I am proud to be serving as a new UO Senator this year. Given some controversy over the Senate’s role in recent years, I want to think deliberately about how I see this body. I am writing this memo to clarify my views for myself, but I will share it to seek reactions that could sharpen (or change) my thinking.
The University of Oregon has a wealth of exemplary individuals who contribute to the success of our university. The Senate recognizes a few of them each year for their leadership and service through four major Senate Awards. These awards allow the Senate to highlight our shared values and those characteristics that enhance the experience of students, staff, and faculty.
2017 Award Recipients (L-R): Kurt Willcox (Classified Staff); Lisa Raleigh (Officers of Administration); Diane Dietz (Shared Governance), and Jennifer J. Freyd (Westling).
Senate President Bill Harbaugh (R) presenting Paul Simonds, Senate Parliamentarian
and former Senate president, with a special award in recognition of his long service to
the Senate and Faculty Assembly.
For 2017, award nominations opened on April 3 and closed on April 25. All members of the campus community were able to nominate any eligible faculty member, classified staff person, or officer of administration for these awards. These awards along with two special recognition awards were presented at a formal ceremony at the June 7 Senate meeting.
Purpose: Award is given to the person who has best exemplified the principles of shared governance, transparency, and trust during the past year. Established in 2015. Eligible: Any administrator or other member of the UO community. Selection: Recommended by Senate Executive Committee; selected by members of the University Senate.
Purpose: Named in honor of Wayne T. Westling, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon from 1979-2001. He was recognized across campus for his unswerving and selfless commitment to faculty governance. Award is given for outstanding and long-term leadership and service to the university. Established in 2001. Eligible: Any faculty or staff member. Selection: Recommended by the Committee on Committees; selected by members of the University Senate.
Purpose: Recognize an individual who is a leader in one or more of these areas – personal and professional development, a respectful work environment, or diversity. Must be a “change agent” who has made “a difference through their actions and through collaborative relationships.” Established in 2011. Eligible: All classified employees. Selection: By the current and previous classified staff senators employed at the university.
Purpose: Recognize exemplary service over a period of years and outstanding leadership. Must be committed to shared governance and participatory decision making and must foster inclusiveness, respect, and professional excellence. Established 2011. Eligible: All Officers of Administration Selection: By the current Officers of Administration senators.
Related Awards: Senate committees also nominate and/or select candidates for several other university awards. These include:
This award recognizes those “who by their knowledge and skills have made a significant contribution to the cultural development of Oregon or society as a whole.” Up to three awards may be presented each year at June Commencement.
The Thomas F. Herman Award and the Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy are presented to faculty members who have demonstrated long-term excellence in teaching at the university. The Ersted Award and the Ersted Award for Specialized Pedagogy recognize excellence in teaching by faculty who are early in their careers.
The University of Oregon Senate is a partner in shared governance at the UO. We collaborate with the trustees, the president, and the administration as well as the university committees to further the mission of the UO. The Senate derives its authority from the Statutory Faculty, by virtue of the University of Oregon Constitution, and it expresses the faculty’s will on academic matters through legislation and policy proposals. Though its power derives from the faculty, the Senate draws its members from and represents the entire university community, including faculty, students, staff, officers of administration, officers of research, librarians. Given its broad representation across the university, the Senate can also express the will of the entire university through non-binding resolutions addressing issues that affect the community.