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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » January 11, 2001

Faculty Senate Minutes

2001 No. 562
January 11, 2001
 

For All Faculty

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on January 11, 2001, at 3:00 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Gordon Matzke. There were no corrections to the minutes of December 2000.


Meeting Summary

– Action Items: Install Elected Officials
– Discussion Item: OSU Focus Areas for Research and Scholarship and Graduate Admissions Task Force
– Committee Report: Administrative Appointments Committee – Sense of the Senate: Semester Conversion
– New Business: None


Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
Plaza, R. Thompson.

Members Absent Without Representation:
Ahearn, Bliss, Braker, Bruce, Burt, Burton, Cloughesy, Coakley, Collier, Cook, Daniels, De Carolis, Downing, Esbensen, Gomez, Gregory, Hamm, Helle, Horne, M. Huber, W. Huber, Jones, King, John Lee, Merickel, Mosley, Mundt, Oye, Plant, Reyes, Rielly, Sanchez, Schwab, Stang, Strik, Trehu, and Witters.

Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-Officios and Staff Present:
H. Sayre, President; G. Matzke, Immediate Past President; T. White, Ex-Officio; T. Goodnow, Parliamentarian Pro-Tem; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Staff.

Guests of the Senate:
T. Hayes, B. Lunch, N. Rosenberger, M. Sandlin, and K. Williamson.


ACTION ITEM

Install Elected Officials

In his final address as Faculty Senate President, Gordon Matzke remarked that there are many issues that Senators should be raising to the attention of administration. As an example, after serving for two years on the Athletics Advisory Board, he feels that Athletics is now a well-run program, but reminded Senators that this is not always the case and they should be vigilant in this and other areas. He is concerned about a de-emphasis on international activities and encouraged Senators to ensure that this continues to be an important component of the university in the future, or OSU will not be top tier. He then turned to Provost White, and presented him with ‘money’ circulated during the last election which was imprinted with ‘This note represents insufficient funds in my family budget’ as a way of encouraging the university to be watchful regarding salary issues. To President-Elect Sayre, he presented a notebook he had recently emptied that had contained semester conversion materials because he felt that he would never need that information again. Since the semester conversion issue is again being discussed, he cautioned Sayre to never get so far in front of the faculty on issues that they can't support your stand. He also reminded the Provost of the ongoing need to appoint a Professional Faculty Issue Group and address their concerns.

President Matzke then declared Henry Sayre installed as the Faculty Senate President. Sayre presented Matzke with a Myrtlewood plaque on behalf of the Senate that contained a quote summarizing his time in office:

Gordon Matzke
Oregon State University
Faculty Senate President
2000
Given in appreciation for his leadership
and dedicated service to the faculty of
Oregon State University.
"Hurry up, please, it's time!" – T.S. Eliot

Sayre then installed Executive Committee members Dan Arp, Paul Doescher and Mary Prucha. Newly elected Senators were asked to stand and were declared installed: Agricultural Sciences – Peter Bottomley, Laurel Busse, Neil Christensen, Herb Huddleston, Judith Li, Christopher Mundt, John Selker, Bruce Sorte, and Bruce Weber; Associated – Barbara Balz, Beth Barker, Gigi Bruce, Sandie Franklin, David Shaw and Carol Spinney; Business – Ray Brooks; Engineering – Susan Ellinwood, Wayne Huber, Jan Mosley, Pete Nelson, Jose Reyes, and Alan Wallace; Extension – ; Forestry – Debbie Bird and Greg Filip; Health & Human Performance – Charley Fisher and Rod Harter; Home Economics and Education – Sally Bowman and Karin Hardin; Information Services – Loretta Rielly; Liberal Arts – Kerry Ahearn, Natalie Dollar, Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, Heidi Brayman Hackel, Anita Helle, Juan Trujillo and Gregg Walker; Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences – Irma Delson and Scott Pegau; Science – Don Armstrong, Bill Bogley, Robert Burton, Stella Coakley, Dianne Erickson, Mary Flahive, Henri Jansen, Julia Jones, George Pearson and Bob Smythe; Student Affairs – Allison Davis-White Eyes, Kristie Deschesne and Rebecca Sanderson; and Veterinary Medicine – Michael Huber. The President-Elect and IFS Senator were not installed since the balloting for that election has not yet been concluded.


DISCUSSION ITEMS

Graduate Admissions Task Force

John Westall, Graduate Admissions Task Force Chair, discussed the re-engineering of graduate admissions at OSU. He noted that the task force resulted from the 1999 review of the Graduate School and was commissioned jointly by the Graduate School and the Office of Admissions.

The charge is to analyze graduate admissions practices with respect to efficiency and effectiveness in making academic units meet their recruitment goals; identify campus concerns; and provide specific recommendations regarding re-engineering the graduate admissions process at OSU with the goals of increasing efficiency for applicants, academic units and university administration and increasing the effectiveness of academic units in meeting their recruitment goals. He noted that the charge does not include reviewing the goals that units set for themselves nor marketing strategies. The real goal is to provide a graduate admissions procedure that gives OSU an advantage of attracting top-tier graduate students.

Members of the task force include: Chris Bell, Irma Delson, Maggie Niess, Bruce Rettig, Valerie Rosenberg, Michele Sandlin, and Andy Young.

The task force expects to present their recommendations on March 1, 2001 with a tentative implementation date of October 2001.

The following have been identified as the most significant problems in the current process:
1) Diversity of departments dictates that individual units should have separate admission procedures, but efficiency and central processing dictates that one standard process be used.
2) Delays in processing applications during the peak season (January-March).
3) Delays in the appeal process.
4) Materials lost, misplaced or marooned between the Admissions Office, Graduate School, and departments.
5) Candidates receive incomplete or conflicting information and must deal with more than one entity.
6) Applications received without a fee - in particular, international applications.

The task force has developed both guidelines to be used during the review of the process and questions for departments and students. This information was outlined in a handout distributed at the Senate meeting.

Senator Landau, Science, questioned if the task force has considered whether the application fee should go to the department. Westall responded that they feel that an increase or decrease in workload centrally should have a corresponding funding increase or decrease. He speculated that the possibility of additional funding for central services might be greater than for departments.

Senator Doescher, Agricultural Sciences, referred to the gpa standard and noted that some students don't have gpa's. Maggie Niess, Graduate Admissions Committee Chair, responded that the committee doesn't feel it is their responsibility to read the transcripts and suggested that perhaps it should be the responsibility of the departments.

In response to Senator Thies, Science, mentioning provisional admits, Niess stated that if departments would apply a provisional admit and monitor the student, the committee could avoid a conditional admit.

In closing, Westall noted that some questions yet to be answered include how much authority should be moved to the departments and how much responsibility do the departments want to assume.


OSU Focus Areas for Research and Scholarship

Toby Hayes, Vice Provost of Research, discussed the five major fund-raising areas and how they were arrived at. He noted that fund-raising initiatives are generally determined by the University Development Council and passed to the OSU Foundation.

The following five areas have been identified (although the Faculty Senate Executive Committee informed him that this is not how most faculty perceive the campus priorities): high tech and engineering; natural resources and the environment; health; education and training; and arts, humanities and science. He felt that the identified areas covered most of the university. He noted that, although untrue, the health priority has been deemed by some to mean that there is some sort of favoritism being exerted by Provost White and Hayes since their background is in health related areas. While in the process of transitioning to the new model to identify target areas, departments were asked for ideas regarding fund-raising.

Hayes felt that real progress has been made in the area of communication between central administration and deans, although more work in the area of communication is needed with the faculty-at-large.

It has been announced that Hayes will soon be leaving his position and he expressed thanks at the enormous amount he has learned in his current position.

In response to Senator Landau questioning who sits on the University Development Council, Hayes indicated that the group includes Vice President for University Advancement Orcilia Zuniga-Forbes, Deans Kay Schaffer and Ron Adams, Provost White, OSU Foundation President Becky Cole, Vice President for Finance and Administration Rob Specter, President Risser, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. and Hayes. Landau expressed the need for more faculty input in the decision process.

Immediate Past Senate President Matzke questioned whether the group considered the use of particular words or phrases being used, such as tier-one initiative, which is not respective of particular colleges. Hayes responded that the process was not thoughtful or inclusive, it was simply a matter of organizing a peer review process.

Senator Pegau, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, expressed concern that some colleges have been shut out of general fund-raising issues and asked Hayes to identify how the colleges were represented. Hayes responded that representation occurs 1) in the fund-raising proposals submitted - the vision and funding opportunities presented, and 2) through increased communication between the deans and President's Cabinet during monthly joint meetings.

Senator Tolar Burton, Liberal Arts, felt there was a profound sense of loss in certain fund-raising areas due to restrictions affecting what individual departments can do in the fund-raising area and how the departments can interact with potential donors in the community. She suggested that the University Development Council determine what the cost has been to departments in the transition to the new fund-raising model. Hayes felt this was a good suggestion.

In response to Senator Westall questioning whether the identified areas could be applied to several colleges, Hayes responded that the five areas were not college specific. The titles were meant to span across colleges and be more broadly focused.

Senator Shaw, Liberal Arts, noted the inability to be responsive to items that did not make the identified short list and expressed the need for ways to address opportunities as they arise. Hayes agreed that the process should be more responsive, but recognized the need for a balance between entrepreneurial activities and organization. He admitted that some of the entrepreneurial engagement has been lost in the process, and a way needs to be identified to regain that ability while still being efficient to the university.

Ken Williamson, Engineering, felt that the process was extremely hierarchical and no one has trust in that type of system. Hayes addressed an additional difficulty involving timing of requests since the priorities are determined in November and there needs to be a way to respond to opportunities mid-cycle.

Senator Tesch, Forestry, felt there were also problems with the RFP process that need to be addressed. Hayes responded that they are trying to do the very best and create new parameters, but acknowledged that the process could be streamlined so that faculty aren't required to participate in useless activity.

Senator Landau commented that the council perhaps has an impossible job determining which areas are marketable that may be quite different from areas which actually have the potential for raising funds. Hayes acknowledged that direct input from faculty is missing. He also mentioned that priorities are determined, in part, by units that have a plan and are ready for implementation.


COMMITTEE REPORT

Administrative Appointments Committee

Fred Obermiller, Administrative Appointments Committee chair, reported on the purpose of the committee and which searches are in progress.

He explained that the primary purpose of the committee is to represent faculty interests on selected administrative searches, which has resulted in the committee being very active this year.

Searches are currently progressing for the following positions: Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; the Deans of Business, Health and Human Performance, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Science, Veterinary Medicine and the Graduate School; and the Vice Provost for Research.

Obermiller reported that more responsibility is being given to Gigi Bruce in Academic Affairs to administer searches.

Obermiller suggested that, if OSU continues to have numerous high level searches, the committee composition should be increased to at least 12 and select only those who actually have the time to serve since it is an extremely time-consuming process.


SENSE OF THE SENATE

Semester Conversion

President Sayre explained that semester conversion is being discussed within OUS and will be discussed during the February Interinstitutional Faculty Senate meeting. This was an opportunity for OSU faculty to send a message to IFS.

From the ensuing discussion, it appeared as though most faculty who had participated in the process in the late 1980's were adamantly opposed to going through the extremely labor intensive process again. Many who had come from semester institutions were in favor of the semester system. One faculty member expressed a preference for the semester system, but was opposed to repeating the process to get there.

Following are some of the comments and concerns raised during the discussion:

The previous proposal did not even consider beginning class at the end of September and having exams after the winter break. Instead, the legislature was in favor of beginning in late August and allowing students to begin attending class 3-4 weeks late following the end of the forest fire and crop seasons.

The semester system can be advantageous to students competing for job openings in May.

Faculty can cover more material, and in more depth, in a semester class. Some aspects of teaching may be enhanced.

Although opposed to semester conversion, it is hoped that a body of knowledge exists from a decade ago that will facilitate the process if it becomes necessary to participate in the exercise.

For faculty in units having significant research and teaching obligations (i.e., Forestry), the opportunity to take off one quarter for research is very popular, but it's very difficult to take off an entire semester.

Since most academic institutions are on the semester system, OSU should be able to learn from those who went through a conversion process.

Noting that those who went through the failed process would likely have very little energy to repeat the exercise, it would be imperative to identify very substantial reasons for the conversion.

President Sayre summarized the termination of the previous process by noting that, due to strongly voiced agricultural concerns, the legislature felt that agricultural interests needed students as a labor force.

Advanced graduate courses benefit from a semester system with a greater assortment of courses and allows for more in-depth teaching.

One Senator polled his department and found that most faculty preferred the quarter system because courses could be covered with a real intensity and that students could select from a much broader array of courses. Faculty felt that the semester system locked students into courses and they tend to lose energy for the subject when courses are longer in length.

In response to the question of what is driving the semester conversion discussion, Sayre felt that money was the driving force. He believed that faculty would have to be convinced that significant savings would be realized before semester conversion could occur.

Conversion is awful and the best system is the one that OSU currently uses. The change is very expensive. If faculty want more in-depth courses, there are other quarter system institutions that have five credit courses.

One expressed support for the conversion, but doesn't agree with the savings rationale as it applies to paper and printing.

Another expressed the feeling that it was offensive to ask faculty to participate in a lengthy conversion process given the state of the university (decreasing budgets, increasing enrollment), the number of dean vacancies, as well as low faculty salaries.

President Sayre invited Senators to follow-up this discussion with e-mails to IFS Senators Bruce Sorte and Gary Tiedeman.


INFORMATION ITEMS

Faculty Senate Calendar – Faculty Senate meetings are scheduled as follows in 2001: February 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, October 4, November 1 and December 6.

Faculty Senate Elections – Ballots for Faculty Senate President-Elect and Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Senator are due in the Faculty Senate Office no later than 5:00 p.m. January 17.

Graduate Admissions Task Force Open Meetings – Open meetings for all faculty and graduate students will be held January 16 and 17.

OSU CONNECT 2001 – OSU CONNECT request for proposals and program draft are available from Jennifer Kuzeppa at 737-0582.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST

Provost White's report included the following items:

Accolades - Since Provost White was unable to participate in the New Senator Orientation immediately preceding the Senate meeting, he noted how important it was to have faculty who were willing to take on an added Senate responsibility and thanked them for their willingness. He acknowledged the importance of the relationship between the Senate and himself and mentioned the value of hearing conversations such as the one related to semester conversion. He encouraged new Senators to become active in the Senate and in Senate committees.

White thanked Immediate Past President Matzke for his contributions to the university, among them, an unbounded clarity of thinking to the core values and to the core principles, as well as clarity of expressions. Matzke has unbounded enthusiasm about everything that is right at OSU and university life and incredible insights about diversity.

White recently attended an event in honor of Gordon Gilkey and commended the College of Liberal Arts and, in particular, Doug Russell for their efforts to provide an insight of this individual.

Budget - In response to the serious budget issues facing OSU, 38 university leaders recently met and tried to determine a common understanding of what we're facing and an effective way to move forward. The governor's draft budget calls for a $40 million cut for higher education during the next biennium which translates to 14% of the current general fund. Of the $40 million, $23 million is from the main campus budgets and $17 million is from statewide services. Add-backs include 3% for growth (about $10 million) and $7.3 for engineering initiatives. On the tuition side, institutions are authorized by the governor to consider tuition increases. Provost White felt that maintaining quality and access is very important.

OSU was asked by the Chancellor to prepare a report to outline how the proposed budget cut would be dealt with. White reported that OSU chose not comply because it was felt that a response now was very premature and would be very irresponsible given that it's likely that the final budget will be altered from the proposal. In addition, since we're in the midst of recruiting students, it would not benefit the institution to have a premature document indicating that specific programs may be eliminated. The document submitted was generic in nature and deals with general implications for OSU. It also suggests that due to successes in research, because of the unique statewide programs, and because of recent growth, OSU is being disproportionately affected by the governor's proposal. Additionally, OSU has two professional schools that are being targeted for base budget adjustments.

He noted that administration and faculty will continue to work through the budget crisis. He felt that it's necessary to fundamentally rethink about how the university is operated, particularly in terms of economic savings or intellectual efficiencies, to determine if there are ways to be successful without being so reliant on the state or public, and to explore possible alternate funding sources.

Central Oregon - The Chancellor's Office is in the merit analysis stage. They are preparing a side-by-side comparison of the two proposals. The Chancellor's recommendation will probably be made by the end of January, but no later than early February.

Senator Ciuffetti, Agricultural Sciences, commented that, given the desperate situation with the higher education budget, it's difficult to hear about the money being allocated for Central Oregon. White responded that the money will be allocated for a campus and OSU has decided that it wants to administer that campus and reap the benefits. The reality is that political power and the governor want the Central Oregon initiative to happen.

Senator Selker, Agricultural Sciences, felt that Oregonians have a misconception of what is happening at OSU and higher education in general. In regard to White's suggestion of weaning higher education from state support, Selker felt that this would result in much higher tuition and much lower enrollment. White felt that Selker's comments were valid and explained that they are trying to create a response and mechanism on campus that will be as successful as possible during the legislative session. Rather than complaining about the budget, it is important to be thoughtful in determining how the situation is communicated to the public.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

President Sayre's report included the following items:

He explained that Robert Iltis has a class conflict during winter term and thanked Trischa Goodnow for serving as Parliamentarian Pro-Tem.

Sayre noted that, due to the favorable relationship with administration, faculty are involved in the budget discussions from the very beginning. He noted that the situation is particularly critical in the state-wide units and urged faculty to be cognizant of the crisis situation that colleagues in those units are facing. He felt that the rhetoric heard on the 6th floor is very different than in the past. Rather than taking the do more with less stance, they are talking about getting more to do more.

Areas that need to be scrutinized to find ways to wean the institution from state funding include: reexamining the allocation of the base budget; recruiting out-of-state students to achieve growth; developing a capital campaign that directly impacts the campus rather than swelling the Foundation's coffers; expanding graduate education, particularly in Liberal Arts; maximizing classroom assets by expanding class offerings outside of the 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. brackets; expanding into the summer; considering the possibility that the Baccalaureate Core may not be taught as efficiently as could be done; and thinking about privatization in the way that OHSU has become a semi-private institution. Since none of this will occur quickly, the way to begin is by working on the base budget allocation - which may mean cutting programs and reallocating dollars. Senator Williamson reminded Senators that the program cuts following Measure 5 created an incredibly negative impact on the university and its reputation and resulted in plummeting enrollment.

NEW BUSINESS

There was no new business.


Meeting was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant