Within the context of these difficult times, President Frohnmayer has provided the campus with optimistic energy. The FAC resumed its traditional role as the confidential advisory body to the University President. Provost John Moseley and Vice-Provost Lorraine Davis were also in regular attendance. Four major issues of concern to the faculty as a whole and to the Assembly were discussed at length. A brief description of these discussions follows.
BUDGET The University dependence on undergraduate out-of-state tuition continues as the state contribution shrinks to about 30% of the 1994-95 revenue. After 1994-95 we will have a balanced budget and operate in the black, but by a very small amount. To maintain this balanced budget we will need to have an 8% increase (1100 students) in enrollment while the faculty size remains constant. Improving productivity is a key issue--doing more with less. Most of the enrollment increase is expected to come from improving our recruitment and retention of undergraduates. Admissions expectations for next year appear excellent since competing in the Rose bowl gave us national coverage.
The OSSHE BARC Report, which recommended a number of economic and administrative reforms to Oregon colleges and universities, has already given an overall savings of $5 million. By June 1995 the University has been able to implement $435,000 in cost savings by consolidation of administrative offices. Other University recommendations included $200,000 in potentially identified by use of Banner Financial Information System (by 6/97) and $1,000,000 savings if we can crate a public corporation for OSSHE. Such a corporation would create cost savings in travel, purchasing, human resources by eliminating duplication and bureaucracy of the State regulations. The BARC report also recommended a change in faculty governance finding that the existing system no longer was effective.
REFORM OF FACULTY GOVERNANCE Discussions about reform of the faculty governance system began to take shape during the summer of 1993. In October 1994 former President Brand charged the FAC with the task of studying and recommending charges to governance. That task occupied the FAC for almost all of its meetings in 1993-1994. In May 1994 the FAC recommended to the Assembly that a special committee on Governance Reform be created. During the summer of 1994 Sarah Douglas, the Chair of the FAC, appointed the members of the Assembly Committee on Governance: Laura Alpert, Chair; Jack Rice, Caroline Forell, Jack Sanders, Keith Richard, Mark Rhinard, ASUO. The FAC followed the activities of that committee from its inception and vigorously advocated for the recommended reform--which was finally brought about in a vote of the University Assembly on May 17, 1995.
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING AND REWARDING TEACHING A report from the Faculty Rewards and Development Commission, an ad hoc committee appointed by former President Brand, was reviewed and advice about many parts of it were offered, particularly the Guidelines for Evaluating and Rewarding Teaching document. Three meetings from January 23, 1995 to February 6, 1995 were taken up with a discussion on this document. The basic problem: How to reintroduce teaching as a valued activity into the University culture. The Guidelines recommend that each department have a departmental teaching plan, teaching plans for individual faculty and a mentoring program for junior faculty. The Guidelines also recommend that each candidate for promotion and tenure present a teaching vita, teaching portfolio, and evaluation of teaching by both students and peers. The FAC was generally in agreement and support on the recommendations for a teaching vita and peer evaluation. There was a greater difference of opinion on the value of a teaching portfolio and z scores in student evaluations. The FAC discussion repeatedly demonstrated the need to balance consistency in comparing faculty performance across departments with the individual practices and expectations within a discipline or profession. We made some specific recommendations of changes to the Guidelines document. This revised document was later presented to the University Senate and recommendations made that each Department develop its own plan to meet the recommendations of the Guidelines.
"COLLEGE HIGH" COURSES The FAC received a letter from the Academic Standards Committee asking it to looking into the problem of "College High" courses. Background information given to the FAC included the following. College High courses award college credit for course work completed in high school and taught by high school teachers, but "overseen" by a college. These courses carry college credit. Prompted by problems encountered with students who had been given College High credit for Writing 121, college algebra and first year languages, but inadequately prepared for taking a second year course at the University, the Assembly unanimously passed on February 3, 1993 the following motion: "College credit earned on a high school campus prior to graduation from high school may be validated for transfer credit only by demonstrating proficiency as determined by the respective university department." Following this decision the University encountered a public relations uproar from both community colleges, high school and OSSHE. The major criticism was that the University was blocking articulation. OSSHE wants a seamless transition from high school to college, and for us to have a common policy with OSU. In response, former President Brand effectively gave this legislation a pocket veto. In a memo dated August 5, 1993 to Community College Presidents, OSSHE, and High School and Community College counselors, Jim Buch, Director Admissions, stated that the College High legislation was indefinitely postponed.
In a FAC meeting on February 13, 1995 with Jim Buch, we attempted to gather more information and crete a compromise between the public relations demands of the University and the responsibility of the faculty to create curriculum. The FAC emphasized to the administration that faculty had concern about the College High courses because they appeared to be a problem for student success at the University, no because we wanted to assert our independence from the state system.
We asked for a history of these courses. Jim Buch described that they originated in the 1970s at Syracuse and were adopted here in Oregon. In a state study conducted in the mid-1980s it was found that there ia great deal of variation in how College High courses are administered and approved. This study developed guidelines for participating institutions. Of the participating institutions, PSU and SOSC are most active in creating College High courses with high schools. They appear to do a good job. However, not all participating institutions follow these guidelines and there are some notable offenders.
When asked how many students at the U of O are given College high credit, Jim Buch stated that approximately 15-20% of the freshmen have taken College High courses although it is difficult to determine this. They appear as regular college courses on the transcript. This causes an ambiguity between courses actually taken at a college and a College High course taught at the high school. The number of College High students compares to 25% of the freshman class who have taken AP courses. (Although only 80% of AP students score 3 or above and get credit.) Jim Buch did a study comparing AP, College High, and regular students for retention. He reported that the results are inconclusive.
As a step toward resolution of this problem, Provost John Moseley volunteered to develop and administrative plan to address both the concerns of the faculty and the public relations of the University. Major issues which were highlighted by the discussion include: 1) identifying College High courses on transcripts; 2) discussion of this problem with the Articulation Committee of OSSHE; 3) proposing a consistent standard between AP and College High courses; and 4)getting colleges who are supervising the high schools to actually do that and to follow the guidelines. As of the date of this report, the Provost has not presented such a plan.
In addition to the above major topics, the following issues were also discussed.
Members whose terms expire June 1995: Sarah Douglas, Chair Susan Anderson Jack Bennett Laird Kirkpatrick Kathleen Nicholson
Terms continue to June 1996: Francoise Calin, Wilmot Gilland, Kenneth Helphand, Jack Rice,Diana Sheridan
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