Minutes of the University Senate Meeting March 14, 2001
Present: L. Alpert, B. Altmann, R. Cambreleng, E. Campbell, S. Cohen, R. Darst, D. Dugaw, J. Earl, C. Ellis, D. Hawkins, R. Kellett, L. Kintz, S. Kohl, C. Lachman, G. McLauchlan, D. Merskin, M. Nippold, C. Phillips, J. Raiskin, M. Reed, L. Robare, N. Savage, J. Schombert, S. Stolp, D. Strom, F. Tepfer, N. Tublitz, M. Vitulli, T. Wheeler, P. Wright
Excused: M. Epstein, K. Lenn, R. McGowen
Absent: T. Arnold, E. Bailey, M. Bayless, D. Conley, J. Dawson, D. Dinihanian, C. Gary, M. Holland, J. Hosagrahar, S. Jones, P. Mills, R. Moore, M. Weiner
Prior to the regular business meeting of the University Senate an open forum discussion included a legislative budget update by President Frohnmayer and Mr. Bill Linden of the Association of Oregon Faculties. Mr. Linden brought several points to the senators’ attention:
· The $100 million that the legislature added to the budget in 1999 session was a first step forward in reinvesting in higher education in Oregon.
· Approximately $1.4 billion additional dollars are available for the legislature and the governor to spend for the 2001-2003 biennium. It represents a 12% increase over the current biennium, which accounts for a total general fund of almost $12 billion.
· The chancellor requested $805 million as the amount needed to maintain the current level of service within the Oregon University System and its campuses.
· The governor’s budget for higher education was $709 million for a current service level for OUS for the 2001-03 biennium. The $96 million difference between the two budgets represents about a 12% reduction to the OUS budget that is needed to continue current services and would provide for no enhancements, no new programs, and no new hires.
In another portion of the budget the governor proposed roughly $53 million for four new programs for which funding would be dedicated: $20 million for engineering, $17 million for enrollment programs, $8 million for small school subsidies, and $8 million for the campus in Bend. The $53 million does not address any of the problems created by the $96 million difference in the current service level of the budget.
Although absolute details concerning the $96 million funding difference are not clear for each campus, the difference translates to real cuts of approximately $8 million annually -- $16 million in cuts for the biennium – that would mean far more difficult cuts than any of the reductions the university has faced with Measure 5 in the last decade.
As of March 1st, the co-chairs of the legislative Ways and Means Committee, suggested adding back $29 million in funding to help offset some of the reductions, $10 million for state-wide services and $19 million added back into the base budget. But the $29 million figure is not firm and will be modified due to the lower March revenue forecast (down about $100 million) and the next forecast in May. Mr. Linden suggested that we need to act to re-establish higher education as a priority in the governor’s budget. And he reminded senators that it is very important for legislators to hear from faculty, students, alumni and other advocates for higher education with a strong message to support an adequate budget for higher education.
President Frohnmayer continued the presentation with remarks about the success of the March 6th rally for higher education in Salem, saying that legislators’ comments were uniformly positive and that they were awestruck by the turnout in support of higher education (2-3,000 people with the largest contingency from the UO). He went on to relate that the formal hearings begin next week and will last for approximately 10 days, and that he expects to testify 3 of the 10 days. In addition, there will be time on April 4th for public testimony. Mr. Michael Redding, governmental affairs associate vice president, may call upon faculty for their assistance in testifying.
President Frohnmayer indicated several sources of additional revenue: tobacco settlement funds which are non-recurring, early payback for the federal retirees lawsuit (about $100 million), and “kicker” funds (if it does not kick in). The president noted the extremely partisan politicking regarding the budget this session. Another position taken by some was to pass the $5.2 billion K-12 portion of the budget first, regardless of what the May forecast shows. In other words, lock in the K-12 budget while letting every other budget float unless a tax increase is mandated through some mechanism of the budget. That is not a formula that bodes well for higher education.
When the floor was opened for questions, Senator Linda Kintz, English, expressed disappointment with the notion of K-12 and Birth to Three programs seemingly pitted against higher education for funding. She further asked what would cause the kicker to “kick”. Mr. Linden replied that if revenues are $181 million over the May 1999 revenue forecast, the kicker kicks in. Revenues are projected to be about $314 million over that threshold. One idea being explored is to take an early payment of the federal retirees’ settlement, which would be about $110 million; but even with that subtraction from the $314 million, there is likely enough revenue for the kicker to kick.
With no additional questions, the discussion ended with Senate President James Earl thanking President Frohnmayer and Mr. Linden for their comments.
CALL TO ORDER
President Earl called the regular meeting of the senate to order at 3:33 p.m. in room 100 Willamette.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes from the February 14, 2001 meeting were approved as distributed.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE FLOOR
The secretary informed the senators that information regarding the call for nominations for elected councils, university standing committees, and the university senate is available on the senate web page (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/nominate01.html). Eligibility for the councils and committees, as well as the list of nominees is update regularly. Deadline for nominations is April 9th. Confirmed nominations may be sent via email to the secretary or written and sent by campus mail
University Library Committee Report. The University Library Committee, chaired by Gina Psaki, romance languages, has developed a written report for the senate (see report on the web at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/LibComRpt14Feb01.html) regarding the library committee’s concern over the crisis in commercial scholarly publishing and serials costs. The report describes this crisis, lays out some possible local and national approaches to dealing with the crisis, and requests that the UO Senate address the recommendations made.
The rapidly rising costs problem is complex, prompting extensive research and discussion by the research library community and university faculties. Initiatives such as Open Archives, SPARC and Create Change are aimed at reconfiguring the way scholarly research is disseminated and acknowledged. (An appendix to the report contains links to web page URLs and a bibliography of documentation and further information on this issue.) During the past decade, due largely to the commercialization of scholarly publishing, journal subscriptions costs have increased at an average of 9-11% per year, forcing the UO faculty to identify journal titles to cancel. As a result, 14% of our titles -- $850,000 or 2,400 titles – have been cut since 1992. These decreases are two-and-a half times the average of research libraries nationwide, indicating an acute situation at the UO that must be addressed.
The new budget model does not dedicate an increase to cover the costs of inflation in books and journals. The serials inflation rate is approximately 8.5%. Even if we assume an annual budget increase of 4-5%, another round of cancellations of about $400,000 will be needed in 2003-2004.
One way to address the problem is not just at the point of purchase but rather at the point of generation of the research. Universities are subsidizing and producing research but then must purchase the same research at absurdly inflated prices. The library community is beginning to respond with a variety of approaches aimed at reforming the entire system of scholarly publishing. Ms. Psaki referred the senators to a list of five recommendations in the committee’s report, and asked for further discussion in the senate and action on the recommendations after they have been reviewed.
When questions were invited Senator Jim Schombert, physics, requested a listing of the cost of journals. Acting Head Librarian Debra Carver responded that the library is in the process of putting together a database of all the journals. Also, by retaining copyrights, there is an attempt to have some control of our intellectual material and possibly not have to purchase the material.
Vice President Nathan Tublitz, biology, stated that there is a grassroots effort in progress asking that all scientific publications release material on the web. This movement has gained so much strength that it is the cause of a major discussion in large publishing houses. Senator Tom Wheeler, journalism and communication, remarked that faculty are being encouraged to disassociate themselves from publishing companies with unethical pricing structures. He asked if there are other aspects to pricing structure that might render a pricing structure unethical. Ms. Carver responded that she describes unethical pricing structures as something that involves inflationary increases of 15-20% every year. There are other questionable practices that do not necessarily involve pricing, but involve access and ability to share information.
With no other comments or questions regarding the report, the President Earl thanked Ms. Psaki for the report and moved on to new business.
Notice of motions for library report recommendations and general education requirement. President Earl noted the recommendations listed in the library report just received will come up for action by the senate during the regular April meeting. He then recognized John Nicols, chair of the Undergraduate Council, who spoke briefly to give notice of motion regarding proposed changes in the general education requirements governing the approval of courses meeting general education requirements and distribution of courses student must complete within each group. (See text of the motion at: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/US0001-3.html.)
Mr. Nicols indicated that the text of current legislation is being reduced by about 50% to make a more manageable and cohesive statement. He noted that the latest accreditation report specifically commented on the lack of coherency in general education offerings, thus the Undergraduate Council has been working to clear up the hodgepodge of current legislation that has occurred as the general education requirement has evolved.
More generally, there is concern that general education has changed over the last ten years, quite significantly in the sense that more colleges outside arts and sciences are offering more general education courses; the current structure may not reflect adequately or allow for an inclusive consideration of proposals that are made. There has been some uncertainty about what the proper procedures are for getting general education courses approved. The Undergraduate Council is concerned with process and that it be an inclusive process. The motion addresses this issue. There has also been a geometric increase in the number of group satisfying and multicultural courses. With this increase departments have found it increasingly difficult to maintain the legislative schedule. The catalog must adequately reflect what is being taught, so the motion tightens up the regulations on how often courses must be offered. Group satisfying courses do occupy a privileged place in the curriculum, in the catalog, and in the time schedule of classes, so departments bear a responsibility to offer those courses often so that students can make progress toward their degree.
Finally, the Undergraduate Council believes that students’ intellectual experience is enhanced by taking group-satisfying courses outside of the major. It provides for a fuller intellectual experience in which the student gains breadth and the performance of the major is enhanced by exposure to other disciplines. These issues are the crux of the proposed motion.
Preliminary Winter Term Curriculum Report. Paul Engelking, chair of the Committee on Courses, began his report noting that the committee has been missing members from some of the professional schools; in particular, members are needed from the School of Music and the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. He stressed the importance of having across the board representation when evaluating courses and proposals.
Several minor editing changes were noted in course numbers in anthropology, Russian, and art; these edits will be made in the final version of the report. Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, questioned the syntax of the text, “graded for majors only,” but a brief discussion resulted in general agreement that students are familiar with the phrase and know what it means.
With no other changes, the curriculum report was accepted, as amended, and passed unanimously (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/w01cur.html).
Resolution US00/01-4 Academic calendar and athletic event scheduling conflicts. President Earl stated that this resolution originated in a suggested motion from Mr. Richard Sundt, art history, which he received and was subsequently posted via the senate web page. The president noted that the motion is being offered to both the UO senate and the senate at OSU. He indicated that both senate presidents developed the wording. The resolution reads as follows:
Resolution US00/01-4 Academic calendar and athletic event scheduling conflicts
The Civil War game was rescheduled for 2001 by the Athletic Departments of UO and OSU to suit the convenience of ABC, which will televise the game. The game is now scheduled for the Saturday before final exams. This change was made without due consideration of the academic calendar. The new date is inappropriate, not only for the players involved but for all the students of the two universities.
The problem of athletic scheduling has grown worse in recent years: we note an increase of mid-week travel in many sports, and also the inappropriate timing of the NCAA basketball finals, which from now on will be held during finals week of Winter term. Such conflict may be unavoidable, but every effort should be made to accommodate the academic needs of our students.
The combined University Senates of UO and OSU therefore make the following recommendation to our Presidents and Provosts: In the future, the academic calendar should be of paramount consideration in the scheduling of athletic events. Major events like the Civil War game must never again conflict with final exams. In general, we urge a greater sensitivity to the academic calendar by our Athletic Departments.
The president recognized Mr. Brad Shelton, mathematics and chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). Mr. Shelton spoke against the resolution. Although he was not against the essence of the resolution, he said there were several issues specific to the resolution that should be separated and clearly enunciated. First is the issue of faculty input when making decisions about athletics that have academic impact. Two recent decisions, the PAC-10 post-season basketball tournament for next year and the rescheduling of the 2001 Civil War football game, were made primarily by the athletic department and the administration with little or no input from the faculty.
Mr. Shelton felt that there was lack of communication with the IAC, and regardless of the actual decision, they should have had a voice. The IAC has taken steps to deal with the issue of the lack of communication with the athletic department by setting up an executive committee structure to formalize the necessary communication that would allow it to keep track of these important decisions. Associate Athletic Director Dave Heeke will be the conduit of information between the athletic department and the IAC, and the IAC is the conduit of information to the faculty. Mr. Shelton felt that the new lines of communication represented a substantial change of operation within the IAC and asks that the faculty give this process a chance to work.
A second issue Mr. Shelton identified was the language of resolution. The resolution states several opinions as facts, and lacks any real substance. There are no procedures set out for implementing or evaluating the goals. As stated, the resolution serves only as a slap in the face of the athletic department, while not addressing any of the myriad problems that exist with the burgeoning of athletics. He recognized that there is a great deal of frustration on campus and some of it perhaps deservedly is focused on athletics. Mr. Shelton also agrees that athletics, nationally, is out of control and should be toned down. It is his hope that the IAC and perhaps the senate will ask President Frohnmayer to begin a real discussion of how to rein in athletics. The discussion needs to happen at the PAC-10 conference level – it is not solely a UO campus problem. He believes there is too much at stake and we can do too much real damage to the university if we try to take rform on all by ourselves.
Senator David Strom, physics, also spoke against the resolution. Rather than building a firewall between the faculty and the athletic department, he believes we should concentrate on the fact that the majority of athletes who come to the university and who want to play football do not come here because of our academic programs. Further, he believes that intercollegiate athletics may be out of control but it is not going to be reined it in by making it more academic.
Senator Wheeler pointed out that that much of the resolution was a statement of principles in which the writer has taken pains to make exception and to allow for interpretation. But the next to last sentence that says, …”major events must never again conflict”…. Does this mean that, if it comes down to this, we are not going to hold the Civil War foot ballgame, or, it is not going to be televised if the only option is to televise it during final exams? This seems to be a technical problem with the wording.
Senator Greg MacLauchlan, sociology, spoke in favor of the resolution, saying it will help serve the goals of reform in the IAC. Stating that the senate needs to take the utmost care of the academic and scholarly aspects of the university, he opined that the last thing students need is another major distraction during finals week.
The discussion moved on to debating the merits of including all the paragraphs in the resolution, or only the last paragraph. Mr. Shelton supported eliminating all but the last paragraph. Senator Barbara Altmann, romance languages, noted several contradictions of tone and intent and an undue emphasis on final exams; she was in favor of only the last paragraph. Senator Fred Tepfer, campus planning, agreed, but remarked that the first and second paragraphs provide background or explanatory information.
Senator Del Hawkins, business, suggested dropping the second to last sentence in the last paragraph. He also questioned whether it was factual that there is an increase in mid-week travel as stated in the resolution. Senator Debra Merskin, journalism and communication, stated that the last sentence is editorial in nature.
A motion was made to amend the word “must” to “should” in the next to last sentence of the final paragraph. The motion to amend passed unanimously by voice vote. The amended sentence now reads:
Major events like the Civil War game should never again conflict with final exams.
With the amended main motion back on the floor for discussion, Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, moved to strike the first two paragraphs and the word “therefore” in the first sentence of the third paragraph for the motion to read:
The combined University Senates of UO and OSU make the following recommendation to our Presidents and Provosts: In the future, the academic calendar should be of paramount consideration in the scheduling of athletic events. Major events like the Civil War game should never again conflict with final exams. In general, we urge a greater sensitivity to the academic calendar by our Athletic Departments.
During the discussion of the proposed amendment that followed, Mr. Sundt stated, among other things, that the university does not have any control over when the NCAA basketball finals are held; furthermore, most universities in this country are on a semester system, and therefore the NCAA basketball finals do not conflict with their final exams. However, we do have some control over the PAC-10 basketball tournament and whether is impact final exams.
President Earl asked if there was any more discussion on the amendment now on the floor. Hearing none, the president called for a voice vote, which was indecisive, and followed with a hand vote. The amendment to strike the first two paragraphs and the word “therefore” in the first sentence of the third paragraph passed, with 13 in favor and 10 opposed. The resolution, as amended, was back on the floor as a main motion.
Senator Phillips then proposed another amendment to add after the words “athletic events”, the words “and other competitive events for students,” citing and example of a mathematics competition that is six-hours long and always occurs on the Saturday before final exams during fall quarter. The motion failed to be seconded.
Discussion continued on the amended main motion. Lorraine Davis, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, remarked that because of the various amendments, she did not believe that OSU can remain in the resolution as stated. President Earl responded that the OSU senate meeting is next week and he will convey the results of this meeting to his counterpart, and will work to be sure that there is no disagreement between the two motions offered.
Vice President Tublitz asked whether the first two paragraphs of the resolution that were struck could be structured as preamble to the resolution. Senator Marie Vitulli, mathematics, added that she would like to see the senate, as a whole, agree on the intent of the resolution.
Senator Steve Stolp, academic advising, then moved to table the resolution to the next meeting. The motion to table the main motion, as amended, until the April meeting failed by voice vote. Before discussion on the motion resumed, Senator Kintz asking if a quorum was present.
The secretary called the roll to determine if there was a quorum. The following members were present: L. Alpert, B. Altmann, E. Campbell, R. Darst, D. Dugaw, J. Earl, C. Ellis, D. Hawkins, R. Kellett, L. Kintz, S. Kohl, G. McLauchlan, M. Nippold, C. Phillips, J. Raiskin, M. Reed, L. Robare, J. Schombert, S. Shauger, S. Stolp, F. Tepfer, N. Tublitz, M. Vitulli, P. Wright.
The quorum count failed with 24 members present and 25 members needed for a quorum.
Without a quorum, no further action on the main motion, as amended, could be taken and the motion will carry over to the April meeting. The president adjourned the meeting at 4:47 p.m.