Minutes of the UO Asssembly Wednesday 30 May 2001

Minutes of the University Assembly Meeting, Wednesday May 30, 2001


University President Frohnmayer called the spring meeting of the University Assembly to order at 3:07 pm in room 123 Pacific.


Minutes from the October 18, 2000 meeting were approved as distributed.

MEMORIALS Memorials were presented for Myron Grove, professor emeritus of economics, Aaron Novick, professor emeritus of molecular biology, Paul Olum, president emeritus and professor emeritus of mathematics, and Dominic LaRusso, professor emeritus of rhetoric. (Full text of the memorials can be found as addendum to these minutes.)

Van Kolpin, economics, presented a memorial prepared by Henry Goldstein for Myron Grove. Professor Grove was a distinguished economics professor who served on the Oregon House of Representatives and made substantial contributions to the university's economics department. Frank Stahl, biology, presented a memorial for Aaron Novick. Professor Novick was characterized as an enthusiastic teacher and one who made significant contributions to molecular biology research. Provost John Moseley presented a memorial for Paul Olum. President Olum served as president of the university for nine years. He was instrumental in contributing to the development of new academic programs, was supportive of students in their fight against South African apartheid, and was a proponent of the reduction of nuclear weapons. David Frank presented a memorial for Dominick LaRusso. Professor LaRusso, a World War II veteran, truly embodied the notion of a "renaissance man" and was though of within the university to have recovered the meaning of rhetoric. A moment of silence was observed for these former faculty colleagues.


Faculty Advisory Council. The Faculty Advisory Council met weekly with President Frohnmayer, Provost John Moseley and Senior Vice Provost Lorraine Davis. The council took on an advisory role for issues of urgency and sustained discussion for issues of concern to the faculty and larger community. The council began the year with discussions on the Bend Campus and the university's larger role. This mission was less than successful but is viewed as an occasion for reflection regarding the UO's mission of providing a liberal arts education. The winter and spring terms' focus included salary issues, health benefits, administrative reorganization, and the Worker's Right Consortium. Progress was made on all of these issues. Diversity also took hold in numerous discussions with reference to the campus as a whole. The focus included the importance that the UO coordinate programs effectively and articulate long term visions for diversity. Diversity will remain an agenda item for the upcoming years.


Remarks by Senate President James Earl. University Senate President Earl began his remarks by expressing appreciation that the university is being run very effectively. He expressed hope for higher quality, better retention, and renewed morale due to the prospect of better faculty salaries. There were two goals set by the president for this past year, creation of renewed interest in the University Senate, and the elimination of the $2 million subsidy to athletics.

President Earl was not certain what it would take to reawaken and renewed interest in university governance due to the abstract nature of the faculty's relation to the university administrative structure. However, he noted that progress was made regarding reducing the athletic subsidy. The administration and the Athletic Department met with a team of five faculty representatives for the last several months and have reached an agreement, in short, that eliminates the $2 million annual athletic subsidy, freeing this money for faculty salaries. Thus, the Athletic Department will eventually become self-sufficient. Senate President Earl viewed this as a partial success due to the slower timetable of the reductions and fewer dollars than was anticipated.

The senate president concluded his remarks by commenting on the current state of intercollegiate athletics in the country, and voicing frustration at attempts to address his concerns because college athletics is simply too large and uncontrollable. He noted that America rates 20th in the world in its quality of higher education, and suggested that may be due to the universities being saddled by a sports entertainment industry that saps the energy, money, and high ideals of higher education.

Nevertheless, his attempt with other PAC-10 faculty senates to slow the rising tide of athletics has been successful in echoing the feeling of students, professors, and friends of the university that has been drowned out in the past. Support for asking university presidents to begin taking steps to curtail the rise in spending on collegiate athletics have been received from many others in the PAC-10 on this issue. In concluding, Senate President Earl extended appreciation to Gwen Steigelman, Nathan Tublitz, and Dave Frohnmayer for their assistance throughout the year. (Full text of these remarks can be found as an addendum to these minutes.)

Remarks from University President Dave Frohnmayer. Before his remarks, President Frohnmayer presented a video clip, "Portrait of the University of Oregon," broadcast by NBC recently on the Today Show, which chronicled the homecoming of Today Show host Ann Curry, a UO School of Journalism and Communication graduate. The president noted that the video served as a profound statement of how our faculty and students work to make people better.

President Frohnmayer opened his remarks by saying he did not agree completely with Senate President Earl's perspective on intercollegiate athletics. From a different point of view, athletics can be seen as a window to the university. The president noted that philanthropy of donors who include athletics has expanded to the rest of university. Nationally, it is the commercial aspect of athletics that has been exploited. On our campus, the issue has significant attention and has been well-handled by those whom have the proper sense and perspective. The president also mentioned that at a recent meeting of the AAU, representatives of 50 of the world's universities met with the AAU and the singular reaction was one of utter envy of the American higher education institutions. Currently, we occupy a privileged position for which higher education has the opportunity to shape the future of higher education.

The president went on to say that the UO may be defined more effectively in several weeks when the legislature has finished its session. We have been making every effort to assure the budget for higher education can be better than it is. The Ways and Means Committee will meet to make final adjustments in the next two weeks. After that, we will determine how this affects the UO. Given projections of enrollment for next fall, most of which are conservative, the UO we should be in better fiscal shape than we have been in a number of years. This is not a final judgment, as there is no final action at this point. He thanked everyone who made the journey to Salem for the rallies and added their voices to those who have talked to legislators.

President Frohnmayer noted that the process has begun for planning for the 125th anniversary to be recognized later this year. A plan for outreach will also be recognized which includes a fundamental examination of our mission. Faculty leadership will be a part of developing a 5-year plan for the university incorporating the Process for Change as well as a creating a robust fundraising plan to help fund the plan. This plan will also expand our national as well as our regional voice. It will also help follow up our enrollment guidelines for students who are eager and willing to attend the university, including students who would not be able to attend except for those who can obtain financial aid. Ms. Stanton's $10 million scholarship gift is an example of what can be done.

Referring again to the athletic subsidy issue, the president announced that discussions have resulted in a multi-year plan for reduction of the UO's 2 million dollar general fund contribution to athletics. This year, the contribution is to be reduced by $400,000. In each of the next two years the reduction will be an additional $300,000. In the 5th year the contribution will be zero. These funds will be redistributed for faculty salary contributions. The UO has been able to reduce subsidies faster then other institutions and has been reduced this cooperatively, with a willing spirit. The president said that the agreement represents a statement of trust and reciprocity in the university and that he thought it was commendable that we have come up with this collaboration. The floor was opened for comments and discussion.

Provost Moseley clarified that this agreement relates to the change in tuition reimbursement, which has been spoken of before. The athletic department paid full resident tuition for residents and the state money went toward resource allocation. This subsidy grew because as we raised nonresident tuition we agreed to tag the amounts of nonresident tuition for nonresident athletes at an equivalent amount to what we could receive for a resident student. We think this is a fair assessment. The net of that, in the fourth year when it is rationalized with no more subsidy, is that the athletic department is paying $1.3 million at this reduced rate.

With no more comments regarding the athletic subsidy agreement, the president made the following a few closing remarks. He stated that he, too, bemoaned the fact that the University Assembly meetings are not well attended. President Frohnmayer recalled when the assembly meetings were frequently a vigorous debate, saying his days at the UO date back to 1971. Further, he was saddened by the implication that attending senate and assembly meetings, and participating in governance is viewed by some as a service burden. Rather, he believes that UO governance is alive and well, and acknowledge the work and advocacy of the UO Senate Leadership and Jim Earl in calling repeated attention to the concerns of the faculty and others regarding subsidy and reimbursement support. This was one of the particular concerns of the faculty. He noted that without Jim Earl's support, the announced subsidy agreement might not have been made. President Frohnmayer pointed to the resolution as living proof that our UO system of governance is alive and well along with our mutual listening skills.


President Frohnmayer wished all present a pleasant summer and adjourned the meeting at 4:06 p.m.

Gwen Steigelman Secretary of the Faculty


Myron Adrian Grove (April 4, 1931 - December 16, 2000)

Myron Adrian (Mike) Grove was born on April 4, 1931 in Fargo, North Dakota. Between high school and college, Mike served in the U.S. Army and, while stationed at Fort Lewis, met his first wife, Loo- Ann. Aided by the GI bill, he enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, earning his BS in 1957 and MS in 1959. An outstanding student, he was elected to Mortar Board.

Encouraged by his professors at Oregon, he proceeded to Northwestern University to pursue a doctorate in economics. At Northwestern, he was a Sears Foundation Fellow for three years and a Seventh Federal Reserve District Fellow for another. While working as a summer intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, he became a prot*g* of the Bank's Vice President for Research, George W. Mitchell. When President Kennedy appointed Mitchell to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1961, Mitchell persuaded Mike to move to Washington as his special assistant.

While at the Federal Reserve Board, Mike completed in 1964 his pioneering dissertation, a work that explored the impact of disturbances to a portfolio holder's balance sheet resulting from random fluctuations in interest rates. In the fall of 1963, Mike returned to the University of Oregon as an assistant professor of economics. The same year the department hired a former fellow Ph.D. student at Northwestern, Gerald Bierwag, with whom Mike had already begun a program of collaborative research. Over the next ten years, their joint efforts produced more than a dozen widely cited papers. Among the cognoscenti at professional meetings, the phrase "Bierwag and Grove" was much in evidence. Aided by his impressive research, Mike was promoted to associate professor in 1966 and full professor in 1969.

According to Bierwag (who currently holds a chair at Florida International University), "Mike introduced to the economics profession the concept of [asset-sheet] immunization, which is an investment strategy that leaves the balance sheet unaffected by interest rate fluctuations. As time passed, others built on his work and put it into practice in the management of insurance company and pension fund portfolios."

After the mid-1970s, Mike's interests turned to mathematic programming, including queuing and information theory. In the 1990s he moved into the field of medical economics, which was stimulated by the work and expertise of his second wife, Karen, an attorney and specialized nurse and consultant- entrepreneur in medical economics.

Mike was one of the department's most popular and versatile instructors at all levels, teaching courses in macroeconomics, statistics, econometrics, mathematical economics, operations research, and linear programming. In earlier years, he served the full range of service committees, including department head during the budget-constrained period of 1968-71. Mike's community service included being a member of the Oregon Governor's Conference on the Medically Poor, a member of the Western Oregon Health Systems Agency, and consultant for the Oregon Heart Center. Mike was always interested in politics. In 1982, he threw his hat in the ring and became the Democratic Party Candidate for the District 41 seat of the Oregon House of Representatives.

Mike had a full and productive life, but it is a shame that he could not have had more time to savor its fruits after retirement. He was a distinguished economist whose research, teaching, and leadership contributed much to the effectiveness and prestige of the economics department, university, and wider community. With his deep resonant voice, impressive physical stature, sardonic humor, and lucid intelligence, he was a presence to be reckoned with.

No one in the department had an inkling of the cancer that ended his life this past December 16, 2000 in Eugene. Always a proud and private man, he kept this bad news to himself. We all miss him.

Professor Emeritus Henry N. Goldstein Department of Economics University of Oregon

Aaron Novick (June 24, 1919 - December 21, 2000)

Aaron Novick, first Member, first Director, and immortal guiding spirit of the Institute of Molecular Biology was born in Toledo, Ohio, on June 24, 1919; he died in Eugene on December 21, 2000. Aaron came to our University in 1959 from the University of Chicago, charged with the responsibility of establishing a program to understand biology at the level of the molecules out of which living things are made. He succeeded beyond his own expectations, and, possibly, even beyond the expectations of those who recruited him. His formula for success was simple -- he hired only people whom he considered to be better scientists than himself, and he fully supported their activities even, when need be, at the expense of his own.

And Aaron's own activities were considerable. In addition to being a devoted and enthusiastic teacher, Aaron was an energetic and imaginative contributor to the young and exciting field of molecular biology. Aaron's research prior to his arrival in Eugene, much of it conducted in collaboration with Leo Szilard, was on mutations, the sudden, random events responsible for the hereditary variation upon which evolution, and life itself, depends. By the time he arrived here his interests had shifted to a different kind of biological change -- that which results when an individual cell confronts an altered environment and must respond to the change by turning on or off some of its genes. His contributions to this new field, the control of gene action, included demonstrations that when a gene is turned on it directs the synthesis of a molecule called messenger RNA and that the turning off of a gene requires a protein that can bind to the gene. Aaron's mentors in this field, Fran*ois Jacob and Jacques Monod, encouraged his efforts to build Biology in the Woods by making several visits to our young Institute.

In 1971, Aaron closed his laboratory and devoted the remainder of his career to administration, first as Dean of the Graduate School then as Head of the Biology Department and then, once again, as Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology. After 1984, he continued as Institute Director on a one-third appointment until he became Emeritus in 1990.

When Aaron was asked what he would like people to say about him at his memorial, he responded, "Say I was honest and a Democrat."

Professor Franklin W. Stahl Institute of Molecular Biology University of Oregon

Paul Olum (1918- 2001)

Paul Olum, the 13th President of the University of Oregon, died on January 19, 2001. Olum came to the University in 1976 as its Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and served as President from 1980-1989. During the early years of his presidency, Olum was the guiding light for the University during the dark days of economic recession and budget cuts; in the alter years he would lead in a major expansion of academic programs, research, and facilities. Olum left our University with both its physical and its moral stature fortified. Of all the achievements during his presidency, Olum often said that he was most proud of the way the faculty and staff enabled the University to withstand budget cuts without losing quality.

During his presidency, Paul Olum was instrumental in initiating 20 new academic programs and research institutes, a $45.6 million rebuilding of the science facilities, and a $27 million expansion and remodeling of the Knight Library. He left his mark on our landscape Ð both academic and physical Ð and the elegant Atrium in the Willamette Hall bears his name in his honor.

As important as his legacy to the University of Oregon is Olum's moral legacy is even more significant. He was a mathematician who possessed a powerful social conscience. From 1943 to 1945, he worked as a theoretical physicist on the atomic bomb project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In 1983, Paul Olum attended a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Manhattan project. He felt that nuclear weapons had become a threat to the future of humanity, and wrote and circulated a petition, which was signed by 70 of the original Manhattan Project scientists, calling on the nations of the world to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons. He supported the University of Oregon's students in their fight against South African apartheid. He was an active member of the World Hunger and World Ecology Committees, and served as a director for Birth to Three, a nationally recognized child abuse and neglect prevention program. He also provided the major gift to establish the Vivian Olum Child Development Center, named for his wife who died during his presidency, on the University campus.

His social conscience was yoked to an unusually strong intellect, with a strong command of physics and mathematics. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard, his master's degree in physics from Princeton, and finally his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard in 1947. He worked with and was a close friend of the Nobel Laureate, Richard Feynman. In his autobiography, Feynman celebrates Olum's intelligence regaling the reader with humorous anecdotes of Olum beating him in math contests. As professor of mathematics at Cornell University from 1949 until 1974, Olum made very significant contributions to his field. In 1974, he turned his attention to university administration, serving as dean of natural sciences at the University of Texas at Austin before coming to the University of Oregon.

Paul Olum, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, and the father of a rabbi, instinctively embraced a double fidelity to justice and to knowledge. These two commitments left deep imprints on the soul of the University of Oregon. We grieve his passing, but we must be thankful for our fortune that this man of prophetic vision led the University of Oregon through difficult times with such courage and insight, and left the University a much better, stronger place because of his stewardship.

John T. Moseley Senior Vice President and Provost University of Oregon

Remarks by University Senate President James Earl

At the beginning of my year as Senate presidentÐit was Spring, and I was filled with irrational optimism-- I set myself a personal goal: to create a renewed interest in the University Senate, to make its meetings well-attended, energetic debates about real campus issues, a forum for the faculty point of view in particular. A quixotic mission if ever there was one. I must have a need to fail. I don't know what it would take to reawaken among the faculty an interest in governance. The faculty's relation to the administrative structure of the university is now so abstract, and our skepticism about the direction higher ed is moving in is so deep, that the very idea of faculty governance has become a bit comical. On the other hand, in my year as president I've come to appreciate that the university is being run very effectively, in most ways. And the prospect of better salaries, thanks to the Senate Budget Committee and the Provost, should give the faculty hope for higher quality, better retention and renewed morale. From my lofty Senate perch I've spent a year watching the university at work, and I'm reassured that the dual educational and research mission is in very good hands--because faculty cynicism has not yet contaminated our classrooms, labs, and book-lined studies. It's only in the so-called "service" sector that faculty cynicism dominates. In sum, I believe we have good reason to hope that the university will survive and thrive in the new centuryÐIF, in its desperate quest for money, money, money, it can resist the siren-song of commercialization, i.e., the convenient, lucrative prostitution of its high traditional mission. While this morality play is being played out--the high ideals of intellectual excellence pitted against the crude temptations of marketing strategies, distance-learning and big-time sports--the faculty is likely to remain mostly focused on what it sees as its "real" work, and for the most part it will probably shun the Senate and other "service" work. So be it. Having realized this halfway through my year as Senate president, I set myself another personal goal, one with more substance than style: and that was to eliminate our annual $2 million subsidy of the athletic department. This is not unrelated to the cynicism I just mentioned. But I really must have a need to fail, because I keep setting these impossible, quixotic goals. I can't stop dreaming impossible dreams. Actually, let me be as upbeat as I possibly can be. I'm here today to announce that we did make progress on this second impossible dreamÐthough not as much as I would have liked. The Administration and the Athletic Department met with a team of five faculty representatives for the last several months, and we've come to an agreement. I'll leave it for President Frohnmayer to explain the terms of our success in more detail; but in short, the subsidy will be eliminated, and the money will be applied to faculty salaries. In the end, the Athletic Department will be able to claim that it's self-sufficient, which is rare in the world of college athletics, and is a very good thing. On the down-side, the timetable isn't as fast as I would like, and the numbers aren't as high as I would like, so from my point of view it's only a partial success, and a partial failure; but my point of view is after all extremely idealistic. Realistically speaking, this agreement is the best that one can hope for, given the general drift of the tide. So on balance I'm pleased rather than disappointed, for two reasons. First, because I'm rational enough to realize that nothing can stop, or even slow, the juggernaut of intercollegiate athletics. It's too big, and we have no control over it. And by "we," I mean not just the Senate, but the University itself. In the last decade college sports has grown to become another tentacle of American consumerism, as unstoppable as trash television, news-as-entertainment, outlet stores, and global warming. What's good for General Motors is good for America; and what's good for big-time sports is good for higher education. You can't be too disappointed in something as inevitable as the tide. And yet I am saddened--no, in fact, when I think about it I'm totally furious! --when I think what athletics has done and is doing to the universities of America, and to this ancient institution (800 years old now) that we've inherited, and devoted so much of our idealism to. Let them wonder in Washington, what's wrong with our universities, that America ranks twentieth in the world in the quality of its higher education! Could it possibly be that we're the only system of higher learning in the world saddled with a huge sports entertainment industry that saps our energy and our money, and distorts our high ideals? I said there were two reasons I'm pleased by our partial success with the subsidy issue. The second is, that when I walk across campus these days, people approach me, students and faculty, and say thanks for speaking up about athletics. I get e-mail, and I even got a dinner invitation, from wealthy donors. The Chronicle of Higher Ed covered our Senate athletics initiative, and I've started getting mail from fellow academics around the country, thanking me and encouraging me. What should I conclude from this? I conclude that there is a vast, intelligent chorus of resentment out there, resentment of college athletics by students, professors, and friends of the university--a chorus normally drowned out by the mind-numbing public relations of the sports industry. If only the administration will open its ears, it will hear it too. In any case, I am here to report to those who feel as I do, that we are not alone. There are many out there who love the university as a university, and who would love to see things set right. Except for some pre-scripted words at commencement, these are absolutely my last words as Senate president. And now, like the noble Cincinnatus I'm returning to my plough, to my "real" work in the Middle Ages. Thanks again to everyone who's helped me this year, especially Gwen Steigelman, Nathan Tublitz, and Dave Frohnmayer.

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