Intercollegiate Athletics Committee retreat and Open Meetings

10/28/13: Intercollegiate Athletics Committee retreat:

In the absence of formal minutes from the meeting, I’m posting a brief summary. The agenda for the retreat, held Tuesday 10/22, was set by IAC Chair Rob Illig (Law) as follows:

3:00 – 3:15 – IAC Chair Rob Illig leads introductions
3:15 – 3:30 – Senate President Margie Paris introduces our official charge
3:30 – 4:30 – AD Rob Mullens and members of his staff, as appropriate, present information about the athletic department and address recent email questions
4:30 – 4:45 – short break
4:45 – 5:30 – Faculty Athletics Rep Jim O’Fallon discusses the relationship between the UO and the NCAA
5:30 – 5:45 – General Counsel Randy Geller presents information about the Open Meetings Law
5:45 – 6:00 – IAC discusses and approves confidentiality policy
6:00 – 6:30 – break-out sessions for working groups (please bring your calendars)
6:30 – 7:00 – for anyone interested, wine and cheese and easy socializing

Randy Geller didn’t show. In his absence the Chair read an email from him, opining that Oregon’s Open Meeting Law did not apply to IAC meetings, and another saying that UO would defend the faculty, if we were sued for not following that law.

At least that’s what I think Geller’s emails said. Illig first said he thought he had already forwarded the emails to the IAC. Then he wrote several times to say that he would forward them. Now he is refusing to share them with committee members. He says that Geller has decided to write another opinion on these matters, and that he will share this he receives it from the General Counsel.

9/19/2013 update: Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee meets to discuss transparency, confidentiality, e rispetto

The IAC met today to elect a chair. Professors Harbaugh (Economics) and Karduna (Human Phys) gave stirring speeches, but were crushed by Rob Illig (Law), who got 9 of 16 votes cast. Illig is the presumptive contender to replace Jim O’Fallon (Law, emeritus, 24 years as FAR, still without a review) as UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative next year. So this will be something of a baptism by fire, and provide some valuable information on his suitability for that important job. We’ll keep you updated, with respect, and within the limits of whatever confidentiality policy the IAC adopts.

9/17/2013: UO’s IAC met this afternoon in a mediated session, moderated by noted dispute resolution expert Eric Lindauer. Lindauer was brought in by Senate President Margie Paris. The objective was to help make the committee, which deals with many contentious high-stakes issues, function more effectively.

Almost all faculty, staff, and student members were present, along with AD Rob Mullens, AAD Lisa Peterson, AAD for Finance Eric Roedl, AAD for Strategic Communications Craig Pintens, the new AAD for NCAA compliance Jody Sykes, and UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon. Lorraine Davis was absent.

We discussed many things, most notably:

  1. Civil/respectful/professional/productive meetings and communication.
  2. Mechanisms to ensure the athletics department regularly provides the IAC with information related to its charge, which includes academic issues involving student-athletes, financial information, large donations, adding or dropping sports, new athletic facilities, and hiring of coaches.
  3. A confidentiality agreement for IAC members. The initial draft language for this is below.
Some related documents include:

Draft UO IAC Confidentiality Agreement, from today’s meeting.

For reference, the FAC’s confidentiality policy states:

The Faculty Advisory Council is responsible for providing the President and other Administration officials with faculty opinion and counsel on the wide range of university affairs. In its relations with the President, the Administration, and with the faculty, the Faculty Advisory Council shall act either on request or on its own initiative. To fulfill its mission, members of the Council recognize that its deliberations must remain confidential. The quality and the effectiveness of the advice we give depend on a free and frank discussion of issues, in which all participants can voice their opinions without fear that their positions will be divulged or attributed to them outside of the Council. Furthermore, the FAC often treats issues that are in the public domain. Any information presented at a FAC meeting that is not in the public record will remain confidential. All discussion about information that is in the public record will also remain confidential. Participants in the FAC will not refer to or divulge Council deliberations and comments with specificity in discharging their obligations as faculty, administrators, or staff. By pledging to adhere to the confidentiality of its proceedings, participants in the FAC commit to fulfilling their legislative charge. The Council shall be the forum where the President and other Administration officials seek faculty advice on all important decisions that affect the university before they are implemented, and where the issues that inform these decisions will be considered thoroughly and with mutual respect.

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24 Responses to Intercollegiate Athletics Committee retreat and Open Meetings

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really care what the FAC agreement is, or what FAC expectations are. Those on the IAC have no business agreeing to this sort of secrecy. At any time in UO history this would have been true. But, try to pull this move now? Are you serious?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m guessing they would prefer to have the gag order kept confidential, too?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh… the IAC is back. A bottle of scotch to anyone who gets Jim O’Fallon a review this year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    R-r-r-r-rispetto! Be it dark or be it light, say it with respect and all is well at UO, right? Wrong. Say it with secrecy and screw transparency is more the UO motto.

    The dept head notes brought quickly to the fore that the long grand University of Oregon, for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention for at least ten years, runs largely behind any athletic prowess which can be donated to and harnessed for sale. The importance behind this need for confidentiality tells it all for any who still believe in things like a Senate or Constitution as governing vehicles. The purpose of the UO? Faculty, you ask? Oh right … the frontispiece for the athletic agenda which drives the majority of donations and will dominate the attention of the new governing board.

    Any STILL wonder why there now is a union?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Do IAC members have the authority to close their meetings to the public? Can they exclude other members of the campus community from observing their work, or members of the IAC from communicating with others about that work? That seems doubtful.

    The University Constitution certainly favors public meetings. It states:

    “The schedule, location and agenda of University Senate meetings shall be posted and those meetings shall be open to the public. The University Senate shall keep minutes of the meetings, and such minutes shall be accessible to the public. Valid exceptions shall be restricted to meetings dealing with faculty awards and to those specified by the Oregon Public Meetings law (ORS 192.640, 650 and 660). Upon including in the public record one or more of the above specified justifications for going into executive session, the University Senate President shall be allowed to close a meeting to non-senators.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    The members of the IAC did not invent the IAC, nor did the Athletic Department, nor did the Administration. The IAC’s “charge” was adopted by a unanimous vote of the University Senate on January 12, 2005, after a three-year process (2001 to 2004) of faculty governance by a Task Force on Athletics. The charge is in the minutes of that Senate meeting.

    That charge refers to the IAC’s “governance function.” Governance in Oregon is done in the open, not behind closed doors – as demonstrated in the Oregon Public Meetings Law.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The charge from the Senate to the IAC includes:

    “The Intercollegiate Athletics Committee shall:

    1. Represent the academic standards of the university as embodied in the University of Oregon Mission Statement in all decisions;

    2. Advise the administration, the senate, and the athletics director on any athletics department policy or program, including the athletics department budget;

    3. Promote and safeguard opportunities for student athletes to excel in academics and protect and ensure the academic integrity of student athletes; and,

    4. Promote greater understanding, for the university community, of intercollegiate athletics and the relationship between academics and athletics.”

    The misunderstanding of the role of the IAC as a Senate Committee is shown even in the draft of the IAC Confidentiality Agreement that someone (who?) brought to the IAC meeting. It refers to the Intercollegiate “Advisory Council.” That is not its name. It is not an advisory council. It is the Intercollegiate “Athletics Committee.” Furthermore, it does not have a “president,” as the draft says, but a chair, like all other Senate committees.

    The draft confidentiality agreement (drafted by who?) says that “some” of the IAC’s discussions must be confidential and then proceeds to say that “all discussions that take place within the IAC will remain confidential.”

    Shouldn’t confidential discussions be limited to the same situations that the University Constitution recognizes for the Senate, namely those (like matters involving individual personnel) that are exempted by the Oregon Public Meetings Law?

    • Old Man says:

      Dear Ducks,
      The UO Senate is as useful as you are willing to make it. The Senate was carefully designed (in the UO Constitution) to be a tool available to ANY faculty member to get stuff done. You don’t have to be a Senate Member to USE THE SENATE.
      Any faculty member who wants open committee meetings (a very good idea) can bring to the Senate a motion to require openness.
      Submitting a motion is EASY. Here are the simple steps:
      1. Prepare a Notice of Motion according to the following format.
      Title of Motion. Be brief but descriptive.
      Type of Motion. Legislation, Policy Adoption or Resolution. (You’ll pick “Legislation”.)
      Number of Motion. Leave Blank.
      Sponsor(s) of Motion. Name(s) , campus affiliation(s), and email address(es)
      Date of Notice: XX/YY/ZZ
      Motion. The exact wording of the motion to be presented to the Senate shall
      be placed in this section. For example: “All meetings of committees or councils created by Senate Legislation and/or reporting to the Senate shall be open, except as exempted by Oregon’s Public Meetings Law, with time, place and agenda announced on the Senate Home Page at least one week prior.”
      Background. This section shall contain background information to help the Senate evaluate your Motion. (It serves the role of the conventional “Whereases”.)
      Cost. Negligible, for the example considered here.
      FYI: Except for the contingencies described in Section 7.4 of the University of Oregon
      Constitution, legislation passed by the Senate shall become effective within 60 academic calendar days, unless otherwise specified (University of Oregon Constitution Section 7.3). (University of Oregon Constitution Section 7.4).
      2. Send the completed form to Margie Paris and to Lisa Mick Shimizu . Also, announce that that you are giving Notice of Motion regarding transparency of committee meetings by appearing in person at a Senate Meeting before or soon after sending that written notice. Or, if you cannot get to the meeting, you can ask Senate President Margie Paris to make the annoucement for you.
      3. Expect the Senate Executive Committee or the Rules Committee to contact you if there are any technical problems with your Motion as submitted. These folks will help you get it into proper order.
      4. When your Motion is scheduled for debate, appear at the meeting to defend it.
      Passage of this legislation, with acceptance by the UO President, will effect a MAJOR improvement in the quality of UO governance. Just do it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Very nice. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Question for those still clinging to Senate and Constitutional rules: when (read WHEN, not IF) the new board either sidesteps and/or then ultimately dissolves their control to get whatever they want when they want it, will you argue “but the Senate rules and Constitution say you can’t do that?”

    Isn’t there a song about a new sheriff in town?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Abolish the IAC and end the pretense that it has any power.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh that wouldn’t do. What evil could be blamed on the IAC if it didn’t exist neutered and muzzled?

    • Anonymous says:

      Rip away the fig leaf to reveal the jock strap beneath.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The UO athletic department spends $90 million a year. Willamette University’s entire annual budget is $102 million dollars.

    • Anonymous says:

      And what of value does Willamette University accomplish with that budget? I’ve NEVER seen them on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Recall that Berdahl attempted to do away with the IAC, before recognizing that the whole “loss of institutional control” thing might be a bit of an issue. My guess is that

    Bottom line: The athletic department would rather not have faculty snooping around as they spend their millions and sign backroom deals with presidents, donors, and beer pushers. As long as there are members of the IAC who take seriously the charge we’ve given them (there are still a few on there, it seems) the athletic department will do their very best to shut them down.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The IAC can’t just change their default status to confidential. They take their charge from the senate. Whoever put forth the idea should bring it to the senate directly.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rob Illig? Guard against doing too much listening and having nothing to show for it.

  14. I think would be confidential

  15. Anonymous says:

    How does confidentiality work with the IAC’s charge and responsibility of:
    “4. Promote greater understanding, for the university community, of intercollegiate athletics and the relationship between academics and athletics.”
    Will they change this part? Who would have to be the one changing it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Blanket confidentiality doesn’t work. Period. The last time I checked, there were enough level headed thinkers on the IAC that the push for confidentiality shouldn’t succeed. What a waste of energy, though, having to fight that shit.

      Who is pushing for it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like they discussed and approved a confidentiality policy last week.

    • Anonymous says:

      The IAC has not approved such a policy. The chair tried to navigate the issue but Geller left him in a tough spot and some weren’t buying it.

      (UOM… please consider starting a poll. “Do you support the IAC members signing a confidentiality agreement?)