Minutes of the University Senate Organizational Meeting
May 27, 2009
Present: 2009-2010 members: T. Bars, C. Bybee, S. Chakraborty, K. Dellabough, A. Emami, L. Forrest, H. Gangadharbatla, P. Gilkey, M. Henney, M.A. Hyatt, M. Jaeger, C. Jones, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa, R. Kyr, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, S. Midkiff, T. Minner, D. Olson, S. Plummer, M. Price, N. Proudfoot, T. K. Thompson, L. Van Dreel, S. Verscheure, M. Williams. 2008-2009 members: C. Cherry, Chou, L-S., D. Falk, L. Forrest, E. Herman, J. Lau, H. Lin, D. Miller, L. Soto Morales, S. Paul, E. Peterson, M. Redford, J. Rowell, L. Stephen, N. Tublitz, P. van Donkelaar, L. Vandenburgh
Excused: 2009-2010 members: A. Berenstein, J. Bonine, L. Middlebrook, J. Piger, R. Rajaie, P. Southwell. 2008-2009 members: C. Vandercar Moore
Absent: 2009-2010: C. Bengtson, E. Chan, C. Ellis, J. Hurwit, A. Laskaya, S. Libeskind, L. Sugiyama, T. Toadvine, P. Walker, P. Warner. 2008-2009 members: D. Bloom, R. Colby, C. Gray, R. Illig, M. Latteri, D. Levin, S. Libeskind, M. Myagkov, A. Taylor, T. Toadvine, P. Walker
CALL TO ORDER
The organizational meeting for the 2009-10 University Senate was called to order by 2008-09 senate president Paul van Donkelaar in the Knight Library Browsing Room at 3:30 p.m. President van Donkelaar invited the newly elected senators to stand and introduce themselves. (A complete list of the 2009-10 senate members is at http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/memsen090.html.)
The secretary provided information on the basic procedures of the senate, including signing into the meetings, wearing a name badge, and checking the website for agendas and other meeting related information. Paper handouts will be kept to a minimum in an effort to reduce the amount of paper generated for each meeting. The secretary indicated that senate members have been added to the senate listserv (email@example.com) which is a closed email list for senators’ use. Additionally, archives of previous minutes, agendas, motions, and other senate related information is available from links on the senate’s webpage (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/senate.html). If there are any difficulties accessing senate information, please contact Webmaster Peter Gilkey or Secretary Gwen Steigelman. Lastly, the secretary indicated that senate meeting locations are scheduled separately each term, with meeting held on the second Wednesday of each month from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Note: the December meeting is held a week earlier.)
Comments from University President Dave Frohnmayer. President Frohnmayer made some brief remarks, acknowledging that it was his last appearance with the University Senate as president of the university prior to his retirement July 1, 2009. He noted that more than 100 University of Oregon alumni, community people, and donors were taking tours of the campus during the day, most seeing the panoply of structural changes on campus for the first time. He noted that the collective opinion was they were stunned by all the many good things that have transpired in recent years. The president encouraged everybody to take a good walk around all of campus to see firsthand all that has been accomplished.
Turning to budget matters, the president said there has been some progress; June 11th is the date of the work session for the Higher Education budget. The administration believes that our university’s platform of success under that budget is better than any other institution in the state system. Because of our dependency on enrollment and student tuition, and our relative lack of dependence (compared to other OUS institutions) on the state’s general fund, we expect to be cut at least 15% of current revenue projections. Although not welcome, the administration believes the budget cuts of this magnitude are survivable and the UO can continue to move forward as an institution. The Oregon legislature is meeting later than it typically does to make budgets decisions, but it plans to adjourn by June 30th. Thus in order for our faculty to be consulted about the budget, the administration has asked the outgoing members of the Faculty Advisory Council and the incoming members to be available to consult during the course of the summer. The objective is to consult closely with the FAC over the summer months before any final decisions are made, not only to the budget, but how budgetary issues will be dealt with at the university.
The president then thanked the senators for their valued engagement and interest in the university governance system. He noted that the next meeting of the Statutory Faculty will be November 18, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. at which time an appointed governance committee will make a progress report on the design of the governance system under the incoming new president. Lastly, President Frohnmayer said thank you for the many courtesies extended to him and his family during his service as the University President (1994-2009). He commented that it has been a joy and pleasure.
Remarks from incoming new University President Richard Lariviere. President to-be Lariviere extended his appreciation to President Frohnmayer for all that he has done at the university, saying that it is a really remarkable institution due in no small measure to President Frohnmayer’s efforts and energy invested in public service.
Mr. Lariviere went on to say that the UO is facing a daunting economic environment, an environment that would normally only affect regions, not the entire nation as the current situation does. Oddly enough, as an outsider, Mr. Lariviere stated that he believes the University of Oregon is in a strong position in this environment. He noted that over the past number of years, the university percentage of state support has eroded at a rate greater than any other states, and as a result, it is less vulnerable to these budget cuts than our peer institutions. Mr. Lariviere said that adjusting to the economic environment will not be easy, but he indicated that such adjustments will be made in as transparent and consultative a manner as he can possibly manage. He commented that he will be relying heavily upon the wisdom and experience of the senate because it represents the faculty who are the governing agencies for this organization. The incoming president stated that the senators have an enormous responsibility to represent their constituencies equitably, fairly, and productively and that he will be calling on the senate members to fulfill those responsibilities. He commented further that the university works very hard to identify the smartest, and hardest working people, and it expect them to bring their talents to the classrooms, laboratories, and research areas and also expects them to bring those talents to the government of the institution. Mr. Lariviere said that he will be asking for the senators’ help, their patience, and occasionally asking for their priorities; he promised that it would be a collective and collaborative effort. Lastly, he thanked everyone for providing him the opportunity to contribute to “this wonderful community”.
Reflections on the past year from 2008-09 Senate President Paul van Donkelaar. Senate President van Donkelaar thanked a number of people who helped make his job easier throughout his term as president: the secretary, Vice President Peter Gilkey, and Parliamentarian Paul Simonds. In addition, he thanked all the senators who have been willing to serve on the senate, giving their time effort in meetings as well as time away from meetings with colleagues. He acknowledged those, too, who served on committees, saying that service was another important role of the internal governance of the university. President van Donkelaar opined that internal governance is a two way street, and that the interaction between the faculty and the administration is vital to getting governance right. He commented that it has been an interesting and busy year. He highlighted several activities in particular: the search process for the new president in which he was a committee member, the budget issues (shortfalls) and dialogue dealing with resolving those issues, a statutory faculty meeting regarding the internal governance ratification, and extraordinary cooperative and collaborative work on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment policy issues.
President van Donkelaar referenced President Frohnmayer’s earlier remarks regarding the formation of a committee to examine internal governance at the university with the arrival of a new university president and noted that he has been asked to chair the committee. He indicated that the goal of the committee is to produce a revised Internal Governance document that satisfies the recent Department of Justice opinion (regarding internal governance at the UO) as well as any revisions or restructuring to better reflect the needs and desires of the faculty of the University of Oregon. He said that he plans to have an open and transparent process similar in structure to the recent participatory development of the Academic Plan. He noted, too, that he hopes to have a blog page where documents can be posted for the university community’s comments and interest; he may well ask the senate’s help in moving the process along. Concluding his remarks, President van Donkelaar said that in all it has been a wonderful year – he learned a lot about the University of Oregon and how wonderful a place it is to work; he expressed that he is proud to have served the University Senate.
Senate Vice President Peter Gilkey then presented Paul with a carved duck, donated by artist Karen McNutt whose son is in the graduate education program studying to become a mathematics and science teacher. President Frohnmayer, on behalf of the university administration, also thanked President van Donkelaar for his service and presented him with a myrtle wood box.
Election of the incoming vice president. President Paul van Donkelaar announced that there was one person nominated prior to the meeting, Andrea Coles-Bjerre, from the law school. As is customary, President van Donkelaar asked if there were any other nominations from the floor. Senator Carla McNelly, multicultural academic success, nominated Senator Nathan Tublitz, biology.
Senator Tublitz had prepared some remarks concerning his candidacy and asked to address the group. He began by acknowledging Ms. Coles‐Bjerre’s enthusiasm and willingness to stand for election to the senate vice president position, saying that the vice president and president position are not easy jobs and that the senate should be honored that someone of her caliber has stepped forward. He also noted that it is an unusual situation to have two candidates running for senate vice president, but added that these are not usual times. Senator Tublitz said that we are in the midst of a very serious budget crisis and need to work together as never before to develop solutions to the problems facing us. In addition, he stated that we are struggling with our governance system, and there is a crisis of faith in the senate across the university.
Senator Tublitz continued that many people believe our governance system is broken and unworkable, and think that we are employees of a large corporation run by a CEO and management team. Begging to differ, Senator Tublitz opined that we are not a corporation, but rather are a university, not running on a business model but by a different set of rules than a business. He noted that our goals are to teach students how to live in the complex world of today and to give them the skills to navigate through the world of tomorrow; he added that we are all part of this effort, from classified staff to teaching faculty. He further stated that Western academia has an 800 year history of a horizontal governance system where the members of the academy make consensus decisions about the direction of the University.
Unfortunately, Senator Tublitz continued, we have lost that process at the University of Oregon and it is time to get it back and working again. He suggested that we must work with the new president, provost, and deans to re‐establishing the cornerstone of the university – our system of shared governance -- and its centerpiece, the University Senate. He said that we should be proud of the inclusive nature of the senate’s membership, noting that it is the only senate at any major academic institution with such broad membership. Senator Tublitz went to say that the senate has not been included in most of the serious decisions being made on this campus, and as a result has lost the respect of our colleagues and co‐workers across campus; he opined that it is time to reverse that trend and re‐establish the primacy of our shared governance system at the University of Oregon. Shared governance, he states, means including all stakeholder groups, listening to all points of view with respect, and working together to solve the difficult problems in front of us.
Lastly, Senator Tublitz touted his years of experience in campus governance, including chairing the Faculty Advisory Council and serving previously as senate president as providing the background and knowledge necessary to speak for all campus groups. If elected as vice president, he pledged to work tireless to turn the concept of shared governance into a reality at the University of Oregon. (See full text of the remarks at http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen089/NT27May09.pdf).
President van Donkelaar asked the other candidate, Andrea Coles-Bjerre, if she would like to speak. Ms. Coles-Bjerre indicated that she did not have a prepared speech, but did address the group. She commented that it appeared to her that Senator Tublitz had just described a bankrupt organization in his speech. Ms Coles-Bjerre indicated that she has been at the university for 12 years, and that prior to that she was a corporate bankruptcy attorney in New York City. She said that she has considerable experience in a system that requires working toward resolution of problems by which all parties agree. General speaking, all organizations have to be agreed upon by all the parts. She said that she believes that the problems the university has are not so intractable that they cannot be resolved through respectful and thoughtful communication and collaboration. She expressed a desire to do just that and looked forward to serving as the senate vice president.
President van Donkelaar indicated a paper ballot would be used and asked the secretary to distribute ballots to members of the current (2008-09) senate and to collect and tally them. While the tallying was being completed, President van Donkelaar changed the order of the agenda slightly and asked Vice President Peter Gilkey to proceed with making the presentation of the Wayne Westling Award for University Leadership and Service.
Presentation of the Wayne T. Westling Award. In naming Brad Shelton, mathematics, as the 2009 award recipient, Vice President Gilkey read the following passage from Mr. Shelton’s nomination letter. “Professor Shelton, who has been a member of the University of Oregon faculty since 1985, is an exemplary citizen of this academic community. In addition to his teaching, research and administrative contributions as head of the mathematics department for a number of years, Professor Shelton truly embraces the spirit of this award. Although Brad is often quiet in these contributions, he consistently seeks to make the University of Oregon a better place for all faculty, staff and students through his unending commitment to the principles of faculty governance, participatory decision making, and the fostering of a campus climate of inclusiveness and respect. Let me elaborate. In an era of often self-directed faculty efforts, Brad regularly and consistently seeks way to makes unusual and outstanding contributions to the betterment of this campus. He recognizes the inter-connectedness of all parts of the institution (e.g., academics, student life, athletics, budget) and actively pursues opportunities to positively impact as many of these that he can, while always encouraging others to do so as well. Often, he takes on leadership roles in these efforts, even though that may be behind-the-scenes. Administrators and faculty alike, regardless of their discipline or academic unit, regularly consult him on key issues. Brad Shelton represents the very best of our faculty governance ideals, in that he takes on these voluntary responsibilities for the good of the entire community. He has served the University of Oregon in the following ways (the list is not exhaustive): University of Oregon Presidential Search Committee, 2008, Faculty Advisory Council, 2004-2008, Chair 2007-2008; Provost's Budget Task Force, 2006-2008; Provost's Committee on Course Evaluations, 2005-, Chair 2006-Present; President's Task Force on Athletics, 2001-2004; and Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, 1998-2004 (chair 2003-04), 2009 to present.”
Mr. Shelton was gracious in accepting the award, thanking everyone and saying that it truly a great honor that he appreciates very much.
Results of the Vice President election. President Paul van Donkelaar announced that there were 11 votes for one candidate and 12 for the other which he said indicated that there was not a quorum present. With that in mind, he said there are a number of options to resolve the situation, one of which was to delay the vice president election until the first meeting in fall. In response, Vice President Gilkey opined that delaying the election was not a good idea. Asking for other opinions and options there was some discussion. Senator Lidiana Soto Morales, ASUO, suggested waiting to the fall would allow the new senators for the 2009-2010 senate to take some time to review the candidates. This idea found some support and President van Donkelaar asked the two candidates if waiting to hold the election was okay with them, to which they replied yes. Mr. Frank Stahl suggested holding another meeting in a week’s time, informing all the senators of the importance of the meeting. Others commented that waiting until the fall made sense to them. President van Donkelaar noted that going the summer without a vice president in place was not without precedent – it had occurred once before.
After hearing a variety of opinions, President van Donkelaar indicated that voting for the vice president would occur at the first meeting of the fall term. [Note: A substantial amount of email communication transpired among senators and others for several days after the meeting. Various parliamentary points and issues were raised, such as the possibility that there may have been a quorum present but people simply chose not vote or to indicate in their abstention in writing, for example, thus challenging the legitimacy of holding another election at the first fall meeting. Taking all points of view into advisement and consideration, and consulting with Parliamentarian Paul Simonds, President van Donkelaar announced that the outcome of the vote taken during the May 27th organizational meeting was 12 votes for Senator Nathan Tublitz and 11 votes for Ms. Andrea Cole-Bjerre and that Senator Tublitz was declared the winner and elected as vice president for 2009-2010.]
Confirmation of and remarks from new senate president for 2009-2010 Peter Gilkey. Outgoing president van Donkelaar asked for a received confirmation of Peter Gilkey as the new senate president, and as is customary, passed him the gavel. New Senate President Gilkey said that was is a high honor and privilege to have been elected to serve as senate president for the coming academic year. He commented that he believes passionately in the role that higher education plays in the state of Oregon, noting that higher education is one of the few positive sum games where the output benefit to our state far exceeds the input dollars provided by the state legislature. He remarked, too, that both his children received their undergraduate education at the UO and have had an excellent start in their adult lives. He went on to say that the UO has two primary obligations: the creation of knowledge and the dissemination of knowledge, and in doing so affects the development of character and the guiding of change. Nearly everyone in the university plays a role in these two endeavors, either directly or by providing support.
President Gilkey further commented that his task as president is to facilitate the functioning of the Senate, to ensure that it works smoothly from a parliamentary point of view, and above all else, to further senators’ agendas. He said no doubt the senate will have to deal with faculty governance and budgetary issues in the coming year, but those items are not the primary focus of the university; our task at the university is to further our joint missions of creating and disseminating knowledge. He concluded his remarks saying that he looks forward to being senate president and to making it possible for the senate to do what needs to be done.
As a first order of new business, President Gilkey appointed Paul Simonds, anthropology, as the parliamentarian and recognized Gwen Steigelman as secretary of the senate for 2009-2010. He asked Parliamentarian Simonds to review, for those new to the senate, the basic procedures for debating motions that come before the senate. Mr. Simonds obliged by saying that during the procedure of making motions, the mover of the motion is recognized and presents it. Then if there is a second to the motion, the president of the senate presents that motion to the senate body and it becomes the property of the Senate. During debate of the motion, each senator is entitled to the floor to speak to the motion once, either in support or opposition, before anyone else has a second chance to speak to the motion; there is no third time for anyone to rise and argue the motion. If there are amendments proposed, the process starts again, that is, everyone has an opportunity to argue for or against once, and then when everyone is done, a second time. There can be an amendment to an amendment, but no further amending. This means when going through a series of motion and amendments, there are many times a person may have the floor to talk, but he or she must be recognized by the president to have the floor. There may be a substitute motion replacing the original if it fits the same issue that is raised by the original motion; procedures for a substitute motion are essentially the same as for the main motion. Amendments are voted on in reverse order: in other words, if there is an amendment to an amendment, the second amendment is voted on first then the amendment, and then the main motion. During debate, one may request points of order, points of privilege, and points of information after first being recognized by the president – these requests do not count as a turn to speak to a motion. If someone feels the debate has gone on long enough, one can call for the question – that is, to call for a vote to stop debate and proceed directly to voting on the motion, provided that the person is recognized first by the president when no one else is speaking. The president is the person who recognizes who can speak, but once recognized the person has the floor uninterrupted (for as many as 10 minutes, if necessary).
Before proceeding to new business, President Gilkey asked the secretary to confirm if a quorum of the 2009-10 senate was present; 27 members were present, thus there was a quorum.
Motion US09/10-1 concerning preparation of a draft university governance document. President Gilkey recognized Mr., Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, to introduce the Motion US09/10-1, which reads as follows:
That the Senate request the so-called "Dead Presidents" [former Senate Presidents, excluding the current (2009-2010) President] to prepare a draft university governance document for discussion at the announced meeting of the Statutory Faculty on Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 15:30.
The motion was seconded and the chair recognized Mr. Stahl to speak to the motion. Mr. Stahl said simply that his motion was to create a senate committee, comprised of past president (excluding the current president Gilkey), to write a governance document for presentation at the Statutory Faculty meeting in November. He acknowledged that in some sense, the proposed senate committee may be redundant (to the committee being appointed by President Lariviere). However, there are differing opinions on campus regarding the nature of what governance should be on the campus. He indicated that there is room for interpretation to have a model that is top down, or to have a model that is a community of scholars. It is his hope that in November the statutory will have a chance to consider documents that represent both views.
President Gilkey recognized Senator Mary Ann Hyatt, who said she had a concern about the proposed committee in that she would like to see greater diversity in the group. Former president van Donkelaar spoke against the motion. He indicated that he has been asked by President Frohnmayer to be the chair the appointed committee drafting a governance document. He noted that the idea of that committee is to be as open and transparent as possible. The committee will be posting on its website potential revisions to any proposed legislation, as well as any other ideas, for viewing and response by the broad University of Oregon community in advance of the November meeting. The committee formed by President Frohnmayer will address the same issues as would the proposed committee of past senate presidents. Further, in discussion with President Frohnmayer regarding the make up of the committee, and number of past senate presidents would be included, so it is clear that the senate will have voice on the president’s committee. Thus, he encouraged senators to vote against the motion.
Former Senator Lynn Stephen, anthropology, supported the idea that a senate committee would need more diversity than as proposed. She opined that it is important to bring people in that are new and that have different perspectives to take advantage of the opportunity to re-examine governance. Senator Linda Forrest, education, also spoke in favor of the importance of greater diversity on the committee looking at faculty governance. Senator Carl Bybee, journalism and communication, asked Mr. Stahl if the primary intent of having two committees (one appointed by President Frohnmayer and one appointed by the senate president comprised of past presidents) is to assure that the senate committee would produce a document that would represent the professoriate, whereas the president’s committee would produce a document reflecting views of the administration. Mr. Stahl confirmed that was his concern, that both views be heard and reflected in proposed governance documents.
Senator Kassia Dellabough, AAA, indicated that she would support the motion if it included new participants. She proposed amending the motion to include a diversity of new participants with different experience levels, genders, diversities, and perspectives. The chair asked for clarification from Senator Dellabough as to how this would be accomplished (in the current motion, he invited the past president to participate). Senator Dellabough was uncertain how this might be done. Senator Tublitz was recognized next and he spoke in support of having two separate committees, citing that the senate had a separate search committee for the recent presidential search to have input there. He suggested that Mr. Stahl devise another motion or amendment to the current motion.
University President Dave Frohnmayer asked for a point of information. He said that it strikes him a bit odd that an appointment that has not been exercised is already is being called to question, or perhaps so. He gave assurances that the notice of the appointment of a committee to start the process of review was made at the statutory faculty meeting (May 6, 2009). He said he asked the outgoing senate president to serve as chair. President Frohnmayer further indicated that he and past president van Donkelaar have discussed the committee composition with the Faculty Advisory Council (a body elected by the entire faculty), asking them to give advice as to the most appropriate working group that might best embody the needs of the statues of the organic charter of the university. There are different views of diversity in my view, than happens to be represented in the historic lists of persons who have been senate presidents. He assured the senators that the issues of faculty governance and its prerogatives are foremost in their thinking.
Senator Dellabough sought clarification that the chair was already appointed, but not the committee. With that affirmation, she withdrew her amendment to the motion. Mr. Stahl then clarified that the reasoning behind calling for a second committee in part was due to his disappointment that the senate did not develop and circulate a draft governance document last year in a timely manner to have it available for review prior to the May statutory faculty meeting. He indicated that he had little confidence that having the same senate president appointed to chair the president’s governance committee would produce a governance document. A committee made up of past senate president would assure that at least one draft governance document would be produced; and if the president’s governance committee also produces a document, it would not be detrimental to have two draft governance documents for the November meeting.
In response to earlier voiced concerns about diversity on the senate committee, Mr. Stahl then moved to amend the original motion to add that after the past presidents were invited to participate, the senate president should invite any members of the 2009-2010 senate to join the committee as full members. This amendment was seconded and on the floor for debate. There was some clarifying discussion to ascertain whether the senate president would contact members of the senate to invite their participation on the committee, or whether the past presidents already on the committee would fill out the committee with senate volunteers. The secretary clarified that the amendment directs Senate President Gilkey to contact past presidents to invite them to serve on the governance committee and then to contact the senate membership for volunteers to also serve on the committee. With that clarification, no one sought the floor to speak to the amendment, so President Gilkey put the amendment to a vote; 15 were in favor of the amendment and 10 were opposed, so the amendment passed.
Next, the main motion, as amended was back on the floor for debate. Mr. Stahl wished to further amend the main motion, as amended, to say that no person may serve on both the president’s governance committee and the senate governance committee. This amendment was seconded and on the floor for debate. President Gilkey clarified that if the amendment passes he could not constitute the senate committee for two weeks (until after President Frohnmayer appoints his committee). President Gilkey recognized Senator Tracy Bars, AAA, who moved to table the motion until the October senate meeting. A vote was taken to table the motion with 13 in favor of tabling the motion and 11 opposed to tabling the motion. The motion to table until the October 14, 2009 meeting passed.
To a question raised regarding the timeframe by which faculty governance must be ratified or revised when a new president comes into office, President Gilkey responded that it was his understanding that governance must be ratified in a reasonable time frame, which does not mean by July 1st when the new president takes office. Presumable we would continue with our current governance form until such time as it is either ratified as is or revised and ratified. President Gilkey then asked incoming University President Richard Lariviere if he wished to speak to the question. President-to-be Lariviere said that he is under no time restraints at this time. As the university continues to conduct business as usual in the interim, his assumption is that until such time that the faculty recommends an alternative governance structure, the one that is in place now will continue. He added that the faculty could take all the time to they need to make such a recommendation.
With the orientation and business portion of the meeting concluded, President Gilkey entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting, which will be followed by a welcoming reception for the new senators and recipient of the Westling Award. The meeting was adjourned at 5: 13 p.m.
Secretary of the Faculty
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