Minutes of the University Senate Meeting 14 April 2010

Present: G. Baitinger, T. Bars, J. Bonine, C. Bybee, S. Chakraborty, H. Gangadharbatla, A. Hilts, J. Hurwit, M. Jaeger, P. Keyes, R. Kyr, A. Laskaya, K. Lenn, H. Lin, C. McNelly, L. Middlebrook, S. Midkiff, T. Minner, D. Olson, N. C. Phillips, M. Price, N. Proudfoot, Z. Stark-Macmillan, T. K. Thompson, N. Tublitz, L. Van Dreel, S. Verscheure, M. Williams

Excused: L. Forrest, C. Jones, H. Khalsa, J. Piger, L. Sugiyama, T. Toadvine, P. Walker

Absent: C. Bengtson, A. Berenstein, E, Chan, K. Dellabough, T. Dishion, C. Ellis, A. Emami, N. Gower, M. Henney, M.A. Hyatt, K. Jensen, D. Kennett, L. Reichardt, P. Southwell, P. Warnek


University Senate President Nathan Tublitz called the regular meeting of the University Senate for April 14, 2010 to order at 3:05 p.m. in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Center. He noted that the meeting was being streamed live, and that people could watch the meeting via the internet while the meeting was in progress. A tape of the meeting would then be posted and made available for later viewing as well. The intention is to stream all senate meeting live.


Minutes of the March10, 2010 senate meeting were approved as amended.


President Tublitz reminded the senators that the revised order of the senate agenda for the two previous meeting was due to expire at the current meeting. He proposed continuing the practice of moving action business items toward the beginning of the meeting for the remainder of the academic year. A motion to do so was made and approved. President Tublitz commented that a permanent change in the agenda order may be appropriate for consideration as the revised form of governance gets approved and implemented.


University President Richard Lariviere spoke briefly to assure the senate that efforts developing good relationships and the new partnership with the state are continuing; those efforts have not been interrupted by the recent headlines regarding the business around athletics (i.e., the lack of a written contract spelling out financial obligations due to former Athletics Director Mike Bellotti upon his resignation from the position). President Lariviere indicated he was on his way to a meeting with the governor, but would take a few questions as time permitted.

Senator John Bonine, law, asked the president if it was his intension to answer public records requests in a timelier manner than has been done in the past. The president responded that he will be as open and as transparent as the law allows. He noted that a level of judgment is needed on such requests. If the request is of substantial level, there may need to be fees charged, but the goal is to try and be transparent and as responsible as possible, and to respond in a timely manner. The president clarified that he anticipates prompt responses to such requests and that he will post the requests and responses on the web.


Notice of motion (US09/10-18) regarding policies on freedom of inquiry and academic freedom. Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin provided some background information regarding a draft policy on academic freedom and freedom of inquiry that he and others have been working on that have their historical origins grounded in some of the issues that were raised during the recent Pacific Forum matters. He said the group looked at issues of facilities use and at corresponding complementary issues in academic freedom and freedom of inquiry. Mr. Tomlin emphasized that is important to understand that the activities of some particular group do not drive what is done regarding policy making, but the activities nevertheless did catalyze the need to review existing policies in these areas as well as the need for updating policies to be more contemporary. Two new draft policies have been developed: one addresses freedom of inquiry and academic freedom, and the other deals with facilities use. The notice of motion at this meeting regards the draft freedom of inquiry policy. At the next Senate meeting in May Mr. Tomlin will talk briefly about the draft facilities use policy. Both policies have been posted on the Provost's website (see http://provost.uoregon.edu/draftpolicy/proposed/) and the Senate web site (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/PropososedPolFOI20100406.pdf). Mr. Tomlin said that the drafts were posted to afford the entire campus community an opportunity to provide written feedback via a blog set up on the Provost's website.

Mr. Tomlin explained that both draft policies have been widely vetted with broad consultation and review by colleagues from Academic Affairs, School of Law, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Office of Vice President of Finance and Administration, the School of Journalism and Communication, and General Counsel's office. In addition, the draft policies have been reviewed by all the deans, with the Faculty Advisory Council, and with the Leadership Council. He summarized that there will be several more steps before these drafts become policy, including: (1) solicitation of written comments from the U of O community, (2) revisions as needed, (3) review and adoption endorsement by the University Senate, (4) review and recommendation by the President's Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and (5) review and signature by the University President. Mr. Tomlin encouraged the senators to take the time to review the drafts and respond via the on-line blog. He noted that the goal is to bring the policies to closure in the current academic year so that they can be implemented as actual policy before the start of the next academic year.

Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, stated that he would like to see such a policy extend the right of freedom of speech to students, to which Senator Bonine added that the right should include students, faculty and staff. Mr. Tomlin indicated he would take the suggestions back to the policy developers. Senator Bonine also offered some suggestions to spilt the first sentence into two parts and other edits to make certain that those persons bound by civility include members of an audience as well as protestors. Mr. Tomlin again said that he would take the suggestions back to the policy writers. President Tublitz noted that he and the administration have worked together to insure that policy development includes discussion in the senate as part of the process in building consensus across campus.

US09/10-15 -- Establishment of a University Senate Ad Hoc Committee to review existing language and policy regarding academic freedom on the UO campus. Senator Carl Bybee (second by Senator Chris Phillips) brought the following motion to the floor for discussion:

Moved that,

The University Senate shall create an Ad-Hoc committee on Academic Freedom Language and Policy Review to assess the adequacy and coverage of existing institutional policies found in faculty handbooks, university policies, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and occasionally state laws or regulations that affect faculty speech or expressive activity; and that, if the committee finds existing policies are insufficient, it will propose alternative policy and/or language and will present their report to the UO Senate at the first senate meeting of winter term 2011 academic year. The Senate President will fill this committee by consulting widely with regards to nominations and making a recommendation to the Senate Nominating Committee. The Senate Nominating Committee will then bring the nominations forward to the UO Senate for confirmation.

As a rational for the motion, Senator Bybee cited the 2006 case of Garcetti v. Ceballos where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that when public employees speak pursuant to their "official duties," the First Amendment does not protect them from employer discipline. Although the decision specifically set aside academic speech, several lower courts have ruled recently that faculty members who speak out on matters affecting their institutions are not protected under the First Amendment. This series of decisions poses significant potential threats to academic freedom at public colleges and universities, and thus such events call for an immediate review of UO policy and potential recommendations for speech policy revision. He added that this issue is a current highlighted initiative of the national American Association of University Professors.

Senator Bybee explained that such a committee will be important in the framing of the new governance structures, and noted, too, that freedom of speech issues strikes at the heart of shared governance. He acknowledged that the draft policy on freedom of inquiry and academic freedom discussed by Vice Provost Tomlin earlier in the meeting was a step in the right direction, but added that language across all types of university statements and guidelines should be scrutinized for appropriate language reflecting academic freedom. It is important to faculty because if the faculty does not have the right to speak about the exercise and practice of policy on campus, and engage in discussions and possible criticism of policy, then share governance becomes a hollow concept. He said that the motion at hand is for a review of our currently existing language with the idea of making certain that faculty discussions and debates relevant to the act of share governance is in fact protected within the parameters of academic freedom on this campus and throughout the state.

During a discussion period Senator Phillips asked if the California ruling was in a federal court and whether it dealt with faculty or staff. Senator Bybee replied that it was a district court ruling and there have been two appeals decisions that have come to similar conclusions about academic speech being within the larger parameter of the Supreme Court ruling; that is, as being public employee speech, which is not protected by academic freedom. The appealed court decisions referred to faculty academic freedom.

Senator Bonine spoke in favor of the motion and suggested that one of our constitutional law professors be named to the committee. Also, he suggested that the committee consider whether Oregon's own constitutional protection of "freedom of expression" gives greater protection in such situations than the First Amendment. The committee should consider whether the faculty's statutory role in governance at the University of Oregon (the charter UO Charter) gives us a special right that was not contemplated in the court cases involving other states. Mr. Frank Stahl, biology emeritus, stated that all public employees at the UO should be included in protections of academic freedom. Senator Bybee agreed and said that we need to think about the link between academic freedom and shared governance, and be clear that share governance involves all the groups governed.

With discussion winding down, President Tublitz put motion US09/10-15 to create a UO Senate Ad-Hoc Committee to review existing language and policy regarding academic freedom on the UO campus to a vote, which passed unanimously.

President Tublitz added that he will ask Faculty Governance Committee Chairman Paul van Donkelaar to have his committee add an appropriate statement regarding academic freedom in the proposed faculty governance document under development.

US09/10-16a: Report on Conflict of Commitment. Senator Bonine, as a member of the Joint Academic Affairs/Senate Conflict of Commitment Working Group, brought the following motion to the floor on behalf of the committee (second by Senator Huaxin Lin):

Moved that,

The University Senate accepts the Report of the Joint Academic Affairs/Senate Conflict of Commitment Working Group, and approves it as the basis for revisions in university policy on conflict of commitment; and that members of the Joint Academic Affairs/Senate Conflict of Commitment Working Group should review the upcoming revised UO Policy Statement 3.095 after it is written by the UO Office of Academic Affairs and present their findings to the University Senate at the same Senate meeting at which the policy statement is brought forward for discussion and adoption.

Senator Bonine reminded the senators that 18 months ago a policy was proposed to the campus which included both conflict of interest and conflict of commitment issues. After less than enthusiastic reception by the faculty, the policy was pulled back and a committee was established to streamline and revise the policy, which focused only on the conflict of interest part of the policy; the revised policy on conflict of interest was passed by the senate later that year. Last May, a second committee was appointed, called the Working Group, to tackle revisions of the conflict of commitment portion of the original policy. The Working Group reviewed policies across the nation and concluded that the basic policies of the State of Oregon and the University of Oregon were already as good as or better than most other policies in terms of what was protected. However, there is a value in moving toward clarification. First, the university policy needs to separate conflict of interest and conflict of commitment into two different policies, or two different sections, so they are not intertwined as they are now. Further, as matter of procedure, the Working Group decided to have consultation through email, distribution on the web, and then senate action. Thus, the report is posted on line for review (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/COCReportFINAL3Feb10.pdf).

Senator Bonine further explained that professors are not only free to engage in outside activities, they are encouraged to do so; it is part of the lifeblood of the university for professors to be involved in society that includes profit-making work, non-profit work, and a wide range of other activity. To be involved in such activities is not a conflict of commitment, he said, but part of your academic commitment. The university policy states that professors have free time, and the time that is spent as free time can be spent doing work outside the system. The Working Group decided discussion of these issues should best occur at the unit level. Thus, the policy will ask each school or department set limits that make sense for each unit.

There was general consensus regarding the plan of action dictated in the motion. With no further discussion forthcoming, President Tublitz put motion US09/10a concerning accepting the report of the Working Group on conflict of commitment to a vote, which passed unanimously.


New University Budget Model. Mr. Brad Shelton, vice provost for budget and planning, presented a brief overview of the recently implemented new budget model for the university, a responsibility centered management system. The previous budget monies were allocated in three general areas: financial aid, schools and colleges, and everything else. The new budget model is formula driven. In past years, budgeting was done by looking in a rear-view mirror and asking what the budget was last year and making a few adjustments for the upcoming year. In the new, formula driven model, the budget can change more rapidly in response to what schools and colleges are actually doing, primarily in the classroom. It is a responsibility centered management system that governs the budgets of (a) the individual schools and colleges (but not departments therein), (b) the budget for non-GTF central tuition remissions, and (c) the total budget of the central administration. He outlined the three steps in the process:

Step 1: Overall distribution of revenues

1. Tuition Remission (Financial Aid) budget is set at: 9.2% of all tuition.

2. The COMBINED budgets of the 8 schools and colleges (S/C) are set at: All tuition minus 9.2% of all tuition minus 28% of total S/C expenditures from 2 years earlier.

3. The central administrative budget is then set as: All other revenues plus 28% of S/C expenditures from 2 years earlier.

Step 2: Distribution to individual schools and colleges.

1. Undergraduate Tuition: All remaining undergraduate tuition is pooled (regardless of resident vs. non-resident). This is then distributed to the S/C as follows:

a. 50% by student credit hours
b. 30% by Major (prorated for double majors)
c. 20% be degrees awarded

2. Graduate Tuition: The actual tuition dollars paid by a graduate student follow that student directly into the school or college where the student is enrolled in a degree program.

Step 3: Fixed annual redistribution of the budgets above.

As budgets grow, this redistribution will become insignificant.

Mr. Shelton commented that under the new budget model the schools and colleges have substantially increased fiscal responsibility. Most of the schools and colleges have substantially increased budgets and all of the schools and colleges have substantially increased opportunities to make decisions that will improve their overall financial health.

During a question and answer period, Senator Kassia Dellabough, AAA, expressed worry that classes that need to be small will have the wrong incentive to grow to larger numbers resulting in poorer quality classes, and the burden on the faculty will change. Mr. Shelton replied that the reality is that small classes do not pay for themselves. This budget model brings clarity to the deans about those classes and promotes planning for balance in class size, using large classes to balance small classes, and finding a way to make it work best for the school or college. Dollars attached to raw numbers of majors and degrees awarded will not stay fixed there are expectations that these will change to meet needs. Mr. Shelton went on to say that all schools and colleges have potential for growth, and the university is growing; everybody's growth will be "taxed" at the same amount.

Senator Jeffrey Hurwit, art history, asked where the money for substantially increased budgets is coming from. Mr. Shelton indicated it is the result of new tuition dollars. That extra money did not exist this year; but it represents the fact that if tuition goes up, those dollars go directly to the schools and colleges to spend. The university is heading in to a year with substantial tuition increase. For example, funding graduate students is expensive; this budget model shows what the schools and colleges are doing with their funding, and perhaps how one pot of money (for graduate students) may have been covered previously by another pot of money. The new budget models the realities of paying for graduate students and provides a basis on which to make such decisions. The funding goes to the deans and the funding decisions are made from there. Last, Senator Mike Price, mathematics, asked about Summer Session funding. Mr. Shelton replied that the formula for Summer Session has not been fully worked out yet and the formula is not the same, at least not for this summer. Eventually the plan will be the same, that is, to distribute the money to the deans of the colleges and how they distribute it will be their decision.


Intercollegiate Athletics. With the recent resignation of former Athletic Director Mike Bellotti and appointment of Interim Athletics Director Lorraine Davis, Ms. Davis began her remarks indicating that she is not technically beginning the appointment until April 20th, thus her remarks would be rather brief and limited at this point because she does not have enough information on which to report. But she indicated that before the end of the year she would have a report to President Tublitz that could be posted on line, talking about the different components of the athletics department, highlighting the students in the department, which from her viewpoint is where the focus needs to be.

Interim Director Davis acknowledged that there has been a lot of news lately about the athletic department, about the former Athletic Director's departure, contracting problems, and her appointment. She noted that a search committee has been appointed to begin the process to search for a permanent athletics director. The committee is chaired by Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes and was appointed by President Lariviere to include students, faculty, and persons from outside of the university community. The committee will engage an outside search firm and will meet with the president to get his directives regarding the search.

Ms. Davis remarked that recent media reports related to several student athletes' unacceptable behavior primarily were behaviors outside the classroom. She noted that the athletics department has a couple of programs in Life Skills already in place to emphasize better character education and responsibility. These programs have been further enhanced to involve additional staff training and presentations from external presenters, such as the Men against Violence Training that has been discussed and developed with key community members. She continued that good behaviors of student athletes are always overshadowed by bad behaviors. Yet every year hundreds of student athletes participate in programs such as O Heroes which provides opportunities for student athletes to be of service to the community. So far this year, student athletes have logged 640 hours in community service, collected 3,500 pounds of food for the Samoan relief effort, planted trees, cleaned up parks, and held basketball tournaments for community kids on the weekends. Ms. Davis concluded her remarks saying the although a couple of athletes have been irresponsible in their actions, there are ongoing programs to help address those problems, and there are many good things going with student athletes, such as success in the classrooms as well as in the athletic competitions.

During a question and answer period, Senator Phillips asked if there was any research regarding the effectiveness of the programs aimed at helping athletes make good decisions about their behavior. Ms. Davis replied that she was not personally familiar with specific research in the area. She explained that what the department is trying to is to involve the entire campus community, and not just the athletes; everybody needs to be responsible and respectful in their ways of dealing with each other as human beings and as students. She said that the department will be singling out athletics in specific ways, but also is cooperating with the ongoing educational opportunities with student affairs and some of their programs that are welcomed by all students, including student athletes.

Senator Bonine then asked who was on the search committee. Ms. Davis said the faculty members are Dennis Howard, dean of the College of Business, Deb Morrison, Journalism and Communication, and Dev Sinha, chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. Other than Vice President Holmes, Ms. Davis said she did not know off hand if there were other administrators on the committee, nor who the student and community members are. Lastly, Senator Melanie Williams, romance languages, asked for information about the two new buildings on the planning table for athletics, and the labor issues with them. Ms. Davis said that she did not yet have specifics regarding the building projects; her understanding was that a building plan was in motion but that the plan was not solidified at this point.

President Tublitz commented that there is great consternation across campus about recent issues in athletics -- the large buyout for the former AD, the high salary for the new basketball coach, and concerns about being able to pay the debt for the new basketball arena and the negative impact it has on the rest of the campus. He said that he thought it was important for the athletics department to deal with these issues here in the senate, and that he hoped that the AD's report would be able to respond to these issues. Ms. Davis replied that she wants to get a report into the senate before the end of the year that will include what is known at that point. She said she, too, has concerns about financial issues, and that those do not change overnight; it is a big business, there is no question about it.

Faculty Governance Committee. Mr. Paul van Donkelaar, human physiology and chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, provided an update on the committee's activities saying that the final draft of the governance document is available on the website of the Internal Governance Committee (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/ReportIGC14April10.pdf). Mr. van Donkelaar said that the committee was charged to revise the Internal Governance structure on campus and since the Statutory Faculty does not have a mechanism to meet independent of other groups on campus, one of the committee's goals is to create a mechanism for the Statutory Faculty to meet. The posted governance document contains the structure for faculty governance information and has highlighted the primary changes from our current governance document. The next step is to have a Statutory Faculty meeting, hopefully by the end of April or in the beginning of May. The meeting will be one during which we will vote on the Internal Governance document.

Mr. van Donkelaar noted that one difficult issue was defining who the statutory faculty are. After much discussion the committee determined that statutory faculty are the tenure officers of instruction, career non-tenure track instructional faculty, and tenured senior instructors. He noted that this definition is narrower than the membership of the University Senate, and explained that the Statutory Faculty meeting mechanism will not take over the day to day running of internal governance on campus the University Senate will continue to do that with even broader representation. Rather, the Statutory Faculty will meet only on rare occasions as an overarching governance entity.

The second item the committee tackled was to outline the circumstances and procedures under which the Statutory Faculty would meet. The document outlines ways in which the faculty assembly meetings can be called and under what circumstances they can be called, as well as the procedures to do so. The third area discussed was the purview of the authorities of the different bodies, mainly the University Senate, but also the Statutory Faculty. In the current legislation a general statement says that the president and professors have the responsibility for the immediate governance of the institution and discipline of the students. In the revised statement, the committee is more specific; a particular relevant section talks about the differences in legislative acts that should be limited in scope to the academic mission of the university versus resolutions which are much broader in scope. The type of presidential response to legislation and resolutions (if the president feels the legislation or resolution is not in the best interests of the university) also is spelled out.

The other major change put forth is the creation of an Academic Council, which would include the chairs, or designees, of university committees that have as their charge issues dealing with the academic mission of the university (e.g., Graduate Council, Undergraduate Council, etc). The governance committee wants to propose that the Academic Council is embedded with the senate and has a clear exchange of information with administrative committees such as the Academic Infrastructure and Enrollment Management Council. Finally, Mr. van Donkelaar said that the committee looked at reapportioning the membership of the senate. The committee proposes adding one seat for career non-tenure track research faculty and another seat for academic units that are not currently following under the realm of schools and colleges; these units would include: the Honor College, Bend program, and number of other academic programs, and LERC. A final change would be the redistribution of the numbers of seats within the schools and colleges based on the amount of FTE that is associated with each senate seat.

Senator Bonine raised the issue of having a Statutory Faculty meeting with relatively little document review time. Mr. van Donkelaar noted that the document has been previously posted and that only the reapportionment changes were new information. Still, Senator Bonine felt that the meeting time frame was a bit close. Consequently he moved: that if a Statutory Faculty meeting occurs earlier than the middle of May and if a reasonable amount of objections are expressed, another meeting will be held. This motion seemed agreeable as there was little discussion in opposition. President Tublitz put the motion to a vote and it passed.


To a senator's inquiry regarding limiting email "spam", President Tublitz suggested that the senator send him a statement of the intended action in the form of a motion.

Mr. Malcolm Wilson, classics, gave notice of motion from the Student Conduct and Community Service Committee regarding proposed changes to the conduct code.

President Tublitz announced that there will be a second regular senate meeting in May due to a large number of business agenda items. It will be held May 26, 2010 in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Center. Further, the president announced that the Senate Executive Committee will be sending out an email to all officers of administration, non-tenure track instructional faculty, non-tenure track research faculty, and tenure-related faculty asking them to fill out a survey on unionization. He indicated that it is a two-minute survey for informational purposes only, the aggregate results of which will be posted on the web.

Lastly, the secretary noted that the nominations page for the upcoming elections is available for review and open for further nominations. Elections will be held April 29 through May 7, 2010.


In response to a motion to adjourn, the meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.

Gwen Steigelman
Secretary of the Faculty

last update on 10 May 2010 by ms