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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » May 3, 2001

Faculty Senate Minutes

2001 No. 566
May 3, 2001
 

For All Faculty

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on May 3, 2001, at 3:02 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Henry Sayre. There were no corrections to the minutes of April 2001.


Meeting Summary

– Action Items: Two Category I Proposals: Establish a new study abroad program in Tunisia and the Initiation of a New Instructional Program leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Science, Arts in Computational Physics; OSU/U of O Joint Athletic Motion; Endorsement of the Athletics Minority/Gender Equity Plans; PAC-10 Joint Athletic Recommendations; and a PEBB Resolution [Motion 01–566–01 through 13]
– Special Report: The OSU National Newspaper Study
– New Business: None


Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
Caughey, N. Bryant; Deschesne, A. Midgley; McDaniel, L. Goddik; Shaw, M. Carson; and Sorte, J. Parker.

Members Absent Without Representation:
Abbott, Ahearn, Ahern, Baggott, Beatty, Bliss, Bontrager, Bowman, Braker, Brooks, Bruce, Burt, Ciuffetti, Collier, Cornelius, De Carolis, Douglas, Downing, Gregory, Hamm, Heidel, Horne, M. Huber, Jones, King, John Lee, Li, Merickel, Mundt, Sanderson, Schwab, Selker, Stang, Strik, Tesch, Trehu, Tynon, and Weber.

Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-Officios and Staff Present:
H. Sayre, President; N. Rosenberger, President-Elect; G. Matzke, Immediate Past President; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; Ex-Officios - J. Roach and T. White; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Staff.

Guests of the Senate:
P. Broadus, S. Francis, L. Friedman, J. Lundy, R. Michael, S. Randhawa, L. Rice, R. Specter, M. Vydra, and T. White.


ACTION ITEMS

Category | Proposals

Len Friedman, Curriculum Council Chair, presented two Category I proposals for approval:

1) Initiation of a New Instructional Program leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Science, Arts in Computational Physics

Friedman noted that this proposal had been unanimously approved by the Curriculum Council. There was no discussion. Motion 01-566-01 to approve the Computational Physics proposal passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes

2) Establish a new study abroad program in Tunisia

Friedman noted that this proposal had also been unanimously approved by the Curriculum Council.

In response to a concern expressed by Senator Thies, Science, regarding student safety, Senator Krause, Liberal Arts, indicated that the State Department asserts it is a safe country to visit and Laura Rice stated there have been no challenges to either foreign students or foreign faculty.

Motion 01-566-02 to approve the Tunisia proposal passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.


OSU/U of O Joint Athletic Motion

President Sayre presented the following Joint Athletic Motion from the OSU and U of O Faculty Senates. This joint motion is aimed at emphasizing that academics come first. He noted that the following motion was passed unanimously by the University of Oregon Faculty Senate on April 14.

The growth of intercollegiate athletics has made the scheduling of athletic events more complex, and conflicts with the academic calendar have increased. A recent scheduling decision causes special concern: the Civil War game for 2001 has been scheduled for the Saturday before Fall final exams. We should not lose sight of the principle that the academic needs of our athletes and other students are always our top priority.
The combined University Senates of UO and OSU therefore make the following recommendation to our Presidents and Provosts: In the future, the academic calendar should be of paramount consideration in the scheduling of athletic events. In particular we suggest that major events should not interfere with dead week and final exams; in general we urge a heightened sensitivity to the academic calendar by the Athletic Departments of our two universities.

Senator Landau, Science, felt that the language should be strengthened and proposed amendments to the second paragraph, which were seconded, to delete "a heightened sensitivity to the academic calendar by the Athletic Departments of our two universities" and replace it with "that the Athletics Advisory Board be involved in any change to the athletic calendar that significantly impacts the academic calendar." Motion 01-566-04 to approve the above amendment passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

After the point was made that the amendment rendered this an OSU motion rather than a joint motion with the UO, the following amendments were proposed to the second paragraph by Senator Coakley, Science, and seconded: delete "combined University Senates"; replace with "OSU Faculty Senate" ; delete "of UO and"; change "make" to "makes", "Presidents" to "President" and "Provosts" to "Provost". Motion 01-566-05 to approve the above amendments passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

The second paragraph, as amended reads, "The OSU Faculty Senate therefore makes the following recommendation to our President and Provost: In the future, the academic calendar should be of paramount consideration in the scheduling of athletic events. In particular we suggest that major events should not interfere with dead week and final exams; in general we urge that the Athletics Advisory Board be involved in any change to the athletic calendar that significantly impacts the academic calendar."

Motion 01-566-03 to approve the motion, as amended, passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.


Endorsement of the Athletics Minority/Gender Equity Plans

President Henry Sayre presented the following endorsement regarding the Athletics Minority/Gender Equity Plans that were distributed at the April Faculty Senate meeting and sent to those not present. The plans are included in the recommendations from the recent NCAA Certification visit.

Having reviewed the recommendations of the NCAA Certification Evaluation Team, the Oregon State University Faculty Senate endorses the proposed Athletics Minority and Gender Equity Plans.

Motion 01-566-06 to approve the above endorsement passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes and no discussion.


PAC-10 Joint Athletic Recommendations

President Sayre introduced this item by explaining that the PAC-10 Faculty/University Senate Presidents felt that institution presidents needed the support from their faculty to slow the rapid expansion and commercialization of athletics at NCAA Division I universities. He noted that PAC-10 participation in this issue includes passage by the Arizona State Faculty Senate who met in special session earlier in the week; UO will vote in mid-May; USC has gone forward with it; the University of Arizona Senate Executive Committee endorsed it and forwarded it to their president; and other institutions are considering it. Sayre presented the following recommendations for approval:

PAC-10 ATHLETICS RECOMMENDATIONS

Athletics at NCAA Division I universities are undergoing rapid expansion and commercialization, resulting in an "arms race" universities find increasingly difficult to control. These concerns have been summarized by Myles Brand, president of Indiana University, in an article in the NCAA News of March 12, portions of which are appended below. It is a common proposition in the national dialogue on this issue that meaningful reform of intercollegiate athletics must begin with the university presidents of individual athletic conferences.

Therefore, the faculty and university senates of the ten universities in the PAC-10 Conference join together to make the following recommendations:

1. We urge the presidents of our ten universities to begin serious discussions aimed at moderating the exponential growth of athletic programs and budgets in the PAC-10. We urge them to put this topic on the agenda of their June meeting.

2. Further, we urge the presidents to address recommendations made in the appended essay, "Presidents Have Cause, Means to Reduce Arms," as the basis for their discussions.

Sayre noted he had discussed the issue with Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart who indicated it was easy for those at the top, i.e. Indiana University, to call for these reforms which makes it more difficult for those near the bottom to catch up with other institutions.

Motion 01-566-07 to approve the above recommendations passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.


PEBB Resolution

In introducing this item, President Sayre noted that Vice President Rob Specter had met with Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee members and the Executive Committee and indicated that administration has been working very hard on behalf of the faculty.

Robert Michael, Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee member, outlined three PEBB issues that are of concern to the committee and presented a related motion.

Michael introduced the PEBB tiered compensation model that most of the committee opposes because they feel this plan is unfair and results in unequal amounts of benefits. Michael provided hypothetical monthly information for benefits under a tier model: an employee only would receive $470; employee and children - $478.19; employee and spouse/partner - $560.69; and employee and family - $573.49. He felt that individual benefits should not be reallocated to subsidize the benefits of others, since that would result in a pay cut to some unclassified employees.

The second concern is that of losing the current cashback which allows employees to receive the balance of their health care allocation as pay. The committee felt this was an important issue since 2,145 unclassified employees received $986,000 in cashback during the January-March 2001 period, and the tiered system will affect the amount of cashback. Michael noted that a reduction in cashback will affect salary and, ultimately, retirement benefits.

Michael noted that VP Specter warned that benefits costs will rise significantly (possibly 24-25%) for the next benefit period.

The third issue is to encourage cessation of subsidies to HMOs. He noted that this may be a moot point since he is hearing that HMO coverage may not be an option in the next benefit period.

Michael noted that VP Specter reiterated the day prior that OUS has requested that Governor Kitzhaber allow them to withdraw from PEBB, to which Kitzhaber responded negatively. There have been discussions that OUS employees, as a whole, are a healthier group and costs could be lowered. Another discussion is that OUS unclassified employees may not be a large enough group alone to qualify for lower cost coverage, but may be large enough with the addition of students and others.

Michael presented the following motion which was created and endorsed by the Executive Committee upon recommendation of the Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee:

Whereas, PEBB's proposed tiered system of insurance coverage and elimination of cashback result in unequal benefit support for different employees based upon such personal factors as marital/partner status and family size; and

Whereas, Benefits are a form of compensation, and their decrease amounts to a decrease in compensation; and

Whereas, No unclassified employee should suffer a reduction in compensation as a result of the restructuring of benefits; and

Whereas, We would like to encourage PEBB in its efforts to de-emphasize high-cost HMOs by eliminating all subsidies previously used to provide incentives for enrollment in these HMOs; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Faculty Senate of Oregon State University urges that OSU and OUS administrators continue to resist efforts to move to a tiered system;

2. That they continue to resist efforts to eliminate the cashback option;
3. That they continue to encourage cessation of subsidies to HMOs; and
4. That they continue to explore possibilities of pulling out of the PEBB system entirely.

Senator Schuster, Associated, questioned the benefit of OUS negotiating separately. VP Specter responded that, currently, OUS does not have a large voice in PEBB (one of eight PEBB Board members represents OUS). It is not clear that OUS could negotiate a better deal than PEBB currently provides due to unpredictable cost trends. There may be a possibility of creating an umbrella within PEBB for just OUS employees since OUS has a healthier population than other state agencies.

Senator Gross, Liberal Arts, questioned the advantages of the tiered system. Specter responded that, with a flat structure, the costs are higher for faculty with dependents. The benefit of tiering is to assist those at the lower end of the economic spectrum who have the highest insurance costs.

Senator Oye, Associated, asked for additional information on the HMO issue. Specter responded that PEBB has received feedback concerning widespread dissatisfaction with HMO quality of service and, since it appears that HMOs are failing, it is unclear that they can be considered stable.

Senator Bogley, Science, questioned the financial impact of the tiered system. Specter responded that the amount of money provided by the State is a zero-sum game. It depends on how the money is allocated internally which is strongly influenced by PEBB.

Senator Tiedeman, Liberal Arts, noted that OHSU pulled out of PEBB and is faring better than OUS; OHSU IFS Senators recommend that OUS follow suit.

Senator Krause, Liberal Arts, questioned the position of OPEU on the tiered initiative. Specter indicated that the union position was in favor of assisting those at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder.

Senator Obermiller, Agricultural Sciences, questioned whether the committee discussed the discrepancies of employees under federal appointment (i.e., Extension faculty). Michael responded that the committee did not consider that aspect.

Senator Oye expressed the sentiment that, if these proposals advantage some faculty and disadvantage others, it may make it more difficult to attract and retain faculty. He also felt that there is not enough information available to make an informed decision since it is not known what the actual differential would be or how faculty on federal appointments would be affected.

Senator Brayman Hackel, Liberal Arts, moved to divide the resolution. Motion 01-566-09 to divide the resolution was seconded and passed by voice vote with some dissenting votes.

Senator Brayman Hackel moved to accept the second and third ‘Whereas’ and the second and fourth ‘Resolved’ and asked for additional information on the remaining portions of the resolution prior to voting on them; motion 01-566-10 was seconded.

The divided motion is as follows:

Whereas, Benefits are a form of compensation, and their decrease amounts to a decrease in compensation; and

Whereas, No unclassified employee should suffer a reduction in compensation as a result of the restructuring of benefits; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Faculty Senate of Oregon State University urges that OSU and OUS administrators continue to resist efforts to eliminate the cashback option; and
2. That they continue to explore possibilities of pulling out of the PEBB system entirely.

Senator Landau spoke against the new second ‘Whereas’ since he didn't feel it made much sense because restructuring benefits would harm someone.

Michael noted that it was the committee's hope that the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate would take up this issue after it was passed at OSU, so it would gain institution-wide support.

Senator Delson, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, expressed the need to look at the community in the broadest sense and help those less fortunate. Michael's response was that the FEW&RC has requested that central administration review the whole picture of faculty compensation. Michael would like to see compensation increased and a good benefit package for all. Past President Matzke stated that the faculty he needs to look out for are the ones who would be disadvantaged by a tiered plan.

Senator Oye, Associated, moved to amend the new second ‘Whereas’ to include the word ‘significant’ prior to ‘reduction’; motion seconded. There was no discussion. Motion 01-566-11 to include the word ‘significant’ passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.

Robert Iltis, Liberal Arts, was troubled by the divided first ‘Whereas’ and made the point that if the faculty refers to cashback as a form of compensation, the legislature will look at this as a reason to not increase faculty salaries because faculty view benefits as compensation.

Senator Obermiller moved to table the divided motion for additional consideration; motion seconded. Motion 01-566-12 to table the divided motion passed by voice vote.

Senator Obermiller moved to table the remainder of the main motion; motion seconded. Motion 01-566-13 to table passed by voice vote.


SPECIAL REPORT

The OSU National Newspaper Study

Mark Floyd and Robert Hood, News and Communication Services, presented the results of The OSU National Newspaper Study. Between mid-December 1999 and April 2000 they studied national news stories related to higher education in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, and the Oregonian. This was undertaken as an assessment tool for their department to determine how OSU is reported on the national scene. Sports stories were not included in the study.

The results showed that, of 2,472 articles related to higher education, 45% were research related; 22% came directly from national journals; 24% related to medical/health news; 16% were from expert sources; 2% were generated from new university programs; 2% related to gifts/grants/funding; 1% related to educational administration; and <1% related to honors and awards.

The breakdown on the origin of research studies was as follows: 48% were articles published in national journals; 27% were generated by reporters; 10% were lectures at major national academic conferences; 8% were university announcements; and 5% were book releases.

The ten institutions mentioned most often, and number of articles, in the national news were: UCLA, 119; Harvard, 118; UC-Berkeley, 111; USC, 104; Stanford, 84; OSU, 83; Columbia, 67; UO, 64; University of Pennsylvania, 57; and University of Michigan, 57. Over half of the stories from both Harvard and UC-Berkeley were research related.

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and USA Today were analyzed when determining how OSU compared to comparable institutions. OSU ranked fourth with seven articles behind UC-Davis (20), UO (11), and North Carolina State (8). Five of the seven OSU articles came directly from research studies; two came from national journals; and two came from articles that used OSU experts. In all cases, OSU received national coverage only when associated with research studies. Hood noted that 7 of the 11 UO articles were related to Nike.

Floyd noted that, in addition to research, there are two other ways faculty can receive national publicity. He noted that, when publishing, it helps to be controversial, topical and to publish with good publishers - basically, publish what is interesting to the public. Also, he encouraged faculty to become involved in activities at the national level.


INFORMATION ITEMS

– Fireside Chat – Dr. Risser will hold a Fireside Chat on May 23 from 3:00-4:00 in the MU Lounge.

– Undergraduate Admissions Issue Group – The Undergraduate Admissions Issue Group will present A Symposium on Changing the Criteria for Undergraduate Admissions on May 24 from 1:30-3:00 PM in MU 206.

– Promotion and Tenure Brownbag – The Faculty Senate Promotion & Tenure Committee is sponsoring a Promotion and Tenure Brownbag on May 9 from noon-1:00 p.m. in MU 206.

– Commencement 2001 – Commencement 2001 is scheduled for June 17th. Since this will be the first year that the undergraduate Commencement will be an afternoon event in Reser Stadium and the morning graduate Commencement will take place in the LaSells Stewart Center, there are many unknown situations and ushers are needed. To volunteer as an usher, please contact Joan Sandeno (737-4520 or Joan.Sandeno@ orst.edu) and indicate your campus e-mail and/or telephone number, as well as whether you are available for the morning or afternoon ceremony, both, or as needed.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST

Provost White commended Susan Shaw and the Difference, Power and Discrimination program for bringing Morris Dees to OSU for a spectacular speaking engagement. Other comments included:

Budget – The state's budget forecast will be released on May 14. Between mid-May and mid-June there will be an opportunity for the campus to engage in budget conversations. White noted that all OUS institutions have been authorized to adjust tuition between 2% and 5%.

Promotion and Tenure – Provost White is concerned about inconsistent policies and criteria within and among units on campus and will look to the Faculty Senate to engage in earnest conversations about this issue. He will bring details to the Executive Committee. There were 82 cases considered during the week of April 23 and he hopes to be able to announce the decisions by the third week in May.

The practice has been to wait until all promotion and tenure cases in a college have been decided prior to notification of anyone in that college. Provost White's questions to the Senate were, how important this practice was to faculty and to the university and should decisions be released individually as they are known. He requested that responses be sent to him electronically.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

President Sayre had no report.


NEW BUSINESS

There was no new business


Meeting was adjourned at 5:06 PM.

Respectfully submitted:

Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Staff