Excused: L. Kintz, J. Novkov, C. Phillips, J. Raiskin, J. Wasko
Absent: K. Aoki, D. Beaumonte, R. Cambreleng, V. Cartwright, C. Ellis, M. Epstein, M. Hallock, D. Hawkins, R. Moore, R. Ponto, S. Shauger, S. Stolp, P. Wright
CALL TO ORDER
President Nathan Tublitz called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in 123 Pacific.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES.
Minutes from the March 10, 2002 meeting of the senate were approved as distributed.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Update on the UO Budget. Provost Moseley advised that the university's budget situation has not changed significantly from what was reported to the Senate during the March meeting. He summarized the current status saying that the budget is balanced for this year only. The budget cut over the next biennium is tentatively $8.8 million, but that figure won't be finalized until the June 6, 2002 Special Session of the legislature. The provost noted that by setting aside expected tuition dollars from the anticipated enrollment growth, and putting it back into the budget model, there still remains an approximate $3 million gap to close. Each OUS institution has been asked to report how they would deal with a 2% general fund cut for next year. Provost Moseley went on to say that although the funding resolution is uncertain at this time, he is hopeful for other revenue sources. Nevertheless, there will be reductions in some areas; the intention is to limit the reductions to areas not directly related to teaching or student services. The provost noted a UO education is in demand, with 1,000 extra students expected for next fall, but the state is not providing additional funding to support those students.
Senator Jim Earl, English, asked what the $3 million cut translates to as a percentage of the budget. Provost Moseley replied that, with approximately $151 million in the general fund, plus the tuition budget, the cut represents about 2%. Responding to a question from Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, Associate Vice President Jim Buch, enrollment management, stated that the enrollment projections for fall 2002 are holding up very well, with 20,000 students tentatively expected.
Senator Maury Holland, law, asked what proportion of the UO budget comes from taxpayer general revenue as opposed to student paid fees and tuition. Provost Moseley answered that the state general fund (taxpayer monies) supports less than 20% of the UO operating budget. With the current budget cuts, the general fund support is closer to 17 or 18%. Approximately 60% of instructional funds come from tuition and 40% from the general fund. In OUS institutions overall, about 60% of the support comes from the state and 40% from tuition. The percentage is disproportionate at the UO because of our high proportion of non-resident students.
Senator Deb Merskin, journalism and communication, asked the provost to elaborate on the impact the projected increased number of students in fall will have on the university. Provost Moseley replied that the plan is to balance the budget based on the enrollment for which the university is currently being funded. Any funds received for additional enrollment would be used primarily for instructional support, with a small amount for student services. The intention is to take 80% of the base tuition and apply it to the budget model that funds teaching students. As a result, schools and colleges will receive about the same amount of money for teaching students as they would have received under the previous system. This plan will underfund all other areas in the university, and is only meant as a one- time strategy to get by for next year. The provost went on to say that either the UO must convince the state to accept fewer resident students, or the state should increase the funding for resident students. Currently the state is telling the UO to accept more students, accept an $8.8 million budget cut, not raise its tuition, and yet continue to perform (at least) at its current level. This is not possible.
Senator Merksin asked if there would be any directives given to the UO's schools and colleges regarding the expenditure of their funds. The provost replied that it is not the administration's policy to micromanage the schools and colleges, but there will be discussions in the dean's council regarding this issue. Clearly, additional instructors will need to be hired, most of who will not be tenure tract faculty. The current dilemma is to get the state to accept responsibility for supporting the large numbers of Oregonians that want higher education. With the discussion winding down, President Tublitz thanked Provost Moseley for the budget information and requested that he return in May for an additional update.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR.
President Tublitz announced plans for the senate to hold a joint Town Hall and University Assembly meeting with President Frohnmayer and the administration regarding the effects of the state budget cuts on the university. This community wide meeting is tentatively set for Monday, May 20th from 4-6 p.m. at 177 Lawrence.
Resolution US01/02-7 Ð Use of the university seal and logo. Senator Holland, one of the sponsors of the resolution, formerly withdrew resolution US01/02-7 concerning faculty's use of the university seal and logo, saying the administration has been responsive to the concerns of faculty with the decision on logo usage, as was announced in a campus memorandum the previous day. He commented on the current appearance of the seal, suggesting it be enlarged slightly or a line added next to it for aesthetic purposes. President Tublitz clarified that academic faculty may use the Great Seal stationery or the new "O" stationery, as they prefer. He added that final formatting decisions have not yet been completed. Senator Fred Tepfer, university planning, commented that because administrative faculty did not have the option of using the seal, two classes of citizens were created, which he found objectionable.
Motion US01/02-5 -- Participation of Classified Staff in the UO Senate. Vice President Greg McLauchlan, sociology, explained that Motion US01/02-5 regarding participation of classified staff in the University Senate, was sponsored by the Senate Executive Committee. Its purpose is to provide a means for better communication and input from classified staff employees by including three elected classified staff employees as "participating", non-voting members of the senate. Vice President McLauchlan added that senate eligibility and election procedures would be the same as for senators and noted the motion would amend the University Senate Bylaws. He clarified that the motion, if passed, would provide the classified participants the right to the floor in discussion, but not to introduce or vote on motions. Text of the motion follows:
Motion US01/02-5 --Participation of Classified Staff in the University Senate . Proposes to amend the bylaws of the University Senate to add the following section:
4.13 Classified staff participation: Three classified staff shall be elected to serve as non- voting participants in the University Senate. Classified staff participants shall have the right to the floor on any matter under discussion in the University Senate and shall abide by the usual regulations adopted by the University Senate for its members. The Secretary shall arrange for the election of the classified staff participants following election and eligibility procedures for officers of administration as described in the University Senate enabling legislation sections 3, 4, and 5.
Senate President Tublitz opened the floor for discussion of the motion. Senator Jim Schombert, physics, asked if there is an expense to adding classified participation. Secretary Gwen Steigelman, academic affairs, responded that eligibility and voting for representative participants would follow the same procedures as already established for officers of administration. A nomination period and voting list of classified employees will be identified followed by an on-line vote. The cost of soliciting nominations and setting up the ballot for the first election process will be relatively minor and will be absorbed through the senate budget for elections. The first classified staff election is projected for early September, prior to the beginning of fall term 2002, and thereafter would become part of the regular spring elections.
Senator Dave Soper, physics, expressed concern about senate authority. He stated that the original UO charter stated that authority concerning activities of students, courses, textbooks, and student conduct at the university shall reside with the president and the professors; that is, the faculty, and the senate is mostly faculty. He ended his remarks saying his concern is whether the senate will be able to retain its authority if classified staff "participants," or "quasi-members"are added.
Senate President Tublitz responded by saying that although Senator Soper's remarks reflect a valuable point, he would like to correct one issue. The current senate membership includes many constituent groups, including officers of administration, librarians, and students. In 1996 when the senate was reorganized, the goal was to broaden representation across campus to allow the senate to be more inclusive. President Tublitz went on to say that the purpose of this motion is to add one group to the senate that does not have the option to speak at the senate. He noted that the motion does not provide voting rights, nor would it in the future due to possible conflicts with union regulations; but it does provide a vehicle for classified staff to raise and speak to issues directly rather than indirectly. Only members of the University Assembly (the faculty at large) and senators can bring a motion to the senate.
Parliamentarian Paul Simonds, anthropology, added that governance of the university was originally vested with full professors and the university president. Governance was later expanded to include associate and assistant professors. Senator Linda Fuller, sociology, spoke in support of including the classified staff participants in the senate, especially on certain issues that have been discussed there over the years.
As the discussion concluded, Senate President Tublitz brought the motion to a vote. A voice vote determined at greater than a 2/3 majority voted in favor of the motion; thus Motion US01/02-5 to add three classified staff participants to the University Senate was passed.
Resolution US01/02-6 Scheduling of athletic events during dead week and exam week. Richard Sundt, art history, introduced the resolution by saying its purpose was to prohibit the university administration from scheduling regular season games during dead and finals weeks. Exceptions to the proposed legislation could be made by a majority vote of the University Senate. Text of the motion follows:
The University of Oregon Senate resolves that the University will not schedule regular season football games during dead and finals week. Exceptions to this rule shall only be made by a majority vote of the University Senate. Working jointly, the Faculty Advisory Council and the full Intercollegiate Athletics Committee may stand in for the Senate during those times of the year when senators do not hold monthly meetings. This resolution takes effect beginning 15 September 2002. Commitments made prior to the above date are not affected by the terms set forth in this resolution.
Mr. Sundt remarked that the resolution stemmed from the possibility of the University of Washington vs. University of Oregon football game date being moved to the Saturday before finals week. He noted, too, a change in the text of the resolution to add the words football games after "regular season". Further, he suggested that a resolution applicable to the regulations of all sports at the university would be unworkable. But he noted that the intrusion of athletics into academics is not limited to football, and that the issues it poses are numerous and complex. The proposed resolution attempts to address local and national issues including the current direction of intercollegiate athletics. The question, Mr Sundt stated, is whether faculty members or the athletics department control the academic agenda. The television network (prompting the consideration of a game scheduling change) encourages such schedule changes because it provides the NCAA 80% of its operating revenue. The proposed resolution upholds and promotes faculty control of academics, but still can be waived if the senate finds reason to do so. Mr. Sundt said that the resolution speaks to issues that are the focus of local high school sports discussions, and that the resolution is not a cure, but a step in the right direction. He further suggested the resolution could be symbolic in that faculty and teaching staff would be setting the academic agenda for students, not the athletics department.
President Tublitz opened the floor to discussion. Senator Earl remarked that although he would not want to inhibit the discussion, he felt that the issue was a complex one in its applications, and suggested the discussion conclude by referring the matter to the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (IAC) and the President's Task Force on Athletics rather than bring it to a vote at the current meeting. Senator David Strom, physics, explained that the issue was brought up before the IAC twice during two full committee sessions. The IAC was convinced that the game scheduling in question had no negative impact on academics. Consequently, in this narrow context, the matter has already been reviewed.
Senator Strom went on to summarized the IAC deliberations saying that the main issue discussed was the impact on athletes. Athletes activities are highly structured and their academic performance is actually better during their athletic season. One problem impacting students in a previous game scheduled the Saturday before final exams stemmed from students waiting in line for long periods to get tickets, or who chose to skip classes due to athletic events.
Senator Tepfer questioned the notion of the "week" in the academic calendar as it pertains to the resolution, and wondered if the resolution would include the Saturday after finals week as well. Senator Eric Bailey, ASUO, said he was a supporter of the resolution initially, but wondered who was being helped by the resolution, students or athletes.
Mr. Sundt responded to questions regarding grades of athletes in-season, noting that football has an advantage over basketball since its games are in a single quarter rather than two quarters as in the the basketball season. He suggested this explains why football players' graduation rates and GPAs are higher than basketball players. He also noted that noted that other students Ð the matching band members and cheerleaders, for example, also are impacted by game scheduling decision.
Senator Robert Zimmerman, physics, stated that, from a faculty point of view, he is sympathetic toward the issue. However, the effectiveness of finals week is becoming weaker; and further, the resolution only addresses football, so it does not speak to the main problem. Senator Bruce Blonigan, economics, agreed that he, too, is sympathetic to the issue but felt that the resolution was discriminatory against football. He expressed concern that many of these issues stem from a variety of university sponsored activities.
Mr. Brad Shelton, chair of the IAC, agreed that the resolution was discriminatory, and added the information that no football player, cheerleader, or band member ever misses a class or final due to football. He reiterated that the issue has been discussed repeatedly, and the IAC was convinced having a football game at the times of the proposed scheduled would be to the benefit of the athletes involved. He remarked further that Mr. Sundt had raised a number of issues regarding athletics, but none of them seemed relevant to the resolution before the senate. Mr. Shelton indicated that the president's task force is becoming knowledgeable about the issues raised and feels it is moving in a forward direction. He praised the UO as one of the very few university campuses in which the athletics administrators, coaches, and faculty are willing to talk about theses issues.
Senator Peter Watts, ASUO, commented that changes have been made in the ticketing computer system to alleviate the long ticket lines problem for future years. He also opined that college students should choose for themselves and balance their own schedules regarding the importance of studying for finals verses attending or participating in athletics or other campus events. He urged that the resolution be voted down.
Senator Earl then moved to refer the resolution to committee, that is, to the IAC and the president's task force on athletics. Senator Linda Fuller, sociology, opposed the referral, and favored the senate's own discussion of the issue. With the discussion concluded, President Tublitz called for a hand vote on the motion to refer. Resolution US01/02-6, regarding the scheduling of athletic events during dead and finals weeks, was referred to committees, the IAC and the president's task force on athletics, by a vote of 17 in favor and 8 opposed.
Notice of Motion. Gina Psaki, chair of the senate ad hoc committee on
non-tenure track instructional faculty gave notice of motion to establish
a new University Standing Committee on the concerns of non-tenure related
instructional faculty. She noted that the ad hoc committee has worked on
this issue for nearly two years. The purpose of the motion is to provide
an ongoing means by which issues pertinent to this instructional faculty
group could be heard and addressed. The motion will be brought to the floor
at the May senate meeting.
Notice of Resolution. Senator Margaret Hallock, Morse Center, gave notice
of a resolution in support of campus based service activities in light
of the pending budget cuts. The resolution will be brought to the floor
at the May senate meeting.
Executive Session. The senate suspended the meeting for a short Executive Session to discuss Distinguished Service Awards.
Discussion of the UO Admissions Requirements. The meeting resumed with Senator Dave Soper, physics, raising the topic of admissions requirements by noting that the demand for a UO education is increasing. He suggested that in response to the demand, the UO could expand its size (increase the number of students), or, it could maintain the size of the university and improve the quality of students admitted by being more selective (raising admission requirement). Senator Dave Conley, education, along with Martha Pitts, director of admissions, presented information to the senate regarding the status of admission requirements. Senator Conley stated that the UO is at a crossroads this year as the demand for admission is increasing and the student body size is expanding. The UO has the choice to add students who may be better prepared by raising the admission requirements. This could be accomplished by raising the required GPA, which in turn may tempt high school teachers to inflate their grades, thus counteracting the UO's actions. Or, the university also could ask for more proficiency for incoming students, such as certificates of initial or advanced mastery (CIM and CAM), and so forth. The PASS system, which is geared to admission, is a system worth considering. Senator Conley asked the senate to put this issue on its agenda for discussion, and perhaps forward the resulting discussion points to the Faculty Advisory Council as well.
Ms. Pitts added that the enrollment projections for fall 2002 are approximately 20,000 students. Last fall figures were 2,998 freshmen; for fall 2002, projections are for 3,220 new freshmen, 1,558 transfer students, and 909 new graduate students. Without changing the current system, the UO will see a 15% increase in freshman; she noted that the UO already has received 1,300 more applications this year. Ms. Pitts stated that the UO has the ability to control the increased numbers of students with application deadlines and admissions requirements. The requirement for 2 years of foreign language is a good example. The UO can review the senior year courses, special talents, issues of diversity, ethnicity, and geographical considerations in considering a student for admission. These items are current factors in accepting a student who has a lower than 3.0 GPA. An alternate measure could be to utilize the SAT scores, which provides a more standard measure of performance or mastery.
Senator Earl asked for clarification on the policy of university access, that is, continuing to allow more students to be admitted even if the "seats" aren't available. Ms. Pitts responded that as code, "access" means that there should be opportunities for Oregonians who are qualified to take advantage of higher education. Fundamentally, the politics include a basic state commitment that if students meet the requirements and they could benefit from higher education, they should be allowed to do so. The State Board of Higher Education sets the admission requirements. The GPA requirement differs from campus to campus, although currently there is nothing lower than a required 2.5 GPA for admission.
Ms. Pitts said the 2 years of high school language requirement is a State Board requirement, but petitions can be made for exceptions. There are still high schools that do not offer 4 years of foreign language, and the UO has the lowest number of 2-year foreign language petitions for exceptions.
Senator Eric Bailey, ASUO, said it is critical to ask the State Board of Higher Education for higher admissions standards; this may increase the quality of the school as a whole. Ms. Pitts added that the UO probably would not hear dissent from the State Board on such a request. She suggested the discussion in the senate should revolve around how the university can gain flexibility within the institution to control enrollment and growth.
Senator Conley provided a handout regarding the PASS system. The system creates a partnership of schools and identifies ways to work in accordance with uniform information received; these are moved into a 5 points scale. Scoring a 3 is satisfactory, a 4 exceeds expectations, and a 5 is exemplary. The system helps remove the ratings caused by compression. Because of compression, a current 3.0 GPA is equivalent to what a 2.5 GPA used to represent. The ultimate solution seems to be to clearly identify high school performance, that is, to find out what high school students know and how successful they will be in higher education.
Senator Sandy Morgan, sociology, asked how PASS is different from the current system. She also asked for comments on CIMs and CAMs, including the standardized tests, for example the SATs. She questioned if new admission requirements were instituted in the form of tests, would the UO admit students with truly a broader range of knowledge, or simply be excluding those student who do not take tests well.
Senator Conley responded that one of the goals of PASS is to let students and teachers know what they have to do with regard to achieving an agreed on set of academic standards that may not be offered in the curriculum from their various communities. Currently, the accommodations made for students are extensive Ð they even include a provision in the system for a student who does not meet the test criteria to submit a collection of student works that teachers can judge via preset criteria.
Senator Bailey remarked that he was one of the first students to receive the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM). He said when he received it he felt it was not adequate and was too subjective. He also opined that the CAM is more biased than the SATs are because the SAT test is nationally regulated. He suggested having a sliding scale in addition to a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and 1,000 point SAT score. If students were required to meet both those requirements it would address a larger number of issues, and the combination of requirements also could address the 2 years of foreign language issue.
Senator Connelly responded by saying there is a terrible causality loop between students and teachers. Without the university having control over which students to admit, the university's issue becomes identifying what judgments create a reliable and valuable gauge of student ability and success. The system is flagged for external moderation. What we have now are teachers who are inflating grades and are not flagged.
Senate President Tublitz thanked the presenters and noted that this was the beginning of a campus wide discussion. He recognized Senator Soper who made the following motion: the senate resolves to refer the question of admission requirements to the Faculty Advisory Council. President Tublitz called for a voice vote. The motion passed unanimously.
With the agenda items concluded, the senate meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.
Gwen Steigelman Secretary
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