Present: Baldwin, Bjerre, Boush, Burkhart, Clark, Cohen, Dale, DeGidio, Dolezal, Earl, Eisert, Foster, Gilkey, Grzybowski, Helphand, Hurwit, Jenkins, Jones, Leahy, Luck, Luks, McLauchlan, Merskin, Moore, Olson, Reed, Schombert, Terborg, Tublitz, Upshaw, Vakareliyska, Westling, Whitlock, Wood
Excused: Brokaw, Conley, Davis, Hibbard, Larson, Levi, Moreno, Paynter, Singell, Southwell
Absent: Dann, Dixon, Kintz, Lachman, Meeks-Wagner
President Hurwit went on to say that the budget process at this point is very much a political exercise in which people need to show up and ìmake some noiseî to show their support and influence legislators. He noted that faculty generally are reluctant to lobby, but reminded everyone that the UO and higher education as a whole will not be better funded simply because it is right and virtuous to do so. A showing of strong support at this time is crucial because the budget consideration process is scheduled to begin April 5, 1999. President Hurwit encouraged faculty members who are unable to attend to write letters of support to their senators and representatives.
State Senator Brady Adams (R), who supports increased funding for higher education, impressed upon President Hurwit that unless the university and other members of OUS make their presence known on Rally Day, K-12 educators who have lobbied strongly will fare far better in the budget. The governor is expected to increase the K-12 budget. K-12 has asked for $5.1 billion dollars, which if funded, will mean a 14% across the board cut to every agency in the state. It is not expected that K-12 will get all they ask for, but likely will get some increas. Senator Adams indicated that the budget currently being considered underfunds higher education, but the budget is still in flux. The university needs to have large numbers of faculty, staff, and students show up to voice their support for increased higher education funding. As an aside, Mr. Paul Simonds, IFS representative, told senators that Portland State University was aiming for 800 faculty members to be present during Rally Day.
Ms. Lorraine Davis, senior vice provost for academic affairs, also stressed the importance of showing support for higher education by being present on Rally Day. In a conference call with OUS university presidents, statements were made that if the universities are not there en masse, they cannot complain if their budgets are not supported. She noted that more support up front, rather than behind the scenes, is the key at this point. The model for higher education funding needs to be rebalanced -- $100-$150 million new dollars in funding is needed.
Mr. Scott Reed, ASUO, informed senators that the students are planning to show up numbers in support. He indicated that if the faculty made a strong showing at the rally it also would help the student lobbying efforts. President Hurwit asked faculty to be sympathetic to students who may miss class that day due to attending the rally. Mr. Simonds added that State Representative Jim Welch, one of the key figures in the House, has requested similar support from higher education faculty, staff, and students and those who are in his district should contact him to show their support.
Senator Suzanne Clark, English, asked if something could be done to prepare for Rally Day. The response was that the most important thing is to be visible by showing up in great numbers. People could also bring signs and can plan on talking with their legislators after the rally. Personal knowledge stories of colleagues who left due to low salaries or students who are struggling to meet tuition, have the most impact.
Senator Jim Upshaw, journalism and communication, wondered if there was any thought to closing the university on that day so people could show up in Salem. Vice Provost Davis responded that as a state agency with state employees, it would not be possible to close the school on that day for lobbying purposes. Senator Upshaw also wondered why the rally could not have been scheduled during spring break, and was told that the date was scheduled by the Oregon University System and the university had no control over the date or time.
Mr. Alan Contreras, legislative relations, told senators that the rally is an event to show that there are many people who support higher education. If people want to, they are welcome to go to the legislature during spring break or any other time to show their support by talking to legislators. He said the Oregon Senate is not a problem in the budget process, but the House does not seem to get the message that higher education is strongly supported. The university can show such support by having as many people as possible show up for the rally.
Senator Michael Olson, ASUO, asked if there were any other plans being made to get the word out to faculty about the rally. Mr. Contreras responded that an announcement will appear in News and Views and that President Frohnmayer will send a phone broadcast message urging people to attend. Deans are also encouraging their faculty members to attend.
After suggestions were made for faculty to perhaps cancel classes or invite a substitute to teach the class for that day, Vice President Peter Gilkey, mathematics, stated that he had a very real concern with canceling classes for the purpose of lobbying and felt he could not do this. In response, the President Hurwit said that making other arrangements for covering classes wherever possible was the suggestion, not a directive. And he reemphasized the importance of as many faculty members attending the rally as possible. Mr. Contreras suggested that classes with legitimate connections to the legislative process might schedule field trips to Salem for that day.
Nominations for spring elections. President Hurwit urged senators to contact their constituents to generate nominations for the senate and other elected faculty committees. Return all nominations to the secretary by March 19, 1999.
Comments on Riverfront Research Park. Senator Nathan Tublitz, biology, spoke briefly on the Riverfront Research Park (RRP). He met with President Frohnmayer about the RRP resolution passed by the senate last January and reported that the president neither accepted nor rejected the resolution, which he felt was good. Senator Tublitz said that in February the city council pulled funding for further research park development and on March 17, 1999, he would speak to the city council on this subject.
Senator Greg McLauchlan, sociology, brought to the senate's attention an advertising campaign he witnessed outside the EMU concerning a software product made by Dynamix, a major RRP tenant. A vehicle belonging to Dynamix was showcasing some of the latest developments from the company, and he was appalled to see that the software consisted of computer games heavy in explicit violence. Because the company was developing the software on university property he felt that products should have socially redeeming qualities. He suggested that perhaps the university should keep better aware of what is being produced by companies in the RRP area as it does with other university activities and endeavors.
Mr. Moos stated that athletics currently has a budget of approximately 25 million dollars with 150 employees. He noted that only 10% of the athletics budget is supplied by institutional funding and the balance comes from private funding. Athletics is not yet self-sufficient but is aiming toward that goal. The football program is the largest revenue producer; two-thirds of total revenues come from football and menís basketball, while these two programs expend approximately one-third of the budget.
The Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl appearance years were extremely positive for the university and provided extra revenue. A large portion of the money generated from these events was directed to student academic services areas such as staffing and improved facilities in Mac Court. In addition, budgets received additional funding for increases in coachesí salaries to draw them more in line with their PAC-10 peers and for funding the recruitment of student athletes.
Mr. Moos noted he occasionally hears suggestions that the university should leave the PAC-10. He indicated his belief that it is important to be recognized with peer universities in the PAC-10. The university receives at least $1 million dollars a year from revenue sharing among PAC-10 schools, and we also share in both the academic and athletic reputation of universities in the PAC-10.
Mr. Moos continued his remarks saying that athletics plays a number of roles for the university. Athletics provides educational opportunities for minorities and female students. Currently, 23% of student athletes' scholarships are held by minority students and 38% by women students. Athletics also provides a source of exposure and visibility for the university. The skills and accomplishments of students and their teams capture peopleís attention and are valuable in showcasing the entire university. Further, athletics plays a large role in the capital campaign since fundraising is a major way the department funds itself. Generally, the athletics department raises between $5 and $6 million dollars yearly for scholarships. He stressed that athletics is an important networking mechanism for the university.
Mr. Moos said that an important aspect of athletics is their focus on the academic potential of their athletes. They take every opportunity to speak about the academic accomplishments of student athletes. Currently there are 291 athletes who benefit from scholarships. The graduation rate for student athletes is 63% compared to the graduation rate of 59% for all other students at the university. For the last 10 years, our university trails only Stanford in the PAC-10 in academic honors for athletes. The cumulative GPA for student athletes is 2.67. With this, Mr. Moos opened the floor for questions and discussion.
Senator Olson asked if students should pay the fair market value for tickets or would continue to receive discounted student tickets. Mr. Moos answered that students are, of course, an integral part of the athletic program and they should not have to pay full price for tickets. The department is exploring ways to use unused seats to produce revenue for the program.
Ms. Linda Ettinger, arts and administration, said that she wondered about the way the student athletes are presented in the media. She indicated that the university must think of ways to present athletes as students in the larger university community and not just as athletes. Mr. Moos replied that the challenge was to mainstream students into the overall university. Athletes need to realize the wealth of diversity in the university and become a part of other areas of campus life as well. Ms. Ettinger went on to complement Mr. Ernie Kent, men's basketball coach, who sent her and presumably other faculty members, a letter shortly after he was hired introducing himself and asking for their input. She was pleased to receive this meaningful gesture by Mr. Kent in appreciating the importance of academics for students engaged in athletics.
Wondering about the self-sustaining comment mentioned by Mr. Moos earlier, Mr. Contreras asked if football would carry the department or if other sports would also contribute. Mr. Moos indicated that football would play a major role but menís basketball would also be a big contributor. Womenís basketball has, at present, a $1.1 million dollar budget but only generates $250,000 in revenue; it is hoped in the near future they will break even and eventually be able to contribute to the overall budget. With no other questions, Mr. Moos thanked the senators for this opportunity to talk with them.
COMMITTEE REPORTS Memo from University Library Committee. Senator Jim Schombert, physics, and chair of the Library Committee, reported that approximately a year ago an external review of the library was conducted. In general, the UO library system is very highly regarded. One recommendation from the external review was to combine the math and science libraries. The Library Committee considered the recommendation but rather than combining the libraries, they made alternative recommendations. Their reasoning was that there is not enough room to move the mathematics library holdings into the science library. Senator Schombert also indicated that the move would have a dramatic impact on future faculty hiring because the presence of the mathematics library in the facility that houses mathematics is a strong recruitment tool.
Senator Gene Luks, computer and information science, disagreed with the logic of the memo (full text may be viewed on the web page or is available from the secretary). He said it contains many contradictions and there were many problems in the use of the mathematics library, primarily because security is so lax books are disappearing. He supports a good mathematics library, yet believes that extending the library hours but also providing keys to some individuals is counterproductive to having the materials secure and available to everyone who wants to use the library. He noted that currently books are being sent to the science library rather than to the mathematics library for security reasons.
Vice President Gilkey again made the point that there is no room in the science library for the mathematics holdings and future acquisitions. Senator Schombert ended his report by saying that this memo was to update the senate only and was not the official report that would be presented to the external review committee.
Report from the Committee on Courses. Mr. Paul Engelking, chemistry, and chair of the Committee on Courses presented the Winter 1999 Preliminary Curriculum Report. Several small changes were noted during a page by page review. For updates on these changes, contact Ms. Nan Coppock-Bland, university publications. With the mentioned amendments, the curriculum report was accepted by voice vote.
Resolution US98/99- 7 -- Student Management of Incidental Fee System. Senator Jereme Gryzbowski, ASUO, was recognized to present the following resolution: Resolved, that the University Senate hereby supports the student incidental fee system currently in effect at the University of Oregon, and hereby opposes any initiatives to remove the current incidental fee system from student management, or to bar access to incidental fee revenues by any student organization that is eligible for funding from incidental fees under current procedures.
Senator Gryzbowski presented a brief report on studentsí right in using incidental fees. He stated that the fees serve many useful purposes such as providing for numerous on-campus services, promoting cultural development, sponsoring various campus groups, the Spring Break Challenge, and contributing to the performing arts and athletics. The use of fees ties in to the university's broad mission regarding education and internships. Senator Gryzbowski noted that the fee disbursement process was a very democratic, positive learning experience for students and should remain a matter of local control. A motion to move the resolution was made and seconded. Senator McLauchlan spoke in favor of the resolution saying the current system is a good one and it is working. He asked senators to support the resolution. With no other discussion, Resolution US98/99- 7 -- Student Management of Incidental Fee System -- was put to a vote and passed by voice vote.
Comments on post-tenure review. President Hurwit informed senators that the ad hoc Conference Committee charged with combining the previous two post tenure proposals and reports into one policy is working on the policy. He indicated there remain issues to be worked out but it is in the hands of the committee. The final draft will be distributed in the first part of April.
Gwen Steigelman Secretary