Old business note: Last meeting the Senate spent a lot of time on IT policies, over concerns that there was no clear campus policy governing when administrators could access faculty and staff email. The GCO has now approved a “procedure” for this, here:
5.1 Reallocation of Resources Process and Budget Model; Brad Shelton (Interim Vice President for Research) and Jamie Moffitt (Vice President of Finance &Administration and Chief Financial Officer) – tentative
Sorry, I”m mostly listening not blogging.
Statement from Gina Psaki, from Romance Languages (I’ll post when I get a copy).
At least this time the faculty didn’t have to do anything unlawful to find out what’s up – Schill has some of it posted on the IR website, here. But not everything. Meanwhile, it’s been a week, still no response, for the MOU’s showing where the money has gone:
This is a public records request for copies of any MOUs or other agreements between the UO Provost and UO Deans regarding financial commitments or obligations regarding transfers to or from college budgets.
I wanted this held over for 2 weeks so the Academic Council could look at the grade distributions in the AAD courses and the online quality and cheating issues, and the TTF/NTTF imbalance. Here are my notes:
Not in any way disparaging the intellectual quality of the department or the importance of its work.
1) This proposal is at odds with the new emphasis on increasing TTF. Courses will be taught in part by NTTF.
2) Online classes: AAD’s current online classes have very high grades, very popular. AAD has no systems to detect on-line cheating, verify identity.
The budget model gives strong incentives for these classes and adding a major: $141 per SCH, $1660 per major, $1559 per degree.
The fact that these are classified as Gen Ed 1 and MC classes takes students away from Hum – part of the strong incentives from the budget model – too strong.
Summarizing: AAD should deal with these online course issues and the TTF/NTTF imbalance before adding a new major.
And I put up the data on the grade distributions for the 75 largest UO classes,
More later, but the AAD major proposal passed overwhelmingly
The agenda is below, I’ll try and live-blog some. Video here. The IDEAL framework is UO’s latest attempt at a diversity plan. Read it.
In other diversity news, UO’s former Diversity Director Charles Martinez will be at the Eugene City Club on Friday, with a panel of UO minority student leaders. Looks very interesting, follow the link for more information and bios.
Perla Alvarez (MEChA: Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan)
Dante Haruna (QTPOC: Queer-Trans People of Color)
Shaniece Curry (BWA: Black Women of Achievement)
Gerald Jakabosky, Co Director (APASU: Asian Pacific American Student Union)
Program Coordinator: Lisa Arkin
This panel of University of Oregon undergraduate student leaders represents diverse organizations dedicated to supporting students of color on campus. The groups serve as hubs for students of color to meet and plan events and programs that advance efforts to educate the community about diversity on campus.
The first questioner will be Dr. Charles Martinez, Department Head and Professor for Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership, University of Oregon.
And an anonymous reader points us to this National Review report mocking UO students for debating the MLK quote in the EMU. I wonder what William F. Buckley thinks about the fact that the magazine he founded is now posting click-bait that ridicules college students for debating serious questions about race and gender?
Fortunately UO student reporter Macy Hyland has a more intelligent article about the debate, in the Daily Emerald here:
Laurie Woodward, the Director of the Student Union said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”
… Woodward says she has no idea if the quote will change again in the near future, but she’s merely excited that important discussions like this are being held on campus again. “What words are is important,” she says, “but what’s more important is that people think about what the words should be.”
Browsing Room, Knight Library; 3:00-5:00 pm
3:00 pm Introductory Remarks, Senate President Randy Sullivan
Colin Koopman (Philosophy) worked with Will Laney from IT and a Senate workgroup to revise the original emergency policies, which had some issues, particularly regarding administrators access to faculty and staff emails.
Q from Ahlen: Impetus was an incident regarding admin access to staff emails. SEIU cannot consent to this policy as is. Taylor explains that the impetus was that, during a union grievance, an HR employee authorized full read-write access to the employees email by an administrator. SEIU won the grievance, and we need to have that codified before we endorse this policy.
Laney: I agree we need to have this in the procedure, GC’s office tells me they will have a draft of that tomorrow.
Taylor: We need to have language requiring a “compelling business need” to access employees email.
And things get interesting …
Koopman: We can pass these as policies now, and if the procedures then do not come back with email protection you can come back to the Senate.
Motion to postpone fails, motion to approve policies passes.
Here’s a link to the final version of UO’s 2006 Diversity plan. This was sent to the Senate by President Frohnmayer and approved after a contentious set of meetings, during which it came out that the administration had agree to hire a diversity director and prepare a diversity plan as part of the legal settlement with Joe Wade, an African-American administrator who had sued Frohnmayer and Provost John Moseley for discrimination in hiring. Frohnmayer had kept this hidden from the faculty and even from the person he hired as Diversity Director.
That diversity director left, and was replaced by Charles Martinez (Education). After faculty complaints about the text and the process, Martinez heavily revised the plan and Frohnmayer brought it to the Senate. There was a healthy debate, the minutes are here. One snippet:
Senator Chris Ellis, economics, then rose to oppose the motion. He felt everyone in the room believed diversity was a good thing because they cared about some of the underlying problems in our society. However, Senator Ellis felt that the current plan was fundamentally and logically flawed, and as such, could not achieve its goals. He noted that there was a large body of literature on the economics of education and he introduced some issues raised in that literature. One issue is that economically disadvantaged people historically do poorly in education, and Blacks and Hispanics have been historically poor, thus there are not enough persons in these underrepresented groups to fill the “pipeline” to become college undergraduates and graduates from which to make hires. He suggested the proposed plan does not address the pipeline issue. He concluded by noting that there is a large bureaucracy with a large budget devoted to diversity already, and he was concerned about resource questions. He proposed putting our resources into resolving the pipeline issue.
The plan was approved. It included a very expansive definition of diversity, and explicit recognition that “diversity of thought” was of primary interest to the university, given our academic mission. Income and class and political beliefs were also included:
The language in the newly proposed 2015-16 diversity plan, here, is much less inclusive, focusing on race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status:
Sullivan: I asked VP Alex-Assensoh what the Senate could do to help with diversity, she asked us to get involved in the IDEAL process.
Psaki: Concerned about the faculty review part. During bargaining, the faculty union was concerned that some faculty, particularly women and minorities, where not being recognized or rewarded for their work on equity and inclusion. The union and the administration agreed to language on this. In contrast this plan imposes a new unfunded time-mandate on all faculty, which was explicitly not part of what we agreed to.
Sullivan: The Senate will post this plan for discussion, and this is an example of the sorts of issues that should be raised.
Sullivan: Strategies for expediting the policy rollover.
We’re wasting way to much faculty, staff, administrator, and Senate time looking at policies and not enough on our core academic mission. [A cynic might say this is exactly why the board and administration decided to do policy-by-policy review.] Randy has some plans to speed things up and get us back to the basics.
4:45 pm 6. Reports
6.1 Intertinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS), January 22-23, 2016; Robert Kyr, Immediate UO Senate Past President, and incoming IFS President.
IFS is the umbrella organization for Senates from Oregon publics. After Lariviere’s firing, it was Join or Die. We joined, and now it’s great to know Kyr will be coordinating.
Agenda here. Video should be posted here in a day or two. My battery died so live-blogging stopped after a little of the Q&A, sorry.
Cocktail party version of the 1/13/2015 Senate meeting:
President Schill and Provost Coltrane provided a clear justification for the realignment of resources towards what counts for the AAU and for research/teaching excellence. They outlined the plan and promised to implement their realignment proposals on the basis of data, and with plenty of consultation with the faculty, OA’s, and staff, in order to incorporate knowledge that’s not in the data.
Schill got many tough questions – though none about athletics money or the diversion of students from CAS humanities and some social-science fields into new professional school gen-ed courses and new undergrad programs in law, AAD etc. He gave straightforward answers. He promised more information than has ever been provided to the faculty before, both in terms of staffing numbers and budget data showing where the money has been going. I think he’s as curious as we are. We were told it would be posted on the IR website over the next few days and weeks.
Best of the Q&A: Schill: I’m not a robot, I don’t make all decisions by the numbers, I assume that’s why you wanted me. Or not. Professor: We want you.
As for Coltrane? It was as if he’d been released from a long, dark spell:
Kyr elected unanimously.
5.1 Topics: The President’s recent letter to the campus and the strategic plan.
President Schill’s letter to faculty here. Letter to admins below.
Schill: We’re asking donors and state and students to pay more, we have an obligation to do more and spend money wisely. Short run, need savings to get $4M for new tenure track faculty. Long run, need to redo Shelton’s budget model. We’ll do both, in consultation with colleges, departments, Senate.
Pitches centralization as way of saving money and increasing accountability, starting with Communications and IT.
Promises transparency. Work in progress – we’re telling you now, before plans are developed in detail, to prove it.
The message is not cuts. We’re going to growing and getting better, facing the future optimistically, investing in graduate education and undergraduate success. Not retrenchment – reallocation of resources, to ensure future eminence.
Letter to admins:
January 13, 2006
To: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost
Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance & Administration & CFO
Mike Andreasen, Vice President for Advancement
Kyle Henley, Vice President for Communication
Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Kevin Reed, Vice President and General Counsel
Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation
Roger Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Robin Holmes, Vice President for Student Life
From: Michael Schill, President
Re: Central Administrative Budget Cuts
Date: January 13, 2016
As you are aware from our conversations and my recent message to campus, it is imperative that we look for ways to better align our limited resources with the institution’s strategic priorities for academic excellence. To that end, we have dedicated significant recurring funding to tenure track faculty hires and the new clusters of excellence, as well as student retention and graduation initiatives. Additionally, while our budgets are tight, growing costs and investments in the area of labor agreements, health care costs, IT infrastructure, Title IX, and PERS are going to put additional pressure on our limited resources. For this reason, this spring I am launching a two-stage process to reduce our central administrative cost base.
The first step will involve a two percent direct cut on all general fund central administrative budgets, effective July 1, 2016 (FY2017). Given current administrative budget levels, I expect this cut to generate nearly $3 million of recurring funding that can be reinvested in institutional strategic priorities. I know and understand that our current staffing levels are lean and that it will be difficult to implement this cut. However, I expect each of you to look strategically in your portfolios and determine the best way to manage this budget reduction. I do not expect you to simply impose a two percent budget cut evenly across your units. Instead, I expect you to assess your operations for savings that will have the least impact on our core strategic objectives.
As we strategically align our general fund resources, it is critical that we pay attention to our students’ total cost of education. For this reason, it is important that we do not simply shift expenses to auxiliary funds. While this may be a less painful way in the short term to address the general fund cut, it will ultimately lead to higher fees and costs charged to our students.
In addition to implementing this two percent cut, I also expect vice presidents to actively manage their portfolio budgets to best align their resources with the institution’s strategic objectives: (1) building our academic and research profile, (2) keeping our university affordable to students and ensuring their success, and (3) creating a rich undergraduate experience in a diverse and inclusive community. I will be scheduling a series of review meetings the week of March 14 to discuss (1) your critical strategic initiatives for FY17, (2) how you have aligned resources to meet these goals, and (3) what steps you took to achieve the two percent budget savings in your portfolio.
In addition to the immediate, direct administrative budget cut, I also am launching an initiative to assess opportunities for longer term administrative cost savings based on targeted projects focused on centralization of services, strategic sourcing, and business process redesign. While these savings will take longer to capture, our goal will be to identify the equivalent of another three percent (roughly $4.5 million) of additional administrative cost savings over the next two to three years.
The budget office is currently updating BANNER budgets to account for changes related to the recent salary increase process, as well as updates to PEBB costs. Once these budgets are loaded, we will distribute updated general fund figures, as well as data regarding the exact size of the two percent budget cut for each Vice Presidential portfolio. If you have any questions about these figures, please contact Jamie Moffitt.
Introduces 5-year Strategic Plan, here. Explains that the CAS realignment followed below will be implemented in other colleges. Will get similar data for other colleges out soon. Will post these data on IR website. Preliminary, focus is on getting info out soon to identify problems, allow consultation.
There will also be a similar process for administrative departments. Budget model redesign will be led by Brad Shelton, with consultation with Senate.
Resources will be reallocated to make us a stronger research university. We will add money for 40 new fellowships, most for PhDs. Money will be available now, for this years recruiting of grad students for fall.
No reduction in the total number of GTF lines, but there will be reallocations across departments.
Margerum (AAA): Wondering how AAU metrics work for departments like his w/ no PhD students. Schill. Goal is excellence, we’re not a slave to metrics, but we’d like to increase # of PhD students. Different metrics for different departments – e.g. Law, MBA… . Coltrane: Our first focus is PhD’s though.
Clemmons (Business): Big revenue stream is CA undergrads. Is that changing? Schill: Yes, that is how we’ve subsidized Oregon students. Oregon students are key for us. But there’s a dip in Oregon HS students coming, might see some changes but no plans as of now. Demand for students is robust, in part because of athletics. [Serves up anecdote about admissions even at Alamo Bowl… Yes, if you recruit students at a bowl game, students will tell you that they care about the Ducks.]
Psaki (Romance Lang): Letter talked about poorly performing programs and excellence. What are the criteria for distinguishing this, and wouldn’t past resource allocation matter to what deptartments are now pocketed with excellence? Schill: That will be done by provost and the deans we are now hiring. That said I’d look at research productivity, teaching awards…. UO has done so much with so little … Psaki: yes. Schill: Only thing that would get me mad would be a department that thinks it’s “good enough”. Psaki: I know lots of UO humanities departs that are fabulous. I read – or tried to read – Coltrane’s Strategic Plan. Doesn’t seem like lots of room for humanities. How did it happen that these are not institutional priorities? Our “yield rates” are low because we have $13.5K fellowships while other schools have $23.5?
Schill: Maybe I should shut up, but I’m not a robot, don’t make all decisions by the numbers, I assume that’s why you wanted me. Come talk to me. Psaki: Yes, we want you.
[Sorry, battery dying, no more live blog.]
4:45 pm 6. Reports
4:45 pm 7. Notice(s) of Motion
4:45 pm 8. Other Business
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment
President Schill will be at the Senate meeting this Wednesday, 3-5PM in the Knight Library browsing room, to answer questions about the budget realignment letter he sent out Friday (post and comments here.) My takeaway is that the realignment is about keeping us in the AAU short-term, by shifting money towards research, more tenure-track faculty, and more grad student fellowships. Some pain will come with the gains.
UO’s last plan was former Interim Provost Jim Bean’s 2009 Academic Plan – a yada-yada document that was so completely ignored nobody even noticed that it was never finalized. I don’t think our new leadership is going to let us down like that. They’ve been busy drafting plans to get UO back on track, and they’ve now started the process of presenting those plans to the university, getting feedback, and finalizing and implementing them.
Presumably Provost Coltrane will also be at this meeting, to answer questions about the 5-year Strategic Framework plan he developed in consultation with faculty, and released this afternoon. That’s longer run, and Coltrane is pretty clear that with current resource constraints much of it is aspirational. The website is here. The 11 page draft document is here:
a) voted to let the Faculty Advisory Council keep having its confidential meetings with the President,
b) sent a warning shot across the bow of UOPD Chief Carolyn McDermed on community policing (rumor has it that McDermed will be leaving in June), and
c) had a successful meet and greet with the UO Trustees and JH leadership.
The latter on the initiative of President Schill, who seems to have a good grasp of the important role of cocktail parties in effective shared governance. Rob Mullens even showed up – something he won’t do for an IAC meeting.
12/2/2015: Topics include approval of new courses and more debate on FAC confidentiality. The meeting ends at 4:25 for a reception hosted by President Schill from 4:30 – 6:00 pm in the Susie Papé Room of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Remember, if you can’t make this meeting you can send a substitute – details here.
DRAFT: Senate Meeting Agenda – December 2, 2015 –
Browsing Room, Knight Library; 3:00-5:00 pm
3:00 pm Introductory Remarks, Senate President Randy Sullivan
Embattled Police Chief McDermed shows up. Supports general notion, says police need a balance between community policing and the physical deterrent of a police car with sirens. Reports that use of police cars has saved two lives – one on campus, one in Spencer view.
Senator McIntire asks why the Senate is dealing with this. Not an academic matter. Sullivan explains that for a resolution, Senate can take up anything. Psaki argues it’s an important matter for campus climate, which in turn matters for academics.
Ahlen: Would like more clarity about police policy in general, now that McDermed is here.
Burns (student): As an RA, thinks UOPD has been very helpful with safety in the dorms. But knows that many students do not feel safe with the fact that the police are armed, would prefer unarmed campus safety. Asks McDermed to comment.
McDermed: We are trying to get out of cars more, learn about campus.
Frazee: At orientation, parents are quite relieved to learn that we have armed police who can respond quickly by vehicles.
Hansen: Puts in pitch for police using hoverboards.
Nicols: Frank Stahl and I know that there are many controversial issues with police. This is a start.
Question is called. Resolution passes with a slight majority.
4:30, Meeting adjourns.
4:30 pm 5. Open Discussion
5.1 Topics: President Schill’s proposal for ensuring access and success:
1. Expand number of Tenure-Track faculty on campus
2. Access & Affordability
3. Great Student Experience
Pretty packed agenda. Summer session changes look good. Substitute Senator motion should go smoother the 4th time around. Who the hell knows what’s in the policy repeals except Triplett? The police motion unfortunately comes well short of calling for real reform – starting with replacing Chief McDermed – but it’s a start.
The motion to keep Faculty Advisory Council meetings confidential will get lots of discussion (see below and in the comments) and will I hope then pass. My position?
Any president needs a group of people they can brainstorm with, try out ideas, and discuss things like potential donations and personnel changes, without having to worry it will show up in the papers, or some nasty muckraking blog. If we don’t pass this I assume Schill will stop coming to FAC meetings and set up his own confidential advisory group.
Approving this legislation means we ensure that the faculty (and OA’s) elect the people who give the president confidential advice. Voting against it means that JH will hand-pick them.
I was elected to the IAC in 2010, so I was on it through two of UO’s more disastrous recent years. Now that was an education. (Full disclosure: I was elected again for this year, and I’m also ex-officio as Senate VP.)
So one final reason to vote for this legislation is that anyone can run for the FAC, get elected, and learn how universities function, or don’t. The more faculty who understand universities, the better for the faculty and for the universities. Although the OA’s are probably more important.
This one goes sideways. Poorly written motion from Triplett requires revision on the floor. Ahlen blows the whistle. Triplett claims the Senate has gotten too specific about motion wording in recent years, no need to give the UO policy number when repealing a policy. (How odd. Last year Triplett was saying we were too loose with the rules.) Effort to postpone to rewrite fails. I point out UO’s accreditation website is out of date. Hubin disagrees, but also says it will be updated shortly. http://accreditation.uoregon.edu/documents-reports/current. Motion to repeal passes.
4.1 Approve Committee on Committees members and call for volunteers for 2015-2016: Robert Kyr (Music), Anne Laskaya (English), Jennifer Ellis (Business), Gordon Sayre (English), Laura Leete (PPPM), Deborah Baumgold (Political Science).
President Schill has agreed to discuss strengthening Senate and faculty input into hiring and search. Ad Hoc committee of Harbaugh, Kyr, and Rowe will meet with administration to revise these. Therefore move to postpone vote until January. Unanimous.
Craig Parsons (Poli Sci) raises good question about what sorts of resolutions the Senate should vote on. Argues that it depends on how closely the topic approaches “academic matters”. Argues that the topic of school shootings does not come close enough. Uses earthquakes as an example. Should Senate approve anti-earthquake motion?
No, but a resolution about tearing down PLC before it collapses in an earthquake and wipes out the Poli Sci, Soc and English professors, not to mention the economists, would clearly be in the Senate’s purview.
Psaki, Walker, etc. back up Kyr on this. Walker very effectively, on point that threats of violence harm academic freedom.
Koopman says that he’s not opposed to taking stands like this, but Senate also needs to spend time and energy on policy changes.
Cramer: These votes matter to students, are part of our educational mission.
Price (Math) points out that UO Constitution addresses resolutions on “university issues” which this clearly is.
Parsons argues that Senators are selected to be representative of UO academic disciplines, but not on basis of political beliefs.
Passes unanimously. Whoops, Parsons didn’t understand abstentions, he now votes no.
4:30 pm 5. Open Discussion
5.1 Topics: Full participation of Senators and the UO Community in Senate Deliberations. Progress of Motions.
4:45 pm 6. Reports
4:45 pm 7. Notice(s) of Motion
4:45 pm 8. Other Business
8.1 Announcement of special election for PTRAC and FPC.
Key points: Need 80-100 tenure-track faculty. Need to improve graduation rates and speed. There will be tuition increases, money spent on advising, grants to students for completion. Cost of this for students is small relative to the benefits of getting done on time. Also more Pathways money for good in-state low income students. Everyone needs to understand that and stop focusing on the tuition rack-rate to the exclusion of other issues.
New VPGC Kevin Reed. Will focus on improving trust with faculty and state by fixing public records disaster.
Shout out to Prof. Freyd for her work on sexual violence prevention. He actually seems like he means it, unlike some past presidents and interims.
Shout out to the unions. Last thing he wanted to do was start off with a long fight with faculty. That didn’t happen, thanks to union and Schill.
State funding is 47th of states. We’re not giving up on state, but our alumni will be main resources. Last year 76% of fundraising was for academics.
New, new, new , new budget model. RCM model without resources is difficult. Tough for humanities, which students need badly. Likely to move towards more central control by Provost Coltrane w/in next 6 months.
IT: Need stable secure system. Consultants are working on it.
“Our administration procedures are incredibly inefficient.” “It’s just crazy.” “Part of our problem is decentralization.” Never seen anything like it. “It’s waste at the administrative level.” “We don’t even know how many faculty we have”.
Very excited in working with Senate – but under our constitution that is limited to academic matters. “Very very important that as we move forward that we respect the separation of powers.” Senate should not be legislating about athletics.
Too critical a moment for us to seek out issues that divide us.
“I need you, I want you, I implore you to be partner as we move forward.”
Dellabough: How do we navigate academic matters split when things like working conditions impact academics?
Schill: Tough to draw line. Degrees, curriculum, most admissions decisions. [Like admissions of athletes that don’t meet normal academic standards?] On other issues you may have strong views,but not full information. If you send me legislation like that athletics stuff, I’ll just turn it back. I’d encourage Senate not to use resolutions and legislations to challenge me. Challenge me to my face instead. I’m not afraid of engaging.
Unlike Scott Coltrane, I will make a lot of mistakes, and admit to them. Please don’t assume the worst of me when I do, and I won’t assume the worst of you.
Cramer: We’ve had a huge push for online classes. Really hurts quality. I think Senate should take it up. What do you think?
Schill: Yes. Can be good, can be done badly. Usually is, but not always. Might help us reach graduation goals. Senate should take this up.
Bonine: UO Senate includes students, staff, administrators. Senate’s jurisdiction is “academic matters as commonly understood”. We all agree on that. We all need to work together so that disagreements on this occur at the beginning, not at the end.
Schill: Agreed. Appreciate the fact that you gave 2 weeks notice on counseling confidentiality. That was very appropriate.
Price: With regard to 4-year graduation, do you foresee the administration getting involved in classes that have low pass rates?
Schill: “What are you doing to those poor kids” taking calculus? I’m going to be involved, Coltrane too. Get data first, collaborate on answers.
Dreiling: Second Bonine’s call for process to deal with disputes about definition of academic matters. Important from both directions. Senate needs to keep eye on what administration is doing. For example, the latest budget model? Consult with SBC?
Schill: We will consult, just not now at beginning of process. [Uhh,…]
All in all a refreshingly direct talk and back and forth with the Senate. He’s pretty funny too. Era of good feelings continues.
Follow the link for all the slides, I’m listening not blogging.
DeSautel: Notes high degree of reported harassment of graduates students, including harassment by faculty. UO has a problematic policy on this. [Not to mention enforcement, from the notoriously incompetent AAEO Director Penny Daugherty.]
Stabile: Last night was “bid night” for the fraternities and sororities. We tried to move this back til later in the year. Simple change. We failed, despite a year of work. This failure is on all of us.
1.1 WHEREAS one week ago, on Thursday, October 1, 2015, a horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon (70 miles to the south of the University of Oregon) resulted in the deaths of one faculty member, eight students, and the shooter, who was a UCC student [Please see “Background” below.];
1.2 WHEREAS we have a history of experiencing serious incidents of violence in the Eugene-Springfield community, such as the Thurston High School shooting on Thursday, May 21, 1998, as well as other violent behaviors, such as sexual violence in our university community, and other reprehensible forms of aggression and assault;
1.3 WHEREAS, regrettably, these deplorable events are not being covered by the media nor discussed in public forums in an ongoing, substantive manner that will lead to meaningful action to prevent violence in our schools and in our learning communities;
2.1 THEREFORE, BE IT MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate offers its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, and to the survivors of the UCC shooting and to all those whose lives have been directly affected by this tragedy;
2.2 BE IT MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate expresses its gratitude to University President Michael Schill for his quick and compassionate response to the shooting, in particular, by offering support to the families of the victims and to the survivors through University of Oregon services on an ongoing basis [Please see President Schill’s letter under “Background” below.];
2.3 BE IT MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate encourages President Schill to continue to offer services to the families of the victims and to the survivors of the UCC shooting for a considerable period into the future, since the healing process is lengthy and continuing support by institutions that have professional resources is essential and greatly needed;
2.4 BE IT MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate charges Immediate Past President Robert Kyr to pursue effective vehicles for ongoing substantive discussion and meaningful action regarding the urgent topics covered above, in particular, through the offices that he currently holds in the Oregon Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) and the PAC12 Academic Leadership Coalition, and through engaging the UO Senate in the process of addressing these crucial matters for our university community, as appropriate.
Co-Creating Our University through Shared Governance
Remarks by Robert Kyr, Outgoing Senate President
Delivered on June 4, 2015 to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees
Thank you for the opportunity to offer my remarks to you today, as I complete my
most recent term as Senate President, having also held that office in 2011-2012 and
2012-2013. I want to begin by thanking each one of you, as members of the Board of
Trustees, for your devoted service to our university, and for working with the Senate in
a collaborative and productive manner in order to achieve the highest good for the
institution that we care about so deeply.
Please know that each one of you is greatly respected for your expertise, for your
wisdom, and for your leadership. We are grateful for all of the time and effort that you
are devoting to the ongoing task of furthering the academic excellence of the University
of Oregon and we are dedicated to working closely with you in order to fulfill our
obligations and responsibilities, and to achieve our goals through shared governance.
Yesterday, the Senate convened for its final meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year,
which was one of the most challenging and momentous periods in the history of our
university. At the beginning of the meeting, I made remarks as the outgoing Senate
President, which I would like to share with you now. The title of this set of remarks is
“Co-Creating Our University through Shared Governance.”
Remarks to the Senate at its final convening of the year (June 3, 2015)
“Today, we come to the end of a four-year journey, which began in November 2011
with the firing of President Richard Lariviere, and now, we begin a new journey that is
necessitated by the circumstances of our times. In those former days, that one decision
of the State Board of Higher Education triggered a series of events that changed our
university forever. And a host of other life-changing decisions and legislative initiatives
• The decision of Richard Lariviere to sign both the University Constitution and Policy
on Policies prior to leaving office;
• The decision of the faculty to unionize;
• The decision of the state legislature to allow our university to have its own Board of
Trustees, a so-called independent governing board;
• The decision of a Provost and a President to step down;
• The decision to undertake an extensive policy realignment that is regulated in part by
our revised Policy on Policies.
And I could go on for quite a long time recounting our four-year history that at many
points along the way has felt like a twenty-year history. As a Senate that represents the
entire university—faculty, students, Officers of Administration, Officers of Research,
and Classified Staff—our role in the transformation of the university has been
demanding, at times overwhelming, and at times exhausting. However, it has always
been worth every ounce of effort that we have devoted to fulfilling our obligations and
For just a moment, let us reflect together on the actions of our University Senate since
2001. I’ve prepared two graphs that illustrate the course of our journey over a thirteen-
The upper graph gives us a picture of our Senate activity since 2001 in regard to “Senate
Motions Carried per Year,” while the lower graph is a picture of “Senate Motions
Carried per Meeting,” which was calculated by dividing the number of motions
approved in one year by the number of meetings in that year.
These two pictures of our activity reveal a continual upward trend of Senate activity
since 2009, and particularly since 2011, during a period when our university has faced
the greatest challenges in its history. I think that the message is clear: our University
Senate has more than stepped up to meet the needs of our university and to face the
most significant challenges that continue to face us.
And we would be remiss not to list just a few of the major pieces of legislation that have
been passed since 2011, the “year of the firing”:
• Ratification of the University Constitution;
• Ratification of the Policy on Policies;
• Revision of the Student Conduct Code;
• Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech;
• Legislation on Open Committees;
• Legislation for the Creation of an Ombuds Program;
• Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support;
• The Policy Realignment with all of its dedicated workgroups;
• New Program Approvals;
• And too many other significant pieces of legislation to name during this brief set of
We have not merely been active and committed as a Senate, but we have focused our
attention on the very most important challenges that face our university. Together, we
have strived to find solutions through our system of shared governance for the
principal challenges that we face, and in many cases, that we continue to face. Our work
is ongoing, and given the upward trend of the energy and commitment of this
legislative body, it is not difficult to predict that we will continue to fulfill our
obligations to our institution, to each of our constituencies, to ourselves as individuals,
and most importantly, to our students.
As challenging as these past four years have been, as an eternal optimist, I see them as
an incredible gift to us. Through whatever inexplicable workings of fate, we have been
offered a series of amazing opportunities to co-create our institution in a way that
promises to be transformative and visionary. As I have often said, the Senate and its
committee structure, which provides 15,800 hours of service per year, is the engine of
The Senate is not some random collection of constituencies or merely a rag-tag assembly
of unrelated individuals. From year to year, it is an ever-evolving community, and a
family that faces all of the challenges that come with being a family. Above all, though,
we are a single body of individuals devoted to the work of attaining the highest good
for all concerned. In our common striving and seeking, we embody the spirit of change,
the spirit of transformation, and the spirit of that measure of devotion, which is
essential to reaching for the truth, for greater understanding, and for self-determination.
It is the last item—self-determination—that is perhaps at the heart of our journey. In
order to fully determine our own future, rather than taking the path that others might
force upon us, we must continually renew our commitment to shared governance.
Through this effort, we reinvigorate our will to to co-create this university that we love
I want to thank each and every one of you—and also those listening to the Senate
meeting today via web-streaming—for your efforts to work together through shared
governance to co-create the university of our hopes and of our most profound dreams.
In the coming year, we will certainly continue with the strategic planning process that
was initiated this year. The shape of our future will be determined by the degree to
which all of us participate in this endeavor. I strongly encourage everyone to join in this
ongoing process in collaboration with our new President and our returning Provost.
As the seat of shared governance, the Senate, which represents the entire university, is
stronger than ever and more than ready to address the remaining challenges that we
face during this time of great transformation. My deepest thanks to each one of you for
your devotion and dedication to fulfilling our obligations and responsibilities within
our system of shared governance. And beyond that, my gratitude for your willingness
to give the very best of yourselves on a daily basis to ensure that our university thrives
and truly achieves the highest good for all concerned. Given the dedication and
devotion that each of you has demonstrated so often in our work together, I have no
doubt that we will succeed in co-creating the university that is the truest realization of
our vision, our ideals, and our most deeply held values.”
With gratitude to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees
In closing, I want to thank each one of you, as Trustees of our university, for your
greatly appreciated service and for your commitment to co-creating the University of
Oregon as a truly exceptional institution of higher learning. The Senate looks forward
to working with you in a collaborative way in order to fulfill the educational mission
of our institution.
And a brief editorial: My thanks to Rob Kyr
Professor Rob Kyr (Music), who stepped down as UO Senate President on Wednesday, became UO Senate President in June 2011. I’d never heard of the man. When I googled him, I discovered he was a full professor of music composition and theory, and “one of the most prolific American composers of his generation”. Hmm. I thought that would sure point to a quiet year in the Senate. But then George Pernsteiner and Matt Donegan decided to fire UO President Richard Lariviere.
It quickly became clear that Rob Kyr was also an adept politician, a great public speaker, an organizer with an bottomless willingness to work for a cause he believed in, and that he had a flexible and creative mind that could embrace both expedient compromises and unyielding principles.
Rob Kyr used all these skills to keep the UO faculty together during the 4 tumultuous years that have followed the Lariviere firing. No one else could have done it.
Thank you Rob, for your work, and your inspiration.
3.1 Report from the Academic Council on Academic Integrity: Frances White, Academic Council (Chair, Committee on Courses)
White give a brief and positive report on the importance and efficiency of the AC.
3.2 Remarks from Robert Kyr, Outgoing Senate President
Kyr: The importance of self-determination and shared governance. The Senate as UO’s must durable and important institution during the recent troubles. [I have to add that without Rob Kyr I’m not sure that the Senate could have held it together.] I’ll post the full speech shortly.
[This man is widely loved across campus. SEIU steward, on the bargaining committee. The bit below is not verbatim, but close.]
Mr. Earl: We do what we do. My work at this university may not be as distinguished as that of some of the people in this room, but it’s important. What I do today is what matters. There are others here who have been forgotten. Wants to be a good steward for the buildings and people of the universities of Oregon. Hometown Chicago. We live in a bubble here in Eugene. A great bubble.
When he first applied to UO, he got the stare-down from the other staff. Campus has changed – I don’t feel out of place. But we can still do better.
I don’t know how causes find you. But here’s the one that found me. 1500 state university employees make less than $15 dollars an hour. Something is wrong when we have all these beautiful buildings, but our workers need public assistance. This is true all over the country. I’m just trying to plant a seed in you about this. Maybe it will grow like those blackberry plants.
Quotes Malcolm X: Usually, when people are sad, they don’t do anything. But when they get angry, they make change. [I’ve heard something similar from the Dali Lama].
We need to make change at the University of Oregon.
4.3 UO Senate Award for Shared Governance, Transparency, and Trust: Michael Dreiling, Associate Professor (Sociology)
Kyr reads Dreiling’s impressive list of accomplishments and university service, including as President of the faculty union.
Dreiling: I want thank Rob Kyr for his outstanding contributions this past year. As have so many others. Shout out to his partner, Yvonne for modeling integrity for him.
Senate is uniting the university community, making the university human. Our voices matters. A university administration that listens to the Senate’s voices will thrive.
The award is for shared governance, trust and transparency. All these things need each other. Wants to add two other principles: humility and courage, that I’ve needed over these last few years. Acknowledge mistakes, apologize, get back to work.
Bonine: This will allow the Senate to work with the new president on working out compromises on recent legislation passed by the Senate on athletics, sexual assault prevention, student conduct code, and the confidentiality of student counseling records.
That would be me. The president-elect will be elected by the Senate at the June 3rd meeting, and serves one year as Senate VP, and then becomes Senate President the following year. Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) was elected last year, and will be president for 2015-16.
If I’m elected I’d have to make some significant changes to this blog. I’m considering alternatives ranging from handing it off to another person or group of people to cutting way back on my opinions and eliminating anonymous comments.
John Bonine (Law) has proposed a change to the Senate rules, to have a vote to reconfirm the VP as president at the end of their year as VP, or vote in a new president. I would support this change, to take effect this coming year, so it would apply to whoever is elected this year.
I’ll post at more length next week about my goals as VP and president, and all nominees will give a statement at the Senate meeting and answer questions. If anyone else is running, I’d be happy to post their statements here as well. Meanwhile here’s my c.v.
To be followed by a reception for Senate award winners Miriam Bolton, Johnny Earl, Michael Dreiling, and Carol Stabile. The next and final Senate meeting will be June 3rd. I might get in a little live-blogging below, or Watch Live,
3.2 Call for Nominations for Senate President-elect
3:15 pm 4. New Business
4.2 UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for Officers of Administration: Miriam Bolton, Administrative Director (Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences)
Great choice. Lisa Raleigh introduces. For university service above and beyond the call of duty. Points out this is particularly important for OAs as they are not unionized. Worked to give OA Council a voice in shared governance. And good sense of humor, and all that while earning BA and MS degrees.
President Kyr presents an appropriately engraved and sturdy looking glass award.
Bolton’s speech focuses on shared governance, and support of OAC council members, asking hard questions, creating meaningful dialogue. Shout out to colleagues and to Jamie Moffitt for improving transparency.
Not able to be present, will get award at June 3rd Senate meeting.
4.4 UO Senate Award for Shared Governance, Transparency, and Trust: Michael Dreiling, Associate Professor (Sociology)
Not able to be present, will get award at June 3rd Senate meeting.
4.5 Wayne Westling Award: Carol Stabile, Professor (School of Journalism and Communication)
Kyr: Award created in 2001 in honor of Westling, a fierce supporter of shared governance. Exemplary service to university over a period of years, and inspired commitment to shared governance.
John Bonine introduces: Award is for giants. Stabile has long service of committee leadership. Director of CSWS. Education and growth of students can be harmed by sexual violence, discrimination. Helping these students is important. Many leaders on this subject, and many supporters, but Stabile deserves special recognition for leading the Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence Prevention. Helped all UO community members work towards consensus report – 20 students per week – on what must be done. And she did it while on sabbatical. Work is not done, many new victims at UO each week. Nominated by 15 people from all over UO. Shining a light, and please continue your leadership!
Stabile: I was told the award for service is more service, so I’m glad to get an award too. Thanks Kyr and Senate for support. Task Force was a difficult process. Distrust, hurt, and trauma among the victims. Respect for work of student conduct office and ombudsman. The collective we has challenged the silence around rape culture. Wishes she could share the honor with the Task Force and the new Senate Standing Committee.
Kyr: You’re a beacon for what shared governance can do.
4.1 Curriculum Report, Spring Quarter 2015; Committee on Courses, Frances White (Anthropology), Chair of the Committee on Courses
Frances White: You’ve all had 2 weeks to do your reading. Notes that the student engagement policy in the Winter report was rescinded by the Senate. Presents some minor amendments, course additions, and technical changes. Only 50 or 60 pages this time. Thanks committee for their work. Kyr thanks Frances and committee, notes that this is one of the most hard-working committees on campus.
Kyr notes that the Senate is introducing a “New Program Tracker” along the lines of Bonine’s famous policy tracker, so that Senate can keep track of new programs as they go through college and committee approvals.
Additionally, new programs will now have a program summary which, in theory, will show the dates of approval, etc. New programs now need to get approval from the State HECC, so this is important.
Joe Lowndes (Poli Sci and GC chair.) Went through external review, very strong, also from GC.
Victoria Mitchell (Library). Notes that there is nothing in the budget for any of these 3 proposal for library expenses, e.g. new journals. Response: Emerging field.
(?) Notes that the syllabi have reading lists that include medical journals. With no UO med school (yet?) libraries may in fact need to get access to new journals.
Harbaugh: Perhaps these are already available via current library journal deals with publishers?
NCAA FAR Tim Gleason has written at length in opposition to having the Senate consider this resolution without sending it back to the IAC for discussion and a formal vote. The emails between Gleason, Tublitz, myself, and IAC Chair Kurt Krueger, and my response, are here.
To be blunt and civil, I think this is a delaying tactic by Gleason. While it’s encouraging to hear the administration’s athletic representative speak in support of the role of the Senate IAC in athletics, it would be more credible if it didn’t come with unveiled threats like this, from one of Gleason’s emails:
As for your statements concerning FAR participation in IAC meetings, I am attended IAC meetings and intend to continue to do so as long as it is productive to participate. Should the committee return to the “dysfunctional” state noted in the IAC chair’s 2014/15 report that resulted in the withdrawal of the athletic department and my predecessor, I will reconsider.
Meanwhile the administration’s PAGIA is still holding secret meetings, and is telling AD Rob Mullens that he does not need to engage with the Senate IAC.
After a brief discussion, the resolution passes unanimously.
4.10 US14/15-90: Committee to Consider Historical Markers to Acknowledge Diverse History at UO; Jane Cramer (Associate Professor, Political Science), Chair of the Discrimination Policies Workgroup; Alliance for Graduate Student Diversity, Jouapag Lee; Black Student Union; Jennifer Freyd, Professor (Psychology); Carol Stabile, Professor (School of Journalism and Communication); Michael Dreiling, Associate Professor (Sociology)
This is just fascinating. Great idea. Sorry, I’m listening not blogging. After a brief discussion, the resolution passes unanimously.
4:55 pm 5. Open Discussion
4:55 pm 6. Reports
Report on Academic Integrity will come soon.
4:55 pm 7. Notice(s) of Motion
4:55 pm 8. Other Business
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment
5:00 pm 10. Reception for Award Winners; A Time to Celebrate
In shocking news, the Senate finishes its business early, at 4:30. But the beer will not be here until 4:45. Kyr decides to make us knock off a policy or two while we wait, dying of thirst. The lines on the projector screen blur into a miasma of black and red, as Senators collapse in the aisles of exhaustion.
Current language: Nothing herein either prohibits or requires the use of any particular textbook or curricular materials. If, however, materials are found upon investigation to exert a discriminatory impact on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, national origin, race or religion, the institutions and divisions shall make a reasonable effort to make available supplemental alternative nondiscriminatory materials.
Senate votes to delete this policy on the basis of academic freedom.
After her presentation, VP Alex-Assensoh answered questions from senators:
Q: Jane Cramer asks about how Affirmative Action fits in with the plan.
A: I have no authority over AA, but they will have to implement parts of the plan.
Q: Wouldn’t it be better to have AA under Equity and Inclusion, instead of reporting to the VPFA?
[Obviously this is a touchy issue – rumors of some sort of AA reform are going around.]
Q: John Bonine asks: Would you have any professional objections to moving AA under your office?
A: We need to think about it.
Q: Gina Psaki: If you could do anything to improve equity and diversity here, what would you do?
A: Focus on helping one another.
Senate gives an enthusiastic round of applause for Yvette and her work, and adjourns. Next meeting next Wed 5/27, and the last Senate meeting will be Wed 6/3.
5/18/2015: Senate Elections to resume 5/25 after software fix and nominee checks
Last week presidents Kyr and Coltrane postponed the Senate elections, due to errors in the election software. Myself and others pointed out that the software let people vote for committee members outside their own colleges and constituent status, and also that there was no confirmation screen showing who you had voted for and asking you to confirm your choices. The plan is for elections to restart Monday May 25th, I’m sure there will be an email with the details.
Meanwhile Kyr has asked the deans to email nominees and ask them to confirm their interest in serving. One thing missing from the the elections this year is the opportunity for people to add a statement to the Senate website explaining why they are running. This was tried last year, I thought it was pretty useful.
The letters are nominally from Scott Coltrane, but the metadata says they were written by AVP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett, complete with some interesting grammatical errors. I’ll post more on these in the next few days. From the president.uoregon.edu website:
Old president Scott Coltrane said no, no, no, no, no, to the Senate legislation on sexual violence prevention and athletics.
New President Michael Schill talked to the Senate and answered questions for a good 30 minutes, and didn’t say “Go Ducks” once.
He’d been misinformed about the faculty union. He thought we emphasized across the board raises. Actually, in the last round of bargaining it was the union that put the emphasis on merit and equity raises. The administration’s team cut those to the bone, while keeping most of the across the board. Union President Dreiling explained this to him.
Senate elections need a reboot. Nothing nefarious here, just a software screwup:
As you may know, elections for the University Senate, university standing committees, and the Officers of Administration Council began on Friday, May 8. Unfortunately, we have discovered technological issues that could compromise the results.
We are currently identifying and correcting the problem. After reprogramming the system, we will re-start the voting process on Monday, May 25, 2015. The new deadline to vote in the election will now be Monday, June 8, 2015. All of the ballots cast up to this point will be discarded, and anyone who has already voted will need to cast a new ballot.
The university values its elected representative bodies. This representation and the election process is a crucial element of effective shared governance. We are taking this step to ensure the integrity of the election process and will publish full results when voting is concluded. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Again, the elections will re-start on Monday, May 25, 2015. Please, log into Duckweb to cast your ballot between May 25 and June 8, 2015. Thank you for your participation in this important process and thank you for your service to the university.
Sincerely, Scott Coltrane, Interim President, University of Oregon
Rob Kyr, Senate President
3:00 pm 2. Minutes
3:05 pm 3. State of the University
3.1 Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions
Interim President Coltrane’s responses to recent Senate legislation and resolutions on sexual violence prevention, cutting athletics subsidies, giving Senate a say in athletic admits and FAR, etc: No, No, No, No. Looks like these problems will get passed on to new President Schill and perhaps to a full Faculty Assembly in the fall.
Strategic planning process. Docs here. Established goals, values and process. Great opportunity to build further, get more feedback. Bronet is leaving to be Provost at IIT, Coltrane’s job to do something with this. Gives shoutout to Rob Kyr and team leaders.
Incredibly, the administration has screwed this up again. $105K or so discrepancy, numbers don’t add up. We’re sure this thing is cost neutral? No wonder the well is dry. 30 minutes of debate and it passes.
F.) Discrimination in Access to Course Offerings Prohibited:
There shall be no unreasonable differentiation among individuals on a prohibited basis in access to classes, courses of study or other educational programs or activities offered by the University of Oregon institutions, …
Sorry, I’m listening, no live blog. Some good questions, some good answers. Lots of questions about shared governance. I’ll post the video once it’s archived.
FWIW, Mike Gottfredson’s first talk to the Senate is here:
This is how I come to the governance idea – all of these things that are in the idea of a public research university tell us how we must be governed. To protect these values, it is essential that we employ a shared governance model – active and meaningful collaboration, active faculty participation and a faculty authority for academic matters. This has meaning that’s informed by history and by peer reference.
Proper shared governance expects competency and places responsibility for the nature and care of the central mission of the university with the faculty. This includes the curriculum and programs of study, academic degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, honors [and] the qualifications of students. It includes standards for admissions and for academic scholarships, the qualifications of faculty, including hiring and promotion. These seem to me to be faculty responsibilities in a shared governance model, responsibilities that derive from the idea of the university and the duty and competence to defend the university’s core values. And, the faculty have a shared duty – the duty to ensure principles of community. A key faculty responsibility is to defend the core value of freedom of inquiry and expression.
At the same time the principle of shared governance tells us what the responsibilities of the administration are, and the competencies to be expected from the administration. Essentially, those are to manage the university to the public interest, consistent with the derived values that I just enumerated that are implicit in the idea of a public research university. They include the duty to be capable stewards consistent with the notions of community and to the requirements of our governing board and other authorities. Budget and finance, operational management, and adherence to policies of governing bodies are administrative duties in shared governance.
In my view, the administrative governance responsibilities only work when important policies and practices are informed by consultation and advice from the faculty, staff and students. Such consultation and advice can only be meaningful if it takes place in a spirit of transparency and knowledge and in a timely manner. There’s not much use in consulting after the fact – or not much use consistent with these ideas of governance, anyway.
So there’s an essential advisory role for the senate, even on administrative matters – an essential role on those matters that are central to the execution of our mission, like budget and finance, space and capital planning, athletics and of course participation in the selection and the evaluation of academic administrators. …
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment
5:00 pm 10. Reception for new University President Michael Schill: Hayden Gallery, 120 Lawrence (behind Lawrence 115)
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Recent Comments. Deleted if (content + humor)/nastiness < Euler's number. Please use a screen name.
Ka-ching Ka-ching. This is all about the money. You just can't squeeze enough out of the poor kids to pay the "excellence" bloated salaries of Schill... – Friday
jackmccoy Hmm, so is this a trend specific to Eugene, or the consequence of free community college statewide, or higher state tuition?? – Monday
Captain Nemo All the more reason for the UO and for the faculty to support the SAIL Program. – Monday
UO Matters Nope. The percentage of students at 4-year publics getting federal grants has increased from 27% in 2001 to 38% in 2014. See https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/dt15_331.20.asp – Monday
jackmccoy Is this because there are fewer eligible students for pell because incomes have gone up? Not necessarily bad news... – Monday