Senate meets Today at 3 on divorce of Senate & FAC, more policies

Summary: For those of you who skipped the meeting for early cocktails down at the Faculty Club’s temporary location (and Chuck Triplett has your names) here are the highlights:

Senate Pres Randy Sullivan ran another effective meeting. All got their chance to speak, business got done, and new ideas came to light.

Frank Stahl’s motion to divorce the Senate from the UO president’s FAC failed 18-8.

We had a healthy discussion of the upcoming Mandatory Reporting Policy (of sexual harassment and discrimination), developed by the Senate’s CSGBV and brought to the Senate by them on a unanimous vote. Many trade-offs have been worked out, not to everyone’s satisfaction.

The Provost appointed faculty to the search for a new Law School Dean without following UO Policy requiring he first consult with the Senate President and the FAC. The Provost agreed that he shouldn’t have done this, and we’re going to work together to straighten this out. SPQUO.

The Divest UO from CO2 students announced their fiendishly clever “Divest Fund“. Make a donation to the Divest Fund for UO scholarships, and they will hold it in escrow until the end of 2017. If the UO Foundation’s Jay Namyet has divested by then, UO gets the money. If not, it is divided among those universities that have divested. Someone knows their game theory, and it’s not the Foundation’s well paid Chief Investment Officer.

I tried it out, and they even sent a receipt for my taxes.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Watch LiveBrowsing Room, Knight Library; 3:00-5:00 pm

3:00 pm    Introductory Remarks, Senate President Randy Sullivan

3:05 pm    1.   Call to Order

3:05 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes 2.1, April 6, 2016

3:15 pm    4.   New Business

4.1      US15/16-14: Respecting the Differing Roles of the Senate and the Faculty Advisory Council; Frank Stahl, Emeritus in Biology

Fails 18 to 8.

3:35 pm    5.   Open Discussion

5.1       Curriculum and academic personnel policies

Policy Repeal Proposals, via Policy Advisory Council and Curriculum Matters workgroup

OUS 52 Tuition Policy

OUS 12 Centers and Institutes in OUS

OUS 50 Sustainability recommendation

Curricular Policies & Procedures

Admissions Policies and Requirements

Frazee calls to suspend the rules and repeal these now instead of at the next meeting. Needs 2/3, fails.

Policy Revision Proposals

580.020.0005 Academic Classification and Rank 

580.021.0200-245 Sabbatical Leave

Koopman brings up a very interesting point. The university is adopting CBA language as policy for all faculty, including those that are not in the bargaining unit (Law, PI’s with grants and employees). So shouldn’t these employees have some representation on the university’s bargaining team, since they can’t be represented by the union side?

5.2       Responsible Employee Policy; Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (CSGBV)

Stabile: The committee worked very hard for months writing this policy, and voted unanimously in favor of this policy. Reporting ensures that the university knows about serial perpetrators. Gives survivors many choices – they can go to Crisis Intervention, report confidentially there, and get help and resources.

Murray: Why does it exclude student employees? Matella (GCO): It includes RA’s and GTF’s, but not other student employees because a reasonable person wouldn’t think of them as representing the university.

Frazee: I’d expect my student-orientation employeees (undergrads) to report. They should be given reporting responsibility. Stabile: We could include them. Matella: agrees, this is a choice the university can make, and should discuss.

Margerum: Recalls that last time there were concerns that this might reduce reporting, if students know what they say will be relayed to the authorities.

Stabile: My experience with students is that they come to talk after they’ve had bad experiences with how UO has handled things. I think it’s helpful to be able to tell them “I’m going to help you right now by walking you over to the crisis center where you can get counseling and resources.

Rocklin (Law, Bonine’s surrogate Senator): Students treat my office as a safe place for them to talk, I’m concerned that this will limit my ability to try and help them. Notes that Merle Weiner (Law) will provide a memo with some other issues and inconsistencies in the policy.

Stabile: Just because a survivor reports does not mean that the perpetrator will be notified, etc. There are many options.

Darcy: There are situations where a report will mean that the survivor loses control of how the situation is handled – e.g. if there is a threat to others. Students are never forced to participate.

Matella: Take a look at the student affairs website to see more on the process.

Ahlen: Would like to see an exemption for union stewards acting in their official capacity.

Sullivan reads comments from Freyd:

Dear Committee,

I feel I have failed to express myself clearly and for that I apologize. I have a few thoughts to share on required reporting. I apologize these points are now not informed by the discussion at the meeting yesterday but perhaps some or all will still be relevant for the future.

1) A fundamental injury of sexual violence is to take away the survivor’s autonomy and control . Anything we can do to offer autonomy and control to survivors will be potentially healing. Anything we do that takes it away will be potentially harmful. This I say based on RESEARCH.

2) When we draw conclusions about what reporting environment works based on only those students who report we are losing data from 90% of survivors. We need to be always asking what about the 90% who are not reporting – what can we do to make it safe for them to get their needs met. Why are they not reporting?

3) While the GC office has the duty to protect the university, a committee such as ours should fundamentally be about excellence not liability. The whole exercise of addressing sexual violence will fail if simply pursued for the sake of risk management – we should be as a committee be looking at how our practices are consistent with overall institutional excellence, the alignment of mission/vision/values in the specific context of sexual violence, and the development of a “culture of excellence” that will serve the institution at all levels.

4) One way to pursue a culture of excellence is to step back and identify the goals of any initiative and ask whether there are other ways to meet those goals that might be even more helpful and with fewer negative side effects.

5) Isn’t the specific issue about identifying responsible employees as articulated below by Kevin actually about aligning survivor expectations and perceptions with employee behavior and requirements? If a student believes a report will result in action but it dead ends, that is hurtful misalignment. If a student believes a report will be held in confidence and it is shared, that is also hurtful misalignment. Similarly if a survivor requires privacy but believes they cannot get it from the people they most trust they have a high probability of not reporting to the institution at all. Given this, isn’t the fundamental issue one of clarifying and communicating with students such that they have OPTIONS and very well-tuned expectations? And if so, couldn’t there be options the student has that clarify what will happen with their information and that will give them a path to reporting that they feel good about?


Sullivan: notes that mandatory reporting will only work if the university has effective procedures to deal with the reports and inform everyone at UO of the process. [That hourlong web quiz is not going to cut it.]

4:45 pm    6.   Reports

6.1      Divestment Report; Divest UO. More on this here.

4:45 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:45 pm    8.   Other Business

Harbaugh: I discovered this morning that the Provost had begun appointing faculty members to the Law School Dean search committee, because the current Dean had told him that the Law School’s last faculty meeting was Friday. It’s not.

UO Policy requires that the Provost consult with the Senate President and the FAC about the composition of search committees. The Provost agreed that he should have done this, but didn’t. We’re going to work together to straighten this out.

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

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6 Responses to Senate meets Today at 3 on divorce of Senate & FAC, more policies

  1. Dark Wing Duck says:

    Nothing says “Earth Week” at UO like repealing the sustainability policy.

  2. Steve Mital says:

    Really, Bill? I spoke to you on the phone about this in December and you asked for my recommendation, which I sent back in January. You didn’t disagree with the basic reasoning.

    On the admin side – Our existing environmental policy is stronger. No need to keep a duplicative and weaker OUS policy.

    On the academic side – There is clearly an enormous amount of creative faculty energy going into “sustainability.” In the last decade we’ve seen grad specializations, minors, and new courses developed that address “sustainability” concerns. There are numerous research agendas devoted to “sustainability.” We now even have spin-off companies. As far as I can tell none of it was motivated by the OUS policy. My guess is that few, if any, were even aware of its existence.

    So I recommended repealing a policy because the evidence shows there’s a thriving culture without it.

    • uomatters says:

      What in the world makes you think I’m opposing repeal? I voted in the Senate Exec to bring it forward to the Senate for repeal.

      I did propose waiting to repeal it until after earth week, in hopes that would mean less debate.

  3. NotImpressed says:

    The sustainability “policy” was aspirational, had no enforcement mechanism, and no clear purpose for existing–especially since everything named in the policy is enacted by UO’s operations (Office of Sustainability) and academics now.

    I’m consistently disappointed in the level of discourse on this blog. Bill, you’re going to have to do better than level innuendo and speculation as senate president next year.

  4. Alum says:

    Was this like, an official call from UO Divest to stop giving to the Foundation and give to the Divestment Fund instead? Or just a neat thing that they presented?

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