3/2/2015 update: No word on whether or not BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelm will tear down that wall of PR flack tables separating the Trustees from the university community during this Thursday and Friday’s meetings, but it’s a good sign that 20 months into their term in office, the Board is willing to meet with faculty. I’m on the list, so Wilhelm’s assistant Amanda Hatch can’t have been screening people too carefully:
March 3, 2015
TO: Individuals Attending Faculty/Trustee Discussions
FROM: Susan Gary, Faculty Trustee
RE: Thoughts on the March 6 Discussions
Thank you for your willingness and interest in participating in the discussions with UO trustees this
Friday, March 6, at 8:00 AM. These conversations will give the trustees a great opportunity to learn
more about the faculty – what we do, our strengths and the challenges we face. I thought it would be
helpful to provide some ideas about conversation topics, although these are not restrictive. You should
feel free to discuss any issues of concern to you, and the trustees may have questions they want to ask.
The conversations will evolve, as conversations do.
Our initial target size was 10 faculty members and three trustees per group. Given the number of
people who expressed interest, we can accommodate everyone if we increase the group size to 11, so
that is what we have decided to do. I think 11 should be fine; if you would prefer to wait until June (we
plan to have more discussions then), please let Amanda Hatch know and we can save your information.
The trustees will want to hear from everyone, so please be courteous with respect to time so that
everyone can have a chance to speak. It’s a conversation, so multiple short comments will likely be
better than one long comment per person.
Here are suggested topics for discussion that I brainstormed. I use “faculty” to include both TTF and
NTTF because most topics apply to both, although sometimes in different ways.
– What do the classifications of faculty as TTF and NTTF – mean? (and NTRF and Library faculty if
someone can speak to those categories)
– What roles do different faculty members play?
– What is the promotion process like for TTF and NTTF?
– What contributes to teaching excellence?
– How much work goes into preparing a class?
– How do teachers keep their classes fresh?
– How does the Teaching Effectiveness Program work with faculty to improve teaching? (Have you
taken advantage of TEP and what has been the benefit?)
– How does research contribute to teaching?
– What are classroom conditions like – technology, class size, and configuration of classrooms?
– How do negative factors hinder teaching excellence – increases in class size, increased teaching
– What kind of University and unit service do faculty do?
– What is the service work load and what types of service work do faculty do (admissions,
scholarships, curriculum, hiring, promotion and tenure, etc.)
– How does the level of service required affect teaching and scholarship?
– How do faculty mentor students?
– Undergraduates? What kind of mentoring do undergrads need? What are the
challenges/rewards of mentoring undergrads?
– Graduate students? What is the relationship between an advisor and a
candidate? How does advising a grad student work?
– How do faculty help students think about career options?
– What is the role of research for a TTF?
– What is the grant writing process like?
– What is the publication process like?
Masters or Ph.D.
– What synergies exist among the research, teaching and service obligations of faculty members?
– (Note: There is a lot to say about research, but this is an area the trustees have already had
some exposure to, so it may be good to focus on other topics.)
– How do TTF and NTTF interact within units?
– How do units govern themselves?
– What role does the Senate play? What role should the Senate play?
– Do faculty feel engaged with the Senate?
This probably deserves a separate discussion when issues can be discussed more thoroughly – there is a
lot of work needed to develop a strategy – but someone may have particular insights to share.
2/25/2015 update: Ron Bramhall (Business) and faculty union VP for NTTFs, persuades the BOT’s sole Faculty Trustee, Susan Gary (Law), to invite NTTFs to meetings with Board members:
Yes, after 18 months she’s still trying to figure things out as she goes.
2/19/2015 update: Gary had been planning all along to invite the NTTF’s to “separate but equal” meetings in June. Honest:
February 19, 2015
TO: Deans & Department Heads
FROM: Susan Gary
RE: UO Board Discussions with NTTF
This memo is a follow-up to the memo you received a few days ago. That memo asked that you encourage faculty members in your units to participate in discussions with members of the UO Board of Trustees during the Board’s March meeting. The memo asked you to convey the information to TTF members of your units.
The intention was not to exclude other important constituencies, particularly NTTF, from meeting with Board members. Rather, the thought was that the discussions would be more productive if the groups were smallish, and that it therefore would make sense to start with TTF and then, at the June meeting, organize discussions with NTTF faculty. Please assure members of your units that our intention is to reach out to NTTF in the near future.
2/17/2015 update: With 4 months left on 2 year term, Susan Gary finally invites (tenured and tenure track) faculty to meet Board
Susan Gary is the UO Law professor whom Kitzhaber appointed as the sole faculty member of the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of Margie Paris, another law professor who was at the time UO Senate President. Gary kept the faculty in the dark about the Board’s various power grabs, such as the Delegation of Authority, and from what I can tell she didn’t help the Board understand the depth of faculty opposition.
She’s been away on sabbatical for most of the year and is out of touch with the UO faculty, particularly those outside the law school. Presumably Governor Kate Brown will be looking to replace Gary soon, with someone who has the trust of the faculty and the board. Apparently this is the audition call, and only TTF need apply:
2/10/2015: Students question Angela Wilhelms’ control of Board communications
And they’re doing something about it. Alexandra Wallachy has the story in the Emerald here:
.. Helena Schlegel, the student member of the BOT, said the trustees hope the upcoming luncheon meetings will give students a chance to get to know the board members.
“We really wanted it to be less of a formal environment for trustees to get to know students on campus and for students to get to know the trustees, their governing board,” Helena Schlegel, student member of the BOT said. “We see it as an opportunity for students to get engaged with the board meetings other than just me updating people and them telling me what their opinions are on certain issues.”
Why hasn’t the faculty member of the board, Susan Gary, done anything similar? I don’t know. Ask her: