Minutes of the University Senate Meeting Wednesday May 13, 2009



Present: D. Bloom, J. Bonine, C. Ellis, A. Emami, D. Falk, S. Giacomelli, P. Gilkey, C. Gray, M. Henney, M. Latteri, J. Lau, M. Latteri, K. Lenn, D. Levin, H. Lin, C. McNelly, D. Miller, T. Minner, C. V. Moore, D. Olson, , E. Peterson, S. Plummer, M. Redford, R. Rejaie, N. Tublitz, P. van Donkelaar, P. Walker


Excused: C. Bengtson, L. Forrest, E. Herman, J. Hurwit, C. Jones, L. Middlebrook, S. Paul, L. Stephen, L. Vanderburgh


Absent: S. Chakraborty, C. Cherry, L-S Chou, R. Colby, R. Illig, M. Jaeger, S. Libeskind, L.S. Morales, M. Myagkov, J. Piger, N. Rajabzadeh, J. Rowell, A. Taylor, T. Toadvine





University Senate President Paul van Donkelaar called the last regular meeting of the University Senate for academic year 2008-09 to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 115 Lawrence.




Minutes from the April 8, 2009 senate meeting were approved as distributed.




Remarks from retiring University President Dave Frohnmayer. President Frohnmayer thanked the senate president for the opportunity to address the senate for the last time prior to his upcoming retirement on June 30, 2009. .He gratefully acknowledged the attention the faculty gave to the Statutory Faculty meeting held on May 6th regarding ratification of the current form of governance. With a new president taking over on July 1st, the president indicated that the Faculty Advisory Council will assist in the appointment of a committee to review faculty governance and engage in the drafting of a governance document suitable to the new president and to meet the legal review of the Department of Justice. A second meeting of the Statutory Faculty has been called for Wednesday November 18, 2009 at which time there will be a governance document progress report by the committee.


The president also announced the recipients of the annual Thomas F. Herman distinguished teaching award (for longstanding excellence in teaching): award winners are David Dusseau, senior instructor of management, Michael Dreiling, associate professor of sociology, and Alan Dickman, senior instructor and research associate professor of environmental studies and biology. A warm and sustained round of applause acknowledged these distinguished teaching award recipients. President Frohnmayer also thanked Senate Vice President Peter Gilkey for his continued web support and work as chair of the Committee on Committees (the president’s office staff helps support this committee). Next, the president commented briefly regarding the magnitude of cultural change that faces the state of Oregon, reflected in the continued growth of the Hispanic population and decrease of the non-Hispanic, white demographic, which will have increasing impact on the diversity of the student body at the university. He said changing demographics will present opportunities and challenges for the university’s cultural diversity over the next decade and beyond.


President Frohnmayer next focused his comments on the budget, with the state’s May forecast due May 15th. He noted that the state Ways and Means Committee is putting together the budget with only 3 weeks experience with the tax returns filed in April. The state of Oregon’s portion of the federal stimulus money will be expended during 2010 (with nothing saved for 2011). The university developed its best projections of its budgetary needs based on information received from the State Board at the May 8th meeting. More concrete information will not be available until late June when the state legislature adjourns.


The president indicated that some student government members will be asked to stay on duty along with representatives of student groups as well as both the retiring and continuing members of the Faculty Advisory Council to compose a more consultative joint counsel during the summer to look at budget issues. In addition, Provost Jim Bean already has set up a budgetary advisory committee for the budget planning process. He said the university hopes that the budgetary cutbacks will be no more than 15-20%, and that he believes that tuition increases can be held to single digit percentage. The president said that we have a broad-based combination of cutbacks to help make up the budget shortages, and student financial assistance to offset tuition increases as was done with the spring term tuition surcharge – it has been well received in as much as bad news can ever be well received. He added that there is every reason to believe that there will be a February 2010 legislative session. With these last budget comments, the president concluded his remarks and added his gratitude for the courtesy that the senate has extended to him through the years. Senators and others in attendance at the meeting gave outgoing President Dave Frohnmayer a warm round of applause.


Budget Planning Update from Provost Jim Bean. Provost Bean began his update by first clarifying some remarks made during the recent May 6th Town Hall meeting that created some discussions across campus having to do with the statement that the university’s administrative staff costs were 38% of our comparators average costs. The provost explained that the percentage was calculated by the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS) and was reported to the State Board of Higher Education based on State Board data. The provost said the some comparator institutions are not administratively the same as the University of Oregon, meaning that the numbers are not exactly comparing “apples to apples”, but they are a valid first order approximation; second order analyses certainly could be done. The provost went on to explain that when we say university faculty salaries are 86% of our comparator averages, some of those schools are not exactly the same as the UO (some may have medical schools, for example); but even though salary comparisons are not precisely exact, they provide a relatively clear picture. Nevertheless, the 38% administrative figure suggests that the university is a fairly leanly run organization.


On another related topic, Provost Bean commented about his recent email establishing the Office of the Vice Provost for Planning and Budget. A question was raised concerning the need to replicate budgeting functions done under the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The provost provided an explanation saying that the budgeting and planning process has two parts, which he referred to as the front end and the back end. The front end is an academic processes by which budgeting is used as an incentive system for management of schools, colleges, and departments. It is important to look at details of models that the legislature and OUS use to see how it will align with the UO’s academic values. The allocation of fiscal resources (that is, where is the best place to spend those dollars) requires a great understanding of the academic process (this is the front end of the process). The back end of the process refers to once allocation decisions are made, those funds need to be routed to where it was decided they would be going; they need to be traced, they need to be audited appropriately, and they need to be reported to State Board of Higher Education and other organizations. Thus, the back end (rooted in financial accounting) is a very different function than front end (rooted in management). The provost went on to say that the UO is well staffed to handle the back end of budgeting, but not as well staffed to handle the front side. After lots of discussion on how to approach this problem, and looking at other schools running the same budgeting model that we are, most have an academic function to help integrate the front end with the back end of the process. So establishment of this office reflects the maturation of our infrastructure to move into the data driven transparency that we are trying to implement at the university. The provost indicated the vice provost position will be an internal position with a cross campus search. This person will have staff of four or so people -- not new hires, but moving people that report to the provost who are doing these sorts of functions. Replacement cost will be ½ teaching time and current financial constraints will be taken into consideration.


Next, the provost spoke about the operations of the Bend campus site. During the May Town Hall meeting, the provost made the statement that the Bend operation is doing slightly better than breaking even. In response, there were a number of emails saying that data suggest that Bend was, in fact, losing money. The provost explained that both statements are not mutually exclusive because the provost‘s statement is a statement of current and future operation, and the other is a statement of past history. Provost Bean said that it is true that in the first several years of operation the Bend campus lost money (about $1.5 million over four years due to start up costs and working through relations with partners in Bend ). However, since he has taken over as provost, the current and expected future operation of Bend will be breaking even or better. The provost said his intention is not to lose money in operating Bend, and if it appears that Bend is losing money, the provost indicated he would return to the senate and explain why and what would be done about it. He also noted that both he and former Provost John Moseley recently had talks with their counterparts at OSU to make it clear that the UO does not intend to lose money on the Bend operation.


The next topic was that of administrative salaries. Provost Bean refuted the accuracy of a matrix of administrative salaries that someone had posted on a web blog. Instead, he displayed a matrix of top administrative salaries gleaned from data reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education that compares salaries of some other public AAU institutions that reported data as well as some of our comparator institutions. He noted that our faculty are paid (by comparison across all of ranks) at about 90% of our peer comparators. The notion that top administrators – president, provost, and vice presidents -- at the UO are “highly paid” compared with faculty was not substantiated by the figures report to the Chronicle. The provost showed salary numbers mostly below those of other AAU public institutions (when taking years of service in the position into account). The numbers for the top administrators include base salary, foundation salary, and stipends, but do not include deferred income (like retirement) or things such as the value of McMorran House as the presidential residence; in other words, the figures shown are basic spendable dollars (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen089/ExecsCUPASalariesSenate.pdf for the salary charts). When comparing the total numbers of UO with OSU, the salary information is roughly the same ($3,145,944 for Oregon State University and $3,155,069 for the University of Oregon).


Lastly, the provost spoke about the expected mid-May revenue forecast. The hope was that the cuts needed will be limited to between 15-20%, which is much better than the 30% forecast at an earlier point. One real budget uncertainty is that there is a larger than normal “melt” in fees/deposits paid by out-of-state students who are thinking of registering. This is not surprising considering the poor economic scenario. This year the UO kept a waiting list for the first time and has now accepted the waiting list in an effort to fill some of the places where we did not have registrations. The provost said that if the UO hits the goals for registration we expect, we will have some fiscal challenges for sure, but will be in a better position than many of our peers in the state. One of the administrative challenges that many officers of administration face concerns contracts that end June 30th. Because we likely will not know our final budget before the contracts expire, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Budget Planning Committee both advised continuing to pay people to work as usual and contracts will come out as budget realities are known. We expect to move on, having no layoffs as a prime goal, which still looks possible. However, if proposed tuition increases are capped at an unusually low number, that would be trouble; things are subject to change, but the provost indicated he would send out communication as more information was available.




Diversity Plan Report remarks from Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Charles Martinez. Vice Provost Martinez yielded the floor back to Provost Bean for some comments from him before Mr. Martinez provide more specific report details. Provost Bean said that in his transition to the provost position and in the process of learning how the diversity plan works, the process has matured at the UO. In reading the reports from units across campus, he said we have moved to building infrastructure of some fundamental and fascinating programs in both academic and non-academic units. He noted that there are a lot of best practices to be learned, and he encouraged everyone to read the summaries of the reports because there are a number of great ideas in them. The provost said that eight awards were made for very innovative ideas on the campus and he was supportive of the progress that is being made. Noting the changing demographics that President Frohnmayer referred to earlier, the provost remarked that the university must get better and better in responding to a more diverse student population if it is to compete for the best students. With the changing demographics, the university is not now at a place where it would be the institution of choice for students 10-20 years from now; we need to keep moving forward and be well positioned to do that.


Vice Provost Martinez then commented that this is the second year of progress reporting on the Strategic Diversity Plan. He acknowledged members of the University Diversity Advisory Committee for their hard work throughout the year and to Senate President von Donkelaar and President Frohnmayer for their leadership, as well. Mr. Martinez noted that his verbal report was only a broad overview of the progress that has been made, and he referred senators to the executive summary posted online (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen089/Diversity12May09.pdf), as well as the full report (see http://oied.uoregon.edu/files/oied/oied/uploads/SAP_2008_2009_President.pdf). The vice provost noted that the progress reports shows efforts made to date on implementing the ideas and strategies emanating from the Strategic Diversity Plan adopted in May 2006 (see http://oied.uoregon.edu/page/strategic-diversity-planning for the plan’s many elements). Progress reports are designed to mark campus wide trends in our diversity activities, identify and disseminate innovative practices, identify cross unit collaboration opportunities and shared challenges, and maintain transparency and accountability. The vice provost indicated that he reviews all the reports, as does the provost, and that he has individual meetings with unit heads to talk about specific feedback in the reports.


Over the past year, large steps forward have been made engaging in very specific targeted actions as well as cross-unit collaboration. Most units have functioning diversity advisory committees to help implement plans made and bind diversity to the academic mission of the university. Notably, there has been greater personal engagement in the process and an improved sense of responsibility across units to continue to make progress. The university has a very broad definition of diversity to achieve our goals, and the vice provost remarked that he does not see the diversity plan as etched in stone, but rather treats it as a living documents that can evolve as our successes mount. Finally, he commented that many units have made tangible progress in creating a critical mass of faculty, and others have received formal professional consulting hiring strategies that focus on diversity not as a goal in itself, but as a means to an end; that is, to prepare our students to live and participate in a more pluralistic world. Diversity serves the mission of the university; it is not, in and of itself, the mission of the university.


In comparing academic year 2007-08 with 2008-09, the vice provost report the campus experienced a 33% growth in the total number of university applications. Of those applications, there was 56% growth in Latino student applications, 44% growth among African- American students, 26% growth among Asian American students, 15% growth among American Indian students, and 67% growth among multi-ethnic students. In comparing admissions rates, the overall admission rate growth was 31%, and of that admission rate growth 54% was for Latino students, 31% for African Americans, 20% Asian, 17% American Indians, and 65% for multi-ethnic students. The comparison figures for enrollment showed an overall growth rate of 24%; 36% for Latinos, 32% for African Americans, 17% for Asians, 3% for American Indians, and 66% for multi-ethnic students. Clearly there are areas that show substantial growth for one year, and others were the growth was more shallow. Lastly, in the university’s work force, representation of people of color grew from 12.51% to 12.94% this year, with increases for all protected racial groups, but Native Americans saw a decrease of 1 person.


Lastly, Vice Provost Martinez spoke about challenges and future directions. While all units are actively engaged in carrying out actions from Strategic Action Plans (SAP), an accompanying challenge is the potential for complacency and diminished focus. To counter this, Mr. Martinez suggested that more effort needs to be placed on ways to sustain energy and momentum within units and across campus. Such effort is particularly important given the many other pressing issues facing units. Because many unit SAPs and SAP reviewers noted the need for a more systematic campus wide approach to collecting and disseminating diversity performance indicator outcome data, an institutional effort should be begun that involves unit leaders, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Office of Institutional Research, and other stakeholder groups. Further, Mr. Martinez expressed his believe that the SAP progress reports for 2008-09 showed significant growth in cross unit collaboration, but he said that sustained effort is needed, especially to provide additional avenues for support among units with less advanced SAP efforts. And finally, with the current UO presidential transition underway, the vice provost remarked that it is important to reaffirm the campus commitment to the Diversity Plan, to maintain its integral relationship to the academic mission of the university, and to engage the incoming president in establishing his vision for diversity on campus.


Purchasing and Contracting Policy Report. Ms. Catherine Susman, director of purchasing and contracting services, explained that the department is rolling out a new purchasing and contracting policy, to be implemented September 8, 2009, which will give departments greater contracting authority. The new policy is due to changes in OUS administrative rules to ensure the campus have sufficient outreach. Ms. Susman indicated that her department has created web pages with clear links to the policy web pages and that comments or suggestions be made on them before the policy goes to the upper administration for review. Over the summer web page updates will be made to create a short version of basic principles, flow charts, forms, and examples of use. She encouraged users to visit the website make comments as appropriate. Ms. Susman added that most of the policy is fairly routine, with the notable addition that departments will have the ability to make purchases and contracts up to $25,000 to provide greater efficiency and to assist departments in their role. The increased delegation of contracting and purchasing authority to departments is strictly voluntary; if departments wish to take on added authority there are increased training opportunities to support their efforts. Ms. Susman concluded her report by saying that the overall goal is to provide clear policy and clear procedures to campus users and to emphasize training and support.


Committee on Committees Report. Committee chairman Peter Gilkey, mathematics, had four items in his report. First was a recommendation for new UO representatives on the Interinstutional Faculty Senate (IFS). As a result of campus wide solicitation, Mr. Gilkey reported that both he and Dejing Dou, computer and information sciences, were willing to serve in this capacity. Both names were unanimously approved by the senate by voice vote. Second, Chairman Gilkey announced the slate of recommended new members of the Committee on Committees as follows: Deb Carver, library, John Conery, computer and information sciences, David Hulse, landscape architecture, Rob Illig, law, and Ed Kame’enui, special education. The slate of candidates was unanimously approved by voice vote. Third, the committee recommended several changes to the charges and memberships of several appointed committees which had been posted previously (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen089/CoCFinalReport13May09.pdf). This section of the report was passed unanimously by voice vote. Lastly, Chairman Gilkey drew the senators’ attention to the list of recommended appointments to committees for their approval, which was approved unanimously by voice vote. Thus, the Committee on Committees report was approved in full. Senator John Bonine, law, asked about a faculty committee to deal with the Swine Flu to which Mr. Gilkey asked Senator Bonine to send him an email reminder and he would convey the requested information to the administration (note: the Office of Emergency Management has information available on its website – see http://em.uoregon.edu//info/h1n1/).


Spring 2009 Preliminary Curriculum Report. Mr. Paul Engelking, chairman of the Committee on Courses, presented the Spring 2009 Preliminary Curriculum Report as previously distributed, and noted an addition from the Women and Gender Studies Program to approve a change in the number of credit hours required for its major. Also, the secretary noted two additions to the Other Matters section at the end of the report. First, the second item under the School of Architecture and Allied Arts should read: Change the name (and major code) from Public Policy and Management (PPM) to Public Administration (MPA) for the Master of Public Administration program. Approved by the Graduate Council on May 21, 2008. Effective fall 2009. Second, Academic Learning Services has received permission from the provost, on recommendation of the Undergraduate Council, to change its name to the University Teaching and Learning Center effective fall 2009.


Several other corrections and clarifications from the committee were provided by Chairman Engelking: Swift Water Safety is a PEOW course (changed from a PEOL course); under the Old Courses Dropped section is added HC 508H Colloquium, [Topic] (1-21R); under Existing Course Changes, HC 408H Colloquium: [Topic] (1-21R) was changed to HC 408H Workshop, [Topic] (1-21R), and he noted that only 484 satisfies the multicultural requirement, and not the 584 course (this course satisfies the Social Science group under a previous name, and continues to satisfy the multicultural requirement); and last, under the Pending Proposals section, Geology of the Western United States was withdrawn.


With the noted changes, the curriculum report was approved, as amended, by unanimous voice vote. (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen089/CurRptS09Fin.html for the final report.)





President van Donkelaar announced a talk to be held in Chapman 207 on June 1st in which the Oregon Chapter of the AAUP has invited a guest to discuss some of these issues around why unions make sense.


Mr. Frank Stahl, emeritus biology, made a statement saying he was worried because Oregon public meeting law requires that a majority of the senate membership be at a meeting in order to take action, such as the granting of degrees. He wondered if the actions taken by the senate at this meeting would hold up if the minutes do not indicate that a majority of members are present.




Motion to Confer Degrees. Jenny Leander, chair of the Academic Requirements Committee presented the following motion to confer degrees for academic year 2008-09 and summer session:


The Senate of the University of Oregon recommends that the Oregon State Board of Higher Education confer upon the persons whose names are included in the Official Degree List, as compiled and certified by the University Registrar for the academic year 2008-2009 and Summer Session 2009, the degree for which they have completed all requirements.


President van Donkelaar asked for any discussion, and hearing none, the motion to confer degrees was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.



Motion US08/09-7 regarding support for “Tuition Equity” in House Bill 2939. Senate Vice President Peter Gilkey moved the following motion:


Be it therefore resolved,

The University of Oregon Senate finds the provisions of HB 2939, as outlined here, to be equitable, wise, and just educational policy.


Once the motion was on the floor, Vice President Gilkey asked, and was granted permission, to yield the floor to ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz, who spoke in support of the motion. Mr. Dotters-Katz provided background information saying that House Bill 2939, which is being considered during the 2009 legislative session, would provide that certain students are to be considered residents of Oregon for the purpose of determining tuition and fees for students attending state higher education institutions, including the University of Oregon. For example, if HB 2939 passes, a student who is not a citizen nor a lawful permanent resident of the United States would be eligible to pay in state tuition rates and fees to attend the University of Oregon (currently, such students pay out-of-state tuition and fees) provided that s/he had satisfied conditions which can be paraphrased as follows: (1) she/he had attended an elementary or a secondary school and had resided in Oregon during the five years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma or prior to leaving school before receiving a high school diploma; (2) she/he had received a high school diploma from a secondary school in Oregon or had received the equivalent of a high school diploma; (3) she/he did not establish residency outside Oregon after receiving a high school diploma in Oregon or leaving school before receiving a high school diploma; and (4) she/he plans to become a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.


Mr. Dotters-Katz pointed out that the bill is not about creating an exception for these students, but rather the House Bill mandates fairness. He noted that the ASUO Student Senate passed this resolution, and that the presidents of PSU, OSU, and UO have signed off and are supportive of the bill. He opined that the bill will help to create a more socially just and tolerant society through our classrooms. Senator Bonine raised some technical points regarding the required length of time residing in Oregon, which was clarified by Mr. Dotters-Katz. The motion was put to a vote and passed unanimously by voice vote.


Motion US 08/09-8 Concerning Transparency of University Financial Transactions. Senator Nathan Tublitz, biology, put the following motion on the floor for consideration:


The University Senate directs the University of Oregon administration to establish a publicly accessible, on-line budget reporting system at the University of Oregon by 1 September 2009 that will allow users to track current and retroactive individual university expenditures as is currently done at our sister institution Oregon State University on their budget reporting website (https://bfpsystems.oregonstate.edu/webreporting/).


Senator Tublitz provided background information on the motion saying that as a public institution the university should be accountable to the public regarding how it spends its money, and the proposed motion advocates transparency of the university’s financial transactions. He noted that Oregon State University has developed a web-based system whereby an individual can go on-line and view budget reports in the various offices and departments which detail expenditures. For example, one can find out how much the biology department has spent on purchasing frogs. He said the development cost of the system was about $10,000, and it is based on information in their Banner system. Senator Tublitz suggested that because OSU already has developed such a system, it would be even less expensive for the UO to develop a similar system. He also noted that there is a bill pending in the legislature (HB 2500) which essentially proposes the same type of transparency for every state agency. Senator Tublitz highlighted that the implementation start date should be September 1, 2009, and that it should retroactive as far back as possible.


During the discussion period, Vice President Gilkey moved to replace the motion with a similar version that replaced the word “directs” with “respectively requests” and also replaced the words “1 September 2009” with “as expeditiously as possible”. Senator Tublitz was agreeable with the word change from “directs” to “respectfully requests”, but felt it was important to stay with the September start date to insure it would not be put off indefinitely by other competing priorities. A discussion ensued with questions raised concerning the estimated costs of developing and implementing such a system, as well as the priorities facing the finance and administration office given the difficult fiscal situation currently facing the university (that is, the depth and breadth of looming budget cuts). Vice President for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke estimated that programming time for implementation of such a system would be about $20,000 plus about $5,000 in actual software. She noted that although both OSU and the UO used the Banner system, the coding for each school was unique to the school, so making the changes was not merely a matter of using programming that OSU has already done. As for completing the implementation by September 1st, Chief Information Officer Don Harris indicated it would be very difficult to meet that deadline. He cited a major Banner upgrade that programmers are already scheduled to work on this summer that was being planned for Labor Day Weekend. Programmers are also working on changes that needed to be made due to federal changes in financial aid programs, and the computer center is currently in the process of other upgrades. In essence, Mr. Harris was in favor of the transparency project, but there were few windows of opportunity to work on it over the summer to meet the deadline. He added that the OSU program is technically unsupported, and that we would want anything we put on line to have reasonable user/technical support.


The notion of spending priorities was mentioned in light of possible faculty salary give backs and other budget cutting that may be necessary. Senator Tublitz argued against not having a specific date for implementation, saying that the information that would be provided by putting the system in place would help make more clear what budget decisions were ahead and how to deal with them. He suggested an implementation date of November 1, 2009. Mr. Harris responded with concern that such a timeframe would still be tight and difficult to meet. Eventually, Senator Bonine suggested a November 15, 2009 date which seemed reasonable to most. Parliamentarian Paul Simonds then helped the senators navigate through the complexities of parliamentary procedure concerning what motion and amendment was on the floor. Consequently, a motion to amend Mr. Gilkey’s proposed amendment wording from “as expeditiously as possible” to “15 November 2009” was made. This amendment was passed by voice vote. Finally, the main motion, as amended, now read:


The University Senate respectfully requests the University of Oregon Administration to establish a publicly accessible, on-line budget reporting system at the University of Oregon by 15 November 2009 that will allow users to track current and retroactive individual university expenditures as is currently done at our sister institution Oregon State University on their budget reporting website ( https://bfpsystems.oregonstate.edu/webreporting/).


Motion 08/09-8 concerning transparency of university financial transactions was put to a vote and passed by voice vote.





Vice President Gilkey moved to adjourn, and the meeting was adjourned at 4:51 p.m.



Gwen Steigelman

Secretary of the Faculty


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