SFA 11/12-04 The University Statutory Faculty requests that the OUS Board hold an executive and a public meeting and a public vote on the question of renewal, or non-renewal of the OUS Chancellor’s employment before the 12/31/2011 deadline in his current contract.
SFA 11/12-03: The University Statutory Faculty moves that the State Board of Higher Education invites the UO Senate or its executive committee to provide a formal candidate for the interim president of UO.
SFA 11/12-02: Motion for the Establishment of a UO Board of Trustees, Senate Executive Committee presented by Professor Peter Keyes, Architecture
The UO Faculty Assembly directs the Senate Executive Committee, or an ad hoc Senate Committee to be appointed by the Senate President, to initiate negotiations with State Legislative leaders and the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, leading to the appointment of a University of Oregon Board of Trustees.
The scope of issues to be engaged in the discussion of the powers of this board shall include, but shall not be limited to:
1. The composition and appointment process of the Board
2. Operational oversight of the University
3. Setting of tuition and fees
4. Budgetary control
5. Contract negotiations and contract authority
6. Bonding authority
7. Acquisition of property
8. Status of legal counsel
9. Construction buildings
10. Authority over the hiring and firing of president of UO.
11. Hiring and personnel policies for faculty and staff
SFA 11/12-01 Motion on the replacement of President Richard Lariviere; Senate Executive Committee presented by Professor Ian McNeely, History
WHEREAS the State Board of Higher Education and its Chancellor have acted to terminate the employment of Richard Lariviere as President of the University of Oregon, and
WHEREAS they have undertaken this action without any advance consultation with the faculty and students of the University of Oregon and then over the repeated expressions of protest from the faculty, students, staff, alumni and alumnae, and friends of the University of Oregon, and
WHEREAS they have as a group declined to engage in reasoned dialogue with the university community and have thereby confounded the traditions of argument and persuasion on which higher education is based, and
WHEREAS they have acted in defiance of testimony that their action will bring enduring injury to the University of Oregon, and
WHEREAS they have provided the citizens of the State of Oregon with no credible reasons for their action until compelled to do so, and
WHEREAS they have indicated by their action their lack of respect for the President, faculty, staff, students, alumni and alumnae, and friends of the University of Oregon, and
WHEREAS the University of Oregon Statutory Faculty condemns the Chancellor and State Board of Higher Education for their decision to terminate President Lariviere and for the process by which they reached this decision,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Statutory Faculty directs the University Senate, working with the University Administration and the State Board or whatever Board may succeed it as the legal authority that appoints the University of Oregon president, to establish a search committee with strong university representation to locate a suitable permanent replacement for President Lariviere.
I wish to formally challenge the current election for the Faculty Grievance Appeals Committee. The current election has four Officers of Administration on the ballot. There no officers of instruction, i.e. teaching faculty, on the ballot.
The OAR which describes the composition of the FGAC is OAR 571-003-0007. Here is the relevant subsection:
OAR 571-003-0007 Composition of Faculty Grievance Appeal Committees
(2a) The committee shall have its five members elected by the non-students eligible to vote at meetings of the University Assembly;
(2b) Committee members shall be unclassified academic employees with faculty rank. The Committee on Committees shall insure a slate of at least two candidates each year for each open position. Candidates may also be nominated by petition which must be signed by at least ten valid signatures of voting faculty. Petitions shall be distributed by the Secretary of the Faculty. Ballots shall contain candidates nominated by the Committee on Committees and those nominated by petition;
2a refers to the University Assembly, a governance group that no longer exists. In fact, it does not exist because the Department of Justice issued a ruling in November 2008 specifically stating that it was an illegal governance body because its membership included people who were not teaching faculty, i.e. those with faculty rank.
2b specifies that the Committee members shall be people with faculty rank, not faculty status. It is my understanding that OAs do not have faculty RANK. Lorraine Davis told me that when she was assistant provost she changed the contracts of OAs so that they no longer had faculty rank only faculty status.
The University official salary and appointment list (http://ir.uoregon.edu/sites/ir/files/Unclassified%20060111%20to%20083111.pdf; see attached) for all unclassified employees includes each of the 4 FGAC candidates. Not one is listed as having faculty rank. Indeed, each is listed as having "no rank". In addition, none of the four are designated as "faculty" in the employment category entitled "EEO category"; one is listed as "secretary/clerical" and other three as "other professionals".
When taken together, the salary book information and OAR 571-003-0007 provide strong evidence that officers of administration cannot run for the FGAC or vote in the FGAC election.
There is also an ethical reason to not have OAs on the FGAC. The FGAC is a highly sensitive committee that must at times go against the decisions made by the administration. An OA who has a one year contract and can be fired at will with 90 days notice will likely not going to risk his/her livelihood and his/her family's well being by going against the will of the administration. This is a clear conflict of interest and we would do well not to ever place an OA in such a position.
Thus for legal and ethical reasons, I formally protest the current election for the open positions on the FGAC and ask that the election be nullified and repeated with candidates drawn from the ranks of the Statutory Faculty.
In your response, I ask that you explicitly state the University's definition of "faculty rank", including the legal basis for this definition. I also formally request a ruling from the Department of Justice and not from General Counsel on whether it is appropriate to use the membership of the now-decommissioned University Assembly as the basis for justifying the inclusion of OAs in this election given the DoJ November 2008 ruling which deemed the University Assembly as an illegal governance body.
TO: Christopher Prosser, Executive Coordinator of the Statutory Faculty
FROM: Richard W. Lariviere, President
As you are aware, a faculty member submitted an objection to the recent election for the Faculty Grievance Appeal Committee. The objection was based on an assertion that the definitions of the electorate and of the qualifications for candidacy were incorrect.
I have been informed by the University's General Counsel that the electorate and eligibility definitions used in this election for service on, and voting for, the Faculty Grievance Appeal Board were correctly interpreted. They reflected the definitions of the University Assembly in place at the time of the issuance of the OAR 571 003 0007 governing that matter.
I understand that all individuals who were eligible to serve were notified of that opportunity and of the process for nomination. Four individuals, qualified to serve, came forward.
I therefore certify that the election just completed to fill two openings on the FGAC was correctly administered and that the results will stand.
The Officers of Administration Council has been approached by numerous OAs with questions about the current situation regarding the potential termination of President Lariviere.
The 2011-12 OAC strongly feels that the abrupt actions by the State Board of Higher Education lack transparency and undermine the position of President of the University of Oregon At the very least, the OUS Board made a decision without input from either its constituents or the UO community, and we question the extent to which the Board has considered the wide-ranging impacts of its actions. Along with recent high-level changes in senior administration, the potential termination of President Lariviere creates serious instability in our leadership. The negative impact on recruitment, retention and fundraising cannot be underestimated -- not the least of which will be the recruitment of a new President.
The OAC would like to encourage participation by OAs in the following events:
Monday (Today) at 2 pm there is a rally outside of Johnson Hall
Tuesday (11/29) at noon there is a rally at the EMU Amphitheater. Please come and show your support for an open process.
Wednesday (11/30) Faculty Assembly – OAs are Welcome!
Oregon State Board of Higher Education Chancellor of the Oregon University System 1800 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 520 Portland OR 97201
Dear President Donegan, Chancellor Pernsteiner, and Members of the State Board:
First, I would like to thank the Board for inviting me to give testimony at the meeting during which you will consider terminating the contract of Richard Lariviere, the sixteenth President of the University of Oregon. We are all aware that today’s meeting is a challenging one for all concerned and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as an “Invited Witness.”
I am here today to give testimony on behalf of the University of Oregon Senate, which is composed of faculty, students, Officers of Administration, Officers of Research, and classified staff. It is the only university legislative body of its kind in the country, since it includes not only faculty, but all of the stakeholder groups within our community. As such, it exemplifies the principle of shared governance that is a primary aspect of our identity, and that dates back to the University of Oregon’s Charter of 1872 and remains embedded in state legislation today.
Over the past two and a half years, I have been fortunate to get to know Richard Lariviere through my work in the University Senate. As part of our shared governance system, I personally meet with the President on a monthly basis, and I sit on the Faculty Advisory Council, which meets with him and our senior administrators every week for two hours to discuss vital university issues. The University of Oregon has a long-standing tradition of consultation and shared decision-making between our President and the five stakeholder groups that I represent.
On Friday, November 25, the faculty members of the University of Oregon Senate Executive Committee issued the following statement in order to convey our strong and unwavering support for the renewal of President Lariviere’s contract:
“President Lariviere has vocally and publicly aligned his vision for the UO with Governor Kitzhaber’s efforts to develop creative, innovative solutions to the problems besetting our entire education system. Under President Lariviere’s bold and dedicated leadership, the UO has begun to close the previously widening gap that separated it from nearly all of its national peers. In student enrollments, faculty research grants, diversity, the quality of the freshman class, and private giving, the UO has improved while many of the country’s leading public research universities have suffered setbacks. This is compelling evidence of President Lariviere’s tangible record of success during a brief tenure of two and a half years, a remarkable achievement in light of ongoing state disinvestment in higher education.
“The spontaneous and widespread outcry of support for President Lariviere—including more than 6,000 signatures on a Senate petition as of today—demonstrates that he inspires deep and passionate commitment among those who carry out and support UO’s teaching and research missions. His departure will shatter morale at the UO, cause many of its employees to leave the state for positions elsewhere, and make it difficult to recruit new academic talent. This will compromise the university’s ability to serve Oregon’s citizens and to stimulate its economy now and in the future. The damage will be both short- and long-term. The deterioration and destabilization of the UO will lead some of Oregon’s most promising and deserving high school graduates to seek their education in other states, where the cost of tuition will be much higher. The inability to attract and educate our best and brightest here at home will cause a brain drain with exceptionally negative consequences for Oregon.
“The State Board’s plan to remove President Lariviere without first consulting the university community demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about UO’s educational mission. It reveals an appalling disregard for the intelligence and expertise of our dedicated and hard-working faculty, students, and staff. The process by which it has occurred will harm the recruitment of leaders in all public universities in Oregon, marking the state system as one in which pursuing excellence is a risk to one’s career.
“Due to the efforts of our current President, the UO has been put on an upward academic and fiscal trajectory. This momentum will be lost and it will be extremely difficult to regain without him.
“In the strongest possible terms, we urge the State Board to halt its efforts to remove Richard Lariviere as the President of the University of Oregon. Furthermore, we implore the Governor and the Legislature to help ensure his retention, not merely for the benefit of the University of Oregon, but for the present and future well-being of all Oregonians.”
In addition to a copy of this statement, which has been co-signed by every dean and department head at the university, I am also submitting additional materials, as follows: first, a volume of media coverage from November 22nd through November 27th; second, a volume of letters of support, and finally, the Senate petition, which has been signed by more than 6,000 individuals.
On Sunday, November 27, two days after our letter was sent to the State Board, we were heartened to read a strong endorsement of President Lariviere by 19 state legislators, including those from our own region and beyond. In their powerful and compelling statement, they assert:
“President Lariviere is a world-class university president with exceptional leadership capabilities. We believe that your pending action sends the wrong message to the public, to the academic community, to policy makers, and to other university presidents, both current and future. Whether intended or not, the result of this action is a message that the charge of university leaders is not to lead a university to the best of their ability.
“This is the exact opposite of what our state needs right now. In the wake of the great recession, the challenges of managing our public institutions demand bold, innovative leadership. We believe President Lariviere’s strong advocacy on behalf of Oregon’s students and on behalf of the University of Oregon is exactly the type of leadership that is needed during these times.
“In the last few years the UO has greatly increased enrollments – both from Oregon and outside – while also increasing the proportion of student retention. Both research grants and private gifts to the University have grown, as has the University’s global reputation (as witnessed by parents from outside Oregon and the United States willing to pay a high price for their children to gain a UO education).
“Comments from UO faculty and alumni strongly suggest this is due to President Lariviere’s strong and visible leadership. This is the type of innovation and leadership Oregon institutions desperately need if we are to prosper and prepare our young for a bright future.
“We have heard that this is a personnel matter, not about policy. We disagree, as it appears that this is a disagreement about policy choices and how President Lariviere acted to protect and move the University of Oregon forward, in both academic excellence and long-term fiscal soundness. We believe that retaining Richard Lariviere as the University of Oregon President is in the University’s and State’s long-term best interest in order to allow the university to continue its drive to deliver world class education, research, and innovation for the state of Oregon. We respectfully ask for the board to reconsider your pending decision and retain Richard Lariviere.”
On behalf of the University Senate, I would like to publicly thank the nineteen legislators who co-signed this statement in support of our President and for their support of our commitment, and I quote, “to deliver world class education, research, and innovation for the state of Oregon.” We commend them for their leadership in issuing this important statement about the future of education in Oregon.
It is clear that the events of the past week have shaken us to the core, in large part because the process of decision-making regarding contract renewal has taken place with virtually no consultation and with little understanding of our system of shared governance. We have been forced to ask: How can it be that an employer considers the renewal of a contract without adequately consulting those whose lives will be most directly affected by their decision? Every well-managed organization, including universities, considers the views of its most important stakeholders. This is especially true at the University of Oregon.
How can it be that the State Board of Higher Education has shown so little understanding of a university that it oversees—its mission, values, people, and needs?
Please do not misconstrue my remarks. We understand that you have a difficult decision to make here today and this vote will become an indelible part of Oregon’s history. However, there is more at stake than the employment status of President Lariviere, which he is the first to point out.
Last night, in a message to our faculty, staff, students, and alumni, President Lariviere made the strongest possible case for how we must move forward. He wrote, “I came here because the University of Oregon is a model for how public universities fulfill their mission in troubling times. I came here because the state of Oregon is a place so often at the forefront of change, a crucible where innovators, dreamers, mavericks and fair-minded citizens devise new solutions to old problems. I still believe this is true.
“The conflicts that resulted in my termination are a symptom of the broken system of governance and funding in Oregon higher education that desperately needs changing if the state of Oregon is going to achieve the greatness we all aspire to…
“…Your cause must be how Oregonians will be educated. Your cause must be how institutions like the University of Oregon can be strong in a state with weak public resources.”
As members of the University of Oregon community, our cause is and always will be how Oregonians are educated. We are educators, administrators, and staff, all of whom have dedicated our lives and careers to the University of Oregon and its mission of educating our students, who are the future of this state.
Regarding meaningful policy reform, we draw your attention to the fact that the Governor and Legislature have taken actions this year to put forward a new governance structure for education in Oregon at all levels. Now it is time for the next step, which is to create a powerful institutional governing board for the University of Oregon and for each of the institutions within our system, according to the particular mission and needs of each university. In the 21st century, one size does not fit all, and education in Oregon can only thrive if we support the unique abilities of each institution to educate its specific population according to its deepest values and needs.
Through consultation and collaboration, which are fundamental to the identity of the University of Oregon, we are committed to working with you to achieve these goals that are now within our reach. In the spirit of shared governance, we look to you for guidance, wisdom, and leadership. We want to work together with you to create the brightest future for our students, for our university, and for the people of Oregon.
In closing, we implore you to vote for the renewal of President Richard Lariviere, who we trust with absolute confidence. He is the leader who will inspire and enable us to achieve our greatest potential, as we strive to best serve the educational needs of our students and the state of Oregon.
There will be a STATUTORY FACULTY meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) Nov. 30 from 3:10 to 5 pm in MAC COURT. The meeting will be preceded by a 10-minute University Senate meeting. We strongly encourage all statutory faculty* to participate and warmly invite the UO community to observe.
The Senate will be seated on folding chairs on the Mac Court floor.
The Statutory Faculty, after signing in at desks in the lobby and receiving colored voting cards, are asked to be seated in the lowest level of seating (100 level) around the basketball floor.
We request that UO community members and visitors sit in the 200 level seating area (2nd floor).
Statutory Faculty are kindly requested to arrive at 2:45 pm to ensure that everyone is signed in prior to the beginning of the meeting.
2.2 Motion for a Process with State Board for the Creation of a local UO Board
2.3 Motion for a State Board Review of Chancellor Pernsteiner’s contract
5:00 pm 3. Adjournment
The Senate President Robert Kyr and the Senate Executive Committee deeply appreciate your commitment to campus governance and to the future of our University.
*"Statutory Faculty" is defined as the body of professors consisting of the University President, tenure-related officers of instruction, career non-tenure-track officers of instruction, and tenured senior officers of instruction.
There are large banners hanging on the north wall of Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art that people can sign and express support for our President RL. I just signed it. It would be great that the banner is filled with our expressions before tomorrow's visit by Chancellor and his people and let them have a look at it. Please let your colleagues know about this and sign it yourself as soon as possible. Thank you. -Ying