Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for April 10, 2013

Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for April 10, 2013

Prepared and submitted by Christopher S. Prosser, Senate Executive Coordinator

Present:

Absent:

Excused:

1. CALL TO ORDER

Senate President Robert Kyr (Music & Dance) called the meeting of the University Senate to order for April 10, 2013 at 3:04PM in room 101 of the Knight Library. He welcomed Senators to the meeting and informed them that there were three foundational policies coming before the Senate over the course of the remaining meetings. The first of which was the Facilities Scheduling Policy, and the first slate of legislation surrounding the Tenth-Year Review was also on the agenda.  

1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the March 13, 2013 Senate Meeting

Senate President Kyr asked if there were any questions or comments regarding the minutes. Seeing none, he approved the minutes.

2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY

2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson

Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that President Gottfredson was called away for a very important meeting in Salem, OR and deeply regretted that he could not attend the Senate meeting. David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) would be giving remarks to the Senate on behalf of President Gottfredson.

David Hubin conveyed the President’s regrets at not being able to attend the meeting, and his great pleasure in working with Senate leadership toward the formation a Provost Search Committee. The committee had been appointed, in consultation with Senate leadership, and it was a distinguished and broadly represented group. According to Mr. Hubin, every person who was asked to serve on the committee agreed to serve, which was remarkable.

According to Mr. Hubin, the President was very pleased with the RIGE (Research, Innovation, & Graduate Education) Review Committee. There was one remaining spot to fill, but responses to serve were very positive.

The administration was well along in the search for an Ombuds position at the university. Mr. Hubin met with the FAC (Faculty Advisory Council) and Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Respectful Workplace to review the Ombuds job description and then asked the Senate to recommend people to serve on the search committee. The search committee would be comprised of five or six members, and the administration wanted to have the Ombuds appointment made during the spring term.

Mr. Hubin announced that at 5:15 in the Louis Integrated Science Building, a reception was being held to bestow the Distinguished Service Award on Rosario Haugland, a remarkable biochemist and philanthropist in Oregon. The Distinguished Service Award was the universities highest award for individual service and was established in 1956 by the University Assembly. Mr. Hubin would be bringing the next candidate(s) for the Distinguished Service Award to the May Senate meeting.

2.1.1 Questions and Comments with Response

Senator Gordon Sayre (English) commented that he was very disappointed that President Gottfredson could not attend the Senate meeting and mentioned the progress of Senate Bill 270 regarding independent boards for the university. He had recently learned from stated legislators and colleagues at Portland Stated University and Oregon State University that the administrations at those two schools supported having faculty on the independent governing boards. They also supported faculty having voting rights on the board. He then stated that this suggested that the UO resisted having faculty membership on independent governing boards, which was holding up the passage of Senate Bill 270. He asked Mr. Hubin how the UO could justify this divergence from its peers, and wanted to know what was going to happen now.

Mr. Hubin stated that he was not going to comment in depth, but he did not believe that the UO was the impediment to Senate Bill 270 moving forward. The legislation had many moving pieces and there were many models of governing board representation. He then stated that he was not in a position to comment on those dynamics as he was not directly involved with those interactions within the legislature, but he understood Senator Sayre’s concern.

Senator Sayre encouraged Senators and members of the university community to watch the unfolding of the legislative session as he believed it was an extremely important matter.

Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) recalled that the Faculty Assembly voted for independent board legislation with faculty representation as an explicit bullet point. He suggested that the Senate formally ask President Gottfredson to explain his position on this issue and wanted to hear the President’s comments to the legislature.

Mr. Hubin replied that he was sure that the President would be willing to do that.

Senate President Kyr replied that he would ask President Gottfredson that question at their next meeting.

Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology) commented that he had met with several state legislators and was told very explicitly that the reason for the different governing board models existing was a position by the University of Oregon that strongly opposed faculty seats on independent governing boards. He asked that the administration convey their opinion to the Senate as soon as possible.

Senate Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology Emeritus) stated that a faculty member was placed on the state board in 1997 and had full voting rights. The faculty member was from the University of Oregon and the stated board did not collapse because of it. He did not understand why there would be any opposition from the administration.

Senate President Kyr stated that he would write to and call President Gottfredson regarding this matter.

3. NEW BUSINESS

3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Facilities Scheduling Policy; Kassia Dellabough (AAA), Chair; Senate Facilities Scheduling Policy Committee

Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA) could not attend the Senate meeting, so the Facilities Scheduling Policy was to be presented by Senate Vice President Margaret Paris (Law). Senate Vice President Paris moved the policy for adoption. Senate President Kyr called for a second. The motion was seconded, and Senate President Kyr read the policy to the Senate body. The policy can be found at the link above.

Before reading the policy, he gave a brief history of its development. The Facilities Scheduling Policy went through an eighteen month development period during the tenure of former President Richard Lariviere. It was approved by the Senate and given to the President to sign (this was before the adoption of the Policy on Policies). The policy was rejected and not signed by former President Lariviere. The General Counsel provided comments on the policy and it was returned to the Senate. After President Lariviere was fired and with Interim President Bob Berdahl not willing to sign the policy, it was given to President Gottfredson who was very willing to work with the Senate on the policy. A Senate Committee had recently gone through the policy in great detail, with a great effort in particular from Senator John Bonine (Law), and crafted the version before the Senate today. He then read the policy. After reading the policy, Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.

Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) mentioned the section on scheduling responsibilities, which was under Article IV of the policy and referenced video and audio recording. He stated that anyone with an iPhone could make a video/audio recording and offered an amendment to the policy language to include the word “commercial” before video/audio recording.

The amendment was seconded, and Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the amendment.

Senate Vice President Margaret Paris (Law) asked if a member of the Senate Facilities Use Policy Committee was present and if so, had this issue come up during their discussions.

Harlan Mechling (student) stated that the point was not discussed, but he believed it was appropriate to add the word commercial to the policy.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the amendment. Seeing none, he called for a vote on the amendment. A voice vote was taken, and the amendment passed unanimously. He then called for further discussion on the motion.

Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously. Senate President Kyr offered a special thanks to the members of the Senate Facilities Use Policy Committee for their hard work.

3.2 Motion (Legislation): Working Groups for Tenth-Year Review; Committee on Committees, Robert Kyr, Senate President

Senate President Kyr moved the motion to the Senate floor. It was seconded and he read the motion aloud to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

After reading the motion, Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that the system of committee service needed to be reformed and redesigned, and the Committee on Committees was going through an exhaustive process toward that effort. He then introduced the members of the Committee on Committees to the Senate body, and explained the supplemental materials attached to the motion. This can also be found at the link above.

Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.

Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) stated that there seemed to be a parallel system of committees set up by the administration and involved matters that were probably under the Senate’s purview. He specifically mentioned the committee that was established for the universities accreditation review, and the administration committee for the review of public records. Senator Harbaugh had heard a rumor that the administration was in the process of establishing a committee for budget planning without consultation from the Senate. He wanted to know if the Committee on Committees had discussed any of these issues and if Senate President Kyr had any thoughts on Senator Harbaugh’s comments.

Senate President Kyr replied that these issues had come up at Committee on Committees meetings, and that was the reason for having working groups as outlined by the Tenth-Year Review process. According to Senate President Kyr, Senate committees and administration formed committees doing the same work could have a diluted effect on the Senate committee’s charge, and the Senate needed to know when this type of interaction was taking place.

Senator Harbaugh asked where in the motion this type of scenario could be identified and dealt with accordingly, to which Senate President Kyr replied that that might be better handled in a different motion and offered Senator Harbaugh the opportunity to suggest an amendment.

Senator Harbaugh offered the following amendment: “Be it further moved that the administration notifies the Senate President and works with the Committee on Committees prior to creating any additional working group or committee relating to Senate functions.”

The amendment was seconded and Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote on the amendment. A voice vote was taken, and the amendment was approved unanimously.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the motion.

Senator Gordon Sayre (English) stated that he was pleased to see the working group for the creation of a police review board as he had been serving on the policing implementation advising group and a separate similar committee had been meeting for over a year and had been working toward the development of a complaint review board, which was to be appointed entirely by the President. Senator Sayre believed that this board needed to have Senate interaction as it was in the purview of the Senate. He spoke in favor of Senator Harbaugh’s amendment and stated that the creation of a shadow cabinet could not be allowed to continue.

Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology) proposed an amendment to the motion that a budgetary working group be added to counteract the rumored administrative budget committee. Senate President Kyr replied that there might be an administrative budget committee and mentioned that the Senate Budget Committee already existed. He then recommended that a bullet point be added to the motion to include a working group that addressed the Senate Budget Committee. Senator Dreiling agreed with his proposed amendment language and Senate President Kyr called for a second. The amendment was seconded and Senate President Kyr called for a voice vote. A voice vote was taken, and the amendment was approved unanimously.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the motion.

Senator Richard Margerum (PPPM) remarked that Senate President Kyr had previously mentioned adding incentives to university service, but pointed out that the financial impact statement of the motion was cost neutral. He believed that the financial impact statement should not be cost neutral when discussing incentives, to which Senate President Kyr replied that he was correct to mention that point, but the financial impact of incentives was going to be address through a different piece of legislation. A whole series of legislation would be coming before the Senate in the three remaining meetings regarding the Tenth-Year Review, and incentives would be one part in the series.

Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) asked Senate President Kyr to ask President Gottfredson about the creation of the rumored budget priority working group, to which Senate President Kyr replied that he would do that at his next meeting with the President.

Seeing no further discussion, Senate President Kyr called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.

Senate President Kyr called for a round of applause and thanked the Senate for their participation. He was very pleased with how the meeting was progressing.    

3.3 Motion (Resolution): Regarding Shared Governance at the University of Oregon; Roxann Prazniak, Associate Professor (CHC, History)

Senator Roxann Prazniak (Clark Honor's College, History) moved her motion to the Senate floor. It was seconded and then read aloud by Senate President Kyr to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

Senator Prazniak stated that her resolution called for an affirmation of the principles of shared governance as defined by the UO Constitution. She believed it was in the best interest of the university to have a contract agreement that clearly recognized the specific terms of the UO Constitution. In recent negotiations between the faculty and administrative bargaining teams, the administration had returned counter proposals that challenged and undermined the principles of shared governance. She referenced and handed out copies of article III of a counterproposal presented by the administration on March 5, 2013, and also distributed copies of an article on shared governance presented by United Academics (UA).

Senator Prazniak stated that the administrations counterproposal referred to shared governance as “a tradition” with no reference to the UO Constitution, Senate By-Laws, or the Policy on Policies, all of which were affirmed by policy put forth by United Academics’ faculty bargaining team. The language found in the UA contract had precedent in contracts negotiated by faculty on behalf of the Constitutions and By-Laws of other universities including Portland State University and the University of Vermont. It was her belief that the administration had pushed the negotiations to effective disregard of the most basic Constitutional precepts and procedures that the Senate had worked so long on and with great devotion to establish in the best educational interests of the university. According to Senator Prazniak, this was unacceptable, and she urged Senators to vote in favor of her resolution, which would encourage President Gottfredson to reinforce and strengthen the administrations commitment to the UO Constitution by ensuring its incorporation into the bargaining agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon.

Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion.

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) thanked Senator Prazniak for putting her motion forward. She commented that in collective bargaining, to enshrine the UO Constitution and the principles and practices of shared governance at the institution were very advantageous, because it was incredibly important and central to all functions of what took place on campus.

Before the Senate meeting, Senator Richard Margerum (PPPM) sent the entire motion to the faculty of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts (AAA) for feedback. One concern that came back dealt with the insertion of the Senate in the negotiations process. No one was opposed to the Senate be mentioned as a key governing body. The primary concern regarded the appropriateness of the Senate passing a resolution on behalf of the members of the UA bargaining team.

Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) thanked Senator Margerum for bringing those points up and stated that this was an area of concern for him as well. He commented that UA had the power to negotiate a contract for the entire bargaining unit with the administration, and brought up the point that the bargaining agreement was a legally binding document that could negate the precepts of the UO Constitution if it was not included in the language of the bargaining agreement. Senator Sullivan believed that both the Senate and UA should work together with the administration for the benefit of each group and the ideals that they represented.

Senator David Landrum (Officer of Administration Senator) was concerned with the language of Section 2.4 of the motion which dealt with the incorporation of existing policies and articles adopted by the Senate. According to Senator Landrum, once past policies were incorporated into a bargaining agreement, if an existing policy were to be amended, incorporation became more difficult.

Senator Sullivan commented that he had seen the same language and stated that he was glad that the motion was a resolution.

Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) commented that the motion referenced the UO Constitution and existing policies adopted by the Senate. He believed this statement adequately addressed the concern brought up by Senator Landrum.

Senate President Kyr offered a point of information and commented that the language only mentioned policies, which referred to policy adoptions, not legislation or resolutions.

Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics) stated that as Senators, they represented the entire Statutory Faculty Assembly, and not everyone on the faculty supported unionization. As such, he believed that the Senate should be careful when coming down on one side of that argument.

Senator Randy Sullivan agreed with Senator Sinclair’s comment and stated that there was no language in the motion that endorsed the union or spoke in favor of the union. The language of the motion addressed documents that protected the academic freedom of the institution, which was unanimously endorsed by the entire Statutory Faculty.

Senator Michael Dreiling (Sociology) recalled 2.1 of the motion and stated that its content was about the Senate affirming the core elements of academic freedom and shared governance expressed in the UO Constitution. He believed that since the Senate had a voice in shared governance, there was an implicit as well as an explicit duty and responsibility to give instruction to the administration regarding that affirmed priority. The preference in protecting those principles was to include those principles in the UA’s new contract. Not doing so, would risk weakening those principles.

Senator Richard Margerum (PPPM) asked what the Senate’s role was in ratifying the bargaining agreement, to which Senate President Kyr replied that the Senate was not at the bargaining table. The central administration legally represented the university, and the union represented the bargaining unit.

Senate Vice President Margaret Paris (Law) stated that the Senate was calling for any group that was engaging in contractual negotiations with the administration to be able to exercise their obligations under the model of shared governance.

Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics) stated that the resolution did not state that, but rather it explicitly pointed to the collective bargaining agreement with UA. He did not find anything objectionable with the motion, but felt that it came down rather strongly on one side of an argument that he felt the Senate should avoid.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion. Seeing none, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken and the motion passed with three nay votes. 

3.4 Motion (Legislation): Amendment to US12/13-13, UO Representation on the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS); Senate Executive Committee

Senate President Kyr moved his motion to the Senate floor. It received a second, and before reading it aloud to the Senate body, he briefly explained the background of the motion. Both the background information and the content of the motion can be found at the link above.

Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion. Seeing none, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.

4. OPEN DISCUSSION

5. REPORTS

6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR

6.1 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Termination of the UO-ROTC Contract; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)

Senate President Kyr recognized Professor Frank Stahl’s (Biology Emeritus) notice of motion and asked if there were any additional announcements or communications from the floor.

Professor Frank Stahl stated that he had an additional notice of motion which he wished to move at the next Senate meeting. The motion was as follows: “The University will enter into no agreements that grant outside agencies or boards the right to abolish, change, or interfere with the operation of the UO Constitution.”

Senate President Kyr thanked him for his notice, and called for any further announcements or communications from the floor.

Senate Parliamentarian Paul Simonds (Anthropology) remarked that since he was involved with placing a faculty member on the state board, if anyone was interested in the details of how that transpired, he would be willing to discuss that after the Senate meeting.

7. ADJOURNMENT

Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the April 10, 2013 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:26PM.