Live-blog, Wed Jan 15 Senate meeting in 115 Lawrence

Disclaimer: My interpretation of what was said or meant or should have been said, nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Short version:

Pres Gottfredson gives short content-free speech, gets called out for speaking as “The University” on academic matters, i.e. the boycott of Israeli universities.

VP Roger Thompson starts off with fluff, gets tough questions, gives thorough, thoughtful, knowledgeable answers. Impressive. So why was he so evasive about revenue athlete SAT’s in his “Around the O” interview?

Librarian Deb Carver: Blackboard will be replaced! Wait, maybe not, we’re reviewing it and may replace it, maybe not. Current license goes through Sept 2015. If we change, year of overlap to switch to new alternative.

Huaxin Lin: When are we going to elect a Senate President elect for next year? Should have been done in May.

Really long version: Senate Meeting Agenda – January 15, 2013

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm 1. Call to Order

3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes The Senate minutes are very thorough, here.

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

Working on academic plan, divorce from OUS and new relationship with HECC and UO Board. Board meeting coming soon. He’s impressed with Trustees. UO will be taking over some OUS functions – e.g. selling bonds. Some shared services will remain, e.g. risk management, using an innovative opt-in model where universities are customers and can leave if they get a raw deal.

More provost candidates coming. Close to decision for UO Ombudsperson, announcement soon. Also searching for Deans of Education and Libraries, going well.

Boycott of Israel: Gottfredson is opposed to boycott, based on faith in Academic Freedom.


Sullivan: Congrats on UO board, when does the Senate get to meet them? MG: Soon.

Kyr: Summary on boycott? MG: Gives summary. All the other AAU presidents were doing this, I thought I should too.

Bonine: As you know, professors shouldn’t speak for the university. But your statement says “We”. Would you consider changing this to “I”? MG: I’ll take that under advisement with my administrative advisors, but I think I get to speak on behalf of the University.

Bonine: Suppose, hypothetically, that the Senate took an opposite view. Can we also speak on behalf of the university? Shouldn’t this have been discussed by Senate?

MG: I appreciate your thoughts.

3:30 pm 4. New Business

4.1 Motion (Legislation): Redlined Policies (Revised Policies) for Senate Review; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senator

Kyr: Admins have been proposing changes to UO policies and we can’t figure out what changes they are making. Format them to make it obvious. This is a great motion, Randy Geller’s redlines are often pretty damn hilarious.

Bonine: Can we “tell” the administration to do this, or just plead? Should be the administration’s job, not the Senate Coordinator’s job to keep track.

4.2 Motion (Legislation): Housekeeping Changes to Senate Bylaws; Lisa Raleigh, Director of Communications (CAS) & UO Senator

Raleigh: Fixes a few numbering mistakes. Lin: Takes the opportunity to ask for clarification on the definition of a 2/3 majority.

4:00 pm 5. Open Discussion

Sullivan: In light of Bonine’s comments on who speaks for the university on academic matters, I propose the Senate draft a resolution speaking for the academic side.

Paris: MG did talk with me and the FAC, I told him this was OK since it was reaffirming the status quo.

Bonine: No. All kinds of things could be swept under the status quo rug. Reads resolution, points out how this resolution actually can be read as restricting academic freedom.

Emami: Several years ago I brought up a resolution against the war in Iraq. I was told it was not a suitable subject for the Senate.

Dreiling: This boycott is clearly an academic matter, has to do with academic freedom, we should move forward with a Senate resolution a la Sullivan.

Sullivan: Defer further discussion til there’s a resolution, if someone wants to write one?

Bonine: Agree, we should use AAUP statement on academic boycotts, which cites Nelson Mandela on appropriate responses, and which takes a statement on boycotts in general rather than a “which side are we on” reaction to this particular issue.

Dreiling: Reads part of AAUP statement against boycotts, as anti-academic freedom.

Paris: Actually, our by-laws state that we can make resolutions about anything.

4:15 pm 6. Reports

6.1 Report on Tenth-Year Committee Review; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senator

Kyr: Committee on committees met, is setting up working groups, will prepare several slates of legislation for working groups, etc. Many meetings to come, reforms will be focused on important reforms of IAC, STC, SBC, etc. Goal is to finish by spring.

6.2 Report on Athletics Subsidies Committee: William Harbaugh, Professor (Economics) & UO Senator

REPORT on Senate motion “An End to Subsidies for the UO Athletic Department”

From: Bill Harbaugh (Economics), to the UO Senate, 1/15/2014

Last spring the UO Senate voted in favor of a resolution asking UO President Gottfredson to end subsidies for the UO Athletic Department, and to begin having the AD make modest payments to the academic side for need-based scholarships and other academic purposes.

In the absence of any concrete action from the administration in response to this resolution, at the November Senate meeting I followed up with a similar motion, but as legislation. At the December meeting the Senate voted to table a vote on the legislation until the February meeting, and to establish an ad hoc committee to meet with President Gottfredson to discuss this legislation.

That committee is chaired by myself and includes Jenny Ellis (Business), Ali Emani (Business), Rob Kyr (Music), Sam Dotters-Katz (ASUO President), Jane Cramer (Political Science), Terrie Minner-Engle (Academic Advising), and Helena Schlegel (Student). President Gottfredson stated at the meeting that he approved of this plan.

Prior to the discussion of the motion, President Gottfredson had noted that he believed that the Senate Budget Committee was the appropriate place for discussions about Athletic Department finances and these subsidies, and that they would soon meet to discuss these matters. After the Senate meeting and the vote establishing the ad hoc committee, I emailed the members of the SBC asking who was the chair, and if I could attend this meeting. I was told by the members that the SBC had not picked a chair. I was then told by VP Brad Shelton (an ex-officio member of the SBC), that his decision was that I could not attend the meeting of the Senate Budget Committee about athletic finances.

My feeling is that the decision by VP Shelton to prevent the chair of a committee appointed by the Senate to work on athletic finances from attending a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee meeting dealing with athletic finances is a bizarre one – particularly given President Gottfredson’s support for the establishment of this ad hoc committee. I think that this, in combination with the fact that the SBC includes no Senators (except the ex-offico Senate President) and has not reported to the Senate since 2010 shows a systemic problem with the SBC as currently constituted. So I have introduced a motion to have the Senate elect SBC members, which should come up for a Senate vote in February.

The ad hoc committee does now have a meeting scheduled with President Gottfredson, Interim Provost Scott Coltrane, and VPAA Jamie Moffitt for January 28th, and despite all of the above I remain optimistic that the Senate will make progress on the issue of athletic subsidies, and perhaps also on reforming our general lack of influence over financial matters.

6.3 Report on Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech Committee; Michael Dreiling, Professor (Sociology) & UO Senator

Dreiling:: Sent draft to Senate, 4 responses, will distill and present to the Senate work group and discuss with President Gottfredson at the next meeting with him. Any changes will be distributed and posted.

6.4 Report on Legal Services Policy; Margie Paris, Professor (Law) & UO Senate President

Paris: Paris, Lininger and Sayre and I have met, reviewed Randy’s redlines, will post these soon. I know that this has now been 6 months. We lost Susan Gary from the committee, Lininger is the replacement and has got up to speed very quickly, hope to have substantive report soon.

Bonine: Where is Randy’s redlined version? Paris: I’ll have that in a day or two with our response.

Sullivan: How’s it been meeting with Geller?

Paris: We haven’t even sat in a room together with Geller yet. (Wow!). Not sure we’ll be able to compromise.

6.5 Report on Admissions; Roger Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Me: I’m wondering if Thompson will deal with the latest info on UO’s special admits of football and basketball players with verbal SAT’s of < 400. Not sure but this looks like the last 5 years or so:

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 3.33.43 PM

Sara Ganim of CNN has now posted the data showing the SAT/ACT scores for UO’s revenue sport athletes. Her original story is here:

The raw UO data is here:

Her explanatory notes are pasted below. As you can see, a rather large percentage of UO football and basketball players have scores that, according to the experts Ms Ganim cites, are below the thresholds for “being college literate”.

The “Around the O” article by Joe Mosely, with quotes from VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson, which Ganim discusses, is here:

As you can see, there is a vast difference in college preparation between the student athletes in sports that bring in no revenue, and those who are brought to UO to earn money for the athletic department.

VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson: We buy lists of prospective students – 100K this year. Lots of undergraduate growth, not grads. GPA up from 3.4 to 3.6. More AP courses. (No adjustment for inflation?) Yup, SAT scores haven’t budged since 2000.

Thompson: We ignore writing scores since there’s no evidence they are consistently scored. Slices and dices students on race and ethnicity. 10% international students.

Moving on to SES diversity, 37% of resident students that are Pell grant eligible, 14% of non-resident. Good discussion of how it may not make sense for low SES out-of-state to come to UO, given that so many drop out over the high out-of-state tuition.

Sullivan: Any more undergrads coming? Thompson: No. At the moment the goal is 24,500 total enrollment, no more growth.

Q from floor: Why did you focus your presentation on rising, probably inflated grades, not on the flat SAT’s?

Thompson: OUS policy prevents us from looking at SAT’s (!) I hope to change that with new independent board. (Good idea, IMHO.)

Bonine: I just googled it, and the number of Pell eligible students is increasing due to the recession, your trend is not unique to UO.

Thompson gives a good response, starts to realize his presentation was a little too dumbed down for the Senate. Lots of other good questions and he’s got good answers when he’s pushed. ODE reporter is here, I’m hoping they’ll give a good report. Talks about lack of state financing – PathWays is all funded with UO money, Oregon Opportunity state money is trivial. Oregon exports too many HS, college grads, hopes with new board we can figure out a way to educate more Oregon students, particularly rich science kids from west Portland, instead of being so dependent on Californians.

6.6 Report on Evaluating Course Management Systems; Deborah Carver, Dean of the UO Libraries

Carver: We may replace Blackboard. Psaki: Is it true we’re using the low-rent version of Blackboard? Carver: Yes, and even worse their proposal for us keeping it is still the bad version. (WTF?)

4:50 pm 7. Announcements and Communication from the Floor

Lin: When are we going to get a vice-president/president elect? (Should have happened last May.) Paris: We’re working on it. Any volunteers?

4:55 pm 8. Other Business

Psaki: We no longer have time to get across campus, set up laptops. Can we increase time between courses from 10 min to 15? Eveland: Probably not.

5:00 pm 9. Adjournment at 4:50!

1/14/2014 Update: This Senate meeting may be more important than I’d thought. Rumor has it that President Gottfredson will give a substantive presentation on UO’s financial situation, complete with spreadsheets and forecasts, and also ask the faculty for input on his “Clusters of Excellence” plans.

1/13/14: This Senate meeting will be more notable for what is not on the agenda than for what is. The draft minutes from the December meeting are here, and the agenda is here. What’s still hanging fire?

1) Report from Athletics Director Rob Mullens.  This is supposed to be delivered to the Senate in written form in advance, so as to allow plenty of time for questions at the meeting. From the 2005 Senate resolution:

The athletics director shall provide a “State of the Athletics Department” report at the beginning of each winter term. This report should include information on:

a) issues related to student athlete welfare;

b) priorities for the athletics department (and the relation of these priorities to the university mission);

c) the financial status of the athletics department;

d) planned expansion, remodeling or removal of athletics facilities;

e) changes in the status of sports teams;

f) changes in facilities management that might affect the university community;

g) any major violations by the athletics department, and their resolutions;

h) possible roles for faculty governing bodies to assure that academic policies and practices are consistent with supporting the intellectual growth and academic success of student athletes and the viability of athletics as an integral part of campus life;

i) any others topics the athletics director deems relevant to the university community.

Why the delay?

2) UO’s legal services policy. The Senate has let Randy Geller stall this for years, and he’s still having his way with us. The Senate’s December minutes said the latest deadline was Jan 6th:

6.5 Report on Legal Services Policy; Margie Paris, Professor (Law) & UO Senate President

Senate President Paris stated that, with regards to the Legal Services Policy, there is a drafting committee comprised of Senator Gordon Sayre (English), Professor Tom Lininger (Law), and herself. They have set themselves a deadline of January 6th, 2014 to come up with recommendations that will be given to the Senate having to do with the redlined version of the policy that has been given to us by the General Counsel’s office.

But there’s no motion on the agenda. What’s the sticking point?

3) Adding Senate members to the Senate Budget Committee: This should be easy. The Senate by-laws say:

” The Senate Budget Committee is the University’s primary agency for faculty participation in University fiscal policy. The Senate Budget Committee is charged with informing itself and the University Community about University financial matters. It shall advise the University President, other University administrators, the Senate President, the Senate and the University Community on budgetary policy and long-term financial strategies.”;

In Feb 2013 Dave Hubin wrote, in his 3rd year report to our academic accreditors:

“• Senate Budget Committee – comprised of members of the elected University Senate; review and make recommendations on budgetary policy and long-term financial strategies.

Not true – the SBC has no Senate members on it except Margie Paris, ex-officio as Senate President, and it hasn’t reported to the Senate since 2010. I gave notice of a motion to fix this at the December meeting – maybe it will come up for a vote in Feb? Meanwhile I wonder what Hubin will tell our accreditors.

4)  Open Senate Committee Meetings. Speaks for itself, maybe needs a little polishing. I don’t know when it will come up for a vote.

Type of Motion: Amendment to Senate By Laws.

Sponsor(s): Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus Biology, [email protected] and Nathan Tublitz, Professor of Biology, [email protected]

WHEREAS transparency of process leads to increased trust and better governance, and WHEREAS electronic communication has made the broadcast of information fast and convenient,

BE IT MOVED THAT, with due regard to the exceptions noted at the end of this motion, the meetings of all committees that report to the Senate shall be open to all. These committees are the University Standing Committees and the Senate Budget Committee. The Committee Chair shall notify the Senate’s Executive Coordinator of the time, place and agenda for each meeting. Said notification shall be given not less than one week in advance of the meeting except when that meeting follows a previous meeting by less than one week and is announced at that meeting. In that case, the notice shall be made as soon as is feasible. Upon receipt, the Senate’s Executive Coordinator shall post notices on the Senate Web site.

Meetings of the following committees are exempt from this requirement: Distinguished Service Awards and Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Faculty Personnel Committee, Faculty Research Awards, Scholarships, Student-Faculty Committee on Grievances, University Appeals Board, University Hearings Board.

5) Ending subsidies for the athletic department. President Paris tried to keep this off  the agenda for the Dec meeting, but failed. The Senate voted to put it back on, and then appointed an Ad Hoc committee to meet with President Gottfredson about how best to stem the bleeding. That meeting is now scheduled for Jan 28. Meanwhile VP for Budget Brad Shelton has told the chair of that committee (me) that I could not attend SBC meetings on the athletic budget. Something may happen at the Feb Senate meeting, but I don’t know what.

6) Academic Freedom. This one is rolling along, and will presumably come up for a vote in February. Dreiling’s excellent report and a draft of the new policy is already posted, here.

7) Faculty participation in review and hiring of administrators. Passed the Senate as a policy proposal last year, work on it stalled during the union negotiations. No word on if reviews have been occurring meanwhile. OUS reviewed President Gottfredson in spring without even telling the Senate, much less asking for input on his performance. This problem was discussed at the OUS board meeting Friday.

8) Vote on the Senate President for 2014-15. Our by-laws say:

4.2 Senate Vice President and President-Elect. The Senate Vice President and Senate
President-Elect are two separate positions that are normally held by one person. The
person elected Senate Vice President is automatically elected to the separate office of
Senate President-Elect.

4.2.1 Senate Vice President. The Senate Vice President shall be elected each year by the Senate at its final Spring term meeting. The term of office for the Senate Vice President shall be approximately one year beginning at the end of the final Senate meeting in the spring term s/he was elected. The responsibilities of the Senate Vice President shall include but are not limited to chairing Senate meetings when the Senate President temporarily steps down or is absent, chairing the Committee on Committees, being a voting member of the Senate Executive Committee and Faculty Advisory Council, and assisting the Senate President in governing the Senate as requested. The Senate Vice President shall assume the Senate Presidency when the Senate President vacates or resigns from the office unexpectedly as described in Article 4.1.1.

We have no Vice President, and are 8 months behind on determining who will be next year’s Senate President.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Live-blog, Wed Jan 15 Senate meeting in 115 Lawrence

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget the need for a Senate committee to interact w/ Board.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “President Gottfredson will give a substantive presentation on UO’s financial situation?” I call bluff. No way.

    • Anon says:

      I heard he’s also going to tell us what Jim Bean is teaching, now that he has been “returned to the faculty”.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not surprising to have a pres talk about how broke he is before fundraising.

  3. anonymous says:

    It’s January and the senate budget committee for 2013-14 doesn’t have a chair yet? And no report to the senate since 2010?

    Sounds pretty moribund. I doubt that electing UO senate members is the answer, however. Back when the senate budget committee actually did useful work, it was appointed by the head of the senate, not elected.

    Seems to me it’s the fault of the senate presidents and the succeeding senates if their budget committee isn’t doing anything.