UO Board legislation FAQ

Resources and news regarding the 2013 legislation to create a UO Board of Trustees.

Work in progress, suggestions welcome. Created 5/17/2013. Last updated 5/29/2013:

Hot topics:

5/29/2013: Kyr and others are testifying in the Ways and Means subcommittee today. Written testimony here. Supposedly there’s video here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn/listenset.htm under conference room F.

Meanwhile, still no response from President Gottfredson on the applicability of the Public Records and Meetings law to the UO Board.


Word from the front is that the W&M meeting was jammed and none of the UO faculty got to speak. They will have another public meeting Wed.

Testimony for the Thursday 5/23/13 Ways and Means meeting on SB270 and HB3120 here. Many strong statements for and against.

Open letters from Frank Stahl, the Deans, and the union on SB270 are posted at the bottom.

The UO faculty union has sent out a message excoriating President Gottfredson for his “asked and answered” monologue on shared governance, and for his plan to gut it, which he will not publicly acknowledge:

To date, faculty who have expressed concern over the future of shared governance at UO have been publicly dismissed by President Gottfredson, and rebuffed at the union negotiating table. For example, when approximately 100 faculty and staff gathered this past Tuesday, May 14 for an opportunity to hear from President Gottfredson on the status of institutional board legislation, he shocked and dismayed many faculty with his lack of respect for preserving shared governance in relation to independent boards and our faculty union contract. At the negotiating table, President Gottfredson’s chief spokesperson has admitted that the UO constitution itself is not enforceable, and could be overturned by a new independent governing board.

The current PSU faculty union contract includes strong shared governance provisions. Their Faculty Senate Constitution gets legal status:

Article 12, Section 2. Notwithstanding the exclusive right of the association to negotiate and reach agreement on terms and conditions of employment, recognized in Article 1 (RECOGNITION), and the right of the University to carry out its ordinary and customary functions of management, recognized in Article 5 (RESERVED RIGHTS OF THE UNIVERSITY), the parties agree that it is mutually desirable that the collegial system of shared governance be maintained and strengthened so that faculty will have a mechanism and procedures, independent of collective bargaining, for appropriate participation in the governance of the University. To that effect, the Portland State University Faculty Constitution shall remain in existence for the duration of this Agreement subject to the provisions of Oregon University System IMD 1.120 through 1.126.

But their administration is trying to remove shared governance from the contract too. I wonder if PSU has hired Sharon Rudnick as a consultant? From the PSU AAUP site:

Take-away: The big take-away, from the perspective of our team, is that the administration would like to move much of our current contract language around issues of faculty governance from the contract into the Faculty Senate’s realm (an important advisory board to the Administration). We fear that ultimately, the Administration wants governance to be “shared” disproportionately, leaving faculty fewer rights and privileges. The removal of these powers from the contract would mean significant changes in long standing evaluation procedures and would erode or remove current safeguards around process (removal from the contract means procedural violations could no longer be grieved).

SB270:  Creates independent boards for UO and PSU, allows OSU and others to follow if they can show support among their university communities. There is no requirement for such support from the UO community.

Protections for shared governance in the current draft of SB270? None:

“SECTION 18. The president and professors constitute the faculty and as such have the immediate government and discipline of a university with a governing board and the students therein, except as otherwise provided by law or action of the governing board. The faculty may, subject to the supervision of the governing board and section 8 of this 2013 Act, prescribe the course of study to be pursued in the university and the textbooks to be used.

What do we have currently?

From OUS State Board OARs at http://www.ous.edu/state_board 

Page 104. “(7) Each institution is authorized to formulate a statement of internal governance expressed as a constitution or in another appropriate format which will be ratified as the official statement of internal governance by the relevant institutional body or bodies and the institution president. All statements of internal governance will be consistent with statutes governing the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the Oregon University System, and any applicable Board rules, policies, or IMD.” 

Page 105. “(8) The statement of internal governance is subject to review and amendment when a new institution president assumes office or at other such times provided for in the internal governance statement. Any amendment to the statement of internal governance will be subject to ratification by the relevant institutional body or bodies and the institution president.” 

That is what we stand to lose with a UO board, unless a policy specifically protecting existing Constitutions is incorporated in the legislation that creates such boards, or into the faculty union CBA.

Board member qualifications: OHSU / UO comparison. OHSU went independent in 1995 and Kitzhaber views them as the model. Their legislation is here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/353.html There are a few differences between their legislation and the current draft for UO and PSU. One difference? The OHSU legislation requires that the Governor’s appointees actually have some experience or expertise: 

(b) Seven representatives who, in the discretion of the Governor, have experience in areas related to the university missions or that are important to the success of Oregon Health and Science University, including but not limited to higher education, health care, scientific research, engineering and technology and economic and business development. 

The proposed UO legislation? The governor can appoint anyone he/she wants to the UO Board of Trustees. No higher ed experience required. Pat Kilkenny, anyone?

Faculty/student/ staff representation? The original bill included 2 voting faculty members and a student. One recent revision had a non-voting student but specifically banned faculty or other employees. The current draft includes the UO president, a student, and a faculty member as non-voting members. Student and faculty selected by the governor.

Regarding the UO Board legislation, SB 270:

Frank Stahl sends this:

On May 20, 2013, President Gottfredson asserted, “The University of Oregon Constitution became the operative document for our shared governance system when [it was] ratified by the statutory faculty and signed by my predecessor on December 15, 2011. It is in effect as ratified and will remain so under an institutional board unless it is modified by procedures delineated in the constitution itself.” (http://president.uoregon.edu/content/president-gottfredson’s-comments-shared-governance).

That statement may sound comforting, but it ignores the fact that university governing boards have no obligation to accept presidential advice whereas they are bound by actions of the State Legislature. Hence the way to guarantee the survival of our Constitution, which is in full compliance with State Law as well as IMDs and Policies of the State Board, is to amend SB270 to include Oregon State Board of Higher Education Policies p 104(7) and p105(8). This is the time for President Gottfredson to exercise much needed leadership by inviting the UO Senate to join him in a statement to the State Senate of support for such an amendment.

The Deans send this: My comments in bold [ ]:

Dear Colleagues:
This is an open letter from the Deans to the UO community regarding this historic moment for our university. Legislation aimed at creating a public governing board for the University of Oregon continues to move forward in Salem, and we see this development as the most promising way to address the challenge of shrinking state support for our mission and our institution.  Simultaneously we are engaged in creating an historic collective bargaining agreement between the University and a new faculty union, one that will establish guidelines for labor practices for years to come.  With this letter we are reaching out to the entire university community to call for a positive, respectful and inclusive debate about the UO’s future. [I’m curious: This has been going on for 8 months. Why did you wait til the last possible minute to reach out to us?]
We believe that a fully informed and constructive dialogue will best serve the future of our institution. We want you to know that we collectively see great potential in the UO’s advance toward institutional governance and toward a fair collective bargaining agreement, and have high hopes for the future under the leadership of President Michael Gottfredson. 
The legislative process that will determine the future of our governance is at a delicate and critical stage. Establishing a public governing board solely dedicated to the UO, with the ability to generate much-needed investments from outside sources is critical to the future success of the university. 
Key legislation now being considered in Salem – SB 270 – is fully congruent with the UO’s commitment to shared governance, as President Gottfredson has affirmed on a number of occasions. [Talk is cheap.] On Monday, the President posted a statement on his website elaborating how his commitment to shared governance will be sustained and honored going forward under a public institutional board. We urge all members of the campus community to review these comments at http://president.uoregon.edu/content/president-gottfredson%E2%80%99s-comments-shared-governance[Websites are even cheaper.]

The university’s collective commitment to shared governance is exemplified by recent actions. Many members of the Provost’s search committee were nominated by the Senate, members of the elected Senate Budget Committee were key participants in this year’s budget setting process, [This is a sham, Gottfredson should know better, and the Deans shouldn’t play along with this nonsense] and the President meets regularly with the elected Faculty Advisory Committee and the elected Undergraduate and Graduate Councils exercise control over development of new curricular proposals. [That’s your best evidence of his commitment to shared governance? Not much. Thanks, but we want it in in a contract that someone besides Randy Geller can enforce.]
As Deans, we strongly support the tradition of shared governance at the University of Oregon and acknowledge its vital role in promoting academic excellence.  As we move forward we do not think it should be narrowly redefined solely within the context of a collective bargaining agreement. As other institutions of higher learning with faculty and staff unions demonstrate, the commitment of Deans and faculty to shared governance cannot and should not be limited to labor contracts between a union and the university.  [Not be limited…. what are they trying to say here? Spit it out: you don’t want the constitution to have legal protections in the contract, so that the faculty can’t effectively enforce shared governance.] We know all faculty at the UO (both represented and non-represented) share a commitment to academic excellence.  Our mission requires that we continue to work together collaboratively to promote the highest possible quality of teaching, learning and research at the University of Oregon.
We are engaged in a major effort to attract and retain the very best faculty and we see the quality of the public discourse among the entire UO community as a key factor in attaining this goal. [Pay us. Why don’t the Dean’s send out an email supporting the unions efforts to get comparable pay?]  In addition, as we prepare to launch a major capital campaign, we hope to engage potential donors and supporters in a positive, constructive and respectful dialogue about the future of the University of Oregon.  We need your help in this endeavor because it is truly a shared vision that depends on our collective efforts. [So why did you wait til the last minute to try and enlist our support, when we had little possibility of influencing the actual legislation?]
The bottom line: We urge the UO community to come together so that we can build one of the strongest and most creative research universities in the nation. We trust [Thanks. Bit late for trust us stuff] that you will join President Gottfredson and us in promoting this noble and exciting endeavor by working together as we move forward.  We value your commitment to excellence and believe that the future of the university is dependent on the strength of the entire UO community.
Frances Bronet, Dean
School of Architecture & Allied Arts
Michael Bullis, Dean
Sommerville-Knight Professor
College of Education
Deborah Carver
Philip H. Knight Dean of Libraries
Scott Coltrane
Tykeson Dean of Arts & Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences
Kimberly Andrews Espy, Dean
Graduate School, Vice President for Research & Innovation
Brad Foley, Dean
School of Music & Dance
David Frank, Dean
Robert D. Clark Honors College
Tim Gleason
Edwin L. Artzt Dean & Professor
School of Journalism & Communication
Cornelis A “Kees” de Kluyver, Dean
Rippey Distinguished Professor
Charles H. Lundquist College of Business
Michael Moffitt
Philip H. Knight Dean

School of Law

The UO Faculty Union sends this:

Shared governance remains front and center this week.  On Thursday, the Oregon House Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on Independent Institutional Board legislation.  On Tuesday and Thursday, our faculty negotiating team will be back at the bargaining table with the Administration’s representatives.  In both arenas, United Academics will continue to press the case to protect and preserve shared governance at UO.
BARGAINING
Bargaining will take place Tuesday and Thursday, 8am-12pm in 122 Knight Library.  Negotiations are open to everyone.  Please make time to attend negotiations and support your faculty negotiators!
LEGSILATIVE ACTION
Senate Bill 270 and House Bill 3120 – the twin pieces of legislation that outline future possibilities for independent institutional boards at UO, OSU, and PSU – are up for a public hearing in the Oregon House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Education this Thursday (5/23) at 8:30am in the Capitol, Room HR F.   United Academics strongly believes faculty, staff and students should have representation and voting rights on any future independent board.  As currently worded, pending legislation does not guarantee representation nor voting rights for faculty, staff, nor students.
If you’re able to attend, click here to let us know and learn more about carpool opportunities.
If you’re not able to attend in person, you can make sure that President Gottfredson, Governor Kitzhaber, and our elected representatives know that faculty at UO care about shared governance: CLICK HERE to send your message in support of shared governance now!


HB3120: Expands authority and membership of Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). Transfers State Board of Education (SBE) authority for community colleges to HECC. Abolishes Oregon Student Access Commission and transfers policy-making authority to HECC and administrative authority to newly created Office of Student Access and Completion.


New Partnership History:

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15 Responses to UO Board legislation FAQ

  1. Anonymous says:

    “1995 – OHSU becomes a public corporation and separates from the Oregon State System of Higher Education. Governance of OHSU changes from the Board of Higher Education to the OHSU Board of Directors, whose members are nominated by the governor and approved by the Oregon Senate.”

    http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/facts/history.cfm

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  2. Old Man says:

    The current OUS policies regarding our Constitution are at Oregon State Board of Higher Education Policies, (http://www.ous.edu/state_board). Here is a cut/paste:
    Page 104. “(7) Each institution is authorized to formulate a statement of internal governance expressed as a constitution or in another appropriate format which will be ratified as the official statement of internal governance by the relevant institutional body or bodies and the institution president. All statements of internal governance will be consistent with statutes governing the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the Oregon University System, and any applicable Board rules, policies, or IMD.”
    Page 105. “(8) The statement of internal governance is subject to review and amendment when a new institution president assumes office or at other such times provided for in the internal governance statement. Any amendment to the statement of internal governance will be subject to ratification by the relevant institutional body or bodies and the institution president.”

    That is what we stand to lose with a Local Board unless a policy specifically protecting existing Constitutions is incorporated in the legislation that creates such boards.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks Old Man, added, with a shout-out to the CBA

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm, I do not think they way the LAW gives the booster board the ability do whatever they want that the CBA can overrule a state law.

      The law is also very clear that the booster board can buy, sell, lease, loan, acquire, let, rent, mortgage, and destroy the University, or at least its property, capital, assets, yada, yada,

      I assume this means the faculty and students as well, as long as it is in the best interest of the University, and I think we ALL know who the REAL UNIVERSITY is.

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    • Anonymous says:

      …cannot overrule a state law…

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  3. Andy Stahl says:

    Phil Knight and Pat Kilkenny’s “Oregonians for Higher Ed Excellence PAC”. Still sitting on $450K, to get SB270 through the legislature.

    I don’t think the PAC’s purpose is lobbying. It exists as a campaign financing, existential threat to any legislators who stand in the way of K&K’s goals. “If you oppose us, here’s the money we give to your next campaign opponent.” That’s why the PAC hasn’t spent any money. That’s a much more effective strategy than to hire some lobbyists, especially when the state is already providing the lobbyists for free.

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    • Michael Dreiling says:

      Well put Andy, and very likely the correct read on their strategy. A small fraction of that $450k is more than enough to annihilate a state legislator’s hope for re-election. I tell ya, when we faculty did not get that Senate Subcmte running after the Assembly vote (which was authorized to work in Salem on this independent board), we created a vacuum that the corporate minded donors at Oregonians for Higher Ed Excellence were all too happy to fill. That is why this legislation is so weak on faculty voice and so authoritative on delegating the authority of the board itself directly to the Prez.

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  4. Aweosme0 says:

    Basically a play out of the NRA’s playbook.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Fishwrapper sez: At some point, you’re going to have to realize that, when all is said and done, you’ve got the best administration you could possibly assemble to bring the UO into the twentieth century.

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  6. Old Man says:

    Everyone: Attend the Senate Meeting, Wednesday at 3 in Knight Library. The Agenda are not yet posted, but it seems that matters pertaining to our very survival as a respectable university will be at stake.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Are there no Deans, Assistant Deans, even former mere faculty members in the Provost’s Office who are not concerned about “survival as a respectable university”? No counter-voices to the possibility of university controlled by the voices of a few monied interests?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are there no Deans, Assistant Deans, even former mere faculty members in the Provost’s Office who are not concerned about “survival as a respectable university”? No counter-voices to the possibility of university controlled by the voices of a few monied interests?

      Post board plans?
      1) raise tuition statutory max
      2) abolish shared governance.
      3) bust unions (see WI et al)
      4) use bloated reserve to pay supporters
      5) raise tuition statutory max
      6) get rid of tenure
      7) pile on debt
      8) raise tuition statutory max
      9) use eminent domain to pickup prime real estate
      10) sell, lease, and mortgage prime real estate to friends and family
      11) raise tuition statutory max

      so no.

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  8. Old Man says:

    On May 20, 2013, President Gottfredson asserted, “The University of Oregon Constitution became the operative document for our shared governance system when [it was] ratified by the statutory faculty and signed by my predecessor on December 15, 2011. It is in effect as ratified and will remain so under an institutional board unless it is modified by procedures delineated in the constitution itself.” (http://president.uoregon.edu/content/president-gottfredson’s-comments-shared-governance). That statement may sound comforting, but it ignores the fact that university governing boards have no obligation to accept presidential advice whereas they are bound by actions of the State Legislature. Hence the way to guarantee the survival of our Constitution, which is in full compliance with State Law as well as IMDs and Policies of the State Board, is to amend SB270 to include Oregon State Board of Higher Education Policies p 104(7) and p105(8). This is the time for President Gottfredson to exercise much needed leadership by inviting the UO Senate to join him in a statement to the State Senate of support for such an amendment.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The Deans can’t say anything about supporting raises, etc. That would be management bargaining outside of bargaining. They are management and as such they have to keep their yappers shut around mandatory subjects of bargaining.

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  10. Michael Dreiling says:

    And thanks for doing all of this homework UOM. Anyone reading this and not send a letter, here is an easy way our union has set up to get one out. Looks like we have a few more days to apply pressure for some amendments to SB 270.
    http://action.aft.org/c/537/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=6455

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