Video of 4/8/2015 Senate meeting now posted here:
Some links to highlights:
Coltrane reads Chuck Triplett’s talking points on Senate rules, here.
Criticism of gender inclusive bathrooms motion, here.
What Coltrane and Lillis are really upset about: the Senate messing with the sports deals, here.
John Ahlens gets the first response to Coltrane. He notes that all the Senate’s work is public. Here.
Former Senate President Gordon Sayre disputes Coltrane’s claim that Senate shouldn’t deal with athletics, while one pissed off looking Tim Gleason gives him the evil eye, here. Followed by me reiterating my willingness to meet with Coltrane and talk about a compromise.
Student Senator Samantha Cohen and John Bonine take Coltrane to task for his administrations continued botching of the confidential student counseling records, here.
Cocktail party version:
Back in November, Board of Trustees Chair Chuck Lillis came to the Senate and gave us a hard time for being too slow in approving motions. Lillis was particularly upset that Senate hadn’t yet approved the plans for a new Sports Product Design degree, which RG reporter Diane Dietz later discovered was the pet project of one of Lillis’s friends, and in any case had been held up by B-school faculty and administrators who were skeptical of Jim Bean’s initial “trust me, I’m Jim Bean” proposal, and not by the Senate.
Today Interim President Coltrane came to the Senate and gave us a hard time for being too fast in approving motions. (Plus something about how we’d screwed up approving the gender neutral bathroom motion. I don’t think I was the only person who found this part of his argument a bit puzzling). Coltrane also had a lot to say about how the Senate doesn’t get a say when it comes to intercollegiate sports and student-athletes, because those aren’t academic matters as commonly understood. Interesting. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that AVP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett was the driving force behind Coltrane’s speech.
The Senate has gone through a lot of work in the last few months. John Bonine has been a monster on policies, 4 athletics motions passed unanimously after serious debates. Then there was the Freyd and Stabile work on sexual assault prevention and the Jane Doe countersuit, Interim GC Doug Park and the counseling confidentiality problem, etc. Senate President Rob Kyr has worked incredibly hard to keep everything on track. No one in the Senate feels that they’ve been slacking off.
So, the Senate didn’t exactly take this lying down. People were polite to Coltrane – out of respect for him, his hard work, and the impossible position that Gottfredson left him – but the general sentiment did not seem to be that the Senate was the reason for the general lack of trust that the faculty, the university community, and the state’s press has in the leadership of the University of Oregon, and in whoever is the president in any given month.
Kyr followed Coltrane’s remarks with an idea for a retreat type meeting between the Senate and the Administration, to discuss how to strengthen shared governance. Lots of support for this idea.
Lawrence, Rm. 115; 3:00-5:00 pm
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
3:00 pm 2. Approval of Minutes
3:03 pm 3. State of the University
3.1 Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions
Sorry, this is very skimpy:
Pres Kyr introduces, notes that Pres Coltrane has some issues with motions that have been passed recently.
Coltrane: Remarks will focus on shared governance. Committed to this principle, and has worked on it in practice. Says current relationship is suffering from lack of respect, trust.
Claims that Senate is not following its rules, not interacting with administration, not relying on committee structure to collaborate.
Says that Senate has over-reached into non-academic areas, e.g. athletics. (This of course is the red-line for the administration. Nothing gets their back up like the faculty thinking that have something to say about athletics. Not under Senate’s purview. He then goes culty elect the FARon to talk about how important athletics is to UO’s academic mission ….
Then goes into the motion to have the faculty elect the Faculty Athletics Representative. Asserts that Tim Gleason was selected appropriately.
Claims that he’s heard from many research active faculty that don’t want to get involved in Senate because of theatrics. (I’ve heard the same, saying they don’t want to get involved with administrative working groups, because they never get a straight story from the administration and nothing ever gets done.)
Solutions? Problems are rooted in lack of trust. Says he will continue to work with Senate, wants to broaden participation. More shared conversations.
JA: Agree somewhat, particularly about last minute motions. But we are very public. Hard to get information from the administration.
GP: Senate elections have generally been unopposed. This is not a new problem.
GS: Regarding athletics – not just a UO problem. You challenge is Senate has authority. But Senate takes these actions out of desperation, because university presidents nationwide haven’t done their job.
WH: We need to solve the athletics issues. Let’s talk. Coltrane: OK.
JC: We love the ducks, it’s not antagonistic, the faculty wants some respect too.
Student SC: Disagrees with what Coltrane said about confidential records.
JB: Given how you started this meeting – saying the Senate is disfunctional – you’ve set the faculty up to come across as contentious if we disagree with you. Frances Bronet made a *very* strong statement abut UO policy and how counseling would be kept confidential. Then Shelly Kerr put up new policy language that was inconsistent with that. Why didn’t they “pick up the phone” and consult with the faculty, or at least the Provost…
3.2 Senate Updates: Robert Kyr, Senate President
3:25 pm 4. New Business
4.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Delivery of the M. S. Program in Historic Preservation to a New Location; Kellie Geldreich, Academic Affairs Manager (Graduate School)
Postponed because the administration botched the motion. VPAA Barbara Altmann told the Senate a donor would pay for the move, but the motion asked for $105K for the move. Then it turned out the rest of the financial information had been redacted from the pdf.
All the motions below were also postponed. The hope is that the administration will meet with Senators to work out differences and get these back on the agenda in compromise form. We’ll see.
4.2 Motion (Policy Adoption): Hiring of Academic Executive Administrators; Senate Executive Committee; Senate Executive Committee [Redlined copy: Hiring of Academic Executive Administrators (REDLINE)]
4.4 Motion (Legislation): A Report on UO’s Academic Support for Student-Athletes; William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator [Return of Item 4.6 from March 11, 2015 Senate Meeting]
4.5 Motion (Legislation): The UO Senate will decide on the addition or subtraction of intercollegiate athletics sports; William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator
4:45 pm 5. Open Discussion
4:45 pm 6. Reports
4:45 pm 7. Notice(s) of Motion
4:45 pm 8. Other Business
8.1 Executive Session
5:00 pm 9. Adjournment
To: University Senate
From: Robert Kyr, Senate President
RE: Senate Meeting WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015;
3:00-5:00 pm, Lawrence Hall, Rm. 115
I am writing to remind you that our first Senate meeting
of spring quarter is Wednesday, April 8th at 3:00-5:00 pm
in Room 115 of Lawrence Hall.
At the beginning of the meeting, Interim President Coltrane
will give a State of the University update, in which he will
respond to many of the motions that were passed during our
March 4th and 11th Senate meetings. After he speaks, you
will have an opportunity to ask questions about his responses
and about any other topics that he covers in his remarks.
At this meeting, several very important motions will be
considered, including a proposal for the relocation to Portland
of the M. S. Program in Historic Preservation, two policies
related to academic executive administrators, and two motions
The agenda for the April 8th meeting may accessed through
the following link:
Please note that the text for each of the motions (4.1 through 4.5)
is linked to its agenda item.
I very much look forward to seeing you at our Wednesday meeting
and to our work together.
All the best,
President, University Senate