Policy creation at the University of Oregon is designed to ensure that policies are adequately vetted by various stakeholders and subject-matter experts during the drafting process and before being implemented. The entire process is laid out in the Policy on University Policies. As the process can be rather elaborate, the Office of Secretary of the University has provided a helpful cheat sheet.
More on this soon, this is a placeholder.
Notice Given: 02/27/2017
Current Status: Approved 03/15/2017
Motion Type: Legislation
Sponsor: Bill Harbaugh (Economics)
1.1 WHEREAS the naming, or renaming, of an academic unit is considered a major event in the history of the institution, requiring due consideration, appropriate due diligence, and consultation; and
1.2 WHEREAS currently there is no UO policy providing guidance and structure for this process;
1.3 WHEREAS the UO Board of Trustees has sole authority to name any campus, school, college, department or equivalent in recognition of an individual or organization;
2.1 BE IT THEREFORE MOVED that the University Senate approves the newly proposed Naming Academic Units policy as outlined in the Related Documents.
From: Mike Schill <email@example.com>
Subject: Time, Place and Manner rules
Date: February 14, 2017 at 5:51:47 AM PST
To: Chris Sinclair <firstname.lastname@example.org>, William Harbaugh <email@example.com>
Hi Bill and Chris,
After discussing the matter with you two, Kevin Reed and other senior staff, I have decided to withdraw our proposal for time, place and manner rules. While I still believe that these rules are advisable to protect content neutrality, I am also convinced that we need to do more work in educating the community and building consensus around them. The UO has no shortage of pressing issues, difficult problems and wonderful opportunities for us to work on together now. Therefore, I am putting the time, place and manner proposal on hold for the foreseeable future.
12/07/2016: For informational purposes and background, please see previous senate motion:
This policy contains elements related to free speech activities on campus.
11/27/2016 update: After weeks of of not responding to Senate requests for an updated draft of the TPM free speech restrictions policy, General Counsel Kevin Reed has now submitted one to the administration’s Policy Advisory Council.
Dear Senators –
At last week’s meeting I discussed the problems with the computing resources “Acceptable Use Policy” that the administration was proposing to implement. This policy governs everything we do when we use a UO computer, a computer bought with grant money, or when we connect our own computer or phone to the UO network. It applies to students, faculty, librarians, staff, and OA’s.
Greg Bryant, John Bonine, and Colin Koopman – a.k.a. the Senate’s Info Tech Task Force – had identified a host of problems with this policy. The administration addressed some issues, but would not respond to simple questions about other problems. On Wednesday, after I brought up this issue in the Senate, the Board of Trustees Secretary emailed me to propose a meeting between a few UO faculty and the relevant Assistant General Counsel. I responded by asking for a meeting with the Senate Executive Committee, because of the importance of this policy. The BOT Secretary did not respond to that request.
Today I met with the Provost’s Chief of Staff. She told me that she would yank the AUP proposal from the policy process, agreeing that the policy as put forward needed some work that would best be done when we have a new CIO, and she thanked the ITTF for their edits and comments, without of course committing to accept them.
Meanwhile the current AUP remains in effect. It is at https://it.uoregon.edu/sites/default/files/UO_Acceptable_Use_of_Computing_Resources_Policy_13Nov2015.pdf It is a bit dated, but seems far preferable in terms of its protections. For example, here is the Prohibited Conduct section:
Current language: “The University Conduct Code, OAR 571-21-030, also applies to electronic forums. The code prohibits, among other things, lewd or indecent conduct, threat of imminent physical harm, sexual or other harassment, stalking, forgery, intentional disruption of university services, and damaging or destroying university property. Similarly, the code’s prohibitions against illegal discrimination, including discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment, also apply to electronic forums.”
The University Conduct Code is actually the Student Conduct Code, at https://policies.uoregon.edu/vol-3-administration-student-affairs/ch-1-conduct/student-conduct-code. It only applies to students. It is also very specific:
16. “Harassment” means:
a. Intentionally subjecting a person to offensive physical contact;
b. Unreasonable insults, gestures, or abusive words, in the immediate presence, and directed to, another person that may reasonably cause emotional distress or provoke a violent response (including but not limited to electronic mail, conventional mail, social media and telephone) except to the extent such insults, gestures or abusive words are protected expression; or
c. Other types of prohibited discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and sexual harassment as defined by law.
In contrast, the administration’s proposed new policy language was vague and expansive and included no language about protected expression:
“6.6 Shall not use UO IT resources to transmit any communications that reasonably could be considered obscene, harassing, threatening or discriminatory by the recipient or another viewer. For more information on UO policies in this area, see the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity web site.”
While the old policy prohibited physical threats with the specific language from free-speech case law,
“threat of imminent physical harm”,
the proposed new policy would apply threats of any kind, apparently including the familiar “If you miss one more class I will lower your grade” email threat. And they wanted to apply this broad policy language to all users, not just students. How would our General Counsel’s office find the time to deal with all these prohibited emails? Why would they want to try?
This new policy will come back to the Senate for approval someday. My explanation above covers just one of the many problems with it. Read more in the pdf below from the ITTF, which will continue to monitor the situation.
Bill Harbaugh, Senate Pres, Econ Prof
Under the 2011 UO Constitution, the faculty has authority over “all academic matters as commonly understood in higher education”:
1.2 The University of Oregon is governed by the President and the Professors in accordance with the 1876 University of Oregon Charter. ORS 352.010. 1.3 Sole faculty governance authority at the University of Oregon resides in the Statutory Faculty. This authority extends to all academic matters as commonly understood in higher education. The Statutory Faculty may delegate its authority but must retain oversight responsibility.
This summer President Schill and Provost Coltrane made an attempt to be more specific:
From: Scott Coltrane
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2016 9:48 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Sinclair
Cc: Mike Schill
Subject: Fw: Academic principles
Bill and Chris,
I wanted to share with you the attached Statement of Principle Regarding Academic Policies that Mike and I have approved to help us determine if a policy is academic or not. The Policy on Policies uses language from the Constitution (see citations on the attachment), but there is still the question of what “commonly understood” means. Based on research from AAU peers, AAUP, etc., this seemed like an appropriate baseline. We do feel it is important to have an articulated standard to help guide us through the policies process. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
SCOTT COLTRANE | Provost and Senior Vice President
email@example.com | 541-346-3186
202 Johnson Hall
1258 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403
Statement of Principle Regarding Academic Policies
Primarily, we see academic policies as those addressing curriculum, academic standards, academic standards of admission, academic freedom, tenure and promotion, major changes to academic programs, grading standards, and student life as it relates to the educational process. Additionally, academic policies are more likely than not going to include policies relating to faculty status; this area includes appointments, reappointments, decision not to reappoint, promotions, the granting of tenure and denial. See AAUP’s Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities Section 5.
Policies which have broad applicability to university employees but do not differentially treat faculty are not considered academic. For example, key control to buildings, parking, purchasing regulations, or information technology matters relevant to all users, such as training, security and email use.
Regardless of whether a policy or proposal is deemed “academic” and thus proceeds through the academic policy process, the input of the senate or individual faculty members is always welcome through the public comment process for interested stakeholders.
Approved by President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane
Miscellaneous Policy References and Citations
A “University Policy” (Policy) is a policy that
- Has broad application or impact throughout the University community
- Must be implemented to ensure compliance with state or federal law
- Is necessary to enhance the University’s mission, to ensure institutional consistency and operational efficiency, or to mitigate institutional risks
- Is otherwise designated by the Board or the [University] President as a University Policy.
Excluded from the definition of a University Policy are things such as, but not limited to, implementation guides, operating guidelines, internal procedures, and similar management controls and tools.
An academic policy is one that addresses curriculum, academic standards, academic standards of admission, academic freedom, tenure and promotion, major changes to academic programs, grading standards, student life that relates to the educational process, or other matters of an academic nature as commonly understood in higher education.
Proposals regarding majors, programs, minors, certificates, courses, and degree requirements are not considered policies for process purposes.
 University of Oregon Policy I.03.01, Section 3.1
 University of Oregon Policy I.03.01, Section 3.2; University of Oregon Constitution, Section 1.3 (emphasis added)
 University of Oregon Policy I.03.01, Section 5.3
Sponsored by the Senate Responsible Reporting Work Group
Friday, September 30 from 1-2:30 pm in 150 Columbia
Purpose: to gather student input to help the work group develop a university policy about supporting survivors and reporting sexual assaults
Come to the forum. Learn what the work group is discussing. Share your perspective directly or anonymously. Join the conversation on this blog.
- Introduction of the work group
- Review of the key issues and how we’ve gotten to this point
Who on campus should be required to notify our Title IX Coordinator when they learn of a sexual assault?
If you tell an administrator, faculty member, or staff person about a sexual assault, what do you expect them to do?
Do we have enough confidential resources on campus where a sexual assault survivor can get help without having to formally report the incident?
If you experienced sexual assault and someone reported it confidentially, would you want that confidential person to contact you and offer support resources?
3. Student comments to the work group.
Information about support resources on campus will be available.