Wed Senate meeting on academic freedom and legal services

Update: UO administration time-travels back to 2009, finalizes UO’s draft Academic Plan.

For four years, the official copy of UO’s Academic Plan – ballyhooed today by President Gottfredson in the Senate – made clear it was just a draft:

Now it’s suddenly been post-dated a day, and it’s final.

Sporadic Senate live-blogging. Wednesday 11/13/13 3:00PM, 282 Lillis. 

Disclaimer: My opinions of what people said, meant, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Senate Meeting Agenda – November 13, 2013

282 Lillis, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes October 9, 2013

Lin raises question on the calculation of 2/3 majority. Simonds replies abstentions don’t count, Paris agrees, refers him to Robert’s Rules.

Stahl checked the video, asks for re-insertion of a sentence regarding no-confidence votes and executive session. Paris has already done it.

3:10 pm 3. State of the University
3.1 Remarks by President Gottfredson

(I’m wondering if he’ll talk about the plan by OUS Chancellor Rose and Matt Donegan to renew his contract til 2016, without consulting UO Senate? Their meeting is scheduled for Friday. First they fire Lariviere without consulting us, now they tie the hands of the new UO Trustees by extending Gottfredson’s contract for two years past the date the Trustees take power.)

Shout out to faculty committees hard work.
Outstanding group of board members. CBA was great achievement.
Added many, many more TT faculty (20?) smarter students, new buildings, new capital campaign.
SB 270 was great accomplishment, new freedoms for campus and board, we can sell bonds.
Great path forward. Outstanding board, couldn’t be better.
We need a strategic plan for resources. 2009 Ac Plan is a great plan. He doesn’t seem to be joking.
Benchmarking report. We are a great research university but we need more money.
Coltrane is tasked with developing a Strategic Plan, is tasked with actually talking to the faculty. Campus forums, etc.
Three central goals: Excellence, Access, Money.
1) Need more faculty – 60 TTF right away. We’ve got $ for about 30. Wants more than that.
2) Need more grad students to boost research. Need more money for grad fellowships. Need more buildings.
3) Need big endowment increase.
Vague generalities about targeting. 15 months on the job, nothing more specific?
We’re in the quiet phase of fundraising now, making key fundraising hires, talking to big donors.

We got a little more state money last year, hope to get more.

Word about the Shelton’s budget model: Lots of concerns about lack of support for research and grad students, manipulation like Doug Blandy did in AAD. Need to change it. Modest changes, to make better strategic decisions, graduate education.

Provost is appointing an advisory group to get input on budget model and strategic spending, without going through the Senate!

Academic Freedom – very exciting meeting with Senate group on this last week (I wasn’t in the room with him, but like the motion.) He’s now very pro freedom. Quite a change from what Geller, Blandy and Gleason were doing during the bargaining.

On athletic subsidies: Complex matter, must be careful. He’s met a couple times with Senate leadership on the Senate motion, wouldn’t let Harbaugh in the room. 

Provost Search, expects campus visits in January or so.

Searches for Ombud, Library Head, Dean or two.

Very exciting time, …

Paris: Any questions? 

Q: On academic freedom. What were your objections to last years policy, other than divide it in two.
A: We had a bump in the road. We’re on the right path now.
Followup: Are you supportive of the language as written?
A: Avoids question.

Q: You mentioned strategic plan. Seems very top down. What should units do to align with it? Can you share it?
A: Yes, 2009 Academic Plan. (That plan’s a joke, was never even completed, Bean dropped the ball.) Also need Strategic Capital Campaign.

3:30 pm 4. New Business

4.1 Motion to Form an Administrative Advisory Group for Equity and Inclusion; Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA)

Long discussion of admin appointing AAG groups outside the Senate. Harbaugh moves to amend to require consultation with the Senate Exec and a vote of the Senate on the membership. Amendment passes, motion passes with full support. Very good precedent. Diversity stuff can get contentious, need faculty buy-in and consultation.

4.2 Motion to Approve Updated Environmental Policy; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Postponed due to desire to get to the legal services and freedom stuff.

4.3 Motion to Approve Legal Services Policy Proposal; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Postponed. Geller took a knife to it. See his changes here:

4.4 Motion to Rescind Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech Policy Proposal; Michael Dreiling (CAS – Social Sciences)

Randy Sullivan: Supports. Passes on unanimous voice vote:

4.5 Motion to Create Liaison Between Senate and United Academics of the University of Oregon; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

Removed for now, needs more discussion to discuss principles and rules.

4.6 Motion to Create Working Group on Campus Planning; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

passes unan.

4:30 pm 5. Reports

5.1 Report on Committee on Committees’ ten-year review and composition of working groups; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

Has volunteers, will appoint soon, will have meetings and reports, then motions in April or so.

5.2 Report on the PAC-12 Faculty Leadership Coalition Conference – Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

5.2 Report on Senate-Administration Joint Review of the Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education (RIGE); Bruce Blonigen (Economics)

Blonigen reports. Notes this is late. Committee is meeting with lots of people, looking to hear about interactions, areas for improvement in office, general research at UO. Has an outline of a report, still needs input from others, expect report to be ready by Jan.

5.3 Report on creation of Fee for Services Committee; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Goal is to have a committee by next meeting.

4:50 pm 6. Announcements and Communication from the Floor

Sorry, can’t type fast enough, missed some.

Stahl postpones ROTC motion, so students can participate
Harbaugh gives notice of motion on IAC confidentiality and transparency
Harbaugh gives notice of motion on ending athletic subsidies

4:55 pm 7. Other Business

5:00 pm 8. Adjournment

11/11/2013 update: The Senate will have remarks by President Gottfredson (I hope including solid progress and numbers on last year’s resolution to reduce athletic subsidies).

On Wednesday the Senate will vote on policies to limit Randy Geller’s control over legal services, and to strengthen academic freedom. As explained below, the motion to “rescind academic freedom” actually will allow the Senate to strengthen academic freedom.

Regardless of whether or not the motion to rescind the 2013 academic freedom / free speech policy proposal (left unsigned by Pres Gottfredson, therefore not in effect) passes, the very strong 2010 policy on freedom of speech and inquiry (which is also incorporated into the CBA) will remain in place while the Senate develops a new academic freedom policy. Last time we barely had a quorum, people should show up for this meeting and these votes. The Senate has sent around this statement on the academic freedom motion:

Dear Senators, 

I am writing with an update and some clarification regarding the Motion to Rescind Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech Policy Proposal coming up on this week’s agenda. Please note that the text of this motion has been slightly modified for clarity, and now reads:

“THEREFORE BE IT MOVED, That the University Senate rescinds the policy that it adopted in April 2013, which was not subsequently signed by the University President and therefore is not in force: 

That the Senate Academic Freedom Work Group will continue to work with the University President to draft a strong academic freedom policy. 

That this motion and its preamble be preserved and prominently displayed on the University Senate website in conjunction with the existing Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech policy for the guidance of faculty, staff, and students and that it not be removed from any present or future version of the University Senate website without an explicit and properly noticed motion by the University Senate.” 

The University Senate workgroup on Academic Freedom offers the following information regarding the Motion to Rescind the 2013 Academic Freedom and Free Speech Policy proposal: 

The motion to rescind is directed to the April 2013 Senate policy proposal – which has not been signed by the President – and is therefore not in force. This simply means that the April 2013 policy, adopted by the Senate but not in force, will be rescinded if the motion passes. This would leave the current 2010 University Policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech in place as the University Senate workgroup continues to meet with President Gottfredson on this matter. The motion is intended to procedurally “clear the table” so that the workgroup and President Gottfredson can identify mutually agreeable improvements. The Senate workgroup is comprised of Professor Michael Dreiling (Chair), Senate President Margie Paris, Professor John Bonine, Professor Deb Merskin, Professor Bill Harbaugh, and Professor John Davidson. If the Senate concurs, regular reports on the progress of discussions between the Senate workgroup and President Gottfredson will be presented to the University Senate.


The motion to rescind is for the policy proposal adopted by the Senate in April 2013, not signed by the President and not in force:
Policy that is currently in force and will remain in force if the motion is adopted: University Policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech (2010): 

We hope this information will help as you consider this motion. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions I may be able to help answer. 

All the best,
Lisa Mick Shimizu
Executive Coordinator
University of Oregon Senate

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8 Responses to Wed Senate meeting on academic freedom and legal services

  1. Brutus says:

    “Motion to rescind Academic Freedom” sounds bad. I think I understand the logic now though. I’ll be there to support it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sporadic live blogging is cool. What’s the appraisal after the non-sporadic drinking?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I caught the matinee. It’s worse than I thought. Sincere fellow, nervous and totally out of his depth. Berdahl still in the picture–what does that tell you? It’s easy to see how some would want to sign him up for another term.

    Still, the horizon is visible. As my late mentor used to say: keep your dobber up.

    • UO Matters says:

      I’m hoping that next time the Senate President will start by giving the UO President a stern warning about the importance of speaking civilly and respectfully to the faculty – i.e. not wasting our time with evasive platitudes, and giving direct, honest answers to questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a friend at Irvine who has the highest respect for MG. He says most people on campus credit him with Irvine’s major successes over the past decade. OK — he may not be a terribly effective speaker, but why should we be so quick to conclude that he is out of his depth? Given his track record, might the problem be less MG and more our willingness to throw all senior administrators under the bus?

    • Anonymous says:

      How many speeches and letters do you have to read before you begin to see it? His public content lacks depth.

      It’s not HOW he says what it says, it’s WHAT he says. Or actually what he doesn’t, won’t or can’t say–even in answer to a direct question.

    • Anonymous says:

      So who is your hero? Lariviere? I liked him too, but his speeches were full of as many platitudes as MG’s. That’s what Presidents do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Um … Ed Ray?