Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for May 9, 2012
Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting 9 May 2012
Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator.
Present: Roger Adkins, John Bonine, Jane Brubaker, Ben Eckstein, Robert Elliot, Jennifer Ellis, Karen Estlund, Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Harinder Kaur-Khalsa, Peter Keyes, Robert Kyr, Peter Lambert, Huaxin Lin, Peng Lu, Andrew Lubash, Harlan Mechling, Debra Merskin, Ronald Mitchell, Emma Newman, Marilyn Nippold, Amy Nuetzman, Steven Pologe, Roxann Prazniak, David Riley, Sonja Runberg, Christopher Sinclair, Randy Sullivan, Ying Tan, Vadim Vologodski, Glen Waddell, Dean Walton
Absent: John Foster, Mark Gillem, Roland Good, Sangita Gopal, Anthony Hornof, Colin Ives, Ryan Kellems, Ian McNeely, Jeffrey Measelle, Nina Nolen, Donna Shaw, Peter Walker
Excused: Tracy Bars, Nancy Bray, Ali Emami, Deborah Healey, Theodora Ko Thompson, Kelley Leon Howarth, Carla McNelly, Gordon Sayre, Nathan Tublitz
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Robert Kyr (Music and Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate for May 9, 2012 to order at 3:07PM in room 101 of the Knight Library.
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the April 11 Meeting
Senate President asked if there were any corrections to the April 11 meeting minutes. Seeing none, he called for a voice vote to approve the April 11 meeting minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously. He then asked Interim President Berdahl to present on the state of the university.
2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
2.1 Remarks by Interim President Robert Berdahl
Interim President Berdahl stated that it was nice to be back in front of the Senate and to see everyone again. For him, the last four months had been very remarkable and unusual. He noted that the university had garnered a number of awards and achievements during this period because of the excellence of the faculty. He asked the Senate to consider that biologist Eric Selker was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors given to any scientist in the United States. Kathy Cashman, a professor of geology, had been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This award recognized some of the most accomplished scholars, scientist, artists, and national leaders in many categories. Kathy was recognized for her research in Volcanology and was selected with a class that included the likes of Hilary Rodham Clinton, Clint Eastwood, and Paul McCartney. Neuroscientist Cris Niell was named a Searle Scholar, one of fifteen researchers nation-wide to receive such an award, which came with a three hundred thousand dollar grant in support of his work.
He then remarked that the University’s students had been honored as well. Undergraduates Amy Atwater, Opher Kornfield, and Brianna McHorse were named Goldwater Scholars for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, winning the nations premiere undergraduate scholarship award for the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, and keeping the university on pace with other universities nation-wide including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Michigan, University of California Berkeley, each of which had only two students recognized with this distinction. Undergraduate Savonne Miller was one of only one hundred undergraduate students from around the United States to receive the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, offered through the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration. The UO tied with UCLA for the largest number of Gillman Scholarships West of the Mississippi, and three of the UO’s seven scholarships went to students in the Pathway Oregon Program. This program directly provides access to Oregonians who were not able to afford college, but were given the opportunity because of the Pathway Program. He then remarked that the UO’s students were receiving an excellent education from professors, teachers, and advisors. The freshman retention rate was at an all time high of eighty-six percent, and the university would be graduating thirty-two hundred graduates reflecting the strongest four-year graduation rate in the history of the university. He then stated that the incoming students had a remarkable academic profile and could compete with any student across the country. Hayley Pratt-Stibich, who would be joining the student body in the fall, had been a member of the SAIL (Summer Academy to Inspire Learning) Program. She had recently received the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship and chose to attend the University of Oregon. Interim President Berdahl stated that this was a tribute to the quality of education provided by the SAIL Program. He then stated that life was pretty good at the University and that there was a great deal to be proud of and pleased about.
Interim President Berdahl then gave a brief update on the Presidential Search. He believed that it was proceeding well and that the committee was right where they were expected to be at this point in the process. If things continued to progress smoothly, he believed that there would be an opportunity for the state board to appoint a new University President in June. He then commented that there were several very fine candidates on the list, and he was very pleased at how well the search was proceeding. Before closing his remarks, he briefly commented on the forthcoming negotiation challenges as a result of faculty unionization. He thought that the university was committed to moving forward to complete the negotiations as quickly as possible. The university was committed to being fair and to a process of negotiation that would result in an outcome beneficial to all. He then stated that most of his efforts during the past several weeks were related to governance issues at the university. He remarked that the establishment of an institutional board was the most important goal for the university to achieve in the near future. He then asked for questions from the audience.
2.2 Questions and Comments with Response
The first comment was from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus). He stated that in his comments regarding governance, Professor Stahl thought that Interim President Berdahl might have mentioned how lower level administrators occasionally garble interactions between faculty and the President. Interim President Berdahl replied that he had not thought of commenting on that in those terms and did not know what he was referring to. Interim President Berdahl stated that faculty was quite free to criticize administrations, but he was interested in establishing a system of shared governance with as few bumps as possible between the faculty and administration. He hoped that the two groups could agree to disagree in a civil fashion. Professor Stahl stated that the UO Constitution was designed to provide that type of platform. Interim President Berdahl asked for further questions and seeing none, thanked the Senate for their time.
Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl for presenting on the state of the University, and asked all Senators to please sign the attendance sheet as voting was about to commence. He then asked Senator John Bonine (Law), chair of the Senate Nominating Committee, to announce the slate of candidates for the Senate President Election.
3. NEW BUSINESS
3.1 Election of Senate President 2012 – 2013; John Bonine, Chair; Senate Nominating Committee
Senator Bonine jokingly stated that the Senate Presidential Election was about to compete with the Greek government for short term governing. He stated that the Senate would elect someone who will become president next year by action, but the Senate would not be electing the Senate President, they would be electing the Senate President Elect who would serve a two-week term and become Senate President for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. This procedure was taking place because the Senate had not had a President Elect (Vice President) for the past 2011 – 2012 academic year. He stated that the Senate Nominating Committee received one nomination for the position of Senate President, which was Robert Kyr. He then opened the floor to any other potential candidates to come forward. Seeing none, he called for a motion to close nominations for the position of Senate President. The motion was called and seconded. He then asked for any discussion from the Senate body, and seeing none, called for a hand vote to close the nominations for Senate President. The vote was taken and the motion to close nominations passed unanimously. The Senate then voted on the position of Senate President. Senator Bonine called for a hand vote for all those in favor of electing Robert Kyr to the position of Senate President Elect. With a count of twenty-seven hand votes, Robert Kyr was successfully elected to the position of Senate President Elect and will serve a second term as the University of Oregon’s Senate President for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Senator Bonine congratulated Senate President Kyr on being elected.
Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Bonine and stated that he was really looking forward to working with the Senate in the upcoming academic year. He thanked the Senate for placing their confidence in him and he promised to represent them to the best of his abilities. He then moved on to the next point on the agenda.
3.2 Two Research Policies for Consideration and Vote; Beth Stormshak, Associate VP for Research
Senate President Kyr explained that the policy creator, Beth Stormshak (Associate VP for Research) has asked to present both policies to the Senate followed by a period of discussion before moving to a vote on the motions. He then called Ms. Stormshak to the podium.
Beth Stormshak stated that the last time she visited the Senate was to discuss the Classified Research Policy. During her visit, there were several concerns brought up from members of the faculty especially concerning matters of proprietary research, or research sponsored by industry, which was not mentioned in the previous version of the policy. In response to those concerns, her department developed the Proprietary Research Policy, which stated that research sponsored by industry should also be freely disseminated, open, and published. Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on either the Classified or Proprietary Research Policies. Before the first question, he reminded all Senators to please speak into the microphone before posing a question or comment. Questions and comments were not recorded on the video if people did not speak into the microphone.
3.2.1 Classified Research Policy
3.2.2 Proprietary Research Policy
The first question was from Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus). He commented that at Ms. Stormshak’s previous meeting with the Senate, the proposal regarding federally classified research was laid aside pending a resolution to the unaddressed issues raised by the possibility of proprietary research. In 1965, a policy prohibiting all secret research on campus was established, and now the Senate had before it a proposal that prohibited proprietary research, research published at the discretion of the funding agency. He then mentioned a paragraph in the Proprietary Research Policy that he wished to change. This paragraph was found under the Exclusions and Special Situations portion of the document and stated, “the policy prohibiting research with restrictions on publication does not apply to testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements.” He stated that this was not perfectly clear to him. According to Professor Stahl, no further explanation of the testing services was provided in the policy proposal leaving the door open to an interpretation of un-publishable contracted research of any kind, and because un-publishable research raised far reaching questions regarding the academic mission of the university, the proposal needed careful consideration. He continued to comment that unsung questions included what was the value of any research that could not be published, and why should the UO want to participate in such research, etc… A second point he raised was that if the UO was to allow un-publishable research to be carried out and funded by industries, how would the university continue to prohibit federally classified research where the reason for doing so had been that such research was un-publishable. If it was allowed by privately funded industry and refused by federally funded industry, the university would appear rather unpatriotic. He then remarked that these and other questions required a level of attention that was not provided in the proposed policy. Other universities participated in such “fee for service” research and had specified the conditions under which research was to be conducted. Because of the complexity of the issue, Professor Stahl moved that the section in the Proprietary Research Policy called “Exclusions and Special Situations” be deleted in the proposed policy and that the Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy for the conduct of “testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements.”
Professor Stahl continued and commented that since Ms. Stormshak had asked that both policies be linked as one unit, he offered a brief comment on the Classified Research Policy. According to Professor Stahl, the Classified Policy Propsal stated that if all or any portion of ongoing research contained a federal security classification, the research would be terminated, if possible, within a reasonable amount of time. He asked that the words “if possible” be removed from the policy, and stated that he would introduce these as separate amendments when the time was right.
Senate President Kyr asked Ms. Stormshak if she would like to reply to Professor Stahl’s comments. She asked Senate President Kyr if it would be helpful to hear more about what service contracts were, to which he replied that it would. She then invited Chuck Williams (Executive Director, Technology Transfer) to provide more detail on service contracts. Mr. Williams stated that he actually worked with service agreements, not service contracts, which were performed across campus by many different groups for the past several decades. He stated that the testing service agreement could be found online. It provided testing instrumentation on analysis and collecting data before it was sent out to companies, foundations, and other institutions. Testing services did not only involve industry, but also organizations, states, counties, other schools, etc… He then stated that many testing services had proprietary information for a variety of reasons and were fairly straightforward and had been in place for quite a while. According to Mr. Williams, the reason why the testing services comment was placed in the exclusion section of the policy was to be transparent about the types of arrangements that exist regarding testing services. He stated that the testing services were a fundamental part of what he called extension service activities.
Senate President Kyr asked Mr. Williams if he saw a conflict between the current practices regarding testing centers and what Professor Stahl was proposing. Mr. Williams replied that he thought Professor Stahl’s proposal was covered in the current language of the policy and mentioned that the members of the Science Council also felt comfortable with the proposed language. At this point, Senate President Kyr reminded the Senate that according to the Policy on Policies, before a policy comes to the Senate it goes through many layers of approval and the Science Council had approved the two research policies prior to it coming before the Senate. He then asked Professor Stahl if he had any further comments. Professor Stahl stated that perhaps the kind of proprietary research that was being done under the name of testing services would be found completely acceptable to the UO Senate and faculty and changes in current practices may not be warranted, but, according to Professor Stahl, the current language of the policy provided no indication of what testing services might become. He believed that another proposal should be developed to identify how fee for service research was to unfold and also one that defined research that could become unacceptable which was not specified in the current policy. He then proposed that for expediency, the Senate should pass both policy proposals with the exclusion deleted and have a Senate Ad Hoc Committee develop a policy on “fee for service” research and its proprietary implications as many other universities had done.
Senate President Kyr briefly summarized Professor Stahl’s comments and asked Interim President Berdahl if he had any further comments to add, to which he replied he did not. Mr. Williams stated that with respect to the Classified Research Policy, there were occasions when students got caught in the crossfire or a mistake had been made and did the university want to have the flexibility to be able to insure that that student could finish his or her research due to a wording technicality. He thought that that might have been the reason for the current wording. Professor Stahl replied that if the words “if possible” were left out, the text read, “The research will be terminated within a reasonable amount of time.” He thought that “within a reasonable amount of time” was sufficient.
Senator Bonine (Law) asked that if Professor Stahl’s proposal to remove the words “if possible” from the Classified Research Policy was accepted by the administration. If so, there should not be a need for any further discussion on the issue. Senate President Kyr then asked Interim President Berdahl if he would accept Professor Stahl’s amendment, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that Professor Stahl had a very valid point and he would accept the amendment. Professor Stahl then called for a motion to remove the wording “if possible” from the Classified Research Policy Proposal, which was seconded by Senator Bonine. Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote. A voice vote was taken and the amendment to the Classified Research Policy was passed unanimously.
Professor Stahl then called to amend the Proprietary Research Policy Proposal by removing the section titled “Exclusions and Special Situations,” and that the Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy proposal for the conduct of testing services provided by university personnel under authorized university service agreements. The motion was seconded, and Senate President Kyr called for discussion on the amendment.
Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) stated that he thought it was reasonable to have a definition of all terms in the policy that was before the Senate. He stated that terms within a well-crafted policy needed definitions and saw a potential problem with the policy in that it did not have definitions. Senator Sullivan requested that the motion be tabled until this was resolved, and mentioned that policies that come before the Senate must be well crafted. Senate President Kyr reminded the Senate and Senator Sullivan that these two policies had gone through every layer of review and while every comment was welcome, he hoped that a way forward could be reached. Senate President Kyr then asked Senator Sullivan if he shared Professor Stahl’s concern regarding the Proprietary Research Policy Proposal, to which he replied that he shared the concern that having undefined terms in the proposal could lead to unintended consequences and that it was the Senate’s job to evolve good policy and good policy had defined terms. Senate President Kyr asked for any further comments or questions.
Senator Bonine again asked the administration if they had any qualms with Professor Stahl’s amendment to the proposal. Interim President Berdahl replied that he was uncertain how creating a committee as part of that amendment could amend a proposal. Professor Stahl replied that he proceeded in this manner because he was encouraged that the Senate needed to get these policies passed. Had it not been for that encouragement, he would have requested to have the Proprietary Research Proposal tabled until the “fee for service” issue was settled which would have also required tabling the Classified Research Proposal because it was designed to replace the 1965 legislation, which forbade all secret research. He then stated that he did not mind holding up the passage of both policies, but if the Senate wanted to push both policies through, he would split his amendment in two with the first part being the removal of the “Exclusions and Special Situations” section and the second part being the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy on “fee for service” research.
Senator Bonine stated that in the interest of efficiency, he seconded Professor Stahl’s split amendment and informed the Senate that in the past, when the Senate agreed that policies were not as good as they could be, they would adopt a new policy while setting up a committee to review certain parts of that policy (Facilities Use) or to amend the policy, adopt the amended policy, and then setup a committee to review it. He believed that Professor Stahl’s proposal was fine given his assertion that he would be maintaining status quo on the issue that he was proposing exclusion for. He then moved that the Senate take a vote on Professor Stahl’s two amendments and on the policy proposal. Senate President Kyr asked Interim President Berdahl if he was in agreement with Senator Bonine’s explanation of the amendment process, to which he replied that he was. Senate President Kyr then called for a voice vote on the first amendment, which was that the section “Exclusions and Special Situations” be removed from the Proprietary Research Proposal. After the voice vote was taken, Senate President Kyr called for a hand vote for historical purposes. A hand vote was taken and the results were twenty-four in favor, four opposed, and none abstained. The amendment to the Proprietary Research Proposal was passed. After consulting with Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus), he called for a vote to approve both research policy proposals beginning with the Classified Research Proposal, to which Professor Stahl objected.
The reason for his objection was that the Classified Research Proposal was held up because it did not deal with proprietary research, which opened the door to complications. Once the Proprietary Research Proposal had been settled, he would have no problem with taking a vote on the Classified Research Proposal. Senate President Kyr asked if there were any objections to this order. Interim President Berdahl stated that these were two separate policies that the Senate had amended as Professor Stahl saw fit. Professor Stahl then commented that he was objecting to Parliamentarians ruling of voting on the Classified Research Proposal before the Proprietary Research Proposal. Senator Bonine asked if the Senate President could change the order of the agenda as long as there were no objections. Senate President Kyr replied that this was true, but wanted everyone to be in agreement. He then asked for any further objections on voting for the Proprietary Research Proposal first. Seeing none, he called for a voice vote on the motion. The Proprietary Research Policy Proposal was passed with one vote opposed. He then called for a voice vote on the Classified Research Policy Proposal. A voice vote was taken and the policy was passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr asked Professor Stahl to articulate his final motion regarding the creation of a Senate Ad Hoc Committee. Professor Stahl called for the Senate to create an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a policy governing “fee for service” testing and research on campus and to bring the policy before the Senate upon completion. The motion was seconded. Senate President Kyr asked for any further discussion and seeing none, he called for a voice vote. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr thanked the Senate for their participation before moving on to the next item on the agenda.
3.3 IAC Motion Regarding Student Membership
Senate President Kyr asked Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) to present the history and summarize the background information regarding this motion.
3.3.1 History and Summary of the Motion; Glen Waddell, IAC
Senator Waddell stated that he was the current acting chair of the IAC (Intercollegiate Athletics Committee), as their chair was on sabbatical. He stated that this motion had come before Senate at the April meeting of this year. Currently, five student members serve on the IAC. The language of the motion called for the addition of one student member to the IAC membership. All five current student members were recommended by the ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon). The sixth member would be the ASUO President or designee. At least one of the students would be a student athlete elected by the student advisory committee. All student members would serve one-year terms and could serve up to three consecutive terms. Senator Waddell explained that at the April Senate meeting, it was resolved that the motion would be considered by the Committee on Committees who would then bring their recommendation before the Senate. Senator Waddell stated that meetings had taken place, one of which he participated in, and before the vote had taken place at the Committee on Committees meeting, he discussed Interim President Berdahl’s known objections to changing the IAC charge. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Waddell for his summary on the motion and asked Interim President Berdahl to provide his response.
3.3.2 Comments from Interim President Robert Berdahl
Interim President Berdahl stated that he might very well defer to Senator Bonine’s comment that, all things being equal, he preferred to stay with the status quo. This was the position he had held from the beginning. In December, the IAC began consideration of proposals presented by the chair of the IAC, to modify their charge. At that time, Interim President Berdahl indicated that he did not want committee charges to be changed, especially substantive changes that were being proposed. In his email to the chair of the IAC, Interim President Berdahl stated that he did not believe it was appropriate for an interim president to oversee changes in the committee structure that might very well saddle a successive president with changes that were proposed during an interim period that would not be satisfactory to a permanent president. He then told Senate President Kyr that the proposed changes were not acceptable and that he would not accept changes to any Senate committees during his interim presidency. An email exchange followed this decision regarding a change to the IAC charge and Interim President Berdahl repeated in his reply that he would not accept changes to committee charges during his interim presidency. After this exchange, the IAC came forward with a proposed change in the composition of the committee, which was currently before the Senate.
Interim President Berdahl stated that the IAC was a very large committee containing eighteen members and five of those members were students, including the student body president. He stated that he saw no reason to add one additional member to a committee consisting of eighteen members. He believed that students were adequately represented on the IAC. He then reiterated his position that he would not approve changes to committee structures or charges during his interim presidency. He stated that this point had been indicated and confirmed from Interim President Berdahl to the IAC and despite that urging on his part, the IAC had come forward with the motion that was before the Senate. Interim President Berdahl suggested that the motion be defeated. Senate President Kyr thanked Interim President Berdahl for his comments and then presented the report from the Committee on Committees regarding the IAC motion.
3.3.3 Report from the Committee on Committees; Robert Kyr, Senate President
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that as requested, the Committee on Committees had reviewed the question as to whether to refer motion US11/12-10, Adding the ASUO President to the IAC, back to the Senate for further discussion and a vote. The motion read as follows: The Senate moves to add the ASUO President or designee as an Ex Officio voting member of the IAC effective immediately. Following a series of three discussions, on April 24, 25, and 30, the Committee on Committees voted in favor of returning motion US11/12-10 to the Senate for further discussion and a vote. The vote tally was five in favor and three opposed with no abstention. Senate President Kyr stated that prior to Interim President Berdahls’ presentation of this report at the Senate meeting, presentations were delivered by Senator Waddell and Interim President Berdahl regarding the background and history of motion US11/12-10.
Senate President Kyr commented that he would not reiterate any of the information that they had imparted to the Senate, but he recounted several issues that were raised during discussions of the Committee on Committees regarding the future of the motion. His first issue was that the Committee on Committees did not want to act in a way that reflected badly on Interim President Berdahl, however, a majority of the committee members preferred that the ASUO President be added to the IAC for the reasons presented by the student members of the IAC. Some committee members wondered why this rather small issue was so important to the University President who had many more crucial issues to face. One committee member commented that the change in membership would only change the percentage of student representation from 29.4% to 33.3%, a 3.9% change, however, it should be noted that several committee members felt that the issue at hand was a relatively important one for the President and they strongly preferred folding it into the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees that will be conducted by the Committee on Committees during the 2012 – 2013 academic year, rather than pursuing the issue at this time. He stated that clearly, the Committee on Committees was divided on the matter. According to Senate President Kyr, the Committee on Committees sent motion US 11/12-10 back to the Senate for further discussion and a vote with the hope that a decision could be reached that would be helpful to the IAC now and in the future. He then called for discussion on the motion.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) had a question regarding the text of the motion. He found the second sentence very confusing which read “one of the six students will be the ASUO President or designee.” He stated that this statement appeared in the current charge and also appeared in the proposed language. The current charge read one of six members and should have read one of five. He then stated that if he were a voting Senator, he would not know what to vote for. Senator Waddell stated that he did not understand Professor Stahl’s confusion to which Senator Bonine commented that the first two sentences were not consistent. The confusion was cleared up and it was determined that a typo existed in the current charge which should have read five members instead of six. Professor Stahl said he understood that mix up and asked to see the current charge of the IAC for proof. At this point, Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator) pulled up the IAC charge from the Committees webpage and Senator Bonine asked Mr. Prosser to highlight the membership portion of the IAC charge. Senate President Kyr read the highlighted portion of the charge and it was determined that the current charge previously displayed was incorrect and should be replaced by the charge on the IAC committee page. He then asked if there were any further questions regarding this issue. Seeing none, he called for further discussion.
The next comment came from Professor Bill Harbaugh (Economics). He stated that he was a member of the IAC and explained that part of the intent of adding a student member was to increase student representation on the IAC. He commented that for better or worse, students cared a great deal about athletics and he believed that the IAC should have greater representation from student athletes. Currently, the IAC only had one student athlete from track and field, and he thought it would be a great idea to add a revenue sports athlete to the committee. He acknowledged that the change in the membership did not explicitly call for that, but it would increase the membership and this might increase the likelihood of adding a revenue sports student athlete to the committee. He then commented that he was in favor of passing the motion and hoped that Senators would support it.
Interim President Berdahl commented that this issue had taken very little time, and it was all time spent by the IAC, not time spent by Interim President Berdahl. In his first week on the job, he stated that he would not accept changes to committee assignments, charges, composition, etc… According to Interim President Berdahl, the IAC persisted after having being told a second and third time that their request would not be honored. He stated that it was the IAC that had dragged out this process with no justification for adding an additional student to the IAC. He then remarked that this issue was undertaken to test Interim President Berdahl in an attempt to see if he would accept a change in the charge of the IAC. He repeated that the five students was a significant representation and if the student body president wanted to serve on the committee, he had every right to appoint him or her self. He did not feel that the change in committee membership was necessary at this time. Changes could be made with the new president, but for the time being he was going to hold firm to his position.
Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that because of Interim President Berdahl’s stance of maintaining current committee charges, the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees had also been pushed back to May 2013.
Senator Bonine stated that he did not believe this issue was of great importance and then commented that the Senate meeting was an unusual one in a good sense because Interim President Berdahl was in attendance and had decided to engage with the Senate. He was speaking about University Presidents in general, not specifically Interim President Berdahl. He then stated that there might be times where he would want to challenge the President on his status quo approach, but he did not feel that the IAC motion was worth convening the Statutory Faculty Assembly if Interim President Berdahl decided to veto the motion. He acknowledged that although the IAC motion might be very important to those who were proposing it, he did not feel that it was worth going to battle over. Senator Bonine stated that he would vote in favor of Interim President Berdahls position. Senate President Kyr then called for other comments.
The next comment was from Ben Eckstein (ASUO President). He stated that from the beginning of the academic year, the IAC wanted to add an additional student voice on the committee. He stated that it was a relatively small change and commented that the ASUO spent over one and a half million dollars in contributions to Athletics for student football and basketball tickets. According to Mr. Eckstein, those negotiations had been quite difficult especially when the ASUO had tried to gain access to athletic department information. He believed that strong student representation on the IAC was an asset to the committee and seemed to think that this might lead to the ASUO receiving a fairer agreement with respect to student tickets. Having an additional student from ASUO on the IAC, in addition to expanding the membership, was a small but important change, which passed unanimously in the IAC and was not a contentious issue during the April Senate meeting. He then commented that this issue was very important to students who were interested in expanding the student voice on the IAC. He also remarked that the administration was undertaking important structural changes to the university including changes to its public records policy. He did not understand why Interim President Berdahl would not approve a small change to the IAC membership but would allow such a large modification to public records policy. Mr. Eckstein encouraged Senators to pass the motion based on its merits and to support the student voice.
The next comment came from Senator Ronald Mitchell (Political Science). He confirmed his assumption with members of the IAC who were in attendance at the Senate meeting that not all student members on the IAC actually attended each meeting. After his assumption was confirmed, he stated that this showed a lack of student interest in the IAC and commented that if students were interested in the IAC they should attend the meetings. Senator Mitchell commented that adding a sixth member who would also not attend meetings did not make much sense from his point of view. He was happy to support another student voice on the IAC if they would be willing to use it. He again reiterated his point that if students were interested in serving on the IAC then they should attend every meeting. Senator Glen Waddell (Economics) replied to Senator Mitchell’s comment and stated that one of the reasons for Senator Mitchell’s perceived lack of participation was conflicts with scheduling meetings. According to Senator Waddell, student athletes were kept extremely busy and could not always attend every meeting. He then commented that the issue was not due to student’s lack of interest, but was based on scheduling. Senator Mitchell then replied that the committee should try to develop a schedule that worked for every student member. Senator Waddell replied that the committee did spend a significant amount of time on scheduling.
The next comment came from student Shabd Khalsa, the former Athletic Contract Finance Committee Executive Appointee for the ASUO. He took issue with Senator Mitchell’s comment and stated that while serving on the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee every student member was present at each meeting, and with the exception of the first meeting, not a single faculty member ever attended. He then commented that the IAC dealt with issues regarding large financial transactions, and he believed that students should have a stronger voice in regards to those issues. He encouraged Senators to vote in favor of the motion.
Ben Eckstein reiterated Senator Waddell’s comment that lack of student involvement was not due to lack of interest and mentioned that every stakeholder group on the IAC did not have perfect attendance. He believed that students had made a good faith effort to attend every meeting and that faculty and staff members occasionally are unable to attend IAC meetings. Mr. Eckstein pointed out that all Student Senators were present at todays meeting and several faculty members were not in attendance, and that this fact would not merit reducing the faculty size of the University Senate.
Senator Alexandra Flores-Quilty (Student Senator) provided the next comment, and remarked that she served on several university standing committees and all of her fellow students in service were extremely invested in their service commitments. She also stated that the cost of attending college was extremely high and as a result, many students had to work part time jobs, which could add to scheduling woes. Senator Flores-Quilty commented that the combination of schoolwork, part time employment, and extra curricular activities often made scheduling very difficult for students, but she believed that each student was committed to the UO and was invested in its success. She then reiterated Senator Waddell’s comment that lack of student attendance was not due to lack of interest.
Senator Mitchell stated that he did not accuse students of not being interested or committed to service on committees. He remarked that he was very sensitive to all work done by students, and mentioned that the university ran because of the work that students did. He was not casting aspersions on student committees and wanted to be clear on this point. He was not sure how a sixth student members, who for very good and valid reasons, would not be able to attend IAC meetings was supposed to solve the membership problem. He then stated that students were doing great things at the university and was not suggesting otherwise. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Mitchell for clarifying his statement.
The next comment came from Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics). He believed that the main point of the current discussion was that Interim President Berdahl provided good reason for not passing the motion. He did not see the point in passing the motion with an Interim President and recommended addressing this motion when and if a new President was hired. He believed that the Senate should respect Interim President Berdahls’ stance and keep committees as they are until a new president was hired.
3.3.5 Senate Action
Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. Before taking a vote, he read the language aloud to the Senate, which stated: “the Senate moves to add the ASUO President or designee as an Ex Officio voting member on the IAC effective immediately.” A final point of clarification was asked from Senator Jennifer Ellis (Finance). She asked that if the motion was voted down now, could it ever return to the Senate, or was the vote final. Senate President Kyr stated that if the motion were voted down, the membership issue would become part of the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees. He again called for a voice vote on the motion. The voting results were unclear and Senate President Kyr called for a hand vote. The results of the hand vote were as follows: seven in favor, eighteen opposed, and three abstentions. The motion did not pass. Senate President Kyr thanked the Senate for their participation and also thanked Interim President Berdahl for presenting his views on the motion. He then invited Shabd Khalsa to discuss the proposed changes to the student conduct code.
3.4 Student Conduct Code; Shabd Khalsa, Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee (chair designee)
Shabd Khalsa (student) informed the Senate that he was proposing both logistical and substantive changes to the student conduct and community standards code. His first change involved editing the word “adviser” to “advisor” throughout the code for spelling consistency. He then proposed that the title of University Affairs Director be changed to the ASUO Officer Designated to Coordinate University Affairs under the section, “student conduct hearings panel.” His next change involved adding the language “the students rights to copies of their case files, to the extent allowed by law, and other documents pertaining to allegations against them.” According to Mr. Khalsa, the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee voted to add this language to the code so that students who received allegations of misconduct were informed of the rights they already had to receive a copy of their case files. He then commented that this right was already in existence, but students often were not informed of this right when they received allegations of misconduct. He believed that by adding this language to the code, students would be better equipped to navigate the process on their own, which would help better inform students regarding their rights. His next edit was in regards to hearings of the University Hearings Panel. Mr. Khalsa offered the following edit: “Advisors are permitted to speak or participate directly in any hearing if the student they are assisting so chooses in one or more of the following ways: an advisor may speak on behalf of the students they are representing during conduct proceedings if said student so chooses. He believed that this provision would make the process fairer to students who were less articulate, uncomfortable with public speaking, or less familiar with legal proceedings. Additionally, he believed that this provision would prevent more complicated legal concepts from being lost in translation. According to Mr. Khalsa, under current rules, an advisor could not explain how a certain action may or may not be protected under the first amendment. Instead, the advisory must explain the action to the student who subsequently must explain it back to the hearings panel. This process could cause important details to be lost in translation and possibly prevent decision makers from having the information necessary to correctly determine whether or not a student had violated the conduct code. He then stated that for these reasons, in the last ASUO election, over eight-six percent of students voted in favor of having the right to choose an advisor to speak on their behalf. Mr. Shabd concluded his presentation and asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first comment was from Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry). He wanted to know who would be advising the students. Mr. Shabd replied that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards would be advising students. Senator Sullivan then asked if this information was included in the new language, to which Mr. Shabd replied that it was.
Professor Marie Vitulli (Mathematics Emerita) asked Mr. Shabd if these code changes were written down somewhere so that the Senate might view them. Mr. Shabd replied that slides were supposed to be provided to Chris Prosser (Senate Executive Coordinator). Senate President Kyr asked Executive Coordinator Prosser if he had the slides. Executive Coordinator Prosser stated that he thought they were in his email. While he was searching for the slides, Senate President Kyr asked for any further questions or comments.
Sue Eveland (University Registrar) stated that as she understood it, the Student Conduct Code was an OAR (Oregon Administrative Rule) and wanted to know if the changes offered by Mr. Khalsa were going to be made to the OAR. She then mentioned that changing an OAR was quite a lengthy process and wanted to know if Mr. Khalsa was proposing that kind of change. Mr. Khalsa stated that he did not read the attached codes because he did not want to bore the Senate to death, but he did intend to change the OAR. To clarify, Senate President Kyr asked Mr. Khalsa if he was asking the Senate to approve changes that would become a part of the OAR editing process, to which Mr. Khalsa stated he was.
Professor Vitulli (Mathematics Emerita) referenced Mr. Khalsa’s previous comment that no faculty had attended meetings of the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee and wanted to know who was recommending the changes to the code. Mr. Khalsa replied that a great deal of outreach was extended to faculty members via email and phone calls regarding the recommended changes, but the committee received no input from the faculty. This was the reason why he came before the Senate: to receive faculty input, which he and the committee valued, on the changes to the code. The Senate then took a minute to consider the changes to the Conduct Code, which had been posted to the overhead by Executive Coordinator Prosser.
Senator Harlan Mechling (Student Senator) moved to approve the changes to the Student Conduct Code as written. His motion did not receive a second.
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) commented that the process confused him, having not seen any of the proposed changes to the Student Conduct Code. He stated that it seemed fairly complicated, and mentioned that when he was Senate President; the Student Conduct Code was revised. This process took eleven years and he would like the opportunity to review the material before being asked to vote on approving the recommended changes. He recommended tabling the motion until all Senators had been given the opportunity to evaluate the changes and engage in a reasonable discussion as to their meaning. Senate President Kyr agreed that the process seemed more involved and asked Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) for a ruling on tabling the motion. He replied that Senator Keyes must move to table the motion, to which he did. The motion was seconded and a discussion period began.
Senator John Bonine (Law) stated that he was bothered by the process and by the fact that the administration had not weighed in on the issue. According to Senator Bonine, shared governance would suggest that these changes were presented to the administration, to which Mr. Khalsa replied that they had been. Mr. Khalsa stated that Carl Yeh (Director, Student Conduct and Community Standards) was present at every meeting of the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee. Senate President Kyr asked if Mr. Yeh had approved the proposed changes to the code, to which Mr. Khalsa replied that he had not. Senator Bonine stated that due to the fact that the administration had not agreed to the changes, he agreed that the changes should be tabled for the time being. Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a vote to table the changes to the Student Conduct Code. A voice vote was taken, and the motion was tabled. Senate President Kyr then moved on to the next point of new business, Motion US11/12 – 09 Acknowledging the Constitution.
3.5 Motion US11/12-09 Acknowledging the Constitution; Frank Stahl, Biology Emeritus
Professor Stahl stated that to facilitate shared governance, a Constitution was created. According to Professor Stahl, the document maximized the influence that the faculty and the rest of the university community could have in making importance decisions on campus. To his dismay, he frequently found that there were many people who had not read the document including high-level administrators. In order for employees to be made aware of the Constitution, which guided the process of faculty governance, he believed that mentioning the document in their job description would help in enlighten new employees. He then introduced a resolution as a motion to Interim President Berdahl. “The Senate calls upon the President to advise all vice-presidents, deans, department heads, and directors to include from this day forward the following statement on all job descriptions: Academic and administrative functions at the University of Oregon are fulfilled within a valued tradition of shared governance as specified by state law and the University of Oregon Constitution.” He also included the URL where the document could be found. He then moved that the Senate adopt his resolution and called for a second. The motion was seconded and Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.
Professor Stahl continued by stating that since Interim President Berdahl may or may not choose to act on his resolution, and since he was in attendance, he asked Interim President Berdahl if he would act or not act on Professor Stahl’s resolution. Interim President Berdahl replied that although there might be administrators who were not aware of all points in the Constitution, he suggested that there were also people within the Senate who were not fully aware of the information contained in that document. He then stated that he thought it was a fine idea and had no objection to Professor Stahl’s resolution. Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken and Motion US11/12-09 Acknowledging the Constitution passed unanimously. He then moved on to the Open Discussion portion of the meeting and called Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) to the Senate floor to provide the Senate with an update on unionization.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION
4.1 Update on Unionization; Peter Keyes, Member of the University of Oregon Faculty Union Coordinating Committee
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) stated that the union organizing committee filed almost twelve hundred cards in March, which went to the State Employment Relations Board. The university filed objections to their action, which were responded to, and the University and Systems’ lawyers settled on an agreement regarding various questions like who would be in the bargaining unit and how those types of decisions would be made. Since that time, he had received many questions as to how things were progressing. Senator Keyes remarked that the faculty union coordinating committee was changing gears. He had not anticipated such a speedy resolution to the filed objections.
The first newsletter was just released that afternoon via email and was also posted to the union website. A survey would soon be distributed to everyone in the bargaining unit, which was similar to the survey that was conducted prior to the card filing. This survey attempted to gather information on issues important to those in the bargaining unit. The coordinating committee had begun meeting and was continuing to conduct departmental meetings to provide an opportunity to those in the bargaining unit to discuss their issues and concerns with the coordinating committee. The committee hoped to complete these meetings by the end of the spring term. He then stated that the coordinating committee was looking for people to get involved and wanted very broad representation across campus. They were also in the process of forming working groups to research various systems that were in place at other universities and to form various policy proposals for the union to consider. The groups would be working through the summer on these various issues.
According to Senator Keyes, a bargaining caucus was being put together. The members of this group would be comprised of the chairs of each working group. He believed that there would be a substantial hiatus during the summer months, and a membership drive would commence during the fall term. He then stated that if you signed a card, you were not a member of the union as there was no union to join. The State Employment Relations Board had certified the union, and faculty members must sign a form stating that they wished to join the union. Currently there were zero members. Senator Keyes informed the Senate that a union membership drive was taking place during the fall term and a committee would be looking at by-laws and constitutions during this time as well. Finally, he stated that after positions had been worked out during the fall term, the coordinating committee would form a bargaining team who would sit down with the administration in an attempt to hammer out a contract. He then asked for questions from the Senate body.
The first question came from Interim President Berdahl. He asked if he was correct in assuming that the union would not enter into bargaining contracts until the fall term, to which Senator Keyes replied he thought that was correct. Interim President Berdahl replied that he thought this was a pretty urgent matter in the minds of the organizers and he was surprised to learn that the coordinating committee was going to postpone bargaining until the fall. He then asked if the union only worked for nine months of the year. Senator Keyes replied that no one from the coordinating committee expected to be in the position they were currently in, and once the union saw the administrations response, he expected a great deal of litigation. He also reiterated that currently there was no union. Interim President Berdahl then commented that from the standpoint of the university, he hoped to begin bargaining well before fall term, to which Senator Keyes replied that he did not think that this would happen. Interim President Berdahl stated that from what Senator Keyes was saying, the union would not be accommodating regarding this matter, to which Senator Keyes replied that he did not see how they could be. Senator Keyes did not see how the union could begin negotiations when they did not have a handle on what the issues were that the bargaining unit members were interested in. Interim President Berdahl found it very surprising that the union had driven people to sign cards over a period of ninety days and then decided to put off bargaining for six months. Senator Keyes replied that there was no pressing need to have these details worked out sooner. Although he was not aware of the legalities involved, he thought the union had one year from when the union was certified to get the membership together, solidify positions, and enter negotiations. He would much prefer to slow down and understand the needs of all involved instead of rushing into contract negotiations without carefully considering all vantage points.
Senate President Kyr commented that the Senate had been a good partner to the union by helping to inform the university community through the November Senate meeting and the campus-wide open dialogue with the members of the Coordinating Committee in February. He was unsure as to whom to approach, since the chair of the Coordinating Committee rotated. He recommended establishing a Senate liaison to provide a vehicle for communication between the Senate and the union. Senator Keyes agreed that that was a great idea and recommended going through the Senate roster for the 2012 – 2013 academic year and designating those Senate members who were affiliated with the union to be liaisons. Senate President Kyr then asked if the Coordinating Committee would eventually elect a permanent chair, to which Senator Keyes replied that they would. According to Senate President Kyr, that person should have direct contact with the Senate President in addition to creating a Senate related liaison position. Senator Keyes agreed with these recommendations.
Interim President Berdahl asked Senator Keyes what the process was for collecting union dues. He also wanted to know if this occurred before or after contract negotiations. Senator Keyes stated that he had heard that the collecting of union dues would take place after the first contract was signed, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that that was good.
At this point in the meeting, Senate President Kyr called for a motion to extend the length of the Senate meeting for a maximum of twenty-five minutes. The motion was seconded and a voice vote was taken. The motion was passed unanimously and the meeting continued. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Keyes for his update on unionization, and invited Ben Eckstein to the Senate floor to present the ASUO Report.
5.1 ASUO Report; Ben Eckstein, ASUO President
Ben Eckstein (ASUO President) began his report with an update on the ASUO’s voter registration campaign. He thanked faculty members for their support in allowing classroom announcements across campus. The ASUO registered 2,661 students to vote for the upcoming primary election. This was the highest number of registered student voters ever achieved for a primary election and the highest number in the state at any public university. Their goal was to register 10,000 students by the general election. He then remarked that his administration had completed their total incidental fee budget for the upcoming year. According to Mr. Eckstein, the incidental fee budget was roughly thirteen million dollars per year. He was particularly pleased to have negotiated a zero dollar growth deal with the athletic department, which meant that students would be paying the lowest possible cost for student tickets in ten years. This equated to less than fifty percent of fair market value for football and basketball tickets saving student hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mr. Eckstein informed the Senate that there was a transition underway in the ASUO administration as incoming officers were preparing to begin their service to the university after the recent ASUO election. His colleague Laura Hinman, the ASUO president-elect, was taking office on May 25, 2012, and he was working closely with her during this transition period. He then mentioned that for the second time, student had voted down the cost of remodeling the student union and student rec center. Students requested the division of student affairs to provide more cost efficient and student-centered alternatives for these projects.
Finally, the ASUO took a stance on a proposed piece of municipal legislation called the Social Host Ordinance that would have proposed very strict fines and penalties on students and community members who were engaging in what was deemed an unruly gathering. The definitions in the legislation were very broad, and by and large, the city council agreed with student concerns and did not move forward with the legislation. Senate President Kyr thanked Mr. Eckstein for presenting his report and invited Professor Bill Harbaugh to the Senate floor to present his update on the change in practice regarding public records.
5.2 Update on a Change in Practice regarding Public Records; Bill Harbaugh; Chair, Senate Transparency Committee
Professor Harbaugh (Economics) informed the Senate that in 2010 reporters were making public records requests to the Athletic Department for copies of Mike Bellotti’s (former UO head football coach) contract, which were stalled by the Office of the General Counsel for around a period of nine months. This action cost the university several million dollars, and former University President Richard Lariviere reassigned the attorney, who was investigated by the Department of Justice, and found responsible for those actions. According to Professor Harbaugh, in September of 2011, after the UO Senate had voted to establish a Senate Transparency Committee to prevent these types of situations from occurring, former President Lariviere agreed to a practice that would grant a two hundred dollar fee waiver from those requesting public record documents. He believed that that policy worked very well, but in May, the policy was changed without any notice given to the Senate or the Senate Transparency Committee. The fee waiver had been revoked and from his perspective, that constituted a major change in the way the university dealt with transparency issues and in building trust between the faculty and administration. He wanted to understand why the change was made and would eventually return to the Senate with suggestions on how to proceed.
David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) stated that Professor Harbaugh was correct regarding the need for reform in 2010 with respect to public records. According to Dr. Hubin, before the formation of a public records office, the average time on completion of public records requests was seventy days, which he remarked was completely unacceptable. The current average time in responding to public records requests was seven days. He attributed the change in response time to Liz Deneke (Sponsored Projects Contract Officer) and Lisa Thornton (Public Records Program Associate) who coordinated the efforts of that office. Dr. Hubin commented that when former President Richard Lariviere asked him to supervise the Office of Public Records in July of 2011, four goals were discussed. The first goal was to shorten the turnaround time on requests; the second goal was to introduce a visible log of requests so that the public could see when something was requested, what it was, and how long it took the office to respond (those documents may or may not be placed online); the third goal was to enlarge and make more accessible the public records library so that materials that were frequently requested could be made readily available; the fourth goal was to find a way to efficiently handle simple requests for purposes of expedition. Dr. Hubin stated that what Professor Harbaugh was referring to involved a refinement to the fourth goal, which involved the handling of simple requests.
According to Dr. Hubin, the two hundred dollar fee waiver had several unintended consequences involving negotiations for more complicated requests. This in turn delayed the completion of other simple requests and as a result/solution to these consequences; the Office of Public Records was now waiving the first hour of university time spent on responding to simple requests. He then mentioned a very large public records request, which involved all RFPs (Request for Proposals) from law firms whom the university might engage with. Professor Harbaugh offered a point of clarification and commented that he had made that request. Dr. Hubin continued that after the passage of Senate Bill 242, the request involved consultation with each of the bidding firms in an effort to determine if their requests were proprietary. When the requestor was notified that there would be a significant cost for the gathering of this information, his reply was “just give me what you can for under $200.” At this point, Professor Harbaugh offered two points of information. The first was that he believed a long conversation needed to take place regarding this issue and did not believe that the Senate meeting was the proper venue for that discussion. He reiterated his point that these changes were not brought to the Senate Transparency Committee, which was charged with handling issues related to transparency. It was his belief that the requested contracts had a wide breath of public interest and could be used by journalists in stories regarding changes to the University of Oregon.
Dr. Hubin then commented that he was prepared to offer three succinct examples of a breakdown in efficiency in regards to the two hundred dollar fee waiver. The two hundred dollar fee waiver request had very different effects on various departments. If an employee who made thirty dollars an hour was fulfilling the request, it might take six hours of departmental time, which could not be reimbursed. Professor Harbaugh commented that this information was never brought to the Senate, to which Dr. Hubin replied that in March, Senator Nathan Tublitz (Biology) brought a grievance due to a denied request, and Dr. Hubin commented that in January, there were unforeseen consequences regarding the fee waiver. According to Dr. Hubin, the Office of Public Records pulled every AAU (American Association of Universities) University, PAC 12 Public, and agencies in the Pacific Northwest… At this point, Dr. Hubin was interrupted by Professor Harbaugh who asked why this information had not been shared with the Senate Transparency Committee or the Senate.
Interim President Berdahl attempted to answer Professor Harbaugh question and commented that this was an issue that the Senate needed to consider. The issue in question was regarding conflicts of interest. According to Interim President Berdahl, the chair of the Senate Transparency Committee was by all measure, the largest requestor of public records by a very substantial margin. He believed that a substantial conflict of interest existed for that person in that position to discuss a policy regarding whether or not to charge for public records requests. Interim President Berdahl commented that he had previously discussed conflicts of interest with Professor Harbaugh in regards to his service on several committees and his blog. He then stated that the reason it was impossible to consult a committee where the chair of that committee had a fundamental conflict of interest seemed obvious. For that reason, the administration did not bring the change before the Senate or the Senate Transparency Committee. He then pointed out that it was not a policy, but merely a practice, which the administration had the authority to change, and so they did. According to Interim President Berdahl, the university had an obligation to recover the costs incurred from public records requests if those costs were substantial. He then commented that when requests were made and the estimated costs were tabulated and presented to the requestor, the system was “gamed” if the requestor changed his or her reply to “give me what you can for under $200.” For that reason, the practice would not continue. Interim President Berdahl stated that the university spent tens of thousands of dollars resulting from appeals to the attorney general that were made by Professor Harbaugh in relation to his blog, and as it was his right to request public records, have a blog, and write about the university, he did not have the right to expect the university to respond to complex public records request without incurring costs. That was Interim President Berdahls reason for changing the practice. He continued and stated that if the requests were simple, they should be delivered without cost, but if they were complex, the university should charge for those costs, and they intended to.
Senator John Bonine commented that he did not have a dog in this particular fight, but did have one in a general sense. His first academic article written after arriving at the university was regarding fee waivers under the federal free legislation act. His article discussed when fee waivers should be given. He then stated that under Oregon Open Meetings Laws, which did not directly apply to committees, if someone had a conflict of interest, he or she should declare it. However, that person still had the ability to act. On the other had, he stated, in terms of shared governance perhaps neither result was appropriate, meaning that Professor Harbaugh should not have been elected chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and the administration should not have changed their practice without consulting members of the faculty. He then called for a process in which a different chair could be appointed to the Senate Transparency Committee or that a work group/committee be developed to consider an alternative approach to the current practice. He was bothered by the fact that the administration proceeded with this change before consulting with faculty members or members of the Senate. Senate President Kyr asked for a point of clarification and wanted to know if Senator Bonine was referring to the issue of the fee waiver, to which he replied that he was speaking to that issue and any other issue that the administration considered acting on that involved the Senate.
Dr. Hubin commented that he agreed with much of what Senator Bonine had just said, and mentioned that the administration needed an advisory group regarding the issue of transparency. Previously, he had proposed to the Senate and Committee on Committees that the Senate Transparency Committee be broadened. Currently, there were three faculty members on the Senate Transparency Committee, and according to Dr. Hubin, the membership should include representatives from all stakeholder groups at the UO. As a point of clarification, Senate President Kyr stated that Dr. Hubin was not insinuating the creation of a new committee, but was merely suggesting an augmentation of the current Senate Transparency Committee. He then commented that these issues would be included in the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees to be completed by the Committee on Committees during the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Senator Bonine stated that he understood the general proposition of not making structural changes to committees, but when substantive changes were being made by the administration he hoped that they would be open to a review of their decisions by members of the faculty.
Interim President Berdahl stated that the administration was open to reviewing this practice with a committee that both the Senate and the administration agreed upon, but he felt it was not appropriate to allow the Senate Transparency Committee to review the practice due to the conflict of interest that he believed existed with the current chair, which according to Interim President Berdahl, Professor Harbaugh had refused to recognize. Professor Harbaugh stated that he had not refused to recognize the conflict of interest, to which Interim President Berdahl replied that they had engaged in several discussions regarding conflicts of interest. Professor Harbaugh held to his conviction that he had not refused to recognize the conflict to interest and that he was happy for that information to be widely known and considered by the Senate when weighing his views. Senate President Kyr ended the discussion and informed the Senate that there would be further discussion on this issue in the future.
5.3 Update on Remaining Policies from May 23 Senate Meeting (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr briefly mentioned that the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy, Facilities Use, and Legal Services Policies were coming before the Senate for a vote in the near future. He had been discussing these policies with Interim President Berdahl and they were in the process of determining when those remaining policies should come before the Senate.
5.4 Update regarding the Tenth Year Review – Committee on Committees (Kyr)
Senate President Kyr, having already mentioned the specifics of the Tenth Year Review of University Standing Committees briefly reiterated how important the review would be to the university and that it was going to be fair and comprehensive. The Senate would be receiving updates on the review throughout the year. He then invited Professor Marie Vitulli (Mathematics, Emerita) and Professor Sarah Douglas (Computer Science, Emerita) to the Senate floor to present their notice of motion.
6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
6.1 Notice of Motion: Consideration of Voting Rights for Retired and Emeritus Faculty Members; Marie Vitulli (Professor Emerita, Mathematics) and Sarah Douglas (Professor Emerita, Computer Science)
Professor Vitulli asked Executive Coordinator Prosser to display section 2.3 of the Univerisity of Oregon Constitution on the view-screen. She believed that an oversight might have occurred by those who drafted the document. She then mentioned that she was currently a professor of Mathematics and was teaching during the spring term under the Tenure Reduction Program. According to Professor Vitulli, that meant that she still retained her tenure status although at a reduced rate. She considered this reduced status as being tenure related, which meant that she was still a member of the Statutory Faculty Assembly according to the definition of Statutory Faculty defined in section 2.3 of the University of Oregon Constitution. Section 2.3 also stated that retired and emeriti faculty members were not members of the statutory faculty whether or not they had teaching responsibilities. She was confused as to which line applied to her status, and jokingly asked if someone had revoked her contract when she was not looking. She also stated that she was not the only faculty member who had these concerns. She then asked for a ruling from Interim President Berdahl to confirm that faculty who were on the tenure reduction program were tenure-related officers of instruction during any term in which they were on the payroll.
Interim President Berdahl replied that as President, he did not have the power to alter the language of the Constitution, but offered an interpretation. It seemed to him that those who were on reduced tenure prior to retirement were members of the Statutory Faculty. He recognized the conflict in the statements and recommended that the faculty change some element of the terms. Interim President Berdahls preference was to include those who were on reduced tenure as members of the Statutory Faculty.
Senate President Kyr stated that there was another layer, which regarded the upcoming University Election. According to the Constitution, retired and emeriti faculty members were not allowed to vote, however Professor Vitulli’s contract stated that she was a tenure related officer of instruction. Interim President Berdahl asked Senate President Kyr if he expected him to make a ruling on this issue. He then stated that the President of the Senate should rule on this issue since it was regarding the Senate Election. Senator Bonine stated that before Senate President Kyr made a ruling on a contractual matter they should consider the matter that Professor Vitulli’s contract may have been improperly formulated by the administration, or people who had begun the six hundred hour program (retirement) should retain their tenure. He stated that there must be a university policy that determined when tenure was relinquished and asked if a part-time tenure program existed.
Professor Vitulli replied that there were two separate programs. The first was a tenure reduction program in which a faculty member retained their tenure status but at a reduced rate. This was the program that she was currently on. The second was a tenure relinquishment program in which tenure was given up and faculty members entered retirement. Senator Bonine asked if both programs reduced faculty salaries by six percent, to which Professor Vitulli replied that only the tenure reduction program included the salary reduction. Professor Vitulli commented that she would like her status confirmed by someone because she wished to vote in the University Spring Election. Senate President Kyr clarified that the ruling was in regards to voting. With the approval of the Senate, he wished to make a ruling on her status so that she would be able to vote in the University Spring Election.
Senator Peter Keyes (Architecture) asked Professor Vitulli if she was officially retired, to which Professor Vitulli replied she was. She then commented that she intended to introduce other amendments and remarked that the language of the Constitution was a matter of interpretation.
Professor Frank Stahl (Biology Emeritus) asked if intent was relevant to whatever decision Senate President Kyr made. He then commented that he was involved in the formulation of the current language and offered an explanation as to what the governance group intended by introducing that language. According to Professor Stahl, the Statutory Faculty was defined as being composed of the University President, tenure related officers of instruction, and career non-tenure officers of instruction. He then commented that the document clearly stated that those people who belong to those groups and were retired were not members of the Statutory Faculty. He did not see any ambiguity, although he recognized that others might, and stated that this was the intent of the governance group that developed the document.
Professor Vitulli disagreed with Professor Stahl’s interpretation. Senator Bonine felt that the language regarding retired and emeriti faculty was an exception to the previous sentence that defined Statutory Faculty and asked Professor Stahl to clarify. Professor Stahl stated that members of the Statutory Faculty were those who were on a tenure track, those who had tenure, and those who were retired and retained their tenure. He stated that adding the word “but” before the second sentence might have helped clarify the intent, but he insisted that because Professor Vitulli held Emerita status, she was no longer a member of the Statutory Faculty and as such, should not be able to vote in the Spring Election.
Senate President Kyr asked Professor Vitulli what her viewpoint was after hearing Professor Stahl’s comments, to which she answered that the two sentences were contradictory, and that they should be address more fully in the future. She then remarked that for now, there was a decision to be made regarding her right to vote in the Spring Election. Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) stated that the Senate President could not rule on any matter pertaining to the Constitution. Only the University President could make a ruling on the Constitution because he was the chair of the Statutory Faculty Assembly. The Senate President could only rule on matters pertaining to the Senate Bylaws.
Senator Peter Keyes remarked that there were many people who voted in the Senate Elections who were not members of the Statutory Faculty including Officers of Administration and Classified Staff. He believed that because of this, it did not matter that Professor Vitulli was a member of the Statutory Faculty. He then referenced section 5.1 which covered voting eligibility for non-student Senators, and quoted the sentence, which stated “Retired faculty members are not permitted to vote.” He believed that section 2.3 determined whether or not Professor Vitulli could vote at a meeting of the Statutory Faculty, not the Senate election. Senate President Kyr told Professor Vitulli that he would take this issue to Interim President Berdahl who was the appropriate person to make a ruling on the matter, to which she agreed was an acceptable solution.
Professor Vitulli stated that she knew that the Senate could not vote on amendments to the Constitution, but she asked them to consider her amendments to the Constitution, which were displayed on the overhead projector. With Senate approval, she hoped that the Senate President would convene a virtual meeting of the Statutory Faculty for an online vote on her proposed amendments. Her first amendment was to delete the second sentence in the definition of Statutory Faculty from Section 2.3 and replace it with the following language: “Emeriti faculty members who are on the university payroll and serving actively in instructional or research capacities are members of the Statutory Faculty. She then commented that most of that language was copied from the newly ratified policy on Emeritus Faculty, which asserted that emeritus faculty had full governance rights in departmental/college governance issues, which included the right to vote. Professor Vitulli then asked the Senate body to retain the privilege, right, and responsibility of full participation in university governance for emeriti faculty. She then commented that this had been a long-standing tradition and hoped that the Senate would consider reinstating that tradition for those emeriti faculty who were on the payroll, teaching, and doing research. She also remarked that Section 5.1 should also be amended to the following: “Emeriti faculty who are members of the Statutory Faculty will retain full governance rights, including the right to vote. All other faculty members are not permitted to vote.” She again asked the Senate to consider her amendments, and commented that it was unclear to her how an emeritus faculty member could propose motions and resolutions to the Senate body and not have the ability to vote in the Spring Election when on the payroll and carrying out teaching or research responsibilities. This made no sense to her. Senate President Kyr thanked Professor Vitulli for presenting her notice of motion and promised to work further with her on developing the language of the motion. He then invited Senator Emma Newman (student senator) to present her notice of motion.
6.2 Notice of Motion: No Coal Resolution; Emma Newman, Student Justice League
Senator Emma Newman (student senator) stated that she was placing her motion on behalf of students who were working with the No Coal Eugene movement through the UO Climate Justice League. According to Senator Newman, large coal companies were seeking new outlets to export mined coal from Wyoming’s Powder River basin, which included coastal Oregon and Washington. The building of an export terminal was proposed for the city of Coos Bay, OR, which would divert coal train traffic through the city of Eugene. Two coal trains would pass through Eugene everyday, which would pollute the city of Eugene by introducing coal dust into the atmosphere. She then mentioned that this motion would be introduced at the next Senate meeting along with more information. Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Newman for presenting her notice of motion.
Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the May 9, 2012 meeting of the University of Oregon Senate to a close at 5:47PM.