4/16/2014 update: It’s been a week now, no signing ceremony. The rumor is that President Gottfredson has stuck Dave Hubin with the job of finding some explanation – plausible or not, doesn’t really matter – for why although he would personally love to sign this policy, it would be a violation of his fiduciary responsibility as “The University”.
4/10/2014 updates: Senate passes academic freedom motion unanimously
InsiderHigherEd has a report on the “months of contentious negotiation” between the Senate, the union, and Gottfredson over academic freedom, and Betsy Hammond has a story on this in the Oregonian here:
Gottfredson, in an emailed response to The Oregonian, said, “I look forward to closely reviewing (it) …I fully support the strongest policy on academic freedom possible. Academic freedom is central to our mission and underlies everything we do as a university.”
This is our passive-aggressive president’s typical non-response. “Asked and answered.” “I’ll take that under advisement”. ” “I look forward to reviewing it”. Then nothing.
Here’s some more history, with his Randy Geller’s redlines of an earlier Senate draft. And here’s Gleason and Rudnick’s restrictive proposal on academic freedom, from 2/17/2013 during the union bargaining. All about the limitations, authority, and of course that easily abused requirement for “civil dialogue” – and if The University thinks it’s not, then discipline!
After refusing from the start of negotiations in December 2012 to agree to include robust academic freedom in the faculty union contract, Gottfredson has been negotiating with the Senate ad hoc freedom committee since October 2013. The Senate put me on the committee, but Gottfredson said he wouldn’t meet with the committee if I was there, because I use my academic freedom too much.
I won’t report hearsay on what went on at those meetings, but at the Wednesday Senate meeting the frustration of the committee members who were allowed to meet with Gottfredson was obvious. As it was reported by them to the Senate, Gottfredson would agree to one thing, then change his mind. The committee would ask for an explanation, they couldn’t get one. They’d give him a draft, and get no response, then a month later, vague objections. They’d ask him to propose his own language, he wouldn’t. Or he would add backdoor language to give him a way to limit academic freedom and punish those who use it, and again not explain why he wanted the language.
Finally, the day before the meeting, we got what we thought was an final agreement on the language. Then, hours later, we got an email from Hubin objecting to it – but not proposing alternative language. Then Hubin buttonholed us, literally on our way to the Senate meeting, and tried to convince us to take the proposal off the agenda at the last minute. Then, to top off it off, Gottfredson wouldn’t explain his position on freedom for students or non-faculty employees to the Senate. This is nuts, or, as John Bonine (Law) said to Gottfredson in the Senate, “insulting”.
The Tuesday meeting with the President included former UO School of Advertising and Public Relations Dean Tim Gleason. Gleason’s hostility to including academic freedom language in the union contract was bitter and persistent. Now we are now paying him $240K a year to advise Gottfredson on “strategic communications”. Geller and Gleason with Hubin as the messenger. Who knows what will happen next.
4/8/2014: Elevator version:
A very poor showing by President Gottfredson, who refused to answer questions about the academic freedom policy, much less endorse it. A golden opportunity to remake his relationship with the faculty blown.
Fed up with Gottfredson’s filibustering, the Senate then amended the policy to include staff, OA’s and students and voted it through unanimously. Gottfredson has 60 days to decide if he will sign it, or veto it and explain himself to the Senate and then to an assembly of the entire faculty. Remember that Mac Court assembly meeting about the Lariviere firing? Now imagine Gottfredson at the podium, instead of Pernsteiner. He will sign this policy or face a vote of no-confidence.
Lots of other good business was done, but unfortunately no time for the Open Meetings motion.
Only a little live-blogging below, but the live video feed is here. Page down for previous posts addressing many of these issues. President Paris had to miss the meeting, President-elect Kyr is running the show.
Senate Meeting Agenda – April 9, 2014
115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes March 12, 2014
3:10 pm 3. University Update
3.1 Remarks by President Gottfredson
Gottfredson: Spring break board meeting, major transition, watershed moment, great opportunity, path to allow us to climb ever higher in prominence…
Compressed timeline for trustees, pleased with progress and thoroughness.
Policy on delegation of authority: Intended to apply OUS rules to UO. Gottfredson doesn’t take responsibility for the attempt to hide the policy from the faculty, but he does regret it happened.
Clusters of Excellence: Hire 10-15 new faculty, best in the country and world. $1.5M for phase one. (UOPD’s budget has meanwhile grown by $2M). Praises Coltrane and Moffitt, no words for Shelton or Espy.
New mission statement stuff, required by HECC. Unlike the sneaky delegation of authority attempt, the faculty will be fully consulted on this mostly public relations document of a paragraph or two. No mention of staying in the AAU.
3.2 RIGE Review Report from Provost Coltrane
More mission statement filibustering from Coltrane. Really Scott? Honoring our history, etc…
Meanwhile, RIGE report is here. Will Coltrane announce substantive responses to its specific recommendations?
Coltrane discusses reform of Espy’s RAB to strengthen advice and oversight. (Yes he said oversight). Mentions the audits, but no discussion of Espy’s issues or potential conflict of interest. He will present a full report on implementation of those 7 specific recommendations by end of the term.
4:25 pm 5. Open Discussion (Moved up in the agenda by voice vote.)
5.1 Information from the Ad Hoc Committee on Delegation of Authority (Robert Kyr, Professor [Music] and UO Senate President-Elect) and Board of Trustees meeting discussion
Kyr: Very pleased with the board’s approval of a collaborative process with the Senate, to clean up after Geller. Senate is preparing a redlined version of Geller’s policy. Encourages wide participation (I went to the committee meeting today, they are making lots of progress.)
Inspiring Bonine speech about how well the board dealt with the situation. Sorry, too busy to type.
4. New Business
4.1 Motion (Legislation): Senate Liaison to the UO Board of Trustees; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senate President-Elect
4.2 Motion (Legislation): Clarification of Senate Procedures for the Election of President-elect (Vice President); Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senate President-Elect
4.3 Motion (Legislation): United Academics Senate Liaison; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) & UO Senate President-Elect
4.4 Motion (Resolution): Faculty to be Consulted on Review and Selection of the Faculty Athletics Representative; William Harbaugh, Professor (Economics) & UO Senator
4.5 Motion (Legislation): Amending Bylaws Regarding Deadline for Posting Motion Text; Lisa Raleigh, Director of Communications (CAS) & UO Senator
4.6 Motion (Policy Proposal): Academic Freedom Policy; Michael Dreiling, Professor (Sociology) & UO Senator
This is the big one. Dreiling introduces the long and painful history of dealing with the administration on this, and the last minutes changes the administration tried to cram through, including their effort to totally exempt employees and hen even students from academic freedom.
Strange, I’m looking around the room and I don’t see Randy Geller here to defend his work on this.
This policy will give the faculty back the freedom language that Geller and Gottfredson were so insistent on keeping out of the faculty union contract that they paid Sharon Rudnick for many hours of nasty bargaining:
c. POLICY AND SHARED GOVERNANCE. Members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance. The freedom of non-faculty employees to address matters under this paragraph may be limited with adequate notice by policies appropriately adopted by the University.
… The academic freedoms enumerated in this policy shall be exercised without fear of institutional reprisal. Only serious violations of this policy – ones that rise to the level of professional misbehavior or professional incompetence – should lead to adverse consequences. Any such determinations shall be made in accordance with established, formal procedures involving judgment by relevant peers.
Bonine got the administration to cave on this language, and UO faculty will now have a policy like that of most other universities.
What about staff, OA’s, and student employees? The administration insisted on excluding them. This policy at least makes sure they can’t be thrown under the bus “ad hoc”:
The freedom of non-faculty employees to address matters under this paragraph may be limited with adequate notice by policies appropriately adopted by the University.
Ahlens moves to delete above. Seconded. Harbaugh asks that President Gottfredson or his staff speak to the reasons why staff should be excluded from UO’s policy on academic freedom. Gottfredson declines to give a substantive response.
Dreiling doesn’t want this sentence in. Bonine: I don’t want it either. I added it to attempt to reach out to the administration, incorporate their concerns. But since Gottfredson won’t explain those concerns…
Bonine: After many months of the faculty’s hard work on this, I’m insulted that no one from the administration is even willing to speak publicly to this issue.
Gottfredson says he will “take this under advisement” but won’t tell the Senate what he thinks. Great leadership.
The Senate votes unanimously to strike the sentence that would allow Gottfredson to develop policies to limit staff and OA’s right to speak freely on UO policies and practices and therefore participate in shared governance.
The Senate then unanimously passes the academic freedom policy. President Gottfredson has 60 days to sign it, or veto it and explain himself to the Senate, and then to an assembly of the entire faculty. Remember that Mac Court meeting with Pernsteiner? Gottfredson will sign.
4.7 Motion (Policy Proposal): Legal Services Policy; Gordon Sayre, Professor (English) & UO Senator
4:52: We’re out of time – motion to extend passes.
Sayre: Long delays with this, but we were finally able to get Geller to meet with us. Made some compromises.
Another excellent policy. Geller’s original draft had typically nutty language saying faculty could only get legal opinions from Geller.
No time to take up the following motions at this meeting:
4.8 Motion (Legislation): Open Committee Meetings; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology), Nathan Tublitz, Professor (Biology), and Jennifer Freyd, Professor (Psychology)
4.9 Motion (Resolution): A Report on UO’s Academic Support for Student-Athletes; William Harbaugh, Professor (Economics) & UO Senator
4:40 pm 6. Reports
6.1 Report on tenth-year committee review and April 23rd University Senate meetings; Robert Kyr, Professor (Music) and UO Senate President-Elect
6.2 Spring Term Elections and Appointments Process; Margie Paris, Professor (Law) and UO Senate President
6.3 Report from Faculty Athletics Representative Search Committee; Andrew Karduna, Professor (Human Physiology) [ONLINE ONLY]
6.4 Report on Intercollegiate Athletics Committee; Robert Illig, Professor (Law) and Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee [ONLINE ONLY]
6.5 Report on pending motions: Faculty Input into Hiring Executive Administrators and Review of Executive Administrators; Margie Paris, Professor (Law) and UO Senate President [ONLINE ONLY]
4:50 pm 7. Announcements and Communication from the Floor
7.1 Notice of Motion: Final Examination Schedule Revision; Randy Sullivan, Senator (Chemistry)
4:55 pm 8. Other Business
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment