Minutes of the University Senate Meeting November 10, 2004
Present: E. Chan, C. Cherry, D. Eisert, A. Emami, G. Epps, S. Eyster, L. Feldman, P. Gilkey, S. Hart, L. Huaxin, J. Hurwit, J. Jablonski, K. Kennedy, P. Keyes, C. Lachman, S. Maier, W. A. Marcus, A. Mathas, J. McCole, A. McLucas, C. McNelly, K. McPherson, R. Moreno-Villamar, L. Moses, L. Nelson, M. Pangburn, G. Psaki, L. Robare, G. Sayre, E. Scott, S. Simmons, E. Singer, D. Sinha, S. Stoll, P. Swangard, J. Wagenknecht, L. Wellman
Excused: L. Freinkel, S. Gary, S. Haynes, L. Lindstrom, M. Raymer, P. Scher, K. Sheehan
Absent: E. Sousa, S. Wells
Senate President W. Andrew Marcus called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in 207 Chapman Hall.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
President Marcus noted that there were some technical difficulties posting the October meeting minutes for review, as well as a few minor revisions, thus approval of the minutes was postponed until the next meeting (December 1st).
INTRODUCTION OF STUDENT SENATORS
New ASUO senate representatives to the University Senate were introduced: Sol Hart, Rodrigo Moreno-Villamar, Stephanie Stoll, Emily Sousa, and Sarah Wells.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSTIY
Remarks from Senior Vice President and Provost John Moseley. Provost Moseley provided an update on the record enrollment for fall term 2004. Total enrollment of 20,336 students is an increase of 300 students compared with fall 2003. Using SAT scores as an indication, this is the best-qualified class of freshman ever at the UO. Approximately 100 of the extra students are non-residents, which helps the budget; the provost anticipates being able to avoid any additional budget cuts for the 2004-05 year. And, in spite of lost class sections due to previous budget cuts, students were able to get their classes, which is a good sign.
Looking to the next biennium, the provost remarked that the future does not look good even though the governor strongly supports higher education. The overall budget picture for the state is that projected revenues will fall about 10% short of the projected essential (current services) budget level. Provost Moseley noted that although there is support from the governor, it may not be possible to avoid state general fund budget cuts during the 2005-07 biennium, though he hopes to be able to make up those shortfalls through other means, and not have to make further reductions.
The provost reported that the chief academic officers of the OUS institutions and of the community colleges had a very productive meeting during the two days of recent State Board meetings. The major topic of discussion was the General Education Transfer Module (now called the Oregon Transfer Module), and getting the proposal into a form suitable for both the community college students and OUS schools. The provost supported the proposal and process noting that if the OUS and community colleges cannot come to an agreement on transferring, it is almost certain that the legislature will impose a common core curriculum for higher education. The potential of a legislatively imposed common core curriculum should be sufficient motivation to produce a positive, workable transfer module for students.
In other board activity, athletics department budgets were discussed. The provost noted that OSU has paid off their $5- to $6 million debt; they continue to subsidize athletics at a rate of approximately $4 million per year from their general fund monies, which is about the same rate of subsidy as PSU (which is a higher percentage rate because PSU has a much smaller athletics program and budget than OSU). The UO, on the other hand, does not subsidize athletics with any general fund monies, and is working hard to keep it at zero subsidy. Lastly, the provost said he is setting up a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) to review financing plans for a possible basketball arena. He explained that he does not want to present a plan to the SBC that he cannot endorse himself. The arena proposal is much different than the previous Howe field proposal, and will be facilitated by a non-profit LLC that is associated with the UO Foundation and that will limit the university’s liabilities.
During a question and answer period, the provost confirmed that the Williams Bakery site is the only site currently under consideration for the arena, but it is not certain the site will work. In response to a question regarding the salary freeze situation, Provost Moseley said it appears the freeze will not continue in the next biennium, and there may be a small amount of salary funding available – perhaps 2% each year – and possibly we would not be restricted in looking internally for additional salary funding.
Report from Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) on OUS activities. IFS representative Nathan Tublitz, biology, gave no specific report; however, a compilation of handout materials was provided by IFS President Peter Gilkey regarding recent IFS and transfer module activities.
Remarks from James O’Fallon, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for the UO, regarding faculty oversight of Athletics Department compliance with NCAA regulations. President Marcus commented that President Frohnmayer’s task force on athletics looked at the role of athletics on the campus, and ways to better integrate athletics and academic unity. There were several recommendations from the task force, one of which was for better communication between athletic activities and operations at the university. With this in mind, President Marcus has asked for a series of reports this year including a report from the faculty athletics representative (given during fall term), from the athletics director (given during winter term), and from the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (given during spring term). For the first report in this series, Mr. O’Fallon, law, who is the UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, gave a brief overview of the divisions/structure of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and his role as faculty representative. He noted that the top level, Division IA in which the UO competes, has 116 schools. This level of competition involves a certain commitment of funding for student scholarships, number of sports supported, and so forth. Mr. O’Fallon explained that the primary role of the faculty representative is to insure compliance with NCAA regulations regarding student athletes’ academic eligibility to compete at this level.
NCAA rules are designed to help students be able to graduate on time within their degree program and within academic eligibility requirements for competition. Mr. O’Fallon noted that four years is no longer the “normal” time for an average student to graduate with a degree, and this, too, is the case for most student athletes. In reality, it is now taking students about five years to complete their degree programs. Student athletes have five years of eligibility to participate in sports while completing their degree. The complexity of the rules surrounding students’ satisfactory progress toward degree completion is fairly complex, with information used to determine progress acquired from a variety of sources. The Registrar’s Office is a major information source and compiles the basic data. Additionally, the Academic Services for Student Athletes program, which is under the direction of the vice president for academic affairs, provides degree monitoring and academic support for student athletes. Mr. O’Fallon explained that he reviews detailed data on every student athlete to make sure each student is in compliance with eligibility rules.
The faculty representative also sits on the campus Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and participates in the policy discussions. The complexity of NCAA rules on a variety of levels, besides eligibility, requires approximately four compliance staff members in the athletics department. Beyond the campus, the first level of common governance is the Pacific 10 Conference, governed by a policy making council that consists of the faculty athletic representative, athletics director, and the senior women’s administrator for each of the 10 member institutions. Each school has one vote, traditionally exercised by the faculty athletics representative.
Mr. O’Fallon further remarked that the governance structure of Division I beyond the conference level is a corporate model. Rather than operate as a committee-of-the-whole as it used to, the governance structure now works through committees and a number of cabinets. They report to a management council that is represented by the conferences that comprise Division I; that body ultimately reports to the NCAA Board, which is made up of chief executive officers. The general idea is this process and structure puts the campus presidents in greater control of academic standards and recruiting practices.
During a question and answer period, Mr. O’Fallon responded to a question about the nature of infractions at the UO. He commented that most infractions are minor and come to no one’s attention other than drafting a letter of caution to let the student athlete involved know of the infraction. An example infraction might be if a perspective student athlete was on campus for a visit brought along his younger brother; if lunch was inadvertently purchased for the younger brother (not allowed) as well as the student athlete (allowed), it would be a rule violation. When this happened on our campus, the younger was charged for the lunch and we declare ourselves in violation of the rules. In this case, the sanction is pretty minor, but nevertheless rules require adherence. Mr. O’Fallon stated that in the time he has been at the UO, there has only been one major infraction, which occurred several years ago with the overly aggressive recruitment of a student athlete by a football coach. The NCAA accepted our response to the situation, although we were placed on probation for a couple of years. The NCAA can suspend a program if there are too many infractions. Lastly, he noted that the PAC 10 conference is unique in that it has a significant compliance function within the conference that is sanctioned by the NCAA.
To a question regarding the faculty representative’s independence from the athletics department, Mr. O’Fallon replied that he is appointed by, and reports to, President Frohnmayer. The position also is partially supported by the vice president for administration. He continued that athletes overall have higher graduation rates than the general student body (92% of those who stay for 4 years graduate), which he agreed, may be due in part to good academic support through student services for athletes and good time management.
Motion US03/04-10—Enable the Assembly to Convene with Full Legislative Authority. President Marcus reported that since the last senate meeting, in which the senate voted to postpone action on this motion, an ad hoc committee had met and developed a substitute motion that uses consistent language, assures access to assembly and voting membership lists, and provides a mechanism for avoiding frivolous motions. He asked for, and received a motion to replace the original motion with the substitute motion. Mr. Frank Stahl, biology, who sponsored of the original motion, spoke in support of using the substitute motion. The motion to replace the original motion with the ad hoc committee’s substitute motion was passed by voice vote. Motion US03/04-10 now reads as follows and was opened for discussion:
WHEREAS: Section 6.6 of the Enabling Legislation of the University of Oregon governance document requires that a University Assembly with full legislative power shall be convened after a petition to do so has been signed by 33% of the "Voting Faculty", and
WHEREAS: convening the University Assembly with "full legislative power" requires the attendance of a majority of the University Assembly members as prescribed by the Oregon Public Meetings Law, and
WHEREAS: in the absence of explicit provisions, this quorum is unlikely to be met, be it
MOVED THAT: The University adopt the following procedures to enable a University Assembly to convene with full legislative power:
· (a) Prior to circulating a petition to convene the Assembly with full legislative power, Petitioners will submit the text of their petition, endorsed by at least 40 assembly members, to the Secretary of the Faculty who will forthwith give notification of the petition to members of the Assembly. The announcement shall include the text of the petition and item (b) of this motion.
· (b) Deans, directors and department heads will adopt practices, appropriate for their administrative units, that promote the face-to-face accessibility of their University Assembly Members to petitioners.
· (c) In order for the petition to go into effect, petitioners must submit sufficient valid signatures to the Secretary within 100 days of the petition announcement.
· (d) A meeting of the University Assembly called by petition of 33% of the Voting Faculty shall be held at 3:30 PM, on a Wednesday, not less than ten nor more than 25 days from the time of submission of said petition, except that no meeting shall be scheduled for exam week, between quarters or during the summer quarter. In such an event, the meeting would be scheduled for the second Wednesday of the subsequent quarter.
· (e) The Secretary of the Faculty shall send timely notification of the meeting to all members of the University Assembly. The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly, that their attendance at the Assembly meeting is expected, and that attendance at the Assembly Meeting takes priority over routine obligations.
· (f) Further notification of the meeting shall include notices in the Daily Emerald and on the University Calendar, Senate, and Assembly Web sites. On the Monday immediately prior to the meeting, members shall be reminded to attend. The reminder shall include the text of this motion.
· (g) An alphabetical list of Assembly Members (without phone numbers or e-mail addresses) shall be maintained and linked from the University Assembly Web site. The list shall be headed by the criteria for membership as specified by the charter and the list shall be updated annually, as early in the Fall Quarter as is feasible.
· (h) An annually updated list of the Voting Faculty with campus addresses shall be maintained and linked from the University Assembly Web site. The list shall be headed by the criteria for membership as specified by the charter and the list shall be updated annually, as early in the Fall Quarter as is feasible.
· (i) The UO Secretary shall maintain an annually updated list of Assembly Members with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. The list shall be used only to forward communications, from the University President, the Secretary of the Faculty, or the UO Senate President, that are relevant to the business of the University Assembly.
· (j) A link to the text of this motion entitled "Assembly with Legislative Power" shall be maintained on the University Assembly web page. The web page containing the motion shall have a link to the " Charter, Enabling Legislation and ByLaws".
Senator Garrett Epps, law, moved to amend section (e) of the motion to include the first sentence only, that is, to delete the second sentence: “The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly, that their attendance at the Assembly meeting is expected, and that attendance at the Assembly Meeting takes priority over routine obligations.” Senator Epps opined that the sentence was troublesome in two respects: it suggests attendance at such a meeting is not a choice, and that the meeting takes precedence over teaching and research obligations.
Debate on the amendment hinged on the compulsory-sounding nature of the sentence and whether faculty should have a choice in attending. Mr. Stahl spoke against the amendment, saying that such a meeting is an unusual circumstance and thus does take priority over routine obligations in order to attain a quorum. He stated that once appropriately petitioned, assembly members must meet to be in compliance with the enabling legislation. Senator Epps replied that the simple act of convening a meeting, whether there was a quorum or not, satisfies the legislative requirement to meet.
Senator Jeffrey Hurwitz, art history, and Mr. Nathan Tublitz, biology, spoke in support of the amendment, objecting to the “expected attendance” and the “takes priority” language as being undemocratic. The question was raised whether there were other examples of expected attendance at a meetings taking priority over teaching and research obligation, and none was given. Senator Ellen Scott, sociology, suggested that perhaps other language urging attendance could be substituted in the sentence in question. The discussion then focused on several versions of suggested substituted text. The question was called; the vote to amend the motion by deleting the second sentence in section (e) passed by voice vote. The sentence was deleted.
Senator Hurwitz then moved to amend section (e) by adding a different second sentence: “The notification shall remind recipients that they are members of the assembly and encourage their attendance.” Mr. Stahl objected to the amendment saying the language was not strong enough. Senator Anne McLucas, music, spoke in favor of the amendment, reasoning that if the reason to call an Assembly with legislative authority was strong enough, assembly members would attend, and thus encouraging attendance was sufficient. Mr. Stahl responded that assembly members who are in administrative positions might not have job flexibility to enable them to attend a meeting unless the wording about attendance was stronger. The question to amend was called; the motion to amend section (e) to include the sentence encouraging attendance was defeated (hand vote, 13 in favor; 14 opposed). An amendment of section (e) offered by Mr. Stahl to add the sentence, “The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly and that their attendance is expected and may take precedence over routine obligations” was similarly defeated (hand vote, 13 in favor; 14 opposed).
In a final attempt to amend section (e) with language that would convey the importance of attendance at a duly petitioned assembly meeting, but would not compromise assembly members’ decisions regarding other obligations such as research and teaching, Senator Lise Nelson, geography, moved to add the sentence: “The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly and that attendance at the Assembly Meeting may take priority over routine obligations.” This language seemed agreeable to most senators. The question was called; the motion to amend section (e) by adding the sentence, “The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly and that attendance at the Assembly Meeting may take priority over routine obligations” passed by voice vote. The sentence is added to section (e) of US03/04-10 to read as follows:
(e) The Secretary of the Faculty shall send timely notification of the meeting to all members of the University Assembly. The notification shall remind recipients that they are Members of the Assembly and that attendance at the Assembly Meeting may take priority over routine obligations.
The main motion, as amended, was again on the floor for discussion. Asking if there was further debate on the main motion and hearing none, motion US03/04-10, as amended, to enable the assembly to convene with full legislative authority was passed by voice vote.
After the vote, Senator Epps spoke about some misinformation in support of the motion just passed that had circulated by email prior to the meeting. Speaking as the person who chaired the January 2003 assembly meeting called by petition regarding the Iraq war issue, Senator Epps asked to go on record saying the failure to meet a quorum at that meeting was not due to failure on the part of the administration to encourage attendance, or on their own personal feeling about the war in Iraq; rather, many assembly members had strong feelings about the topic of the meeting (proposed resolution against the war in Iraq) and exercised their right not to attend the meeting.
Election of Interinstitutional Faculty Senate representative and an alternate. Senator Jeanne Wagenknecht, finance, was nominated and elected to serve a 3-year term as the UO’s representative on the IFS, beginning in January 2005. She replaces Jim Earl whose term expires December 2004. Hearing no nominations for the alternate representative position (a 1-year term), President Marcus asked senators to give the position their consideration for nomination and election at the December senate meeting.
Motion US04/05-1 regarding the handling of incomplete grades. Mr. Ron Severson, chair of the Undergraduate Council, introduced Motion US04/05-1 regarding new policy on incomplete grade completion deadlines for undergraduate students as follows:
The University Council proposes the following change in University policy governing the mark of Incomplete for undergraduates.
1. Marks of “I” (Incomplete) awarded to undergraduate students Winter term 2005 and beyond must be removed within one calendar year of the end of the term in which the course was taken. Failure to complete the course by the deadline will result in the mark of “I” automatically changing to a grade of “F” (Failure) or “N” (No Pass).
2. Marks of “I” for undergraduate students who are graduating must be removed no later than 30 days after the degree is awarded. Failure to complete the course by the 30-day deadline will result in the mark of “I” automatically changing to a grade of “F” or “N.”
3. In cases where a student’s inability to complete the work by the deadline is due to extraordinary circumstances* the student may choose to:
· Petition the Scholastic Review Committee to be allowed to withdraw from the class (change the ‘I’ or ‘F’ to a ‘W’ [Withdrew]).
· Contact the Office of Academic Advising or the Office of the Registrar who will review extraordinary circumstances and take appropriate action as defined by the Academic Requirements Committee.
*Examples: catastrophic injury or illness or severe cognitive or psychological limitations preventing completion of work
Mr. Severson provided background information about the proposed policy change saying that under the current policy students have four terms to makeup an incomplete grade, or if absent from campus, they have three years to makeup an incomplete. Further, if students fail to remove an incomplete from their transcripts the “I” stays on the transcripts indefinitely.
The changes proposed by the Undergraduate Council would give students one calendar year to remove an incomplete from their transcripts. If students do not remove the incomplete in one calendar year, the “I” would automatically change to an “F” or no pass (“NP”) grade, depending on the course. The proposal also sets up a process to appeal if students find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and unable to remove the incomplete, and thus avoid an “F” grade. The reason for the proposed policy change is to align UO incomplete grading policy with those of nearly all other AAU universities, most of which have a specific incomplete grade makeup deadline, usually shorter than the UO’s deadline, and which change incompletes not made up to an “F” or no pass. The Undergraduate Council believes that making such policy changes would have a positive effect in encouraging students to complete their classes. Current policy allows the “I” to stay on the transcript indefinitely and does not affect the GPA. In essence, it functions as a withdrawal (“W”) even though it is not a withdrawal, and the student did not withdraw from the class in a timely manner. Mr. Severson noted that there are thousands of incompletes on transcripts of graduates; the council believes that more students would graduate in a timely manner if they were encouraged to complete these incomplete courses.
When the floor was opened for debate, the discussion included clarification that: the policy only applies to undergraduates; faculty may arrange with students for shorter (than 1 year) makeup times; faculty members in some departments create contracts with students, specifying work to be completed and required completion dates; and, if the faculty member in question is no longer at the UO, the incomplete makeup would be arranged with the department head and current faculty members. Mr. Malcolm Wilson, classics, spoke in favor of the motion and allayed some members concerns by noting the effectiveness of the appeal process (through the Academic Requirements Committee) in cases of exceptional or unusual circumstances. There was further discussion that some faculty members do not fully understand the current incomplete grade policy, and some sentiment that the proposed motion was more streamlined and easier to understand.
Senator Sol Hart, ASUO, asked how students and faculty would be made aware of or notified of the changed policy if the motion passes. He suggested the motion be amended to include a #4 statement that, when the mark of “I” is given to a student, the instructor will notify the student about how to remove the “I”. Discussion on the amendment indicated that many senators were in support of appropriately notifying students of the “F” grade consequence for incompletes not made up, but there was indecision about the precise wording needed to convey the information. On the other hand, senators Peter Gilkey, mathematics, and Christian Cherry, dance, spoke in opposition to the amendment saying it was not necessary because there are already procedures in their respective departments requiring explicit makeup contracts with students who receive “I” grades. Senate participant Carla McNelly, multicultural affairs, confirmed that similar incomplete grades arrangements are in place in the romance languages department, in concert with faculty legislation passed in March 1978.
With the hour growing late, and the type of notification issue yet to be resolved, President Marcus indicated he would appoint an ad hoc committee to work on procedures for notifying students of changes in incomplete grade policy, assuming the motion, as proposed, passed. In concurrence, Senator Hart withdrew his amendment. Motion US04/05-1 to change policy regarding the handling of incomplete grades was put to a voice vote and passed.
With no other business at hand, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
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