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Live blog: Senate meets Wed to continue fixing Chuck Triplett’s policy debacle

Over the summer Mike Gottfredson hired Chuck Triplett, the OUS Board Secretary who’d helped Pernsteiner fire Lariviere. The BOT and Angela Wilhems then put Triplett in charge of revising UO policies – and taking away the Senate’s former control over academic policies. No search, no faculty input, no affirmative action compliance, just a brand new $130K job as AVP for “Collaboration”. You can’t make this stuff up.

The one faculty member on the Board is Susan Gary (Law). But she’s away on sabbatical, seems out of the loop, and did not tell the faculty or the Senate what was being done – just as she didn’t clue us in on the Board’s previous power grabs. Not the way to build trust. (Fortunately Gary’s term expires this summer, and presumably the Governor will nominate a replacement who is willing and able to help the Board build bridges to the faculty).

Now the Senate Exec and most prominently John Bonine (Law) are hard at work trying to fix the policy situation. The Agenda for Wed’s meeting is below. The link to Bonine’s famous “Policy Tracker Spreadsheet of many colors” is here.

The Senate agenda also includes a motion to approve the membership of VP Yvette Alex-Assensoh’s Equity and Inclusion (i.e. Diversity) Advisory Group. Having this approved by the Senate is a noticeable improvement from Gottfredson’s efforts use Administrative AG’s to bypass the Senate, and deserves full support.

Senate Meeting Agenda – January 21, 2015

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm    1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes

3:05 pm    3.   State of the University

3.1       Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions [Note: this has now been taken off the official agenda, here. I don’t know why. Triplett and Hubin seem to be the only JH admins here.]

3:05 pm    4.   New Business

4.1       Motion (Legislation): Approval of Membership for the Senate Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Group; Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Alex-Assensoh (VP for EI) introduces, passes unanimously. Brief discussion about how this “Senate Advisory Group” is sort of a mix between a regular Senate committee and an AAG. Advises VPEI, but appointed by Senate. Seems reasonable, we ought to try it with the secretive PAGIA and Hubin’s PRAAG.

4.2       Motion (Legislation): The UO Senate Award for Shared Governance, Transparency, and Trust; Bill Harbaugh, Professor (Economics) & UO Senator

Introduced with due credit to James Madison (and VWTH):

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Harbaugh amended to make all “members of the university community” eligible.

Passed unanimously.

Bonine introduces motion to clarify legislation/policy difference.

Passes unanimously.


4.3       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Two Duplicative Policies on Post-Tenure Review; Senate Executive Committee

Passes unanimously

4.4       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption and Amendment of 21 Due Process Termination and Resignation Policies; Senate Executive Committee

Bonine raises questions on how these policies interact with faculty CBA. Dreiling thinks it’s OK. Questions as to whether it applies to faculty or OA’s etc. Triplett: OA’s are treated as faculty in many ways. UO GC Doug Park is MIA, so no chance for a legal opinion. Consensus is these are in effect anyways, we should reenact them, but may need to be amended at some point.

Passes unanimously.

4.5       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal and Adoption of Two Policies on Academic Calendar; Senate Executive Committee

The biggee: Quarter’s or Semesters? UO has no policy. The Bonine number is 629. He wants to adopt the OUS IMD enshrining the status quo. Q: Can we vote now to switch to semesters? No. Triplett raises a useful point on history v. policy in the IMD’s. Amended. Passes unanimously.

4.6       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policy 337 on Academic Freedom (OAR 580-022-0005); Senate Executive Committee

Bonine: UO’s hard-fought Academic Freedom is better than the OUS one, let’s repeal theirs to eliminate confusion. Pases unanimously.

4.7       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policy 338 on Public Activities (OAR 580-022-0010); Senate Executive Committee

Bonine: We had a long debate about this conflict of interest issue and a good UO policy. (Geller and Rudnick tried to shred it in the union negotiations, but got stomped.) Keep ours, repeal OUS. Passes unanimously.

4.8       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption of amended Policy 339 on Candidates for Public Office (OAR 580-022-0015); Senate Executive Committee

Keeps UO employees rights to run for public office and serve. Changes “Board” to “President”. Passes unanimously.

4.9       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption of amended Policy 340 on Relationship with State Government (OAR 580-022-0020); Senate Executive Committee

“Nothing in this rule shall be construed as inhibiting an employee of the University from exercising the right of citizenship..”

Q: Can students testify at the Legislature as reps of ASUO? A: Ask Doug Park, he’ll find out some reason no… Sullivan: I’m not a lawyer, but of course you can say you represent ASUO if you do… Passes unanimously.

4.10     Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policies 515 and 628 on Honorary Degrees (Board Policy and IMD); Senate Executive Committee

Passes unanimously.

Bonine: We’ve now done 85 of the 350 or so policies of Senate interest.

Kyr: You’ll be getting a survey asking about your expertise an interest in the remaining policies. 2 meetings in Feb.

4:55 pm    5.   Open Discussion

Davidson: Discussion of revocation was easy, because we understand tenure and the reasons for it. Easy for us to take tenure for granted. Reminder that privilege comes with responsibilities, including the willingness to contest popular ideas that we may disagree with.

Lubash: ASUO was called about 2 hours about the archives that were released. Is the Senate going to comment on this? Kyr: We just learned about this yesterday, its important, we just initiated a Senate award for transparency and have recently worked on academic integrity.

4:55 pm    6.   Reports

4:55 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:55 pm    8.   Other Business

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

More from 1/20/15: Unfortunately some real policy damage has already been done. In December the BOT accepted Triplett’s recommendations and voted unanimously to repeal a host of existing policies, including this one – my personal favorite:


(Made inescapable and inviolable policy of the Oregon State Board of Higher
Education, Meeting #40, October 16, 1933, pp. 72-73.)

First. The people of Oregon have dowered the Board with plenary powers in the field of higher
education and the Board must honorably and courageously execute this sacred and important

Second. In the exercise of that trust, the Board has selected a Chancellor who is amenable at all
times to the Board, but who is the Board’s chosen and trusted chief administrative officer. The
Board has the right to ask, and will demand, full and unequivocal loyalty from those who, in
turn, serve under the Chancellor’s direction. This does not involve the loss of cherished
academic freedom; it does not limit or abolish open and fair discussion, but it means the
elimination of subversive tactics.

The educational institutions should have their faculty councils. Moreover and better still, there
should be interinstitutional councils, in which the Chancellor’s presence and participation
should promote understanding and mutual confidence. The scope and content of their
proceedings should be constructive and helpful and should leave no room for the type of
devious undermining and sapping that endangers the successful operation of the sane and
wholesome System created by the will of the people of this state.

Intelligent and fair-minded men will recognize that this does not involve subserviency to the
personality or identity of any specific Chancellor who may hold official tenure, but it does mean
that the Board regards the subtle negation of his efforts, and attempts to weaken, minimize,
and impair his efficiency, as inevitably tending to defeat achievement of the purposes of the
Board that is responsible for him, and to which he is responsible. Unreasoning and
irreconcilable feudists should, accordingly, be relegated to theatres of combat beyond the walls
of the institutions whose permanency and growth is a matter of such vital concern to the

I’d love to know the history from 1933, explaining why this was adopted.


  1. Clueless 01/20/2015

    To be fair, Susan Gary has been very involved in helping repair the policy on policies fiasco.

    • uomatters Post author | 01/21/2015


      • Clueless 01/21/2015

        Since when is that a requirement for every post here?

        Let’s just say I know someone who knows someone close to the situation.

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