12/6/2011: The UO administration has been missing in action since the Lariviere firing. It is obvious that UO needs strong faculty leadership and we clearly have it with our Senate President, the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate, and many, many other faculty, who have showed up and did their teaching and research, and then a year of university service in a few weeks with little sleep.
We don’t yet know who we will get for a president, or what terms he or she will be able to extract from Pernsteiner, the Board, and the Governor. But we do know, absolutely, that without our faculty leadership and the turnout in Portland and at Mac court last week by faculty, students, staff, and alumni we would already have been saddled with one internal toady or another, of OUS’s choosing, and willing to sign on to do OUS’s bidding. I believe that is now off the table. We will know soon.
Wednesday’s meeting is to pass a constitution that will help strengthen the faculty’s role in governance. The faculty have taken this power already – we found it huddled under a bush outside Johnson Hall, a little damp, lonely, but still breathing. Adopting it formally requires a meeting of the faculty assembly as was held last week – not just the Senate. Presumably there will also be news from Senate President Kyr on the search for our new UO president.
Why this is important: (thanks to anon commenter)
If I may try to summarize, it sounds the answer to “why is this all important” is, in part, the following:
(1) Faculty will now be guaranteed a chance to review and offer input on policies that will affect our work and the academic mission of UO.
(2) This constitution encourages collaboration between the pres/admin and the faculty by requiring the president to hear and respond to us on matters that we deem important.
(3) Although state law and board policy vest final authority in the president, defying the will of the faculty will be a very slow and very public process for a president.
So this constitution will try to make the best use of what little power we have, and where our power falls short it will push for transparency.