Faculty Senate President-Elect Candidate
FREDERICK W. OBERMILLER
(at OSU since 1974), Professor
of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1974-present; Adjunct Professor
of Rangeland Resources, College of Agricultural Sciences, 1991-present;
OSU Honors College Faculty, 1997-present; and Adjunct Professor of
Environmental Sciences, College of Science, 2002-present.
FACULTY SENATE SERVICE: Agricultural Sciences Senator, 1999-present;
Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2002-present and 1987-91; Administrative
Appointments Committee, 1998-present (Chair 1999-02); Curriculum Council,
1997-98; Undergraduate Admissions Committee, 1986-87; Faculty Reviews
and Appeals Committee, 1983-86 (Chair 1985-86); D. Curtis Mumford
Faculty Service Award Committee, 1983; and Faculty Economic Welfare
Committee, 1977-79 (Chair 1978-79).
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES SERVICE: Student Advancement
Administrative Committee, 2001-present; Student Recruitment and
Marketing Subcommittee, 2000-03 (Chair); Awards Committee for Outstanding
International Service, 1993; Semester Conversion Committee, 1987-89;
Conference Days Awards Committee, 1984-86; and Curriculum Council,
EXTENSION SERVICE: Extension Service representative to OSU Office
of International Research and Development, 1990-91; National Public
Policy Education Committee, 1989-91; Extension Committee on Policy
(ECOP) Community Resource Development Subcommittee, 1977-79; and
OSU Extension Service Community Development Newsletter, 1976-77
OTHER UNIVERSITY SERVICE: Undergraduate Education Council,
1999-02; Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, 1994-96
(Advisory Board Member); Warm Springs Indian Reservation
Presidential Council, 1991 (Faculty Coordinator); Student
Information System Council, 1988-91; and OSU/Oregon Department
of Economic Development Task Force, 1976.
SEARCH COMMITTEES: Numerous County Extension Agent and Faculty
search committees over the past 29 years at OSU. Others include
OSU President, 2002-03; CEO for the OSU Foundation, 2002;
Dean of Distance and Continuing Education, 2001; Associate
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, 2000; and Vice Provost for
Academic Affairs, 2000.
: As my biosketch suggests, I believe
that university service is a fundamental responsibility of
faculty and staff. In my case the breadth of service coupled
with long-term appointments as an on-campus Extension specialist,
Agricultural Experiment Station researcher, and teacher at both
the undergraduate and graduate levels provides me with the
background required to effectively advocate for academic and
professional faculty, as well as our students and staff, with
university administration. That experience also brings confidence
in dealing with the Legislature and Chancellor's Office. A good
listener by nature, I integrate input well, and speak directly
and knowledgably to relevant issues.
Over the next two years, what critical issues for
faculty will be best addressed through IFS and how can you help
move those issues forward on their behalf?
Many issues and concerns are highly relevant to our faculty. Three
are highlighted below, but all, including those not mentioned here,
are worthy of faculty thought, deliberation, and proposed resolution
in the immediate future.
Finalization and implementation of "A Strategic Plan
for the 21st Century."
A good deal of time, thought, and creative energy was expended
in the development of the OSU 2007 Plan, now morphed into "A
Strategic Plan for the 21st Century." Within the next three
years we need to make substantial progress toward the
achievement of three goals: provision of outstanding academic
programs in five areas of excellence; improved teaching
environment as reflected in the success of graduates; and
enhanced funding and revenues from several sources. The
Faculty Senate must continue to play a central role in this
reorganization and development effort, and I will assure we
do play such a role. I was not directly involved in the
preparation of OSU 2007 and, given my diverse experience as
a participant in faculty governance, can be an objective
leader of our efforts to implement a plan benefiting faculty,
staff, students, and our land, sea, and space grant institution
as a whole.
Resolution of the "tenure question."
Tenure is the foundation of academic freedom. Black's Law Dictionary defines tenured
faculty as "those members of a school's teaching staff who hold their position for
life or until retirement." Economic cause may lead to dismissal of tenured faculty,
but no individual can be singled out for selective dismissal. It appears that OSU
Extension Service administration may have violated this fundamental tenet of academic
freedom in meeting recently imposed budget reductions, but perhaps not. The Faculty
Senate needs to carefully analyze the circumstances of this case, and take collective
action to insure that it sets no precedent for the future management of budgets
specifically, and faculty in general. A longer-term commitment to the investigation is
desirable either by the Promotion and Tenure Committee or another group appointed by the
Executive Committee. As a former Extension faculty member, I can provide knowledge and
leadership to such an inquiry and subsequent recommendations to administration.
Building faculty influence in the administration of our university.
Our faculty has, in my opinion, played less than a leading role
in university administration over the years, although it is evident
that Provost White and others are encouraging more active faculty
involvement in administration. The Faculty Senate President, a member
of the University Cabinet, has the opportunity to bring faculty
initiatives, concerns, and reactions to higher administration in
the appropriate forum and in a constructive manner. Because I have
served on a large number of university-level committees and related
capacities in close involvement with higher administration, I have
the experience to constructively interact with administration. I will
do so in a manner that is direct, discreet, and informed.