Republicans veto UO Board list over faculty representation

9/19/2013: Wow. That “watershed moment in UO’s history” is looking a bit like Katrina. Diane Dietz has a report in the RG, and Nigel Jaquiss has one in WWeek:

Amid all the wheeling and dealing in Salem toward the “grand bargain” Gov. John Kitzhaber and legislative leaders hashed out this week, the Oregon Senate did something it rarely does—it spiked a list of gubernatorial appointees. …

Republicans objected to a late-stage amendment to the legislation that would have included a faculty member on each board. GOP senators did not like the idea of faculty voting on issues that affected their own compensation, Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli explained on the floor.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome,” Raphael says. “We will probably wait to move this through in the November interim session.”

Actually the proposal to include faculty was not “a late-stage amendment”. My recollection is that the original proposal from Richard Lariviere included two voting faculty, one appointed by the faculty union. Gottfredson worked to get both removed, then the Democrats put back in. The RG gets this rather careful statement from Gottfredson on the history:

“I am disappointed that the Senate didn’t act on the confirmation of the board members, including faculty and staff,” UO President Michael Gottfredson said in a prepared statement. “I was active in the development of legislation creating institutional boards and supportive of the end product that included faculty and non-faculty representation on the board with voting rights determined by the governor. They both represent valuable campus perspectives and I support their service on the board.”

Kitzhaber had nominated Susan Gary from the UO law school (which is not part of the faculty union) as the faculty representative, and exercised his discretion under SB 270 to give her voting rights. 

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27 Responses to Republicans veto UO Board list over faculty representation

  1. Anonymous says:

    So, by this we learn that Gottfredson has no pull in Salem. This may have been everyone’s belief, I suppose, but having it confirmed has given me a bit of pause… again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed. I suspect he spends far too much time holed up in JH creating prepared statements and press releases for any eventuality. Remember: “this is such an exciting time at the University of Oregon”.

      “Being There, Part X+++”.

    • Anonymous says:

      So Gottfredson gets no credit when the board is going through, but when there’s trouble it’s his fault?

    • Anonymous says:

      Credit for what? Getting the board approved by the legislature? I suspect there were far more powerful forces at work on that one than MG. What he clearly did not do was fight for a seat for faculty on the board so he gets no credit there.

      And, he won’t fight for it now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is Susan Gary any relation to Bill Gary? Of Harang, Long, Gary, Rudnick?

    • Susan Gary says:

      No. I’m not related to Bill Gary, Jane Gary or Carla Gary (the other Garys I know in Eugene).

  3. Awesome0 says:

    I suppose this would be useful before we approve the contract, maybe get Gottedfredson to sign the constitution.

    Also I think this is in retaliation for the upcoming SEIU strike.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know, I think this has merit. Is there a way to incentivize MG to sign the constitution before we proceed?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What the heck did people think was going to happen? By the faculty unionizing, we have just admitted we are nothing more than a labor force/workers and that the folks in Johnson Hall are our bosses/superiors – simple but true. Since when do “employees” have much say in how much they are paid, aside from union negotiations? Kiss “shared governance” goodbye as Johnson Hall has no incentive/need to share governance with its minions.

    • UO Matters says:

      Darn. And shared governance had been working so well at UO before.

    • Margo, Edith and Agnes says:

      “… no incentive/need to share governance with it’s minions.”

      Minions? As in Despicable Me? Gott as Gru and Geller as Dr. Nefario? Hmm .. food for thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon – read the just agreed to contract. It provides for shared governance throughout the document. Its a pretty easy argument to make that they now have more incentive than they did before because the violations of the contract is grievable and arbitrable.

    • Old Man Again says:

      When UO-M says, “Darn. And shared governance had been working so well at UO before”, I think he is being sardonic. If so, he should get over it. Shared governance suffered after 1995 when it became clear that DF had no respect for it. The DOJ Memo of 2008, by declaring UO governance to be noncompliant with State law, provided an opportunity to write a Constitution that better defined a structure for shared governance. The effective operation of the new governance structure was , at first, bumpy because of the roll-over in Presidents. Since MG had come on board, things have improved. (Some recent bumps have been the result of abuse of power by a Senate President.) We can now reasonably hope that Constitutional Shared Governance will serve the UO well. Patience, Children, patience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Old Man

      How has shared governance improved with MG? Please list specific examples.

    • Old Man says:

      Anonymous asks “How has shared governance improved with MG?” Here is the Old Man’s somewhat lengthy response:

      MGs expressed support for the Constitution combined with his scrupulous adherence to its procedures has put the ball squarely in the Faculty court; the Faculty now have an effective instrument for promoting any matter of academic interest. Any member of the Statutory Faculty can introduce a Motion to the Senate. Assuming the availability of a “second” (a conventional requirement), the Senate will debate the Motion and, if it makes good sense, will pass it. The Constitution then requires a timely response from the President, which, when unsatisfactory, mandates negotiations. Failure of the negotiations triggers an Assembly meeting with electronic vote, which ensures that everyone has a voice. A Presidential veto of that vote must be in the form of a letter to all Statutory Faculty Members explaining the reason(s) for the veto. Of course, this machinery will be valuable only to the extent that the Faculty USE IT.
      So far, the Senate has not passed a motion that has activated the Assembly or even the negotiation phase. Part of the reason for that appears to be that a recent Senate President simply deep-sixed some Senate actions that he thought might disrupt the “comity” of the University. The Senate is unlikely to be fooled in that way again.
      Despite the novelty of our governance system and the obstacles of a misbehaving Senate President, the constitutional shared governance has secured some modest gains. In each case that I am aware of, the Presidential approval of Senate actions was gained over time-consuming opposition from some Johnson Hall functionaries. The Senate gained (1) free parking for unpaid Emeritus Faculty and (2) the rights of Faculty to reserve university rooms for presentations by outside speakers. This right had initially been granted only to administrative bodies and student organizations. Progress on other matters is noted on the Senate Home page. They include Policies on Legal Representation and on Academic Freedom and Free Speech. Both are moving on schedule and are likely to be approved this year.
      The Constitution works — and it will work better the more it is used.

    • M, E and A says:

      Correct me if I’m mistaken, but it seems you are saying that the UO Senate has not been used to any real advantage worth mentioning beyond free parking for Emerati and room reservations for some elite few. You say “progress on other matters is noted…” and so we can assume those matters are relatively small in comparison since they aren’t delineated as important beyond the likes of free parking? It also appears that the Constitution is a work in decline since it isn’t being used.

      Sadly, and con rispetto, it appears you make a good argument for the new board NOT to pay attention to either of these institutions.

    • Old Man says:

      Dearest M, E and A,
      Constitutional governance is working well. You are invited to get on board.

    • Anonymous says:

      With respect Old Man, your argument is not strong. You spent the first part of your post explaining the Constitutional procedures, which I already know and then proceeded to offer as your best evidence that its working that the Senate gained free parking for Emeritus faculty and right to reserve rooms. That is pretty faint praise.

      Your provide evidence that the Senate has not been as effective as it could be. But that is not evidence that shared governance has improved with MG (the original question) – in fact, its the opposite. Whether that is MG’s fault or not remains to be seen.

      I hope it works and agree that faculty are the ones that have to make it work. But I have seen nothing that gives me confidence in MG’s competence to take us to a better place. His lack of presence and propensity to communicate through press releases instead of engaging authentically with faculty are very worrisome.

    • Old Man says:

      If Mike, or his representatives, continue to be absent from the debates of the Senate, our Constitutional shared governance will, indeed, fall short of its promise. I note, however, that the past absence of appropriate Administration Reps from Senate meetings may be a simple consequence of the past President of the Senate failing to post the Agenda in the timely manner (1 week in advance of the meeting) required by the Senate ByLaws (sometimes not even the day before the meeting). Thus, the Administration had no notion of whether or not their presence would be useful and, quite understandably, stayed home. Sadly, the Faculty at large were equally in the dark.Obviously, the Senate floor can be the lively place envisioned by the Framers only if the Faculty and Administration are aware of the agenda.
      Things will get better under a new Senate President, but they will achieve their potential only as Faculty (and others) bring issues to the Senate in the form of Motions for Senate action. The Governance Machinery is there! If the Faculty uses it, THEY can lead Mike and the UO to a better place. (I know, that’s a statement of faith, but that’s how all good things get done.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Old Man, come on! Absence of administrators at Senate meetings is because the agenda wasn’t posted? Please. You know the history around here. Sure, MG is new but he has continued the tradition of not listening to faculty. Besides, you started this conversation by saying shared governance is working well under MG. Now you are saying it isn’t.

      MG’s absence is much more than a physical absence. He has been “absent” and silent on campus since he got here in a time when faculty morale was obviously low. What we needed was authenticity and reassurance that he was on faculty’s side. What we got was a disastrous tone-deaf performance the one time he tried to engage faculty and press releases since then. You simply can’t lay this at the feet of the Senate President. Our University President gets paid handsomely well to LEAD and he has failed. This doesn’t come from just me or just from faculty – I have heard the same refrain from administrators and donors.

      The consensus from those I have talked to? “What President?”

    • Old Man says:

      Dear Anonymous. You may be right. We’ll see. Meanwhile, he has embraced the Constitution as a framework that encourages Faculty to exercise their leadership. I hope folks will use it. Should Mike someday disrespect the Constitution, I will have to join you. (BTW, your comment reminds me that the Great Schmoozer was beloved by Administrators and Donors, while he paid only lip service to “shared governance.”)

    • Old Man says:

      PS: The Great Schmoozer was also a recognized expert in Leadership.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking of lip service, what you call “embraced”, I call more lip service. It is simply unfounded to claim MG has embraced the Constitution when, as you yourself point out, he has yet to be tested with a real and substantial motion. It’s easy to embrace an ideal – very difficult to act on one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, I don’t care if someone is “recognized” as an expert in leadership or not. I just want them to lead. The Great Schmoozer comment is irrelevant here – we are talking about MG.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “GOP senators did not like the idea of faculty voting on issues that affected their own compensation, Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli explained on the floor.”

    Doesn’t the Senate do exactly that for themselves? Or is that just on the federal level?

    • Anonymous says:

      No matter the idea of a bunch of stuffed shirts voting on issues that influence teaching, research, etc… faculty perspective on that is so undervalued that the odd compensation vote trumps? (What do they have to do with compensation now anyway?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Right.