Minutes of the University Senate Meeting October 8, 2003
Present: A. Berenstein, L. Bowditch, F. Cogan, K. Curtin, G. Epps, S. Eyster, L. Freinkel, F. Gearhart, P. Gilkey, J. Harding, S. Haynes, M. Holland, J. Hurwit, K. Kennedy, P. Keyes, C. Lachman, A. Lindquist, E. Luks, W.A. Marcus, A. McLucas, K. McPherson, D. Pope, G. Psaki, M. Russo, G. Sayre, P. Scher, K. Sheehan, M. Sherman, M. Shirzadegan, E. Singer, D. Sinha, L. Skalnes, B. Strawn, C. Sundt, N. Tublitz , J. Wagenknecht, L. Wellman, M. Wilson
Excused: H. Alley, C. Bybee, C. Ellis, C. McNelly, M. Raymer, L. Robare, M. Woollacott
Absent: L. Alpert, R. Graff
CALL TO ORDER
Senate President Lowell Bowditch called the regular meeting of the University Senate to order at 3:08 p.m. in 115 Lawrence. She welcomed all to the first meeting of the year and reviewed briefly general operational procedures such as wearing nametags, signing into meetings, and informing the secretary of absences for illness or other university business.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes of the May 28, 2003 senate organizational meeting were approved as distributed.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATION FROM THE FLOOR
Faculty Leadership Caucus. President Bowditch commented about the Faculty Leadership Caucus held in mid September, saying that this is a crucial year for governance and participation. She highlighted four broad issues the senate would be facing: (1) declining state funding for higher education, (2) the changing face of the campus built environment, (3) ongoing evaluation of the roll of athletics in relation to academics; and (4) maintaining access to and quality of the teaching and research environment with fewer resources.
President Bowditch noted that the current fiscal situation prompted discussion of how to do more with less and not sacrifice academic quality. A White Paper on policy guidelines for maintaining academic excellence drafted by former senate president Greg McLauchlan is under review. Another goal suggested at the caucus is to set a figure for donations raised for academics during the Comprehensive Campaign that would not be compromised by donations raised for athletics. In a similar vein, President Bowditch noted that the charge of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee will be reviewed to possibly incorporate some of the functions of the Presidential Task Force on Athletics in order for the evaluation of the relationship between athletics and academics to continue. Also discussed was the importance of establishing venues for faculty input to key decisions being made about the direction of the university and the importance of including faculty in long range planning. Lastly, the president anticipates working with the Committee on Student Conduct to assist in revising key aspects of the student conduct code.
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Remarks regarding the university budget, enrollment, campus growth and plans for the coming year : Vice President for Academic Affairs Lorraine Davis and President Dave Frohnmayer. Vice President Davis referred senate members to the September 19, 2003 Office of Governmental Affairs update for a summary of the year's legislative session, a year that set records for being the longest legislative session ever, with the five special sessions held. She noted that the Higher Education Efficiency Act, Senate Bill 437, passed with modifications, which was a positive action in terms of allowing more autonomy for the operation of OUS within the state. Most items with fiscal impact were not approved and were removed from the final bill. There was good legislative news related to signature research center funds, which the university will have access to, and other bonds related to capital projects.
Ms. Davis then outlined the current budget circumstances. The state appropriation for the University of Oregon for 2001-2003 was $139 million. At the close of this legislative session, after the $11 million add back, our budget was $121.5 million, and that is our current estimate of the operating budget from state general funds for the 2003-2005 biennium. This is $5 million less than the 1989-1991 biennium. It is important to put into perspective the shift in the percentage of money that comes from general funds and other limited funds, such as tuition and resources raised. In 1999-2001, the percentage was 51% from state funds and 49% from other limited funds. For 2003, the relative percentages are 36% (state funds) and 64% (other funds). The UO currently receives state funding for about 80% of resident students. Other students are supported with tuition dollars. This equates to the Resource Allocation Model (RAM) budget education model that puts us at 72% of the average for our peer institutions in terms of receiving state funding.
Ms. Davis added that enrollment is holding close to expectations and it is anticipated to be at 20,400 students by the end of the 4th week of the term. The mix of nonresidents, international, and resident students will affect the budget's bottom line. There are uncertainties regarding the current ballot measure to rescind the income tax surcharge that could mean another $2.5 million reduction to the university's budget. The university's portion of the $14 million cash payment for other funds limited referred to in the recent Oregonian article is between $4.5 and $4.7 million. Projections for increases in health care costs have been calculated for the two years of this biennium, but remain uncertain. In addition to budget approvals from the legislature, the governor mandated salary freezes on all state employees from all funds private, grant, or otherwise for the duration of the biennium. Depending on enrollments and these uncertainties, the UO could face a deficit between $11 and $17 million for this biennium. The initial adjustments made this year include reducing all operating budgets by 2.5%. These adjustments have been indicated to the deans and vice presidents, and discussions related to dealing with the potential impacts will continue. The Senate Budget Committee, Faculty Advisory Committee, deans, and vice presidents will all be involved in those discussions.
University President Dave Frohnmayer reiterated that issues Vice President Davis spoke of have been shared with the Senate Budget Committee, and the process will continue so that budgetary strategies developed are broadly inclusive and dealt with as early as possible in the biennium. The worse case scenario mentioned by Ms. Davis depends on issues directly influenced by the voters in February 2004 (concerning a tax referendum). The president continued that the maintenance of enrollment, the mix of resident and nonresident students, retention of students from year to year, and the numbers of incoming and outgoing transfer students are all factors the university can influence. He noted that the budget picture has been replicated in our past. In each case, the UO managed to survive and emerge as a better institution. Many institutions are more deeply affected than the UO because their shares of state appropriations had been a greater percentage of their operating budgets. He suggested there is an increasingly tragic, unfortunate, and unnecessary change in view that public higher education is seen less as a public good than as a private good. Everything done externally to various audiences and stakeholders is to encourage the view that one of the truly transformative inventions of American democracy is accessible and available public higher education.
President Frohnmayer noted four strategies used to deal with the fiscal difficulties: (1) increasing revenues through tuition and fees, (2) cost cutting by substituting lower cost operations and technology where possible, (3) increasing productivity by making sure resources are spread more broadly and used more effectively, and (4) cutting services. The administration will engage the faculty and staff of the university as fully as possible in the development of strategies and how to best engage that involvement in a positive way. Finally, the president noted that the UO is the only OUS institution that has not engaged in reductions of force or eliminations of vital programs.
Remarks regarding university plans for the arena site: Vice-President for Administration Dan Williams. The vice president highlighted five points of information concerning the decision to build an arena and where to site it: (1) why the university is building an arena; (2) how the site was selected; (3) how the arena decisions coincide with the UO's long-range campus development plan, (4) the method by which construction will be managed, and (5) plans addressing issues of relocation and traffic. Mr. Williams said the current idea is for a two building complex with approximately 400,000 square feet. Many decisions have not yet been made and many questions will remain unanswered until the process moves forward, establishing more precise information regarding size, activity, and location. Architects and contractors will present a more precise picture about what the arena could cost and what the UO can afford, somewhere from $90 to $130 million.
There are two main reasons the UO is building a new arena. The current building was built in 1927 and is worn out. The cost to maintain it grows disproportionately to the value of the building in terms of its internal systems. Any significant investment in this building gives a diminishing return. Building a new arena is also a business decision regarding economics of intercollegiate athletics with reasons similar to those that led to the expansion of Autzen Stadium. Regarding academic enterprise or athletics, the university's costs are increasing on an annual basis. It is important that the athletic department maintains the financial self sufficiency it reached a couple of years ago when it became no longer dependent on any source of income from the university other than those self generated. Football and men's basketball are the two activities that generate revenue for the UO beyond what they cost. These two activities can generate additional revenue to deal with increased costs by either increasing ticket prices or increasing capacity. The university chose to increase capacity in football and is making essentially the same choice for the basketball program.
After a study determined it was feasible to build a new arena of the size being discussed, President Frohnmayer decided last April that he was confident enough with the financial commitments to build the facility and to hire a consultant to help evaluate and review the sites that would be available. Twenty sites were originally considered in and around the university, Springfield, and Eugene and then were narrowed down to 7 sites. Using basic criteria of proximity to the campus and student population, affordability and ease of acquisition, and appropriate use of the land, four sites emerged as distinct possibilities needing further study.
The downtown federal courthouse site was favored by city of Eugene for economic value to the downtown business community. However, in addition to the city property, this site would require purchasing property from 10 to 12 private owners at an estimated cost between $15 and $20 million plus the expense of rerouting 8th Avenue. The Williams Bakery site on Franklin Boulevard is the most desirable site but would require land acquisition all the way to Villard Street. A legitimate effort was made to acquire it, but the current owners are not interested in selling the site. Autzen Stadium did not have all of the advantages of Howe Field, and Howe Field provides opportunity to take advantage of Mac Court as an auxiliary practice gym and provide dual use for additional parking being planned. Consequently, Howe Field emerged as the most attractive site.
Mr. Williams continued that the downsides of the Howe Field site were considered. The two major problems: managing the traffic and congestion that would come with an additional 1,500 to 2,000 cars on the 12 or 13 nights when basketball games sell out to capacity, and the UO being a good neighbor: were found to have a high probability of successful management. Further, the UO planning office has identified surface parking areas on the west and north sides of campus as prime sites for structured parking. The plan can be implemented to create parking for faculty, staff, and students during the regular workday and address the Howe site parking concerns for arena visitors on evenings and weekends. This plan requires a careful review relative to what circumstances were when it originated in 1998.
Mr. Williams addressed criticism that the selection of the Howe Field site is in violation of long range campus planning and relevant Oregon statutes by stating that legal counsel had determined the Howe Field plan is consistent with statewide land use goals and local comprehensive plans as well as Oregon University System Board policies. The university has a suggestive process for making campus land use decisions. The process is not regulatory and is intended to provide guidance based on the concept that land use decisions should reflect the university's long-standing goals and interests. Howe field is currently dedicated to athletic and recreational activity and will therefore remain consistent with long standing goals and interests of the university for that site, in addition to offering the opportunity to implement the long term parking plan.
The vice president went on to note that the approach for design and construction of the project will not be the UO's traditional method for building facilities, but will be similar to the approach taken to build the Chiles Center and the Bowman Family Building. A non- profit subsidiary of the UO Foundation will be established to manage the design and construction of the project. This will create an opportunity to maximize the value of the donor's contribution by allowing negotiation of contracted work rather than submitting to the state mandated and often burdensome bidding processes, and by increasing the likelihood of completing this project in a timely manner. A development agreement with this private entity requires that they abide by the prevailing wages and laws in the state of Oregon and the federal government, as well as consult with UO administration regarding elements that will ensure an outcome in harmony and compatible with the outcome that would have been achieved by traditional methods.
Lastly, when completed, the capacity of the arena will be 14,000 with the ability to be increased up to 16, 000 at a later date. That increase is 5,000 more than McArthur Court's current capacity of 9,000, and can increase parking demands by an additional 1,500 to 2,000 cars. It is the university's intention to implement the 1998 plan for structured parking to eradicate the traffic impact on the neighborhood and additionally bring relief to long overdo campus parking problems.
Precise plans for siting the arena have yet to be developed, but there is reasonable certainty there will be no material impact on the track and field facilities or student recreation center. It is likely the softball field, outdoor programs barn, and indoor tennis courts will be relocated, and provision may be needed for outdoor open recreational space requirements for a new facility on 18th street. In order to maintain effective communications internally and externally, a group will be established, similar to the Campus Planning Committee.
Vice President Williams then open the floor for questions. Faculty member Linda Kintz, English, indicated her opposition to the Howe Field site, citing the loss of some facilities used by state track high school meets, intramural soccer games, and various summer camp activities. Mr. Williams replied there is a possibility that some of that space noted by Ms. Kintz may be impacted. Opportunities will be provided for activities that cannot displace, and the vice president noted that there are two major all weather fields available. Ms. Kintz then asked if there will be an impact on union workers. Mr. Williams answered that the prevailing wage, which the UO usually pays will be required, but he was not sure whether we are required to use only contractors who have union help. He assured that union workers would not be prohibited.
Senator Malcolm Wilson, classics, referred to a statement made by Christine Thompson of the Campus Planning Committee, indicating that if the university decides to build an arena on campus, the proposed site would come back to the Campus Planning Committee for review and approval. Senator Wilson asked if that was going to happen or if she is mistaken. Mr. Williams responded that she was mistaken; the concern was managing this construction in a timely manner.
Senator Garrett Epps, law, asked if the new parking structures would be financed by the athletic department. Vice President Williams answered that the project will carry all direct and indirect costs. The project budget will carry a parking bill to cover the additional access expense. If the UO chooses to build more parking than the project requires in order to address other university parking issues, the additional cost would be figured proportionately. The current UO parking situation is self-sufficient.
Senator Gordon Sayre, English, expressed his concern about relocating facilities such as tennis, softball, and the outdoor program barn, wondering where they will they be moved, when this will this be done, and who will cover the cost. Mr. Williams replied that the process is still in its beginning stages; however, the intention is these expenses will be included in the plan. Senator Sayre reiterated his dissatisfaction in tearing down tennis courts that are only 2 to 3 years old. Acknowledging that the revenue producing sports pay for tennis, must they displace them in the process?
Senator Christine Sundt, library system, asked why Autzen was not considered more strongly since there is parking, students already go there, and commuters would not be impacted. President Frohnmayer responded to this question saying that one reason is the structured parking consideration, because the UO is at parking capacity and duel purpose parking can be served at Howe Field. The second reason concerns a major infrastructure problem at Autzen: a major utility pipe runs through the site where the arena would be built. The distance to Autzen is also significant for students on wet, rainy nights, although no single one of these reasons was all determining.
Senate Vice President Andrew Marcus, geography, asked how many other events will be held at the arena each year in addition to the anticipated at 13 times a year. Mr. Williams answered that many suggestions were listed in the consultant's report but the plan, financial and otherwise, is not dependent on any significant number of other events. Senator Peter Keyes, architecture stated his concern that the UO is not setting a good example for its students regarding long term planning with our buildings. He suggested that the UO's track record for building in this manner did not give him much confidence.
Senator Gina Psaki, romance languages, asked what consideration has been given to the effect on music events, to which Mr. Williams replied that Dean Foley (School of Music) had contacted him and indicated that he sees building at Howe Field as an opportunity for the music school. Senator Ben Strawn, ASUO, asked which of the relocated facilities would be considered part of the direct and indirect costs. Mr. Williams replied that an evaluation is being done and he will keep Mr. Strawn informed.
The discussion concluded with a question from emeritus professor of biology Frank Stahl who commented that President Frohnmayer had pointed out the important advantages of private funding, but Mr. Stahl wondered if any of that funding would be affected if the University of Oregon Senate were to pass a resolution regarding American Foreign policy. The president responded that he did not know, but said that he doubted it.
Report on Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS): IFS Vice President Peter Gilkey. IFS Representative Gilkey reported that 2001-2003 was not a great period for Oregon in that funding support is down $62.7 million. Biennial OUS enrollments are up to 147,000 students; the general fund provides for 17,000 fewer students, while tuition is funding 26,000 more. Over the past couple of years, student enrollments show a rapid gain. OUS believes they are going to make up one-third of the drop in funding with tuition increases; consequently, the share of the education and general funding for students that is accounted for by tuition has grown dramatically. Mr. Gilkey concurred with comments made earlier by Vice President Davis regarding the major funding uncertainties: possible revoking of the income tax surcharge in February 2004 and the PERS funding problems, in particular. He noted that the IFS meets five times a year and that as president of IFS in January 2004, he has an opportunity for input with the state board members at their meetings. He encouraged faculty members to communication what message he will deliver at board meetings.
Senator Anne McLucas, music, asked about the power of the IFS. Senator Gilkey replied that the IFS is fairly effective, and communicating is a large part of what the IFS does. He said he brings information to you and in turn gets information from you to bring to the IFS. The state board has always indicated a willingness to listen to faculty. And the current chancellor has been supportive in attending IFS meetings. Similarly, key legislators occasionally attend IFS meetings to share information and concerns, so the IFS can assist in effectively communicating faculty concerns.
Report on university policies and procedures regarding the USA Patriot Act: Randy Geller, Director of Policy and Legal Affairs. Mr. Geller reported that as of October 6, 2003, the university has not been served with any subpoenas or court orders or any similar documents pursuant to the USA Patriot Act. He explained that the UO procedure is that court orders and subpoenas under the Patriot Act should be served on the General Counsel's office or the Registrar's office, if they are seeking student records. The policy is to review the court order and make a determination as to its validity and lawfulness, and to respond as appropriate. For example, if there is a basis for objecting to the subpoena, the university would consider doing that, as we do in many cases when we receive non law enforcement subpoenas. If the subpoena is valid and lawfully served or a court order appears to be valid, our policy is to comply with the federal subpoena or court order.
Senator Karen Kennedy, academic advising, asked if a student would be notified if a subpoena is received asking for student records or information. Mr. Geller replied that if the subpoena is a typical subpoena that does not contain language that prohibits the university from notifying a student, then the student will be notified. If the subpoena or court order contains language that prohibits the university from notifying the students, and is valid and lawfully issued, we will not notify the student.
Professor John Bonine, law school, wondered whether the UO will seek advice from the Attorney General, or only seek in-house advice. Mr. Geller answered that it is the General Counsel to the university, Melinda Grier, who ultimately makes that decision. He noted that he has no concerns about consulting with the Oregon Department of Justice, as appropriate.
Mr. Stahl then pointed out that the entire revised OAR (regarding student records policy) has been adopted, with some provisions not becoming effective until the end of the fall quarter.
Senator Frances Cogan, Honors College, pursued an example of a subpoena asking the library for a list of books that were checked out. Assuming it is a legal subpoena, would the university comply? Mr. Geller said he would have to look at it, and have Ms. Grier and the Department of Justice, review the particular court order or subpoena. Our policy is to comply with valid court orders. If there is some basis for objecting to the court order, then we would consider objecting.
President Frohnmayer joined the discussion by returning to Mr. Bonine's question, and stating that Melinda Grier is a special assistant attorney general. She does report, for official purposes, to the Attorney General's office and routinely seeks advice from that office. The president suggested that perhaps there is some confusion in this discussion about the adoption of the conforming rules of our records policy. Those conforming rules were adopted, but have nothing to do with the USA Patriot Act. The rules have to do with legislation passed by the federal government in 1994 with which we have been under a legal obligation to comply and to conform our policies for the last six or seven years. Because of the concerns raised about whether or not the Patriot Act was implicated, and the specific issue with respect to subpoenas which are served and which ask for information without the notification of the person who is the subject of the subpoena, the effective date of that particular part of the OAR rule was postponed in deference to the senate and the discussion of this issue which you wished to have at this meeting. The registrar, who believes he has the right and obligation to obey the law, was put in the impossible position, as these revisions dragged on, of being unable to allow students' names and information to be shared with each other in common class exercises such as the use of the software Blackboard. Changes were made not just to bring our rules and our practices into conformity with the federal laws, but also for purposes of facilitating professor/student and student/student communication. It has nothing to do with the most recent actions of the United States Congress in passing the USA Patriot Act.
Remarks regarding recent revisions to the Student Records Policy: Registrar Herb Chereck. Mr. Chereck stated that changing the student record policy was an issue of concern for him for many years in terms of the policy itself. He acknowledged that the timing was less than ideal, but he wanted to have revisions in place for the fall semester law students. He and Vice President for Student Affairs Anne Leavitt contacted a broad range of faculty groups, as well as student groups, to apprise them of the policy and the suggested revisions; in doing that, they originally delayed the actual filing of the petition in order to take additional comments and concerns that were raised by faculty. Mr. Chereck believes all of those concerns had been addressed before the petition was submitted to the Secretary of State.
Senator Daniel Pope, history, commented that Melinda Grier submitted the notice of proposed student records rule changes to the Secretary of State the day before she participated in the senate discussion of the Patriot Act and of our compliance or response to it. She made no mention of the proposed OAR record policy revisions at all at that time, and arguably, this is something that is colored by the Patriot Act. Certainly people who are concerned about the Patriot Act would likely be concerned about this kind of student record rule change. Mr. Pope indicated he is quite disturbed that there was no attempt to inform the senate that this was underway as the academic year was coming to an end. He found the whole procedure that took place over the summer flawed.
President Frohnmayer responded to Mr. Pope saying that the students record policy changes have been under discussion by this campus, not merely during the course of the summer but over the last several years. The Faculty Advisory Council was informed last spring. It may be that the full significance of these changes was not fully understood at the time, but this issue has not lacked for airing with concerned groups in the campus, not merely for a few months, but actually for a period of several years as we attempted to come into conformity with a federal law that has required these changes since 1994.
Senator Ben Strawn, ASUO, remarked that he was asked his opinion as a student senator and what other students on the Presidents Advisory Council thought about the proposed changes. Mr. Strawn believed that the changes presented involved names, email addresses and phone numbers that may be made available on request, but not that other student records would be available or that students would be unaware of the fact that people unknown to them might have access to those records. Mr. Strawn was fully in favor of the UO complying with federal law, but does not believe the students present in those conversations grasped the whole picture of the revisions.
Mr. Chereck said that his main agenda was to expand the directory information items to include email addresses and the definition of enrollment. He added that of the sessions he attended, it was stated that the intent was also to update the policy as it applied to changes in federal regulations. He specifically talked about the UO's need to comply with subpoenas in what has been referred to as the "gag" order. Senator Psaki asked why the senate was not one of the groups notified or consulted during the revision process. Mr. Chereck said that other than OAR revisions to the Student Conduct Code, OAR revisions have not routinely come before the senate. Vice President Davis noted that the senate president sits on the FAC, which often handles OARs. Senate President Bowditch added that the senate president is on the Notification List. However, the notification of the changes to this particular OAR went out as senate leadership was changing, and as a result, may have fallen through the cracks.
r. Stahl voiced his disagreement with the notion that revisions to the student records policy were made independent of compliance with the Patriot Act. He stated that as he read the law books, until 2001, if a student record was released, a record of that release was kept with the student's record in the registrar's office. In 2001 FERPA, in compliance with the Patriot Act, removed that requirement. The revised OAR-571-20 (student records policy) under discussion contains the language inserted in FERPA in 2001 by the Patriot Act. Mr. Stahl said he thinks the president is mistaken when he says this OAR, in no way, was written to put the university in compliance with the Patriot Act. Mr. Geller responded that he did not believe that what Mr. Stahl had stated was true, but that he would go back and review it and respond to Mr. Stahl.
Another question was asked whether federal legislation requires the university to adopt regulations. Mr. Geller replied that federal law requires compliance, but he was not certain that it requires university regulations. He noted that even without the regulation, such a subpoena would be automatically elevated to the president's office as an unusual event. A second question asked if it would be possible to include in the revisions, the university's permission to seek constitutional advice on the issue. President Frohnmayer explained that Oregon rulemaking provisions are interpretive rules. Their purpose is for giving people maximum notice as to what the law is rather than hiding it in a federal statute. He assured the senate that if a subpoena were received by any university official, under the circumstances described here, the president, personally would be informed and that it would be treated as a matter of the utmost gravity and importance. The president stated his commitment, as president of the university, that it would not be treated as a routine matter in any respect.
Senator Psaki asked why was there such haste to bring these rules into compliance with FERPA or even into compliance with UO practices when they had been incompliant for so many years. What was the hurry that this process did not get put off as requested until fall of '03 or early in '04?
Mr. Geller responded that, as a general proposition, there is no time like the present for compliance with federal law. There was a very sincere and strong desire on the part of the registrar, vice president for student affairs, and others that the rules be in place by the start of fall term so that information such as email addresses could be added as directory information and could make full use of our courseware, such as Blackboard.
Senator Kennedy asked what ground does the university have to stand on to say no to the US government if the subpoena request violates conscience. President Frohnmayer said he did not know how it is possible to answer such a question without seeing the facts of the situation to speak specifically rather than abstractly. You are talking about an issue of civil disobedience that has been considered by philosophers, lawyers, and courts for generations. If there were some issue of such significance that presented those issues of conscience as opposed to requirements of the law, they would be treated with the utmost seriousness. But, the president said that to speak abstractly about under what circumstances that occasion might arise would be a disservice to this body as to the general public.
President Frohnmayer further noted that he knew of no institution so far, that has been presented with one of these subpoena issues or of a single subpoena on an institution of higher education asking for this kind of information. If it does arise in the future, he suggested it would be the subject of the most intense discussion amongst us. But it has not happened in our institutional experience. He indicated that the administration will continue to make these reports and you will hear of them when they know of them.
Resolution US03/04-1 in opposition to siting the new basketball and events arena at or near the Howe Field area: Mike Russo, management. Senator Mike Russo, management, moved the following resolution:
Mr. Russo said he preferred that the university settle on two or three sites and proceed with planning for those two or three in mind, with an eye toward picking one of them. He then suggested that the Howe site was not a good choice, quoting from the campus long-range plan. The large open spaces situated within this area are required to meet the demands of instructional programs and recreational needs of students. These open spaces are regarded as a central University resource to be managed in a way that maximized their benefit to the University community as a whole and it ought not be considered as available building sites simply because they are open.
Mr. Russo pointed to other drawbacks of the Howe site: the building would be out of scale with the area; the "soft" edge between the campus and the neighborhood would be gone; a number of student facilities would be elimination or relocated, such as the $3 million, 3 year old indoor tennis courts, intramural fields, perhaps some track facilities, the outdoor program barn, and the Howe Field softball facility. He also spoke of the difficult of getting an increased number of buses in and out of the site, and of the negative impact on the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Additional traffic to the parking structure will add to street congestion.
For these reasons, Mr. Russo asked that the senate express some opposition to construction of a basketball and events arena on Howe Field, and that the site decision be reconsidered. Saying that the new building will be around for 75 to 100 years, the university should involve more people and take the requisite time to do the site selection and project right.
Senator Lars Skalnes, political science, indicated he was confused because Mr. Russo initially said that his objection was related to the speed with which the decision was made and not to the decision itself. However, the resolution basically expresses an opposition to the decision.
Mr. Russo explained that the inconsistency was in part a result of the resolution having been written before the site decision was made. This resolution has to do with the Howe Field site, but he suggested he would accept an amendment that the speed with which the decision was made was not in favor.
Mr. Skalnes replied that some decision has to be made. He wondered if Mr. Russo had considered the pros and cons of the other sites, because if he argues why this is a bad decision, he should show there are better alternatives. Mr. Russo explained that he wanted to keep the resolution manageable. But he suggested parking along the north side of campus and Franklin Boulevard was close to three other sites: the new courthouse site, the old Coke bottling plant, and Williams Bakery. Mr. Skalnes noted that the Williams bakery site was not available.
Senator Wilson turned the discussion to why the decision to build and site the arena was not a faculty issue from the beginning. He suggested that the senators should ask themselves if that is okay. Mr. Wilson spoke of a sense of mission drift, in that perhaps the largest building project to be undertaken by the university has only the most incidental connection with our core institutional mission.
Senator Epps noted that he shares the siting process concerns that have been voiced. However, because the resolution does not center on the process, he would vote no. At this point, there was discussion about amending the resolution. Senator Pope suggested an amendment striking the words, 'more suitable' so as not to prejudge whether it was a satisfactory process. Senator Jeffrey Hurwit, art history, pointed to problems with the amendment in that the first part of the resolution states opposition; the original wording could also be seen as prejudgment.
Senator Wilson then moved to amend the amendment with text that read, "Be it resolved that the University of Oregon Senate hereby expresses its opposition to the decision to construct a basketball arena at Howe field and urges the University to reconsider its decision and refer the matter to the Campus Planning Committee and take the requisite time to find the most suitable place for such a large facility." However, it was pointed out that the Pope amendment was not officially on the floor for debate.
Before the Wilson motion was seconded, Senator Gilkey opined that the recent attempted amendment actions illustrated the danger of writing legislation under pressure. In view of the lateness of the hour, he suggested delaying action on the resolution until the next meeting to allow time for due reflection on the right words. He reminded all of the law of unintended consequences when writing resolutions without having a chance to think about exactly what the words are. He moved to table the motion until the next meeting. The motion to table Resolution US03/04-1 until the November meeting was seconded and passed by hand vote (16 votes in the affirmative; 9 votes against; 1 abstention).
Motion US03/04-2 regarding notification of senators of intended action on OARs: Gina Psaki, romance languages. Senator Psaki moved the following motion:
Be it MOVED that:
Senator Gilkey spoke against the motion saying that the senate president is already on the Notification List and that it was Mr. Gilkey's belief that we can trust the senate president to inform the Senate Executive Committee and, if necessary, the full senate membership of any pending changes of the OARs. He said he did not see the necessity for the motion and that it was likely to produce an enormous amount of additional paperwork. He added that a mechanism already is in place by which anyone, a senator or other, may be added to the list simply by requesting it.
Mr. Stahl spoke in favor of the motion noting that notification was given this summer to the outgoing senate president after he had gone out of office, and the incoming president was not notified of these changes at the time the notification went out; therefore, as presently practiced, the senate can be left completely uninformed. It is a very simple resolution and it need involve very little paperwork. He saw no reason why the motion should not be passed.
The question was called. Motion US03/04-2 adding current senators to the OAR Notification List passed by hand vote (15 in the affirmative; 7 opposed).
President Bowditch indicated that with the lateness of the hour, the Notice of Motion on OAR 571-20 (Student Records Policy) and election of new Committee on Committees members would be carried over to the November meeting.
President Bowditch adjourned the meeting at 5:10 p.m.
Gwen Steigelman Secretary
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