President Frohnmayer asked the assembled group to stand and observe a moment of silence in respect for those who lost loved ones and in gratitude for those who lost their lives helping others during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
In assessing our past experience in working together as a university community to reach shared and common goals, President Tublitz graded the campus as somewhat better than average, but with lots of room for continued improvement. He noted there are hopeful signs of respectful interaction and shared decision-making, such as in the ongoing work of the Senate Budget Committee, which is generating positive results through a unity of purpose between faculty and administrators. Indicating that he was indeed proud to be a faculty member at the UO, the senate president concluded his remarks by encouraging everyone to build upon successes of the recent past and continue to develop models of responsible and respectful discourse that allow the concept of shared campus governance to flourish and prosper. (Full text of these remarks can be found as an addendum to the minutes.)
State of the University Address by University President Dave Frohnmayer. President Frohnmayer began his remarks saying that the "state" of the university cannot be answered with a single dimension response. Rather, it is a multidimensional combination of environments a physical, economic, academic, social, and political entity where we work and study. But more than that, the president said the university was a state of mind, a "complex creation of ideals, struggles, and distinguished history." As the university begins to observe its 125th anniversary, President Frohnmayer commented on the contributions of several outstanding alumni who were but a few examples of why we are here and what we are doing "making a difference".
The president remarked about a colleague of his who wished him a "dull" year, knowing that he was the president of a university. On giving that concept further thought, President Frohnmayer noted that although "dullness" if interpreted as meaning that the university runs smoothly would certainly be desirable, it is a rarity that disappears with randomness and rapidity. In reality, most of what the university confronts is the opposite of dullness.
The president went on to say that the university, like the rest of the nation, is facing a war on terrorism, a war unlike any known before that has the potential to deepen differences among us and even alter the openness and purposes of a public university. As an institution ethically bound to political neutrality, we are nevertheless challenged to invite a full range of debate and discourse, allowing individuals to express their personal views. President Frohnmayer welcomed the University Senate President's earlier reminder about our campus code of civility and pledge of mutual respect. He noted that the dialogue created last year between the faculty leadership and the Department of Athletics was a model of civility and was good policy. To continue such discussions, he announced that he will appoint a presidential committee to help provide national leadership on issues surrounding the relationship of intercollegiate athletics to college and university campuses.
Moving to other topics, the president mentioned several matters of significance to the university. He noted that a strategic planning exercise to chart the course of the university for the next five year has begun. Its purpose is to develop decisive principles for the direction of institutional growth, and that will articulate who we are and where we are going. The president indicated that he hopes to continue making progress on salary improvements, even in times of budget shortfall. Having said that, President Frohnmayer also noted the likelihood of the legislature reconvening to consider budget cuts. He reaffirmed the importance of being clear about our vision and mission as a university and how the UO fits squarely with the state's strategic agenda. He remarked, too, how his recent international travels underscored the continuing need to embrace our international programs, as the global interconnectedness of the university was especially evident. And on the home front, the president spoke about being grateful for the labors of the classified staff members and the settlement that prevented a disruptive strike this September.
In closing, President Frohnmayer returned to the historical perspective of the university's first 125 years, and spoke briefly about the tension that sometimes arise between academic and commercial values. He reminded everyone of the need for private dollars and business donations, in addition to state funding, in order to open the university (finish building Deady Hall) in 1876. In today's economy, universities must demonstrate the "value added" component of higher education, that is, doing more than is expected. He encouraged the faculty to give daily consideration to the things they do individually to create such added value that is, what they do to make a difference. In adding value on a daily basis, the president suggested that the university will become a stronger, more humane and meaningful institution, one in which lives are transformed through knowledge.
Unlike his well-wishing colleague, the president concluded his remarks to the faculty with his wish that "your times here never be dull." (Full text of the president's address can be found as an addendum to the minutes.)
Gwen Steigelman Secretary of the Faculty
Wayne Thomas Westling was a truly outstanding citizen of his university, his community, his state, and the nation. A great many of us, in this room and elsewhere, miss him more than we can say.
Wayne was born in Los Angeles and grew up in southern California. He graduated from Occidental College in 1965 and New York University Law School three years later. Following law school, he served three years as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, then entered law teaching, first at the University of Sydney and later at California Western University.
Finally, in the fall of 1979, Wayne found his true home. He moved to Eugene and joined the University of Oregon law faculty as a full professor. Wayne quickly became a respected, even revered member of our faculty. In 1995 his dean and faculty colleagues named him the first Elmer Sahlstrom Senior Fellow in Trial Law.
Wayne was a highly productive scholar in his fields of criminal law, evidence, and trial practice. During his all-too-brief career, he published four books, several book chapters, and an amazing number of scholarly and popular-press articles. He also was the law faculty member sought out most often by local media for expert commentary on current legal events.
Wayne's principal contributions, however, those for which we revered him most and shall remember him best, were to his own students, his law school, and his university. When his current students learned of his illness last spring, they lovingly constructed for him a giant Asian crane, made of 1,000 folded-paper cranes, each one symbolizing, and wishing him, good health and long life. They filled his office with over 200 daffodils from the Cancer Society. At his Law School Memorial Service, one of Wayne's former students spoke movingly for hundreds as she described his extraordinary contributions to her education and career.
Wayne also was a model academic citizen, a true exemplar among us of "republican virtue." He served repeatedly and well on every law school committee. He chaired the University's Affirmative Action Task Force and Protection of Human Subjects Committee, and was virtually a permanent member of the Pre-Law Advisory and Australian Studies Committees. He served twelve eventful years in the University Senate, including several on its Executive and Budget Committees and one as its President. This year the Senate will honor Wayne's extraordinary contributions to faculty governance by establishing an annual faculty service award in his name.
Wayne also gave his time freely to the community and to the practicing legal profession. He served ten years on the Eugene-Chinju Sister City Committee; he chaired numerous parent groups as his children progressed through Eugene public schools; he was a director of the Lane County Bar Association, a founding member of the local Inn of Court, and a pro tem Circuit Court judge; he gave trial practice workshops in several western states; he led Bar Association tours of Legal London; and so on, and so on. The list of Wayne's community and professional activities is, in a word, peerless.
Mr. President, I hope that listeners to, or readers of, this Memorial have captured by now its essential point. By his scholarship, his teaching, and his service, Wayne Thomas Westling was an exemplary University of Oregon faculty member. But the foundation, the bedrock, of all his many contributions was the fact that he was truly a good man, a caring man, a loving man, who touched forever so very many lives in so very many positive ways. We thank him. We miss him.
Ralph James Mooney Kaapcke Professor of Law University of Oregon
Lloyd Staples was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on July 8, 1908. He received a bachelor of arts (cum laude) in geology from Columbia University in 1929, and then gradually moved west, obtaining a master of science in economic geology, from the University of Michigan in 1930, and a Ph.D. in economic geology, from Stanford in 1935.
He was instructor of geology at Oregon State University from 1936 to 1937; he then became chief geologist of Horse Heaven Mines, Oregon, for 2 years, before coming to the University of Oregon as instructor and later assistant professor of geology from 1939 to 1942. He took leave without pay from the university from 1942 to 1945 for war service in exploration for strategic minerals.
Lloyd returned to the University of Oregon in 1945 and during the next 30 years, until his retirement in 1974, rose successively through the ranks from assistant to full professor of geology. For ten years during this period he served as department head. He set up the highly successful Center for Volcanology and hired the first four members of that center, including two who are still with us, Alexander McBirney and Gordon Goles.
When I arrived here over 30 years ago as a visiting professor, Lloyd commented that Eugene was a good place to live and the University of Oregon a good place to work, and that I might find I would like to stay. Lloyd and his wife Phoebe made my wife Barbara, myself, and our young family very welcome. Lloyd was trim and fit, jogging 2 miles around the track every lunch time. He was a great athletics fan and close friend of Bill Bowerman. For many years he officiated at NCAA and all local track meets.
Lloyd made many lasting friendships with students. In one instance, a life-long association and friendship developed when, as a seventh grade schoolboy, Richard Bray took an extension class in Rocks and Minerals from Lloyd. Richard eventually pursued a career in geology and rose to be president of exploration and production for Standard Oil of Ohio, all the while maintaining his warm friendship with Lloyd and providing generous support to the UO Foundation.
In addition to his service to the department, Lloyd served as president of the Faculty Club, president of the Eugene Round Table, president of the Oregon Academy of Science, member of the State Board of Geological Examiners, and for several years was on the Board of Directors of the University Development Fund. In 1988 he received the Jeanne Johnson Service Award for 14 years service as associate director of the University Alumni Association.
During his long career, Lloyd received many academic honors and awards. Notable among these was a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1960, Geologic Consultant to UNESCO in 1968, Honor Award of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies in 1972, and election to the Legion of Honor of the Society of Mining Engineers in 1990. Lloyd Staples was a good and loyal friend of the geology department, the university, and the state of Oregon. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Phoebe, one son George, and two daughters, Anne and Jean.
Norman Savage Professor of Geology University of Oregon
The Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) has just completed its work for the 2000-01 academic year. Members of this year's committee included:
The current FPC charge and structure serves the University well. The FPC's workload is significant. This year we advised the Provost on 45 cases involving tenure and/or promotion. This included:
We held 17 meetings during the current academic year, each lasting approximately two hours. In addition, we estimate that we spent an average of three to six hours each week during Winter and Spring quarters reading files. Moreover, one member of the committee is assigned to report each case and prepare a written report to the committee and then subsequently to the Provost. The member reporting a case, and each of us has reported at least 4 cases during the year, typically spends a full work day in preparation for the FPC meeting at which the case is discussed. Thus, we think units should grant relief from other committee work to FPC members and consider granting course or other relief for those who serve on the FPC.
Our FPC work has been very inspiring, reminding us of the breadth and strength of our faculty. In most of the cases we considered, candidates clearly met university standards -- often they exceeded those expectations. While most candidates were well served by their committees and units, we do offer several suggestions for more complete and useful preparation of files. Most of these concerns are addressed directly in the Faculty Guide to Promotion and Tenure prepared by the Office of Academic Affairs. (Helpful information is available at http://www.uoregon.edu/~acadaff/.)
We are grateful to Carol White for her tremendous organization and continual good cheer.
Last night's superbly organized and informative teach-in got me thinking about Wayne Westling and how much I missed him. He would have been delighted at the teach-in, how professionally it was run, and how much information was shared. I felt him sitting next to me, whispering in my ear the question: What is a University?
Is it sharing a pitcher with friends? Going to an autumn football game? Biking through campus? Certainly. Is it going to classes, listening to a lecture, writing a paper, being in lab, spending time in studio, practicing, reading, studying? Absolutely. Is it making new friends, enjoying old ones, playing sports, walking, talking, sharing? Yes again.
A University is obviously all of these. But to me, A university is fundamentally a place where one learns two facilities of lasting value: how to think critically and how to express oneself both verbally and in writing. That's it the pinnacle (or as Spanky in Our Gang would say, "pinochle") of a University education. Let's explore those two points for a moment.
Critical thinking the current catch phrase de jour in educational circles means putting together seemingly disparate facts into some sort of unity of understanding. This unity of information is oftentimes difficult to interpret, sometimes brilliant, always meaningful. As a scientist I struggle through this process every day in our experiments. It is like putting together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle with 1000 pieces on the table. The difficulty lies in finding the correct pieces and getting them to stick to each other. This requires taking each piece and trying to integrate it into the emerging whole. One thing is certain: each piece must be evaluated carefully before it is used or discarded. Implicit in this evaluative process is the notion that each piece is potentially important. No piece is a priori useless. Each piece is treated with respect. Wayne lived and taught this point every day.
Articulating one's thoughts through written and oral expression is the second hallmark of a University. Emphasis is on logic, conciseness and precision. In science as in other disciplines, clarity of expression is a prerequisite for successful communication, and although some might think otherwise, science is an intensely interactive, social activity the days of nerds in white lab coats spending days in isolation is an overused and inappropriate stereotype. One important outcome of clarity of expression is that it forces the listener to examine what is being stated it reinforces good listening techniques. And no one was a better listener than Wayne.
Critical thinking and clarity of expression and their offspring, respect for different ideas and good listening, is the currency I, Wayne, and most faculty hold most dear in our University. How does this University stack up on these two counts? Being a tie-dyed in the wool academic I give it two grades, a "B+" and a "C+". And Wayne agrees.
The "B+" goes to our students, staff, faculty and administration for producing University graduates of a very high caliber. I never cease to be amazed by our students. The biology students I have the privilege of teaching are as good as any University in the country; many match the quality of best students I have taught at Princeton and Cambridge University in England. Our students come here with a willingness and desire to learn, and our faculty do an excellent job of improving their skills. Come to my Senior Research Seminar and meet students who would make you proud to be a member of this University. Of course we can do better and we should, hence the B+ (no grade inflation here sorry). That's the good news. T
he not-so-good news is that, although we teach these skills quite well, we do not always use these skills when interacting with ourselves. Respect for opposing viewpoints and the willingness to be a good listener, are sadly lacking at times. This occurs not only among individuals but also between University units, resulting in a serious lack of trust and an heightened sense of suspicion. I hear it all the time..."The professional schools get all the resources"; "The sciences are protected", "blah blah dept never gets cut". My three favorites are "the administration never listens", "faculty are self- centered whiners", and "athletics are completely out of control". Like all good just-so stories, these have just enough truth to them to be repeated, but too little to be taken on face value. We've stopped treating each other with the same respect we demand from our students. I grade ourselves a "C+" - with the notation of "underachiever".
There is the growing realization that the University is, to use the metaphor of President Frohnmayer, in the midst of a period of constant white water. We seem to face an endless set of obstacles in our path. And to extend the President's metaphor, we need to paddle all in the same direction if the obstacles are to be avoided. New routes must be found and these can only be achieved through consensus building and respectful dialog. To achieve our shared goals and we do have common aspirations and strong values we have to stop distrusting each other, and develop a framework of mutual respect through shared decision making.
There are hopeful signs that this new model of respectful interaction and shared decision-making is emerging the Senate Budget Committee's continued work through Wayne's steady guidance on improving faculty salaries and the agreement reached last spring on reducing the financial support for athletics demonstrate that consensus building through respect for different ideas and good listening can generate positive results and develop a unity of purpose among the different stakeholder groups on campus.
But we can't stop there. We must continue to affirm our common goals, our shared values in everything we do, in every decision we make. In March 2000 the University Senate passed and the University President promulgated a very thoughtful and strong statement entitled Affirmation of Community Standards. It states:
The University of Oregon community is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the development of integrity. In order to thrive and excel, this community must preserve the freedom of thought and expression of all its members. The University of Oregon has a long and illustrious history in the area of academic freedom and freedom of speech. A culture of respect that honors the rights, safety, dignity and worth of every individual is essential to preserve such freedom. We affirm our respect for the rights and well-being of all members. We further affirm our commitment to:
This statement eloquently states our purpose, combining our educational mission with the need to promote intellectual diversity. It has Wayne Westling written all over it.
I am very proud to be a member of a University faculty capable and willing to stage last night's Teach- In. Attended by an overflow crowd of 1200+ people, it affirms the very best the University offers - the free discourse of ideas presented and accepted respectfully. The University must provide leadership to our students and staff and to the public during this period of crisis, and the teach-in as well as the activities of the recently established Senate ad hoc committee are excellent first steps in the right direction. The University must continue to support these efforts or else we will have failed in our mission.
Perhaps we are improving and that "C+" may have to be changed. Last year I gave us a "C" and the year before we got a "D+". If Herb Cherek our wonderful registrar will allow us to continue to retake the course, perhaps we can aspire to a "B", "B+" or even an "A". I hope we can build upon our recent past and continue to develop models of responsible and respectful discourse that allows the concept of shared campus governance to flourish and prosper. And if we stray from the path, I assure you that Wayne will be behind us, gently nudging us back on course.
ADDENDUM D State of the University Address by President Dave Frohnmayer
What is the "State of the University?"
That question cannot be answered with a single dimension response. As a physical environment, our University is one of most serene places for discovery and reflection that is imaginable--tree shaded emerald quadrangles--elegant, sometimes shabbily-aged and sometimes gloriously modern facilities-- and . . . a river runs through it. It is a place remembered with enchantment and love by those who have studied here from alumni living in communities near us to the extraordinarily caring graduates I visited in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Osaka in the early summer. It is a physical environment to which we hope to add new construction and new utility even through this year.
As an economic entity, this University is our region's largest and most important engine of stability, responsible for nearly $400 million dollars of activity annually. Almost nineteen thousand students with outstanding credentials voted with their feet in record numbers to join us. They are contributors, through their tuition dollars, to our fiscal stability and by their larger presence, to the otherwise threatened local economy. We plan to increase these enrollments, especially at the high end of achievement, to add human capital in even greater dimension.
As an academic institution, our University continues to rise in standings, however suspect some ranking methodologies may be, and in the more tangible indices of peer-reviewed achievements such as research dollars, Guggenheim fellowships and Fulbright awards. Today we celebrate an important ritual of renewal as we welcome truly outstanding faculty who join us, educated at the world's leading institutions of higher learning, and imbued with the ethic of teaching excellence and scholarly inquiry which both justifies our existence and inspires our efforts. If we do not aspire to even greater excellence, we debase the tradition of this institution and the expectations of those we have invited to join us.
As a social and political entity, the University struggles to adapt to internal and external challenges, some of which I will address this afternoon, others of which await messages in days and weeks to come. Can we make progress together on issues of salary and benefit equity? How can we continue on a proper growth trajectory amidst signs of a near-recessionary economic slowdown?
How do we maintain campus momentum in our sometimes awkward but critically important examination of diversity and inclusiveness in a multicultural world? What balance do we strike in a heated national inquiry--with intense local interest--on the role of intercollegiate athletics in the academic environment? How do we absorb, not merely the jarring psychic shocks of diabolical terrorism, but the delicate, even precarious place of a public university in helping to understand questions of global clashes, messianic visions, human conflict and global war and peace?
And what do we do, as a nation and a people, when no one cares who wants to be a millionaire, when the true meaning of "survivor" has put to shame anything television could offer as drama, and the most ordinary of citizens have proven to be the strongest links to human greatness? But beyond these dimensions, this University is a state of mind, a complex creation of ideals, struggles and distinguished history. We begin to observe that history in a special way today.
It is an honor to be here today before you as the University of Oregon celebrates its 125th anniversary. In looking back those 125 years, there are numerous examples of faculty, administrators, students and alumni--examples of why we are here, what we are doing--just what our decision to be a part of the University of Oregon is all about.
John Wesley Johnson. The first president of the University of Oregon was a living example of what we are as a university. He was a pioneer, walking across most of the continent beside an oxcart at age 10. He was a worker, forced to make his own living as a common laborer. He was a learner, teaching himself to read and write while in his teens, he eventually qualified to attend Harvard, graduated sixth out of a class of 100. He was a teacher, returning to Oregon to teach, head several schools and become first president of the UO in 1876. He got things done, and as president saw to the success of the UO in its early, often financially shaky years, all the while still teaching a full course load of Greek and Latin, then required for graduation. Let me assure you .you can expect much from me but not instruction in Greek and Latin. ? Paul Brainard. What Johannes Gutenburg did for publishing in the 15th century is analogous to what Paul Brainerd, class of 1970, did for publishing in the late 20th century. The only difference is that Gutenberg's press needed a complete press shop, whereas Brainerd's only needs a computer and some software. With his founding of Aldus Corporation and development of the PageMaker software, desktop publishing was born and continues to revolutionize publishing in the 21st century. ? Anne Bancroft. The trail to the North and South Poles passed through the UO for Anne Bancroft, class of 1981, where she earned her bachelor's in physical education before becoming the first woman to ever walk to the North Pole in 1986. This year (2001) she and fellow explorer Liv Arnesen crossed the Antarctic on foot, becoming the first women to ski and windsail across that continent. ? Ann Curry. It didn't start out as bright lights and big city for Ann Curry, class of 1978, the news anchor for NBC's early morning "Today Show." It started in Ashland, Oregon, with hard work at the UO School of Journalism, and early jobs at stations in Medford, Portland and then Los Angeles. When NBC tapped her for "NBC News At Sunrise," she was surprised. When it chose her for the coveted news anchor position on "Today," it made her one of the first exceptions to the 48-year tradition of male anchors. Now she may be the most trusted voice in the morning national news. ? David Jeremiah. Admiral David Jeremiah was not only an admiral, the 1955 UO graduate became the number two military man in the nation in 1990 when he was named vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rising through the ranks, Jeremiah commanded destroyers, squadrons, and by 1987, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, where he earned his fourth star. In 1986, it was his command that oversaw the capture of the hijacked Achille Lauro. Jeremiah stands as an example of the 44 University of Oregon graduates who have reached the flag officer rank of admiral or general--making the UO one of the top producers in the country, per capita, of senior military officers.
I would be remiss were I not to note here that in terms of absolute numbers, the UO consistently ranks among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers--another valuable contribution to our nation and the world. My examples, you will note, are not elegant buildings, not hi-tech labs or even huge and noisy stadiums, but the lives of people who have done what we celebrate--making a difference.
A DULL YEAR
"Making a Difference" is what it comes down to. You may have seen those words already on letterheads or posters, pamphlets or flyers--and it is pretty easy--cynically easy--to see these words as just a slogan, a piece of marketing strategy or a nice saying that you'll be sick of by the end of the year. And it may be--or become--all of those things. But I'd like to use this time I have here today to talk about this coming year, the state of the university, and just how "Making a Difference"--slogan that it is--also gets precisely to the heart of why we have been here for 125 years--and why we--each of us-- happens to be here today.
Just last weekend a conversation with a friend of mine ended with a strange benediction from his mouth. "May you have a dull year," he said. We laughed. I thanked him and we departed. But I have been thinking about those words--"May you have a dull year." In one sense they are a benediction. Yes, I do want to live in dull times. I want all facets of this university to run smoothly. I want resources to meet our needs, and those met needs to make us a better university. I want the environment of politics, the economy and world events to be calm and to strengthen our ability to make a difference. But if history--of the last millennium, the last century--or even the last few weeks-- teaches us anything, it is that the gods do not work that way. I thought about this and realized three things: 1. The "gift" of dull times is a rarity. 2. Those dull times can and do disappear with alarming randomness and rapidity. 3. When our life shakes out to what really matters, I think there are very few of us who really want to have lived in that "blessing" of dullness, at least not for long.
Which is good, because most of what we confront today concerns the opposite of dullness.
THE OPPOSITE OF DULLNESS
Much is the opposite of dullness, a war against terrorism is such an opposite, and it is a war unlike almost any we've known--the enemy has no nation state, wears neither uniform nor insignia, obeys no international conventions, and disclaims a need to spare the innocents. Such a war can increase or deepen chasms among us, can defy the capability of our vocabularies to explain and justify, and can even warp, however unintentionally the openness and purposes of a public university.
As an institution we are ethically bound to observe political neutrality even as by tradition we are expected to invite the full range of debate and discourse. Amidst claims and counterclaims we must maintain an open campus and open minds so that individuals among us, without committing the institution, may nonetheless express their views--even their passions--although we pray for reasoned passions within our community.
I welcome the University Senate president's recent reminder that we have adopted a statement about civility, not an obligatory code of conduct, but a pledge of respect, with which to guide our discourse. The educational event conducted by volunteer faculty last evening to more than 1,000 people is one excellent example of how information and open discussion can be welcomed in an atmosphere of engagement.
On a matter of less intensity--or at least a smaller field of discourse--there is no dullness. On the continuing question of intercollegiate athletics, its role and place in higher education, it is important to maintain the progress of dialogue already achieved. The agreement reached between administration, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and faculty leadership last year is a model of civility and good policy. In order to continue this dialogue, I shortly will announce a presidential committee to continue our discussions, to move toward answers, and to help provide national leadership in this area of truly national dialogue. At the same time, I must insist, perhaps beyond the parameters of the civility and evenhandedness that I earlier espoused--that I hope the Ducks knock the stuffing out of Arizona this Saturday.
As is true of any occasion where numbers of us are assembled, there is too much to say with too little time to say it. So what follow are some important pieces of string, too short to save and too significant to omit.
Let me add some separate words about academic values, commercial values and tensions that need not be inevitable. Concerns occasionally arise in recent years over the threats of commercialization of the university. Are we selling our souls for a few million dollars? Are we creating conflict of interests between academic freedom and donor interests? Will the university of 125 years from now have lost the sense of mission and public service that brought it into being 125 years ago? (Or have today's critics forgotten that Deady Hall was able to open in 1876 only because private dollars and business donations completed the building when the state appropriation fell short?) These, and many others, are important questions. Questions we have to grapple with in these times--or even in the dull times, should they ever come again. I already mentioned "Making a Difference," and how those words can too easily be seen as just another marketing slogan designed to raise dollars, with no attention paid to the quality of our product.
1. We are embarking on a strategic planning exercise to help chart the course of the university for the next five years. Whatever certainty it gives us, it has been well initiated and it should develop decisive principles for the directions of our institutional growth. My hope is for engaged participation by the University Senate, Faculty Advisory Council, Council of Deans, university administration, and our external allies--the University Foundation, and our alumni and friends. The thinking behind this effort is to draw on what currently exists such as our mission statement, the process for change, and the enrollment management council report to articulate a clear statement of our directions. This will necessarily require us to look carefully at where we're going, what it will require to get there and what benchmarks we can use to assess our progress. If we are to be true to ourselves, these directions and statement will not all please everyone all the time, either internally or externally. But they will give us a clearer way to communicate who we are, where we are going and to serve as an important guide in our goal setting and decision making. 2. A second piece of string: We plan to work with the Senate Budget Committee and continue our inquiry on the issue of salary equity, pursuant to our white paper process. I am dismayed by lack of range of options on our latest health care benefits package, but I do hope we can make continuing progress, even in times of budget shortfall, on salary improvements. 3. A third concern: It is no secret that even before the events of September 11 the economy was fragile and it remains so. While the most recent legislative sessions have been better than some in the past we are still funded at levels well below our peers and lowest among the PAC-10. The continued weakening of the economy could result in a reconvening of the legislature to consider budget reductions. Higher education will not likely be spared in that process. We will do as we have done in the past and seek to manage this problem even as it argues for a longer term approach. But we must think about ourselves differently and more importantly we must act differently. Gone are the days when the public perception of the university can be discounted. The image we project about ourselves is directly and materially related to our ability to acquire the resources it will take to reach that vision. We must be ever more attentive to articulating a vision and image of ourselves that is true to our nature and mission while also placing us at the center of the State's strategic agenda. To do otherwise is to risk being seen as irrelevant. After all we are in what many have called the knowledge economy and our mission is about the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge. And we are good at it. Others need to know and value what we do in this regard as much as we do. It's our job to tell this story in a way it can be heard, and we shall do so. 4. A fourth thought: If my visits abroad reinforce anything, apart from the horrors of September 11, it is the global interconnection of the University, and the need to continue to engage the vitality of our international programs as the globe shrinks and our interconnectedness becomes even more evident. 5. A final piece of string--one that connects all of us: I'm grateful for the settlement that prevented a disruptive strike in September. But you and I should be specially grateful for the labors of our classified staff: those who maintain the beauty of our campus, cook the food for our students, protect our security, type our manuscripts, keep our schedules intact and greet our visitors with warm hospitality. Thank them, not once, but each and every day.
So let's talk quality--and what it means, because it is here, I believe, that we move beyond slogans and marketing and into our true mission. In fact, let's look at this "New" Oregon economy of which we need to be a part. This vocabulary of this economy has many terms. One of them is "value added." In economic terms the concept often is coupled with the word "tax" to mean a surcharge that is added to the cost of a product at each stage of its manufacture or distribution.
But it can mean more than that. Many companies and products use the term "value added" to mean goods or services they add to a product in addition to the product itself. It means doing more than is expected--adding content or substance to already existing content and substance--or in an older and less commercialized idiom--going the extra mile. We are not disconnected from the world around us-- that is why things here are not dull. We are a part of our new economy as much as we are a part of the political world in which we operate, the technological world in which we work and play, and the social world in which we raise our families and work for those things in which we believe. In this world, the University of Oregon has, and in an ongoing way continues to identify its role on the assumption that Oregon's future competitive success requires excellence in the creation, transmission and application of knowledge at the University of Oregon. It need not be seen in crassly commercial terms, but rather in terms of how we individually create that value added.
What I ask each of you--and what I also ask myself--is: Are we offering value added? Are you--am I-- planning to make a difference today? What will we do tomorrow in the lives of students and the world--the same way those men and women I mentioned earlier did--to make a difference? I want to make clear that I am not here implying that anyone at this university does not work long and hard, with dedication and commitment to students and to the overall mission of this university. I do, however, want to encourage your consideration of that value added, not as a good idea or a nice philosophy, but as a daily practice as consistent as brushing your teeth, yet as vital as the shape of tomorrow's world. I know for myself it might mean spending a few more minutes with a concerned faculty member, setting a completion date for that next essay, putting more thought into remarks I make at a retirement function or a new staff meeting, or even pushing myself a bit more to communicate clearly and compassionately in my everyday discourse.
Making a difference means reflective engagement--it means asking ourselves if we have worked as hard on all that we do--even this speech for myself. Have I taken seriously another question that will help to resolve an endless puzzle for someone? Have I spent a few more moments with another student whose facial impassiveness may mask hidden fears I can alleviate or potential sparks of discovery I can ignite? Have I gathered all my knowledge, combined it with wisdom, well-chosen words and a willingness to move to the edge and see just what happens--all in order to make a difference? Alumni who speak so fondly of University invariably bring me back to a name, a face, a classroom remark, a caring mentor, a lecture brilliant with insight, a gruffness infused with wisdom--or an insight given in a moment, but built on years, that has stayed with them a lifetime.
125 years ago the University of Oregon's first professor of geology Thomas Condon was in Deady Hall, not far from where we are right now, unwrapping a package of geologic specimens that he had just received. One of his students watched as Condon unwrapped the packages. The student noted that the professor was whistling loudly, if not exactly on key. Condon noticed the student watching, turned to him and said, "Oh . . . the tune inside me is too big for my whistle." Condon was whistling for joy at the work and all its various strata of opportunity that lay before him on that table.
I'm not exactly whistling for joy today--nor are many of us--though the quantity and strata of the work that lies before us most certainly exceeds that on Professor Condon's table. Too much has happened for unbounded joy. Too much difficulty and pain seem to lie ahead. Too much will have to be resolved with hard and sometimes unsatisfying solutions--both here and in the world we serve. But the thought of that table of work we face, daunting though it may be, is still better than the dullness my friend wished for me. And if you listen to me carefully, you might even hear a low whistle.
But more than anything, if you stop me, you will hear me ask: Do we understand that the vow to "make a difference" does not call for random or occasional reflection, but becomes a moral duty each day we are here--a duty to make this a better, stronger, more humane and meaningful institution of higher learning, one that, in words I have earlier used and have chosen with care, always transforms lives through knowledge?
And for each of you it will mean something different, something particular to your own work and your own awareness of how you want that work to make its impact on others--how you want it to make a difference by transforming those lives with knowledge--knowledge that comes from the vital core of your lives. You are the ones who do it. No one else.
May your time here never be dull. ADDENDUM E New Tenured and Tenure-Related Faculty Members, 2001-2002