Creation of Task Force on University Service

Date of Notice:
Current Status:


Spike Gildea (CAS - Linguistics, Senate President); Maram Epstein (CAS - East Asian Languages & Literatures, Senator); Dan Tichenor (CAS - Political Science, Senate Vice President); Josh Razink (CAMCOR, Senator); Kristy Bryant-Berg (CAS - English, Senator); Elliot Berkman (CAS-Psychology, Immediate Past Senate President); Edward Davis (CAS - Earth Sciences, Senator); Scott Pratt (CAS - Philosophy, Statutory Faculty); Jack Boss (School of Music and Dance, Senator); Autumn Shafer (School of Journalism & Communication, Senator)


Section I

1.1  WHEREAS service is an integral component of the jobs of faculty; and

1.2  WHEREAS service is essential to the functioning of departments, schools, colleges and other units, both in-program/in-department service and broader University service are valuable and necessary, and service lies at the heart of faculty and others’ participation in shared university governance; and

1.3  WHEREAS research data on academic service nationwide indicates that the service workload is not equitably distributed across categories of individuals at the same position and rank, with women and faculty of color often burdened with disproportionately higher service workloads than white male counterparts, with measurable negative long-term impacts on their careers, including compensation; and

1.4  WHEREAS numerous faculty at the University of Oregon similarly report disproportionate allocation of service that produces unfair burdens for women and faculty of color, including “invisible” labor, such as emotional labor and mentoring; and

1.5  WHEREAS the expectations, definition, and measurement of service at the UO are generally imprecise and underspecified in both unit-level and university-wide policies, such that not all service is assigned, counted, and valued in some way; and

1.6  WHEREAS at the UO there have been incipient efforts to more clearly identify and address the problems associated with assessing service, including a near-final draft of a Faculty Survey on Service developed by a pre-COVID Service Advisory Committee that brought together people from HR, UA, OtP, and college-level leadership;

Section II

2.1  THEREFORE BE IT MOVED that the Senate authorizes the formation of a Task Force on Service, whose members will be selected by Senate leadership in collaboration with the Office of the  Provost and the leadership of United Academics, and composed of representatives from the Senate/Senate Committees, the Office of the Provost, United Academics, DEI, ELR/HR, college leadership with responsibility for major reviews, and other stakeholder groups like the Women of Color Group, the Black Strategies Group, and/or the Native Strategies Group; and

2.2  BE IT FURTHER MOVED that the charge of the Task Force on Service will include (but not be limited to):

2.2.1  Fall 2021: Collect data on service at the UO and comparator institutions by: (a) building on the prior work of the Service Advisory Committee to finalize and distribute the survey on service so that it can be completed by all faculty in Fall of 2021; (b) obtaining additional UO service data from OtP and HR, and (c) collecting information about efforts at other universities that address the assessment of service work.

2.2.2  Winter 2021: Analyze collected data, consider methods to best address problems that are discovered, and hold public listening sessions to collect additional perspectives on the work in progress. Although the main focus of the task force is on faculty service, hold at least one public listening session also with OAs and Classified Staff to learn about their experiences with university service. During this term, determine the areas of focus for the report and proposal, so that it is realistic to arrive at clear results for the first year of this work.

2.2.3  Spring 2021: Produce a public report for the Senate that includes a proposal for how the UO might better assign as appropriate, define, evaluate, recognize and reward faculty service, as well as more clearly delineate expectations for faculty service at the unit level, across the university, and beyond.

2.3  Recognizing that this topic is potentially larger in scope and complexity than can be fully addressed in a single academic year, the Task Force on Service should also report on outstanding issues that they are not able to address in their initial proposal, and recommend how these issues might be addressed via a multi-year effort, perhaps by continuing the task force for a second year, creating of a new task force (e.g. to consider issues with service by OAs and Classified staff), or creating a new Senate committee charged with addressing the concerns that cannot be addressed in the initial year of work.

Motion History

  • Notice Given

  • Approved