The University's changeover is not completed but it is on the way. Sheet metal and other cosmetic alterations will no longer do as smaller faculties face reduced student enrollments and voracious inflation. The administration of the University sees these prospects. Each of the past several Advisory Councils has learned about them very quickly. The faculty has not begun to appreciate the condition. How to make sure that the University responds in academically sound and original ways is an assignment that the faculty must take seriously. That is going to be helped by the fact that Councils now have built-in continuity. The term of office is two years so that ordinarily, there will be four new members each year. As a result, the faculty has an opportunity to alter the composition of the Council in the light of changes in points of view that it wishes to have represented. In the past this has been accomplished at the price of having Councils that each year spent a good deal of time in the initial months establishing procedures and a sense of identity. It is hoped that the latter will come more quickly now for it is what influences the character of the discUssions with the president and the Provost and hence the advice they receive. How to manage our affairs instead of arbitrating them, is sure to be the theme of the 80's for this University.
During 1978-79, the President and the Provost brought a large number of items to the Council and the Council raised numerous matters on its own initiative for discUssion. The items varied markedly of course, some being of immediate significance only while others were returned to over and over again. The number approaches the 300 items which last year's Council toted-up for its count. We shall not list them here. A few general matters will instead be discUssed.
Because it was a legislative year, the President and the Provost were almost consumed by the details of getting information about and preparing for meetings involving the Chancellor's 0ffice, the State Board of Higher Education, lobbyists and legislators, and legislative committee hearings. The involvement of the University's administration and staff in these activities has intensified in the past several years as the Chancellor's Office has permitted and encouraged more independent activity on the part of the State's institutions. The result has been a more continuous presence by the University in Salem and elsewhere throughout the state; that means, particularly that the President and the Provost had, more than ever before, to cope with divided attention. We are fortunate that they were able to rely upon the University lobbyist, Charles Duncan, for information and suggestions but, even so, the year was obviously grueling. The President and the Provost were extraordinarily faithful in meeting with the Council, bringing issues to us and responding to issues raised. The University has been well served during this unusually difficult year.
Very specific and highly general issues were discussed. Two opposing themes emerged. One view held that management of the University requires explicit formulation of the University's mission and a set of corresponding goals and objectives. Management decisions and practices by both faculty and administration would then be guided by a set of plans. The plans could be the result of a constant and open planning process all of whose components should be visible and accessible to all. It would require a rigorous information system. This, it was argued, would minimize capricious and arbitrary actions. It would also require faculty to provide justification for existing programs on a regular basis. It would establish a uniform and regular pattern for proposing, evaluating, and initiating new programs so that the resources of the University would have claims made upon it in an orderly, fair, and predictable manner.
The opposing view accepted some features of the proposal. There was, for example, no disagreement about the missions of the University, though these remain somewhat undefined, or about the centrality of an effective information system. One point of disagreement centered on the extent to which the capability for flexible utilization of opportunities should be salient. It is what gives both aggressive and creative faculty and administrators a chance to seize unusual and exciting opportunities. Given the expected decline in traditional students and funding, these unusual opportunities must become focal for a University if it is to play its role of intellectual leadership.
Both points of view assumed a smaller, somewhat poorer institution which would have to seek interesting and different kinds of students and develop suitably different curricula. They looked to different styles of administration whose proponents have been locked in argUment in industry and education for a couple of decades now in the confrontation of traditional modes with what is sometimes called management-by-objectives. There are numerous, interlocking processes that sustain any complex organization, and this Council has just begun one of those processes this past year. There is every reason to believe that the 1979-80 Council will pursue the overall question even more intensively with the intrusiveness of the legislature's presence fading.
The Council guided the development of the Association of Oregon Faculties on this campus. It is hoped that through lobbying action the AOF can influence over the next several years attitudes and treatment of higher education. This Council has been favorably impressed with the way that the AOF lobbyist this past year, Robert Davis, has functioned. We hope and believe that future events will justify a similar view by Council ls and faculty. The AOF's main membership is from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University so the main items on which lobbying will take place will reflect the needs and desires of our two institutions particularly. The main burden of organizing the UO participation was carried by J. Tattersall and Barry Siegel of Economics; the faculty is indebted to them for the time and energy that they devoted to a difficult job.
Finally, there is a nascent west coast (Pac-10) faculty senates and councils organization. Its first meeting, attended in June by A. Zweig for the Council, was to be informational mainly. There is now a great deal of information and agreement about general administrative and financial matters that have developed at the level of regents and academic administration. The Pac-10 Senate (its name is not yet decided at the time of writing) may serve as a faculty complement to such interinstitutional administrative channels of information and practices.
We believe that this Committee will provide ideas and leadership in helping resolve what is fast becoming a major crisis in higher education.
We close this report by noting that we became increasingly aware of a growing sense of unease in faculty during the year. The fact that it was a legislative session surely had a good deal to do with it; tensions generally rise at such times. But it is in the objective considerations about the University's circumstances, e.g., computer facilities, building program, teacher evaluation, curriculum review, and shifting student enrollment patterns, and the personal financial concerns of individual faculty members, in which the legislature's actions become critical. The Council hopes that it has ref. ted faculty concerns correctly in its discussions. It is planned to continue the practice of meetings in open session with the faculty for discussion .,n of both general and specific matters; the faculty are urged to attend those meetings so that they may alert the Council about issues and hear from the Council about matters under consideration rather than learning about them at the end of the year. Respectfully, though belatedly, submitted, Faculty Advisory Council 1978-79
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