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POLICY STATEMENT: CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Staff Report to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Beginning in June 1999, the Board, through its System Strategic Planning Committee, undertook an analysis of its policy on conflict of interest. In October 1999 the Committee and Board accepted a report which concluded that current statutes and Board policy appropriately address concerns relative to a definition of conflict of interest (and potential); guidance on raising and evaluating concerns; and a clear prohibition on expectations of employment and personal gain.

The Board further elected to stress its expectation that the obligation of Board membership overrode affiliation to institutions, regions, or individual status. Lastly, the Board directed that its current policy and its new statement of expectations be merged into a single document.

Below is the merged document, which is subdivided into two primary parts; one prescribing procedures for employees and the other prescribing the expectation of Board membership. (New material is in boldface type; deleted text is bracketed.)

OREGON STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
POLICY STATEMENT: CONFLICT OF INTEREST

SECTION A: As to members of Oregon State Board of Higher Education:

It is recognized that members of the Board of Higher Education are appointed to serve interests and needs of higher education in the state of Oregon. The fulfillment of this charge requires strict adherence to the highest standards of ethical behavior.

The Board recognizes that the standards that govern this conduct are fully set forth in ORS Chapter 244 et seq. It is therefore the policy of the Board of Higher Education that all members, upon confirmation of appointment, and periodically thereafter, be made aware of the requirements of this law, or, subsequent versions thereof. It is the Board's intent that this policy, or others adopted in furtherance of its purposes, be viewed and utilized as elaboration and guidance and that the statutory requirements set forth in Oregon law are binding authority to which members must adhere.

[The Board member is] Board members are encouraged to examine prospective issues at the earliest opportunity for the potential of a conflict of interest and are reminded that compliance with the statutory requirements often require sensitivity to avoiding the appearance of impropriety. Members are to consult with the chair of the Board and/or counsel to the Board for guidance where appropriate. Formal opinion should be requested from the Government Standards and Practices Commission. All Board members shall file annually with the Government Standards and Practices Commission a verified statement of economic interests as directed by that Commission.

The Board further recognizes that persons appointed to this body bring long and valued histories of service to other segments of the state. These services often include advocacy on behalf of member institutions, particular regions of the state or groups served by the Board to include faculty, students, and alumni. All Board members are hereby charged with embracing the statewide and Systemwide duties of Board membership. Each member is reminded that by accepting membership on the Board they agree to serve the general good and welfare of the whole of higher education in the State of Oregon.

SECTION B: As to employees of the Department of Higher Education, including employees of the respective institutions:

[All Board members,] The Chancellor, the Vice Chancellors, the Presidents, and the Vice Presidents of this Department shall file annually with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission a verified statement of economic interests. No employee shall accept any outside employment which will discredit or embarrass the employee's institution, the Department of Higher Education, or the State of Oregon. Before accepting any outside employment, all employees shall comply with [AR 41.040] OAR 580-21-0025.

Any employee of the Department in a position to influence or make recommendations concerning the award of any contract who is an officer, agent, or member of or directly or indirectly interested in the pecuniary profits or contracts or any corporation, association, or partnership which is doing business or seeking to do business with the Department of Higher Education, shall be considered to have a potential conflict of interest.

Upon adoption of this policy, the text of this policy statement, and of Article XV, Section 7, of the Oregon Constitution, or pertinent portions of ORS chapter 244, and of [AR 41.040 and AR 42.210] OAR 580-21-0025 shall be widely disseminated and made available to each current and new employee. [(In the 1979 revision of the administrative rules, AR 41.040 became OAR 580-21-025, and AR 42.210 was deleted as being too restrictive.)]

Staff Recommendation to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Staff recommends that the Board approve the amended conflict of interest policy statement.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

B.S., COMMUNICATION STUDIES, OIT

Staff Report to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Oregon Institute of Technology proposes to offer a baccalaureate degree program in Communication Studies, effective fall term 2001. All of the OUS institutions offer some form of a communication program (e.g., speech communication, journalism, English). This proposed program combines related fields and applications in a design that differentiates it from traditional communication programs, and OIT has crafted the major in such a way that it fits well within OIT's mission.

The program, which is developed primarily to serve placebound students, targets three areas: core communication knowledge and skills, technical communication, and organizational communication. In their sophomore year, students will choose from a focused sequence of elective areas such as technology, science, health, applied psychology, or business. Students will be required to submit to their advisor a clear, well-articulated plan for the sequence. A number of new courses will be developed for this program (e.g., Organizational Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Grammar for Technical Writers and Journalists, Communication Ethics). OIT anticipates serving 25 students per year in this program.

The emphasis of the program is applied communication skills, and one of the program's most important outcomes will be effective workplace communication knowledge and skills. Students in this major will develop creative, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills as well as expand their abilities to integrate knowledge, ethics, and tools for purposeful work in oral, written, and visual forms of communication. These skills will serve them well in the workplace. Job Outlook, an annual hiring forecast conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, surveys employers to determine skills they most desire in employees. Four of the top nine desired skills are oral, interpersonal, written, and computer skills. Business, government, politics, education, civic affairs, and nonprofit organizations all depend on effective communication strategies and skills. In Oregon, technical writing and editing is a growing field. Other career paths for students with this major include human resources, public relations, sales, and visual communication.

During the first four years of implementation, OIT plans to hire three full-time faculty to teach departmental and major courses and 2.5 adjunct faculty to help teach lower-division general education courses. The 12 current OIT faculty who will contribute to this program have requisite expertise in such areas as classical and modern rhetoric; technical editing, writing, and communication; journalism; mass media; and interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication. Library, research facilities, and computer lab resources are sufficient to offer the program. The financial requirements for this program will be met by funds generated through the OUS Resource Allocation Model.

All appropriate institutional committees and the OUS Academic Council have positively reviewed the proposed program.

Staff Recommendation to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Staff recommends that the Board authorize Oregon Institute of Technology to establish a program leading to the B.S. degree in Communication Studies. The program would be effective fall term 2001, and the OUS Office of Academic Affairs would conduct a follow-up review in the 2006-07 academic year.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

B.F.A., MULTIMEDIA DESIGN, UO

Staff Report to the System Strategic Planning Committee

The University of Oregon proposes to offer a five-year, preprofessional program leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Multimedia Design, effective fall term 2000. The only other related program in the Oregon University System is Eastern Oregon University's undergraduate major in Computer Science/Multimedia. Other related Oregon programs at the subbaccalaureate level are a Multimedia minor at Oregon State University and an associate degree in Multimedia Design Production at Lane Community College.

Based on the history and practice of visual arts and communications, UO's proposed program will provide students with a thorough grounding in the use, invention, and production of all forms of multimedia software and Internet-based communications. Students will be guided in the development of original multimedia work in "hands-on" laboratories, studios, and internships. The program will consist of 220 credits (118 of which will meet general departmental requirements for the B.F.A.). Students will share a foundation of basic design, drawing, and art history with all Fine and Applied Arts majors. UO anticipates approximately 200 majors in the program at any given time, with 40 graduates per year.

Existing and emerging digital enterprises will be major players in shaping the economic and cultural landscape of the 21st century. Information technology and computer-related fields are among the fastest growing occupational areas in the country. Graduates of this program will be qualified for work in professional digital media design and production. They may choose to become graphic designers, illustrators, information and interface designers, animators, videographers, project managers, or programmers. Many may elect to apply their skills in the fields of entertainment, education and training, games, advertising and marketing, interactive art and performance, electronic publishing, or corporate communications.

This area is a state priority as evidenced by the provision of funds to support two new faculty hires. In subsequent years, enrollments in the core courses should support those salaries. In addition, the program will require one new secretarial support position. The program will utilize existing print resources and make extensive use of nonprint materials such as CD-ROM, DVD, videotapes, and laser disks. The World Wide Web will also play an important resource role. The School of Architecture and Allied Arts received a sizeable computer donation from Intel, which was matched by a one-time state allocation of $400,000 for this program. A portion of the start-up funds will be used for necessary space renovation.

All appropriate University committees and the OUS Academic Council have positively reviewed the proposed program.

Staff Recommendation to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Staff recommends that the Board authorize the University of Oregon to establish a program leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia Design. The program would be effective fall term 2000, and the OUS Office of Academic Affairs would conduct a follow-up review in the 2005-06 academic year.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

CERTIFICATE, FILM STUDIES, UO

Staff Report to the System Strategic Planning Committee

The University of Oregon proposes to offer an undergraduate certificate in Film Studies, effective fall term 2000. Although courses in film studies are taught at other OUS institutions, there are no other certificate or degree programs in Film Studies. The certificate's focus on history, theory, and criticism (rather than production) utilizes existing courses and provides an intellectual foundation for students interested in pursuing careers in the media industries or graduate work in cinema studies.

The proposed 32-credit program is organized into four categories that reflect a breadth of exposure to significant areas in film studies: Introduction to Film Studies; Aesthetics, Theory, and Methods of Film; Film and Society; and electives. Three lower-division courses, taught in the English Department, will provide a core of study in the history and aesthetics of cinema. Students will complete their requirements by selecting one course from the Aesthetics, Theory, and Methods of Film group and two courses from the Film and Society group of courses. Students will also choose two electives in consultation with an advisor. These may be from among the film offerings or from a related field such as theater arts.

Currently, none of the major research universities of the Northwest offer an integrated program of studies in film and television history, theory, and criticism at either the undergraduate or graduate level. There is enthusiastic student support of this program. Enrollments at UO have been strong; since 1992, over 8,000 students have taken film-related courses. UO anticipates 500 graduates of this program within the first five years of operation.

Because this program utilizes existing courses, minimal resources are required. Faculty, facility, equipment, and reference resources are all sufficient to offer this program. Modest costs relating to support staff and printing of recruitment materials will be absorbed by UO's English Department.

All appropriate University committees and the OUS Academic Council have positively reviewed the proposed program.

Staff Recommendation to the System Strategic Planning Committee

Staff recommends that the Board authorize the University of Oregon to establish a program leading to an undergraduate certificate in Film Studies. The program would be effective fall term 2000, and the OUS Office of Academic Affairs would conduct a follow-up review in the 2005-06 academic year.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION: