Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for April 17, 2013

Minutes of the UO Senate Meeting for April 17, 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 April 17, 2013 meeting of the University of Oregon Senate to order at 3:14PM in room 101 of the Knight Library. He thanked Senators for their attendance and mentioned that there were no minutes to approve as the minutes of the April 10 meeting were still being transcribed. The April 10 and April 17 meeting minutes would be prepared and ready for Senate action at the May 8 Senate meeting.  

2. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY

2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson

Senate President Kyr informed the Senate that President Michael Gottfredson was not able to attend the Senate meeting as he was occupied with proceedings at the state legislature and matters pertaining to institutional governing boards.

In place of President Gottfredson’s comments, Senate President Kyr followed up on two questions that were asked of him at the April 10 Senate meeting. The first question was regarding the President’s position on institutional governing boards and the participation of faculty on those boards. The second question regarded the existence of a rumored budgetary committee mentioned by Senator Bill Harbaugh (Economics) at the previous Senate meeting.

Senate President Kyr read the following statement regarding the first question:

“At our last Senate meeting, I was asked to report about the President’s position regarding faculty membership on the proposed institutional governing board. On April 11, President Gottfredson gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development during which he addressed this issue as follows:

            ‘We also strongly believe it is vitally important to include faculty representation   on the UO board – either in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity, similar to the board status of the UO president, or as a voting member.  Faculty membership on the Board is important to provide context and advice about the nature of the University, pedagogy, research mission, and strategic direction, as policy is crafted and governance is exercised by the Board.’

The President’s entire testimony can be found at the link below:

UO President Michael Gottfredson’s April 11 testimony before the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development

Senate President Kyr continued: “Moreover, I was asked to report to the Senate about a secret budget committee being formed, which was somehow in conflict with the charge of the Senate Budget Committee. After looking into this matter, Dave Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) the central administration’s liaison to the Senate, has communicated the following to me:

            ‘The budget advisory group is in its second year. Four of six members of the Senate Budget Committee have been on this advisory group. The entire Senate Budget Committee was fully briefed. The Senate Budget Committee was fully briefed on the process last year as well and there was a representative from that committee as well on the advisory group.’

Senate President Kyr proceeded to the New Business portion of the meeting.

2.1.1 Questions and Comments with Response

3. NEW BUSINESS

3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Conferral of Posthumous Degrees; Robert Kyr, Senate President on behalf of Robin Holmes, Vice President for Student Affairs

Senate President Kyr moved the motion to the Senate floor. It received a second, and Senate President Kyr read the motion aloud to the Senate body, which can be found at the link above.

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

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) stated that she was always interested to know what sort of problems needed to be solved or addressed when it came to policy making.

Senate President Kyr replied that there was a policy in place regarding posthumous degrees, and this was a fine tuning of that policy.

David Hubin (Senior Assistant to the President) provided background information on the policy. He stated that the ambiguity of the former policy created issues for families during a very sad time of bereavement. It used to be a requirement that a student be enrolled in the courses needed to graduate at the time of his or her death. He then offered an example of a young man, knowing he was terminally ill, decided to not enroll in classes. This decision potentially denied him of an opportunity to receive a posthumous degree. Sidestepping those requirements involved a great deal of convoluted administrative hoop jumping, which the policy before the Senate did away with.

Senator Peng Lu (Mathematics) asked how the courses taken in the following quarter were computed after the student had passed away.

Kenneth Doxsee (Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs) replied that the answer to his question was under part C of the policy. If a student could reasonable complete the coursework, the degree would be granted.

Senate President Kyr asked for further discussion, and seeing none, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.   

3.2 Motion (Policy Adoption): Academic Freedom & Freedom of Speech; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect & Chair, Academic Freedom Review Committee

Senate Vice President Margaret Paris (Law) moved the adoption of the policy as revised. Senate President Kyr read the policy aloud to the Senate body, which can be found at the link above.

After reading the policy, Senate President Kyr asked Senate Vice President Paris if she had any comments to offer regarding the policy.

Senate Vice President Paris stated that the policy originated in 2010 and was approved by the Senate. It was then submitted for review by the university administration and was not approved. The General Counsel’s Office suggested several changes to the language of the policy. After President Gottfredson was appointed, President Kyr asked for permission to continue working on the three foundational policies (Facilities Scheduling, Academic Freedom & Freedom of Speech, and Legal Services), beginning with the original document approved by the Senate. The document before the Senate today was very close to the original document. The only significant change was to the Preamble of the policy. If Senators were interested in viewing the track changes to the document, it was posted to the Senate website, and linked to the policy on the motions page.

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

Senate Vice President Paris commented that statements of academic freedom and freedom of speech were extremely important foundations not only for the work of the faculty, but also for university accreditation.

Senator Roger Adkins (OA Senator, International Affairs) proposed an amendment to the policy. He suggested adding the words “and administration” to the sentence found directly under the word “Academic Freedom.” He believed that the way in which the policy was construed, especially the last three bullet points, very readily applied to the work of most officers of administration. He then stated that many officers of administration were scholars, whether it was in their administrative work area, or elsewhere and several OAs published articles in peer reviewed academic journals.

Senate President Kyr asked him to repeat his amendment. The amendment is as follows:

The sentence:

“The University protects academic freedom, and Officers of Instruction and Research, [“faculty members”] shall enjoy all of its benefits and responsibilities.

Shall be amended to:

“The University protects academic freedom, and Officers of Instruction, Research, and Administration [“faculty members”] shall enjoy all of its benefits and responsibilities.”

His amendment was seconded by Senate Vice President Paris, and Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the amendment.

Senator Steven Pologe (Music & Dance) asked if Senator Adkins would like to place his amended language after the words “[“faculty members”],” since it was his belief that faculty members referred to officers of instruction and officers of research.

Senator Adkins replied that he would prefer to keep his amendment in its original location.

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 was approved unanimously.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the policy.

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) thanked Senate President Kyr for insisting that the policy be revisited and the committee who drafted the policy language. She believed the policy was simple and uncontroversial.

Senate President Kyr thanked her for her comments.

Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics) asked a question regarding the language “the freedom to teach both in an outside of the classroom.” He wanted to know if that phrase meant that anyone covered by the policy had the freedom to teach inside the classroom. He then asked if OAs could demand to teach in the classroom.

Senate Vice President Paris replied that this policy did not allow just anyone to walk into any room and teach. It did not give anyone the right to be somewhere they were not supposed to be and use up a classes time.

Senator John Foster (Sociology) referenced the line “…so long as they are not speaking on behalf of the university.” He believed the interpretation of that phrase was very broad. He wanted to know how clear professors would have to be when they spoke or wrote something in their work.

Senate Vice President Paris replied that this language was suggested by the Office of the General Counsel, and all that was necessary was to state that a professor was not speaking on behalf of the university.

Senator Foster stated that in his experience it was very unusual for a person who was designated as a professor to carry such a statement in an editorial (that he or she was not speaking on behalf of the university). These things were usually taken for granted. He then asked if this statement applied to academic articles, television, and radio appearances. According to Senator Foster, people had been disciplined for speaking their mind and wanted to know how far professors had to go with this statement.

Senator Debra Merskin (Journalism and Communication) replied that this would not require coming up with a statement, but rather the statement should be construed as coming from the point of view of teaching experience and research and should be seen as an understanding of intent.

Senate Vice President Paris stated that there were many situations in which it was clear that someone was not speaking on behalf of the university. The statement did not have to be made if it was clear from the context. If there was any confusion, a simple statement could be made.

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the motion.

Senator Qusheng Jin (Geology) asked about the phrase “…to fulfill the demands of scholarly enterprise.” He wanted to know what that phrase meant, and wanted to know if it was possible to decline the demands of scholarly enterprise.

Senate Vice President Paris stated that she did not think one could deny or decline the demands of scholarly enterprise. This language came from the original policy and was included as a way of articulating both the upside and the downside of freedom.

Senator Jin asked what type of scholarly demands was covered in the language of the policy, to which Senate Vice President Paris replied that the demands were not ones that anyone in the world could impose upon a professor, but pertained to the job that each professor was charged with doing.

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

3.3 Motion (Legislation): Name Change from Foreign Study Programs Committee to Study Abroad Programs Committee; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect

Senate Vice President Paris moved that the Senate approve the motion. It received a second and Senate President Kyr read the motion aloud to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

After reading the motion, Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the motion. Seeing no discussion, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.

3.4 Motion (Legislation): Name Change from Summer Research Awards Committee to Faculty Research Awards Committee; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect

Senate President Kyr moved that the Senate approve the motion. He then read the motion aloud to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

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

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) commented that she had served on the Summer Research Awards Committee this year, and in November, she received an email stating that the committee had changed its name to the Faculty Research Awards Committee. She was curious how this had happened before the Senate’s intervention.

Senate Vice President Paris replied that the committee voted to change the name and it was changed, but to make the name change official, it needed Senate action.

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

3.5 Motion (Legislation): Term Limits for Senate Committees; Robert Kyr, Senate President & Chair, Tenth-Year Review (Committee on Committees)

Senate President Kyr moved the motion to the Senate floor. He called for a second and the motion was seconded. He then read the motion aloud to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

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

Senator Roger Adkins (OA Senator, International Affairs) commented that due to the Date of Effectiveness being immediately upon approval, he asked if the terms limits were retroactive, or were they going to be implemented during the coming academic year.

Senate President Kyr replied that they would be implemented during the coming academic year.

Senator Christopher Sinclair (Mathematics) asked why this motion was before the Senate today.

Senate President Kyr replied that this motion was before the Senate to try to encourage greater participation and service among people from all constituencies. The Committee on Committees found that in some cases, there was a very longtime service commitment from several individuals and he hoped that this motion would encourage greater participation and interaction among a more diverse body of people.

Senator Sinclair asked what if people wanted to serve on these committees, to which Senate President Kyr replied that they could serve again, after taking a two year break. He was trying to encourage diversity over the unfolding of time.

Senator Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) asked if anyone wanted to do Professor Paul Engelking’s (Chemistry) job on the Curriculum Committee. He was leery of binding the Senate’s hands by institutionalizing this requirement. He then stated that several committees were very technical in nature and required a great deal of institutional memory. Senator Sullivan would rather see this implemented by the Senate leadership encouraging people to take on service duties.

Senate President Kyr replied that there were quite a few committees that already had term limits. He then referenced section 2.3 of the motion to address Senator Sullivan’s concern. The Committee on Committees would handle any exceptions regarding committees including ones that had steep learning curves.

Senator Harinder Kaur Khalsa (Romance Languages) asked who would report exceptions to the Committee on Committees, to which Senate President Kyr replied that the committee itself would put forward any exceptions.

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

3.6 Motion (Legislation): Committee Requirements with Minor Revisions (Tenth-Year Review (Committee on Committees)

Senate President Kyr moved the motion to the Senate floor. He called for a second, and the motion was seconded. He then read the motion aloud to the Senate body. The motion can be found at the link above.

After reading the motion, Senate President Kyr went through the proposed changes to all ten committee listed in the motion. The changes are also listed at the link above.

Senate President Kyr first outlined the changes made to the Academic Requirements Committee. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the changes made to the Committee on Courses. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the changes made to the Distinguished Service Awards and Honorary Degrees Committee. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the changes made to the Distinguished Teaching Awards Committee. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the changes made to the Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC). After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body.

Senator Gordon Sayre (English) commented that he had served on the FPC from 2009 – 2011 and had proposed several of the changes to the committee just mentioned by Senate President Kyr. He thanked him and the Committee on Committees for their work in updating this committee specifically mentioning the increased membership and quorum requirement.

Senate President Kyr thanked Senator Sayre for his comments and called for further discussion on the proposed changes.

Kenneth Doxsee (Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs) remarked that he worked with the FPC and offered an amendment to the proposed changes. He recommended using the words “spring term” instead of “spring semester,” because the Law School was not on the quarter system.

Senator John Bonine (Law) recommended replacing the words “spring term” with the word “April” because the Law School finished classes at the end of April.

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

Senate President Kyr called for further discussion on the proposed revisions to the FPC. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the proposed changes to the Graduate Council. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the proposed changes to the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS). After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the proposed changed to the Scholastic Review Committee. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body.

Senator Roger Adkins (OA Senator, International Affairs) proposed an amendment to point two of the proposed changes. He asked that the words “scholarship requirements” be changed to “academic requirements.” Senate President Kyr asked for a second for the amendment. The amendment received a second, and Senate President Kyr called for a period of discussion on the amendment. Seeing no discussion, he called for a vote on the amendment. A voice vote was taken, and the amendment passed unanimously.

Seeing no further discussion on the proposed changes to the Scholastic Review Committee, Senate President Kyr moved on to the next committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the proposed changes to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body.

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) asked who would appoint faculty members to this committee, to which Senate President Kyr replied that the Committee on Committees would appoint faculty members to the committee.

Seeing no further questions, he moved on to the last committee.

Senate President Kyr outlined the proposed changes to the Undergraduate Council. After reading through the proposed changes, he called for discussion from the Senate body. Seeing none, he called for discussion on the entire motion. Seeing none, he called for a vote on the motion. A voice vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.

3.7 Working Group Survey; Robert Kyr, Senate President

Senate President Kyr asked Harlan Mechling (student) and Vice President Paris to distribute the Working Group Surveys (WGS) to the Senate body. At the April 10 Senate meeting, the Senate voted to form several working groups related to the Tenth-Year Review of university committees. This survey provided Senators with an opportunity to give feedback to currently existing committees and newly proposed committees that were all being considered under the Tenth-Year Review.

Senate President Kyr asked Senators to signup for working group participation if they were so inclined. He also asked Senators to write down the names of their colleagues who had expertise in certain areas pertaining to the working groups. Those people would be gently contacted by Senate President Kyr and asked to serve on the working groups.

Senator Richard Margerum (PPPM) asked if there was a place on the web where these working groups were listed for reference.

Senate President Kyr replied that once people were identified in each group, the working groups would be brought together to discuss their specific charges with the Committee on Committees and the Senate President, Vice President, and immediate past Senate President.

Senator Margerum asked about the scope of the Academic Council (AC), to which Senate President Kyr replied that the Committee on Committees was considering the elimination the Academic Council. It was unclear what role the AC was fulfilling, and Senate President Kyr wanted to give everyone an opportunity to comment on its effectiveness.

Senator Roger Adkins (OA Senator, International Affairs) asked when the working groups appointments would be made, to which Senate President Kyr replied that he hoped to have appointments or appointment invitations to go out by the May 8 Senate meeting. He also hoped that each working groups would meet at least once before the summer.

Senator Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) asked if the Academic Council was being considered for elimination, to which Senate President Kyr replied that it might be. Both the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC) and the Senate Transparency Committee (STC) were going through a similar evaluation. The Committee on Committees was looking for ways to improve these two committees.

Senator Psaki asked if the surveys could be retuned by campus mail, as she would appreciate having more time to provide information on the working groups, to which Senate President Kyr replied that she could.

Senator Roger Adkins (OA Senator, International Affairs) asked if the names of nominators would be divulged, to which Senate President Kyr replied that they would not be divulged.

Seeing no further questions, Senate President Kyr asked Senators to pass their surveys to Senate Vice President Paris and Harlan Mechling. He thanked everyone for filling out the survey.

4. OPEN DISCUSSION

5. REPORTS

6. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FLOOR

7. ADJOURNMENT

Seeing no further business, Senate President Kyr called the April 17, 2013 meeting of the University Senate to a close at 4:54PM.