Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for May 23, 2012
Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting 23 May 2012
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.