US09/10-21 - Motion to improve transparency of UO Policies

Sponsored by: John Bonine, Law

For Senate Action:    May 26, 2010. Motion Withdrawn 26 May 2010.

Motion: The University Senate moves to request the following from the President of the University:

  1. to include linkages in the University's Policy Library to legislation of the University Senate;
  2. where legislation of the University Senate exists, to include in the University of Oregon Policy Statements only the policy adopted by the Senate, unless it has been vetoed by the President and a different policy adopted;
  3. to attach to all policies a PDF file showing the signatures of adoption (whether they be the signatures of the University Senate President or of the Senior Vice President and Provost);
  4. to preserve and make available on the Web previous versions of policies so that current policies may be compared.


  1. The University of Oregon adopted on January 22, 2010, University of Oregon Policy Statement 01.00.02, a procedure for the adoption, issuance, and authoritative source of "University of Oregon Policy Statements." According to the procedure, "the institution is governed in part through University of Oregon Policy Statements." Such UO Policy Statements are said to be "promulgated by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost." UO Policy Statements published anywhere except in the UO Policy Library, found at , are "not considered valid."

  2. According to UO Policy Statement 01.00.01, UO Policy Statements "may not cover all administrative matters at the University. Other sources of policy information include the Student Handbook , the Office of Academic Affairs website, senate legislation, Business Affairs Office, Human Resources , and unit operational policies and procedures." Unlike the other sources of University-wide policies listed in this sentence, however, no hyperlink is provided to "senate legislation."

  3. Despite this recognition that "senate legislation" may be a source of "policy information," at least some of the UO Policy Statements cover the same subjects as official legislation of the University Senate.

  4. The University Charter provides that the immediate governance of the University is in its faculty, of which the President is the head.

  5. The University Senate, exercising the delegated power of the faculty, has adopted numerous policies. One example is that the Senate endorsed a new Financial Conflict of Interest Policy on April 8, 2009. and The Financial Conflict of Interest Policy contained in the University of Oregon Policy Library, however, is not completely identical to the policy endorsed by the University Senate, containing some slight changes of wording. Furthermore, it is presented as having been "Issued by: Office for Responsible Conduct of Research" on May 12, 2009, and does not contain the signature block for the UO Senate President, Senior Vice President and Provost, and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies that were part of the policy as written by our committee up through April 4, 2009, and then endorsed by the University Senate on April 8, 2009. It is crucial that legislation adopted by the Senate not be changed administratively even in the smallest details except through veto by the University President and verifiable, subsequent action by the Senate or University President.

Fiscal Impact Statement: No fiscal impact.

last updated on 26 May 2010 by ms