To: University of Oregon Senate
From: Robert Kyr, President
RE: Looking Ahead
In four weeks, we will begin a new academic year that promises to be one of the most significant in the history of our university. I am writing to give you a brief overview of some of our activities and projects for the year, as well as an update on several other matters.
Since his arrival at the university on August 1, President Michael Gottfredson and I have discussed a wide range of issues, including most of those that I have summarized below. I am confident that our new President is the ideal leader for our university, one who strongly supports shared governance and our ongoing commitment to academic excellence, and who will work with the Senate in a consultative and collaborative way. As President of the Senate, I will meet with President Gottfredson at least once per week during the fall quarter and on a regular basis throughout the rest of the year.
SENATE EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR-Christopher Prosser, our Senate Executive Coordinator for 2011-2012, has resigned from his job in order to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Chris was an exceptional colleague and will be greatly missed by the Senate. The position announcement may be accessed through the following link: http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4007.
I encourage you to share it with all viable candidates. Please note that a review of applications will begin no later than September 14 and the appointment will begin on October 15 or as soon as possible thereafter.
In the meantime, please direct all of your correspondence regarding Senate matters to me at both of the following email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
TENTH YEAR REVIEW-This year, the Committee on Committees will conduct a Tenth Year Review of all University Standing Committees. After the Committee on Committees has completed its comprehensive review of the charge and membership of each committee, the Senate will discuss the final report and vote on the recommended revisions and changes. I anticipate that this review will bring about a much needed set of reforms in our system of university service.
FACULTY UNION-Throughout the summer, I have had meaningful and productive contact with the UA Organizing Committee, the UA Coordinating Committee, and the UA Governance Subcommittee. The union has been both consultative and collaborative on all matters related to the Senate, and has assured me that one of its goals is to strengthen both the Senate and shared governance at our institution. As a result of our discussions, the UA Coordinating Committee is in the process of forming a University Senate Liaison Committee that will meet with me and the Senate Executive Committee throughout the year. I know that we will continue to have a fruitful interaction and I will keep you informed about our discussions.
TWO NEW AD HOC COMMITTEES-In order to explore a wide variety of issues that are focused on academic matters, I am forming two ad hoc committees: the Committee on Academic Excellence and the Committee on Instructional Technology (IT). The former will concentrate on proposing substantive ways in which academic excellence can be furthered at the University of Oregon, especially in regard to improving our standing in the Association of American Universities (AAU). The latter will explore the role of Instructional Technology at our university, and propose constructive ways in which we can become a regional and national leader in this important area.
OAR ON RANDOM DRUG TESTING OF STUDENT ATHLETES-Over the summer, changes were proposed for the OAR on random drug testing of student athletes (OAR 571-004-0038: “Institute random student-athlete drug testing and provide for safe-reporting program”). At first, a public hearing was scheduled during the summer months, but the Senate (in collaboration with the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee [IAC]) filed a request to postpone the meeting until after the beginning of the new academic year. Interim President Berdahl accepted our request and the new meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm in the Walnut Room of the EMU. (Please see the attached document, “OAR ON RANDOM DRUG TESTING.”) [UO Matters ed: Also see Randy Geller attacks Rob Kyr and Senate] I strongly urge you to attend and participate in this important public meeting, which will precede our consideration of the revised OAR at our October 10th Senate meeting.
POLICY AGENDA FOR 2012-2013-During the coming academic year, the Senate will consider three important policies-Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Policy; Facilities Use Policy; and Legal Representation Policy–as well as several other policies that are currently in development. The three aforementioned policies can be accessed by going to the Senate webpage (http://senate.uoregon.edu/) and clicking on the policies that are listed under the blue headline near the top of the page (“Policies under consideration by the Senate”). At our first Senate meeting of the year (October 10), I will be giving an update about each of these policies and the process through which we will be considering them.
STUDENT VOTER DRIVE-The ASUO is organizing a student voter drive, through which it hopes to register at least 6,000 students in order to foster greater civic engagement regarding the candidates and issues on the November ballot. I am in conversation with ASUO Senator Lamar Wise regarding how the University Senate can best assist in this effort.
I hope that you enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and I very much look forward to our work together during the coming academic year.
All the best, Rob
Philip H. Knight Professor of Music
President, University Senate