Report of Senate Ad Hoc Committee on

University Committee Structure

December 1, 1999

The Senate Executive committee created a special ad hoc committee in September 1999 to study University committee structure. Committee membership was comprised of Prof. Randall McGowen (for the Committee on Committees and the University Senate), Prof. Ann Tedards (past University Senate President), David Hubin (for the Administration), and Prof. Nathan Tublitz as Convener (for the University Senate).

Our task was to evaluate current University Committee structure and, if necessary, make recommendations for change based on established principles of University governance. The following three principles of campus governance and respectful communication among all members of the University Community form the foundation for the structure of our system of shared governance and are the principles upon which we base our recommendations:

1) SHARED GOVERNANCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON INCLUDES ALL SEGMENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY. A founding principle of the University of Oregon is that of shared governance. Although the University was originally described in the 1876 Charter as being governed by the President and faculty, shared governance has evolved in this century to include all constituent groups within the University community. The underlying assumption is that all voices within the community are significant and each plays a role in campus-wide decisions.

2) THE UNIVERSITY SENATE IS THE PRIMARY DELIBERATIVE BODY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. The current framework of shared governance as set forth by the University Assembly in May 1995 designates the University Senate as the sole governing body of the University in all matters of shared governance. As such, it is the central venue for public discussion and official deliberation on University issues. Since its reformulation in 1995, it has worked closely with the Administration and has assumed an increasingly significant role in many campus decisions.

3) REGULAR COMMUNICATION AND CONSULTATION AMONG ALL CONSTITUENT GROUPS IS AN ESSENTIAL HALLMARK OF SHARED GOVERNANCE. A fundamental principle of shared governance is the agreement that decisions of community-wide importance be implemented through wide consultation with all segments of the community. By necessity, this requires the formation of small groups of community members to deliberate on specific issues and make recommendations for action. These groups, often called committees, councils, or boards, must communicate and consult regularly with both the University Senate and the Administration to ensure the proper functioning of the University. A welcomed by-product is the enhancement of collegiality and respect across campus. Both official reporting and informal communication will take various forms, depending upon the specific charge of each body and its level of confidentiality.

Our investigations revealed that current committees are divided into three categories:

A. Faculty Committees
B. Administrative Committees
C. Externally-required Committees s
We found that the current set of categories is not congruent with the above mentioned established principles, which leads to some confusion and misinterpretation of the charge and reporting of certain committees. To rectify this situation, we recommend to the University Senate and Administration that the current 3 categories of committees be redefined as follows:

A. University Standing Committees. Committees established by University Senate legislation and whose charges have broad relevance to and impact upon the general University Community. University-wide issues include but are not limited to general academic issues, the curriculum, campus governance, student and faculty affairs, International Programs, University awards, and issues affecting campus atmosphere and diversity. University Standing Committees report to the Senate and in some cases also to the Administration based on their enabling legislation.

B. Administrative Advisory Groups. Groups formed by administrators to advise the Administration about a particular area of concern. Their membership and charge are defined by the Administration in consultation with the University Senate. These groups report to the Administration. They also have an obligation to raise matters of concern to the University Senate and to keep the Senate apprised of major decisions.

C. Externally-Mandated Boards. Those required under State or Federal law or through the State Board's administrative rules to address issues of specific, non-academic concerns. Their membership and charge are defined by the Administration in consultation with the University Senate. These boards report to the Administration and will consult with the Senate on issues of campus-wide importance.

The above principles of shared governance and open communication also apply to short-lived Task Forces and ad hoc committees. Regardless of their origins, these groups are required to report to the Senate on issues of general importance to the University community.

Using the 3 principles described above as a foundation, we plan to evaluate all campus committees and, through consultation with current committee chairs and administrators, make recommendations for re-structuring and placement within the newly-defined categories.


A) Faculty Committees

1. Academic Requirements *
2. Committee on Courses *
3. Distinguished Service Awards
     and Honorary Degrees *
4. Distinguished Teaching Awards *
5. Faculty Advisory Council (E)
6. Faculty Personnel (E)
7. Foreign Studies Programs *
8. Graduate Council (E)
9. Intercollegiate Athletics (E)
10. International Affairs Committee (E)
11. International Affairs Advisory Council *
12. Johnson Memorial Award *
13. Library *
14. Museum of Art
15. ROTC Advisory *
16. Scholastic Review *
17. Status of Women *
18. Student Conduct *
19. Student Conduct Hearings Board *
20. Student-Faculty Committee on Grievances*
21. Summer Research Awards *
22. Tenure Reduction, Retirement & Emeriti *
23. Undergraduate Council (E)
24. University Appeals Board *

B) Administrative Committees

1. Campus Planning *
2. Child Care & Family Support *
3. Classified Staff Training & Development
4. Committee on Policy for Univ. Licensees
5. Disabilities Issues Administration Council
6. Diversity Committee (TBA?)
7. Educational Technology
8. Emerald Board of Directors *
9. EMU Board *
10. Environmental Issues *
11. Family Housing Board *
12. Financial Aid Appeal Board
13. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Issues *
14. Off-Campus Scholarships & Grants *
15. Officers of Administration
      Association Council
16. President's Council on Race
17. Radiation Safety
18. Safety Advisory
19. Scholarships *
20. Student Health Advisory *
21. Technology Transfer *
22. Traffic Appeals Board *

C) Externally required Committees

1. Faculty Grievance Appeal (E)
2. Institutional Animal Care and Use
3. Promotion-Tenure-Retention Appeal (E)
4. Protection of Human Subjects

Legend (E) = elected; * = some or all members chosen by the Committee on Committees 
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