found completely acceptable to the UO Senate and faculty and changes in current practices may not be warranted, but, according to Professor Stahl, the current language of the policy provided no indication of what testing services might become. He believed that another proposal should be developed to identify how fee for service research was to unfold and also one that defined research that could become unacceptable which was not specified in the current policy. He then proposed that for expediency, the Senate should pass both policy proposals with the exclusion deleted and have a Senate Ad Hoc Committee develop a policy on “fee for service” research and its proprietary implications as many other universities had done.
Senate President Kyr briefly summarized Professor Stahl’s comments and asked Interim President Berdahl if he had any further comments to add, to which he replied he did not. Mr. Williams stated that with respect to the Classified Research Policy, there were occasions when students got caught in the crossfire or a mistake had been made and did the university want to have the flexibility to be able to insure that that student could finish his or her research due to a wording technicality. He thought that that might have been the reason for the current wording. Professor Stahl replied that if the words “if possible” were left out, the text read, “The research will be terminated within a reasonable amount of time.” He thought that “within a reasonable amount of time” was sufficient.
Senator Bonine (Law) asked that if Professor Stahl’s proposal to remove the words “if possible” from the Classified Research Policy was accepted by the administration. If so, there should not be a need for any further discussion on the issue. Senate President Kyr then asked Interim President Berdahl if he would accept Professor Stahl’s amendment, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that Professor Stahl had a very valid point and he would accept the amendment. Professor Stahl then called for a motion to remove the wording “if possible” from the Classified Research Policy Proposal, which was seconded by Senator Bonine. Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote. A voice vote was taken and the amendment to the Classified Research Policy was passed unanimously.
Professor Stahl then called to amend the Proprietary Research Policy Proposal by removing the section titled “Exclusions and Special Situations,” and that the Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy proposal for the conduct of testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements. The motion was seconded, and Senate President Kyr called for discussion on the amendment.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) stated that he thought it was reasonable to have a definition of all terms in the policy that was before the Senate. He stated that terms within a well-crafted policy needed definitions and saw a potential problem with the policy in that it did not have definitions. Senator Sullivan requested that the motion be tabled until this was resolved, and mentioned that policies that come before the Senate must be well crafted. Senate President Kyr reminded the Senate and Senator Sullivan that these two policies had gone through every layer of review and while every comment was welcome, he hoped that a way forward could be reached. Senate President Kyr then asked Senator Sullivan if he shared Professor Stahl’s concern regarding the Proprietary Research Policy Proposal, to which he replied that he shared the concern that having undefined terms in the proposal could lead to unintended consequences and that it was the Senate’s job to evolve good policy and good policy had defined terms. Senate President Kyr asked for any further comments or questions.
Senator Bonine again asked the administration if they had any qualms with Professor Stahl’s amendment to the proposal. Interim President Berdahl replied that he was uncertain how creating a committee as part of that amendment could amend a proposal. Professor Stahl replied that he proceeded in this manner because he was encouraged that the Senate needed to get these policies passed. Had it not been for that encouragement, he would have requested to have the Proprietary Research Proposal tabled until the “fee for service” issue was settled which would have also required tabling the Classified Research Proposal because it was designed to replace the 1965 legislation, which forbade all secret research. He then stated that he did not mind holding up the passage of both policies, but if the Senate wanted to push both policies through, he would split his amendment in two with the first part being the removal of the “Exclusions and Special Situations” section and the second part being the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy on “fee for service” research.
Senator Bonine stated that in the interest of efficiency, he seconded Professor Stahl’s split amendment and informed the Senate that in the past, when the Senate agreed that policies were not as good as they could be, they would adopt a new policy while setting up a committee to review certain parts of that policy (Facilities Use) or to amend the policy, adopt the amended policy, and then setup a committee to review it. He believed that Professor Stahl’s proposal was fine given his assertion that he would be maintaining status quo on the issue that he was proposing exclusion for. He then moved that the Senate take a vote on Professor Stahl’s two amendments and on the policy proposal. Senate President Kyr asked Interim President Berdahl if he was in agreement with Senator Bonine’s explanation of the amendment process, to which he replied that he was. Senate President Kyr then called for a voice vote on the first amendment, which was that the section “Exclusions and Special Situations” be removed from the Proprietary Research Proposal. After the voice vote was taken, Senate President Kyr called for a hand vote for historical purposes. A hand vote was taken and the results were twenty-four in favor, four opposed, and none abstained. The amendment to the Proprietary Research Proposal was passed. After consulting with Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus), he called for a vote to approve both research policy proposals beginning with the Classified Research Proposal, to which Professor Stahl objected.
The reason for his objection was that the Classified Research Proposal was held up because it did not deal with proprietary research, which opened the door to complications. Once the Proprietary Research Proposal had been settled, he would have no problem with taking a vote on the Classified Research Proposal. Senate President Kyr asked if there were any objections to this order. Interim President Berdahl stated that these were two separate policies that the Senate had amended as Professor Stahl saw fit. Professor Stahl then commented that he was objecting to Parliamentarians ruling of voting on the Classified Research Proposal before the Proprietary Research Proposal. Senator Bonine asked if the Senate President could change the order of the agenda as long as there were no objections. Senate President Kyr replied that this was true, but wanted everyone to be in agreement. He then asked for any further objections on voting for the Proprietary Research Proposal first. Seeing none, he called for a voice vote on the motion. The Proprietary Research Policy Proposal was passed with one vote opposed. He then called for a voice vote on the Classified Research Policy Proposal. A voice vote was taken and the policy was passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr asked Professor Stahl to articulate his final motion regarding the creation of a Senate Ad Hoc Committee. Professor Stahl called for the Senate to create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy governing “fee for service” testing and research on campus and to bring the policy before the Senate upon completion. The motion was seconded. Senate President Kyr asked for any further discussion and seeing none, he called for a voice vote. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr thanked the Senate for their participation before moving on to the next item on the agenda.
3.3 IAC Motion Regarding Student Membership
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) to present the history and summarize the background information regarding this motion.
3.3.1 History and Summary of the Motion; Glen Waddell, IAC
Senator Waddell stated that he was the current acting chair of the IAC (Intercollegiate Athletics Committee), as their chair was on sabbatical. He stated that this motion had come before Senate at the April meeting of this year. Currently, five student members serve on the IAC. The language of the motion called for the addition of one student member to the IAC membership. All five current student members were recommended by the ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon). The sixth member would be the ASUO President or designee. At least one of the students would be a student athlete elected by the student advisory committee. All student members would serve one-year terms and could serve up to three consecutive terms. Senator Waddell explained that at the April Senate meeting, it was resolved that the motion would be considered by the Committee on Committees who would then bring their recommendation before the Senate. Senator Waddell stated that meetings had taken place, one of which he participated in, and before the vote had taken place at the Committee on Committees meeting, he discussed Interim President Berdahl’s known objections to changing the IAC charge. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Waddell for his summary on the motion and asked Interim President Berdahl to provide his response.
3.3.2 Comments from Interim President Robert Berdahl
Interim President Berdahl stated that he might very well defer to Senator Bonine’s comment that, all things being equal, he preferred to stay with the status quo. This was the position he had held from the beginning. In December, the IAC began consideration of proposals presented by the chair of the IAC, to modify their charge. At that time, Interim President Berdahl indicated that he did not want committee charges to be changed, especially substantive changes that were being proposed. In his email to the chair of the IAC, Interim President Berdahl stated that he did not believe it was appropriate for an interim president to oversee changes in the committee structure that might very well saddle a successive president with changes that were proposed during an interim period that would not be satisfactory to a permanent president. He then told Senate President Kyr that the proposed changes were not acceptable and that he would not accept changes to any Senate committees during his interim presidency. An email exchange followed this decision regarding a change to the IAC charge and Interim President Berdahl repeated in his reply that he would not accept changes to committee charges during his interim presidency. After this exchange, the IAC came forward with a proposed change in the composition of the committee, which was currently before the Senate.
Interim President Berdahl stated that the IAC was a very large committee containing eighteen members and five of those members were students, including the student body president. He stated that he saw no reason to add one additional member to a committee consisting of eighteen members. He believed that students were adequately represented on the IAC. He then reiterated his position that he would not approve changes to committee structures or charges during his interim presidency. He stated that this point had been indicated and confirmed from Interim President Berdahl to the IAC and despite that urging on his part, the IAC had come forward with the motion that was before the Senate. Interim President Berdahl suggested that the motion be defeated. Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl for his comments and then presented the report from the Committee on Committees regarding the IAC motion.
3.3.3 Report from the Committee on Committees; Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that as requested, the Committee on Committees had reviewed the question as to whether to refer motion US11/12-10, Adding the ASUO President to the IAC, back to the Senate for further discussion and a vote. The motion read as follows: The Senate moves to add the ASUO President or designee as an Ex Officio voting member of the IAC effective immediately. Following a series of three discussions, on April 24, 25, and 30, the Committee on Committees voted in favor of returning motion US11/12-10 to the Senate for further discussion and a vote. The vote tally was five in favor and three opposed with no abstention. Senate President Kyr stated that prior to Interim President Berdahls’ presentation of this report at the Senate meeting, presentations were delivered by Senator Waddell and Interim President Berdahl regarding the background and history of motion US11/12-10.
Senate President Kyr commented that he would not reiterate any of the information that they had imparted to the Senate, but he recounted several issues that were raised during discussions of the Committee on Committees regarding the future of the motion. His first issue was that the Committee on Committees did not want to act in a way that reflected badly on Interim President Berdahl, however, a majority of the committee members preferred that the ASUO President be added to the IAC for the reasons presented by the student members of the IAC. Some committee members wondered why this rather small issue was so important to the University President who had many more crucial issues to face. One committee member commented that the change in membership would only change the percentage of student representation from 29.4% to 33.3%, a 3.9% change, however, it should be noted that several committee members felt that the issue at hand was a relatively important one for the President and they strongly preferred folding it into the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees that will be conducted by the Committee on Committees during the 2012 – 2013 academic year, rather than pursuing the issue at this time. He stated that clearly, the Committee on Committees was divided on the matter. According to Senate President Kyr, the Committee on Committees sent motion US 11/12-10 back to the Senate for further discussion and a vote with the hope that a decision could be reached that would be helpful to the IAC now and in the future. He then called for discussion on the motion.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) had a question regarding the text of the motion. He found the second sentence very confusing which read “one of the six students will be the ASUO President or designee.” He stated that this statement appeared in the current charge and also appeared in the proposed language. The current charge read one of six members and should have read one of five. He then stated that if he were a voting Senator, he would not know what to vote for. Senator Waddell stated that he did not understand Professor Stahl’s confusion to which Senator Bonine commented that the first two sentences were not consistent. The confusion was cleared up and it was determined that a typo existed in the current charge which should have read five members instead of six. Professor Stahl said he understood that mix up and asked to see the current charge of the IAC for proof. At this point, Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) pulled up the IAC charge from the Committees webpage and Senator Bonine asked Mr. Prosser to highlight the membership portion of the IAC charge. Senate President Kyr read the highlighted portion of the charge and it was determined that the current charge previously displayed was incorrect and should be replaced by the charge on the IAC committee page. He then asked if there were any further questions regarding this issue. Seeing none, he called for further discussion.
The next comment came from Professor Bill Harbaugh (Economics). He stated that he was a member of the IAC and explained that part of the intent of adding a student member was to increase student representation on the IAC. He commented that for better or worse, students cared a great deal about athletics and he believed that the IAC should have greater representation from student athletes. Currently, the IAC only had one student athlete from track and field, and he thought it would be a great idea to add a revenue sports athlete to the committee. He acknowledged that the change in the membership did not explicitly call for that, but it would increase the membership and this might increase the likelihood of adding a revenue sports student athlete to the committee. He then commented that he was in favor of passing the motion and hoped that Senators would support it.
Interim President Berdahl commented that this issue had taken very little time, and it was all time spent by the IAC, not time spent by Interim President Berdahl. In his first week on the job, he stated that he would not accept changes to committee assignments, charges, composition, etc… According to Interim President Berdahl, the IAC persisted after having being told a second and third time that their request would not be honored. He stated that it was the IAC that had dragged out this process with no justification for adding an additional student to the IAC. He then remarked that this issue was undertaken to test Interim President Berdahl in an attempt to see if he would accept a change in the charge of the IAC. He repeated that the five students was a significant representation and if the student body president wanted to serve on the committee, he had every right to appoint him or her self. He did not feel that the change in committee membership was necessary at this time. Changes could be made with the new president, but for the time being he was going to hold firm to his position.
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that because of Interim President Berdahl’s stance of maintaining current committee charges, the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees had also been pushed back to May 2013.
Senator Bonine stated that he did not believe this issue was of great importance and then commented that the Senate meeting was an unusual one in a good sense because Interim President Berdahl was in attendance and had decided to engage with the Senate. He was speaking about University Presidents in general, not specifically Interim President Berdahl. He then stated that there might be times where he would want to challenge the President on his status quo approach, but he did not feel that the IAC motion was worth convening the Statutory Faculty Assembly if Interim President Berdahl decided to veto the motion. He acknowledged that although the IAC motion might be very important to those who were proposing it, he did not feel that it was worth going to battle over. Senator Bonine stated that he would vote in favor of Interim President Berdahls position. Senate President Kyr then called for other comments.
The next comment was from Ben Eckstein (ASUO President). He stated that from the beginning of the academic year, the IAC wanted to add an additional student voice on the committee. He stated that it was a relatively small change and commented that the ASUO spent over one and a half million dollars in contributions to Athletics for student football and basketball tickets. According to Mr. Eckstein, those negotiations had been quite difficult especially when the ASUO had tried to gain access to athletic department information. He believed that strong student representation on the IAC was an asset to the committee and seemed to think that this might lead to the ASUO receiving a fairer agreement with respect to student tickets. Having an additional student from ASUO on the IAC, in addition to expanding the membership, was a small but important change, which passed unanimously in the IAC and was not a contentious issue during the April Senate meeting. He then commented that this issue was very important to students who were interested in expanding the student voice on the IAC. He also remarked that the administration was undertaking important structural changes to the university including changes to its public records policy. He did not understand why Interim President Berdahl would not approve a small change to the IAC membership but would allow such a large modification to public records policy. Mr. Eckstein encouraged Senators to pass the motion based on its merits and to support the student voice.
The next comment came from Senator Ronald Mitchell (Political Science). He confirmed his assumption with members of the IAC who were in attendance at the Senate meeting that not all student members on the IAC actually attended each meeting. After his assumption was confirmed, he stated that this showed a lack of student interest in the IAC and commented that if students were interested in the IAC they should attend the meetings. Senator Mitchell commented that adding a sixth member who would also not attend meetings did not make much sense from his point of view. He was happy to support another student voice on the IAC if they would be willing to use it. He again reiterated his point that if students were interested in serving on the IAC then they should attend every meeting. Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) replied to Senator Mitchell’s comment and stated that one of the reasons for Senator Mitchell’s perceived lack of participation was conflicts with scheduling meetings. According to Senator Waddell, student athletes were kept extremely busy and could not always attend every meeting. He then commented that the issue was not due to student’s lack of interest, but was based on scheduling. Senator Mitchell then replied that the committee should try to develop a schedule that worked for every student member. Senator Waddell replied that the committee did spend a significant amount of time on scheduling.
The next comment came from student Shabd Khalsa, the former Athletic Contract Finance Committee Executive Appointee for the ASUO. He took issue with Senator Mitchell’s comment and stated that while serving on the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee every student member was present at each meeting, and with the exception of the first meeting, not a single faculty member ever attended. He then commented that the IAC dealt with issues regarding large financial transactions, and he believed that students should have a stronger voice in regards to those issues. He encouraged Senators to vote in favor of the motion.
Ben Eckstein reiterated Senator Waddell’s comment that lack of student involvement was not due to lack of interest and mentioned that every stakeholder group on the IAC did not have perfect attendance. He believed that students had made a good faith effort to attend every meeting and that faculty and staff members occasionally are unable to attend IAC meetings. Mr. Eckstein pointed out that all Student Senators were present at todays meeting and several faculty members were not in attendance, and that this fact would not merit reducing the faculty size of the University Senate.
Senator Alexandra Flores-Quilty (Student Senator) provided the next comment, and remarked that she served on several university standing committees and all of her fellow students in service were extremely invested in their service commitments. She also stated that the cost of attending college was extremely high and as a result, many students had to work part time jobs, which could add to scheduling woes. Senator Flores-Quilty commented that the combination of schoolwork, part time employment, and extra curricular activities often made scheduling very difficult for students, but she believed that each student was committed to the UO and was invested in its success. She then reiterated Senator Waddell’s comment that lack of student attendance was not due to lack of interest.
Senator Mitchell stated that he did not accuse students of not being interested or committed to service on committees. He remarked that he was very sensitive to all work done by students, and mentioned that the university ran because of the work that students did. He was not casting aspersions on student committees and wanted to be clear on this point. He was not sure how a sixth student members, who for very good and valid reasons, would not be able to attend IAC meetings was supposed to solve the membership problem. He then stated that students were doing great things at the university and was not suggesting otherwise. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Mitchell for clarifying his statement.
The next comment came from Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics). He believed that the main point of the current discussion was that Interim President Berdahl provided good reason for not passing the motion. He did not see the point in passing the motion with an Interim President and recommended addressing this motion when and if a new President was hired. He believed that the Senate should respect Interim President Berdahls’ stance and keep committees as they are until a new president was hired.
3.3.5 Senate Action
Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. Before taking a vote, he read the language aloud to the Senate, which stated: “the Senate moves to add the ASUO President or designee as an Ex Officio voting member on the IAC effective immediately.” A final point of clarification was asked from Senator Jennifer Ellis (Finance). She asked that if the motion was voted down now, could it ever return to the Senate, or was the vote final. Senate President Kyr stated that if the motion were voted down, the membership issue would become part of the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees. He again called for a voice vote on the motion. The voting results were unclear and Senate President Kyr called for a hand vote. The results of the hand vote were as follows: seven in favor, eighteen opposed, and three abstentions. The motion did not pass. Senate President Kyr thanked the Senate for their participation and also thanked Interim President Berdahl for presenting his views on the motion. He then invited Shabd Khalsa to discuss the proposed changes to the student conduct code.
3.4 Student Conduct Code; Shabd Khalsa, Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee (chair designee)
Shabd Khalsa (student) informed the Senate that he was proposing both logistical and substantive changes to the student conduct and community standards code. His first change involved editing the word “adviser” to “advisor” throughout the code for spelling consistency. He then proposed that the title of University Affairs Director be changed to the ASUO Officer Designated to Coordinate University Affairs under the section, “student conduct hearings panel.” His next change involved adding the language “the students rights to copies of their case files, to the extent allowed by law, and other documents pertaining to allegations against them.” According to Mr. Khalsa, the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee voted to add this language to the code so that students who received allegations of misconduct were informed of the rights they already had to receive a copy of their case files. He then commented that this right was already in existence, but students often were not informed of this right when they received allegations of misconduct. He believed that by adding this language to the code, students would be better equipped to navigate the process on their own, which would help better inform students regarding their rights. His next edit was in regards to hearings of the University Hearings Panel. Mr. Khalsa offered the following edit: “Advisors are permitted to speak or participate directly in any hearing if the student they are assisting so chooses in one or more of the following ways: an advisor may speak on behalf of the students they are representing during conduct proceedings if said student so chooses. He believed that this provision would make the process fairer to students who were less articulate, uncomfortable with public speaking, or less familiar with legal proceedings. Additionally, he believed that this provision would prevent more complicated legal concepts from being lost in translation. According to Mr. Khalsa, under current rules, an advisor could not explain how a certain action may or may not be protected under the first amendment. Instead, the advisory must explain the action to the student who subsequently must explain it back to the hearings panel. This process could cause important details to be lost in translation and possibly prevent decision makers from having the information necessary to correctly determine whether or not a student had violated the conduct code. He then stated that for these reasons, in the last ASUO election, over eight-six percent of students voted in favor of having the right to choose an advisor to speak on their behalf. Mr. Shabd concluded his presentation and asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first comment was from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He wanted to know who would be advising the students. Mr. Shabd replied that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards would be advising students. Senator Sullivan then asked if this information was included in the new language, to which Mr. Shabd replied that it was.
Professor Marie Vitulli (Mathematics Emerita) asked Mr. Shabd if these code changes were written down somewhere so that the Senate might view them. Mr. Shabd replied that slides were supposed to be provided to Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator). Senate President Kyr asked Executive Coordinator Prosser if he had the slides. Executive Coordinator Prosser stated that he thought they were in his email. While he was searching for the slides, Senate President Kyr asked for any further questions or comments.
Sue Eveland (University Registrar) stated that as she understood it, the Student Conduct Code was an OAR (Oregon Administrative Rule) and wanted to know if the changes offered by Mr. Khalsa were going to be made to the OAR. She then mentioned that changing an OAR was quite a lengthy process and wanted to know if Mr. Khalsa was proposing that kind of change. Mr. Khalsa stated that he did not read the attached codes because he did not want to bore the Senate to death, but he did intend to change the OAR. To clarify, Senate President Kyr asked Mr. Khalsa if he was asking the Senate to approve changes that would become a part of the OAR editing process, to which Mr. Khalsa stated he was.
Professor Vitulli (Mathematics Emerita) referenced Mr. Khalsa’s previous comment that no faculty had attended meetings of the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee and wanted to know who was recommending the changes to the code. Mr. Khalsa replied that a great deal of outreach was extended to faculty members via email and phone calls regarding the recommended changes, but the committee received no input from the faculty. This was the reason why he came before the Senate: to receive faculty input, which he and the committee valued, on the changes to the code. The Senate then took a minute to consider the changes to the Conduct Code, which had been posted to the overhead by Executive Coordinator Prosser.
Senator Harlan Mechling (Student Senator) moved to approve the changes to the Student Conduct Code as written. His motion did not receive a second.
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) commented that the process confused him, having not seen any of the proposed changes to the Student Conduct Code. He stated that it seemed fairly complicated, and mentioned that when he was Senate President; the Student Conduct Code was revised. This process took eleven years and he would like the opportunity to review the material before being asked to vote on approving the recommended changes. He recommended tabling the motion until all Senators had been given the opportunity to evaluate the changes and engage in a reasonable discussion as to their meaning. Senate President Kyr agreed that the process seemed more involved and asked Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) for a ruling on tabling the motion. He replied that Senator Keyes must move to table the motion, to which he did. The motion was seconded and a discussion period began.
Senator John Bonine (Law) stated that he was bothered by the process and by the fact that the administration had not weighed in on the issue. According to Senator Bonine, shared governance would suggest that these changes were presented to the administration, to which Mr. Khalsa replied that they had been. Mr. Khalsa stated that Carl Yeh (Director, Student Conduct and Community Standards) was present at every meeting of the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee. Senate President Kyr asked if Mr. Yeh had approved the proposed changes to the code, to which Mr. Khalsa replied that he had not. Senator Bonine stated that due to the fact that the administration had not agreed to the changes, he agreed that the changes should be tabled for the time being. Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a vote to table the changes to the Student Conduct Code. A voice vote was taken, and the motion was tabled. Senate President Kyr then moved on to the next point of new business, Motion US11/12 – 09 Acknowledging the Constitution.
3.5 Motion US11/12-09 Acknowledging the Constitution; Frank Stahl, Biology Emeritus
Professor Stahl stated that to facilitate shared governance, a Constitution was created. According to Professor Stahl, the document maximized the influence that the faculty and the rest of the university community could have in making importance decisions on campus. To his dismay, he frequently found that there were many people who had not read the document including high-level administrators. In order for employees to be made aware of the Constitution, which guided the process of faculty governance, he believed that mentioning the document in their job description would help in enlighten new employees. He then introduced a resolution as a motion to Interim President Berdahl. “The Senate calls upon the President to advise all vice-presidents, deans, department heads, and directors to include from this day forward the following statement on all job descriptions: Academic and administrative functions at the University of Oregon are fulfilled within a valued tradition of shared governance as specified by state law and the University of Oregon Constitution.” He also included the URL where the document could be found. He then moved that the Senate adopt his resolution and called for a second. The motion was seconded and Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Professor Stahl continued by stating that since Interim President Berdahl may or may not choose to act on his resolution, and since he was in attendance, he asked Interim President Berdahl if he would act or not act on Professor Stahl’s resolution. Interim President Berdahl replied that although there might be administrators who were not aware of all points in the Constitution, he suggested that there were also people within the Senate who were not fully aware of the information contained in that document. He then stated that he thought it was a fine idea and had no objection to Professor Stahl’s resolution. Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken and Motion US11/12-09 Acknowledging the Constitution passed unanimously. He then moved on to the Open Discussion portion of the meeting and called Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) to the Senate floor to provide the Senate with an update on unionization.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
4.1 Update on Unionization; Peter Keyes, Member of the University of Oregon Faculty Union Coordinating Committee
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) stated that the union organizing committee filed almost twelve hundred cards in March, which went to the State Employment Relations Board. The university filed objections to their action, which were responded to, and the University and Systems’ lawyers settled on an agreement regarding various questions like who would be in the bargaining unit and how those types of decisions would be made. Since that time, he had received many questions as to how things were progressing. Senator Keyes remarked that the faculty union coordinating committee was changing gears. He had not anticipated such a speedy resolution to the filed objections.
The first newsletter was just released that afternoon via email and was also posted to the union website. A survey would soon be distributed to everyone in the bargaining unit, which was similar to the survey that was conducted prior to the card filing. This survey attempted to gather information on issues important to those in the bargaining unit. The coordinating committee had begun meeting and was continuing to conduct departmental meetings to provide an opportunity to those in the bargaining unit to discuss their issues and concerns with the coordinating committee. The committee hoped to complete these meetings by the end of the spring term. He then stated that the coordinating committee was looking for people to get involved and wanted very broad representation across campus. They were also in the process of forming working groups to research various systems that were in place at other universities and to form various policy proposals for the union to consider. The groups would be working through the summer on these various issues.
According to Senator Keyes, a bargaining caucus was being put together. The members of this group would be comprised of the chairs of each working group. He believed that there would be a substantial hiatus during the summer months, and a membership drive would commence during the fall term. He then stated that if you signed a card, you were not a member of the union as there was no union to join. The State Employment Relations Board had certified the union, and faculty members must sign a form stating that they wished to join the union. Currently there were zero members. Senator Keyes informed the Senate that a union membership drive was taking place during the fall term and a committee would be looking at by-laws and constitutions during this time as well. Finally, he stated that after positions had been worked out during the fall term, the coordinating committee would form a bargaining team who would sit down with the administration in an attempt to hammer out a contract. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first question came from Interim President Berdahl. He asked if he was correct in assuming that the union would not enter into bargaining contracts until the fall term, to which Senator Keyes replied he thought that was correct. Interim President Berdahl replied that he thought this was a pretty urgent matter in the minds of the organizers and he was surprised to learn that the coordinating committee was going to postpone bargaining until the fall. He then asked if the union only worked for nine months of the year. Senator Keyes replied that no one from the coordinating committee expected to be in the position they were currently in, and once the union saw the administrations response, he expected a great deal of litigation. He also reiterated that currently there was no union. Interim President Berdahl then commented that from the standpoint of the university, he hoped to begin bargaining well before fall term, to which Senator Keyes replied that he did not think that this would happen. Interim President Berdahl stated that from what Senator Keyes was saying, the union would not be accommodating regarding this matter, to which Senator Keyes replied that he did not see how they could be. Senator Keyes did not see how the union could begin negotiations when they did not have a handle on what the issues were that the bargaining unit members were interested in. Interim President Berdahl found it very surprising that the union had driven people to sign cards over a period of ninety days and then decided to put off bargaining for six months. Senator Keyes replied that there was no pressing need to have these details worked out sooner. Although he was not aware of the legalities involved, he thought the union had one year from when the union was certified to get the membership together, solidify positions, and enter negotiations. He would much prefer to slow down and understand the needs of all involved instead of rushing into contract negotiations without carefully considering all vantage points.
Senate President Kyr commented that the Senate had been a good partner to the union by helping to inform the university community through the November Senate meeting and the campus-wide open dialogue with the members of the Coordinating Committee in February. He was unsure as to whom to approach, since the chair of the Coordinating Committee rotated. He recommended establishing a Senate liaison to provide a vehicle for communication between the Senate and the union. Senator Keyes agreed that that was a great idea and recommended going through the Senate roster for the 2012 – 2013 academic year and designating those Senate members who were affiliated with the union to be liaisons. Senate President Kyr then asked if the Coordinating Committee would eventually elect a permanent chair, to which Senator Keyes replied that they would. According to Senate President Kyr, that person should have direct contact with the Senate President in addition to creating a Senate related liaison position. Senator Keyes agreed with these recommendations.
Interim President Berdahl asked Senator Keyes what the process was for collecting union dues. He also wanted to know if this occurred before or after contract negotiations. Senator Keyes stated that he had heard that the collecting of union dues would take place after the first contract was signed, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that that was good.
At this point in the meeting, Senate President Kyr called for a motion to extend the length of the Senate meeting for a maximum of twenty-five minutes. The motion was seconded and a voice vote was taken. The motion was passed unanimously and the meeting continued. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Keyes for his update on unionization, and invited Ben Eckstein to the Senate floor to present the ASUO Report.
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Ben Eckstein (ASUO President) began his report with an update on the ASUO’s voter registration campaign. He thanked faculty members for their support in allowing classroom announcements across campus. The ASUO registered 2,661 students to vote for the upcoming primary election. This was the highest number of registered student voters ever achieved for a primary election and the highest number in the state at any public university. Their goal was to register 10,000 students by the general election. He then remarked that his administration had completed their total incidental fee budget for the upcoming year. According to Mr. Eckstein, the incidental fee budget was roughly thirteen million dollars per year. He was particularly pleased to have negotiated a zero dollar growth deal with the athletic department, which meant that students would be paying the lowest possible cost for student tickets in ten years. This equated to less than fifty percent of fair market value for football and basketball tickets saving student hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mr. Eckstein informed the Senate that there was a transition underway in the ASUO administration as incoming officers were preparing to begin their service to the university after the recent ASUO election. His colleague Laura Hinman, the ASUO president-elect, was taking office on May 25, 2012, and he was working closely with her during this transition period. He then mentioned that for the second time, student had voted down the cost of remodeling the student union and student rec center. Students requested the division of student affairs to provide more cost efficient and student-centered alternatives for these projects.
Finally, the ASUO took a stance on a proposed piece of municipal legislation called the Social Host Ordinance that would have proposed very strict fines and penalties on students and community members who were engaging in what was deemed an unruly gathering. The definitions in the legislation were very broad, and by and large, the city council agreed with student concerns and did not move forward with the legislation. Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for presenting his report and invited Professor Bill Harbaugh to the Senate floor to present his update on the change in practice regarding public records.
5.2 Update on a Change in Practice regarding Public Records; Bill Harbaugh; Chair, Senate Transparency Committee
Professor Harbaugh (Economics) informed the Senate that in 2010 reporters were making public records requests to the Athletic Department for copies of Mike Bellotti’s (former UO head football coach) contract, which were stalled by the Office of the General Counsel for around a period of nine months. This action cost the university several million dollars, and former University President Richard Lariviere reassigned the attorney, who was investigated by the Department of Justice, and found responsible for those actions. According to Professor Harbaugh, in September of 2011, after the UO Senate had voted to establish a Senate Transparency Committee to prevent these types of situations from occurring, former President Lariviere agreed to a practice that would grant a two hundred dollar fee waiver from those requesting public record documents. He believed that that policy worked very well, but in May, the policy was changed without any notice given to the Senate or the Senate Transparency Committee. The fee waiver had been revoked and from his perspective, that constituted a major change in the way the university dealt with transparency issues and in building trust between the faculty and administration. He wanted to understand why the change was made and would eventually return to the Senate with suggestions on how to proceed.
David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) stated that Professor Harbaugh was correct regarding the need for reform in 2010 with respect to public records. According to Dr. Hubin, before the formation of a public records office, the average time on completion of public records requests was seventy days, which he remarked was completely unacceptable. The current average time in responding to public records requests was seven days. He attributed the change in response time to Liz Deneke (Sponsored Projects Contract Officer) and Lisa Thornton (Public Records Program Associate) who coordinated the efforts of that office. Dr. Hubin commented that when former President Richard Lariviere asked him to supervise the Office of Public Records in July of 2011, four goals were discussed. The first goal was to shorten the turnaround time on requests; the second goal was to introduce a visible log of requests so that the public could see when something was requested, what it was, and how long it took the office to respond (those documents may or may not be placed online); the third goal was to enlarge and make more accessible the public records library so that materials that were frequently requested could be made readily available; the fourth goal was to find a way to efficiently handle simple requests for purposes of expedition. Dr. Hubin stated that what Professor Harbaugh was referring to involved a refinement to the fourth goal, which involved the handling of simple requests.
According to Dr. Hubin, the two hundred dollar fee waiver had several unintended consequences involving negotiations for more complicated requests. This in turn delayed the completion of other simple requests and as a result/solution to these consequences; the Office of Public Records was now waiving the first hour of university time spent on responding to simple requests. He then mentioned a very large public records request, which involved all RFPs (Request for Proposals) from law firms whom the university might engage with. Professor Harbaugh offered a point of clarification and commented that he had made that request. Dr. Hubin continued that after the passage of Senate Bill 242, the request involved consultation with each of the bidding firms in an effort to determine if their requests were proprietary. When the requestor was notified that there would be a significant cost for the gathering of this information, his reply was “just give me what you can for under $200.” At this point, Professor Harbaugh offered two points of information. The first was that he believed a long conversation needed to take place regarding this issue and did not believe that the Senate meeting was the proper venue for that discussion. He reiterated his point that these changes were not brought to the Senate Transparency Committee, which was charged with handling issues related to transparency. It was his belief that the requested contracts had a wide breath of public interest and could be used by journalists in stories regarding changes to the University of Oregon.
Dr. Hubin then commented that he was prepared to offer three succinct examples of a breakdown in efficiency in regards to the two hundred dollar fee waiver. The two hundred dollar fee waiver request had very different effects on various departments. If an employee who made thirty dollars an hour was fulfilling the request, it might take six hours of departmental time, which could not be reimbursed. Professor Harbaugh commented that this information was never brought to the Senate, to which Dr. Hubin replied that in March, Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) brought a grievance due to a denied request, and Dr. Hubin commented that in January, there were unforeseen consequences regarding the fee waiver. According to Dr. Hubin, the Office of Public Records pulled every AAU (American Association of Universities) University, PAC 12 Public, and agencies in the Pacific Northwest… At this point, Dr. Hubin was interrupted by Professor Harbaugh who asked why this information had not been shared with the Senate Transparency Committee or the Senate.
Interim President Berdahl attempted to answer Professor Harbaugh question and commented that this was an issue that the Senate needed to consider. The issue in question was regarding conflicts of interest. According to Interim President Berdahl, the chair of the Senate Transparency Committee was by all measure, the largest requestor of public records by a very substantial margin. He believed that a substantial conflict of interest existed for that person in that position to discuss a policy regarding whether or not to charge for public records requests. Interim President Berdahl commented that he had previously discussed conflicts of interest with Professor Harbaugh in regards to his service on several committees and his blog. He then stated that the reason it was impossible to consult a committee where the chair of that committee had a fundamental conflict of interest seemed obvious. For that reason, the administration did not bring the change before the Senate or the Senate Transparency Committee. He then pointed out that it was not a policy, but merely a practice, which the administration had the authority to change, and so they did. According to Interim President Berdahl, the university had an obligation to recover the costs incurred from public records requests if those costs were substantial. He then commented that when requests were made and the estimated costs were tabulated and presented to the requestor, the system was “gamed” if the requestor changed his or her reply to “give me what you can for under $200.” For that reason, the practice would not continue. Interim President Berdahl stated that the university spent tens of thousands of dollars resulting from appeals to the attorney general that were made by Professor Harbaugh in relation to his blog, and as it was his right to request public records, have a blog, and write about the university, he did not have the right to expect the university to respond to complex public records request without incurring costs. That was Interim President Berdahls reason for changing the practice. He continued and stated that if the requests were simple, they should be delivered without cost, but if they were complex, the university should charge for those costs, and they intended to.
Senator John Bonine commented that he did not have a dog in this particular fight, but did have one in a general sense. His first academic article written after arriving at the university was regarding fee waivers under the federal free legislation act. His article discussed when fee waivers should be given. He then stated that under Oregon Open Meetings Laws, which did not directly apply to committees, if someone had a conflict of interest, he or she should declare it. However, that person still had the ability to act. On the other had, he stated, in terms of shared governance perhaps neither result was appropriate, meaning that Professor Harbaugh should not have been elected chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and the administration should not have changed their practice without consulting members of the faculty. He then called for a process in which a different chair could be appointed to the Senate Transparency Committee or that a work group/committee be developed to consider an alternative approach to the current practice. He was bothered by the fact that the administration proceeded with this change before consulting with faculty members or members of the Senate. Senate President Kyr asked for a point of clarification and wanted to know if Senator Bonine was referring to the issue of the fee waiver, to which he replied that he was speaking to that issue and any other issue that the administration considered acting on that involved the Senate.
Dr. Hubin commented that he agreed with much of what Senator Bonine had just said, and mentioned that the administration needed an advisory group regarding the issue of transparency. Previously, he had proposed to the Senate and Committee on Committees that the Senate Transparency Committee be broadened. Currently, there were three faculty members on the Senate Transparency Committee, and according to Dr. Hubin, the membership should include representatives from all stakeholder groups at the UO. As a point of clarification, Senate President Kyr stated that Dr. Hubin was not insinuating the creation of a new committee, but was merely suggesting an augmentation of the current Senate Transparency Committee. He then commented that these issues would be included in the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees to be completed by the Committee on Committees during the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Senator Bonine stated that he understood the general proposition of not making structural changes to committees, but when substantive changes were being made by the administration he hoped that they would be open to a review of their decisions by members of the faculty.
Interim President Berdahl stated that the administration was open to reviewing this practice with a committee that both the Senate and the administration agreed upon, but he felt it was not appropriate to allow the Senate Transparency Committee to review the practice due to the conflict of interest that he believed existed with the current chair, which according to Interim President Berdahl, Professor Harbaugh had refused to recognize. Professor Harbaugh stated that he had not refused to recognize the conflict of interest, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that they had engaged in several discussions regarding conflicts of interest. Professor Harbaugh held to his conviction that he had not refused to recognize the conflict to interest and that he was happy for that information to be widely known and considered by the Senate when weighing his views. Senate President Kyr ended the discussion and informed the Senate that there would be further discussion on this issue in the future.
5.3 Update on Remaining Policies from May 23 Senate Meeting (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr briefly mentioned that the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy, Facilities Use, and Legal Services Policies were coming before the Senate for a vote in the near future. He had been discussing these policies with Interim President Berdahl and they were in the process of determining when those remaining policies should come before the Senate.
5.4 Update regarding the Tenth Year Review – Committee on Committees (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr, having already mentioned the specifics of the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees briefly reiterated how important the review would be to the university and that it was going to be fair and comprehensive. The Senate would be receiving updates on the review throughout the year. He then invited Professor Marie Vitulli (Mathematics, Emerita) and Professor Sarah Douglas (Computer Science, Emerita) to the Senate floor to present their notice of motion.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Notice of Motion: Consideration of Voting Rights for Retired and Emeritus Faculty Members; Marie Vitulli (Professor Emerita, Mathematics) and Sarah Douglas (Professor Emerita, Computer Science)
Professor Vitulli asked Executive Coordinator Prosser to display section 2.3 of the Univerisity of Oregon Constitution on the view-screen. She believed that an oversight might have occurred by those who drafted the document. She then mentioned that she was currently a professor of Mathematics and was teaching during the spring term under the Tenure Reduction Program. According to Professor Vitulli, that meant that she still retained her tenure status although at a reduced rate. She considered this reduced status as being tenure related, which meant that she was still a member of the Statutory Faculty Assembly according to the definition of Statutory Faculty defined in section 2.3 of the University of Oregon Constitution. Section 2.3 also stated that retired and emeriti faculty members were not members of the statutory faculty whether or not they had teaching responsibilities. She was confused as to which line applied to her status, and jokingly asked if someone had revoked her contract when she was not looking. She also stated that she was not the only faculty member who had these concerns. She then asked for a ruling from Interim President Berdahl to confirm that faculty who were on the tenure reduction program were tenure-related officers of instruction during any term in which they were on the payroll.
Interim President Berdahl replied that as President, he did not have the power to alter the language of the Constitution, but offered an interpretation. It seemed to him that those who were on reduced tenure prior to retirement were members of the Statutory Faculty. He recognized the conflict in the statements and recommended that the faculty change some element of the terms. Interim President Berdahls preference was to include those who were on reduced tenure as members of the Statutory Faculty.
Senate President Kyr stated that there was another layer, which regarded the upcoming University Election. According to the Constitution, retired and emeriti faculty members were not allowed to vote, however Professor Vitulli’s contract stated that she was a tenure related officer of instruction. Interim President Berdahl asked Senate President Kyr if he expected him to make a ruling on this issue. He then stated that the President of the Senate should rule on this issue since it was regarding the Senate Election. Senator Bonine stated that before Senate President Kyr made a ruling on a contractual matter they should consider the matter that Professor Vitulli’s contract may have been improperly formulated by the administration, or people who had begun the six hundred hour program (retirement) should retain their tenure. He stated that there must be a university policy that determined when tenure was relinquished and asked if a part-time tenure program existed.
Professor Vitulli replied that there were two separate programs. The first was a tenure reduction program in which a faculty member retained their tenure status but at a reduced rate. This was the program that she was currently on. The second was a tenure relinquishment program in which tenure was given up and faculty members entered retirement. Senator Bonine asked if both programs reduced faculty salaries by six percent, to which Professor Vitulli replied that only the tenure reduction program included the salary reduction. Professor Vitulli commented that she would like her status confirmed by someone because she wished to vote in the University Spring Election. Senate President Kyr clarified that the ruling was in regards to voting. With the approval of the Senate, he wished to make a ruling on her status so that she would be able to vote in the University Spring Election.
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) asked Professor Vitulli if she was officially retired, to which Professor Vitulli replied she was. She then commented that she intended to introduce other amendments and remarked that the language of the Constitution was a matter of interpretation.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) asked if intent was relevant to whatever decision Senate President Kyr made. He then commented that he was involved in the formulation of the current language and offered an explanation as to what the governance group intended by introducing that language. According to Professor Stahl, the Statutory Faculty was defined as being composed of the University President, tenure related officers of instruction, and career non-tenure officers of instruction. He then commented that the document clearly stated that those people who belong to those groups and were retired were not members of the Statutory Faculty. He did not see any ambiguity, although he recognized that others might, and stated that this was the intent of the governance group that developed the document.
Professor Vitulli disagreed with Professor Stahl’s interpretation. Senator Bonine felt that the language regarding retired and emeriti faculty was an exception to the previous sentence that defined Statutory Faculty and asked Professor Stahl to clarify. Professor Stahl stated that members of the Statutory Faculty were those who were on a tenure track, those who had tenure, and those who were retired and retained their tenure. He stated that adding the word “but” before the second sentence might have helped clarify the intent, but he insisted that because Professor Vitulli held Emerita status, she was no longer a member of the Statutory Faculty and as such, should not be able to vote in the Spring Election.
Senate President Kyr asked Professor Vitulli what her viewpoint was after hearing Professor Stahl’s comments, to which she answered that the two sentences were contradictory, and that they should be address more fully in the future. She then remarked that for now, there was a decision to be made regarding her right to vote in the Spring Election. Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) stated that the Senate President could not rule on any matter pertaining to the Constitution. Only the University President could make a ruling on the Constitution because he was the chair of the Statutory Faculty Assembly. The Senate President could only rule on matters pertaining to the Senate Bylaws.
Senator Peter Keyes remarked that there were many people who voted in the Senate Elections who were not members of the Statutory Faculty including Officers of Administration and Classified Staff. He believed that because of this, it did not matter that Professor Vitulli was a member of the Statutory Faculty. He then referenced section 5.1 which covered voting eligibility for non-student Senators, and quoted the sentence, which stated “Retired faculty members are not permitted to vote.” He believed that section 2.3 determined whether or not Professor Vitulli could vote at a meeting of the Statutory Faculty, not the Senate election. Senate President Kyr told Professor Vitulli that he would take this issue to Interim President Berdahl who was the appropriate person to make a ruling on the matter, to which she agreed was an acceptable solution.
Professor Vitulli stated that she knew that the Senate could not vote on amendments to the Constitution, but she asked them to consider her amendments to the Constitution, which were displayed on the overhead projector. With Senate approval, she hoped that the Senate President would convene a virtual meeting of the Statutory Faculty for an online vote on her proposed amendments. Her first amendment was to delete the second sentence in the definition of Statutory Faculty from Section 2.3 and replace it with the following language: “Emeriti faculty members who are on the university payroll and serving actively in instructional or research capacities are members of the Statutory Faculty. She then commented that most of that language was copied from the newly ratified policy on Emeritus Faculty, which asserted that emeritus faculty had full governance rights in departmental/college governance issues, which included the right to vote. Professor Vitulli then asked the Senate body to retain the privilege, right, and responsibility of full participation in university governance for emeriti faculty. She then commented that this had been a long-standing tradition and hoped that the Senate would consider reinstating that tradition for those emeriti faculty who were on the payroll, teaching, and doing research. She also remarked that Section 5.1 should also be amended to the following: “Emeriti faculty who are members of the Statutory Faculty will retain full governance rights, including the right to vote. All other faculty members are not permitted to vote.” She again asked the Senate to consider her amendments, and commented that it was unclear to her how an emeritus faculty member could propose motions and resolutions to the Senate body and not have the ability to vote in the Spring Election when on the payroll and carrying out teaching or research responsibilities. This made no sense to her. Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Vitulli for presenting her notice of motion and promised to work further with her on developing the language of the motion. He then invited Senator Emma Newman (student senator) to present her notice of motion.
6.2 Notice of Motion: No Coal Resolution; Emma Newman, Student Justice League
Senator Emma Newman (student senator) stated that she was placing her motion on behalf of students who were working with the No Coal Eugene movement through the UO Climate Justice League. According to Senator Newman, large coal companies were seeking new outlets to export mined coal from Wyoming’s Powder River basin, which included coastal Oregon and Washington. The building of an export terminal was proposed for the city of Coos Bay, OR, which would divert coal train traffic through the city of Eugene. Two coal trains would pass through Eugene everyday, which would pollute the city of Eugene by introducing coal dust into the atmosphere. She then mentioned that this motion would be introduced at the next Senate meeting along with more information. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Newman for presenting her notice of motion.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the May 9, 2012 meeting of the University of Oregon Senate to a close at 5:47PM.
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 11 April 2012
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: John Bonine, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Deborah Healey, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Theodora Ko Thompson, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Kelley Leon Howarth, Peng Lu, Carla McNelly, Jeff Measelle, Harlan Mechling, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Sonja Runberg, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: Nancy Bray, John Foster, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Colin Ives, Ryan Kellems, Huaxin Lin, Andrew Lubash, Ian McNeely, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Amy Nuetzman, Roxann Prazniak, David Riley, Vadim Vologodsky, Peter Walker
Excused: Roger Adkins, Tracy Bars, Ali Emami, Peter Keyes, Steven Pologe, Gordon Sayre, Nathan Tublitz
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for April 11, 2012 to order at 3:06 in room 101 of the Knight Library. He thanked the Library for allowing the Senate to use their facilities for the meeting.
1.1 Approval of the minutes of the March 7 meeting
Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body if there was any discussion concerning the minutes from the March 7, 2012 Senate meeting. 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. He then invited Lorraine Davis (Acting Provost and Senior Vice President) to the Senate floor to present her state of the university address.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Lorraine Davis, Acting Provost and Senior Vice President
Acting Provost Lorraine Davis thanked Senate President Kyr for her introduction. She stated that Interim President Berdahl was out of town on business and could not attend the Senate meeting. Since the March Senate meeting with Dr. Mary Spilde and Dr. Nancy Golden, a great deal had happened regarding the OEIB (Oregon Education Investment Board) achievement compacts. She stated that the UO had been developing their own achievement compacts for a number of years, and these compacts were discussed at last month's March Senate meeting. According to Acting Provost Davis, those compacts were approved by the State Board of Higher Education, and were then delivered to the OEIB. The OEIB took the metrics and revised them so that they were in accordance with the 40/40/20 education expectations. The compacts are now in line with those expectations. As a result, the metrics statewide will be identical for the OEIB. The metrics that were approved by the State Board will still be used by the university. She then discussed several of the OEIB metrics that every institution will have.
She then discussed the Oregon Idea. This has evolved into a legislative package which involves additional funding from the legislature related to particular opportunities that the university has and wants to present. She stated that this was a process through the academic strategies committee as a part of the OUS (Oregon University System) Board. The concepts that the UO will be submitting for further examination are Pathways Oregon, a program to provide financial support through grants or scholarships so that Oregonian students who meet the requirements to study at the university will be fully funded. Other proposal were on stem education, sustainable cities, global Oregon, and green product design. She then asked for questions from the Senate floor. Seeing none, she commented on the Emeritus Policy that the Senate would be voting on later in the meeting.
Acting Provost Davis stated that the development of this policy had been a long process, but that it was important to understand how Emeritus status was being provided to deserving faculty. There were three stickler points that were in contention during the drafting. The first was whether or not the policy should apply to only full professors or should they include associate professors. Acting Provost Davis stated that she was in full support of granting Associate Professors Emeritus status, since it has been done in the past. Parking was another contentious issue. She stated that she quibbled at the word “free” parking and stated why she had issues with free parking. Acting Provost Davis thought the language should be free or subsidized parking because at the university, parking is not truly free. The free parking pass given to retired employees must be paid for by someone. She stated that they were currently paid centrally. There are 266 free parking passes and according to next year’s budget, $90,000 is earmarked for those parking passes. Because of this, she believes it would be more appropriate for the language to state subsidized parking instead of free parking. She then stated that she would approved whatever the Senate agreed upon, and that she and Jamie Moffitt (Vice President for Finance and Administration) would be putting together a small advisory group to discuss the ways in which the parking process situation could be handled as there was conflicting information on several university websites regarding parking. According to Acting Provost Davis, the policy did not deal with the intricate mechanics of parking and it should not, but she hoped that her advisory group will clean up several parking issues that existed at the university. Of the 266 people with free parking passes, 145 were Emeritus, 28 were other faculty, 44 were OAs, 29 were classified, and 20 did not fit into any other category. She then asked for questions from the Senate body.
2.2 Questions and comments with response
The first question came from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He commented that the university administration had frequently stated that they would maintain a neutral stance with regard to the faculty unionization process, but according to Senator Sullivan, the administration recently filed a rejection to the proposed bargaining unit with the Oregon Labor Relations Board. He went on to say that participation in the bargaining unit was either a neutral act on the part of the administration, or it was not. If it was neutral, open discussions had been going on for over a year. Why would the administration decide to weigh in at the last moment? He then asked: If participation in the bargaining unit is not equilateral, when did the administration change its policy from one of neutrality to one of anti-union activism and why?
Acting Provost Davis replied that whether or not the university had a union was the decision of the faculty and she believed that the administration was taking a neutral stance on the faculty unionization decision. According to Acting Provost Davis, the administration had objected to the definition of the bargaining unit as it had been presented. This objection was based primarily on unit management within the community of interest as well as the number of tenure related faculty who have not felt that their input had been appropriately delivered.
Senator Sullivan stated that the majority of tenure track faculty had signed cards. He then inquired as to why this objection was not brought to light earlier. To which Acting Provost Davis replied that the administration did not have either the responsibility or the appropriateness to intervene until they knew what the proposed bargaining unit was. Senator Sullivan stated that the basic shape of the bargaining unity had been laid out for over a year. Acting Provost Davis replied that this shape was not known to her. Senator Sullivan stated that there were open meetings, to which Acting Provost Davis replied that she was not sure if that was the case. Senator Sullivan again stated that the meetings were open. Acting Provost Davis replied that she would not respond further on this issue.
Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr thanked Acting Provost Davis for presenting her report to the Senate. He then asked the Senate body to not badger a presenter who was answering a question and stated that Senator Sullivan’s behavior was very inappropriate toward Acting Provost Davis. He then commented that there must be respectful dialogue in the Senate. The union was a hot button issue on campus and many people were still confused about what was going on, but the university was now entering into a legal process with those who will look at the situation for what it was. As far as the Senate goes, he repeated that there must be respectful dialogue with no badgering of someone who was trying to provide an honest response.
Senator Sullivan stated that he would not badger someone who gave an honest response. Senate President Kyr replied that his comment was not helpful or respectful and he would like to see a Senate that had respectful dialogue. Senator Sullivan stated that he understood. Senate President Kyr then moved on to the open discussion portion of the meeting and invited Chancellor Pernsteiner to the Senate floor.
3. OPEN DISCUSSION
3.1 Update on Presidential Search; George Pernsteiner, Chancellor
Chancellor George Pernsteiner (OUS Chancellor) thanked the Senate for allowing him to speak at the meeting. He stated that the Presidential Search Committee was trying to build a pool of candidates. The committee was in the process of reviewing files that had been put forward for President of the university. In addition, the advisory review committee met for the first time. This group was formed after consultation with the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) regarding how to bring about ideas from faculty and students on education and research to the new President. The committee wascomprised of eight faculty and eight students who will be reviewing applications with an eye towards each candidate’s academic background and their commitment to academic quality be it instruction, research, or student success.
Chancellor Pernsteiner then stated that the time for submitting potential candidates was coming to a close, however the search would remain open until the position was filled. He encouraged the Senate to send in their nominations to email@example.com. He stated that he was encouraged with the names that were currently in the pool of candidates and he was eager to move the process along. Chancellor Pernsteiner then asked for questions from the Senate body.
3.2 Questions and comments with response
Seeing no questions, Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked the Senate for their time. Senate President Kyr thanked him for the process that the committee had undertaken and then moved to the new business portion of the meeting.
4. NEW BUSINESS
Senate President Kyr invited Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) to the Senate floor to discuss the motion on IAC membership.
4.1 Motion on IAC Membership; Glen Waddell, IAC member
Senator Glen Waddell stated that the motion was quite simple. The University Senate will be adding one student member to the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). According to Senator Waddell, the IAC voted on this addition with the results being ten yes votes, zero no votes, and one abstention. He then provided a brief background in support of the motion. He discussed the charge of the IAC and the proposed changes to the charge of the committee. There were currently five student members on the committee and the IAC would like to increase that number to six. Senator Waddell displayed the IAC membership to the Senate body and discussed several emails between IAC Chair Nathan Tublitz (Biology) and Interim University President Robert Berdahl. In these emails, Interim President Berdahl specifically stated that he would reject any and all changes to university committees while he was President of the university. These email exchanges can be found at the following address:
He then mentioned the 2004 IAC taskforce document which outlined a set of action points that the IAC should have been pursuing, but this pursuit had fallen by the wayside. The report can also be found at the address above. He concluded by repeating the intent of the motion which was to add one student member to the IAC.
Senate President Kyr then called for discussion on the motion. He called on Ben Eckstein (ASUO President) to make a statement regarding the motion. Mr. Eckstein stated that he was a member of the IAC and provided context on why students supported the motion. All student members voted in favor of the motion. He then stated that at the beginning of the year, there was an election for the chair of the IAC and students asked the candidates if they would support adding more students to the committee. One of the candidates, Nathan Tublitz supported this addition and as a result, students worked to bring this addition forward. He also mentioned that the IAC needed stronger student representation because the ASUO gives 1.6 million dollars of their budget to the Athletics Department for student tickets. Mr. Eckstein concluded by stating that he strongly supported the motion.
The next comment came from Senator Sonja Runberg (Executive Assistant, Academic Affairs). She stated that it would be more appropriate for the motion to be discussed by the Committee on Committees. Professor Paul Simonds (Senate Parliamentarian) stated that a motion to refer must be made if Senator Runberg’s comment was to be discussed. Senate President Kyr then called for a motion to refer. Senator Runberg asked if she could make the motion, to which Parliamentarian Simonds replied she could. Senator Runberg called for a motion to refer and Senate President Kyr asked for a second from the Senate body. Senator Randy Sullivan stated that he would second the motion for the purpose of discussion. Senate President Kyr then called for a period of discussion and asked Senator Runberg to repeat her motion to the Senate body. Senator Runberg stated that the motion was to refer the matter of adding one student member to the IAC to the University Senate Committee on Committees. She believed that the Committee on Committees should be making these decisions. An unidentified Senator asked Senator Runberg why she was doing this, to which she replied that it seemed arbitrary for a committee to make a motion to add to their membership. She then stated that the Committee on Committees was the committee responsible for discussion on committee memberships and that it seemed removed and fragmented for the IAC to bring this motion before the Senate.
Senate President Kyr stated that the Senate could either vote on the motion now or send the motion to the Committee on Committees for discussion.
The next comment came from Senator Dean Walton (UO Libraries). He asked Senate President Kyr if he felt that it was the Committee on Committees job evaluate whether or not another committee needed to have an additional member added to it. Senate President Kyr stated that through the tenth year review of university committees, the Committee on Committees asked all committees to submit information regarding committee revisions. Senator Walton then asked who would make these decisions, to which Senate President Kyr replied that the Committee on Committees would have a discussion with each committee, which was what he was doing with the IAC at the beginning of the year.
Dr. David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) asked Senate President Kyr for permission to speak. He was granted permission. Dr. Hubin stated that he had the honor of serving on the Committee on Committees for twenty-one years. He commented that the Committee on Committees had a very important potential function. During 2001, he participated in a complete revision of the university committee structure with Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology), Professor Anne Tedards (Music and Dance) and Professor Randall McGowen (History). According to Dr. Hubin, committees had at times been out of alignment with what the Senate was doing. At times, committees had not been the viable points of referral for legislation. The Senate received their report, acknowledged its importance, and decided to regularly examine the committee structure for both charge and membership every ten years. Dr. Hubin informed the Senate that they were entering the one hundredth anniversary of the Committee on Committees. He then stated that committees could be important and were important to a legislative body if they aligned correctly. He then mentioned that the university committee structure needed reexamination. This was also the sentiment of Interim President Berdahl. Legislation should come before the Senate and there must be a logical committee to refer it to. That committee would then come back to the Senate with a recommendation. He supported the motion to refer to the Committee on Committees.
Senate President Kyr asked Dr. Hubin if he was connecting the request of the IAC to add one student member to the function of the Committee on Committees. He then asked if Dr. Hubin if this was a watershed issue. Dr. Hubin replied that his suggestion would be that there should always be a direct cut for a standing committee of the Senate to bring an issue directly to the Senate. Senate President Kyr then asked if Dr. Hubin was implying that all committee decisions should be sent to the Committee on Committees. Dr. Hubin replied that it was a question of legislative protocol, but his contention was that if a committee were to bring forward a membership request, that request should be immediately sent to the Committee on Committees for a recommendation to the Senate.
The next comment came from Senator John Bonine (Law). Senator Bonine stated that he believed the proposal to refer the motion to the Committee on Committees was a watershed moment in which a new policy was being proposed that no such motions shall be brought before the Senate without first going through the Committee on Committees. Since that procedure had not previously been in place, Senator Bonine stated he would be voting no for the motion to refer and invited his fellow Senators to give a notice of motion for the following Senate meeting in May to discuss this procedure.
Senator Randy Sullivan stated that procedurally, the Senate was handling the referral appropriately. He believed that the motion should be referred to the Committee on Committees. According to Senator Sullivan, this option would yield more advantages politically both for the IAC and to a future University President.
ASUO President Ben Eckstein spoke against the motion to refer to committee. According to Mr. Eckstein, no action that the Senate took would preclude the Committee on Committee from doing the work described by Dr. Hubin. He did not want to delay acting on a motion that was in the best interest of students and the campus community. He believed that the referral was an attempt to stall the motion and that if passed it would not come back to the Senate before the end of the year. He strongly encouraged all Senators to vote down the motion to refer to committee.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) stated that he was concerned regarding the general issue of a committee being free to change its own composition without a careful consideration of how the committee system worked. There might be occasions where a committee would find itself frustrated and, in order to relieve this frustration, would attempt to alter its composition. This type of change was dependent upon the whims of the moment and could be subject to abuse. He believed that any such request of this kind ought to go before the Committee on Committees.
Senator Glen Waddell responded to Professor Stahl’s comment. According to Senator Waddell, nothing was being accomplished in the IAC. It was his understanding that this would be the first time that such a request would be sent to the Committee on Committees. There was a protocol that would give the University President sixty days to respond were he to not allow this change to the IAC membership.
Professor Dev Sinha (Mathematics) stated that he was not a Senator. He then commented that if a matter came before the Senate that had to do with the campus grounds, the presumption was that it would go before the Campus Planning Committee. He did not see the need for a motion on this issue, but thought it was simply protocol acknowledging that no one was an expert on everything. He then stated that he was a member of the IAC and wanted to make a distinction between the changes in the charge that was proposed by the IAC when Interim President Berdahl first sent his email regarding his stance on changes to committees. Professor Sinha stated that the changes to the charge were substantial and he alluded to this being the reason for Interim President Berdahl taking such a strong stance on changes to committee structures. He also stated that the IAC did not vote to change their charge, but did vote to add one student member to the committee.
Senator Emma Newman (Student Senator) stated that she was in full support of the motion to add a student member to the IAC. She informed the Senate that students only serve on committees for one year, and she would like to see the additional student member on the IAC implemented before the end of the year so that they could serve to the best of their ability in the time remaining. She then referenced the Senate minutes from 1969. According to those minutes, the IAC moved to add three student members to their committee at a Senate meeting.
Senate President Kyr closed the discussion on Senator Runberg’s motion. Senator Runberg then called for a roll call vote. Senate President Kyr asked Parliamentarian Simonds if a roll call vote was appropriate, to which he replied that it was. Senator Glen Waddell then offered a friendly amendment to the motion. His amendment charged the Committee on Committees to report back to the Senate at the first Senate meeting in May. This amendment was accepted by Senator Runberg and seconded by Senator Sullivan. Senate President Kyr then moved to a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken and the friendly amendment was passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr then asked for the motion to be repeated a final time for clarity. The final version of the motion was: The Senate refers the motion to add one student member to the IAC to the Committee on Committees for a report that will be given to the Senate at the first meeting in May. Mr. Eckstein made a point of clarification that if the motion was voted down; the original motion would be back on the table. All were in agreement. In order to save time, Senator Bonine asked to have a hand vote whereby all voters raise their hands and the votes were recorded. Senator Runberg insisted on having a roll call vote and called for a motion, but it was not seconded. She then agreed to have a voice vote and if it was unclear, to have a hand vote. Senate President Kyr repeated the motion a final time, and called for a voice vote. He then called for a division of the house. Those who voted aye raised their hands and were counted. Those who voted nay raised their hands and were counted. Those who abstained raised their hands and were counted. The final vote was sixteen ayes, six nays, and one abstention. The motion was referred to the Committee on Committees. Senate President Kyr asked Jim Mooney to discuss the Retirement and Emeriti Policy.
4.2 Retirement & Emeriti Policy; John Nicols and Jim Mooney, Co-chairs; Tenure Reduction, Retirement and Emeriti Committee
Professor Jim Mooney (Law) stated that he had printed out several copies of the policy for Senators to review. He stated that one year ago, the Tenure Reduction, Retirement, and Emeriti Committee brought a slightly altered policy to the Senate who then passed the policy unanimously. He brought the policy back before the Senate with two relatively small changes in the hope that the policy would be approved a second time. The newer version was paired down considerably and it was more concise in terms of form. He commented that the first change had to do with parking. At the time of the motion’s passing, former University President Richard Lariviere objected to the section on parking and would not sign the document because the policy offered free parking to emeritus faculty who were not currently on the payroll. This practice had been taking place for many years for all retired university employees. The committee asked for an explanation and citation of authority, but none was forthcoming. The administrative convener of the committee then brought the group together to try and resolve the parking issue between the committee and the President’s Office. With the exception of Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) the committee members decided to concede on the parking issue and the language was changed to “the university will make every reasonable effort to continue granting to Emeritus faculty free campus parking whenever they are not on the university payroll.”
The second change to the policy was regarding the timing of achieving Emeritus status. A grandfather clause was added for those who were retiring before December 31, 2014. Faculty members who decided to retire before this date would not be subjected to the five year requirement of being employed as a full professor. After Professor Mooney presented the proposal, Senate President Kyr thanked him and the other members of the committee for their hard work and called for discussion on the policy.
Senator John Bonine asked why the word “generally” was used in the last paragraph on the first page of the policy instead of the word “as”. Professor Mooney replied that he could not think of any particularly good reason why that word was used, but he did not find it damaging in any way. Senator Bonine then asked for a friendly amendment that the word be removed. Professor Mooney agreed to the friendly amendment and the word “generally” was removed from the policy and replaced with the word “as.” Senate President Kyr then stated thank god we have a law school, and called for a motion to vote on the policy. A motion was called and seconded. Senate President Kyr then called for a vote on the policy. A voice vote was taken and the policy was approved unanimously. He then moved on to the reports portion of the meeting.
Senate President Kyr asked Ben Eckstein to present the ASUO Report.
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Mr. Eckstein stated that he had two updates to deliver to the Senate. The first update was regarding the controversy over the ASUO election process. Although it appeared that the election had been compromised, according to Mr. Eckstein, the AUSO was one of the most autonomous, effective, and active student governments in the country. Mr. Eckstein stated that there had been several issues with the election process, but the ASUO had systems and processes in place that were long standing and had been tested in the past to handle those types of concerns and situations.
The second issue was regarding the ASUO overhead assessment rate. His administration had been working very hard to resolve the issue regarding this rate. According to Mr. Eckstein, the overhead assessment rate had been overcharged. That overcharge amounted to more than $100,000. He advocated strongly that the money should be returned to students where it belonged. Earlier in the week, it was confirmed by the Department of Finance and Administration that the overhead charge would be corrected and the money would be returned to the ASUO. Students would decide how to spend the funds. If anyone had questions for Mr. Eckstein he encouraged them to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for his report.
Emilio Hernandez (Assistant Vice President, Institutional Equity and Diversity) stated that the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Respectful Workplace was brought together last year after a discussion in the Senate regarding a respectful workplace on campus. This was also following the letter on a respectful workplace that was sent from Linda King’s (Associate Vice President, Human Resources) office. The committee thought that a greater educational effort was needed in the area of a respectful workplace. According to Mr. Hernandez, the ad hoc committee was appointed by the Senate Executive Committee. The members of the committee are made up of various constituent groups from around campus. The members are Ben Eckstein (ASUO President), David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President), Theodora Ko Thompson (Admissions), Harinder Khalsa (Romance Languages), Carla McNelly (Office of Multicultural Academic Success), Terrie Minner-Engle (Academic Advising), Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) and Emilio Hernandez. He stated that the committee started their work by reviewing presentations that Human Resources provided to Officers of Administration and Classified Staff on issues that were voiced at various worksites on campus. They looked at how those issues were or were not being resolved. A few members of the committee had a meeting with Jamie Moffitt (Vice President, Finance and Administration and CFO) and Senate President Robert Kyr. At the meeting, they discussed several options for providing a respectful workplace to university employees. One of the options that the committee discussed was to employ an ombudsman, which the university used to have many years ago. Other issues will be discussed with HR representatives and the committee will return to the Senate with a more defined options package sometime in the fall. He then asked for questions and seeing none, thanked the Senate for allowing him to present the committee’s report.
5.3 OEIB Achievement Compacts Subcommittee Testimony; Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr stated that he presented testimony before the OEIB Achievement Compacts Subcommittee. In his testimony, he commented that he the university wanted to work with the subcommittee in order to formulate the most effective achievement compacts possible and that the Senate was ready to work appropriately in this regard. He offered to host a gathering of all seven campuses with the OEIB. Delegates would come to campus to discuss these compacts and how they affect the lives of faculty and students.
5.4 IFS and OUS Leadership Caucus; Robert Kyr
On June 8 and 9, there will be a joint meeting of the InterInstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) and OUS Senate Leadership Caucus. The leadership Caucus was initiated at the University of Oregon. The meeting was approved unanimously by the IFS Senators. He believed that a major healing process had begun and that the Senate should be proud for taking the initiative and trying to dispel rumors from the past. He then moved on to announcements and communications from the floor.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Concern regarding changes to the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence; Rina Sundahl, Diana Salazar, Tania Sarabia, UO Truth Coalition
The presenters from the UO Truth Coalition passed out documents for the Senate to consider, and introduced themselves to the Senate body. Rina Sundahl (student) stated that they had come before the Senate on behalf of the UO Truth Coalition which was a group of students, community members, and alumni which formed as a response to the restructuring of the Office of Multicultural Academic Success (OMAS) to the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE). When the group found out about the restructuring, she discovered that OMAS used to be called the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) which used to be called the Council for Minority Education (CME) which was formed during a meeting of the University Assembly. She informed the Senate that there were changes occurring within OMAS/CMAE, and the UO Truth Coalition wanted Senate support for students to speak with the administration in order to gain a voice in the restructuring process. Diana Salazar (Ethnic Studies student) stated that she was concerned that the Senate was not consulted in regards to the changes that were taking place even though the Senate, then called the University Assembly, originally mandated the office. There was a student committee comprised of twelve students, one community member, and one alumnus that asked the Senate to ensure that the committee had some measure of influence. Currently, they had no assurance as to their level of influence with the administration. Tania Sarabia stated that the group wanted to insure that they had a voice during the restructuring process. The three presenters thanked the Senate for their time.
Senate President Kyr stated that he would take their request to the Senate Executive Committee for a discussion and would be getting back to the presenters very soon. He thanked them for bringing the issue to his attention.
6.2 Motion regarding student athletes and sports scheduling; Ben DeJarnette, Student Athlete
Ben DeJarnette (Journalism student) stated that several student athletes had come to him to express their concerns regarding missing class. According to Mr. DeJarnette, when students miss class, many of their professors are unwilling to help them make up the work they are missing. He was in the process of drafting a policy that would deal with both issues but first wanted to vet the policy through the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. He stated that he would be returning to the Senate in May.
Senate President Kyr thanked him for presenting his notice of motion.
6.3 Motion regarding shared governance & job postings; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)
Professor Stahl (Biology Emeritus) stated that at the last Senate meeting, he gave notice of motion that he wanted the faculty at large to have the ability to make appraisals on the job performance of university administrators. He decided to drop that motion because he felt that the website uomatters.com was handling that issue very well. He also decided to forego the motion because he believed it was not fair to criticize someone for not doing their job if that job was not a part of their job description. He was annoyed that people in Johnson Hall were carrying out their jobs as if the Constitution did not exist and thought that they might not be aware of the document. Due to this possible oversight, he will bring a motion before the Senate to place on job descriptions and advertisements that draw attention to potential applicants and current employees the importance of the UO Constitution in the governance of the University of Oregon.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) made a brief announcement. He stated that anyone who was interested in writing a proposed resolution to request that the administration withdraw its objections to the proposed faculty union bargaining unit from the Oregon Employment Relations Board, please contact him to begin the work of drafting a motion.
Seeing no further questions or comments, Senate President Kyr called the April 11, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:55PM.
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 07 March 2012
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: Roger Adkins, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Ali Emami, Karen Estlund, John Foster, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Roland Good, Deborah Healey, Anthony Hornof, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Ryan Kellems, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Peng Lu, Ian McNeely, Carla McNelly, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Randy Sullivan, Nathan Tublitz, Vadim Vologodski, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: John Bonine, Mark Gillem, Sangita Gopal, Colin Ives, Jena Langham, Andrew Lubash, Jeffrey Measelle, David Riley, Donna Shaw, Christopher Sinclair, Ying Tan, Peter Walker
Excused: Tracy Bars, Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker, Peter Keyes, Theodora Ko Thompson, Harlan Mechling, Amy Nuetzman
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for March 7, 2012 to order at 3:09PM in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Academic Learning Center. He welcomed all those in attendance and stated that the Senate would be considering several important pieces of legislation at this meeting. He also informed the Senate that they would be having an important discussion with Nancy Golden (Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools).
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the February 8 meeting
Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body if there was any discussion concerning the minutes from the February 8, 2012 Senate meeting. Seeing none, he called for a motion to approve the minutes from the February 8, 2012 Senate meeting. A motion was called and seconded. A voice vote was taken and the minutes were approved unanimously. He then invited Lorraine Davis to the Senate floor to present her state of the university address.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Lorraine Davis, Acting Senior Vice President and Provost
Lorraine Davis (Acting Senior Vice President and Provost) thanked Senate President Kyr. She informed the Senate that over the last month, the legislative session has been proceeding and the process was very involved regarding issues that concerned the university. Last year, there was a 3.5 percent holdback on the universities budget. This holdback was scheduled to be returned to the university, remain at its current level, or be expanded to 7 or 10 percent cutback. This was based on the revenue forecast. She was pleased to announce that the 3.5 percent holdback will continue with no additional cuts from the state. Acting Provost Davis then discussed several bills relating to governance that were passed in the legislature. House Bill 4061 created a special committee on university governance. It will be tasked with investigating the issuance of an independent governing board for institutions that desire them. She then stated that the University of Oregon desired an independent governing board. Local legislators proposed the establishment of a local governing board for the university, but there was not enough time to work out the details during this session of the legislature. The committee that was created by House Bill 4061 is required to report by August 2012. According to Acting Provost Davis, Portland State University is also interested in establishing a local governing board.
She then mentioned House Bill 4058 which directed the higher education coordinating commission to study strategies for making recommendations on reducing higher education textbook costs. This has been a national issue in terms of the amount of investment that students need to make related to textbooks. House Bill 4016 made it very clear that employees of higher education institutions must have mandatory reporting for cases of child abuse. She then stated that the policy related to guns on campus passed during the legislative session. It prevents students, employees, individuals with a business interest on campus such as vendors and contractors, event attendees, those who rent or lease university property, and campus visitors from carrying a firearm on board owned or controlled property. She believed that the university was very consistent in wanting that policy and was pleased that it had passed.
Acting Provost Davis then discussed Governor Kitzhaber’s reform agenda. Senate Bill 1581 allows the OEIB (Oregon Education Investment Board) to enter into achievement compacts with educational bodies. She stated that this was a work in progress which will be evolving. The compacts that have been developed involve a system compact with the OEIB, but each individual institution has their own metrics within that compact. Senate Bill 1581 allows for individual institutions to have their own individual compacts with OEIB, but she was not sure how this would be determined. The metrics that were developed for the compacts were taken from the Mission Alignment Document. She then asked for questions and comments from the Senate body.
2.2 Questions and comments with response
The first question was from Senator Ian McNeely (Academic Council, Chair). He wanted to know if Lane County Legislators would be on the 4061 committee. Acting Provost Davis replied that four members were selected by the Senate and four were selected by the House of Representatives. No one has yet been appointed by she thought that two Lane County legislators would be appointed. Senator McNeely then asked what would be the most appropriate way(s) for the UO Senate to contribute to the discussions relating to achievement compacts and independent boards in ways that would not undercut the university politically. Acting Provost Davis stated that she was not sure, but it terms of independent boards, she hoped that the committee assigned to that topic would ask for opinions from the university. Regarding the education compacts, when the time comes for them to be approved by the OEIB, she anticipated that the university would then have its chance to offer their input.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) asked Acting Provost Davis if the Senate had passed a resolution in favor of an independent governing board, and if so, would that be a helpful gesture. She replied that as far as she knew, the Senate had not, but believed that it could be helpful. If the Senate was to take such action, she recommended that the resolution be very specific.
The next question came from Ben Eckstein (ASUO President). He stated that there was concern among the campus community and with students over the inaccuracy of revenue projections from the Mathew Knight Arena and how those inaccuracies will impact the Athletic Department’s financial situation. He wanted to know if the university had any concerns regarding this issue. Acting Provost Davis stated that there were a number of differing opinions on this issue. She then commented that she did not have all of the information regarding those opinions, but given the latest projections, she did not believe that the inaccuracies were that far off from what was previously anticipated after revised projections were made given the delay in events that were scheduled to come to the arena. She then stated that if the delay was factored in, the area was on target. Senator Gordon Sayre (English) commented on Mr. Eckstein’s question regarding the arena revenue projections. He stated that during 2007-2008, he was serving on the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee for Arena Financing which examined the projections that came from many sources, including ones that were commissioned by consultants who were trying to support the plans to build the arena. According to Senator Sayre, many of the reports were pure fantasy. The Ad-Hoc committee worked to try to bring more realistic projections to the Athletic Department. He stated that while the projections were slightly inaccurate, he did not believe that the inaccuracies would greatly diminish the Legacy Fund, but the difference was much greater than what was estimated five years ago.
Acting Provost Davis thanked the Senate body for their questions. Senate President Kyr commented that the Statutory Faculty passed a motion at their November 30 meeting of the Faculty Assembly for the establishment of a local independent governing board which was posted to the Senate website. He then mentioned the new Statutory Faculty website and informed the Senators that the Senate would be more than willing to entertain legislation regarding the local governing boards. Senate President Kyr then welcomed Nancy Golden (Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools) to the Senate floor for the open discussion portion of the meeting.
3. OPEN DISCUSSION
3.1 “The 0-20 Educational System: Our Role in the Future” Dr. Nancy Golden; Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools; Alternate Chair, Oregon Educational Investment Board (OEIB) Dr. Mary Spilde; President, Lane Community College; Board Member, OEIB
Dr. Nancy Golden began by introducing Dr. Mary Spilde (President, Lane Community College). Dr. Golden welcomed her to the Senate floor as a member of the OEIB. She then thanked Senate Ian McNeely for contacting her a few months ago and mentioning to her that the university would like to be involved with this process. Dr. Golden stated that Senate Bill 1581 created the position of the chief education investment officer. This person will oversee the 0-20 Educational System. The position has been posted and nominations are being submitted. According to Dr. Golden, this person will insure that Oregon educational institutions are meeting their 40-40-20 goals. She recommended that the university community offer up nominees for this position in an effort to have an influence on the future of Oregon’s education. As a school district superintendent, she is interested in having the state shift from a compliance role to more of a support role. When she has to meet an achievement compact, she will have the support of the OEIB.
Dr. Golden stated that the Governor was interested in bringing more funding to education. In the last two sessions, he has pushed for tremendous reform for education. The measures are shifting towards outcomes in regards to the educational compacts. The budget will include money that is geared towards achieving those outcomes. She informed the Senate that there was one compact that was associated with the Oregon University System (OUS), but there are also individual compacts. She then turned the conversation over to Dr. Mary Spilde to discuss compacts in greater detail.
Dr. Spilde is and member of the OEIB and the chair of the subcommittee on achievement compacts. She stated that the process was moving very fast. The legislation around achievement compacts is contained in Senate Bill 1581, sections 14 – 18. She then commented that there was only going to be one compact with each institution, however, each institution can add local priorities for that institution to the system. Only one will be signed between the President of the University of Oregon and the OEIB. In dealing with higher education, each institution’s compact structure will differ from university to university. Because of this, there was a certain amount of flexibility written into Senate Bill 1581 on how to engage with this. According to Dr. Spilde, the Chancellor’s office has been working on this for quite a while due to Senate Bill 242. There has also been work on mission alignment. The community colleges have had a very informed discussion and they believe their achievement compacts will reflect their needs. The template for the compacts will show OUS measurements as well as what the University of Oregon deems to be important in their achievement compact. Several questions arose at the OEIB subcommittee’s meeting that was being discussed by the Chancellor’s office.
Dr. Spilde stated that the compacts were very evolutionary, and the ones that are currently being discussed will probably not be going forward. There will be a testing/trial and error period and after adjustments, the achievements will go forward. According to Dr. Spilde, this is a pilot year. The compacts will be approved for one year and after that year, adjustments will be made. Engagement with students and faculty members will occur by September. Completion, quality, and connections were three words she used to define the next phase of the compacts. There was a great deal of concern regarding quality. She stated that putting measurements on quality was a great concern for faculty around the country. She then asked for questions from the Senate body. Dr. Golden stated that there was a meeting on Friday if recommended that a representative attend the meeting to offer suggestions.
3.2 Questions and comments with response
Senate President Kyr stated that the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) was preparing a summary of the remarks that were made at the SEC meeting. He then asked when would be the best time to give testimony to the subcommittee. Dr. Spilde advised to go to the meeting on Friday and give testimony at the end of the meeting. She also recommended sending information to the committee members now and also show up to the meeting to reinforce that information. Dr. Spilde stated that the meeting was in Salem, OR at the state library from 3 – 5pm. Senate President Kyr stated that he would send both Dr. Spilde and Dr. Golden information for the subcommittee and he would be testifying at the meeting.
Senator Ian McNeely summarized a few points made at the SEC meeting and invited people to ask questions now or to get back to the SEC with their inquiries. He thanked both presenters for coming to the Senate meeting. The SEC believed that it was important to have an achievement compact that was tailored to the universities mission, whether or not the university ends up with an independent board. Dr. Spilde stated that for the first year, the OUS metrics will be included in whatever is signed by the university President. In going forward, as the governance changes, she did not believe the university would be bound by the OUS metrics, but would have their own achievement compacts. Senator McNeely stated that others on campus came up with a very different set of accountability metrics and the SEC would like to see these factored into the achievement compacts for the UO. The third goes to the fact that these systems are difficult to measure. The SEC wants to measure what they value and not value what they measure.
Dr. Golden asked for further questions and seeing none, thanked the Senate for allowing both she and Dr. Spilde for the opportunity to speak at the Senate meeting. Senate President Kyr thanked both Dr. Golden and Dr. Spilde for their hard work.
4. NEW BUSINESS
4.1 A request by the Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors, [Presented by Robert Kyr, Senate President]
Senate President Kyr stated that the Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors has requested to no longer be a part of the Senate committee structure. He then read a note between Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) and Melody Leslie (Development Communications).
“The Emerald Board of Directors, a “committee” listed on the committee site has asked to be removed. I spoke with Melody Leslie, who sits on the board, and she stated that the board is and has been a private company that is not directly affiliated with the university. I checked their membership and it says that the President appoints two members, one faculty and one staff, to the board, but the board nominates these members, not the committee on committees.”
Senate President Kyr stated that after having discussions with all involved, and looking into the history of this relationship, he believed it made sense to remove the committee. He then called for a discussion on this item. Seeing none, he called for a motion to remove the Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors from the committee structure. The motion was seconded and a voice vote was taken. The motion was approved with one abstention.
4.2 Winter Curriculum Report; Paul Engelking, Chair; Committee on Courses
Senate President Kyr asked the chair of the Committee on Courses, Paul Engelking (Chemistry), to present the Winter Curriculum Report. Professor Engelking outlined several corrections to the Winter Curriculum Report. The report has been posted to the Senate website. Professor Engelking moved that the Winter Curriculum Report be adopted by the Senate. Senate President Kyr called for a motion to approve the report. The motion was seconded and a voice vote was taken. The Winter Curriculum report was approved unanimously.
4.3 Retirement and Emeriti Policy; John Nicols and Jim Mooney, Co-chairs; Tenure Reduction, Retirement, and Emeriti Committee
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that the committee has asked that this policy vote be postponed until the April 11 Senate meeting. Their request was approved and it will come before the Senate at that time.
4.4 Research Misconduct Policy; Beth Stormshak, Associate VP of Research
Senate President Kyr invited Beth Stormshak (Associate VP of Research) to the Senate floor to present the Research Misconduct Policy. Ms. Stormshak stated that the research misconduct policy supports the research integrity of the university. A variety of federal regulations address research misconduct and this policy was required by federal agencies in order for the university to receive research funds. According to Ms. Stormshak in October of 2009, a work groups was formed to revise the policy, which included members of the Senate. It was reviewed by the general counsel and endorsed by the science council and the Faculty Advisory Committee in the spring of 2010. It also went before the Executive Leadership Team and the Senate. Senate President Kyr called for a discussion on the policy. An unidentified Senator asked what the major changes to the policy were. Ms. Stormshak stated that there were no significant changes to the policy. The biggest change was to make sure that the policy avoided the application for open meetings law due to the fact that research misconduct is a confidential matter. The policy now ensures the confidentiality of the misconduct process. Senate President Kyr outlined the steps of policy on policies. He then called for a motion to approve the policy. The motion was called and seconded, and a voice vote was taken. The Research Misconduct Policy was approved unanimously.
4.5 Classified Research Policy, Beth Stormshak
Senate President Kyr asked Ms. Stormshak to discuss the Classified Research Policy that would be coming before the Senate at the April 11 meeting. Ms. Stormshak remarked that the discussion would be delayed. She stated that there were some concerns that the policy did not address some of the issues in its precursor, which was drafted in 1967. After hearing those concerns from faculty, they will be developing a companion policy that will deal with proprietary research. These policies will be brought back to the Senate later in the spring. Senate President Kyr stated that this was an example of how good policy making works. Only with open discussion and involving all parties, can we get it right.
Senator Randy Sullivan asked a question regarding the Classified Research Policy. He asked if the Senate was considering an amendment to an existing policy. Senate President Kyr stated that it was an amendment, but it could also be seen as a development to the policy.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) offered a point of clarification. He stated that the 1967 policy prohibited all secret (federally classified or proprietary) research on campus whose results are owned by a company and are not freely communicable. The policy brought forth from Johnson Hall was to replace that 1967 policy was written in such a way that only federally classified research was addressed. Substituting the old policy for the one that was to have been brought before the Senate, would not have address the question of proprietary research. That failure of the new policy was recognized and brought to the attention of Ms. Stormshak who will develop a policy for proprietary research that will be brought in parallel with the federally classified policy to the Senate.
Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Stahl for his point of clarification and moved to the reports portion of the meeting. He then asked Ben Eckstein to present the ASUO report
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Ben Eckstein (ASUO President) first discussed the Department of Public Safety (DPS) transitioning into a police force. He stated that students are deeply concerned with the process of implementing a police force on campus. Students want an oversight mechanism in place before the transition occurs. This has been taking place, but it has not been resolved. Conversations between students, faculty, and staff have stopped and his administration is working very closely to ensure that there is a strong oversight group. Another issue concerning DPS was to continue to advocate for a weapons free campus. He strongly believes that the university should not have armed police officers housed on campus.
They have also been working on the assessment rate that campus units are charged. The ASUO has been overcharged by 1% on their assessment rate. This equates to more than $130,000 in student fee dollars. His administration is working to get that 1% back. The ASUO was completing their budget season and they are negotiating with the Athletic Department (AD) on their agreement over student tickets. They have agreed to a zero increase in funds paid from the ASUO to the AD for football and basketball tickets. This has not been finalized because the AD wants an 8% increase for next year which would amount to more than $100,000. The ASUO is not able to commit to this increase. They invested the funds not given to the AD in student programs. His administration is continuing to work on the EMU and SRC renovation project. They are exploring the best ways to make the renovations affordable to students. He then asked for questions from the Senate body. No questions were asked. Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for his tireless work for students.
5.2 IFS (InterInstitutional Faculty Senate) Report; Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr stated that he attended the IFS meeting in Portland at Portland State University (PSU) with the other two IFS Senators. According to Senate President Kyr, the most important issue that was voted on and approved unanimously was to have a meeting in June that will be conjoined with the OUS Leadership Caucus, a group of Senate leaders from all seven OUS institutions. He believes this will be a big step forward because the governance groups from all the campuses will be communicating together. He then thanked Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) for organizing the OUS Leadership Caucus.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Seeing no further comments, Senate President Kyr called the March 7, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:37PM.
Minutes of the University of Oregon Senate Meeting 08 February 2012
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator
Present: Nancy Bray, Jane Brubaker, Jennifer Ellis, Ali Emami, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Anthony Hornof, Ryan Kellems, Peter Keyes, Theodora Ko Thompson, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Kelley Leon Howarth, Huaxin Lin, Carla McNelly, Harlan Mechling, Amy Nuetzman, Marilyn Nippold, Roxann Prazniak, Sonja Runberg, Gordon Sayre, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Nathan Tublitz, Vadim Vologodsky, Dean Walton
Absent: Tracy Bars, John Bonine, Ben Eckstein, John Foster, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Colin Ives, Harinder Kaur Khalsa, Jena Langham, Peng Lu, Andrew Lubash, Stephanie Matheson, Ian McNeely, Jeff Measelle, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, David Riley, Glen Waddell, Peter Walker
Excused: Roger Adkins, Robert Elliot, Karen Estlund, Deborah Healey, Steven Pologe, Donna Shaw
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for February 8, 2012 to order at 3:07PM in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom.
1.1 Approval of the minutes of the Nov. 9 & Jan. 11 meetings
Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body if there was any discussion on the November 9 or January 11 meeting minutes. Hearing none, he called for the approval of the minutes from the November 9 Senate meeting. A voice vote was taken, and the minutes were approved unanimously. He then called for the approval of the minutes from the January 11 Senate meeting. A voice vote was taken, and the minutes were approved unanimously. Senate President Kyr invited Interim President Robert Berdahl to the Senate floor to discuss the state of the university.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Robert Berdahl, Interim President
Interim President Berdahl thanked Senate President Kyr, and stated that the main topic of discussion was the presidential search with input coming from those in attendance. He stated that currently there was a great deal of discussion regarding the University of Oregon along with other institutions within the state system securing independent boards. According to Interim President Berdahl, the house committee on higher education recently passed, by a vote of seven to one, house bill 4061. This bill created a special legislative committee comprised of members of the legislature and members of the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) to generate a report on how to achieve independent boards. The bill will be passed to and considered by the Ways and Means Committee and then go before the Senate. Interim President Berdahl believes that the intent of the bill is to create a clear path for the creation of institutional boards in 2013. The bill has passed the committee with bi-partisan support and he hoped that the bill will continue through the Ways and Means Committee and Senate during the month of February.
He then discussed the presidential search. Interim President Berdahl stated that a search committee has been appointed, and that committee has secured the services of a search firm. He stated that the process of recruiting a president is not limited to the university seeking an individual, but also that individual seeking the university. The UO community should provide potential candidates with confidence in the nature of the institution and in the promise that the future of the institution has. He then stated that someone recently stated that they want a president who is optimistic about the future of the institution. Interim President Berdahl thought that there was every reason for a candidate looking at the University of Oregon to be optimistic about the future. He believes that there is a very strong basis for that optimism due to the important ongoing discussions regarding the governance structure of the institution, and also due to the discussions regarding the support that the university has within the broader community; especially support that comes from donors.
Interim President Berdahl believed it was important that the faculty continue to strive to become a community of scholars that focuses on best teaching, student learning, and the discovery of knowledge. He stated that a potential presidential candidate would be looking for those points. He went on to say that the university is one of moderate size, and because of that, it is possible to achieve things more easily than larger institutions. Interim President Berdahl commented that, in many respects, the UO is a face to face campus. This has enabled the university to have many important programs that are interdisciplinary. He believes that this is essential to move forward due to the fact that many exciting breakthroughs occur through interdisciplinary collaboration. He then stated that the university wants a candidate who is creative in considering the means of teaching and delivery. Higher education in the United States is changing at a very rapid rate, and as such, public institutions have to compete with private institutions. Investment in a twenty first century institution will call for a greater investment in IT and in non-traditional means of delivering a quality education. Interim President Berdahl stated that the university must be one of collegiality and respect, in which there is not, as is all too often the case, a profound divide between the administration and the faculty. A new candidate should feel confident in his or her ability to freely move the institution forward using the resources available. He then stated that potential candidates will look at how well the university has coped with state funding or the lack thereof. In preparation for his talk with the city club, Interim President Berdahl referred to several metrics on the university in an effort to determine how the UO measured up with the state as an institution. He believes that the university looks very good. When looking at the number of students enrolled, the UO has higher rates of retention and higher rates of students receiving degrees than any other institution in the state. The UO graduates slightly over seventy percent of its students. As the investment board looks at making a compact with individual institutions in the state of Oregon, Interim President Berdahl believes that the university has a fairly high claim based on the metrics he viewed. Despite tuition increases, students still gradate from the UO with the lowest level of indebtedness. Interim President Berdahl stated that the UO has a great story to tell and he will tell that story to any potential presidential candidate. He then asked for questions from those in attendance.
2.2 Questions and comments with response
The first question came from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He stated that as the university moves forward in pursing an independent governing board, the UO remains Oregon’s flagship university. With the growing role of various regional, national, and international stakeholders in the university, what institutional structures are the administration recommending guaranteeing that the university remains responsible to the people of Oregon.
Interim President Berdahl replied that he did not know what these institutional structures were, but he felt that the state would provide those institutional structures. He then commented that any independent board that is acquired by the university will be largely drawn from citizens of the state of Oregon. He felt that the structure that was beginning to take shape suggests that the universities will be negotiating individual compacts for achievement with the Oregon Educational Investment Board (OEIB). These compacts will focus on outcomes for the state of Oregon. Interim President Berdahl stated that he would argue very strenuously that the university was and has been committed to the public interest in the state of Oregon. The majority of UO students are drawn from non-residents, but the UO still graduates more Oregonians than any other state institution. If the UO could build a research enterprise that is distinguished and outstanding, an independent board will be manifest.
The next question came from an unidentified community member. He wanted to know who was on the OEIB and how were they selected. Interim President Berdahl replied that the members of the OEIB were appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber.
He then asked if anyone at the UO had a say in determining who was appointed to the OEIB. Interim President Berdahl replied that he could not answer that question because the members of the OEIB had already been appointed before he took over as Interim President. As was the case with most state boards, some have mixed gubernatorial appointments and some have elected members, but the membership of most boards in education at the state level are appointed by the governor.
The unidentified community member then asked how he or anyone else in attendance could be assured that the members of the OEIB have the best interests of the university in mind. Interim President Berdahl recommended watching how the members of the OEIB behave, and if their behavior is unacceptable, the community member should elect a new governor who will appoint a new board.
Senate President Kyr asked if there were any more questions. Seeing none, he moved on to the next item of business on the agenda.
3. OPEN DISCUSSION: PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH
3.1 Introduction of Diversified (Search Firm) and the Presidential Search Committee; Chancellor Pernsteiner
Senate President Kyr asked Chancellor George Pernsteiner (Chancellor, OUS), Allyn Ford (Chair, Presidential Search Committee), and Kim Morrison (Diversified Search Firm Representative) to approach the podium for a discussion on the qualities that the university community is seeking in the next University of Oregon President.
3.2 Remarks by Chancellor Pernsteiner
Chancellor George Pernsteiner thanked Senate President Kyr for his introduction and informed the Senate that the presidential search committee had had its first meeting today. He stated that the search committee’s job is to advise the Chancellor and members of the state board in choosing a new president of the university. The committee will help to determine the criteria wanted in a candidate and will sift through candidate profiles and proposals. They will interview candidates and make a recommendation to Chancellor Pernsteiner and the board of higher education. The Chancellor stated that that process began today, and at the meeting, the search consultant was in attendance. He then introduced Kim Morrison from Diversified, a professional search firm operating in Philadelphia and San Francisco. It was the Chancellor’s hope that they would find the right candidate by the end of the spring, but the person must be the right candidate for the job. He then stated that the Chancellor, Allyn Ford, and the Kim Morrison were here today to hear from audience member what traits and characteristics they thought were important in a new president. The search committee will take those responses under advisement as they begin their work. Chancellor Pernsteiner then turned the discussion over to Allyn Ford.
3.3 Remarks by Allyn Ford; Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Allyn Ford stated that last month both he and the Chancellor attended the Senate meeting to listen and understand the various stakeholders that existed within the university. He commented that he was pleasantly surprised at the amount of ground that he has covered during the last three to four weeks. He then remarked that the search was being expedited, which could be dangerous and as such, the committee must make sure they do their jobs right. He felt comfortable with the committee even though not every constituency was represented. He then stated that he was very impressed with the conversations that took place today and believed that the committee was off to a good start. Allyn Ford concluded his comments and turned the conversation over to Kim Morrison.
Kim Morrison thanked everyone for meeting with her over the last two days. She described her experience as a series of interactions in which she and the search committee were trying to listen very hard to what the expectations were around the position of the president, in particular, what kinds of criteria the committee should be using for their screening processes and for the search committees evaluation process. She then stated that this process has led to a series of very good discussions with different stakeholder groups, and the committee will continue to have these discussions. There will also be an opportunity for people to send in their comments to a website that was currently being created. This website will link to the president’s office’s webpage. She commented that her role as a search consultant was to partner with the search committee and to work very closely with them in a very transparent way. As they reach into the market and begin to identify candidates, the search firm will use a document/prospectus that the committee will have approved that outlines the position and its context. They will also use many of the metrics that were previously mentioned by Interim President Berdahl. She believes there was a great story to tell, and having worked with the university on a number of other searches, she stated that the market response has been very positive. She also believe that the university has a good reputation to build on and that she would be able to construct a narrative that will attract people to the table and provide the search committee with good choices from a broad pool. She then invited those in attendance to share with her suggestions and nominations that they believe the committee should follow up on. They will be committed to all suggestions provided.
Chancellor Pernsteiner invited audience members to recommend to the panel various qualities, traits, and experiences that they felt to be the hallmarks of a successful president at the university. He then informed members of the audience that Tim Black (Assistant Vice President, Office of the President) will also be accepting suggestions via email at email@example.com which will be sent to the search committee for their review.
3.4 Questions and comments with response
The first comment came from a community member named David. He commented that he had previously attended the university for a brief period and later attended Rutgers University as a chemistry major. According to David, the nutrition department at Rutgers was associated with the Nabisco Company which made it difficult for students to participate in nutrition research. He then asked if the board was going to privatize the university and not negotiate on behalf of the student body for items including books. David then commented that books must be newly purchased every year regardless of whether the material had changed significantly. He wanted the university to remain a public university. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked David for his comments.
The next comment came from Senior Instructor Kassia Dellabough (AAA, Director of PODS). She stated that an essential characteristic for the next president was for her/him to have a very accessible personality so that students on the street would feel welcome to come and say hello. She believed that the next president must be approachable on all levels and provide a strong sense of humanity and be able to personally connect with every rank. She then commented that Richard Lariviere was that way. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked her for her comment.
Another comment came from an unidentified community member. He noticed that the university had a unique culture including their commitment to undergraduate education which he thought was rare in a research university. Senate President Kyr asked the community member to please identify himself before continuing. He identified himself as Paul and asked if the panel had considered looking within the university for someone who might better understand its unique culture. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked him for his comment.
The next comment came from David Parziale (student) who seconded Senior Instructor Dellabough’s comment. According to him, Richard Lariviere was not very approachable and felt looked down upon by the universities previous president. He commented that he had concerns when looking at the history of the certain members of the presidential search committee and wanted to know why the committee was chaired by the owner of a logging company. Chancellor Pernsteiner asked for other comments from the audience.
The next comment came from an unidentified community member. He stated that he was a student at the university many years ago in the college of education. He felt that everyone in attendance was concerned with the direction that the university was heading and stated that the president was responsible for many. He did not want the new president to be responsible to the OEIB, and believed that the OEID was an alien group of people whose interests were different from the student body and professors. If privatization or bankruptcy were to occur, the professors would not have a chance and would be flattened. He then stated that tenure falls apart and that was what professors were concerned with. He hoped that the Chancellor and the state board find a president that was independent of the OEIB. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked him for his comment.
Senator Anthony Hornof (Computer and Information Science) stated that he served on the Senate seven years ago and reported on a controversial issue that arose during that time. He believed that an important criterion for a future president was someone who was sensitive to the complexities of these issues. The issues were pertaining to race and the complexities involved in promoting and giving appropriate credit and recognition to minorities and women. He recalled that during that Senate meeting, there were very heated discussions on these issues and the next president should be able to navigate the complexities of these issues. The other issue he mentioned was a debate as to whether the Senate should recommend to the President that the President recommend against any faculty receiving funding that could be construed as having any affiliation with defense spending. It seemed to Senator Hornof that this debate was between the sciences and the humanities and was an extremely divisive topic. He believed that the future president should be sensitive to issues like these.
Katie Taylor (ASUO Vice President) stated that students would like to see a president that has the commitment to access and award authority to students especially regarding students of color, LGBT students, and students with disabilities. They would also like to see a president that was committed to shared governance among all stakeholder groups. Students want a voice in policy decisions and the next president should commit to include students, faculty, classified staff, and OAs in the conversation early on regarding policy creation and development. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked her for her comments.
David, a Eugene community member stated that Allyn Ford was the owner of Roseburg Timber. He thought that that was a bias against students that want to pursue environmental projects and save the environment. He then stated that Allyn Ford was involved with a company that does a lot of clear cutting of forests.
Senator Randy Sullivan stated that he was looking for a very specific characteristic in the next president as the university becomes increasingly more reliant on individual donors. He commented that donors like to give for glamorous reasons including research and sporting facilities. He wants a president who will glamorize lower divisions in general education so that his classrooms can be filled. Senator Sullivan stated that the university needs a donor for classroom and office space, and the next president needs to be able to motivate those donors to provide these items for the university.
The next comment was from Danielle Howe (UO Libraries). She believes the next president should be a strong consensus builder with proven demonstrable experience in building consensus among very diverse constituencies. Chancellor Pernsteiner thanked her for her comments.
Senate President Kyr stated that earlier, someone made a remark regarding Allyn Ford and that remark was based on a political distinction and on the environment. Senate President Kyr stated that he did not know what Mr. Ford’s stance was on these issues, but what he could tell the Senate was that Mr. Ford has funded, through the Ford Family Foundation, many scholarships for students in need and the Ford Alumni Center. He then thanked Mr. Ford for his generous gifts to the university and for collaborating with the presidential search committee.
4. NEW BUSINESS
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Senate Vice President Katie Taylor gave the ASUO Report. She thanked Senate President Kyr for the opportunity to report to the Senate. She updated the Senate on the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) construction project. The ASUO wants more student input on how the decisions are being made during the remodeling. She then stated that students are generally opposed to building a concert hall connected to the EMU. They do want a concert hall, but not connected to the EMU. The ASUO was negotiating their thirteen million dollar budget with various groups like the athletic department and the office for multicultural academic success. The ASUO Executive has instituted the Student Coalition on Reprioritization of Education (SCORE) which will mobilize students to push the athletic department to fulfill the first recommendation of the 2004 Intercollegiate Athletics Task Force report and donate a portion of their proceeds to academics. She then thanked the Senate for allowing her to present the student update.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS & COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Kyr stated that he thinks the students have not understood that the concert hall is actually for the students. If a concert hall existed, the students could perform some of the great works of orchestral music by composers like Mahler and Brahms that they cannot perform in Beall Concert Hall. There are valid educational reasons for proposing a concert hall. He then welcomed the ASUO and other students to have a dialogue with the school of music faculty and dean as to why, for educational purposes, a concert hall was worthy of consideration.
6.1 Campus Forum: Faculty Unionization
Senate President Kyr stated that the Senate will host an educational forum on the unionization of the faculty. A panel of faculty members who are for and against the union will have time to present their ideas as to why the support or do not support the union. An open dialogue will take place between audience members and the panel of faculty members.
Senate President Kyr then asked everyone in attendance to please submit their nominations for the four Senate Awards listed below.
6.2 Wayne Westling Award (Kyr)
6.3 UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award (Kyr)
6.4 UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for OAs (Kyr)
6.5 Distinguished Service Award (Kyr)
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the February 8, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:12 PM.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (email@example.com).
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.