Present: B. Altmann, M. Bayless, E. Campbell, S. Cohen, S. Khader, R. Darst, D. Dinahanian, D. Dugaw, J. Earl, C. Ellis, D. Hawkins, L. Kintz, S. Kohl, K. Lenn, R. McGowen, L. McLean, G. McLauchlan, D. Merskin, P. Mills, R. Moore, C. Phillips, J. Raiskin, M. Reed, N. Savage, J. Schombert, S. Stolp, D. Strom, F. Tepfer, N. Tublitz, M. Vitulli, T. Wheeler
Excused: D. Conley, M. Epstein, C. Gary, M. Holland, C. Lachman
Absent: L. Alpert, R. Cambreleng, J. Dawson, J. Hosagrahar, K. Howard, S. Jones, R. Kellett, M. Nippold, L. Robare, M. Weiner, P. Wright
Senate President James Earl began the open forum portion of the meeting at 3:07 in room 240C Grayson. He requesting a change of order in the agenda, moving Provost Moseley’s presentation of the finalized Bend branch campus proposal to the beginning of the open discussion forum because Provost Moseley had another urgent appointment. Without objection, Provost Moseley began his presentation.
Finalized Bend Branch campus proposal. The provost distributed excerpts from the working document final Bend branch campus proposal and reiterated the necessity for continued confidentiality. The proposal was not a public document yet, but Provost Moseley felt it was important for the senate to view key pieces of the proposal. He has been working with the Senate Budget Committee since September and met with the Senate Executive Committee to provide much more detail, asking both groups to offer comments regarding their position on the proposal.
The provost stated that the proposal is to provide a genuine University of Oregon quality education to Central Oregon. All students on the Central Oregon campus will be University of Oregon students. They will be accepted under exactly the same admissions regulations as students who come to Eugene. Students will be able to move back and forth between the campuses. He believes that having a second UO campus in Bend will enhance the enrollments in both Eugene and Bend. He noted that the Central Oregon area has the lowest participation rate of high school graduates in four-year education programs of any region of the state of Oregon. Having a branch campus in Bend, he suggested, will improve that statistic and will also attract other students from other community colleges who had not originally planned to go on to finish a four-year education. The provost went on to explain that the core of the UO proposal is a strong liberal arts education, which is exactly what Central Oregon has asked for, and is consistent with the focus on this campus.
Provost Moseley briefly described how the campus would be organized. The Central Oregon branch campus would be a college reporting to the provost just as other schools and colleges do now. It will be a college in the broader sense, rather than a college of a particular discipline. All of the academic programs offered in Central Oregon will be offered through the University of Oregon, which is critical for quality considerations and also for maintaining accreditation. In organizational charts it will be listed as one of our colleges. The branch campus college will be headed by a vice provost for Central Oregon who will also serve as dean. The college will be divided into divisions covering science and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, education. The UO programs will be offered through those four divisions beginning with the programs already there. The College of Education has administrative licensure programs at this time and is planning to introduce a minor in family and human services. There will be a professional program in business for students in other disciplines to gain a business background. Additionally, the Computer Information Technology minor also will be available for students in other disciplines.
We have partnered with Eastern Oregon for them to continue their offerings on teacher licensure in education and bachelor degree programs in English Discourse Studies and Multidisciplinary Studies as their own division. The other partners are institutions that are already offering some programs in Central Oregon; there will be a continuation and an expansion of programs that are either already there or planned to be there. This is the initial plan for the first two years; beyond that, it could grow substantially.
Provost Moseley concluded his overview of the proposal indicating that numerous suggestions made by both the Senate Budget Committee and Senate Executive Committee were taken into account and included in the final version of the proposal. He then asked opened the floor for questions.
Senator Richard Sundt, art history, brought up the issue of OSU’s proposal which seemed to stress more “practical” programs. The provost replied that he felt the UO does practical education as well in that the liberal arts oriented education the UO offers its students will serve them best throughout their careers. The UO has worked more closely with COCC and with their faculty where students have an integrated experience. The provost indicated the UO proposal is most responsive to what the people in Central Oregon have asked for.
Senator Linda Kintz, English, inquired how the library system would operate. The provost responded that the ORBIS system was connected to the COCC library two years ago. Interim Head Librarian Deb Carver stated that the library will be COCC’s library and the budget will include a very generous allocation that will support the programs and will be integrated into their library collection. The UO also will try to extend the license agreements for all the electronic resources so that they will be available to all the students in Bend, UO and COCC students as well. The plan is to accomplish a seamless library service in Bend so that there is not a distinction between the COCC students and the UO branch campus students. President Frohnmayer remarked that the library will serve the faculty as well as the students. Faculty serving in Bend would not be cut off from their research, but in fact would have the same capacity through ORBIS.
Senator Martha Bayless, English, asked about the standards for an English major should one evolve at the branch campus. She stated that the standards for an English major here are very rigorous, which requires faculty with different specialties. Would all those requirements be met or would faculty be teaching out of their fields, in which case it would not be a program with as much rigor. Provost Moseley responded by saying that there are a lot of small colleges offering solid English degrees, so it is really a question of how it is structured. The degree, however, is the English department’s degree and it would not be offered in Bend unless it is approved by the UO English department. Associate Dean Russ Tomlin concurred with the provost’s reply. The provost further indicated that there will never be the total array of courses in Bend that there are here in Eugene. If there is demand for a degree in English in Bend, and the department enthusiastically supports it, then a degree can be offered.
Senator Diane Dugaw, English, asked about models of this sort of branch campus arrangement and wondered if branch campuses in the Colorado system were reasonable comparisons. The provost said that the Colorado model is very different; for one thing, their campuses are much larger than this branch campus would ever grow to be. A better example might be the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology: although degrees are not offered and the curriculum is limited mostly to marine biology, it is a wonderful, small campus experience. He sees the branch campus as a larger version of that campus, but offering degrees in a different setting. Another difference with the Colorado example is that our responsibility in Bend is for upper division and some limited number of graduate programs. That is important because it will only work if we have a good relationship with the community college that is offering the appropriate lower division courses for the UO to offer what will be needed at the upper division level. The two programs will be integrated. As far as faculty are concerned, the budget assumes that we have senior faculty who are currently teaching in Bend. The question was raised whether we are going to weaken our departments here because faculty are going to Bend. The number of faculty for the first three years is actually quite small. If it appears that the campus will indeed be a growing and stable operation, then we would start hiring faculty for that campus to be resident there and faculty positions would open up here as well as there.
Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, asked about the budget for moving and living expenses. He questioned whether the proposed $40,000 for housing is adequate. Provost Moseley responded that the housing amount budgeted should cover approximately seven faculty members.
Senator Lindsey McLean, ASUO, asked whether it is the intention that the UO will eventually take over COCC so that students in Central Oregon would not be able to attend a community college. Provost Moseley responded that there is no intention for the University of Oregon to take over or absorb Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Community colleges have a broader mission because they also have the mission of worker training. COCC has a very strong Arts and Sciences core at the lower division, but they also have the community education training, technical classes, and so forth. The intention is to make this a partnership with COCC and to maintain it that way.
Senator Chris Ellis, economics, asked how faculty at the branch campus would participate with their home department in Eugene in decision-making, or is there some degree of autonomy between the two campuses. Provost Moseley stated that for the foreseeable future, the faculty in Bend would be members of the faculty of the department of their discipline.
Senate President Earl thanked Provost Moseley for his presentation and asked for comments from Senate Budget Committee (SBC) member Mike Kellman regarding budgeting aspects of the proposal. Mr. Kellman stated that the SBC has been working with Ms. Frances Dyke, resource management, for the branch campus to be budgeted so that there could be an excellent academic program in Bend, worthy of the University of Oregon, which he felt has been achieved. Most importantly, the SBC was concerned that the impact on the UO campus be at least neutral, and potentially even beneficial in terms of resources, especially by enhancing rather than negatively impacting enrollment. And, everyone is absolutely committed that this branch campus cannot be a financial drain for the UO.
The main source of revenue is a large state appropriation for the initial two years of the plan. The second major revenue stream is the regular state-support per student (Resource Allocation Model [RAM]), which subsidizes students in the same way students are subsidized on the main campus. The third revenue stream is tuition. Expenditures strongly emphasize instruction to meet the goal of academic excellence. The state will have to provide additional revenue in the third, fourth, and fifth years of the proposal. The hope is that the state will want to support the program at the level developed in the later years, but if that does not happen, it would be necessary to scale the program to meet the resources that are available. This would prevent any negative financial impact on the University of Oregon. The consensus of the SBC is that there is a firm plan and commitment to proceed in this manner, and the budget committee strongly endorses the budgetary aspects of the branch campus proposal.
Mr. Paul Engelking, chemistry, asked if there has been any commitment of funds or resources if the branch campus does not succeed. Mr. Kellman said there are some initial commitments for the beginning of the program but no later commitments have been made that would jeopardize the university. Senator Rob Darst, political science, wondered if once the branch campus opens, the status of COCC will rise above other community colleges in terms of resources allocated to it, the number of students enrolling, and general prestige. He asked what would prevent students who are financially pressed or academically marginal or who simply like Central Oregon from enrolling in the branch campus instead of enrolling in the UO as freshmen, and only going to COCC for two years. Associate Vice President Jim Buch, enrollment services, felt that the risk is minimal and the greater risk is in not being aggressive and pursuing the venture. He noted that there is tremendous population growth in Central Oregon and reiterated that the college-going rate of high school students in Central Oregon is among the lowest of all Oregon counties.
Senator Barbara Altmann, romance languages, inquired if there was an “unspoken” agenda surrounding the proposal, and asked about the risk of not going forward with the branch campus, or what happens if OSU is awarded the branch campus. Why has there been so much secrecy and competitiveness with the proposal? President Frohnmayer responded by saying that one of the UO’s objectives is to be perceived as looking outward rather than being landlocked. We need to show our outreach in tangible ways. One irony is that we were in Central Oregon before there was any other university; we have had a presence for a century and a quarter in Central Oregon. Senate President Earl said he appreciated the question because the secrecy that has surrounded this project seems so unlike normal operations at this university. He explained that Provost Moseley told him that the secrecy was mandated by the Chancellor’s Office, and that office has been responsible for putting us in competition with each other in this proposal. President Earl expressed his resentment toward a the state system that encourages competition between the universities like two horses running for a prize. A more cooperative structure would have been more in line with his ideals of the university system. President Frohnmayer stated that the UO did offer a collaborative approach but was spurned.
Senator Altmann returned to the question of risk. Is there a fear that the legislature will look more favorably toward OSU if we do not present a proposal? President Frohnmayer replied that he feels there are political risks although he cannot quantify them. This proposal has to stand or fall on its own merits; it is a chance to do something original, to do it well, and to enhance the stature of the UO.
Senate President Earl then closed discussion on this topic and noted that the motion on the floor regarding this proposal will be debated later during the regular new business portion of the agenda.
Athletics department $2 millon subsidy and proposed Autzen expansion project. Senate President Earl then recognized Vice President for Administration Dan Williams who was invited to talk with the senate regarding concerns of many people over the athletics department subsidy and the Autzen expansion project. Vice President Williams reminded the senators that the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, composed of elected faculty members, meets regularly with the athletics department administration and is current on the specifics of the two topics. Mr. Williams noted that there is much enthusiasm surrounding the football program, thus it makes sense to capitalize on that momentum and interest and keep the project before the public. If the project changes, which is likely because of changes in our gift opportunities, there are a host of approvals that will be necessary.
He noted further that the athletics department is an auxiliary enterprise. It must live off of its own revenues, which come from a number of places: students pay in excess of $1 million from incidental fees and pre-paid seats at athletic events; there are private gifts; membership in the Pacific 10 Conference yields in excess of $2 million a year from television revenues, from a share of the Rose Bowl television contract and receipts. The university subsidizes athletics with $2 million annually, which is part of athletics’ $26 million operating budget.
Mr. Williams noted that athletics is an extremely competitive enterprise and, contrary to traditional economic theory, competition does not lower the cost of athletics. Rather, it has the reverse effect. In part because of the highly competitive nature of athletics, the cost of facilities, salaries, equipment, and so forth rise on a regular basis and, more often than not, exceed general inflationary cost increases. He went on to say that a financial decision had to be made to stabilize the future financial position of the department, and that was to find new sources of revenue. The primary revenue source in the athletics department is the football program. Its annual revenue is in excess of $13.5 million and its annual cost is more than $8 million. It is that net difference that essentially funds every other program the department sponsors with the exception of men’s basketball, which meets its expenses, and the women’s basketball program, which is close to meeting its expenses. Attendance at football games has exceeded capacity for three years so the only opportunity to increase football revenue is going to be to increase the capacity of the football stadium or increase the cost of tickets. The cost of tickets has probably reached its point of maximum elasticity in our market. Consequently, athletics has developed a plan to increase the seating capacity of Autzen by approximately 12,000 people.
At the same time, Autzen is a very old facility, so it is desirable to take advantage of this expansion and also do some major remodeling to improve concession areas, restrooms, and so forth. It is about an $80 million expense. The plan essentially relies on gifts, with the exception of $17-18 million in bond indebtedness that would be used primarily to bridge the gaps and cash flow problems between the time the money is needed for construction and the time when all the pledged gifts come in. Mr. Williams believes the plan is quite feasible given the addition of skyboxes and sky suites that are another source of revenue. Because a major part of the project is gift funded, very little debt is carried that must be retired from the additional revenue. In turn, this gives athletics a chance to have additional revenues for increased costs of the other sports and to have athletics relieve itself of the dependency on the university’s $2 million subsidy.
The original plan is to phase out the subsidy. And, as everyone is aware, the plans for the gift portion changed dramatically when Phil Knight changed his relationship with the university. Athletics has stretched out the phasing of this project to give them more time to address the change in the financing package. Some preliminary work is being done, but the point of no return has not been reached and will not be for a couple years when demolition is slated to start. At that time, it will be known whether or not athletics can achieve the original goals and if not, the project will be redesigned; athletics will reduce its expectations and find a different way to finance some modest expansion. Athletics wants to reduce the subsidy as quickly as possible irrespective of the nature of the Autzen Stadium expansion.
In the question and anwer period that followed, Senator McLean, ASUO, asked how the expansion of Autzen Stadium with increased seating benefited students since the students would not be sitting in those seats anyway. Mr. Williams replied that the expansion would not have any direct benefit to students, although the demand for student tickets exceeds the space the students buy under their contract with the athletics department. Senate President Earl asked about the size of debt that the university is willing to undergo for the expansion. Williams stated there is no clear answer at this time, but reiterated that they will not incur more debt financing than they can retire, and that they have an excellent record of retiring debt. Further, no matter what they do, athletics must reduce the subsidy, and this will be difficult to do. President Earl reminded the senate that when the university takes on debt to finance the stadium, it is the university, not the athletics department, that is responsible should athletics revenues fall.
Senator David Strom, physics, inquired as to the required steps to borrow money to finance the project. Vice President Williams replied that the request would go to the legislature as a two-part process -- the university first receives authority to sell the bonds and request that the bonds be sold, then finally request the authority to spend the money. The university currently has the authority to borrow up to $17 million. The request went through the university administration, to the State Board of Higher Education, then to the appropriate legislative subcommittees, then to the legislature. If the amount should change, the process would have to be repeated. Implicit to the question was whether the senate has any participation in the borrowing decision, to which President Earl said that the answer was “no”. However, for the for the foreseeable future the senate will certainly speak up if the issue becomes controversial.
Senate Vice President Nathan Tublitz, biology, noted that since the advent of Measure 5, the athletics department budget has more than doubled. At the same time, all across the university, academic departments have taken cuts. He asked how can we justify continuing to increase the athletics department budget -- even though many of us would like to see the athletics department continue to grow and be successful -- on the back of the rest of the university, suggesting that perhaps the subsidy should be paid back immediately.
Mr. Williams responded by saying that the university began subsidizing the athletics department at the direction of the State Board of Higher Education. In the early 1990s, the athletics departments at all three major institutions were running significant deficits. The state board said that the budgets must be balanced and in order for that to happen, they dedicated to Oregon and Oregon State $1.5 million each, off the top, before the allocations are made to the institutions for instructional budgets. If that amount was not adequate, the university will have to use instructional funds to balance the athletics department budget. For the UO, that debt nearly has been eliminated. General fund money was used based upon the premise that a lot of the student-athletes who are at the UO on scholarships that are paid for by the athletics department, are students (and tuition dollars) that might not be here otherwise. The athletics department pays tuition and fees for all of its student-athletes which brings to the university revenue totaling nearly $3 million per year, so there are some net returns to the university’s general fund. The subsidy has been reduced over the past few years. However if it is the sense of the faculty leadership along with the president that we need to reduce the subsidy sooner than we expected to, then we will set about trying to do that and figure out what the consequences of that will be.
Senator Ellis wondered if the filled seats at Autzen was correlated directly with the local strong economy, and if they would remain full if the economy weakens. Similarly, Senator Bayless noted that athletics living within their budget may be true in theory but is not in practice. The unspoken assumption is that when revenues are short, athletics is not required to cut costs but academic departments are. She wondering why that is so. Athletics Director Bill Moos responded that of their $26 million budget, athletics receives $2 million from university resources. He remarked that when he approached the administration to plan for the stadium expansion, he was sincere about his hopes of relieving the university of having to subsidize athletics, although for institutional control, he feels there should always be some kind of appropriation. Mr. Moos noted that in the Pacific 10 Conference, only one institution, the University of Washington, does not appropriate funds for intercollegiate athletics. That is because they have a 76,000 seat stadium that is full six times a year. The UO is moving toward completely eliminating the subsidy, but is not there yet. Mr. Williams added that it is not fair to make the assumption that there is not some benefit to the institution by virtue of having a successful athletics program, particularly one that is financially sound. The question, he said, is whether it is worth $2 million; perhaps some people would say no, but it is an issue that needs to be discussed.
Senator Marie Vitulli, mathematics, asked if the bond indebtedness is $17-18 million and the bonds pay 5% per year, what is the source of that money. Mr. Williams responded that the debt will not be incurred for a while and it will be retired with additional revenue that will come from the ticket sales of the sky suites and skyboxes. Gift money will manage additional expenses until athletics can build some revenue producing activity. The bottom line is that athletics will not assume debt where there is not cash flow from department resources to retire the debt.
Senator Greg McLauchlan, sociology, noted that the White Paper approved by the senate last year to improve faculty salaries over a 5-7 period of time counted on the subsidy reduction to help fund the increases. Is this portion of future revenue sources at risk? Senator Tublitz replied that the athletics department gave funds last year to accommodate the raises that occurred in November. The SBC took into account that the reduction in the $2 million subsidy would begin after the expansion was completed, and it was those increases in revenues that fund subsequent budgets. Senate President Earl added that if the White Paper plan is to be expanded to cover other elements of the campus community besides tenure-track faculty, and we are already cutting corners to achieve current salary levels, we cannot be complacent about our ability to wait several years to find more monies for these raises.
Senator Phillips questioned how the benefits versus the costs of athletics weighed against each other? Mr. Williams responded by saying that the tuition bill of the athletics department is approximately $3 million year. And being a member of the Pacific 10 Conference is of some significance in attracting students and alumni gifts. President Earl remarked that in prosperous times, the subsidy would not be an issue. It is painful now though, when the academic departments are taking financial cuts, to see one part of the university thrive while another part languishes.
Mr. Williams concluded the discussion by assuring the senators that athletics will not jeopardize the university’s instructional budget as a consequence of the stadium expansion. He said he was very aware of the heightened sensitivity among faculty leadership, and therefore among the administration, about the importance of reducing the $2 million subsidy as quickly as possible irrespective of what happens with the expansion project.
President Earl called the business portion of the meeting to order at 4:35 p.m. Minutes of the November 8, 2000 meeting were approved without correction.
Committee on Courses -- Fall 2000 Preliminary Curriculum Report. Committee on Courses Chairman Paul Engelking, chemistry, drew the senate’s attention the Fall 2000 Preliminary Curriculum Report. He noted the appendix of the report contained a list of courses that, in concert with senate legislation, will be dropped for fall 2001 because they have not been taught for three or more years. He asked for any corrections or amendments to the body of the report first before reviewing the list of dropped courses, and reminded everyone that the final report needs to be to the Publications Office by February 1, 2001 for inclusion in the catalog. Changes should be submitted to Chairman Engelking and to Ms. Kathy Campbell, academic affairs. He also thanked both Ms. Campbell and Ms. Gayle Freeman, registrar’s office, for their diligence in preparing this preliminary curriculum report which in previous years had been complied by Ms. Nan Coppock Bland, publications.
Senators were reminded, too, that there was still time to make typographical corrections before the report went to press. Chairman Engelking explained the procedure implemented and effective Fall term 2000 for dropping courses not recently offered:
Mr. Engelking stressed that it is a very simple procedure to reinstate a course within the first three years after it is dropped.
Discussion of whether CIS 121 met the BS math satisfying requirement ensued. Associate Dean Bob O’Brien stated the CAS curriculum committee recommended that the BS math satisfying status of CIS 121 be dropped, and he moved to amend the curriculum report to this effect. Registrar Herb Chereck advised that this change should be included in the curriculum report under Other Curricular Matters. The amendment to drop the BS math satisfying part of CIS 121 passed.
Mr. Steve Stolp, academic advising, requested that in the future, the course offerings numbered CIS 120, 121, 123 be offered under a different course number, which would alleviate confusion for undergraduates who will be taking the courses in the future. It would also alleviate confusion in transfer courses that are articulated with the same number and don’t appear on the general progress report and on the transcript as meeting the BS requirement.
With no other changes to the main portion of the report, Chairman Engelking turned attention to the appendix list of courses to be dropped. Indicating that he already had received several requests to take courses off the to-be-dropped list, he asked that senators review the list again with department chairs and send to him and the Registrar, by the first two weeks of winter term, any courses that should not be dropped, along with information about when it would be taught and by whom. Senator Fred Tepfer, university planning, called for a vote on the report. The Fall 2000 Preliminary Curriculum Report passed unanimously, as amended.
Senator Tublitz moved the following resolution for discussion.
Resolution US00/01-2 -- Support for the UO branch campus in Bend
The University Senate of the University of Oregon supports the establishment of a UO branch campus in Bend, Oregon as described in the current UO proposal to the Oregon University System Chancellor's Office and the State Board of Higher Education.
Senator Vitulli spoke against the motion with reservations about support due to a lack of time to study the proposal. Senate President Earl noted that he approached the Bend proposal with skepticism, but that Provost Moseley spent over two hours going over a much fuller version of the proposal with the Senate Executive Committee. The executive committee questioned the provost about the proposal very thoroughly and by the end of the meeting had made six substantive suggestions for changing the proposal. For example, the Bend campus should receive the same kind of review procedure that departments on campus have, and there should be inside and outside evaluators for quality control. Several other similar issues were also raised but any skepticism was alleviated. Provost Moseley also spoke with the FAC with an even more recent version of the proposal amended by suggestions that the executive committee had offered. Similarly, the skepticism of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) eroded in the same manner. Thus the senate’s budget committee, executive committee, and the members of the FAC have all come to an approval of the proposal.
Senator Tublitz spoke to the specific reason for his motion to support the Bend campus proposal. There had been very little campus-wide discussion on this topic because of the deadline imposed by the State Board of Higher Education. His major concerns were the academic quality, that there be no financial risk to this campus, and that oversight of the programs by this campus include a broader campus discussion. In the course of ensuing discussions, Senator Tublitz said he was convinced that all three of his concerns have been addressed. He feels that the campus committees that have been involved in this process have been given full information, as much as can be said for any proposal that is a proposal to grow in the future, with all the uncertainties that such growth involves. Senator Tublitz believes there are grounds now to support this proposal and to support it strongly.
The question was called. In a hand vote of 20 in favor and 3 opposed, Resolution US00/01-2, supporting the proposal to establish a UO branch campus in Bend, passed.
Notice of motion. Senator Tublitz gave notice that he intends to present a motion on the Riverfront Research Park at the January senate meeting.
With the hour growing late, President Earl indicated that election of the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) representative and the IFS alternate is postponed until the January meeting.
With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.