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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » July 18, 2003

Faculty Senate President's Message

To:

From:

Re:
Faculty Senators

Bruce Sorte

Faculty Senate Summary
July 18, 2003

Thanks for your patience and advice as we have worked through this very difficult reduction process for the Extension Service budget. The participation of the Faculty Senate in program reductions is set by guidelines that were developed ten years ago. They can be found at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/senate/redirect/guidelines.html. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (EC) has been trying for the past two years to amend those guidelines to make the process more timely and open. In the past, and in this case of Extension's budget reduction, the Faculty Consultative Group's* (FCG) efforts have been advisory and confidential. So, when we are in the middle of these types of crises it is difficult to fully convey to you the efforts of your Faculty Senate leadership. At least half of my time as Faculty Senate President, and a great deal of the FCG's focus for the last four months, has been spent on this issue. I have tried to understand the issues in detail, meet with many of those affected and advocate on behalf of the the individual faculty members and the tenure system at OSU. We also appreciate the many individual and group efforts of faculty and unit administrators to mediate the situation.

As you heard at the last two Senate meetings, the issue is complex and there is not a consensus by any means among all the faculty or between the Administration and the faculty as to how to manage the issues. Next week, we will begin a progressive set of steps to inform you about the situation and our plans to try and reverse the FTE reduction or termination of tenured faculty and, to the extent possible, tenure track faculty. We appreciate President White and Provost Randhawa's agreement to release the FCG's report by Friday, July 25, 2003. This is the first time a report of this type has been released.

In addition to the Faculty Senate's advocacy, individual efforts of those affected will be very important and we are prepared to advise any of those faculty as to the mediation and grievance processes. We have met with OSU representatives of the American Association of University Professors and Association of Oregon Faculties and they are well informed as to the details and the gravity of these events. The impact of this process to tenure at OSU and our future ability to recruit and retain faculty cannot be underestimated.

On the positive side of this bad situation, administrators and colleges have worked very hard to reduce the number of people affected. More detail on those efforts will accompany the release of the FCG report. Please call me at work - 541.737.5909 or in the evening - 541.757.2466, if you would like to discuss these issues further. Take care and I am sorry you or your colleagues have been caught in this confused and painful process.

*The Faculty Consultative Group consists of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the chairs of the Budgets & Fiscal Planning Committee, Curriculum Council and Faculty Status Committee.