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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » Minutes » 1998 Minutes » June 15, 1998

Faculty Senate Minutes

1998 No. 540
June 15, 1998

For All Faculty
A special meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on June 15, 1998, at 3:00 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Maggie Niess.

Meeting Summary
– Action Items: Resolution to declare the President-Elect position vacant; Special election procedures; and Slate of Nominees [Motion 98–540–01 through 06]
– New Business: Motion to condemn harassing actions and encourage free and open debate [Motion 98–540–05 through 07]

Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
Campbell, H. Sayre; Candolfi, R. William; Hoogesteger, E. Hansen; Isensee, P. Brown; Lundy, C. Bell; Moon, C. Sproul; Oriard, D. Hart; Peters, E. Gonzales-Berry; Sandstrom, D. Denning; Tate, K. Krane; and Tiedeman, D. Plaza

Members Absent Without Representation:
Biwan, Bontrager, Breen, Brodie, Budd, Carson, Caspers, Chambers, Champeau, Cheeke, Cornell, Cowles, Crateau, deGeus, DeKock, Elwood, P. Farber, V. Farber, Farnsworth, K. Field, Fisk, Gamroth, Green, Gregerson, Hale, Hathaway, Heidel, Hemphill, Henderson, Hooker, Huber, Huyer, Jepson, Jones, Kerkvliet, Lajtha, Levine, Locke, Lowrie, McDaniel, McEwan, Nelson, Neumann, Plant, Randhawa, Reed, Righetti, Rossignol, Schowalter, Shor, Sorte, Thies, Williams, Winograd, Yamada, and Yim

Faculty Senate Officers/Staff Present:
M. Niess, President; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Administrative Assistant

Guests of the Senate:
B. Brose, S. Butler, J. Estimada, T. Finch, S. Francis, A. Helle, J. Hendricks, B. Wilkins, and L. Wood


Resolution to Declare the President-Elect Position Vacant

President Niess reported that she had received a letter from Robin Rose resigning his position as President-Elect, effective June 9, 1998.

She stated that the Bylaws are clear that a vacancy in the position must be filled by an election of the entire faculty; there are no provisions for succession. The Senate must approve the following items prior to an election:

1) The position must be declared vacant.
2) Special election procedures must be identified.
3) A slate of nominees must be presented at a Senate meeting, with the opportunity for additional nominations from the floor.

Niess noted that the duties of the President-Elect are extensive during the summer with the planning of University Day and the absence of a person in this position would clearly jeopardize the work of the Senate. In addition, there is no allowance in the Bylaws with respect to succession to the position of President-Elect. For these reasons, the Executive Committee (EC) voted to call this special meeting. and the absence of a person in this position would clearly jeopardize the work of the Senate. In addition, there is no allowance in the Bylaws with respect to succession to the position of President-Elect. For these reasons, the Executive Committee (EC) voted to call this special meeting.


Whereas Article VI, Section 4 requires the Faculty Senate to declare a resigned position vacant, therefore,
Be it resolved that the OSU Faculty Senate declares the position of President-Elect vacant.

Senator Daley, Agricultural Sciences, felt this was a terrible thing to happen. Rather than vote on the outlined procedure, he suggested that the Senate vote on whether or not to accept Robin Rose's resignation. Niess explained that, under the Bylaws, it is not up to the body to accept or reject the resignation. Daley insisted the Senate had to vote to accept or reject the resignation since it goes against freedom of speech, it will hurt equal opportunity and look bad in the press. Niess conferred with the Parliamentarian and reported that it was her understanding that we cannot suspend the Bylaws since they do not allow us to reject the resignation. Daley argued that freedom of speech is paramount and a solution must be found.

Senator Foster, Liberal Arts, urged Senators to separate two issues: 1) The circumstances under which Rose resigned, which Foster found unfortunate at least and despicable at worst. He acknowledged that the circumstances probably impinge on Rose's constitutional freedom of speech.
2) The issue before the body today is to deal with the situation where there currently is not a Senate President- Elect.

Parliamentarian Iltis stated that the Bylaws are clear in that when someone resigns, the President accepts the resignation and the Senate declares a vacancy. He also indicated that the Senate could choose to not declare a vacancy, but would need to determine an alternate course of action.

Senator Mallory-Smith, Agricultural Sciences, supported Senator Daley's position.

Niess assured the Senate it was clear to her that the only option she had was to accept his resignation. She welcomed any Senator to go to the Senate Office to read Rose's letter of resignation.

Upon the request of Senator Daley, Parliamentarian Iltis indicated the following options for voting: postpone, lay on the table, or defeat the motion to declare the position vacant.

Senator Daley called for the question, which was seconded. Motion 98-540-02 to close debate was approved by voice vote with one dissenting vote.

The main motion (motion 98-540-01), consisting of the resolution, was approved by voice vote with dissenting votes. The position was declared vacant.

President Niess read the proposed election procedures, which constituted a motion for approval: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 4, the OSU Faculty Senate adopts the following procedures for a special election: a) The election will commence immediately after approval of a special election; ballots will be due in the Faculty Senate Office no later than 5:00 PM July 17; results will be announced July 20.
b) Official current University personnel statistics will be the basis for determining voting eligibility.
c) The Bylaws and Nominations Committee will present nominees for the position of President-Elect.
d) Nominations will be accepted from the floor.

A suggestion was made from the floor that, perhaps someone could be appointed to assume the duties until September when an election could be held. Niess stated that the motion could be amended, but cautioned that a volunteer would be assuming the duties of the President-Elect. Parliamentarian Iltis read Article V, Section 2 which states "All faculty...shall be eligible to vote in the nomination and election of Senate Officers." He noted it is the right of every faculty member to choose the President-Elect and it is clearly not the right of anyone to impose their will and have a stand-in for this office.

Motion 98-540-03 to approve the proposed election procedures passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.

Niess explained that, in preparation for this meeting, the EC asked the Bylaws and Nominations Committee to prepare a slate of nominees for the vacated position. Niess noted that nominations would be accepted from the floor after the slate was read, but nominees must have given prior consent to be nominated. Senator Daley objected to the requirement of receiving prior consent. President Niess stated that this requirement was clearly stated in the agenda sent to Senators on June 11. Parliamentarian Iltis interjected that the Bylaws had been followed in the preparation of a special meeting, which only requires a 24-hour notice. He noted that the reason for the expediency stemmed from the fact that, according to the Bylaws, after June 15 the EC had the power to act on behalf of the entire Senate. The EC felt it was better to have this democratic body take up its right to engage the nomination process rather than have the EC determine the process. Senator Daley viewed this process as indecent haste and felt that the EC took a stronger role than is appropriate, regardless of the Bylaws; he felt this was completely wrong. Niess indicated that these very issues are on the agenda for the next EC meeting and she has requested the Bylaws and Nominations Committee review the Bylaws.

Ken Krane, Bylaws and Nominations Chair, presented a slate of two candidates: Henry Sayre, Professor of Art and Kenneth Williamson, Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. President Niess stated that both nominees have agreed to stand for election and called for nominations from the floor.

In response to Senator Daley nominating Robin Rose, President Niess called that nomination out of order. She explained that the Bylaws specify that any officer who has served more than four months is ineligible to serve during a two-year period.

Senator Matzke, Science, nominated Larry Daley from the floor; Daley accepted the nomination which was second ed.

Senator Lunch moved to close the nominations, which was seconded. Motion 98-540-04 to close nominations for the position of President-Elect passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.

President Niess will appoint a ballot counting committee consisting of four faculty. Ken Krane and Tony Wilcox have been appointed, but she invited two others to volunteer.


Senator Seville, Business, moved that the Faculty Senate condemn the harassing actions directed at Robin Rose in response to his expression of his opinion and that the Faculty Senate go on record as encouraging free and open debate of issues on campus; motion was seconded.

Senator Warner, Liberal Arts, felt that those were two very separate issues and suggested that they be dealt with separately.

Senator Rosenberger, Liberal Arts, noted she saw the public part of the debate and felt that should be occurring on a college campus. She acknowledged there may have been other things impugning character, but there would need to be clear evidence prior to action on this motion.

In response to Senator Burton's comment that unlawful harassment should be investigated, Niess assured the Senate that Rose was encouraged to notify authorities.

Senator Coblentz, Agricultural Sciences, was bothered by everything about this situation. He noted there was a lot of impugning of various people, both by Rose and by those unfairly impugning him. He felt that the situation was being extended by now wanting to condemn those who condemned him.

Senator Coakley, Science, felt that the second part of the motion has real merit and that the Senate has supported this position in the past. Niess indicated it is possible to divide a motion. Senator Gardner moved to divide the motion to read: I move that the Faculty Senate go on record as encouraging free and open debate of issues on campus; motion was seconded. Motion 98-540-05 to divide the question passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

The first motion, as printed below, was then opened for discussion.

The Faculty Senate condemn the harassing actions directed at Robin Rose in response to his expression of his opinion.

Senator Matzke felt this motion should be defeated until evidence is presented.

Senator Lee, Science, moved to table this motion; motion was seconded. Senator Graham, Business, questioned what this motion meant. Niess explained that it would need to be removed from the table by a Senator no later than the December meeting. Motion 98-540-06 to table the first part of the divided motion condemning harassing actions passed by a show of hands with 43 in favor and 31 opposed.

Motion 98-540-07 to pass the second part of the motion regarding free and open debate of issues passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

President Niess expressed appreciation to all Senators for taking the time to deal with this situation.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted:

Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant