For All Faculty|
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 pm by President Anthony Wilcox. The April and May minutes were approved as distributed. President Wilcox thanked Thurston Doler for serving as Parliamentarian during the meeting.
Wilcox also recognized the recent retirement of Russell Dix, Associate Registrar. He expressed appreciation for Dix's work and devotion over the years, especially in connection with Commencement, and noted that the Senate and University will miss him.
- Special Report: Institutional Change - Steve Bosserman
- Committee Reports: Faculty Senate Membership Task Force; Task Force on Assessment of Teaching; and Academic Regulations Committee
- Action Items: Consideration of Degree Candidates; Category I Proposals - 1) Rename the B.S. in Industrial Engineering to the B.S. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering with Options in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering, and 2) Establishing New Academic Departments in the College of Veterinary Medicine; and Standing Rules Changes [Motion 97-531-01 through 05]
- New Business: Insurance Benefits for Domestic Partners and AR 20 [Motion 97-531-06 through 07]
Members Absent With Representation:
Akyeampong, U. Mali; Delson, L. Jodice; Kellogg, E. Olsen; Longerbeam, M. Gorski; G. Matzke, M. Matzke; Rielly, C. Rusk; Sanderson, L. Dunnington; Seville, J. Drexler; and Williamson, L. Semprini.
Members Absent Without Representation:
Burke, Cheeke, Coakley, Cowles, P. Farber, V. Farber, Farnsworth, Fletcher, Foster, Griggs, Hathaway, Hemphill, Henderson, Hu, Huyer, Ingham, Jenkins, Jones, Ladd, Leong, McAlexander, S. Miller, T. Miller, M. Mix, Moon, Olson, Pearson, Perry, Rowe, Schowalter, Tiger, Wander, Williams, L. Woods, and Wrolstad.
Faculty Senate Officers/Staff Present:
A. Wilcox, President; M. Niess, President-Elect; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Administrative Assistant.
Guests of the Senate:
B. Becker, L. Burns, T. Doler, S. Francis, K. Hardin, C. Kolbe, L. Maughan, A. Morey, J. Mosley, T. Scheuermann, S. Schreiber, G. Stephenson, N. Wendt and R. Wess.
Steve Bosserman, Institutional Change and Organizational Theory Specialist, provided a brief view of his perspective of the university. As President Wilcox noted, several workshops sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation have occurred on campus to facilitate institutional change in conjunction with Bosserman's visits.
Bosserman explained that OSU has been involved in the Interaction Project since 1994 and is one of over 25 land grant institutions participating in 13 Kelloggfunded Food Systems Professions Education (FSPE) projects. The objective is to make significant changes in institutions, and in the connective bodies of stakeholders and students, to help them position for change in the next century. Kellog's main interest is to see that there is wide-spread involvement from a number of sectors, both internally to the institution and externally. Kellogg's initial concern was that, although there was heavy involvement from faculty, there may not have been sufficient involvement from upper administration in the change process. It was at this point that Bosserman was brought to OSU to assist in integrating participation.
The workshops are focusing on how to have effective conversations, how to bring real issues to the table, how to get those people involved who are necessary to the conversation, and have the conversation lead to something that makes a difference in policies, procedures, programs, structure and funding that are the underpinnings of how the institution behaves. By the Spring of 1998, he anticipates about 700 people to be actively involved in this process of systemic change.
Bosserman explained that the scope of OSU's project is truly of note and is being closely watched nationwide because it encompasses change on a university level, whereas many other projects focus only on individual colleges. OSU has an opportunity to make a difference at a national level. He extended an invitation to all faculty to participate at whatever degree they choose.
Consideration of Degree Candidates
Barbara Balz, Registrar, recommended for approval the proposed lists of degree candidates and honors subject to final confirmation of all degree requirements. There were 3,212 students who were candidates for 3,301 degrees which included: 2,423 Bachelors, 654 Masters, and 224 Doctors. There were also 85 students who were candidates for two degrees and two students who were candidates for three degrees.
The Class of 1997, OSU's 128th graduating class, had 418 seniors who qualify for Academic Distinction and included 201 'cum laude' (gpa 3.50-3.69), 120 'magna cum laude' (gpa 3.70--3.84), and 97 'summa cum laude' (gpa 3.85 and above).
Motion 97-531-01 to approve the proposed list of degree candidates and honors passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
Task Force on Senate Membership
Sally Francis, Task Force on Senate Membership Chair, provided rationale behind the recommendations contained in the draft report which pertained to the structure and size of the Faculty Senate.
The Task Force on Senate Membership (TFSM) believes that an appropriate governance model should be collaborative in that all those with 'faculty' in their title should be represented. Francis explained that Senate membership has been broadened in the recent past and the current recommendation would expand representation to two groups already in the Senate: 1) Professional Faculty are already partially represented because No Rank faculty are being recategorized to include former Management Service personnel; and 2) Research Associates and Senior Faculty Research Assistants are already represented, so the issue is whether or not to add Faculty Research Assistants (FRA's). They recommend that these two groups of faculty be included in existing apportionment units.
The Task Force strove to maintain a balance in representation so that no single unit would become comparatively large and to maintain the current size of about 130 senators. Considering that actions of the Senate relate largely to curriculum/academics and that the new categories of faculty are typically not directly engaged in these activities, the TFSM attempted to create an apportionment basis that would somewhat ameliorate the potential dilution of the academic (teaching/curriculum) function. Five apportionment scenarios, ranging from 129-173 senators, were considered by the TFSM: 1) 130 senators based on the current apportionment ratio of 14 FTE per senator (status quo); 2) The combined FTE from scenario one plus the FTE from all FRA's and former Management Service for a total of 173 senators; 3) The combined FTE from scenario two at a ratio of 19 FTE per senator resulting in 129 senators; 4) Apportionment was based on 25% student credit hours and 75% faculty FTE for a total of 132 senators; and 5) All combined FTE was determined on a sliding scale: 16 FTE per senator up to 160 FTE and 27 FTE per senator above 160 FTE.
The Task Force will present one apportionment scenario for approval at the October Senate meeting. The purpose of several scenarios was to gather feedback to aid in formulating the final report.
The TFSM further recommended that an ad hoc transition committee be appointed to guide the implementation of these recommendations and that an educational campaign be mounted to facilitate the transition.
Francis noted that the draft report has been shared with the Faculty Senate Past President's Council, which was supportive of the recommendations, and during a faculty forum. There are also plans to meet with individual senate caucuses to discuss the recommendations.
Senator Morris, Science, questioned what consideration the TFSM gave to the importance of issues discussed by the Senate when concluding that Faculty Research Assistants should be included. He felt that most were academic issues and would not involve FRA's. Francis responded that the judgement of the TFSM was that one-half to three-quarters of Senate action items were curricular in nature. Currently excluded faculty categories serving on the TFSM expressed interest in those issues and felt they would have contributions to make in those areas. Morris was sympathetic to their desire, but asked if there were other possible ways to include them without giving them Senate representation. Francis stated that there are issues other than curricular, such as salaries, promotion and tenure guidelines, grievance procedures, etc., that the Senate makes recommendations on that would involve FRA's.
IFS Representative Esbensen questioned what guidelines the ad hoc transition committee would operate under. Francis stated there is a statement of purpose in the Faculty Senate Bylaws. She indicated that the action item presented by the TFSM will be the Bylaws change and the report will be an information item. She views the report as the rationale which supports the specific changes.
Senator Rose, Forestry, questioned whether there was anyone on the TFSM who favored removing administrators from the Senate. Francis didn't recall anyone in support of that action.
Senator Daley, Agricultural Sciences, asked if the Faculty Senate will vote on the recommendations. Francis reiterated that her understanding is that the report would not be an action item. Daley felt that adding faculty in the Senate who don't have tenure will weaken the position of the Senate with respect to supporting tenure. Francis noted that, alternately, this could strengthen the position.
President Wilcox commended the Task Force for the quality of work and careful thought put into the recommendations.
Task Force on Assessment of Teaching
Maggie Niess, Task Force on Assessment of Teaching Chair, explained that this task force has grown out of a number of avenues and noted that teaching is central to the mission of OSU if we are to provide a compelling learning experience. One of the first things the group dealt with was to differentiate between assessment and evaluation. She defined assessment of teaching as describing what is going on in the teaching act while evaluation of teaching is placing a value on teaching. The group has also discussed at length one aspect that is missing from OSU, which is support for the improvement of teaching, based on both assessment and evaluation.
She noted that the Student Assessment of Teaching Form is the only approved, unsigned document for promotion and tenure that is to be summarized.
Identified challenges and concerns include:
Since this instrument has received increasing attention over the past year, the Executive Committee charged the Assessment of Teaching Task Force with making recommendations for changes in the assessment and evaluation procedures. The charge is as follows:
omake recommendations for changes in assessment and evaluative procedures;
oevaluate and critique the efficacy of the university-wide Student Assessment of Teaching instrument and, if appropriate, propose a revision or replacement of this form;
oassess the effectiveness of the peer assessment of teaching procedures and, if appropriate, propose assessment procedure(s) that may be utilized to achieve a valid evaluation of faculty teaching effectiveness by peers; and
orecommend processes for both student assessment of teaching and peer assessment of teaching that consider recommendations for working with faculty to improve their teaching.
- New Promotion and Tenure Guidelines place a new emphasis on teaching and require a determination of effective teaching.
- Change of instructional modes and techniques isn't reflected on the current Student Assessment of Teaching instrument, making it very ineffective.
- Guidelines for peer assessment and teaching portfolios are not consistent across units.
- The apparent lack of assistance for improvement of teaching.
Niess explained that, in the selection of task force members, the intent was to keep the group small enough to be workable. People were approached, or volunteered, who had an interest in this issue. Focus groups and several university and Faculty Senate committees will work with the task force. She noted that academic deans are supportive of this task force and are working with their units to identify focus groups. The task force will work over the summer, they will develop a set of recommendations in the fall and final recommendations are due to the Executive Committee in December.
Senator Gamble, Science, questioned where the task force emphasis will be. Niess responded that the emphasis will be on teaching, but they have also discussed the need to recognize the student's role and responsibility in the process. She also noted that the student's would like an ASOSU focus group.
Academic Regulations Committee
Nancy Wendt, Academic Regulations Committee Chair, provided follow-up to questions posed during the April Faculty Senate meeting.
Wendt reminded Senators that the concern expressed was that a student could receive an 'F' in a course due to academic dishonesty and then intentionally repeat the course and receive a new grade. She explained that there are currently procedures to follow, outlined in Academic Regulation 15, regarding academic dishonesty. Providing that faculty use these procedures, the student will not be allowed to have a second grade replace the 'F' received in connection with academic dishonesty. She indicated that there is a form from the Dean of Students Office, that must be completed by the faculty member in these cases. She described the procedures to follow: 1) the faculty member documents the particular incident on the form; 2) the student is permitted to provide an explanation to the charge; 3) the student is advised of the penalties; and 4) the faculty member indicates the type of penalty.
Wendt discussed this issue with Bill Oye from the Dean of Students Office and he indicated that what is likely currently happening is that a student is being penalized on a single assignment for academic dishonesty and no paperwork is being filed. In these cases, the student could continue to commit acts of academic dishonesty and no one would know that a pattern is emerging since no paperwork is being submitted. Wendt emphasized that, even if the penalty only pertains to one assignment rather than the entire course, the proper paperwork still needs to be submitted. Since repeat courses are processed by hand, a report will be made to the Registrars Office once a term to indicate when there is a situation of a student receiving an 'F' due to academic dishonesty and the student will not be allowed to replace the grade.
In response to a question from Senator Gamble, Wendt indicated that the second grade will appear on the transcript, but will not count in the GPA.
The second concern she researched dealt with why the cumulative GPA does not include work from other institutions. She indicated that this decision was a result of a 1993 Senate action. Concerns voiced at the time centered around grades from other institutions and whether or not there was grade inflation and differing standards at other institutions. The Senate felt that separating the two was a more accurate representation of a students' education.
Senator Gamble stated that graduate students are accepted from all over the world and the Graduate School assesses their transcripts. He feels that the policy is ridiculous.
Senator Hale, Liberal Arts, asked if further discussion had been given to the AR 20 policy which would allow a student to enroll in a class with S/U grading, not attend the class, and upgrade the 'F', thereby changing the GPA (since S/U does not count toward GPA). Wendt responded that this would be possible, but it would show on their transcript that they had failed a class twice.
Senator Thies, Science, felt that the intention was to replace the grade with a letter grade and hoped that, before fall, the AR could be changed to state that intent.
Cheryl Kolbe, Academic Requirements Committee Chair, stated that the opportunity has been opened up to allow students to buy out of suspension. She suggested that AR 20 be changed to state that a letter grade cannot be replaced by an S/U grade. [See New Business]
REPORTS FROM THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
- Faculty Senate Elections - Ken Krane, Bylaws and Nominations Chair, is accepting recommendations for President-elect, Executive Committee members, and IFS representative. Nominations are due October 9.
- Faculty Senate Committee/Council Chair Meeting - October 16 from 3:00-5:00 in MU 207.
President Wilcox reported on the following item:
A recent OSU THIS WEEK article indicated that the Executive Committee (EC) had approved the Information Services budget plan when, in fact, the EC has received the plan and will provide input within the next few weeks after review by the Library, Budgets and Fiscal Planning and Instructional Development and Technology Committees. Curt Pederson, Associate Provost for Information Services, will report to the Senate in November.
Category I Proposals
Bob Burton, Curriculum Council Chair, presented two Category I proposals. The first was an abbreviated proposal to Rename the B.S. in Industrial Engineering to the B.S. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering with Options in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering. Burton reported that the Curriculum Council unanimously approved the proposal, which more accurately describes the degree.
Motion 97-531-02 to approve the above Category I passed by voice vote with no discussion and no dissenting votes.
Burton indicated that the second proposal to Establish New Academic Departments in the College of Veterinary Medicine is an administrative adjustment that will have no budget or curricular impact. This proposal, which also received unanimous approval from the Curriculum Council, would create the departments of Biomedical Sciences and Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Motion 97-531-03 to establish two departments in the College of Veterinary Medicine passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
Standing Rules Changes
Laurel Maughan, Committee on Committees Chair, presented proposed standing rules changes for the following committees: Academic Requirements Committee, Graduate Council, and Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee. Proposed additions are indicated by shaded areas and proposed deletions are indicated by strike-throughs.
Proposed changes to the Academic Requirements Committee dealt with committee members:
The Committee consists of seven Faculty faculty members, at least two of whom shall be male and two female, and at least two of whom shall be graduate faculty; and three Student student members, at least one of whom shall be a graduate student and one an undergraduate student; and the Registrar (or representative), ex-officio, non-voting.
Maughan explained that the Academic Requirements Committee felt that, due to the nature of the committee,there was a need to designate male and female faculty members.
Senator Oriard, Liberal Arts, questioned why gender was an issue. Cheryl Kolbe, Academic Requirements Committee Chair, explained that the committee frequently deals with issues such as rape, sexual abuse, stalking, etc. which creates the need for an exception to academic regulations. These situations make it extremely difficult for students to talk about the incident with faculty of a particular gender. It is also difficult for the student to write on the appeal what the particular problem is for fear that it may become public, so for the sake of the student, it is in their best interest to have a faculty member of whichever gender they are most comfortable talking with.
Senator Cornell, Liberal Arts, questioned the procedure of a student approaching a faculty member. Kolbe explained that the student first contacts the Registrars Office. If they clearly cannot talk with the Registrars staff, they are referred to a committee member. Cornell asked if there would be any value in requiring gender balance in the student members. Kolbe responded negatively and stated that it is not the role of student members to visit with the affected student.
Senator Hansen, Student Affairs, questioned whether it wouldn't be more appropriate to have an advocate for the student. He suggested that there be advocates based on cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, etc., based on the particular scenario. Kolbe indicated that no one is in the role of an advocate, the student is simply presenting information which the committee is evaluating and determining exceptions to the regulation. Hansen questioned why the recommendation stops at gender. Kolbe responded that the intent is to create a comfortable situation for students. Hansen felt that creating a comfortable situation for the student could be expanded to other distinctions outside of gender.
Senator Lee, Associated, felt that if sensitivity to gender is being considered, then equal sensitivity for ethnic issues and other kinds of similarities and differences must be considered. She didn't feel that gender was more important than race or sexual orientation. Kolbe didn't disagree that these issues occur, but the recommendation was made on the basis of talking with several rape victims. Kolbe also stated that if they tried to represent every possible group, the committee could not be filled.
President Wilcox referred to the preamble to the Faculty Senate committees and councils concerning selection with regard to the operating principles used when making appointments. The objective is to establish broad representation in the areas of faculty status, ethnicity, gender, etc., on each committee or council.
Senator Daley felt that if a student has experienced a trauma and has certification, the case should be approved. Kolbe noted that not all students seek professional help and each case must be judged individually.
Senator Balz, Associated, stated that the Registrars Office will begin taking a different approach to these cases. She stated that staff will be crosstrained at all levels and will be able to work with all students in all areas. All three of the top administrators in her office will see students on a regular basis. The primary liaison with the Academic Requirements Committee will be the Assistant Registrar, who is a hispanic male. The backup person is a white female.
Senator Oye, Student Affairs, spoke in support of reiterating the guiding principle Wilcox referred to or striking the gender designation.
Senator Oriard moved to postpone this recommendation indefinitely and allow the committees to reconsider and determine if there is some way to have a mediator from Student Affairs, or some appropriate unit. Motion was seconded.
Senator Frank, Liberal Arts, questioned whether a report will come back if the motion passes. Parliamentarian Doler advised him to make no assumptions about anything coming back from the committee.
Motion 97-531-03 to indefinitely postpone this recommendation passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
In presenting the following proposed changes to the Graduate Council, Maughan explained that the changes clarify: 1) what the committee actually does; 2) the fact that there are some interdisciplinary graduate programs that account for the deletion of 'departments' and the addition of 'academic units'; and 3) also clarifies committee membership.
The Graduate Council has jurisdiction over the policies, and procedures, and requirements of graduate work education. The Council establishes and reviews admission standards, basic degree requirements, and general policies; approves all graduate faculty members, new programs, and courses; and periodically reviews all existing graduate programs. The actual formulation creation, design, and specific requirements of departmental graduate programs and the development and direction of the programs of individual students student's programs are the responsibilities of the departments academic units; however, no department academic unit has authority to waive or supersede the general rules policies of the Graduate Council.
The Council consists of one graduate Faculty faculty member representing from each College and School, appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and a graduate student representative selected by the Graduate Student Association. The Chair shall be a faculty member with immediate prior experience on the Council., appointed annually by the Executive Committee. The Dean/Administrator and Associate Dean of the Graduate School and the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee shall be a exofficio, non-voting members., the Associate and/or Assistant Dean(s) shall be Ex-Officio, non-voting member(s), and the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee shall be a liaison member, non-voting, on the Graduate Council.
There was no discussion on the proposed changes. Motion 97-531-04 to approve the proposed changes to the Graduate Council passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
The next proposal presented by Maughan reflected the formation of a new committee by merging the existing Faculty Economic Welfare Committee and the Retirement Committee.
FACULTY ECONOMIC WELFARE AND
The Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee formulates statements of policy and advises on matters of salaries, deferred compensation and Tax Deferred Annuity programs, retirement programs, retirement benefits, insurance, and other programs which affect the economic benefits of both active and retired faculty. It shall make information related to retirement and retirement options available to the faculty. When appropriate, recommendations and findings are made to the Faculty Senate. The Committee shall also formulate recommendations to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for possible submission to the Legislature for amendments to the retirement system.
The Committee consists of nine members; two or three shall be retired faculty. In addition, the OSU Staff Benefits Manager shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member.
Motion 97-531-05 to approve the Standing Rules for the Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
OSU Award for Excellence in Service
A proposal for an OSU Award for Excellence in Service was included in the agenda as an action item. However, since funding for the award was not been identified prior
to the meeting, it was not considered at the request of the Faculty Recognition and Awards Chair, Jon Olson.
Annual Reports - Annual reports from each Faculty Senate committee/council chair are due July 15 and will be published in the October agenda.
Reports from the Provost
Provost Arnold reported on the following items:
- Commented that the recent Student Awards event is always one of the most inspirational occurrences on campus.
- Project InterAction - In response to many queries, he noted that the project explained earlier by Steve Bosserman is supported by the administration and he encouraged participation by all who wish to do so.
- Searches - Vice Provost for Research candidate, Dr. Kathy Olson, will return in June for an additional visit; the agenda will be totally determined by her to allow her to learn more about OSU and the community.
Candidate names for the Vice President for University Advancement have been received from the search firm. The list will be reviewed and a determination made whether to bring one or more candidates to campus.
The search committee has been appointed for the Dean of Engineering position.
The intent is to conduct a search for the position of Associate Provost for Information Services after July 1. However, arrangements for interim leadership must be made.
- Budget - OSU still has incomplete information concerning the 1997-98 budget. Administration is looking at a university-wide perspective rather than unit by unit which will result in the current year budget with the addition of available roll-ups and possible add-back adjustments. Still on the table for consideration are such issues as: faculty compensation, the engineering initiative, access, and technology.
The second adjustment concerns enrollment. He reminded Senators that OSU experienced a $2.5 million current year adjustment in the budget since we were below the enrollment targets. The next step in considering the budget will be a meeting with department heads and chairs to review the budget situation, discuss implementation of the budget, and to focus on the university-wide approach in the considerations. A series of approaches will be used to prepare for the adjustment due to smaller enrollments: 1) identify dollars in the budget that can be redirected in 1997--98; 2) continuation of philosophy of investment in probable areas of future revenues (recruitment/retention/marketing); and 3) a philosophy of looking at all opportunities to do things differently.
Two longer-term budget considerations are: 1) The Chancellor's Office intends to change their practice of establishing enrollment targets from a biennial basis to an annual basis. 2) OSU's enrollment corridor may change and it may be an advantage to have a smaller corridor.
Provost Arnold stated that program elimination is not a consideration.
Senator Rose, Forestry, questioned the need for an Associate Provost for Information Services. Arnold responded that the position was created during the Administrative Review process in response to the University Computing Steering Committee's determination that restructuring and focused leadership was needed for Information Services. As a result, University Computing, the Library, Communication Media Center, and Telecommunications were brought together under the leadership of one individual. A team approach has been created to integrate functions and activities within Information Services. It is also necessary to have someone represent OSU on a system, state-wide and national basis regarding internet issues to ensure that OSU is a player.
Resolution on Insurance Benefits for
President Wilcox explained that the Executive Committee has sent forward an item of new business in the form of a resolution regarding insurance benefits for domestic partners.
WE, THE FACULTY SENATE OF OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, HEREBY RESOLVE that Oregon State University seek to provide employment insurance benefits to the domestic partners and children of University employees in domestic partner relationships in the same fashion as is provided for married employees, and we respectfully request that the University president and vice president for finance and administration actively pursue and advocate for the timely extension of such employment insurance benefits with all public entities having jurisdiction in this matter including, but not necessarily limited to, the State Employees Benefits Board (SEBB), the Bargaining Unit Benefits Board (-BUBB), the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE), other public universities and colleges in Oregon, and the Oregon Legislative Assembly.
He explained that this issue is a recent development as a result of a meeting between the Chancellor and OSU and U of O faculty. Chancellor Cox voiced his support for the proposal that insurance benefits be extended to domestic partners and recommended taking it up on a university by university basis and promised to advance the issue to the Executive Committee of the Board of Higher Education. Wilcox also noted that on July 1 the merger between SEBB and BUBB will begin. A ruling by the Attorney General is necessary to extend the eligibility definitions to include domestic partners since neither SEBB nor BUBB has legal authority to do so. OPEU passed a resolution statewide favoring domestic partner benefits and negotiated that the principle of nondiscrimination be applied in the contract terms. OSSHE OPEU employees are separately negotiating this issue. In the near future, BUBB will submit their plan to the Attorney General to extend benefits to domestic partners. This presents an opportunity to communicate the view of the Faculty Senate on domestic partner benefits. The proposed resolution is a modification of one passed by the U of O University Senate in April. IFS will discuss this issue at their June meeting. Wilcox noted that OSU currently supports domestic partner benefits where it has the authority to do so, i.e., library privileges, use of facilities, reduced admission charges for athletic events, etc. It's estimated that over 500 employers have the policy, as well as numerous municipalities and counties. Benton County has found no cost increase associated with insurance coverage. The City of Portland has had the policy in effect since 1994 and of the approximately 4,500 benefit eligible employees, only 30-40 (less than 1%) have signed up, which is very consistent with both business and municipality settings. The increase in medical claims has been reported to be less than 1%.
In response to Senator Gamble asking who initiated this action, Wilcox stated that faculty went to the Chancellor and asked for his support.
Senator Hale questioned the cost of implementation and expressed concern of not knowing the actual cost and whether it is feasible to do. Wilcox responded that Benton County's experience reflected that the increased expenditure individually was not affected by the increase in extension of benefits, but reflected only the annual rise of insurance costs.
Provost Arnold explained that it would change the allocation of the individual employee's benefits, but would not affect the dollar amount received per employee.
Senator Plant, Engineering, indicated that his colleagues were split 50/50 on the issue. He also was concerned that there was not enough time to properly consider the motion.
Motion 97-531-06 to approve the resolution passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.
Academic Regulation 20
Senator Thies moved that the following be added to the end of AR 20; motion was seconded:
A student receiving an A-F grade can only replace such a grade in the gpa calculation with another A-F grade (not with an S/U grade).
Motion 97-531-07 passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:47 PM.
Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant