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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » October 12, 2006

Faculty Senate Minutes

2006 No. 615
October 12, 2006

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order by President Bill Boggess on October 12, 2006 in the LaSells Stewart Center.

Meeting Summary
  • Action Item: Approval of June Minutes [Motion 06-615-01]
  • Special Reports: State of the University Address - E. Ray; Online Network Education and User Program (One-Up) - S. Etherton; and Interinstitutional Faculty Senate - L. Curtis.
  • New Business: None


Approval of Minutes

    The June 2006 minutes were approved as distributed.


    Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Recap

    Larry Curtis, Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Senator, reported on the following items from the October IFS meeting:
    • Ballot Measure Impacts - Passage of BM 48, which would limit spending to inflation plus population growth, would be devastating to higher education. Passage of BM 41, which increases deductions available on Oregon income tax, may reduce recent funding increases to higher education.
    • Community College Transfers - IFS will request additional representation from four-year colleges on a committee reviewing concerns that community college courses are not equal, particularly in the sciences. The committee is currently heavily populated by community college representatives.
    • AP Classes - There is some variance in the way they are evaluated before being transferred in. Both IFS and OUS are pushing for competency tests to be consistently accepted.

    Tax Deferred Investment Options - Curtis is the IFS representative on the OUS Investment Committee and IFS spent some time discussing the OUS proposal to change employees' tax deferred investment options. Coupled with this is the new investment platform available to those in the Optional Retirement Plans (ORP).

    Curtis explained that, with changes in PERS, OUS felt it would be necessary for faculty to invest some of their own money toward their retirement. They also felt that the existing plans might not be the best plans available since the costs may be high and the best products may not be in the vendors' portfolios, so the return may not be as high as it could be. OUS contracted with a financial firm to review the concerns. Curtis explained the rationale for the plan redesign:

    • Combining the TDI and ORP plans under a single recordkeeper and investment menu provides an array of high-quality, low cost retirement investment options for OUS employees.
    • New regulations, investment options, and administration technology have arisen that will improve the current OUS plans.
    • Redesigning plans will provide usable information and easy access to retirement accounts.
    • Encouraging OUS employees to take full advantage of the retirement savings plans that OUS sponsors for them.

    Under the current plan, OUS makes it possible for employees to contract with individual vendors they have certified and allows direct deposit from employees' checks; the vendor handles plan selection, sets rates and charges fees. OUS would like to consolidate these activities into a group plan that should result in significantly lower recordkeepking fees - the more money in the plan, the lower the fee. The consultants would assist in obtaining better products and would have oversight on the performance of the products. They would also recommend that ORP be rolled into the same vendor plan for cost and product improvement. Curtis will meet annually with the committee.

    Under the current plan, OUS makes it possible for employees to contract with individual vendors they have certified and allows direct deposit from employees' checks; the vendor handles plan selection, sets rates and charges fees. OUS would like to consolidate these activities into a group plan that should result in significantly lower recordkeepking fees - the more money in the plan, the lower the fee. The consultants would assist in obtaining better products and would have oversight on the performance of the products. They would also recommend that ORP be rolled into the same vendor plan for cost and product improvement. Curtis will meet annually with the committee.

    There is an Implementation Committee, with representatives from each OUS campus, that will interview vendors and record keepers on the accounts. Following plan selection, there will be oversight by the Investment Committee which will meet at least annually with the consultant to monitor performance of the products. Information will be posted online.

    Although the Legislature limits the number of available vendors, the committee worked with the consultant to obtain the option of a Self-Directed Account "Mutual Fund Window" that will allow employees to choose a vendor that is not offered under the plan. Overall, based on his participation in the discussions, Curtis felt that this was the best option for OUS employees.

    Lynda Ciuffetti, Agricultural Sciences, questioned whether ORP members could use their current vendor and if they can move their funds. Curtis noted that the TDI plan is effective in March, but the ORP plan does not take effect until October. ORP mutual funds are covered through the "window", but an insurance company annuity may be more restrictive. Typically a surrender fee is charged when changing plans, but the consultant is negotiating a plan to not charge surrender fees.

    David McIntyre, Political Science, questioned whether vendor options will be available. Curtis responded that one can select any vendor for mutual funds, but there will be restrictions on annuities. McIntyre then requested IAP information. Curtis responded that he doesn't have IAP information, but both the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and IFS is requesting IAP information. Curtis also noted he has no information on decoupling the ORP from PERS, but it is a concern. President Boggess noted he is trying to get additional information on these two issues and will continue to track developments on the process reported on by Curtis.

    State of the University Address

    President Ed Ray's State of the University Address, titled "Choosing Our Future," consisted of three main focus areas: 2005-06 accomplishments, current circumstances and the agenda for the coming year, with a particular focus on the student experience. His entire speech is available online at


    • Salaries - Provided a 6% merit increase in faculty salaries.
    • Budgets - Established a schedule for the re-basing of college budgets.
    • University Diversity Action Plan - Positioned for completion and adoption during fall 2006.
    • Student Athletes - Kate Halischak was hired as the Director of Student Athlete Academic Services with a direct reporting line to Vice Provost Becky Johnson. Initiated the summer bridge program, BEST, to ensure that students prosper both as students and athletes.
    • Accreditation - OSU's accreditation was reaffirmed through 2011.
    • Commencement - OSU graduated a record 4,300 students in June 2006.
    • Capital Campaign - $237 million of the campaign goal has been raised, with 20 gifts of $1 million or more.
    • Dual Enrollment Agreements - 13 of 17 agreements with Oregon community colleges have been signed, with an additional two in Hawaii.

    Current Circumstances:

    • Higher Education Funding - The Governor committed to increase funding by at least 10% in each future biennium.
    • Oregon Opportunity Grant - Increased from $45 million to almost $75 million during the last legislative session.
    • Funding - Continued funding for ONAMI has been proposed, as well as for two new Oregon Signature Research Centers - the Oregon BEST Center will focus on clean energy and bio-products and the Drug Discovery SRV will focus on infectious diseases. Funding is also earmarked for two additional initiatives - Ocean Wave Energy and Food Processing. OSU colleges and centers will have an opportunity to play major roles in these initiatives whose total funding request is close to $40 million.
    • OSU-Cascades - The Board of Higher Education agreed to support Cascades Campus using the same formula for smaller OUS i nstitutions. Under the plan, OSU-Cascades would also receive enrollment growth funding.
    • OSU Statewide Programs - The State Board strongly endorsed increased funding.

    Agenda for the Coming Year:

    • Continue to collaborate across disciplines.
    • Create new programs from current resources in the five thematic areas in the Strategic Plan, areas where OSU currently has world-class capability, or the potential to rank among the best universities in the nation.
    • Remain focused on three goals: 1) increasing academic program excellence, 2) enhancing the quality of the student experience, and 3) managing costs and expanding resources.
    • Academic Excellence - A 4% merit raise package will be distributed in January, and guidelines have been distributed to implement the raise package.
    • Faculty Diversity - 1) All faculty search committees shall include a designated affirmative action representative who has been trained to serve in this capacity; 2) The Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative will be supported to assist in adding senior faculty from diverse backgrounds; 3) A Director for Women's Advancement and Gender Equity will be appointed to assess issues of gender parity, campus climate and culture, professional development, and to advance best practices for creating a diverse environment; and 4) Launch a Life-Balance OSU Initiative to make the OSU community a healthier and more family-friendly environment.
    • A President's Commission on Ocean, Coastal, and Earth System Futures will identify a vision that integrates biological, physical, and social sciences in studies of ocean and coastal systems and communities, and defines new ways of engaging with society.
    • Student Experience Initiative - For OSU to be among the top land grant universities, first-year retention rates should be close to 90% rather than 80% and the six-year graduate rate should be close to 80% rather than 60%. To assist with the initiative of focusing on the first two years of student experience, the University Council for Student Engagement and Experience has been formed. This initiative will be lead by the Provost, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate and Provost's Council, and will refine and implement recommendations from the Student Experience Research Task Force.
    • Facilities - A multi-year university classroom renovation plan to upgrade instructional space and technology has been initiated. The goal is to include every classroom.
    • Managing Costs, Increasing Resources - 1) OSU must narrow the menu of programs offered. This means down-sizing or eliminating good programs; 2) Explore right-sizing enrollment to better correspond to financial capabilities. Ray has asked the Office of Enrollment management to take the lead in developing a long-term enrollment management plan; 3) Steadily enhance budget transparency and create appropriately defined incentives to increase our ability to raise resources and apply them effectively. A discussion will commence involving the Provost, Deans, Senate leaders, and others to determine how incremental resources should be allocated; 3) Continue pursuing partnerships with government, industry, and educational institutions. OSU has degree partnership agreements with 13 of Oregon's 17 community colleges and hopes to soon finalize partnerships with the remaining four. OSU also has partnerships with two of Hawaii's seven community colleges; 4) Continue to increase ability to tell our story more effectively. OSU is averaging at least one national story in the media per week; and 5) Maintain progress in fundraising to secure the philanthropic support the university merits.

    During his speech, President Ray announced that Kathleen Dean Moore has agreed to serve as the University Writer Laureate.

    President Boggess referred to the 13 dual enrollment agreements with Oregon community colleges and questioned whether Ray expects to sign more agreements with other institutions outside of Oregon. Ray responded that the goal is to sign the last four community colleges this calendar year. He would like to pursue the other five community colleges in Hawaii (due to historical ties), and felt that OSU needs to think about others outside of Oregon.

    In regard to Ray's comments regarding 'right-sizing' the university, Boggess asked Ray how he sees this unfolding. Ray stated that enrollment targets need to be determined. He felt that enrollment consists of a mix of undergraduate, graduate and professional students and related revenue and cost shares of those consequences. Another related consideration is the mix of lower and upper division course. If OSU is serious about increasing first-year retention and graduation rates, the result will be a larger number of upper division students/courses. If top ten is a serious goal, one can expect to see systematic shifts in students' major. If the financial picture deteriorates dramatically for higher education, the State Board will have discussions regarding right-sizing enrollment. Ray would prefer that OSU determine its own target enrollment rate rather than have the Board make the determination. The Office of Enrollment Management will take the lead in the enrollment discussion, but Ray expects the Faculty Senate and Provost to identify faculty to be on the team. Ray feels the time to begin the discussion is now.

    Senator Iltis, Liberal Arts, noted reference to downsize or eliminate programs and questioned if there is a timeline for elimination. Ray responded that he expects these discussions to occur in every college and within departments, depending upon resource constraints. Faculty need to understand how to best manage this undesirable situation.

    Senator Sullivan, ROTC, questioned what metric is used to evaluate top ten and where are we now. Ray responded that comparator universities are in the Strategic Plan. The metrics include first-year experience and retention rate increases.

    Senator Sorte, Agricultural Sciences, felt that OSU's focus should be on serving those whom the land grant is designed to serve rather than focus on the 'best and the brightest' students. OSU should take students with potential and retain them - he questioned how this can occur when budget cuts reduce teaching faculty and increase GTA's by 10%. Ray noted that the reason student experience is being discussed is that the desire is to have students come from diverse backgrounds, which is not necessarily the easiest course in terms of retention. The student experience group will focus on what needs to be done better to keep and create opportunities for access and results in more graduates given the level of resources.

    Online Network Education and User Program (One-Up)

    Scott Etherton, Assistant Director of Residential Life, provided an overview regarding online networks such as Facebook, which is popular with college students, and Myspace, which is popular with high school and middle school students. Assisting him with the presentation were Jill Creighton, Kathryn Magura, and Bryan Stroup. The One-Up group provides education regarding online safety, and faculty were encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office to participate in the group and provide a faculty perspective.

    An Online Network is a site that allows people to search for and view personal information about others. Features of these networks include: picture posting, posting of identifiable demographic information, physical location disclosure, blogging, mp3 sharing, social calendar ability, and the ability to write and receive comments from others. The networks provide avenues to advertise for programs, receive homework assistance, personally express oneself, and catch up on campus events.

    A handout was distributed that contained the following risks:

    • Information Disclosure - All information a user posts online is optional; positive identification may lead to personal harm; and posted information may affect other individuals, such as a roommate or family member.
    • Personal Control - Once the user posts information, all control over personal information is then diminished or lost completely; users should understand and edit the privacy settings associated with his or her personal profile; and users should be aware of who can view his or her profile, such as prospective employers or professors.
    • Communication with Others - Users should exercise caution when communicating with others via online communities and continually evaluate their physical and emotional safety with online and personal relationships.
    • User Intent - Not all online community members log on with the same intentions - some intents may include identify theft, stalking, or harassment.
    • Authenticity - Authenticity of users is not confirmed.

    Senators were able to view information posted on actual Facebook sites. Care should be used when posting personal information to avoid the information being used in a negative manner. On the positive side, Facebook can also be used to issue invitations or advertise (for a small fee) events. One recently introduced controversial feature is the Main Feed that brings to the attention of viewers any recent changes to an individual's site. It was emphasized that all information posted is voluntary. However, it was also cautioned that anyone can register a site using another's name, which then prevents the person whose name is being used to create their own account. Faculty can have a site on Facebook, and that is actually recommended.


    President Bill Boggess' comments included the following:

    • Parking - Some faculty have experienced difficulty when coming to work on game days. The policy is that faculty and staff may park in lots without paying the athletic fee on game day if they are parking to go to work. Jason O'Quinn is the contact in Athletics if you have comments. Senator Curtis, Agricultural Sciences, questioned how much Athletics contributes to the maintenance of the parking lots for which fees are being charged; Boggess did not have that information. Senator Mason, Science, noted that students coming to campus to study are also being turned away from lots or expected to pay for the day and felt that this situation needs to be reviewed and resolved,
    • AR 17 - Revisions to AR 17 were approved in June, with the implementation scheduled for fall 2007. Since then, there has been a suggested revision to allow faculty to submit both an I grade and a letter grade which would be defaulted to if no grade change is submitted within a year, rather than the grade converting to an F. The Executive Committee has been in conversation with the Registrar's Office to determine if this is a possibility and has referred the issue back to the Academic Regulations Committee for further discussion and possible revision. It's hoped that additional revisions will be presented to the Senate by December. Senator Flahive, Science, questioned the possibility of automating a reminder one month prior to the one year period. Another suggestion was to have an I convert to an F at the time of graduation. Boggess will refer both suggestions back to the committee.
    • Senate Committees - A message indicating committee vacancies was distributed and faculty were encouraged to volunteer for these vacancies.


    There was no new business.

    Roll Call

    Members Present:
    Agricultural Sciences: Anderson, Coblentz, Curtis, Dreher, Edge, Engel, Mallory-Smith, Penner, Sorte.
    Associated Faculty: Arthenayake, Beach, Dempsey, Dorbolo, Eklund, Elmshaeuser, Gillies, Gomez, Greydanus, Hughes, LeBeouf, Minear, Oldfield, Ross.
    Business: D. Caplan for Banyi, LeMay, Raja, Wu, Yang.
    Education: Ward, White.
    Engineering: Bose, Huber, Hunter-Zaworski, Levien, Lundy, Pence.
    Extension: Galloway, W. Hein for Godwin.
    Forestry: Brunner, Clauson, Doescher, Freitag, Puettman, Reuter.
    Health & Human Sciences: M. Mahana for Asbell, Bowman, Braverman, Friedman, Grobe, Ho, Wilcox.
    Liberal Arts: Carson, R. Hammer for Edwards, Iltis, Kingston, Lunch, P. Curtis for Melton, Roberts, Shaw, Valls.
    Library: McMillen.
    Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Benoit-Bird, Spitz, Wheatcroft.
    Pharmacy: Mahmud, Stevens.
    ROTC: Sullivan.
    Science: Flahive, Ho, Jansen, Mason, Matzke, McCune, McLeod, Parks, Rajagopal.
    Student Affairs: Etherton, Hoogesteger, Langford, Larson, C. Empey for Schwab, Tsuneyoshi, Winter.
    Veterinary Medicine: Estill, Mosley.

    Members Absent:
    Agricultural Sciences: Bolte, Brewer, Cassidy, Duncan, Gregory, Huddleston, Jepson, Meink, Savage, Thompson, Wolpert.
    Associated Faculty: Barr, Fernandez, Larkin, Rosenberg.
    Business: No absences.
    Education: No absences.
    Engineering: Jovanovic, Lee, Momsen, Sillars.
    Extension: Butler, Carr, Hathaway.
    Forestry: Sexton.
    Health & Human Sciences: Acock.
    Liberal Arts: Anderson, Barker, Brayman Hackel, Farber, Folts, Helle, Henderson, Mutschler, Oriard.
    Library: No absences.
    Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Duncan, Skyllingstad, Torres.
    Pharmacy: Nauman.
    ROTC: No absences.
    Science: Barofsky, Brown, Giebultowicz, Gitelman, Grunder, Jones, Kimerling, Lajtha, Smythe, Taylor.
    Student Affairs: No absences.
    Veterinary Medicine: Jennings.

    Guests Present:
    B. Becker, G. Bruce, S. Coakley, J. Creighton, L. Dillard, S. Leslie, K. Magura, D. McIntyre, M. McDaniel, B. Rietveld, G. Shellhammer, B. Stroup, A. Tucker.

    Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-officios and Staff Present:
    Officers: B. Boggess, President; M. Quinn, President-Elect; and Ex-officios: L. Cuiffetti, S. Randhawa, E. Ray, M. Beachley

    The meeting was adjourned at 4:46 PM.

    Respectfully submitted by:
    Vickie Nunnemaker
    Faculty Senate Staff