Senate to meet Wed to rule on Admin’s Omicron response

Just kidding, whoever sets the agenda seems content to leave that up to our administrative overlords:

Academic Year2021-2022DateJanuary 12, 2022

January 12, 2022 Senate Meeting Agenda

Call to Order

  • Land Acknowledgment; Stephanie Prentiss
  • Intro Remarks; Senate President Spike Gildea
  • ASUO updates; Maxwell Ely

Approval of the Minutes

  • December 1, 2021

State of the University

  • Provost Patrick Phililps

New Business

Adjournment

5:00 P.M.

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22 Responses to Senate to meet Wed to rule on Admin’s Omicron response

  1. No vote on teaching evaluation reform says:

    Please postpone the teaching evaluation vote. (a) This motion would require departments to develop specific evaluation rubrics by April. We’re kind of still in pandemic crisis mode. (b) The student experience survey isn’t working. Terrible return rates. And it’s not clear that the new survey is free from bias. And it’s been evaluated during a pandemic. This is a flawed procedure for something so important to the university.

  2. uomatters says:

    The motion does not require departments do this by April. In fact it does not impose any deadline: “Until their rubric is approved, units shall continue evaluation of teaching in alignment with current University policy.” Additionally, the motion is about rubrics, not about the student survey. That said I agree the survey needs various improvements, and this is on the CIET’s agenda.

    • No vote on teaching evaluation reform says:

      Then why is the April 2022 date in the motion?
      ‘2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT: Units that submit their rubric and related revisions to unit policies, approved by their Dean, to the Office of the Provost no later than April 1, 2022, for Fall 2022 will have them used at all levels of teaching evaluation beginning in Fall 2022. Until their rubric is approved, units shall continue evaluation of teaching in alignment with current University policy.’

      • uomatters says:

        Because if depts want it in place for 2022 it has to be in by April to give time for the Deans etc to review. I agree this could be explained better but there is no deadline.

        • No vote on teaching evaluation reform says:

          Could you provide a simple explanation of what this motion will put in motion? It sounds like it’s a package deal for the entire new evaluation system (SES, instructor self-reflection), peer evaluation.

          • uomatters says:

            I think the preamble is pretty clear – what’s missing?

            • No vote on teaching evaluation reform says:

              What does ‘codify’ mean? Sounds like acceptance of the entire system (which would include the SES, etc.)
              ‘Preamble: This motion codifies the principles for Teaching Evaluation which the CIET committee was charged to bring to the Senate in motion 17/18-19. The motion describes a system of teaching evaluation that includes multiple sources of evidence (from students, peers and faculty themselves) to evaluate faculty against consistent standards (professional, inclusive, engaged and research-informed teaching)…. ‘

              And here is the only action item I can find:
              2.1 ‘…..Units will operationalize the evaluation of teaching through development of unit specific Teaching Evaluation Rubrics. Units may organize their rubric to be consistent with their unit’s pedagogical values, including the addition of other standards. The unit’s Teaching Evaluation Rubric must name the standards, sources of evidence, and the criteria for meeting, exceeding or not meeting expectations. ‘ [leading to April date mentioned above]

  3. cruel irony duck says:

    Anyone know anything about how many employees have complied/not complied with UOs vax mandate?

    Similarly, any hint of how quickly UO plans to terminate the latter?

    And, if the Supreme Court invalidates the mandate, does UO plan to back off or stay the course?

    • Campus Worker 2 says:

      This kind of statement needs citations and sources to justify its reasoning. We exist in a pandemic with a highly mutating virus. How does the institution benefit and scientifically justify terminating certain employees as the ones you mentioned? Would we not be better off focusing that energy into calling for more aggressive changes in Johnson Hall and in the Org Chart?

      • This Is The Way says:

        And you will end up with roughly the same results regardless of cleaning the house or draining the swamp or whatever you want to call it. There are very few places you can go in this world where the administration are getting everything right or nearly everything right. Most people are doing the best they can balancing safety with keeping the doors open and preserving people’s jobs and the mission of their institutions.

        You all just seem to hate each other a lot more than your average place. I say “seem” because from an outsider’s perspective I would say there s very little trust on either side (faculty/staff v. admin).

        This pandemic has elevated hyperbole to normal conversation. Somewhere in between “Our administration doesn’t care if we live or die, we’re ALL going to die” and “Let’s just bring everyone back face to face with no restrictions” is a middle ground of relative safety and relative convenience. It’s a hard balance to strike.

        Rather than calling for everyone’s heads all the time and striking adversarial tones with each other, might it make better sense to call for working jointly, throwing aside old feuds and rhetoric and striking a more graceful, balanced tone?

        There is no perfect solution to COVID and no balance of making everyone 100% safe and staying open. 100% safe would be shut the doors, lay everyone off and sit at home waiting for an end to disease that won’t come.

        • cruel irony duck says:

          “You all just seem to hate each other a lot more than your average place.”: Hard to say, and I wouldn’t use the word “hate”, but UO is indeed one of the most divisive places I’ve worked in my long career. It’s striking that this is the only workplace where I’ve heard slurs uttered, and the only place I’ve feared being fired for cracking an inappropriate joke.

          It’s a weird inversion. Thirty years ago, the corporate world was where you had to be careful, and universities just let it all hang out. (In memory, anyway.) Now, close to the opposite.

          • Heraclitus says:

            I have sympathy for your point of view, Duck, but I think you’re falling prey to some kind of fallacy that involves being much, much older than you think you are (something I deal with all the time as someone in their 20s that happens to be 50+). Pretty sure the corporate world is exactly the same as the UO world these days in the respects you describe (because the two are simply the same world). And there is both good and bad in that.

            • cruel irony duck says:

              Yeah, that could well be true. Could be just that the current wave of hysteria is affecting everything, and I’m judging academia because that’s where I am at the moment. Hard to tell.

              I came up in the late 60s, in decades where things seemed to generally be getting better and better. The last six or seven years have taught me the foolishness of that idea.

              I’ll offer one piece of advice: Go ahead and eat and drink with the sinners. There’s grace there that you might not expect.

        • Compulsory Pessimist says:

          As an insider, I promise you that there’s little trust between most employees and upper admin for very good reason. That being said, a few upper admin folks are in fact doing their best (such as – as far as I can tell – André Le Duc and Cass Moseley).
          .
          Those few, however, are not the final arbiters of overall UO policy and thus we get insane policies (reference: classes must have a *twenty percent* absentee rate due to COVID in order to temporarily move the class to remote instruction) and utterly clueless communiques (reference: “We are fortunate that this surge does not constitute a public health emergency for the university…” from the Provost, dated 01/06. Check out the graph of UO cases).
          .
          There is no point in a “call to work jointly” because the whole reason employees are pissed is because our input is neither requested nor required. No one who actually teaches (or picks up the trash, or grades papers, or pays the facility leases) is allowed to make choices that will better balance safety and productivity for their area.
          .
          UO has spent a literal decade actively deepening the rift between upper admin and the rest of the employees. Now that COVID has thrown everyone into emergency mode it’s no wonder there’s very little “middle ground” left.

  4. Avoro says:

    Very, very few people hate any of the other people writing on this board or serving in this university. Even when the rhetoric gets a little heated, we know that almost all of the people involved are working beyond overtime on reaching the best outcome–from undergrads to admins. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t disagree and get angry. I was frustrated by the unusual route the Oregon universities took at the beginning of the year, but I am not full of hate about it. I really, really dislike the recent history of teacher evaluations. The questions are, IMHO, insipid and empty. I think abolishing numerical ratings is silly and over-sensitive. I think the students should be encouraged to make meaningful narrative valuations, to say what they actually think. But do I hate the people who have taken us down this road? Not at all. They are good, hard-working people. I just believe that they are wrong. This is one of the things I admire about the university. There is still an open space for debate, real respectful debate with people you in some ways admire and certainly respect. It has narrowed lately because many ordinarily debatable issues are becoming impossible to debate–which, IMHO, is a great failing of the university. But this has nothing to do with hating anyone.

    • anon says:

      I was going to add this to the thread up higher, but it seems to fit here as well. I think the points raised about the evaluations are well-taken. If these evaluations are to be used for tenure, promotion, merit, etc., how they can represent any sort of meaningful assessment when there is so little participation. Students just don’t do them, and I don’t blame them. I miss the valuable student input I used to get from the old, discredited, numerical/commenting system, and I think students would prefer that format as well. I don’t think it’s a question of fixing. The new system doesn’t work. If it was a mistake, why is the Senate doubling down on it?

      • Dog says:

        I have always believed, and have done some (at other institutions) that student evaluations are best done via 30 min interviews with groups of students by trained personnel. Yes I know this is resource intensive but a very rich array of information is usually provided. The trained personnel doing the interview is key since, hopefully, they should be internally calibrated.

        An example of such a service is here:

        https://teach.its.uiowa.edu/class-assessment-student-interview-classi

    • I really mean it… says:

      In the Fall I left my position as an instructor in the Math Department after 10 years.

      I assure you that my feelings towards the administration and the Academic Council can only be described as hatred.

  5. Leporillo says:

    Agreed that hate is too strong a word, but the level of distrust between Staff/Faculty and Admin has always been horrible. Could it really be the outrageous differences in salaries that is fomenting such discontent?

  6. Tug o' the Forelock says:

    UO hasn’t updated chart of cumulative cases, but the daily numbers are up at https://coronavirus.uoregon.edu/cases#cases-by-day (or scroll beneath the chart). UO says only 12 cases total this week? Dubious.

    • Heraclitus says:

      Sir Richard Ketly, Davy Gam, esquire;
      None else of name, and of all other men
      But five and twenty. O God, thy arm was here,
      And not to us but to thy arm alone
      Ascribe we all!

      ‘Tis Wonderful.

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