Update: page down for Student collective motion etc.
Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms) 3:00 – 5:00 P.M. Video feed.
3:00 P.M. Call to Order
Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
“Standard Operating Procedures” are not policies and cannot be used to restrict free speech and don’t let the administration tell you otherwise.
Remarks: Mike Schill, University President
Pres Schill is back from DC and the AAU meetings, with a report on the tax bill. The upshot is that it will be bad for higher ed by removing deductions for student loans and making graduate student tuition remissions taxable. It will also reduce the incentives for charitable deductions, and make profits on sales of Duck crap taxable. The excise tax on large endowments will not affect us. While Mike does not mention it, the legislation will also reduce incentives to give to athletics – which should be good for the academic side.
Mike also announces how he will spend the very excellent $50m gift that he tried to tell UO about last month, before the student collective shouted him down. No interruptions from the Senate though, as he explains that he will spend it on matching gifts for faculty chairs and a major new School of Ed initiative to work with Oregon high schools to increase the number of low-SES students going to college. Also a big-data initiative, a media center for science, and funding for the new Black Cultural Center.
He also says that he will not be involved in the student conduct code discipline process, and gives some conciliatory words to the students.
Remarks: Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost
Brad Shelton is now in charge of the faculty hiring plan. Yikes.
Remarks: UO Student Collective
Sorry, I’m listening, not live-blogging. Watch the video. Video feed.
4:00 P.M. Approval of Minutes, November 1, 2017
4:00 P.M. New Business
Vote: US17/18-02: Expedited Tenure Process; Boris Botvinnik (Math), Scott Pratt (Provost’s Office)
Long discussion, ably led by Boris Bottvinik (FPC chair and Math). Whatever the Senate decides, it certainly has not been hasty. Straw poll shows about half the senate is in favor, 5 or so against, and about half undecided. More debate in two weeks.
Vote: Confirmation of Committee on Committees members
DAPs; VP Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Office of Equity & Inclusion
The “Diversity Action Plans” were part of the fallout from the Halloween incident. Imposed as a top down requirement from the President’s Office and the VPSL, the process was badly mangled. Eventually a consultant was brought in, and then a team of faculty and administrators, led by Karen Ford, spent most of the summer trying to patch them up. The VPSL – who was on the job market during much of this process – then tried to get UO to hire an “Executive Coach” to help her explain these to the faculty. When JH found out (via this blog) they cancelled the bidding.
After objections were raised about the first round, CAS tried again, with a relatively open process for its DAPs. Dean Andrew Marcus held three town halls, at which the plans were heavily criticized by staff, faculty, and students as unfunded mandates that would lead to more administrative bloat and more window-dressing. Plans, info and transcripts here.
I had high hopes for this VPSL when she first came to UO as a replacement for Charles Martinez. She promised transparency and that she would hire an analyst to study what was working at UO to improve diversity, and what was not working. But things have not gone well. Her office has had extraordinarily high turnover, has never been transparent with the Senate, and has spent its efforts on window dressing like the IDEAL plan – pages and pages of buzzwords, with no action.
I hope she will be able to explain this morass to the Senate, as well as give us some evidence that the millions we’ve spent on her office has done something to help our students, and tell us how she now plans to use the $2.5 million in reserves her office is sitting on to help the colleges pay for the administrative busy-work that the DAPs will now require:
4:45 P.M. Open Discussion
4:45 P.M. Reports
4:45 P.M. Notice(s) of Motion
From the Student Collective:
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON SENATE
Resolution to Support the UO Student Collective
Proposed: November 15th, 2017 Proponents: UO Student Collective
1.1 WHEREAS the following is one of the official values of the UO: “We value our diversity and seek to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community.”
1.2 WHEREAS students have repeatedly approached the UO Administration with demands and concerns about policies and patterns of practice that jeopardize the well-being, safety, and success of students.
1.3 WHEREAS the Administration at the UO has not adequately prioritized the demands of its students to address these concerns.
1.4 WHEREAS the Administration has retaliated against student protesters and student dissent by actively pursuing student conduct charges and imposing sanctions on students for protesting.
1.5 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code reads: “The primary mission of the Student Conduct Code is to set forth the community standards and procedures necessary to maintain and protect an environment conducive to learning and in keeping with the educational objectives of the University of Oregon. Founded upon the principle of freedom of thought and expression, an environment conducive to learning is one that preserves the freedom to learn — where academic standards are strictly upheld and where the rights, safety, dignity and worth of every individual are respected.” [Emphasis ours.]
1.6 WHEREAS the retaliation described in 1.4 causes stress and anxiety to students, disrupts their academic efforts, and functions as repression of dissent and free speech.
1.7 WHEREAS the Student Conduct process has been carried out with clear bias; the students were declared guilty by the administration on public news outlets before charges were made.
Background: The Administration has ignored the requests and
needs of the students and is now charging them with Student
Conduct violations for protest and dissent.
1.8 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code reads that students accused of violations can expect the procedural protection of “[being] informed of the information upon which a complaint is based,” yet students were denied information regarding how the conduct process was initiated.
1.9 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code outlines a “student’s right to assistance” and that this may include an attorney, yet the university has yet to offer reasonable options in lieu of ASUO legal representation or advising, which has been withheld.
1.10 WHEREAS the student conduct hearings offered occur behind closed doors, do not include a scribe or other form of reliable record-keeping, disallow recording, and rely on a decision- making body of a single person.
1.11 WHEREAS hate crimes have increased by nearly 40% in Eugene, OR between 2015 and 2016, roughly half of which were racially motivated, as per the City of Eugene 2016 Hate and Bias Report.
1.12 WHEREAS White Supremacist groups have been allowed and
welcomed on Administration.
the University of Oregon campus by the
1.13 WHEREAS White Supremacist speech is a direct threat to members of our university community, especially marginalized demographics.
2.1 BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate urges the Administration to cease the Student Conduct disciplinary charges process and pledges to support student protesters during the disciplinary appeals process.
2.2 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate supports the pursuit of collective student action and ongoing conversation with the UO Student Collective regarding avenues for creating meaningful structural change.
2.3 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate denounces White Supremacist speech and organizing on campus as a direct threat to the university community.
2.4 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate shall urge President Schill to pledge that he will use his position of power to deny White Nationalists and hate groups a platform on this campus to the best of his ability.
4:50 P.M. Other Business
5:00 P.M. Adjourn