Minutes of the University Senate Meeting November 12, 2003
Present: L. Bowditch, F. Cogan, K. Curtin, C. Ellis, G. Epps, S. Eyster, L. Freinkel, F. Gearhart, P. Gilkey, J. Harding, S. Haynes, J. Hurwit, K. Kennedy, P. Keyes, C. Lachman, A. Lindquist, E. Luks, W.A. Marcus, A. McLucas, K. McPherson, D. Pope, G. Psaki, M. Raymer, L. Robare, M. Russo, G. Sayre, P. Scher, K. Sheehan, M. Sherman, E. Singer, D. Sinha, L. Skalnes, B. Strawn, C. Sundt, N. Tublitz , J. Wagenknecht, L. Wellman, M. Wilson
Excused: H. Alley, C. Bybee, M. Woollacott
Absent: L. Alpert, A. Berenstein, R. Graff, M. Holland, C. McNelly, M. Shirzadegan
CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Lowell Bowditch called the regular meeting of the senate to order at 3: 07 p.m.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes from the October 8, 2003 senate meeting were approved as distributed. (The secretary notes two attendance corrections that have since been made: S. Haynes and P. Scher were present at the October 8th meeting.) New Student Senate representatives also were introduced: Ben Strawn, Mike Sherman, Alisha Linquist, Jessie Hardy, and Kevin Curtin.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Budget and enrollment update. Provost John Moseley reported that the UO budget suffered heavily in the last year of the previous biennium and continues to suffer for the current biennium: state funds --education and general -- will amount to less than one-third of last year’s state funds (not including grants, contracts, auxiliary funds and private gifts). The UO is scheduled to receive a little more than $60 million for each year of the 2003-2005 biennium, which means that the university will be receiving fewer total dollars and student dollars from the state than were received in 1989, with no inflation adjustment, resulting in serious increase in tuition. The tuition increase is making up for loss of state funds and increased expenditures driven by enrollment growth, not per-student expenditures. Expenditures have been a flat $11,000 per student since 1999; this year it will be $10,300 per student with no inflation correction.
Last year’s decision to increase UO entrance requirements for better enrollment management resulted in no enrollment growth for the first time in five years. The money is being made up in non-resident students and private gifts. Non-resident enrollment is down by a few hundred students. The loss of international students is due in part to post September 11, 2001 standards that make it difficult to obtain visas; and other countries are recognizing the value of bringing international students to their universities. The provost noted that international students are important culturally and educationally to the UO. The loss of their tuition dollars is also a reality. Total non-resident tuition (including international students) is $2.5 million less than expected. If the UO cannot continue the educational quality and access traditionally delivered, the result will be the loss of more non-resident students.
The provost noted that this year’s budget balanced after a 3% cut across all non-fixed budgets. Payments on bonds, rents, leases, and so forth, are fixed and cannot be reduced. He indicated that next year’s budget (2004-2005) is not balanced and is dependant on two additional issues: (1) the income tax surcharge that may be repealed causing a $2.5 million reduction to the University in a one-year period and increasing the possibility of additional tuition increases; and (2) the legislature passed a bill requiring the Oregon University System (OUS) to return $14 million of student tuition to the general fund by January 2005 (ostensibly to make up for the "savings" realized from changes to the retirement system [PERS]). The latter bill will be challenged, but either way the money can be re-appropriated by the Emergency Board. Because the UO receives the largest amount of state money, the loss of funds would be $4.7 million. Consequently, if the income tax surcharge is repealed, the general fund repayment happens, and next year’s enrollment projections are not met, a further budget cut will result. The good news is that enrollment has been maintained even with the tuition increases, the current freshman class meets the highest standards set to date, and access to classes has been maintained.
The provost opened the floor for questions. Mr. Frank Stahl, biology, asked about the source of negativity concerning higher education. Provost Moseley responded that the public likely does not hold higher education in high regard because the legislature implies its low regard by inadequately funding it. Senator Ben Strawn, ASUO, asked if next year’s projected enrollment is the same as this year’s, to which the provost responded that it is essentially the same. He remarked that the UO cannot increase the number of resident students until the legislature is willing to fund them; enrollment growth will have to come through non-resident students.
Senator Gina Psaki, romance languages, asked how we could work together to face such an overwhelming deficit. Provost Moseley suggested that the faculty continue to provide classes and interactions that maintain high standards to prevent the quality of a UO education from deteriorating in the face of what he hopes is a short term crises. Senator Frances Cogan, honors college, asked if alternative ideas in teaching more cost effectively, such as E-teaching and computer courses, have been discussed. The provost answered yes, and that there are a few such classes happening now. Offering professional development in using the campus network for efficient teaching is being considered, but the general thinking is that most students would not thrive in a purely electronic environment. Some classes – for example, 4-hour classes that meet twice a week – may benefit from meeting once a week with the rest of the teaching conducted on-line. Actual meeting hours would be reduced, but learning would be increased. However, such new programs require money to develop.
Election of new Committee on Committees members. The Senate Nominating Committee nominated Ellen Scott, sociology, and Deb Merskin, journalism and communication, as candidates for two vacancies on the senate’s Committee on Committees. Both were elected by acclamation.
Election of Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) representative. Senator Nathan Tublitz, biology, was elected unanimously to serve a three-year term (starting January 2004) as the UO representative to the IFS. President Bowditch noted that an alternate position (a one-year, renewable) on the IFS was still open; senators or faculty members should contact her if interested in serving as an alternate.
Notice of Motion regarding recent revisions to OAR 571-20 (Student Records Policy). Senator Daniel Pope, history, stated his intention to make a motion during the December senate meeting that would call for rescinding the recently adopted revisions to the Student Records Policy and redrafting the policy with senate oversight and input. Senator Pope indicated the text of the motion would be available soon and posted on the web page (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/US034-5.html).
Resolution US03/04-1 regarding the siting process for the University basketball and events arena. It was moved and passed that Resolution US03/04-1, which had been tabled during the October senate meeting be moved to the floor for debate, with revised (updated) text substituted for the original resolution. The resolution now reads:
Whereas a location for a basketball and events arena and associated facilities has been chosen by the University; and
Whereas this siting process operated outside of usual and customary campus planning procedures; and
Whereas University of Oregon Policy Statement 7.000 (Foundation Practices and Procedures) requires review of such projects by the Campus Planning Committee;
Be It Resolved that, the University of Oregon University Senate
Hereby expresses its strong opposition to the siting process for the arena and associated facilities that has taken place to date; and
Hereby urges and expects the University administration to submit its proposal to the Campus Planning Committee for review, and to follow other established campus planning procedures for the siting of the arena and associated facilities.
Senator Mike Russo, management, spoke first regarding the resolution that he sponsored, noting that his remarks in support of the resolution should not be interpreted as a lack of gratitude for the arena donors’ generosity. He spoke of the importance of following established procedures concerning campus planning, and that there was a sense the system is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Senator Russo suggested that planning documents exist to restrain the behavior of individuals and to move the campus in a consistent, forward direction. A unified campus plan, he continued, reinforces and enhances the campus beauty; if the campus plan becomes optional, the physical attributes of the campus may not be as attractive to students. Before relinquishing the floor to further discussion, Senator Russo invited Vice President Dan Williams to comment on handouts provided to the senators regarding campus planning policy and involvement of the Campus Planning Committee (CPC) from this point forward (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/Explaination10Nov03.pdf, and http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/Frohnmayer10Nov03.pdf and minutes of October 8, 2003.)
Vice President Williams reminded the senators of the reasons given during the October senate meeting rgarding the decision to site the new arena at Howe Field. He indicated that the administration felt that the university would realize the greatest benefit of the donors’ financing gifts (efficiencies in contract bidding and construction time frame) by setting up non-profit corporation subsidiary of the UO Foundation to handle the project in conjunction with the university. Mr. Williams then drew attention to the November 10, 2003 memo from President Frohnmayer to CPC Chairwoman Carole Daly that outlines a significant role for the planning committee in the arena project from this point forward. A question was asked how the resolution would affect President Frohnmayer’s memo to the CPC and the long-range campus plan. Professor Russo responded that the resolution urges that the CPC be involved in the whole arena siting process, while President Frohnmayer’s memo sees the committee being involved from this point forward.
Senator Jeffrey Hurwitz, art history, asked if the second part of the resolution suggests revisiting the arena site decision and possibly starting the process over. Professor Russo clarified that the goal of the resolution is to express opposition to the procedure used for siting the arena and to remedy the situation, that is, to have the UO conduct a review consistent with planning policy. Senator Hurwitz suggested that if there is opposition to the site selected, the resolution should state opposition and urge reconsideration of the site decision. Senator Russo responded that the purpose of the resolution is not to oppose the site, but for the CPC to review all of the site choices within the process, perhaps starting with the short list of sites, and moving forward.
Senator Malcolm Wilson, classics, noted that the resolution was written prior to administration’s explanatory handout of the planning process stated in the UO Policy Statement 7.000 regarding UO Foundation Practices and Procedures. He again stated that the resolution is intended to take the process back to the CPC stage, as stated in the policy statement. He continued that because the administration has agreed the CPC should be involved, the resolution seems out of date now; nevertheless, the resolution stands as an adequate expression of the will of the Senate that the administration should adhere to its own expressed policies.
Senator Psaki observed that the November 10th Frohnmayer memo issued to the CPC contains instructions that appear circular. She noted (on page 2) the committee was to "immediately begin the process of amending the long range plan," and thus she wondered if the long-range campus development plan would remain permanently changed and would any new projects match the arena criteria or the policies. She also asked which established campus-planning procedures have been violated. Senator Russo, reading from UO policy 7.00, (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/ch7b.html), pointed out that advisory groups and the president’s office can approve, reject, or modify recommendations of the CPC, but the process must go through CPC.
Senator Lars Skalnes, political science, questioned why the university did not follow policy in determining the arena site. Vice President Williams responded that the policy was written in 1983 at a time when most building was done through state funds more so than through private donor funds, and the policy has not been updated accordingly. And, since it initially appeared that siting the arena would be off campus rather than on campus, the circumstances did not seem to warrant following the policy.
Senator Peter Gilkey, mathematics, moved to amend the resolution by adding the words implications of to the last sentence, to read: …" and to follow other established campus planning procedures for implications of the siting of the arena and associated facilities. Senator Gilkey explained the purpose of the amendment is to move the issue to the planning committee for discussion of the implications of the siting rather than the siting decision itself.
Discussion of the proposed wording change focused first on wordsmithing attempts to make the meaning more clear, and then on whether a resolution was necessary at all since the proposed amended language reflected action already delineated in President Frohnmayer’s memo. Senator Lisa Freinkel, English, spoke in opposition to the amendment, saying that although she appreciated the spirit behind it she was not swayed by the suggestion that there is something wrong with the language of the original resolution; it objects to the process used and calls for backing up and following proper procedures.
Campus Planning Committee member and Senator Gene Luks, computer science, also spoke against the amendment. He indicated that the arena siting issue was brought to the CPC in a preliminary way in 2002, with the implication that the committee would be kept informed throughout the process, which has not happened. He said the 1983 planning policy is not a 20-year old, out-of-date process, and there is no reason to back away from the main resolution’s language.
The question to amend the resolution was called and the motion to amend the resolution by adding the words implications of failed by voice vote.
The main resolution was back on the floor for debate. Discussion focused on why the CPC was not part of the siting process. Vice President Williams said the project consultants were aware of criteria the CPC would have used in site selection recommendations. He noted the consultants talked with members of the CPC on at least two occasions. Senator Wilson countered Mr. William’s explanation of CPC involvement and consultation by quoting CPC minutes from May 27, 2003, which noted, "If the decision is made to site the arena on campus, the plan will return to the Campus Planning Committee for review and approval." Mr. Williams replied that the decision to give the project to a non-profit subsidiary organization of the UO Foundation was made after the May meeting. The two considerations for moving forward at that time were addressing state facility statutes, which could save money, and timing the project so the building would be done by the start of the 2006 basketball season.
Senator Tublitz spoke in favor of the resolution, saying the most important issue not being addressed is that of shared governance. He noted that President Frohnmayer often quotes the UO charter and expresses pride that this university is run by the president and faculty. Thus, he continued, to make decisions outside the governance system goes against the rule of law on this campus, and for this reason, it was essential to vote in favor of the resolution.
Senator Garrett Epps, law, expressed concern that the UO is dividing into two processes, one for athletics and one for everyone else, but added he did not believe the administration will reconsider the site location. Speaking in support of the motion, Senate Vice President Andrew Marcus, geography, noted there have been several events in the last year that undercut the UO’s shared governance. Now, it appears that the largest building project on campus has moved forward without faculty input, so it is important for the senate to make a stand for the future, particularly because a large portion of future buildings will be privately funded.
Senator Jessie Harding, ASUO, acknowledged that procedural steps were skipped, but there has been no contractual violation. He felt the issue is really about who is unhappy with the site selected rather than the process. If the issue is about shared governance, the resolution should be about shared governance. Senator Karen McPherson, romance languages, returned to concern expressed earlier about President Frohnmayer’s memo charging the CPC to ‘begin the process of amending the development plan to accommodate the new arena’. She opined that supporting the resolution would put the Senate on record in support of the CPC and maintaining UO policies. Provost Moseley then interjected that amending the campus plan is a common procedure that has happened during many projects. It is the CPC’s job to look at each plan; the actions taken were not to change the general procedures.
Senator Wagenknecht reiterated Senator Russo’s request not to interpret the debate on this issue as lack of gratitude or appreciation. The reality of a public institution is that private funding will have strings attached. She suggested the senate might consider a new committee to work with the administration to keep the senate informed about donors’ wants and needs and potential "attachments" to the donor’s money. Senator Chris Ellis, economics, served on the CPC and provided context for the committee’s work by explaining that the long-range campus plan is a guideline for what development on campus should look like. The committee looks to see if a project fits or not into the overall campus plan. In this context, he suggested, it is a problem the committee was not involved with comparing all of the site choices, but notes nearly all the sites were off campus. He supported Senator Wagenknecht’s comments.
Senator Anne Dhu McLucas, music, asked that if the original process did not go to the CPC because of legalities, would this resolution be ignored because of those same legal implications? Vice President Williams said that too many public processes could jeopardize the donation. If this resolution passes it is unknown whether or not it will be adhered to for this particular project.
Concerns were expressed regarding whether the process would be ignored even if the resolution were passed, how current and future donors' philanthropy might be impacted, what restrictions might be placed by donors in regard to university objectives, and the feelings of dissatisfaction and distrust between faculty and the administration. In general, views expressed the notion that a positive vote supports the principle of shared governance.
The question was called. Resolution US03/04-1 regarding the siting process for the University basketball and events arena passed unanimously by voice vote (1 abstention, Wagenknecht).
Notice of Resolution US03/04-3 regarding the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics and framework for athletics reform. Senator Jim Earl, English, gave notice of his intention to ask the senate, at a future meeting, to join the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) and endorse a framework for athletics reform statement (see http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/US034-3.html and related documents). He commented about the national debate regarding the future of college sports with a large number of issues catching attention of many commentators. Examples of national debating include the Knight Commission report, NCAA President Myles Brand’s published views on college sports, commercialization of the university, and Bowen’s book on intercollegiate athletics.
Senator Earl continued that the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) came into existence in 2002, and that he is a representative. Composed of Division I-A faculty senate leaders across the country, as well as bowl championship school representatives, and others, the COIA represents 140 schools. Each school is being asked to consider supporting the COIA and thus forging a faculty voice in this debate. Over the last month, Stanford, Indiana, Nebraska, Alabama, Mississippi State, Duke, and other universities have endorsed the framework of the coalition. (see Framework for Comprehensive Athletics Reform http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen034/dirUS034-3/Framework.html.)
The COIA advertises itself as a moderate athletics reform group. Senator Earl explained that there is no interest in eliminating or trimming sports; rather, the coalition is trying to arrive at consensus language with which faculty senates can agree. Working through NCAA and faculty governance procedures, the goal is for long-term moderate reform, addressing various issues such as academic integrity, commercialization, budget "arms races", and so forth. The framework statement was written to develop appropriately flexible strategies for implementation, recognizing differences among schools while looking for general principles. The goal of reform is to bring out the positive aspects of intercollegiate athletics.
Senator Earl briefly outlined five general areas of reform concern: academic integrity, athlete welfare, shared governance, finances, and over-commercialization. Faculty have the greatest control in the area of academic integrity. Limiting athletic participation in non-academic activities to 20 hours per week, although hard to enforce, is a reform goal. Shared oversight of athletics among governing boards, administration, and faculty should involve clear communication and complementary responsibilities. The framework suggests the link between winning and financial solvency should have broader revenue sharing and limits on budgets and capital expenditures. Over commercialization and excessive marketing should be tempered with cost cutting and clear set standards. The coalition is the affirmation of the growing need for national standards in approaching the link between athletics and academics, thus several "best practices" statements are being designed for national standards that can be adapted locally.
When the floor was opened for questions senate representative on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC) Kim Sheehan, journalism, relayed several concerns from the IAC. Regarding the the framework document and the COIA, she suggesting that the framework statement contained a number of points which may affect the UO; more information is needed to understand the consequences of adherence to the framework as well as joining the COIA. Senator Sheehan listed a number of questions that needed clarification. She noted that the committee would continue to review the framework.
Senator Earl provided some other background information about the coalition. He explained that the organization was formed with 10 former faculty senate presidents on the steering committee. Periodic meetings occurred in Chicago and Indianapolis. Membership is not defined and there is no budget or legal structure; however, the NCAA and the AAUP have consulted with the group and a leadership role is developing. Senator Earl said that the faculty voice is increased with each school that endorses the framework, and there are currently 40 schools that consider themselves members. Stanford had already endorsed the framework and Rutgers is at the same stage as the UO. Senator Earl noted that real reform takes time, so using several senate meetings to come to a decision is acceptable with him. The goal is to have a majority of Division 1-A schools affirming this framework by the end of the 2003/2004 academic-year.
Senator Cogan asked what actual result would come from endorsing the framework. Senator Earl responded there seems to be momentum to standardize and develop guidelines from faculty perspectives. In the case of the coalition, workshops with as many as 60 schools represented, have talked about the structure of athletic committees and the need for a national faculty standard. He noted that the University of Oregon is almost a best practices school having already achieved perhaps 99% of the framework’s ideal. The UO has a clean athletic department with high standards and responsible faculty oversight. In terms of the reforms the coalition is proposing, the UO is very close. Senator Psaki concluded the discussion with a question wondering what the UO would lose (financially) if it does not support the framework.
With the hour growing later and the business concluded, Senate President Bowditch adjourned the meeting at 4:57 p.m.
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