Members Absent with Representation:
D. Barofsky, J. Hays; G. Brown, K. Meador; S. Henderson, R. Spill; E. Ho, M. Manore; R. Iltis, L. Chandler; G. Klink, K. Macy; and E. Taylor, M. Brouwers.
B. Becker, R. Brumley, L. Kristick, B. Parks and T. Wilcox.
Faculty Senate Officers and Staff and Ex-officios:
S. Coakley, Senate President; M. McDaniel, Senate President-Elect; B. Sorte, Immediate Past Senate President; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; Ex-officios: M. Carson, M. Niess, E. Ray, and J. Trujillo; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Staff.
Tony Wilcox, Bylaws and Nominations Committee member, presented a request from the Library faculty to restore the Library apportionment unit based on the academic nature of the work they do and that the majority of their faculty have academic appointments and are in tenure track positions. Following review of the request, the Bylaws and Nominations Committee recommended creating a Library apportionment unit and merging Information Services faculty into the Associated Faculty apportionment unit. The Committee felt that the nature of the association of the Library faculty with the entire campus, their formal classroom teaching and tenure track faculty justified the request.
Wilcox provided the following background:
Senator Foster, Liberal Arts, referred to possible reapportionment of off-campus units, i.e., Extension and Cascades Campus. At one point a task force was appointed to study the issue and then was postponed. This is unfinished business and he would like to have the issue studied.
Ballots to restore the Library apportionment unit and merge Information Services with Associated Faculty were distributed. The vote was 72 in favor, 4 opposed and 1 abstention; motion passed.
Campus Climate Survey
Janet Nishihara explained that the survey is sponsored by the Faculty Senate Diversity Council, Campus Climate Study and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The survey will be available online for three-weeks beginning April 12. The responses are confidential and will be sent to an off-campus site and compiled by Susan Rankin from Penn State who will analyze the responses and incorporate them with information gathered at an upcoming focus group. The goal is to use the information to assist units and the campus as a whole work on a Diversity Action Plan. The following individuals are working on the Campus Climate Survery: Tracy Bentley-Townlin, Kristi Deschesne, Angelo Gomez, Phyllis Lee, Janet Nishihara, Beth Rietveld, Rich Shintaku and Juan Trujillo.
Juan Trujillo encouraged teaching faculty to emphasize to students that they are eligible to participate in the survey.
Senator Bentley-Townlin questioned whether the survey is accessible via screen reader; Nishihara will check with Rankin.
Jock Mills, OSU Director of Government Relations, focused his report on OUS and Board changes and what will happen between now and when Legislature reconvenes in January 2005.
Mills felt it’s good that OUS is receiving a lot of attention and momentum is being built toward change. Legislators are meeting on a regular basis with Neil Goldschmidt and Neil Bryant to discuss OUS issues. The Board is currently developing legislative bill concepts. Mills noted that the bits and pieces removed from SB 437, the Higher Education Efficiency Act, will come back for review. The items removed from SB 437 include authorities for the universities, abilities to act without Department of Justice oversight, and probably something about financial aid for students.
There is currently a more direct relationship between the OSBHE and institution
presidents and Mills expects a more direct relationship between the OUS
presidents and the Ways and Means Committee. This will eliminate a level
of insulation between institutions and legislators in the budget area.
In the past a composite OUS budget has been presented to legislators with
no real breakdown per institution. Mills now expects there to be a campus-by-campus
discussion with legislators regarding the cost to educate students. This
could result in a favorites game being played. There will be a real need
for unity among OUS. There are three variables the legislature deals with
regarding the budget:
1.They focus on how much money is appropriated for the general fund.
2. They tinker with tuition levels.
3. The variable they haven’t yet gotten into is enrollments.
Since Goldschmidt has indicated he wants the Legislature to make policy decisions, he’s saying that the Legislature should be making decisions about setting tuition and making a decision about what the real general fund is. This approach could result in the Legislature reverting to the 2001 session decision to decrease general fund appropriation, cap tuition and tell institution’s to take every student who applies. As credibility is building for the budget, there needs to be a universal agreement of all three variables - this will take time.
Mills observed that universities will have the ability to act on their own, as they have at times in the past. To be successful, university initiatives need to be endorsed by Goldschmidt and Bryant.
Since there will not be a lot of general fund money in the budget, where will the money come from to reinvest in higher education? First credibility needs to be built in terms of state appropriation efficiencies (more, better, faster). After that, a discussion of possible fund sources can occur. There has been some discussion of devoting capital gains tax, and the new State Board is discussing a ballot measure designating funds for higher education. Mills felt that most of the funds will be for student access.
Mills shared what he expects will happen between now and 2005. A bill was passed in 2003 that obligates legislators to convene after a May 31 report is issued on tax reform. However, most don’t think the legislature will have a special session. Several issues are at play: Mills doesn’t see changes in the tax code happening since the governor is not in favor. There may be some places where momentum occurs, including eliminating the kicker and placing the funds in a rainy day fund. However, the majority don’t want to do that until there is a spending cap in place. Other legislators want the special session to take care of the gay marriage issue.
Mills speculated about upcoming elections: the Senate is likely to be controlled by the Democrats. He doesn’t see any of the incumbent Senate Democrats in trouble, but three Senators are retiring or have resigned and those races may go to Republicans. The big change in the House is that the three moderate leaders have retired or been appointed to commissions.
Following the retirement of Orcilia Zuniga-Forbes, Mills is taking on some of the federal agenda duties. He is currently working on improving relationships with the congressional offices. There is a possibility of hiring a firm in D.C. to work with appropriations members and to work with faculty who are preparing federal funding proposals and help faculty identify available funding.
Senator Selker, Agricultural Sciences, questioned whether there was recognition in the Legislature as to the degree of urgency institutions are facing in terms of declining faculty numbers and increasing enrollment. Selker asked why it hasn’t been done and how can faculty help. Mills wasn’t sure how faculty could help at this point. Legislator’s are still in the mode of making OUS more efficient.
Senator Manore for Ho, Health and Human Sciences, questioned if the Legislature changes the way it approaches university budgets vs. OUS budgets, do we run the risk of further budget micromanagement by them. Mills responded the State Board is unclear about how this will affect the budget process.
Senator Hays for Barofsky, Forestry, questioned whether it is known when the freeze on salaries paid through federal grants will end. Mills responded there is discussion at the Board level on overall faculty salaries, but no resolution has been reached. The issue is whether there will be relief between now and the end of the biennium or during the next budget preparation cycle.
Senator Giebultowicz, Science, questioned whether it was legal for state government to limit PI authority regarding salaries. Mills responded that, as a state employee, it is legal.
Mills reminded faculty of campaigning rules and the use of state funds. It is illegal to use state resources (i.e. copy machines, e-mail, etc.) for campaign purposes, and not advisable to use your name and university title to endorse a candidate for public office.
REPORT FROM AND DIALOG WITH THE PRESIDENT
President Ray began by relating some of the messages he shares with those outside of OSU:
Ray and others have been working very hard eliminate the salary freeze. There have been several rounds of discussion to gain flexibility in the form of counter offers or merit; the Board has been supportive. Changes being discussed by the Board are intended to make institutions more flexible.
Senator Kanury, Engineering, commented on classroom conditions and noted that extraordinary academic programs don’t come out of meager facilities. Ray responded by saying the reason he talks about compensation is that it has to do with the very best faculty that can be recruited and retained and he knows that we are substantially behind other states. He and other have been working diligently to gain flexibility in this area. He feels that the Board ‘gets it’. Ray explained that the Board has set up subcommittees to work on the governor’s objectives - access and affordability, building the quality of academic programs, strategic investment for promoting economic development, and end disinvestment and encourage reinvestment in higher education. They are preparing the way to allow institutions to make proposals that will represent reinvestment in higher education.
Tony Wilcox, Health and Human Sciences, asked for observations about
the OSU leadership team and the challenges facing the transition in some
of the positions. Ray provided information about the following positions:
Senator Selker felt there is a need to explain what is broke. For example, how do you explain that the College of Agricultural Sciences has lost 80 positions in the last few years. He questioned how Ray tells people about the broke part. Ray noted that whining doesn’t work anymore. He felt successful in his presentation to the State Board in March where he provided information, talked about aspirations and what we have to do to get there, and where the gaps are and what we need to do to fill them. He felt that the Board was receptive and ‘got it’. He feels he needs to continue educating people in the state.
Senator Giebultowicz asked if faculty could relate stories of what is actually happening on campus and the domino effect of the weakened state of departments. Ray stated it is difficult to get someone to listen to that approach. He tried unsuccessfully to do something similar in the compensation effort and has told stories of losing faculty because of the inability to pose counter offers.
REPORT FROM AND DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
President Coakley announced that there is a forum being scheduled later in the month regarding PERS and ORP.
Coakley reminded faculty of three opportunities currently available to
Given the potential impact of quality on student lives and academic programs, Coakley urged faculty to consider volunteering for Faculty Senate committees/councils. She noted it is very important that there is a good pool from which to draw, and it is difficult to achieve diversity if there are few volunteers.
A second opportunity involves preproposals for new investments and initiatives to advance OSU’s Strategic Plan. The goal is to fund up to six multi-year initiatives that will bring significant new integrative activities across campus. The intent is that the initiatives hold high promise for advancing excellence in one or more thematic areas of the Strategic Plan.
The third is an opportunity to watch out for each other and our students since there is much stress during spring term. Coakley encouraged faculty to direct students to needed resources.
Senator Hays for Barofsky, Agricultural Sciences, on behalf of himself and Barofsky, moved the following resolution regarding athletics, which he recommended, be moved to the Executive Committee; the motion was seconded:
Resolved, that the OSU Faculty Senate petition President Ray to initiate
action to permanently cancel the Pac-10 postseason basketball tournament,
and communicate its action to other Pac-10 Faculty Senates.
Senator Selker felt the resolution was sufficiently meritorious for further consideration and input by the Executive Committee and later consideration by the Faculty Senate.
Following an inquiry by Senator Moulton, Business, asking what the Executive Committee would do with the resolution, Coakley responded they would consider the motion and look at potential committees for appropriate referral, discuss the issue with administration and explore options of how it might be further handled, and ultimately make a decision on what to do with it. Parliamentarian Iltis noted that it is always the right of the body to pull it back from the Executive Committee or any other committee to which it has been referred.
Hays stated he would expect the Executive Committee to solicit opinions from others on campus.
Motion passed by voice vote with some dissenting votes to send the resolution to the Executive Committee for consideration.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:48 PM.
Faculty Senate Staff