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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON FACULTY ADVISORY COUNCIL Annual Report, 1979-1980

The 1979-1980 FacUlty Advisory Council was the first in which half the membership carried o ver from the previous year. The new system of electing council members for staggered two-year terms seems wise. During the past year, continuing members Paul Holbo, Wanda Johnson, Donald TU11, and Shirley Wilson resumed their work already acquainted with some issues that woUld arise and with previous faculty recommendations that needed to be pursued, as well as with the ways of the administration. Newly elected members Virgil Boekelheide and Robert Campbell joined in meetings that began in JU1Y 1979. In October, Frank Lacy and Nathaniel Teich filled the remaining vacant council positions.

Each Advisory Council haS its rhythm and personality. This year's council did not begin its labors, as some councils have done, by interviewing an array of university administrators to learn what they did or by attempting to fathom the budget. We did not adopt the stance of watchdogs over the administration either, in part because of our confidence in the President and Provost, with whom we met weekly.

We also rejected the role of serving basically as representatives Of faculty opinion. New problems on which administrators want faculty reactions do arise frequently and unexpectedly, of course, and we were on call when cries arose. We attempted to respond when we were requested to do so. Some examples will appear in this report. We often felt frustrated when asked for advice on matters about which we knew little, however, and we are modest about our performance as a resident sounding board. The council rather believes that its major contributions were to focus on selected key issues, several of which had been raised during the previous year.

Among these salient matters were faculty advising, salaries, computer facilities, the office of the Dean of the Graduate School, retirement plans, the Library, and university planning. Other continuing issues and new questions, such as athletics, that came before the council will be mentioned later in this report.

During the past several years, the faculty have been criticized for inattention to academic advising. Recognizing that there was some truth in these broad complaints, last year's council asked the Provost to direct that all faculty members be reminded of their obligation to be present during advising week. The 1978-1979 council also sensed an opportunity to begin the academic year in a gracious and collegial manner, with a presidential address and a reception for the faculty. The current council pressed for the adoption of these ideas and made suggestions for arrangements. The convocation and reception were very successful. The faculty were present for advising, too. The council, led by Shirley Wilson, has already begun to plan for next autumn. It remains for the students to show up in greater numbers for their advising appointments.

that it found a satisfactory resolution. A majority of the council concluded that the Provost, deans, and department heads should on this single occasion use 5 per cent of the pay increment funds allotted to them for merit equity adjustments.

The council concentrated its efforts on improving the situation in the future. Earlier in the year, it sponsored a resolution on salaries, which was passed by the University Assembly and sent to state officials. It secured similar resolutions from OSU, PSU, and the HSC. The chairman also met with local officers of the AAUP, AFT, AOF, and OSEA, with whom he had conferred on the PERS issues. These continuing sessions have been amicable and constructive. The group, with Robert Cambell now representing the council, has recently met with the President to plan for 1981-1983, and there will be further strategy meetings. Representatives of the council have conferred with the councils from OSU, PSU, and the HSC, which have similar concerns. We have encouraged and acted as liaison for the statewide AOF, which is currently engaged in promising salary discussions with the Chancellor's office, in preparation for requests to the State Board and the next legislature. The council itself has had informal discussions with the Chancellor on these matters. For the first time, plans are being made prior to the legislative session. Faculty organizations are displaying a common front and political energy. This council believes that these joint activities can help to resolve the problems.

Computer facilities are another perennial issue. The last two councils constantly received reports from administrators and heard complaints from faculty about inadequacies and breakdowns in the Computer Center. The 1978-1979 council placed computers first on its list of academic priorities. Legislative action in 1979 seemed to make a remedy possible at at last. During the summer of 1979, however, the council learned that the State System Office of Educational Systems seemed likely to stipulate purchase of equipment that was second hand, might be unreliable and expensive to maintain, and would not meet the university's needs. The council unanimously and firmly asked that such proposals be rejected, and that the process of acquisition begin anew with more careful consideration of the university's requirements. The council called a meeting of users, who provided information that enabled the President to halt the makeshift plans. New specifications then were prepared, and users from this campus were able to participate in the process. Donald Tull has represented the council in the acquisitions effort, which has' not been free of difficulties but gives hope of a happy outcome. This council thinks that its extensive attention to the computer issue has been one of its most important contributions.

The future of the office of the Dean of the Graduate School has also been as issue for two councils. Initial inquiries were made by Diane Reinhard and David Povey in 1978-1979. The current council met with and received detailed reports from Deans Aaron Novick and Shirley Menaker. The council, President, and Provost have asked these questions: What administrative structure is required? How could the Graduate School be reorganized? Could the dean be integrated into the Provost's office? Could the pursuit of grants receive greater impetus? The result of our deliberations is a plan for consolidation of the graduate program under the Office of Academic Affairs. We believe that as a result of a dual appointment as associate provost, the graduate dean will have an enhanced role and that the work of the office will be streamlined and strengthened.

We can also report progress on the issue of faculty retirement programs. A few years ago, the PERS system was one of the best in the country for faculty, with increased benefits and inducements for early retirement which would in turn create openings for new appointments to maintain the vitali-ty of the faculty. The recent Pepper legislation prohibiting compulsory retirement at age 65 and severe inflation have seriously disrupted Oregon's retirement programs. Last year's council appointed an ad hoc committee, chaired by Barry Siegel, which identified a number of issues to be addressed. Following extensive deliberations, the Provost's office has prepared a new plan, which provides attractive incentives for reduced workloads and early retirement for faculty members beyond the age of 60. The plan currently is being reviewed by the Chancellor's office.

This council, as was true of the previous council, unanimously recommended conversion to the semester system as soon as possible. The comprehensive report prepared by Professor Faradel Gale should remove most doubts about the academic wisdom of such a move. The President shortly will request authority from the State Board of Higher Education to make the conversion when the university is ready to do so.

With the expectation that adequate computer facilities will become available, the Library has become the primary focus of campus academic concerns. A host of library issues has come before the council, whose chairman had the dubious distinction of simultaneously chairing the Library space and acquisitions study and the Librarian search committee. The council has affirmed that the Library has first priority in program improvements and that the Library shall have the highest priority in capital construction after approval of the addition for Architecture and Allied.Arts. The council also asked the President to appoint a user committee to begin planning for construction; this group is already hard at work. Council member Tull, assisted by Professors Stanley Greenfield and Gustave Alef, circulated petitions, signed by 540 faculty, drawing the attention of the State Board to deficiencies in acquisitions. The chairman of the council and Professor Tull also spoke with Board members about Library needs during their visit in January. The council has endorsed a fund-raising effort, which will soon be underway. Finally, the council encouraged the President and Provost in their decision to offer Library faculty the option of renewable term instead of tenure appointments.

The past two councils have devoted more time to the issue of planning than to any other question. Discussions with the President and Provost have been lively but usually cordial. Differences remain between those who favor opportunism and incremental development and those who favor the establishment and pursuit of specified goals, and between those who focus on budgeting and those who stress planning. The process has been highly educational for all involved. There has been some progress, moreover, with the preparation by the Provost's office of an orderly process for review of program proposals. the council unanimously believes that the Provost's office is understaffed in the planning area, while that office is hesitant to expand for fear of negative faculty reactions. Planning should continue to be a major issue for consideration by future councils.

Athletics neglected by councils for several years, became a major issue again in 1979 and will remain a serious concern for some time to come. This year's council suspected that there might be problems in the program and had begun discussion of general questions of athletics just before the scandals made headlines. The council then took the position that specified procedures must be followed, even when we were tempted to recommend sweeping punishment. We reported earlier to the faculty our belief that President Boyd had responded with unusual openness and integrity but noted that th-e University's legal authority was limited. Investigations by outside agencies continue. The council is itself examining admissions standards and practices for athletes. On the positive side, the university's interpretation of Title IX has set a high standard for other institutions to follow; ironically, the effort to comply with Title IX has created severe financial problems, while institutions that interpret Title IX less rigorously encounter fewer difficulties. The general financial problems of intercollegiate athletics, exacerbated by Title IX, may in the end dictate a very different future for such programs. The University of Oregon certainly cannot live much longer with its large overdrafts. No real relief appears in sight. This council is satisfied with the President's recent decision again to put the domed stadium on the back burner, while other campus needs and the future shape of athletics are addressed. But debate should continue on this issue of athletic facilities.

Some additional matters should be mentioned so that the members can be queried about and held responsible for their views. Recall first that, by Assembly edict, the council appoints the members of the Committee on Committees and two Amazon housing committees. The chairman served on the Distinguished Service Award committee, and member Frank Lacy represented the council on the Ersted Award committee. The council also makes suggestions (usually but not always heeded) for appointments to major search committees, and sometimes itself contributes a member. This council obtained the Chancellor's assent to the appointment of faculty members to the vice-chancellor search committee, council member Robert Campbell has been named to the body. The council has also made recommendations to the Chancellor for appointments to the presidential search committee. We had the unhappy duty of learning from President Boyd of his resignation and the pleasant chore of recommending the appointment of Paul Olum as Acting President and Richard Hill as Acting Provost.

During the year, the council has met with the Chancellor and members of his staff, and with the director of the Educational Coordinating Council, members of the State Board, and the legislative fiscal officer for higher education matters. We participated in three meetings of the newly formed Joint Council, consisting of the councils of this university, OSU, PSU, and the Health Sciences Center. The Joint Council sessions have been prodUctive politically and cordial. We have discussed common problems. One such issue was that of faculty liability for accidents and malpractice. We are pleased to report that inquiry by the council and the President indicate that we enjoy generally adequate financial and legal protection. Finally, Robert Campbell represented the council at a meeting of Pacific-10 university councils.

Among other issues, the council has reviewed enrollment patterns and projections, with Nathaniel Teich as our representative in on-going studies. The council has recommended the establishment of a stipend system for payment of department heads. It sponsored a forum to discuss President Boyd's idea of the creation of a school of music and the performing arts and another to discuss uniform breadth requirements. It worried over a new HEW policy imposing direct tuition charges against grants. It recommended the creation of a committee on Academic Standards compile a list of questionable academic practices and propose remedies. It reviewed the allocation of classified help, even studying the regression equations applied in this process. It monitored collective bargaining with the GTFs. It reviewed the Provost's statement on sabbatical leave policy. At the behest of the statewide AAUP, it reviewed a draft State System regulation on partial reduction of FTE under conditions of financial exigency and made recommendations for making such reduction compatible with retention of full faculty status. It sponsored legislation in the Assembly to avoid the possibility of a GPA in excess of 4.00. It advised the President on the appointment of his legal counsel. It asked PERS to report annually to faculty members on estimated retirement income as well as on individual fund accumulation. It reviewed proposed academic programs. It discussed the safety of bicyclists on Alder Streed and of Iranian students. It reviewed an alleged academic freedom issue. It discussed the administration of DCE, Continuing Education, Summer Session, and Upward Bound. It recommended against soliciting signed student evaluations of teaching. This list, already long enough, is not yet complete. Before we go out of business on June 30, we shall continue to address problems of the budget, salaries, planning, and athletics, and to assist in the transition from the Boyd to the Olum administration. Even then we shall pass on such new issUes as the administration of University housing near the campus and mental health policy to our successors.

In closing, we pay special tribute to the President and Provost, whose openness not only is a tribute to their personal characters (different as they are) but to their collegial attitude and their commitment to the Oregon system of university governance. 14e look back with pleasure upon the countless hours we have spent with President Boyd. We shall miss him. We have enjoyed eqUally our discussions with the Provost. We welcome him to his new office and wish him well.

Submitted respectfully,

Virgil Boekelheide Robert Campbell Paul Holbo, Chairman Wanda Johnson Frank Lacy Nathaniel Teich Donald Tull Shirley Wilson, Vice Chairer and Secretary

June 4, 1980 


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