Dear University of Oregon community,
We all recognize the profound impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on both the University of Oregon and the national higher education landscape. The simple truth is that the coronavirus is an invisible disruptor that suddenly and harshly threatened what has been the UO’s foundation for nearly 150 years—the ability to fulfill our mission of excellent teaching, research, and service as a residential campus.
We know there will likely be drops in enrollment and state budget cuts that will create real financial challenges for the UO. It is too soon to know whether it will be a sharp but short-term hurdle that we must find a way to overcome or a systemic recalibration of the way the UO operates. Ultimately, the scope and duration of the financial and operational challenges posed by COVID-19 will be revealed in the coming weeks, months, and years.
To help the UO address the challenges, we are announcing the creation of the Joint UO Senate/Administration Task Force on Long-term Responses to COVID-19. This joint task force, which is advisory to the president, will review data on university operations and revenue projections, engage campus stakeholders, seek input and feedback, and use this information to analyze proposals, develop and consider strategies, and provide advice for long-term planning.
The 16-member task force is broadly representative of units across campus, including faculty, deans, classified staff, officers of administration, and a student. The group will begin meeting in June and be co-chaired by Elliot Berkman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Senate President-elect, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Dean of the School of Music and Dance. The full charge and membership of the task force are posted on the president’s website.
What we cannot do is sit idly by and wait for budget cuts or other impacts to happen to us. Ensuring the UO is poised to meet these challenges means we must do all we can now to look around corners, anticipate problems, develop scenario-based solutions, and proactively seek innovation. One thing we all agree on is that the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the University of Oregon are not going to be solved by any one person or group of persons. We must leverage the collective wisdom, creativity, and intellectual horsepower of our entire campus. Our intention is that this joint task force is a step toward doing that.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Provost and Senior Vice President
Professor of Psychology and UO Senate President
Associate Professor of Psychology and UO Senate President-elect
Elliot Berkman (co-chair), College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Psychology; University Senate President-Elect
Sabrina Madison-Cannon (co-chair), School of Music and Dance, Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean and Professor of Dance
Bruce Blonigen, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean and Professor of Economics
Liska Chan, College of Design, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture; Clark Honors College, Associate Dean for Faculty
Robin Clement, Lundquist College of Business, Director, Master of Accounting Program; Academic Director, Sports Product Management; Robert and Lois Braddock Distinguished Senior Instructor
Nicole Dahmen, School of Journalism and Communication, Associate Professor, Honors Program Coordinator
Judith Eisen, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology
Larissa Ennis, University Advancement, Government and Community Relations, Associate Director of Sponsorships and Community Relations
Kent McIntosh, College of Education, Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Special Education and Clinical Sciences
Terry McQuilkin, School of Music and Dance, Instructor of Composition; University Libraries, Music Services Department, Access Services Specialist
Michael Price, College of Arts and Sciences, Senior Instructor of Mathematics, Assistant Department Head
Gerardo Sandoval, College of Design, Planning, Public Policy and Management, Associate Professor
Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success
Melissa (Lisa) Redford, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Linguistics, Department Head
Jennifer (Jen) Reynolds, School of Law, Associate Professor; Faculty Director, Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center
A student will also be part of the task force but has yet to be chosen. More information will be available for students, undergraduate or graduate, interested in serving on the task force.