Given the low expectations, Gottfredson's speech was good. He said "transparency" and "shared governance" many times. But then so did Berdahl. Still no action, of course - public records are in lockdown, thanks to the decisions of loyal trustee Dave Hubin. But today's big loser was Randy Geller, who managed to thoroughly embarrass his new boss and himself without even showing up.
The meeting started with President Gottfredson's speech. He made a point of saying that he did not believe the random duck drug testing policy was an academic matter that required Senate approval.
John Bonine and Frank Stahl then proceeded to politely shred the procedures Geller's office was using to implement this OAR without going through the Senate. Geller - incredibly - was not present to defend his work. Nor was AD Rob Mullens.
How is it possible these guys put forward something like this and then won't even defend it in public? That fell on Gary Gray, a mid-level AD type, who began by announcing the decision to do this was over his pay grade, but said the decision was not required by the NCAA but was being done for the benefit of the "we smoked it all" athletes. Sorry, "student-athletes". He said it was done in a rush over the summer because a recent court case. Sure.
So, then we got to the substance. Geller's office's own summary of the drug OAR stated its academic importance, and said it was being done to comply with NCAA rules. Which directly contradicted what Gottfredson and Gray had just said. Whoops. Then it turned out the "recent" court decision that Gray had said made the AD move on this over the summer was actually from 1995 - Clinton's first term, when our current football team was in diapers instead of getting interviewed by ESPN about their purple kush habit.
At this point, out of respect for the new president, and pity for the fact he had relied on Geller for advice, the Senate passed a motion allowing AD Rob Mullens to keep collecting pee while the reeking residue of this OAR went back to the Senate Executive for a review of the hack-job version that had been prepared by Geller's office.
If you want my opinion, it's this: People should not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. That principle is a lot more important than embarrassing a football team and the NCAA by smoking a little purple kush. The fact that the AD won't let athletes talk to reporters about it is another violation of basic rights. The Senate should have told Mullens and Gottfredson to drop the whole repugnant proposal. Next time maybe I'll have the balls to make that motion.
Live: 3:06 ... n ~70 people. My comments in . Video at http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/live/
Niceties, more niceties, we are a distinguished university ...
Views on governance:
New org chart, board questions. Views stem from idea we are "one of nation's premier public research universities". Value discovery, creativity, freedom of speech. ... Respect for ideas, civility...
Public university: access, quality, integrity: open and transparent governance and administration.
Requires faculty input into academic matters. List of things that means: hiring, promotion, admissions.
Responsibility and competencies of admin:
Be stewards. Sharing requires consultation and advice, spirit of transparency and timeliness. So Senate has a role even on admin matters like space, finance, planning, selection of academic administrators.
Examples from this meeting's agenda:
Policy on academic freedom. Purview of the faculty, [not Randy Geller!].
Drug testing: Not your call: it's administrative.
Constitution signed by Lariviere: Solid, will consult and delegate, but ultimate responsibility is mine.
Org chart: He's saying Provost, not Provost Bean.
Institutional boards: [Remember, he was hired by Pernsteiner] Thinks it's going in good direction, to deal with changes in higher ed funding.... No intention of changing our mission, access, quality... Do in collaboration [not a word Lariviere used a lot.] Optimistic.
[No mention of faculty union.]
Personal note: Committed to the public and research mission, a good thing. Social and economic mobility via access to higher ed that does not depend on SES.
Q John Bonine:
Governance extends beyond academics though Pres has final word, but not the only word. We have a process for resolving what's in the Senate's purview: Scholarship and scholarships and policies. Cannot let this be done [by Geller] and OARs.
Moving on ... Kyr's remarks:
Interim Provost Bean is preparing the survey on university priorities which the Senate will distribute! [I guess that means question 1 will not be "Who do you think should be the new Provost?"]
Q's from Bonine and Stahl on why the admin is not posting policy proposals as they have been voted on by the Senate.
Random Duck Drug Tests:
We should hear from the proponents.
We've wanted to do this for years [so we rushed...]. Bonine calls him on it.
Not an NCAA mandate!
Bonine: How did this get so far without consultation?
Gray: Not my call.
Bonine: Regulations are policymaking
Harbaugh: Summary of the OAR references academics and suggests this type of random testing is required by the NCAA, but Gray just said it's not.
Discussion of how to proceed:
Gray: this is all about protecting our athletes.
Gillem: Establish committee to review policy in light of it's academic import, "emergency" testing can proceed.
Kenton, OUS VC for FA [This guy is great, a nerd's nerd.]
ORP and PEBB: [Snoozer, you'll have to google this stuff yourself.]
Wake up people, this might be important: Currently UO pays into ORP based on PERS rate. PERS rate goes up, UO pays more into your account. IRS wants a fixed rate. Also, ORP can reduce admin fees by limiting number of investment companies. Also a problem with guessing if people will work 600 hours.
Also, they may change their contribution amount for new employees - not current. (which is 12.3).
John Chalmers is on top of this stuff, nothing big, go back to sleep.
Q Botvinnik: Inequity between tier 1 and 3 - 16% vs 6% contributions.
Kenton: You are correct. (also a 6% employer pickup so really 22 vs 12.)
PEBB health and wellness:
Set up committee, hired Gallagher Benefit Services to advise.
OUS paid $67M *more* to PEBB than benefits, (over two year?) because we are healthier than average state worker. This cost gets bult into tuition, etc. But Kitzhaber wants a *bigger* pool.
Admins slide out of meeting.
I'll submit an edited list of questions on this entry to Gottfredson and ask for responses.
Earlier, 10/10/2012: At the Senate meeting today, 3PM, room 101 in the Knight Library. I'll try and live-blog it.
Q1: I heard your talk to the department head's was panned for lack of specifics. You could have been giving it at Arizona. Where's the beef?
UO Matters: Actually, while Gottfredson's speech was short on specifics, it had a certain emphasis on transparency and shared governance that I like.