Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for December 05, 2012
Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting 05 December, 2012
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 December 5, 2012 to order at 3:04PM in room 101 of the Knight Library.
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the October 10, 2012 Senate Meeting
Before approving the minutes, Senate President Kyr asked the Senate body if there were any corrections or comments. Seeing none, he called for a voice vote to approve the minutes. A voice vote was taken, and the minutes were approved unanimously.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that President Gottfredson had to leave the Senate meeting after his state of the university report. He then invited the President to the Senate floor.
2.1 Remarks by University President Michael Gottfredson
President Gottfredson updated the Senate on several action items that had recently been passed by the Senate, which required his participation. Both he and Senate President Kyr had been recruiting committee members for the review of senior academic administrators, and they were very close to finalizing the membership. The committee would be appointed very soon and both he and Senate President Kyr would then meet with the committee to develop the committee charge. President Gottfredson stated that he and the Provost strongly supported faculty involvement in the review of academic administrators. He then stated that faculty involvement was necessary, and as soon as the committee was formed, they would be informed of the current review policy and would have the opportunity to make suggestions to augment faculty participation in these reviews.
According to President Gottfredson, the administration had begun bargaining with the faculty union. The President stated that it was going very well and that both sides had the same objectives, which was to provide for competitive compensation and a supportive working environment for faculty. He then mentioned that the sessions were open for people to attend, and felt confident that the meetings would continue to progress well.
President Gottfredson recognized several outstanding faculty achievements beginning with Professor Bruce Bowerman (Biology). Professor Bowerman was elected by his peers to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The President stated that this was a tremendous accomplishment, and then mentioned Professor Geri Richmond (Chemistry), who was appointed to the National Science Board by President Barack Obama.
The President stated that Governor Kitzhaber had announced his proposed budget for the coming biennium. The budget signaled financial and organizational matters pertaining to the university and the fulfillment of its mission to be one of the premiere research institutions in the nation. According to President Gottfredson, the Governor’s approach to budgeting depended in part on the legislature adopting significant PERS guideline reforms, which would provide savings necessary to pay for other state services that were allocated for in the budget. These budget items were referred to as the “kids and education first budget,” and President Gottfredson was very excited to hear the Governor discuss his priorities regarding these budgetary items. He then stated that the budget also proposed organizational changes to the landscape of higher education. One change was the formation of a new department of post secondary education. That department would centralize policy for the seventeen community colleges in the state, seven public universities, and OHSU. The Governor suggested reducing the Chancellor’s budget by roughly 8.4 percent and redirecting some of those funds to the department of post secondary education. He then stated that the budget proposed by the Governor did not include a specific list of capital construction projects unlike in previous years. Project funding would be determined by a process that involved the Oregon Educational Investment Board (OEIB). The OEIB would review recommendations put forth by universities, which would be prioritized on the basis of each projects consistency with the 40-40-20 initiative. The university had strong interest in that prioritization with several renovations scheduled to begin in the months ahead. Several other capital projects were mentioned by the President including the renovation of the EMU and Student REC Center, as well as updates to student housing.
One notable item in the proposed budget was a twenty percent increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant Program. This increase could open the program up to additional students and could increase benefits to student who were already in the program. President Gottfredson stated that the Governor’s budget was an effort to stabilize funding sources for key priorities that the Governor had identified, which was very welcome news. There was quite a lot of work to be done and a great deal of process needed to take place in the legislature.
President Gottfredson informed the Senate that his administration had been very active regarding the issue of independent governing boards. He was extremely optimistic about the prospect of the institution acquiring an independent governing board, and this would be discussed and acted upon during the upcoming legislative session. The President stressed that the board would be a public board for a public university. It would enable and enhance the universities ability to meets its public interest goals. He then reiterated that the board that was being proposed was consistent with the universities public mission and goals. The proposed legislation that created the independent governing boards would be quite detailed and complex, but would illuminate a clearer path towards financial stability. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
2.2 Questions and Comments with Response
Senate President Kyr personally thanked President Gottfredson on behalf of the Senate for his many accomplishments in his brief time at the university. President Gottfredson thanked him for his words and stated that he would try to continue to earn those types of remarks. Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr invited Provost James C. Bean to the Senate floor to present his remarks.
2.3 Remarks by Provost James C. Bean
Provost James C. Bean remarked that he had recently sent out an email that indicated progress that had been made relating to the diversity of the entering freshman class. He received a number of questions regarding other data relating to the demography of those students. One of the questions had to do with students from lower economic capabilities. Provost Bean then displayed a chart that highlighted resident and non-resident students who were Pell Grant eligible. He then discussed the percentages of students of color attending the UO over the last five year. Diversity had increased steadily each year. The student body had increase 0.6 percent from last year to this year. Progress was made regarding the student/faculty ratios. Tenure track faculty had increased by 2.5 percent with a net gain of seventeen tenure track faculty. Adjunct faculty had increased by 1 percent and career non-tenure track faculty had increased by 1.4 percent. Officers of Administration had increased by 1.8 percent and classified staff had increased by 2.6 percent. According to Provost Bean, most of that growth was in the schools and colleges who had been expanding staff in order to meet the demand of a larger student body. He then stated that there had been very little growth in the central administration. The Provost commented that the university added three hundred thirty seven classroom seats when the Global Scholars Hall opened in September. Allen Hall was soon to be reopened and the renovation added three hundred and two additional classroom seats. If the university was able to secure funding, the renovation of Straub Hall would add an additional one thousand classroom seats and would include an auditorium the size of Columbia 150. This update to Straub Hall would then allow for the renovation of Columbia 150.
2.4 Questions and Comments with Response
After concluding his update, Provost Bean asked Senators to send him an email if they had any further questions as he was feeling under the weather.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Fall Curriculum Report (Motion for Legislation); Paul Engelking, Chair; Committee on Courses
Professor Paul Engelking (Chemistry) informed the Senate of corrections to the Preliminary Fall Curriculum Report. After presenting the corrections, he asked for additional corrections from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved that the Preliminary Fall Curriculum Report be approved by the Senate as corrected. His request was seconded and Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote to approve the Report. A voice vote was taken, and the Report was approved unanimously. Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Engelking and the members of the Committee on Courses for their hard work in preparing the Curriculum Report every term. He then asked Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) to present his motion.
3.2 Motion (Legislation): Release Time to Enhance Senate Effectiveness; Sponsor: Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)
Professor Stahl moved that his motion be considered by the Senate. The motion was seconded and Professor Stahl stated that in order for the Senate to be effective, it was important that there be a high degree of attendance. It had come to his attention some time ago that some faculty members of the Senate had been assigned courses on Wednesday afternoons and were not able to serve as Senators on a regular basis. His motion established legislation which prevented that from happening. Senate members would not be assigned or accept other university duties on Wednesday afternoons. Senate President Kyr then called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Senator Roger Adkins (Officer of Administration) asked if Senators would be excused from university duties on all Wednesday afternoons or only during the Wednesdays when the Senate met, to which Professor Stahl replied that they would be excused from duties on all Wednesdays. He then commented that when the Senate got up to speed, there would be occasional Wednesday afternoons where additional work was required, and remarked that it was not uncommon for the Senate to switch Wednesday meeting times. He also stated that he hoped the Senate would be meeting more than once a month in order to effectively share governance. Professor Stahl stated that this legislation would become effective in the Spring Term of the year. Senator Adkins stated that for those Senators who were Officers of Administration and Classified Staff, having two hours of every week designated for the Senate might be disagreeable to their supervisors. Professor Stahl asked if that issue could be worked out between OA and Classified Staff Senators and their supervisors, and asked if anyone had a suggestion as to how to deal with this situation. He then asked if Officers of Administration Senators would go and drink coffee for two hours when there was no Senate meeting. He answered his question with a “no” and stated that if his proposed scheduling change did not work out in practice, it could be changed in the near future.
Senate President Kyr asked for a point of clarification and commented that when there was a Senate meeting all faculty members would not have regularly scheduled classes, to which Professor Stahl replied that he was correct.
Senator Huaxin Lin (Mathematics) stated that his department had faculty meetings on Wednesday afternoons and wondered if Professor Stahl was implying that these meetings would have to be canceled, to which Professor Stahl replied that if it was necessary for him to rewrite the motion, he would, but what was important was that the Senate meeting be the top priority. He then commented that if the Senator had to skip their departmental meeting to attend the Senate meeting, their department would understand. According to Professor Stahl, the Senate meeting took priority. Senator Lin was still unclear about the wording of the motion, and Professor Stahl withdrew his motion in order to more clearly define the language. Senate President Kyr asked if there were any further questions from the Senate body that Professor Stahl should consider.
Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) stated that what Professor Stahl was trying to do was a no brainer. Senators should not be scheduled to teach or meet any other departmental responsibilities during the hours of the Senate meeting. She stated that the phrasing should be tinkered with, but the idea should be uncontroversial. After Senator Psaki concluded her comments, Professor Stahl withdrew his motion.
3.3 Motion (Legislation/Amendment): Modification of Fiscal Impact Statement; Sponsor: Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)
Senate President Kyr stated that Professor Stahl’s second motion was a modification to the Senate Bylaws and required a two-thirds vote in order to pass. Professor Stahl stated that his modification to the Fiscal Impact Statement included adding the words “when calculable.” He then read the modified wording to the Senate body, which is listed below:
“Each motion shall be accompanied by a fiscal impact statement. This statement shall explicitly note when calculable any cost savings, new or created costs, or that the motion is cost neutral.”
He then called for a second from the Senate body. His motion was seconded and he then commented that there had been a number of very important motions that could have been brought before the Senate with the exception that the fiscal impact of these motions was not calculable. His intention was to loosen the wording of the fiscal impact statement in order for the Senate to be more effective. Senate President then called for a period of discussion on the motion. Professor Stahl stated that he thought it was best that the fiscal impact statement not be completely eliminated, because the Senate should be encouraged to be fiscally responsible.
Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology) commented that he was not sure which proposals had come before the Senate that fit into this category, but he endorsed the spirit of the motion. He then asked a question regarding the procedures to amend the Senate Bylaws. He was unsure as to what was involved and, then asked if there was a way to approach the cost estimates with an appropriate level of precision. Senator Dreiling thought that the words “when calculable” were too ambiguous. Professor Stahl replied that almost all motions that implied any sort of university activity echoed on into the future in ways that were simply not calculable. According to Professor Stahl, the costs of unintended consequences were rarely calculable.
Senator Huaxin Lin (Mathematics) stated that Professor Stahl’s wording was too ambiguous. He thought it would be more effective if the fiscal impact statement remained as is, or have it removed. Professor Stahl replied that he had hoped to remove the entire phrase, but one member of the Senate Executive Committee objected to this idea, because that person felt that the Senate would appear fiscally irresponsible. Senate President Kyr commented that that person was not on the Senate Executive Committee, to which Professor Stahl agreed and stated that someone had communicated to him that motions should include a fiscal impact statement.
Professor Bruce Blonigen (Economics) suggested a change to Professor Stahl’s wording by using the phrase “any estimated cost savings.” He thought that as long as someone made an effort to estimate the cost, which would be sufficient, to which Professor Stahl provided an example of a hypothetical motion involving university travel and cost estimates regarding carbon dioxide emissions, which would be impossible to calculate the costs.
Senate President Kyr asked Professor Blonigen to repeat his alternative wording of the motion. Professor Blonigen replied that he recommended changing the wording to any estimated cost savings, because economists could on some level derive a cost savings estimate, which could open the door for further discussion. Professor Stahl wanted to know if the Economics department would provide an estimate for all motions coming before the Senate. If so, he would be happy to write that language into his motion.
Senate President Kyr offered up an alternative wording to the motion. He wanted to include the words “when calculable,” but have the authors list estimated costs. He then asked if someone could determine wording to include both Professor Stahl’s language and estimated costs.
Senator Dreiling stated that it was a matter of appropriate precision in an estimate, which to him was something that the Senate could decide and deliberate on. This would allow the Senate to account for variables that might need to be a part of the discussion. Professor Stahl then asked if the President of the University would allocate funds to pay an on-call economist, working on a part-time basis, to provide meaningful cost estimates for Senate motions.
Senate President Kyr closed discussion on the motion and asked Professor Stahl to continue working on the wording of his motion, to which he replied that he might do that, but did not feel that he could come to an agreement with members of the Senate. Professor Stahl then called for a vote on the motion as it stood on the grounds that his intent was clear. A voice vote was taken and the results were unclear. Senate President Kyr asked those who voted "nay" to raise their hands. After tallying the number of nay votes, he announced that a two thirds vote had not been achieved, and the motion did not pass. Senate President Kyr invited Senator Mark Gillem (AAA) to the Senate floor to present his motion.
3.4 Motion (Resolution): Support for Maintaining 4J Neighborhood Schools; Sponsor: Mark Gillem, Associate Professor (AAA)
Before presenting his resolution, Senator Gillem stated that he believed that having great neighborhood schools was essential to the Eugene community, and this idea served as the basis for his resolution. He then commented that the importance of neighborhood schools from the point of view of an architect and planner was essential. Neighborhood schools were part of a community where relationships were formed. They were also part of a sustainable environment where children could walk and ride their bicycles to school. Significant investments had been made, and he believed that the university was an excellent model of how buildings could be repurposed and renovated before beginning new construction. According to Senator Gillem, 4J was running out of money, and one way to address their problems was to build new schools by using bond and maintenance money. 4J hired a consultant firm who examined all thirty-five school buildings and determined that many of those buildings were in disrepair. That recommendation became the basis for a facilities master plan, which called for the demolition of six elementary schools and the construction of a new middle and high school. He stated that many communities had been engaged in this master plan, because when a school was changed, so was a neighborhood. He was interested in how 4J could operate effectively with their limited resources.
Senator Gillem stated that the consolidation plan had a budget of one hundred eighty-nine million dollars, and the cost of renovating existing schools cost eighty-six million dollars, a cost savings of over one hundred million dollars. His urban design lab had been researching this topic and they found that consolidation plans rarely saved money. The consolidation plan called for Edison and Camus Ridge to be converted into one school, but he believed that consolidating these two schools would not save money. According to his research, old schools could be modernized. This was confirmed by the consulting firm. Renovating Roosevelt would cost twenty-nine million dollars versus reconstruction, which would cost thirty-two million dollars. Renovating Camus Ridge would cost five million dollars versus reconstruction, which would cost over twelve million dollars. Edison had a similar cost savings to Camus Ridge. He believed that renovating these schools was a better idea than building new schools and would save a great deal of money. Senator Gillem then commented that by and large, small schools were better schools. Students and teachers generally performed at a higher level at smaller schools. Student participation was higher at smaller schools and so was parent participation.
He then remarked that the consolidation report was release at the beginning of the summer and the school board began holding listening sessions and were beginning to realize that consolidation might not be the best alternative. He believed that the school board could use some help in the form of a resolution from the Senate. The resolution did not force anyone to do anything; it merely stated that the Senate valued the older buildings and the neighborhoods they were in. Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Senator Ronald Mitchell (Political Science) stated that he did not believe the Senate should be weighing in on this issue. He also did not believe that anyone had sufficient expertise on the matter, and while he thought it was a good idea, commented that it was an inappropriate agenda item. Senate President Kyr reminded Senator Mitchell that resolutions such as Senator Gillem’s were appropriate agenda items. Senator Gillem stated that he believed this issue was important to both faculty and staff because it mattered in regards to retention and recruitment. Salaries might not be able to be matched nationwide, but neighborhoods could be matched, and for this reason, he believed the Senate should participate. Senate President Kyr asked for further questions or comments from the Senate body. Seeing none, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion was passed. There was one “nay” vote.
3.5 Motion (Legislation): Study Space Prioritization; Sponsor: Harlan Mechling; ASUO Academic Affairs Director
Harlan Mechling (ASUO Academic Affairs Director) introduced himself to the Senate body and thanked Senate President Kyr for his guidance in developing his two motions. He also thanked Laura Hinman (ASUO President) and Will Campodonico (student) for their assistance. Mr. Mechling stated that at the beginning of the summer, he sat down with Ms. Hinman and Nick McCain (ASUO Vice President) to discuss his responsibilities as Academic Affairs Director for the coming year. One of these responsibilities was to find alternative spaces for students to study on campus. According to Mr. Mechling, the Knight Library had reached its capacity and other options needed to be found. He began discussions with the director of the Lillis Business Complex, the facilities manager for Willamette Hall, and ended up working with several employees of the EMU (Erb Memorial Union) to develop a plan which would offer students a quiet and healthy area for extended study time. The EMU Extended Hours Project was the result of his efforts. This project gave all students access to the EMU and extended the hours of operation until 3AM. Night managers kept count of students that participated in the Extended Hours Project, and reported results of over one hundred students per night.
Mr. Mechling then read the resolution to the Senate body, which can be found on the Senate website under the Motions: Legislation, Policy Adoptions, & Resolutions page. Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Senator Amy Nuetzman (Teaching and Learning Center) wanted to know why the project was extended to 3AM and if there were any peaks and valleys of use time during the project. Mr. Mechling replied that he did not have the exact numbers, but he was in attendance each night and noticed that the busiest time was during the beginning of dead week. As the weekend approached, there were fewer students, probably around seventy or eighty per night. The following Sunday and Monday nights numbers increased and then receded as the week progressed. In response to her first question, Mr. Mechling replied that the ASUO had originally wanted to keep the EMU open twenty-four hours a day for both dead and finals weeks, but it was deemed ineffective from a cost standpoint and 3AM was agreed upon. Upon further review, Mr. Mechling believed that keeping the EMU open until 2AM was the most cost effective option.
Senator Mandy Chong (Classified Staff) stated that she supported the project and had several comments regarding safety issues. She recommended that at least one EMU administrator and one university police officer should be on the committee that Mr. Mechling’s resolution created. Senator Chong believed that the January timeline was too soon, especially for a full investigation for all options on campus and recommended pushing the deadline back. She also believed that the mid-term exam schedule should be revisited, as the schedule was quite different from finals. Mr. Mechling stated that determining mid-term times would be the most difficult, but he would be comparing and contrasting two different studies, one taken from the Knight Library student traffic numbers and the other from EMU student traffic to help determine peak hours and days in determining the mid-term schedule.
Mr. Mechling stated that he liked the idea of having an EMU administrator on the taskforce and he had been in communication with UOPD (Police Department) throughout the entire process. The UOPD had designed areas for student parking and were more than willing to provide walk-throughs of the EMU to ensure student safety. He was willing to update the motion to reflect her request regarding the addition of members to the taskforce. Senate President Kyr asked Mr. Mechling if he was interested in changing the January 16 deadline, to which he replied that he would like to keep that date because even if enough information was not found, he would still like to report back to the Senate on January 16 with his findings.
Laura Hinman (ASUO President) thanked Mr. Mechling for his hard work on the EMU Extended Hours Project. She then commented that her administration wanted to have this project implemented by the beginning of spring term. Mr. Mechling stated that if the motion was passed and the taskforce was created, he would meet with the taskforce and determine if they would be willing to report back to the Senate on January 16. He then stated that he would be willing to report on that date. Senate President Kyr informed Mr. Mechling that it would be possible to ask for an extension if necessary.
Senator Huaxin Lin (Mathematics) stated that he was unsure if it was appropriate for the Senate to encourage students to work after hours. He did not believe it was beneficial for students to study into the early hours of the morning, and he was not sure if it was appropriate for the Senate to be discussing this issue. Senate President Kyr replied that this issue was very relevant to the Senate’s work in a profound way. He stated that students were coming before the Senate asking for additional study space, to which Senator Lin replied that he did not have a problem with the request for additional study space, but he was very concerned with the late hours of operation. Senate President Kyr asked if a student could address Senator Lin’s concerns. Mr. Mechling stated that he agreed with Senator Lin’s sentiment that students should not have to study late into the morning. He stated that it was not a healthy practice and probably contributed to lower test scores, but that was the reality of the life of an undergraduate student. He then commented that this project was a necessity for all students, which was proven by student turnout.
Ms. Hinman commented that this practice was already taking place with the Knight Library being open twenty-four hours a day during dead and exam weeks, and students needed additional safe places to study on campus, which was what this project was supplying.
Senator Taylor Allison (Student Senator) echoed what Ms. Hinman and Mr. Mechling had been saying regarding the project. She commented that while it may not be healthy for students to study until 3AM, it was the reality of their situation, and she believed that the majority of students on campus would agree with her position.
Barbara Altman (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs) stated that she was deeply sympathetic toward Mr. Mechling’s motion. As an undergraduate, she did most of her studying between the hours of 10PM and 3AM. The issue at hand was not to ensure a healthy lifestyle for students, but was an issue of study habits, biorhythms, and preferred working time. She commented that there were many students at the university and limited study space and each student’s schedule differed greatly. She believed that the university had an obligation to provide safe places for students to study for as long as they wished. She also remarked that it was not the universities job to set students schedules for them and again stated that she supported the motion.
Senator Mark Gillem (AAA) stated that the university had the space and as such, it should be used by students to get their work done. He jokingly offered an additional alternative, which was for professors to decrease the amount of work required by students.
Seeing no further comments, Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.
3.6 Motion (Legislation): Classroom Space Prioritization; Sponsor: Harlan Mechling; ASUO Academic Affairs Director
Mr. Mechling read his second motion to the Senate body, which can also be found on the Senate website under the Motions: Legislation, Policy Adoptions, & Resolutions page. Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Laura Hinman (ASUO President) offered a point of clarification regarding the facts listed in the motion. The data was obtained from the Office of the Registrar.
Senator Roger Adkins (Officer of Administration Senator) offered up a comment on behalf of Senator David Landrum (Officer of Administration Senator). Senator Landrum hoped that Mr. Mechling would consider a wording change in item 2.1 from “to prioritize classroom space” to the wording “to give top priority to classroom space.” Mr. Mechling agreed with this friendly amendment.
Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr stated that he was very proud of the student body for addressing these concerns and leading the Senate as a university on these two crucial issues.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
There was no open discussion period during the Senate meeting, and as such, Senate President Kyr invited Laura Hinman to the Senate floor to present her ASUO Report.
5.1 ASUO Report; Laura Hinman, ASUO President
Laura Hinman (ASUO President) thanked the Senate for passing the two motions presented by Mr. Mechling, and stated that it meant a great deal to her. She informed the Senate that the EMU student vote passed, and over four thousand students voted, which was a record for a special election. Over one hundred students attended the Unruly Gathering Public Forum during the City Counsel Meeting. City counsel members were very receptive to changes asked for by students, and conversations were continuing regarding this issue. According to Ms. Hinman, the ASUO was gearing up for the Legislative Session and her administration was trying to identify issues that mattered most to students. She was also working on a Capacity Report and stated that she was incredibly proud of the increased diversity on campus, but services offered (funding, work study, etc…) for the increase in students had not followed suite. Her administration was working to make sure that every student had equal opportunities when it came to these services.
The sexual violence prevention taskforce was completing its work in February, but would continue to determine ways in which sexual violence could be prevented on campus. After delivering her report, Ms. Hinman asked for questions or comments from the Senate body. Seeing none, she thanked the Senate for their time.
5.2 UA Senate Liaison Committee; David Luebke, Chair
Professor David Luebke (History) stated that there was not much to report regarding the collective bargaining process. He then commented that on November 20 a meeting took place that covered ground rules for the bargaining session. One of the ground rules established was that a full days meeting would take place every other week. Another ground rule involved scheduling rooms well enough in advance so that meetings could be publicized in advance. Professor Luebke informed the Senate that the first meeting would be held on December 13 from 9AM – 1PM in the Knight Library room 102, to be followed by a second meeting on the following day from 1 – 5PM. He commented that the meetings were public and everyone was welcome to attend. Over the coming weeks, the bargaining team would be working out the sequence in which it would be making proposals to the administration. Those proposals would be posted to the United Academics website as they were presented. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology) asked what type of non-economic proposals would be presented to the administration, to which Professor Luebke replied they would be discussing issues regarding academic freedom and shared governance, among others. Professor Stahl then asked if these issues were going to be written into faculty contracts, to which Professor Luebke replied yes. Professor Stahl then replied that if those issues were written into union contracts, they would gain the power of law, which would make it impossible for the Senate to act as a governing body, because contract law was more powerful than any state board regulation regarding shared governance. He believed that the union had taken shared governance away from the Senate by taking these issues under their wing. Professor Stahl commented that he would beg the union to deal only with benefits and wages.
Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology) stated that he could not imagine why he would not want to strengthen every element of the Constitution, Bylaws, and principles of academic freedom that pertained to shared governance. He then asked the question why he would not want that enforceable through stronger law. He believed that the union would enhance faculty governance because they would gain defensibility within the law instead of being bound by OARs (Oregon Administrative Rule). Professor Stahl replied that if the union was fully representative of the faculty, and the bargainers were voted in by the faculty as were the members of the Senate, then why did the UO need a Senate. On the other hand since the union was not fully representative of the faculty, and he believed that they were usurping a faculty responsibility by putting forth their own ideas of what constituted appropriate freedom of speech and academic freedom in a way that made it impossible for the Senate to do its work in shared governance. He stated that once the union put its ideas into contract, shared governance was out of business because the contract became legally binding. Professor Stahl then commented that if the union took any motion that had been passed fully by the Senate and state that any motion passed by the Senate would have contractual force by law and henceforth never changeable by the Senate, at this point, Senate President Kyr broke in and stated that to his understanding, and after considerable discussion with many involved at various levels, Professor Stahl’s comments were quite different from what had been presented at other universities. He encouraged continued dialogue on this issue during the Open Discussion portion of a future Senate meeting. He then asked Senators to contact him if they shared Professor Stahl’s concerns. Seeing no further questions, he thanked Professor Luebke for his informative report and collegial manner.
5.3 Coalition of PAC-12 Faculties Meeting; Louise Bishop UO Representative (Designee) & Co-Chair, Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
Professor Louise Bishop (Clark Honors College) stated that there were three topics discussed on the Coalition of Pac-12 Faculties meeting agenda. The topics were budget, governance, and relevance. Regarding the budget topic, Professor Bishop stated that virtually every university had the same management model that existed at the UO, where the Deans rather than the central administration received tuition funds. She also commented that almost every representative mentioned the black hole at the Deans level where budget decisions and policy were not shared within schools. State appropriations for instruction were also discussed. At Utah appropriations were at 51% and at Colorado they were just under 5%. On the issue of governance, the structure of Senates varied by campus as did their influence on decision making. According to Professor Bishop, Utah had the strongest faculty Senate. There was a brief discussion regarding service, which was renamed at some universities as engagement and at others as leadership. She then commented that the Coalition of PAC-12 Faculties was interested in having a presence on the internet to provide data for each universities system of faculty governance. Currently, data was being compiled regarding Senate structures and decision making processes at each member university. One of the schools in the PAC-12 will host the site rather than the PAC-12 football site, although that was discussed. Other interesting topics discussed included online courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). She then asked for questions from the Senate body. Seeing none, Senate President Kyr thanked her for her report and mentioned that the next meeting was in April and he would be representing the university.
5.4 Classroom Expansion – Straub Hall; Carol Daly, Chair; Campus Planning Committee
Carol Daly (University Development) informed the Senate that the Straub Hall expansion project began with a deferred maintenance request. The entire building and all of its operating systems needed a great deal of updating, and as such the building was scheduled to be taken offline. Knowing these details, the Academic Infrastructure Committee met and recommended expanding classroom space. Their proposal was given to the UO Space Advisory Group who viewed the proposal and commented that the project should move forward. The proposal was then placed on the capital construction list and forwarded to OUS. The Finance and Administration subcommittee looked at the project and it was regarded as a number two priority project within that group and will be sent to the State Legislature to seek bonding.
Ms. Daly stated that a feasibility study was contracted by the division of campus planning who hired several architects who determined that around one thousand additional classroom seats could be added to Straub Hall. After the study was conducted, a user group was developed consisting of fourteen individuals from the faculty, registrar, housing, one student representative, the director of academic technology, herself, and the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs who was the project sponsor. According to Ms. Daly, the user group met four times and worked with the architects to develop the details of how the expansion would be implemented. A five hundred seat classroom was scheduled to be added to the Hall as well as several smaller classrooms of varying sizes. Last week, the architects met with the Campus Planning Committee for a check in on the project. After the first of the year, the Office of Campus Planning will offer others in the university community a chance to provide feedback on the expansion project. After concluding her report, Ms. Daly asked for questions or comments from the Senate body. Seeing none, Senate President Kyr thanked her for very informative report.
5.5 Update on Two Motions: “Faculty Input into Hiring Executive Administrators” & “Review of Executive Administrators” Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that the committee was in the process of being formed and would be meeting in January to discuss the above motions and report back their findings to the Senate.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Senate President Kyr read through the notices of motions for the January Senate meeting.
6.1 Notice of Motion: Data and Documents for the IAC and Clarifying FERPA; Bill Harbaugh, Professor (Economics)
6.2 Notice of Motion: Faculty Approval for Special Admissions of Student-Athletes; Bill Harbaugh, Professor (Economics)
6.3 Notice of Motion: Senate Support for the Continuation of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS); Pedro Garcia Carro, University Senator and Assistant Professor (Romance Languages)
6.4 Notice of Motion: Opposition to Building a UO-Affiliated Golf Course; Bob Doppelt, Adjunct Associate Professor (PPPM)
6.5 Notice of Motion: Senate Review of Course Evaluation Process; Steven Pologe, University Senator and Professor (School of Music)
6.6 Notice of Motion: UO Elections and UO Senators for the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS); UO Senate Executive Committee
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the December 5, 2012 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:53PM.