Minutes of the University Senate November 11, 2009

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Present:  G. Baitinger, T. Bars, A. Berenstein, J. Bonine, E, Chan, K. Dellabough, A. Emami, L. Forrest, H. Gangadharbatla, P. Gilkey, J. Hurwit, A. Hilts, M.A. Hyatt, M. Jaeger, K. Jensen, C. Jones, D. Kennett, H. Khalsa, A. Laskaya, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, L. Middlebrook, S. Midkiff, T. Minner, D. Olson, N.C. Phillips, M. Price, P. Southwell, Z. Stark-Macmillan, T. K. Thompson, L. Van Dreel, S. Verscheure, P. Warner, M. Williams

 

Excused: C. Ellis, J. Hurwit, J. Piger, N. Tublitz

 

Absent: C. Bengtson, C. Bybee, S. Chakraborty, T. Dishion, N. Glower, M. Henney, R. Kyr, N. Proudfoot, L. Reichardt, L. Sugiyama, T. Toadvine, P. Walker

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

University Senate President, Peter Gilkey called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 220 HEDCO Building. 

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

 

Minutes of the October 14, 2009 senate meeting were approved as distributed. 

 

REPORTS

 

Senate Nominating Committee.  Committee chair Anne Laskaya, English, reported that the committee nominated Lise Nelson, geography, to fill a vacancy on the Graduate Council due to an unforeseen resignation; the senate confirmed Ms. Nelson’s appointment. 

 

Climate Action Planning.  Professor Art Farley, computer and information science, began the report by explaining that former UO President David Frohnmayer, along with the other OUS institutions and 650 colleges and university presidents across the country, signed the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment.  The commitment sets a goal of achieving a 10% emissions reduction by 2020 and zero net greenhouse gas emissions on all campuses by 2050.  For our campus, the first step is to develop a Climate Action Plan.  The plan will be a living document that will be modified and updated as technologies and understanding of the problems and issues advance over time.  A first draft has been completed and the Environmental Issues Committee would like feedback and input on the draft document from faculty and the university community (see http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/content/introduction).  The Environmental Issues Committee has spent much of its time over the last 2 years putting together an emission responsibilities chart (see http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/content/emission-profile).  The chart is an important part of the Climate Action Plan which states the various classifications of greenhouse emissions that occur as part of university activity.  There are a number of opportunities to capture renewable resources, but the campus must have the will to do it.  Reductions can occur, but the cost is estimated at $25.8 million, with a simple payback of 18 years; $65 million is needed for renewable energy projects.  The university has a long-term investment horizon to spread costs of reducing emissions.  The question is, of the various options the university has, which will it take responsibility for dealing with, and which will it not. 

 

Mr. Steve Mital, director of the Office of Sustainability, provided a PowerPoint presentation of some highlights of the Climate Action Plan (see http://sustainability.uoregon).  The draft plan consists primarily of strategies to begin dealing with emission reduction, hence the request for faculty input on ways to achieve reductions.  Mr. Mital said that the United States produces the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world.  And although people often associate a reduction in one’s carbon emissions with a reduction in lifestyle, this is not necessarily true.  He said the US has an abundant amount of renewable resources to capture; for example, concentrated solar power (CSP) is mostly in the southwest, there is a lot of wind energy potential in the Willamette Valley as well as the Columbia River Gorge and in other parts of the country, and geothermal energy is also available.  Such resources could be widely distributed across the US.  Mr. Mital said that higher education is becoming active in emissions reduction because it is training future leaders – this current generation of students will bear the brunt of solving carbon emission problems already created.

 

Turning to some illustrations relevant to the UO, Mr. Mital said that utility combustion (the emissions that come from the power plant) comprise about 47% of the UO’s total.  The purchase of electricity from EWEB is 13%.  Emissions related to university air travel is 31% (athletics was not included in this total).  Only 50% of faculty and staff travel to campus each day by car and 11% of students do; the rest get to campus by riding bikes, taking the bus, walking, and car-pooling.  This improvement in commuting behavior is an example of ways in which we are changing behaviors to reduce our commuting emissions and have made a dent in the rising amount of the UO’s total emissions.

 

Lastly, Mr. Mital indicated that student-faculty interaction is a large part of the Climate Action Plan.  One example of how the university could move forward is to set up its own carbon offset business in the business school.  He suggested that the carbon market is going to be one of the largest markets in the future.  Mr. Mital said that the UO strategy is flexible right now and there are very broad planning strokes ready for faculty input now because the plan is due to President Lariviere in early January.   

 

During a discussion period, Senator Kassia Dellabough, AAA, mentioned the redesign of Lawrence Hall, which integrated design issues into academic programs, as a positive step toward having “greener” buildings.  Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, suggested that more people take advantage of existing Media Services technology for video conferences (instead of traveling to the conference).  He has participated in such conferencing and it worked very well.  Finally, Mr. Mital responded to a question about campus goals by saying that the UO is in the process of defining realistic goals for the campus and seeing what types of resources are available on our campus.

 

Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Report.  Professor Jim O’Fallon, NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for the UO, began his remarks by noting the passing of former UO president Myles Brand, who was President of the NCAA.  Mr. O’Fallon commented that Mr. Brand, through a task force, had instituted a number of positive changes to improve the academic side of the student-athlete experience.  In particular, he pushed hard on academic eligibility of student athletes to assuring that athletes were taking courses that provided progress towards graduation in a reasonable time frame.  A combination of strengthening of the individual eligibility requirements and some mechanisms to move teams toward making judgments about how they can promote academic success of their student athletes have changed the atmosphere relating to academic success of student athletes on campus.  Student athletes operate under a set of regulations designed so that as they enter the final year of their eligibility they will have 80% of their designated degree program completed.  The UO has very good graduation rates to show this academic improvement.

 

Mr. O’Fallon continued his report, explaining that the Academic Progress Rate (APR) metric used by the NCAA is a three digit figure (925) based on a number of distinct measuring points for each athlete then applied team by team: if the team has a 925 score, the expectation is for a 50% graduation rate at the end of the students’ last (5th) year of eligibility.  If a team fails to make at least the 925 score, the team can be subjected to loss of scholarships, and penalties related to the team’s ability to participate in NCAA championships.  The UO has no team below 925, nor is it subject to any penalties.  The football team is lowest with a 935 score (this is last year’s score – this year’s score is in the process of being computed).  Mr. O’Fallon explained that the football team has the lowest score in part because the football players finish their eligibility at the end of the first term of a 3 term senior or 5th year.  A number of the players have serious professional opportunities in the sport, and they tend to get ready for the National Football League try-out camps right after the finish of football season in fall term.

 

Other examples of UO team scores are women’s basketball at 988, women’s golf at 1000, softball at 986, men’s basketball at 975, and men’s and women’s cross country at 974.  These scores are among the best in the country.  Student athletes at the UO have a graduation rate of 71% compared with the general campus graduation rate of 62%.  Mr. O’Fallon concluded his remarks by highlighting some notable accomplishments of current athletes, such as Nicole Blood, and Galen Rupp, who are NCAA Academic All Americans in track and field, and Nick Reed, a first team Academic All American in football.  Both Rupp and Reed also have been awarded NCAA post-graduate scholarships.

 

Report on implementation of resolutions for a smoke free campus, and transparency of university financial transactions.  Senate President Gilkey noted that a report from Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke addressing the senate resolutions from last year concerning progress toward implementation of a smoke free campus, and transparency of university financial transactions, had been posted previously on the senate web page for senators’ review (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Dyke6Nov09.html).  He indicated that Vice President Dyke was available for any questions. 

 

Senator Deb Olson, education, asked why the list of concerns regarding going to a smoke free campus were not being addressed by a task force.  Vice President Dyke replied that the first piece of implementation is the fundamental education of the campus.  The vice president said that both the Student Health Center and the Office of Human Resources are charged with providing educational programs on a variety of life- and health-related issues.  There have been conversations among Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes, Director of the Student Health Center Mike Eyster, and Director of Human Resources Linda King to create an inventory of things that we are already doing, and to investigate best practices in the area of going to a smoke free campus.  When this process is done, Vice President Dyke said she would be ready to take a look at the question of implementation.  She noted that progress in this area was not a lack of will, but rather a question of balancing priorities in a very busy environment. 

 

On another topic, Senator Terrie Minner, academic advising, asked if Vice President Dyke would provide a written report for the December Senate meeting regarding the status of the Officers of Administration (OA) employment policy initiatives.  She also questioned whether the administration has decided on holiday closure and whether there is there any conversation on developing a standard process for holiday closures.  The vice president replied that she and Human Resources Director Linda King were planning to attend the January senate meeting to discuss the work that has been done on the OA policy initiative.  She said they would be happy to move it up to the December depending on the senate’s schedule.  Also, she added that some records and materials are available and linked through the HR website (see http://hr.uoregon.edu/oa/), and that Ms. King is willing to take questions if senators wished to email them her.  Regarding holiday closures, there has been a preliminary discussion in the president’s Executive Leadership Team meetings.  She said that the expectation is to have a closure policy similar to last year, with some improvements on communication and for having the vice presidents decide the closure protocols for their areas. 

 

Faculty Governance Committee.  Former Senate President Paul van Donkelaar, human physiology, chairs the Faculty Governance Committee (FGC) and provided an update on its recent meetings (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~assembly/dirSF/dirExtra/facgovcom10-14-09.pdf and also see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/intgovcomm-report-11-11-09.pdf).  The committee has proposed a timeline for its activities: for fall 2009, there are several options to review for governance reform, the website is nearly ready for comments and input on these options, and the committee intends to hold a town hall meeting for further feedback on the several governance documents and also receive initial input from President Lariviere; for winter 2010, compile input/feedback and revise alternatives, solicit additional input/feedback from UO community via the website, hold a statutory faculty meeting to select one of the alternatives, revise, refine and add detail to the selected alternative; hold a statutory faculty meeting and vote on the proposals, revise and refine the selected version; in spring 2010, present the new governance enabling legislation to President Lariviere for his consideration, and make adjustments to the faculty election process as necessary based on the new governance document (may need to delay spring elections if implementation is late in Spring term).

 

The FGC has identified a number of goals and priorities that are the focus of internal governance revisions.  General goals are to have: (1)a mechanism for statutory faculty to meet, (2) a mechanism for statutory faculty to oversee whatever elected body or bodies carry out day-to-day governance functions, (3) broad-based representation of the UO community, (4) the ability to respond to matters that arise with reasonable speed, (5) procedures that define how the president can respond to matters coming from an elected body (e.g., recommendations vs. directives), and (6) possible consolidation of various types of committees (e.g., elected vs. appointed; committees established by elected body or bodies vs. committees established by central administration).

 

Current ongoing priorities of the FGC include: (1) curricular matters and the impact of budgetary decisions on the curriculum, (2) other issues related to budget, (3) student conduct and discipline, (4) student life issues, (5) personnel policies, (6) admissions policies, (7) issues related to space, (8) issues related to parking, (9) issues related to faculty insurance liability, and (10) issues related to faculty grievances.

 

Mr. van Donkelaar encouraged senators to visit the Faculty Governance Committee website that provides the information that is being used in the committee’s deliberations as well as a schedule of meetings, which are open meetings (http://www.uoregon.edu/~assembly/dirSF/FGC.html).  Anyone who wishes to contribute to the discussion is welcome.  During a brief question and answer period, Senator John Bonine, law, asked who is looking into the legal analyses of the various proposed governance alternatives.  Mr. van Donkelaar responded that a member of the law faculty is serving on the committee.

 

Notices of motions.  President Gilkey reported that h has received several notices of motion.   Motion US09/10-7 concerning increasing access to public records, sponsored by Bill Harbaugh, economics, has been transmitted to the Senate Rules Committee for action.  Motion US09/10-8 concerning promotion and tenure results, sponsored by Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, has been withdrawn and proposed to Senior Vice Provost Russ Tomlin instead.  Motion US09/10-9 concerns appointment of a joint administration and senate committee dealing with state accountability metrics that may be part of a possible new governance model and relationship with the State of Oregon, and is sponsored by Peter Gilkey, mathematics.  Motion US09/10-10 to create an advisory group concerning the implementation of legislation US08/09-8 passed last May regarding transparency of university financial transactions, is sponsored by Peter Gilkey at the request of Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke, who feels it would be useful to have an advisory group on this matter.

 

Other reports received.  President Gilkey reported that he received the annual report from General Counsel Melinda Grier regarding the university’s policies and procedures in response to the USA Patriot Act, CAPPS II, and other similar legislation (pursuant to US02/03-4); the report indicated that no subpoenas from the federal government under the Patriot Act have been received by the UO in the past year (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/PatriotActSubpoenas2009.PDF). 

 

President Gilkey also commented that he had received a note of clarification provided by Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin regarding practices that have been followed to organize the interaction between the Faculty Personnel Committee and the provost and his staff (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Tomlin10Nov09.pdf). 

 

The president next drew attention to the OUS enrollment data and fall 2009 enrollment fact sheet which indicates significant enrollment increases (5.8%) across the Oregon University System with increases at both the undergraduate (6.7%) and graduate (3.9%) levels.  To a question from Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, regarding the Cascade campus, it was clarified that the campus in Bend is an OUS campus; the UO offers courses there under the administration of Oregon State University.  (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/2009EnrollmentRelease_FINAL.pdf and also see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Fall09_EnrollmentFactSheet_FINAL.pdf)  

 

Lastly, President Gilkey indicated that he has received information provided by General Counsel Grier concerning the extent to which the Oregon Public Meetings Laws is applicable to the University Senate (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/Grier-10Nov-PublicMeetings.pdf).  Senator Bonine took issue with Ms. Grier’s opinion saying that it failed to cite a relevant Oregon Administrative Rule and had a narrow interpretation of the “immediate government” phrase of the Charter statement, which he felt was a much broader term.  In essence, Senator Bonine was concerned that because Ms. Grier reports to University President Lariviere, there was a possible conflict of interest in providing an objective legal opinion for the University Senate on this issue.  He indicated that he would send a more detailed email of his concerns to President Gilkey for posting on the senate website.  In addition, Senator Bonine gave notice that he intends to sponsor a motion that the University Senate appoint its own legal counsel.  President Gilkey requested that Senator Bonine send the text of his motion to him as soon as possible so that the Rules Committee can review it, and because the December senate meeting is scheduled a week earlier so as to not conflict with the fall term final exams schedule.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Motion US09/10-3 –to establish a Senate Ad Hoc Committee on public (open) access to scholarly publication.  President Gilkey asked Senate Rules Chair Tracy Bars to temporarily preside over the senate for this motion so that he could step down to introduce and speak to the motion (Senate Vice President Nathan Tublitz was unable to attend the meeting, and thus was not available to preside).  President Gilkey moved adoption of Motion US09/10-3 which reads:

 

The UO Senate directs the UO Senate President to create a Senate Ad Hoc Committee.  The members of the Committee will be appointed by the UO Senate President in consultation with the Senate Nominating Committee, with the FAC, with the Provost, and with the UO Library.

 

The University of Oregon has a longstanding commitment to making its research widely available, both to the scholarly community and to the general public.  Technology is now enabling faculty, universities, and disciplines to adopt new ways to provide enhanced visibility and access to research, usually through digital repositories that are freely accessible.  The terms "public access" or "open access" are used to describe these methods that help to remove financial and permission barriers to scholarship and readership.  The Committee will

 

1.     Investigate policies facilitating such public access at other AAU Universities.

2.     Consult widely within the UO community.

3.     Take into consideration UO Policy statements, OUS Internal Management Directives, and other relevant documents.

4.     Draft a University Policy Statement that, if endorsed by the UO Senate and promulgated by the President, would enable the University to:

o      support wider access to UO faculty research.

o      enhance the visibility of UO faculty research.

 

Mr. Gilkey expressed his belief that open access to scholarly publication is a very important issue, thus he would like to address it by forming an ad hoc senate committee to write a policy on the issue for senate approval and then send it to President Lariviere.  Mr. Gilkey indicated that if the motion passes, he will consult with groups as stated in the motion to appoint the committee that he would chair.  Senator Bonine asked if the policy investigation would include print journals and any restrictions on them, and Mr. Gilkey responded that it would.  Since there were no other questions, Ms. Bars brought the question to a vote.  Motion US09/10-3 passed unanimously.  With the voting on the motion completed, President Gilkey thanked Ms. Bars for her assistance and resumed the chair.

 

Motion US09/10-4 concerning eligibility for the Senate Vice Presidency.  Speaking on behalf of the Senate Rules Committee, which sponsored the motion, Ms. Bars moved to:

 

Revise the final sentence of section 5.2 of the Enabling Legislation to read: ``The vice president shall be elected from among the officers-of-instruction who are currently serving senators and will become president at the end of the following year by confirmation of the senate.”

 

Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, began the discussion by wondering if there were problems with the current legislation that prompted the change.  Ms. Bars indicated that the Rules Committee crafted this motion and the next two motions to be considered in response to the confusion and uncertainty that occurred during the senate’s organizational meeting last May when the vice president is elected.  Senator Mary Ann Hyatt, law, questioned why librarians were not included among those eligible to serve as vice president because they hold academic rank (note: librarians are contracted as officers of administration, not officers of instruction). Ms. Bars responded that the proposed motion simply reverts to the original enabling legislation regarding vice president eligibility, that is, an officer of instruction who is a current member of the senate.  The motion does not address the issue of whether officers of administration should be eligible for the senate vice presidency.  Senator Chris Jones, AAA, asked if the proposed change allows for more people to be eligible.  Ms. Bars indicated that the candidate pool would be smaller, limited to those in the senate rather than including people who had previously served in the senate in the preceding five years, which is the current legislation.  Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology spoke in opposition to the motion, saying that having a larger pool of candidates was preferable, and he also questioned why a change was necessary. 

 

Senator Bonine said that he wanted to think further about the motion, to let it percolate longer, and that he did not want to vote on it at this time.  There were some additional comments regarding the nature of the candidate pool, and Ms. Bars indicated the intent of the motion was to remove the ”ex-officio” nature of the candidate pool.  Senator Bonine then moved to table the motion.  President Gilkey called for a hand vote which resulted in 21 in favor of the motion to table, none opposed, and 5 abstentions. Motion US09/10-4 regarding eligibility for the senate vice presidency was tabled. 

 

US 09/10-5 concerning the election of the Senate Vice President.  Once again Ms. Bars, speaking for the Senate Rules Committee, introduced motion US09/10-5 which reads as follows:

 

Solely for the purposes of the election of the Vice President of the Senate and the affirmation of the President, the voting body shall consist of all incoming senators for the following academic year.  This will allow newly elected senators a chance to vote on the person who will be the President during their term.

 

Before beginning a discussion of the motion, President Gilkey explained that the senate by-laws are rather unclear regarding who actually votes for the senate vice president: the senators in office during the May organizational meeting, or the senators who will serve during the academic year that begins fall term.  He noted that there was some confusion last May about who votes for the vice president. 

 

There were senators supporting both sides of the proposed motion.  Senator Priscilla Southwell, political science, was in favor of the motion saying that elected governance bodies typically elected their presiding officers from within their own ranks.  On the other hand, Senator Huaxin Lin, mathematics, opposed the motion saying that the serving senators know more about the candidates’ experience from working with them during the academic year.  The discussion continued and seemed to be moving in favor of the newly elected senators electing their officers when Senator Zachary Stark-Macmillan, ASUO, moved to amend the motion to read as follows:

 

Voting for the vice president shall occur at the first meeting of the senate fall term.

 

Discussion of the amendment focused on the ramifications of moving the voting to fall term, and whether there were duties that the vice president must attend to over the summer months.  Mr. Dave Hubin, president’s office, noted that the senate vice president is chair of the Committee on Committees, but the committee does not meet over the summer.  Senator Phillips spoke against the amendment, saying that it would be useful to have a vice president in place over the summer for other issues that arise.  Senator Southwell, who supported the original motion, spoke in favor of waiting until fall term to elect the vice president.  There was a motion to call the question, which passed.  President Gilkey then put the amendment to a vote.  US09/10-5, as amended to read that voting for the vice president shall occur at the first senate meeting of the fall term, passed. 

 

Motion US09/10-6 concerning nominations for Senate Vice President.  Due to the lateness of the hour, President Gilkey indicated that discussion on this motion will be held over until the December senate meeting.

 

As a final item, Senator Bonine requested that for future discussions on motions, the Rules Committee provide background information and include strike-outs of any pending changes for the motions that change previous legislation. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

 

 

Gwen Steigelman

Secretary of the Faculty

 


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