UO Senate meets today on IT, ethics, diversity. 3PM in Knight Library

The agenda is below, I’ll try and live-blog some. Video here. The IDEAL framework is UO’s latest attempt at a diversity plan. Read it.

In other diversity news, UO’s former Diversity Director Charles Martinez will be at the Eugene City Club on Friday, with a panel of UO minority student leaders. Looks very interesting, follow the link for more information and bios.

The Neglected Few: Students of Color and Their Experience on the UO Campus

Guest Speakers:
Perla Alvarez (MEChA: Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan)
Dante Haruna (QTPOC: Queer-Trans People of Color)
Shaniece Curry (BWA: Black Women of Achievement)
Gerald Jakabosky, Co Director (APASU: Asian Pacific American Student Union)

Program Coordinator: Lisa Arkin

This panel of University of Oregon undergraduate student leaders represents diverse organizations dedicated to supporting students of color on campus. The groups serve as hubs for students of color to meet and plan events and programs that advance efforts to educate the community about diversity on campus.

The first questioner will be Dr. Charles Martinez, Department Head and Professor for Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership, University of Oregon.

And an anonymous reader points us to this National Review report mocking UO students for debating the MLK quote in the EMU. I wonder what William F. Buckley thinks about the fact that the magazine he founded is now posting click-bait that ridicules college students for debating serious questions about race and gender?

Fortunately UO student reporter Macy Hyland has a more intelligent article about the debate, in the Daily Emerald here:

Laurie Woodward, the Director of the Student Union said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”

… Woodward says she has no idea if the quote will change again in the near future, but she’s merely excited that important discussions like this are being held on campus again. “What words are is important,” she says, “but what’s more important is that people think about what the words should be.”

Browsing Room, Knight Library; 3:00-5:00 pm

3:00 pm    Introductory Remarks, Senate President Randy Sullivan

3:05 pm    1.   Call to Order

3:05 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes

2.1      January 13, 2016

3:15 pm    4.   New Business

4.1      Motion (Policy Proposal): US 15/16-10: IT Security policies; Colin Koopman (Philosphy), Senator

Colin Koopman (Philosophy) worked with Will Laney from IT and a Senate workgroup to revise the original emergency policies, which had some issues, particularly regarding administrators access to faculty and staff emails.

Q from Ahlen: Impetus was an incident regarding admin access to staff emails. SEIU cannot consent to this policy as is. Taylor explains that the impetus was that, during a union grievance, an HR employee authorized full read-write access to the employees email by an administrator. SEIU won the grievance, and we need to have that codified before we endorse this policy.

Laney: I agree we need to have this in the procedure, GC’s office tells me they will have a draft of that tomorrow.

Taylor: We need to have language requiring a “compelling business need” to access employees email.

And things get interesting …

Koopman: We can pass these as policies now, and if the procedures then do not come back with email protection you can come back to the Senate.

Motion to postpone fails, motion to approve policies passes.

Let’s hope the email procedure is solid.

4.2      Motion: Policy Proposal): US15/16-11: Code of Ethics; Randy Sullivan (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Senate President

The original policy came to us via OUS and Chuck Triplett, and was pretty bad. Randy dropped all their language, and wrote this. I’m no ethicist, but it’s a huge improvement.

Lovinger (Architecture) Proposes amendment to include environmental sustainability. Harbaugh opposes on the grounds we shouldn’t draft language on the floor. Amendment fails, policy passes.

3:50 pm    5.   Open Discussion 

Review of IDEAL Framework; Sari Pascoe, Office of Equity & Inclusion

Here’s a link to the final version of UO’s 2006 Diversity plan. This was sent to the Senate by President Frohnmayer and approved after a contentious set of meetings, during which it came out that the administration had agree to hire a diversity director and prepare a diversity plan as part of the legal settlement with Joe Wade, an African-American administrator who had sued Frohnmayer and Provost John Moseley for discrimination in hiring. Frohnmayer had kept this hidden from the faculty and even from the person he hired as Diversity Director.

That diversity director left, and was replaced by Charles Martinez (Education). After faculty complaints about the text and the process, Martinez heavily revised the plan and Frohnmayer brought it to the Senate. There was a healthy debate, the minutes are here. One snippet:

Senator Chris Ellis, economics, then rose to oppose the motion. He felt everyone in the room believed diversity was a good thing because they cared about some of the underlying problems in our society. However, Senator Ellis felt that the current plan was fundamentally and logically flawed, and as such, could not achieve its goals. He noted that there was a large body of literature on the economics of education and he introduced some issues raised in that literature. One issue is that economically disadvantaged people historically do poorly in education, and Blacks and Hispanics have been historically poor, thus there are not enough persons in these underrepresented groups to fill the “pipeline” to become college undergraduates and graduates from which to make hires. He suggested the proposed plan does not address the pipeline issue. He concluded by noting that there is a large bureaucracy with a large budget devoted to diversity already, and he was concerned about resource questions. He proposed putting our resources into resolving the pipeline issue.

The plan was approved. It included a very expansive definition of diversity, and explicit recognition that “diversity of thought” was of primary interest to the university, given our academic mission. Income and class and political beliefs were also included:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.14.59 PM

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The language in the newly proposed 2015-16 diversity plan, here, is much less inclusive, focusing on race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.25.32 PM


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Sullivan: I asked VP Alex-Assensoh what the Senate could do to help with diversity, she asked us to get involved in the IDEAL process.

More on the OEI page here.

[Sorry, I’m listening not blogging.]

Psaki: Concerned about the faculty review part. During bargaining, the faculty union was concerned that some faculty, particularly women and minorities, where not being recognized or rewarded for their work on equity and inclusion. The union and the administration agreed to language on this. In contrast this plan imposes a new unfunded time-mandate on all faculty, which was explicitly not part of what we agreed to.

Sullivan: The Senate will post this plan for discussion, and this is an example of the sorts of issues that should be raised.

Sullivan: Strategies for expediting the policy rollover.

We’re wasting way to much faculty, staff, administrator, and Senate time looking at policies and not enough on our core academic mission. [A cynic might say this is exactly why the board and administration decided to do policy-by-policy review.] Randy has some plans to speed things up and get us back to the basics.

4:45 pm    6.   Reports

6.1        Intertinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS), January 22-23, 2016; Robert Kyr, Immediate UO Senate Past President, and incoming IFS President.

IFS is the umbrella organization for Senates from Oregon publics. After Lariviere’s firing, it was Join or Die. We joined, and now it’s great to know Kyr will be coordinating.

6.2        New Data on Student Credit Hours and Instructional Staffing; Provost Scott Coltrane

Coltrane: We’ve got data. [Yumm!]. Let’s look at a randomly chosen department, say, Economics:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 4.39.09 PM

61% more Student Credit Hours, 7% more TT Faculty. Hmm. 100% more NTTF, but that was from a base of 1. So be careful interpreting these figures for your own department.

4:45 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

7.1         Course Repeat Policy

7.2         New M.S. Program in Sports Product Design

7.3         New B.A./B.S. Program in Arts Management, AAD

4:45 pm    8.   Other Business

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

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10 Responses to UO Senate meets today on IT, ethics, diversity. 3PM in Knight Library

  1. New Year Cat says:

    OK, I just find this a little weird. The phrasing is “welcoming, loving, supportive, and respectful community”. I can see saying we want a welcoming, supportive, and respectful community, but I can’t see how we can mandate “loving”, and frankly I don’t think we should even if we could.

    Affectionate staff and faculty are not necessary for a good college experience. Competent, knowledgable, inspiring, respectful, and supportive faculty and staff are. We aren’t here merely to have a lovefest or to make everyone feel comfortable or to give everyone a gold star. We’re here to try to pass on, or to learn about, some of the greatest ideas and discoveries of the world, and to create a space for people to come up with more ideas and discoveries.

  2. Cat of a different stripe says:

    And New Year Cat, I *absolutely* love you for bringing this distinction to our attention…

  3. anonymous says:

    First they came for Judge Deady, then they came for MLK? Or is this something from the Onion?


    “Student leaders at the University of Oregon considered removing a famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote from a wall on its student center on the grounds that it was just not inclusive enough — because it talked only about racial discrimination and not discrimination based on stuff like gender identity.”

    • New Year Cat says:

      I hadn’t heard this before, and my jaw dropped when I read it. Isn’t the whole point of the quote that we should not be judged by our outsides (race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc, etc, ad infinitum) but by our characters and actions? (Not to mention the absurdity of complaining that he didn’t mention LGBTQAI folks in the middle of that struggle, considering this was 6 years before the Stonewall Riots and America had different riots on its mind.)

      • Fishwrapper says:

        The narrow-minded literalists see only “they will not be judged by the color of their skin” and see only the color of the skin.

        That’s a kind of bigoted thinking in my book.

        • just different says:

          Most national anthems and church hymns have lately been given alternative lyrics to replace “mankind,” “sons,” “brotherhood,” etc., because all of these terms really do refer specifically to men and the excuse that women are included by this language too no longer cuts it. The MLK quote is beautiful, but it is undeniable that he was specifically talking about black civil rights. That doesn’t mean that MLK thought other groups should be excluded from his vision; it just means that this quote doesn’t portray a vision of inclusiveness of other groups as well. If the goal for the student center was to proclaim a statement of broad inclusiveness, then strictly speaking the MLK quote doesn’t cut it either.

          • Fishwrapper says:

            That is true; however, the context of King’s remarks in time and place ring a clarion bell that reverberates beyond color. If the goal for the student center was to proclaim and statement of broad inclusiveness, then we should not set aside an important reminder of still unfinished work…

            King’s words and work are a noble foundation upon which to build toward and for greater inclusivity. The fight for civil rights for blacks is not more important than the civil rights of any other group, and yet on this issue we have stumbled and fallen longer than any other. I am hard pressed to find a message or a speaker that, while improving inclusivity, would resonate with the same power as King’s words.

            Then again, maybe I haven’t been keeping my ears open as well I should, and need to find more sources of inspirational quotations. I assure you I am not being sarcastic when I ask: Perhaps you could assist by suggesting alternatives? Because if King’s words are to come down because of color, with what shall they be replaced?

          • just different says:

            They aren’t coming down, and I personally don’t think they should, essentially for the reasons you just gave. But I do think the National Review jackass and the clueless people who are mocking this discussion should be ashamed of themselves. The point about diversity being about more than race is deserving of serious attention, because there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made there.

  4. AnonOA says:

    Since the video isn’t up yet, can someone post about the outcome of the policies discussed under agenda item 7, i.e. the new program proposals?