Update: Today, in an open meeting, the UO Senate voted to make Senate committee meetings open.
Meetings of the UO Board and its committees are already open. For example the UO Board Finance Committee has posted notice of a public meeting on May 6, here. The Senate Budget Committee, on the other hand, holds its meetings in secret, and UO VP Brad Shelton has said he will not share important information with the SBC, if they hold public meetings. Weird.
The Senate open meetings motion was proposed in November, and was presented to Dave Hubin and the Committee on Committees several months ago. It was discussed at the February Senate meeting. Extensive comments have been posted on the Senate website, here. The Senate spent about 45 minutes today debating the motion, starting with an eloquent and passionate speech in favor by Jennifer Freyd, one of the sponsors. Rob Kyr proposed a significant amendment to provide a mechanism by which the Senate could address the reasonable confidentiality concerns that have been raised. After discussion, this passed.
The motion then passed, with all but one present voting in favor.
4/23/2014: Big issues for today’s meeting:
1) President Gottfredson to sign Academic Freedom Policy?
2) Provost Coltrane to announce interim VP for Research?
3) President Gottfredson to explain budget changes? There’s been no public notice or discussion about President Gottfredson’s plan to dismantle Brad Shelton’s old “New Budget Model” and return to the tight central administrative control we had under Dave Frohnmayer and John Moseley. This is going to mean a huge change in how departments function, and drastic cuts in their autonomous financial resources. But there’s no word to the faculty from the secretive SBC, FAC, ELT, or the department heads, on the motivation or consequences.
Update: Apparently President Gottfredson (and Provost Coltrane) are gong to skip this Senate meeting. The President’s official schedule:
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
9:00 a.m. — Meetings with academic deans
3:00 p.m. — Meeting with Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes and the Associated Students Presidential Advisory Council
President Gottfredson meets with his student advisory council on issues important to students.
4) Open Meetings motion – discussed in more detail here.
Senate Meeting Agenda – April 23, 2014
115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes
April 9, 2014
3:10 pm 3. University Update
3:30 pm 4. New Business
4.1 Motion (Legislation): Clarification of Procedures for Senate Elections; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senate President-Elect
Some minor amendments, discussion, passed unanimously.
4.2 Motion (Legislation): Final Examination Schedule Revision; Randy Sullivan, Lecture Demonstrator (Chemistry) & UO Senator
Makes sense, approved.
4.3 Motion (Legislation): Open Committee Meetings; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology), Nathan Tublitz, Professor (Biology), and Jennifer Freyd, Professor (Psychology)
Jennifer Freyd (Psychology) speaks eloquently: It’s not right that to get information from the administration, the faculty has to promise not to share that information with their colleagues!
Kyr moves to amend, to have the C on Committees to come up with legislation for the Oct meeting to deal with objections raised about opening up the FAC and the SBC in particular. Harbaugh insists that these meetings and communications be public. Amendment passed.
Bonine: This is not revolutionary. UNC requires open meetings for committees. Montana, Kansas, Wisconsin, etc. “I don’t think Oregon should be the secret state.” Paris: Exceptions for FAC type committees? Bonine: I think Washington may have that. “I also think the FAC has become a threat to shared governance.”
Martinez: The motion is consistent with how the Senate operates, which is good. Worries about applying it to the FAC. President may select his own confidential advisors.
Bonine: President can consult with whomever he wants. Not a bad thing.
Amended motion passes with one opposed.
4.4 Motion (Legislation): Committee Requirements with Moderate Revisions, Slate 3 (Tenth-Year Review 2014); Robert Kyr, Professor (Music), Chair of Committee on Committees, & UO Senate President-Elect
Not enough time for debate – Senate to meet on 4/30 on this.
4:40 pm 5. Open Discussion
Sullivan (Chemistry) remarked on the ad hominem and unprofessional attacks on Harbaugh (Economics) which IAC Chair Rob Illig (Law) included in his official report to the Senate last meeting.
4:50 pm 6. Reports
4:50 pm 7. Announcements and Communication from the Floor
4:55 pm 8. Other Business
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment
Meeting over early.