Minutes of the University Senate meeting Wednesday May 9, 2001
Present: L. Alpert, B. Altmann, E. Bailey, M. Bayless, R. Cambreleng, E. Campbell, S. Cohen, D. Conley, D. Dugaw, J. Earl, C. Ellis, M. Holland, S. Kohl, C. Lachman, K. Lenn, R. McGowen, G. McLauchlan, D. Merskin, R. Moore, M. Nippold, C. Phillips, M. Reed, L. Robare, N. Savage, J. Schombert, S. Stolp, D. Strom, F. Tepfer, N. Tublitz, T. Wheeler,
Excused: R. Darst, J. Dawson, M. Epstein, C. Gary, D. Hawkins, R. Kellett, P. Mills, M. Vitulli, M. Weiner, P. Wright
Absent: T. Arnold, D. Dinihanian, J. Hosagrahar, S. Jones, L. Kintz, J. Raiskin, S.Shauger
CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Jim Earl called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. in room 123 Pacific.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Senator Chris Phillips, mathematics, asked that the minutes be amended to reflect his comment that dead week was not recognized in other mathematics departments with which he had been associated. The change was noted and the minutes were approved as amended.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR
Spring Faculty Election Results. Secretary Gwen Steigelman, academic affairs, distributed handouts with the spring election results and noted that the information was also posted on the senate web site.
New Senate organizational meeting Wednesday, May 23rd. President Earl reminded the carry over senators of the incoming senate’s organizational meeting to welcome newly elected senators and to elect the vice president to be held in the Browsing Room of Knight Library. President Earl extended thank-you’s to members of the Senate Executive Committee and many others who have helped in senate related activities throughout the year.
PEBB informational meeting Thursday, May 24th. Ms. Helen Stoop, human resources, extended an open invitation to attend a meeting concerning benefits scheduled for Thursday, May 24, 2001 from 1:30 p.m. to 3: 00 p.m. in the EMU Fir Room. The purpose of the meeting is to solicit feedback and allow discussion regarding OUS’s participation with the Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB). There will be a discussion of factors leading to the continuation of OUS in the PEBB program, an opportunity to discuss health care insurance costs and some of the trends facing OUS participation in PEBB. It also will be an opportunity for discussion pertaining to economic and social welfare affects on the current PEBB contribution design, that is, tiered versus flat contributions. Anyone who feels strongly about tiers, especially, is encouraged to attend.
PEBB will remain with OUS in for calendar year 2002. Due to the rising healthcare, PEBB has solicited nationwide bids and is currently interviewing insurance companies, choosing finalists during June. Currently, the classified employees are on a tiered program as opposed to the flat contribution they have had in past years. The Board wants to continue comprehensive plans for families and does not want to rely on HMOs, thus PEBB is moving away from HMOs toward the Preferred Provider Plans. The rates and other more detailed information will remain unknown until the insurance finalists are chosen.
During a short question and answer period, the terms “tiered” and “flat” were clarified to mean that with a flat contribution, the expenditure is the same regardless of whom is being covered. With a tiered contribution, who is covered and the amount of coverage directly affect the rate. The idea behind a flat contribution is that it allows more families to afford health insurance. Senator David Conley, education, asked about the feasibility of either OUS or PEBB not having tiers while the other employee groups continue to have them. Ms. Stoop responded that currently, OUS is the only group that uses the flat contribution. PEBB is currently pushing to encourage OUS to adopt tiers. This issue is still under discussion and faculty input is requested at the May 24th meeting.
Questions were raised as to the budgetary impact this may have on various departments on campus. Senator David Strom, physics, expressed concern related to a rising sentiment that insurance was cheaper for faculty than for classified employees. He also wondered about the budgetary impact being directly related to the demographic makeup of each department, as well as classified employees currently using the tiered program to cover the different plans cost. Ms. Stoop responded by saying it is less favorable for faculty due to the aging faculty population. There may be a savings if OUS goes with a self-funded plan as it has in the past. These issues have been reviewed with consultants, but at this point, the answers are unknown until the bids return and more information is obtained.
REPORTS FROM STANDING COMMITTEES
Spring 2001 Preliminary Curriculum Report. Mr. Paul Engelking, chair of the Committee on Courses, presented the spring preliminary curriculum report, asking that any errors or typos be reported to him or to Ms. Gayle Freeman, registrar’s office. Mr. Engelking also distributed a flow chart summary of academic review requirements for new instructional programs, and suggestions for revising definitions of undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates. Additions to the report are as follows:
1. LA 260, Understanding Landscapes, has been approved for Group 1, Arts & Letters
2. Religion 316, 324 and 325 will be added back in as courses that have been previously taught. They will be taught next fall, winter and spring terms.
3. Art History 428, 528, 451, 551, 434 and 534 will be reinstated based on fact that they will be taught in the near future.
4. In regard to Art History 450 and 550, not enough information has been received to advise when the courses will the taught again. AAA may be able to assist with this.
Senator Conley asked what criteria are used in evaluating a course to determine if it is a 3 or 4 credit course. Mr. Engelking responded that the predominant factor is the amount of extra work it takes the student to complete the class. Other factors include student time, additional assignments, extra effort, and time management. Examples of additional effort were given as self-guided student work, workshops, and writing assignments to be completed after hours. Mr. Engelking remarked that the committee is open to any ideas or suggestions on this matter as they are looking for more guidance on this subject. (See http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/s01cur.html for the final report.)
Senate Budget Committee. Vice President Nathan Tublitz, biology, indicated that although no budget committee report was available for this meeting, there would be a report at the Senate’s May 23rd organizational meeting regarding the progress on faculty salary and compensation over the past year. This report should also include salary comparisons and indications for the upcoming year.
Committee on Committees. As chair of the Committee on Committees, Vice President Tublitz presented the slate of recommended appointments to non-elected university committees for 2001-02. Several senators commented regarding listed individuals who may not be available to serve on the respective committee, which was taken under advisement by the chair. With no other comments or changes, the senate voted unanimously by voice vote to accept the recommendations and to forward them to President Frohnmayer for his consideration and appointment.
Senate Nominating Committee. Senator Barbara Altmann, romance languages, chair of the Senate Nominating Committee indicated that so far, Senate Greg McLauchlan, sociology, is the only nominee for vice president of the University Senate. Additional nominations for senate vice president are open until the organizational meeting, May 23rd and may be sent to Senator Altmann or President Earl.
· Grant an additional year for continued study of this problem,
· Create a Standing Committee on this issue, and
· Conduct two surveys developed by the committee, one to go to the colleges/schools and department heads, and the other to all nontenure-tract instructional faculty for their input.
(See http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/AdHocNonTenure.html for full text of the report and recommendations.) President Earl accepted the committee’s report and indicated that he will take all of the recommendations under advisement. Prior to the end of his term, President Earl will request funds to conduct the second survey. In asking if there were any comments or questions, several senators remarked about the surprising statistics reported, for example, in English and foreign languages nationwide, tenure tract faculty number only 30% of the faculty.
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 2000-2001 and Summer Session 2001, the degree for which they have completed all requirements.
The motion to confer degrees for academic year 2000-2001 was passed unanimously by voice vote.
The motion seeks to update all changes and amendments that predate this motion, and replace them with the current charges, memberships, and reporting structures. Vice President Tublitz noted that all committees had been contacted and asked for their updates, if any. He also remarked that most of the committees were long-standing committees and that the revisions, for the most part, were minor. Further, four committees were moved from an administrative reporting line to a senate reporting structure, including the Campus Planning, Childcare, Environmental Issues, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns committees.
President Earl emphasized that the committees themselves generated their own revisions, not the Committee on Committees. Senator Conley wondered if there was a strikeout version of the legislation that would indicate the scope and scale of the proposed revisions, to which Vice President Tublitz replied that there was not; but he reiterated that the changes were minor to medium, and all were thought out by the respective committees and voted on by the committees.
One senator noted a number of sentences with fragments, which resulted from a faulty electronic file transmission. Acknowledging that the computer-generated glitches were not on the original paper copy of the legislation, Senator Conley indicated he was in favor of the motion and suggested that rather than delay the vote to another meeting, the motion be supported with a good faith effort to correct the electronic version of the legislation. With no further discussion, Motion US00/01-6 to revise enabling legislation of university committees was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Athletics at NCAA Division I universities are undergoing rapid expansion and commercialization, resulting in an "arms race" universities find increasingly difficult to control. These concerns have been summarized by Myles Brand, president of Indiana University, in an article in the NCAA News of February 12, portions of which are appended below. It is a common proposition in the national dialogue on this issue that meaningful reform of intercollegiate athletics must begin with the university presidents of individual athletic conferences.
Therefore, the faculty and university senates of the ten universities in the PAC-10 Conference join together to make the following recommendations:
1. We urge the presidents and chancellors of our ten universities to begin serious discussions aimed at moderating the exponential growth of athletic programs and budgets in the PAC-10. We urge them to put this topic on the agenda of their June meeting, and to set as a first priority for the PAC-10 the development of an appropriate strategy and its implementation.
2. Further, we endorse the recommendations made in the appended essay, "Presidents Have Cause, Means to Reduce Arms," and urge the presidents to address them as the basis for their discussions.
(See http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/US0001-7.html for text of the appended essay by Myles Brand.)
During the discussion that followed, Senator Conley stated his support for the resolution and asked what the perception is of our athletic program as an asset if our geographic isolation is taken into consideration. President Frohnmayer responded as a 7-year member of the NCAA Board of Directors, saying that collegiate athletics at the level of competitiveness that we have attained at the UO has been positive for the university. He noted that tens of millions of dollars that come to the UO by virtue of those who are involved, in one way or another, in the athletics program might not otherwise have been realized. It is in a quantifiable way that these are tens of millions of dollars that the university might not otherwise have. On a less measurable scale is the assistance that athletics gives the UO in keeping devoted alumni. The president went on to say that regarding the issue of the “arms race”, it is a serious issue and is being engaged as such by the campus president, the chancellor, and the NCAA. He concluded that in his short run as university president the upsides of athletics have far exceeded the downsides.
Senator Dianne Dugaw, English, commented on her concern that the issue is about the athletic program being competitive, rather than the university being as competitive in scholarly fields and with salary levels that will retain faculty. Senator Tom Wheeler, journalism, mentioned that the term “arms race” originates from the cold war and inherently means that there is an enemy building up something so the involved groups attempt to outspend each other. President Earl responded that because of the nature of athletics, the schools are competing for talent, players, coaches, and facilities. The whole athletic budget revolves around attracting these players and there is a need to keep up with other schools. Despite our size in comparison to other Division I schools, we do need to do this. Senator Wheeler commented that he completely supports this resolution and assumes this effort would be pointless if this resolution was not looked at as a first step, and there were not more substantive resolutions coming in the future. He also pointed out the resolution says to resist subsidizing athletics from the academic side of institutions, which needs to be focused on, along with the extent to which it affects the funding of the athletic mission.
Vice President Tubliz indicated that the Senate Budget Committee has been looking into two aspects of the athletics subsidy issue. First, regarding the relationship between salaries and benefits for athletic coaches versus academic instructors or professors, last year the administration agreed to be competitive in the compensation packages. Second, it has been agreed to reduced subsidies, or money from general funds, to athletics over a 7-year period, after renovations to Autzen Stadium were approved and completed. A discussion is ongoing regarding how to accelerate that time scale.
Senate President Earl again touted the resolution as the first step that is representative of faculty interests. It is also an attempt to insert athletics into a national debate. The faculty’s point of view is moderate; the arresting features of the resolution are that 10 schools have athletic departments and schools that are in fierce competition with each other while the faculty are not in that competitive mode. President Earl noted that although he wants the best for the UO, he notices that all faculties are of one mind on this issue, saying that the concept of faculty solidarity will help cut across the competition.
Senator Chris Ellis, economics, supported the motion, saying the current spending is altruistic and wasteful competition since thee is a finite group of talented athletes. Mr. Brad Shelton, chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, advised that the athletics department is behind this resolution, saying that they understand first hand the economics of the issue. They view this arms race as a train headed fast for derailment.
President Frohnmayer commented that the so-called athletics subsidy has been reduced over the last several years and is something that needs to continue. Further, he noted that the monies received from athletics are for the most part money that otherwise would not be obtained, as it is not state subsidized. State universities are funded from money for higher education.
Senator Rebecca Cambreleng, ASUO, commented that the student’s view is that the benefits of athletic competitions stay within the athletics department, that the money simply provides for more athletic scholarships, and other perks that non-athlete students do not receive. Thus, the resolution is a good first step. Vice President Tubliz reiterated the real issue behind the resolution is “academics first”. Over the past 15 to 20 years the increase in academic spending is lower then athletic spending. He further pointed out that next year he will appoint a task force to continue this progress.
With the discussion winding down, the resolution was put to a vote. Resolution US00/01-7, the PAC-10 joint resolution on athletics, passed with all but one senator voting in favor of the resolution.
Resolution US00/01-8 -- Human Rights Initiative. Before introducing this resolution for discussion, Mr. David Frank, chair of the AD Hoc Committee on Trademark Licensing and Monitoring, took a moment to thank outgoing Senate President Earl and to acknowledge his leadership and guidance of the senate this past year. President Earl’s presidency achieved its goals of change, discussion, and debate on some key topics such as athletics, nontenure-related instructional faculty analysis, and the ad hoc committee studying the WRC issue. Mr. Frank’s comments were met with appreciative applause from the senators.
Mr. Frank brought the following resolution to the floor, which was a direct product of his committee’s earlier recommendation. (See http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen001/US0001-8.html for full text of the committee’s report and recommendations.)
Members of the committee differed on many points, but are unanimous in recommending that the University should initiate research and instruction on the host of human rights issues raised by the WRC controversy. In our discussions with industry representatives, monitoring experts, and labor rights activists, we were told that there is a great need for sustained research on such human rights issues as the living wage, working conditions, and the right to form labor unions. Consistent with the research mission of the University of Oregon, the committee calls for the serious study of these and other related issues. Toward this end, we would encourage University of Oregon research centers (e.g., Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Humanities Center) Endowed Chairs (The Wilberta and Carlton Savage Chair of International relations and Peace, the Morse Chair), and disciplinary departments that address human rights and labor issues to collaborate on a research and educational program that illuminates the meaning of human rights in a global economy.
The Senate should petition the administration to form a programmatic approach to the research of and instruction in human rights, particularly as they relate to condition of workers in developing countries. The funding for this proposal might come, in part, from licensing fees. Accordingly, we envision the creation of:
· Internship programs for students to learn about the characteristics of human rights, codes of conducts, and the practice of monitoring. In our earlier discussions with the Foundation's Board of Trustees, we were told that funding might be available for educational opportunities that would expose our students to these issues. We could foresee University of Oregon students emerging as professionals prepared to work with non governmental organizations, compliance officers in multi-national companies, and international and national governmental agencies.
· Interdisciplinary degree programs that would join the expertise of professors who might reside in different departments.
· A Research Center for the study of Human Rights. This Center could sponsor research on the issues that have been at the center of debate on this campus.
Mr. Frank spoke to the resolution saying that it would issue a programmatic approach to the research and instruction of global human rights, with particular emphasis on the conditions of workers in developing countries. Further, he indicated it was a 2-phase approach. First, the idea is that chairs would coordinate efforts to create a research program in human rights. For example, the Law School and chairs of the Morse Committee and the Savage Committee have met to deliberate on a 2-year program on global human rights. Second, the university should consider creating a Center for Study and Research on Global Human Rights. Mr. Frank reiterated that the emphasis is on research and instruction. He foresees no general fund money needed to fund this program in the first phase.
In the discussion period that followed, Senator Conley asked if there is a precedent for the senate to endorse a significant degree program or initiative. Senate Parliamentarian Paul Simonds advised that the charter for the Senate says the members shall govern the university, and, the senate has had an ongoing course committee for reviewing, presenting, and forwarding the final approval for programs. There is along-standing precedent for faculty to be involved in the process. Senate President earl agreed, saying that because this proposal is in the form of a resolution, it is not legislation, per se, that sets the creation of a program into process. Rather, the resolution is in essence a petition to the administration for continuance of dialogue and research on the human rights issue.
Senior Vice Provost Lorraine Davis, academic affairs, stated that the administration does not want the discussion that went on regarding the Workers Rights Consortium issue to cease. In support, she said that the resolution should refocus the issue. The resolution does not create, but rather recommends, and enables this dialogue to continue. Senator Altmann also emphasized that the first phase for students is to research and study the human rights issues.
Senator Phillips expressed concern regarding funding for the recommendation, citing the current funding shortages in the humanities, among other areas, when the university is already over committed. He offered the following amendment to the resolution:
No new resources should be used for this proposal. No present or future resources should be diverted from other departments or programs for this proposal. No new faculty positions should be created in connection with this proposal. Rather the program on Human Rights should consist of courses offered by pre-existing University of Oregon departments. This program and the Research Center on Human Rights should be staffed using pre-existing faculty position in pre-existing University of Oregon Departments. Participation in this program and the Research Center on Human Rights must be strictly voluntary for departments, individual faculty members, and students.
Senator Jim Schombert, physics, asked about the fiscal impact of the resolution; and what would it cost. President Earl reiterated that there is no motion to establish curriculum or set in motion the development of a program; this is only a resolution to consider the creation of a program. There is not financial impact on a recommendation to consider; that will come later. Further, the report has a number of explanatory clauses aimed at Senator Phillip’s concern.
Senator McLauchlan spoke against the amendment, saying it would put a straight jacket on departments. He re-emphasized the importance of continuing dialogue on the issues surrounding the fact that most of the world’s population does not enjoy a living wage or live in developed countries. He believes the resolution without the amendment will help to try to understand this situation and improve it. He support the resolution, without the amendment, as a petition to begin dialogue. Senator Eric Bailey, ASUO, also spoke against the amendment saying it will bind the hands of those involved until the planning is done.
Senator Phillips spoke in defense of his amendment stating that it lets existing departments use current resources to aid the resolution’s recommendations. He wanted to make it clear that the proposed project should not be completed by adding commitments to an institution that is already over committed.
By hand vote, the amendment to use no new resources in support of fulfilling the resolution was defeated, with all but two senate members opposed to the amendment. The main resolution was again on the floor for discussion.
Senator Conley suggested changing the language so as not to appear to mandate a particular action. In response, President Earl said he did not believe the language needed to be changed, and that it was a matter of interpretation. He saw the current wording as not binding.
The questioned was called. Resolution US00/01-8 to encourage the development of a human rights curricular and research initiative passed, with all but two senators in favor of the resolution.
With no other business, the final regular meeting of the University Senate for 2000-2001 was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.