OREGON STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
OREGON STATE CAPITOL -- HEARING ROOM F
December 19, 1997
The meeting of the State Board of Higher Education was called to order at 12:35 p.m. by President Aschkenasy.
On roll call, the following answered present:
Ms. Diane Christopher
Mr. Tom Imeson
Mr. Jim Lussier
Ms. Gail McAllister
Ms. Esther Puentes
Ms. Katie Van Patten
Dr. Jim Whittaker
Mr. Jim Willis
Ms. Phyllis Wustenberg
Mr. John Wykoff
Dr. Herb Aschkenasy
The Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes of the November 21, 1997, meeting of the Board. Ms. Wustenberg moved and Mr. Willis seconded the motion to approve the minutes as submitted. The following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
Dr. Aschkenasy thanked the Board members for agreeing to attend what is considered an "extra" meeting. "The main reason for the full Board meeting today," President Aschkenasy continued, "is that the Governor is going to join us and share his vision for higher education in the state."
Chancellor Cox remarked that, "As we end the year, it is fitting we end it here in the Capitol where the university system got its origins and continues to derive a great deal of its support. I think that the challenges the Governor will extend to us are very much worth taking on. I believe this is a new era, a dramatically changing environment in terms of how we teach, how people learn, and the kinds of services expected from us. The resolution we ought to make is that those challenges will not go unanswered. We will rise to them.
"If we are to serve Oregon, we will need both to do different things and do things differently. That in no way suggests that the record that goes back to 1930 and earlier is somehow tarnished or even lessened. But times are changing and for this university system to be as relevant, as useful, and as necessary as it can possibly be, we must change as well. The most important thing that is changing is that the focus is shifting to those of us who have professed to those of us who are learning. From the teacher to the learner -- a very appropriate change. As we end this year, we ought to reaffirm the values that we stand for -- service, quality, access -- and commit in the new year to carry that to the next level. I welcome the challenge."
Following are Dr. Simonds' comments:
"The Interinstitutional Faculty Senate held its December meeting at Portland State University. Chancellor Cox and Board member Esther Puentes joined us for a discussion of this fall's educational, political, and financial events (the E-Board's action on higher education funding, cooperative initiatives between campuses of OSSHE, and other education sectors in Oregon and related issues) on the one hand, and the Board's committee structure on the other. We thank Ms. Puentes for her presentation of the progress in developing the Board's committee structure and the full discussion we all carried on.
"Duncan Wyse, Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education and his associate joined us, as did State Senator Hartung and State Representative Beck. Mr. Wyse presented a number of issues raised by the Task Force, but not the report itself, which was still being polished at that time. All of us have heard or seen many of the issues, and we are about to hear the Governor's view on the final report. A big issue is how higher education will meet the needs of both students seeking a relevant education and employers seeking skilled employees in the future. As an example, employers are hiring engineers at a high rate, many from out-of-state because we do not produce enough in-state. The problem is not entirely capacity in OSSHE; it is also that many entering students do not have the mathematics skills to succeed in engineering. We can increase capacity but K-12 must also enhance mathematics skills if we are to recruit the greater enrollment in technical areas.
"A major discussion among senators at our work session Saturday was the upcoming presidential searches. Senators agreed the Board's process is very good, allowing substantial input from the stakeholder constituencies. We still have some concern about the short time between the final interviews and final decision. It both limits the chance for input after the candidates visit and tends to give the impression of a decision without due deliberation. Is there a way to extend the interval without compromising the candidates interests in a swift decision? Your efforts to fine-tune the process each time are appreciated."
Professor Simonds noted the new IFS officers for 1998: Kemble Yates, SOU, President; John Cooper, PSU Vice President; Elaine Deutchman, OIT, Secretary; Sarah Witte, EOU, Administrative Council Representative.
PROGRAM MODIFICATION: B.S. IN CIVIL ENGINEERING; TERMINATE B.S. IN CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY, OIT
Introduction and Background
Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) requested authorization to modify the existing B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology (CET). The modified degree, B.S. in Civil Engineering, would be effective immediately, upon approval by the Board. Current students in the CET program would be expected to meet all degree requirements by June 2000, at which time that program would be completely phased out. As part of this modification, and to meet accreditation standards, the name of the department will be changed from Civil Engineering Technology to the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying.
OIT has a 50-year history of providing education in the field of engineering technology, as summarized below:
1947 Associate of Engineering in Structural Engineering Technology
1966 Bachelor of Technology (with option in structural)
1972 The Engineer's Council for Professional Development accredited the bachelor's degrees in Highway Engineering Technology and Structural Engineering Technology
1979 B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology (accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology [ABET] in 1980)
Approximately 35 students graduate each year from the current CET program. Although students and graduates report satisfaction with the program, a growing number express concern about the changing professional engineering licensure laws. It is believed that these changes are the basis for recent declines in enrollment in the CET program at OIT.
There has been a slow but steady decrease in the number of states that allow technology graduates to sit for professional examination. In 1996, the Oregon State Board of Engineering Examiners changed the licensure policy and, in 2006, only those applicants with an engineering degree (not an engineering technology degree) approved by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET will be allowed to sit for the professional engineering examination. It is no longer the case that the CET degree, coupled with experience, provides sufficient career opportunities. More stringent licensing requirements necessitate a shift in OIT's degree offering if it is to respond to student need, meet licensing requirements, and help build engineering capacity in Oregon.
The program modifications have been designed to meet professional accreditation standards published by the EAC of ABET. The department will seek EAC/ABET accreditation of the program. Arrangements have been made to employ an outside consultant with extensive ABET experience to evaluate the program, faculty, and facilities in January 1998 in preparation for the scheduled EAC site visit in fall 1998. In the event of a positive evaluation, EAC of ABET may choose to extend the accreditation retroactively to fall 1997, since the program must have graduates prior to the site visit.
While staff acknowledges that the proposed program modification extends OIT's traditional mission, the argument can be made that it responds appropriately to student access and Oregon workforce needs. OIT clearly understands the special nature of this program and has proposed the following conditions, which have been extensively deliberated within the System:
The modified degree requires some minor course adjustments (e.g., condensing two surveying courses into a new Surveying for Civil Engineers). Only two new courses need to be developed for the program:
Principal curricular changes are the increased math, basic science, and humanities/social science requirements. Drawing from existing courses, these include:
The changes in the curriculum refine and formalize a course of study pursued by many previous OIT students who have wanted to sit for the FE exam.
Other Engineering Programs
Similar baccalaureate programs in civil engineering exist at OSU and PSU, both of which also offer graduate degrees. The University of Portland offers a bachelor's program in civil engineering. Due to OIT's geographic distance to the other programs and the explicit limitations (e.g., undergraduate degree only), negative effects on existing programs are not anticipated. Indeed, the OIT program has the potential to become a more viable source of students for the OSU and PSU graduate programs than the present CET program because its curriculum will articulate better.
According to the on-line version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program is generally required for entry into this field. Graduates with a baccalaureate degree in engineering earned an average annual salary of $34,100 in 1994. The median annual salary for all civil engineers was $44,700. Recent data compiled by OIT's Office of Career Services predict an 18 percent increase in new jobs for civil engineers in Oregon by the year 2000.
Personnel. No new faculty or staff will need to be hired. Current program faculty are experienced practitioners as well as educators, and they bring real-life design problems into the classroom and carefully integrate theory with practice. All are registered professionals in their field.
Facilities, Equipment, Technology
OIT has focused on upgrading laboratory facilities for the last two years. The Computer Center is well-developed and available to all students. The Center will install any applications requested. Special design labs are also available to students. In addition, all faculty offices are equipped with new computers that can access all discipline-specific network software. The modified program will be fully implemented with existing labs, equipment, and technology.
Reference Sources. Library resources are sufficient for implementing this program modification.
No additional funds are required to implement the program.
Staff Recommendation to the Board
Staff recommended that the Board authorize OIT to modify the existing B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology to a B.S. in Civil Engineering, effective immediately upon approval by the Board and subject to the limitations as described under "Program Conditions" above. A follow-up review of the program will be conducted by the OSSHE Office of Academic Affairs in the 2002-03 academic year.
Board Discussion and Action
Vice Chancellor Clark thanked Professor Simonds for his comments that, in essence, set the stage regarding engineering needs. She reminded the Board that the proposed program would modify civil engineering technology, which has been in place at OIT for about 18 years, to civil engineering.
Dr. Clark continued by pointing out that "the playing field has changed for civil engineering technologists. OIT has been in a planning phase for some time and has consulted extensively with the accrediting organization regarding what is necessary to transform the program."
President Aschkenasy asked why an addition of civil not electrical engineering.
Provost Dow indicated that civil engineering is the area in engineering that "is more dependent in terms of the actual profession on having professional registration. We have chosen this program because it was driven by the opportunity for registration having to be at an engineering level. We are still working with the registration board to be sure that under a criteria that the board would develop there is still the option for our other engineering technology programs to receive professional engineering registration. We have not given up on that."
Mr. Lussier moved and Ms. Wustenberg seconded the motion to approve the staff recommendation to approve the program change. Those voting in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
JOINT-CAMPUS GRADUATE PROGRAM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, STUDIES, & POLICY (OSU, PSU, UO)
Oregon State University, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon requested authorization to establish the Joint-Campus Graduate Program for Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy (ESSP). The Board reviewed a preproposal for this program on May 17, 1996. Approval of this set of closely related degrees will provide a complementary set of graduate programs within the State System, each reflecting specific institutional strengths. OSU, for example, requests authorization for a program to include the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, drawing on its institutional strengths in the natural resources fields such as forestry and agroecosystems, as well as ecology, biogeochemistry, and several policy-related areas. PSU proposes the creation of an M.S. and M.E.M. (Master of Environmental Management) in Environmental Sciences and Resources, based on its strengths in environmental chemistry, water resources, microbial biology, and atmospheric science. The UO proposes to offer a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy, reflecting its strengths in humanities, law, social sciences, conservation biology, and basic biology. Each of these programs is explained in more detail in following sections. These proposed degrees would add to the existing inventory of graduate programs, all of which would be covered under the joint-program umbrella: M.A., M.S. at UO; and the Ph.D. at PSU. The proposed OSU degrees would supplant the master's and doctoral degrees in General Science with the environmental biology/science area of concentration.
The implementation of the joint program is deemed critical to the success of all the individual degrees listed above. The report of the external review team stated that although Oregon has earned national recognition for its environmental leadership, the graduate education component has not reflected this tradition, in part because of the disciplinary segmentation of the three largest universities. Environmental issues are complex and interdisciplinary; consequently, the external reviewers believe this program is "ideally suited" for the proposed joint-campus approach. With each university building on proven strengths, "taken together, the Joint-Campus Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy would be among the most comprehensive in the U.S." (External review report, p. 4). An overarching administrative structure will provide coordination between and among the degree programs, as well as provide mechanisms for:
joint-campus faculty participation on master's and doctoral program planning and thesis committees;
joint-campus coordination of curriculum development through a joint faculty advisory committee;
joint-campus facilitation of student and faculty exchanges between campuses;
joint-campus planning of an annual workshop for ESSP participants;
joint-campus development and publication of information on ESSP faculty members, students, and curriculum; and
joint-campus recruitment of students into the ESSP program.
The three universities have committed to supporting the cost of the central, joint program functions, each at one-third of the cost (totaling approximately $75,000 per year). The three Graduate School deans are working together to develop the details of the central functions and associated costs.
Students pursuing a major in an ESSP program will have several broad areas of inquiry from which to choose. Some of the organizing themes available to students include:
development of new knowledge about environmental systems through integration of life, physical, and social sciences;
environmental management and policy through a combination of science and humanities;
development of new environmental technologies through the application of science and engineering principles; or
contributions of the humanities and arts to an understanding of the environment.
Environmental issues abound, and the entire environmental field accounted for $120 billion in business services in 1994. That number is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2000. Consequently, employment opportunities flourish for environmental professionals. Whole books are devoted to the subject (e.g., Environmental Jobs for Scientists and Engineers, Basta: 1992; Environmental Careers, Warner: 1992; The New Complete Guide to Environmental Careers, Sharp: 1993). Numerous Web pages target environmental careers (see enclosures). Annual national conferences serve as educational and informational forums regarding environmental employment opportunities, issues, and trends (e.g., National Environmental Career Conference, 10/23-25/97, Boston, MA).
The field is diverse, making it difficult to link specific degrees with specific jobs. Yet examples of potential career paths are abundant. Employment opportunities span both public and private interests, as well as academia. They include research, environmental cleanup, and technology development for "management and mitigating environmental problems. Services include consulting, construction, laboratory analysis, and mapping for problems ranging from site reconnaissance to compliance monitoring to ecological restoration" (p. 1, Evaluation of Training Needs in Oregon's Environmental Technology Industry, Pratt: 1996).
Rational management of the environment requires scientific data and analysis to understand and model the behavior of environmental systems. There are many critical environmental issues in the Northwest and nation, such as hazardous waste, sustainable yields in agriculture, management of salmon fishing, logging practices, water availability and quality, climate change, and field burning. Addressing these issues requires well-educated scientists with the ability to work at the interfaces between traditional disciplines. Because ecosystems, geosystems, the hydrological cycle, the atmosphere, and the oceans are so interrelated, designing solutions to environmental problems requires a thorough understanding of these system interrelationships. In addition, sensitivity to and understanding of economic and cultural factors are required for implementation of appropriate solutions.
Students graduating from any of these proposed programs should have excellent employment prospects. Federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of Energy offer employment opportunities for such graduates. Additionally, all states and many local governments hire individuals who can develop and enforce compliance with environmental legislation (e.g., the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Superfund programs). Private-sector employment opportunities also exist. In the Portland metro area alone, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality lists more than 300 waste-generating companies. Researchers are needed to define and predict environmental impacts and to identify mitigation protocols.
M.A., M.S., PH.D. IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (OSU)
As one element of the OSSHE Joint-Campus Graduate Program for Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy, OSU requested authorization to offer a new instructional program leading to the M.A./M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences. These new degrees would replace the current concentration of environmental biology/science in the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in General Science. On the OSU campus, this interdisciplinary graduate program would be administered by the Graduate School, the environmental sciences program director, and the environmental sciences council of deans -- all of which would exist under the umbrella of the joint-campus program. Academic programs related to environmental issues are central to the mission of OSU, a university distinguished by its extensive activity in the areas of the environment and natural resources, and a campus recognized as a land, sea, and space grant institution. Funds to operate this program will come from reallocation of existing campus resources.
1. Relationship to Mission
OSU has long-standing status as a land, sea, and space grant institution. As such, study in environmental science areas is central to the campus mission. Additionally, this proposed environmental sciences program would contribute directly and indirectly to many of the objectives of the strategic plan of OSU. Specifically, the program would strengthen interdisciplinary studies among students and faculty, improve the quality and rigor of an existing academic program, contribute to the goal of increasing enrollment of outstanding students, and improve the relationship of the University with its many constituents by increasing the visibility of programs in which OSU has considerable strength.
2. Evidence of Need
Evidence of the need for this program rests with the success of the current graduate program in this area, now offered as a general science degree. The proposed program extends the base of support for the program across the campus, links the environmental fields among the major universities in the State System, and meets current needs of students and faculty members. Other evidence of need is suggested in the rapid enrollment of the undergraduate environmental sciences program, which started in 1992 and now has about 250 majors. This success is indicative of strong student interest in this field and the need for strong undergraduate and graduate programs.
3. Quality of the Proposed Program
The strength of the curriculum and faculty all point to this proposed program as one of high quality.
Curriculum for the M.A. & M.S. degrees. Master's students must complete at least 45 graduate credits for the degree, which includes an Environmental Sciences (ES) graduate core of nine credit hours, for which new courses have been designed. Master's of arts candidates must complete a second language requirement. Courses in research methods, experimental design, statistical analysis, and modeling are required to ensure adequate skills for environmental research. Four areas of concentration have been developed (ecology, biogeochemistry, social science, and quantitative analysis), and other tracks may be developed in the future as well. A minimum of six credits are required for original research, leading to a thesis or project completion that complies with standards established by the Graduate School.
Curriculum for the Ph.D. degree. Doctoral students must complete at least 108 graduate credits for the degree, which includes an ES graduate core of ten credit hours. The four areas of concentration available to master's students are also available to those pursuing the Ph.D. Candidates must also complete nine credits in methods and numerical skills, 30 credits in their concentration area, 3 to 23 credits in electives, and 36 to 56 hours of dissertation. Each student must pass a preliminary examination (written and oral) to qualify for degree candidacy.
Faculty. Faculty members from the Colleges of Science, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Forestry, Health and Human Performance, Liberal Arts, and Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences -- representing dozens of individual academic departments -- will participate in offering these proposed graduate programs. Many of these individuals are nationally or internationally recognized experts in their fields. Areas of expertise and research interests include:
OSU has a formal graduate faculty system, whereby graduate committee members must be elected to the graduate faculty of the field of study they represent on a student's graduate committee. Nearly 90 faculty members have indicated an intention to serve on the graduate faculty for this proposed program. These faculty members have particular expertise in the four areas offered as concentrations in the degree programs.
4. Adequacy of Resources to Offer the Program
Personnel. No new funds for faculty or graduate assistant support are required to implement this proposed program. Approximately three-fourths of the program's personnel budget will come from the transfer of programmatic resources. The additional one-fourth of the program's resources will come from the administrative transfer of funds already on campus and will support the program director, support staff, graduate student assistantships, and student workers.
Library, Facilities, and Equipment. Library resources at OSU are sufficient to support these graduate programs. A modest amount of additional resources are required in terms of supplies and services, equipment, and space renovation, but these will come from the internal reallocation of the administrative funds described above.
M.S./M.E.M IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND RESOURCES, PSU
Portland State University requested authorization to offer the M.S. and Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) in Environmental Sciences and Resources (ESR), effective fall 1998, as part of the joint-campus environmental graduate program with UO and OSU. Currently, PSU offers a B.S./B.A. in Environmental Studies (approved in 1995) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources (approved in 1969). The objective of the proposed program is to develop scientists and managers capable of analyzing and understanding environmental systems, predicting environmental change, and participating in the management of the environment. Each student will perform research and complete a thesis or research project; complete a core of graduate courses that combines breadth with content in the physical, life, and social sciences; and develop depth in an area of concentration. Ten students are expected immediately, with ten added each year thereafter for four years. Core courses will be offered at times and places that allow part-time students to complete the program; this provision is expected to attract students who would not be enrolled in other university programs. The minimal budget needs will be handled through reallocation of resources.
1. Relationship to Mission and Strategic Direction of PSU
The proposed program is in keeping with PSU's mission "to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic qualities of urban life by providing . . . an appropriate array of professional and graduate programs relevant to the metropolitan area." The relevance and need in the Portland metro area are demonstrated by the fact that more than 250 environmental technology firms exist there, and environmental technology (coupled with biotechnology) is one of five Portland-area target industries identified for growth by the Oregon Economic Development Department.
The proposed master's degrees will complete the environmental program offerings of PSU, building on demonstrated strengths of the existing undergraduate and doctoral programs at the University.
2. Quality of the Proposed Program
Proposed curricula have been coordinated with existing and emerging programs. Graduate students in the program will take a core of Environmental Sciences and Resources (ESR) courses. The core program will teach students about environmental systems science, environmental law and policy, risk assessment, and the history of environmental scholarship and thought. Students will also gain sufficient skills to conduct environmental research.
In addition, students will select a track (i.e., area of concentration), such as water resources, air quality, and land analysis. Other tracks that may be added include environmental chemistry, environmental health, and environmental remediation and restoration.
Students pursuing the M.S. will be required to complete a thesis on original research. Those students pursuing the M.E.M. will complete a project in lieu of a thesis. The project is to be the product of original work in an agency, organization, or firm involved in environmental management activities. A report on the project must be presented at a public seminar, followed by an oral defense of the work conducted by the students' graduate committee.
The external reviewers found "the course requirements to be in line with those of other strong, nationally competitive programs (e.g., Duke University's School of the Environment)," and they were impressed that the project report requirement of the M.E.M., "while different from a conventional thesis, will represent comparable effort" (p. 5).
4. Adequacy of Resources to Offer the Program
The current ESR program director and faculty will offer the proposed program. Their areas of expertise and research interests include:
No additional faculty members will be required for the first four years. The program will require .5 FTE additional clerical support. Library holdings are adequate for the proposed program, as are equipment and facilities. Salary support for participating faculty, administrative support, and funds to operate the program will be provided by the participating colleges and schools.
PH.D. IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, STUDIES, & POLICY, UO
The University of Oregon requested authorization to offer an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy (ESSP), effective fall 1998, as part of the joint-campus environmental graduate program with OSU and PSU. UO's proposed program combines a required interdisciplinary emphasis with grounding in a traditional academic discipline (referred to as the "focal department"). The primary objective of the program is to prepare environmental professionals, researchers, and scholars to bring together strengths, independent research capabilities, and in-depth study of particular environmental problem areas and to apply these skills to a range of environmental problems and topics. The program would be open only to students who have earned a master's degree and would take three to four years to complete. Three to four students would be admitted annually. UO currently offers both a baccalaureate and master's degree in environmental studies; implementation of the proposed program will complete the University's environmental offerings. Budget needs will be met through a combination of reallocation of existing resources and commitment of new resources; discussion regarding the details are underway.
1. Relationship to Mission and Strategic Direction of UO
The proposed program fits well within the liberal arts tradition of a public research university. More formal acknowledgment of the place of environmental topics occurs in UO's strategic plan, A Vision for the Future -- 1992-1997, which notes the need to focus on ". . . the global consequences of ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, and other environmental conditions . . ." and also mentions the importance of "global interdependence." The proposed doctorate will offer opportunities for study in these areas.
The University has existing programs and institutes that will support the new program. For example, the Institute for Sustainable Environment coordinates many research initiatives and outreach environmental activities. The Oregon Institute for Marine Biology already attracts environmental studies students. The Center for the Sociological Study of Women assisted with launching a new University-based environmental journal. The external reviewers indicated the University has a high level of faculty and student enthusiasm for interdisciplinary learning and research, and that the UO has "exceptional strength in environmental studies among the social sciences, humanities, and law faculties" (p. 7).
2. Evidence of Need
Pollution, people-generated climate change, destruction of natural habitats, and sustainable habitats are just some of the environmental problems and concerns that continue to require public attention. Yet the interrelations among the environmental systems are so complex that designing solutions requires full consideration of cultural and economic factors as well as a thorough understanding of the scientific processes involved. UO's proposed interdisciplinary doctorate addresses the need for trained professionals who can respond knowledgeably and creatively to these complex issues. Graduates from this program will have a broad academic background, making them capable of integrating the perspectives and conceptual frameworks of very different disciplines.
Assessment of student interest in and need for this doctorate is based both on the fact that approximately one-third of the UO students who receive a master's degree in this department eventually earn a doctorate and on the number of inquiries UO receives regarding the possibility of offering such a degree (approximately 24 inquiries per year).
3. Quality of the Proposed Program
Structure. Central to the proposed program is the concept of the focal department -- an existing academic unit that 1) already offers a Ph.D., and 2) agrees to participate in the ESSP program. Each student designates a focal department as part of the application for admission. From that point on, the designated department is involved in the student's doctoral program. As mentioned earlier, the proposed program also has an interdisciplinary emphasis to ensure that doctoral students are familiar with the ways in which the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, and policy sciences each approaches environmental topics and themes. This structure is designed, then, to create and foster strong student ties to both the focal department and the environmental studies program.
Requirements. The program requires completion of:
More than 100 faculty at the University have teaching and/or research interests in environmental topics. With the exception of Romance Languages and Mathematics, all doctoral-granting departments in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) have at least one such faculty member, and departments such as Geography, Political Science, Sociology, and Biology have several. These departments and others in CAS have emphasized environmental specialties when recruiting new faculty.
The research interests of the current director of the Environmental Studies program include the use of computers in biology laboratories and population ecology. Other areas of expertise of faculty involved in the proposed program include:
4. Adequacy of Resources to Offer the Program
No new faculty are needed to initiate the proposed program. Minimal additional support staff will be needed. (.15 to .25 FTE, based on the number of students in residence). Current library holdings are adequate to support the program. No special facilities are required. The program would require a small amount of additional office space, primarily for the graduate students who serve as Graduate Teaching Fellows. It is anticipated that the new School of Law construction will free up office space that could be used for this purpose.
Staff Recommendation to the Board
Staff recommended the Board authorize Oregon State University, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon to establish the Joint-Campus Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy, effective fall 1998, and offer the following degrees:
A follow-up review of the full program will be conducted by the OSSHE Office of Academic Affairs during the 2003-04 academic year. The proposal should be placed on the consent agenda for final action at the next full Board meeting.
Board Discussion and Action (November 21, 1997)
Vice Chancellor Clark introduced the collaborative set of proposals. Representatives of the three involved campuses briefly reported on their institution's component of the program. Dr. Clark emphasized that the most important feature of the planning process, collaboration, will continue into the implement phase. Special features of the program include activities of networking and jointly delivered seminars.
Ms. Christopher asked how a hypothetical student might make it through the courses. Dr. Steadman Upham of the UO indicated that it would depend on the course. Technology, such as ED-NET, is used to connect students on the three campuses to the course offerings. There are times when faculty exchanges enable offering a course and careful consideration is given to the time courses are offered to allow students from other campuses to take them.
Ms. McAllister asked for further clarification regarding the rotating directorship of the program. Dr. Pratt of PSU responded that collaborative decision making has been a mode of operating from the beginning. There will be rotation of the directorship on a two-year basis that will enable various individuals to make their own special contribution to the program. "The idea is to have an annual meeting of the students in the program, continued collaboration of faculty, and the rotating directorship."
Dr. Aschkenasy said this was a program "the Board can approve with pleasure."
Ms. Wustenberg moved and Ms. McAllister seconded the motion to approve the staff recommendation. The following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
Board Discussion and Action (December 19, 1997)
Mr. Whittaker moved and Ms. McAllister seconded the motion to approve the staff recommendation. The following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
B.A. IN LANGUAGE & CULTURE, WITH CONCENTRATIONS IN FRENCH, GERMAN, & SPANISH, SOU
Southern Oregon University requested authorization to offer a B.A. degree in Language and Culture with concentrations in French, German, and Spanish, effective fall 1998. The Board positively reviewed a preproposal for this program at the April 1997 meeting. Currently, SOU offers minors in French and German and a major or minor in Spanish. Traditional foreign language programs emphasize the study of the literature of the language. However, recent trends in the international economy, the growing necessity for cross-cultural understanding and communication, and increased student interest in practical language skills are driving reform efforts in foreign language majors nationally. The proposed program responds to this new agenda by combining a language program, a literature and culture program, and a "discipline-based language" program. A required internship/practicum and international experience strengthen the skills students will develop in this program. Current resources are sufficient to implement the proposed program.
1. Relationship to Mission and Strategic Direction of SOU
The proposed program is consistent with a central element of SOU's mission, which is to prepare students to be "successful in a global society." The required internship will allow students to apply "critical thinking skills they have learned in the community and international settings." Most of the internships will be in a foreign country or with a local organization having international or multicultural ties. Consequently, students will have the opportunity to apply their language skills and cultural knowledge in real-life settings.
Students in the proposed program will develop:
2. Evidence of Need
The major objective of the proposed program is to prepare students for careers with a multicultural or international component, utilizing strong communication skills in a foreign language and cultural understanding. Students receiving this degree will be prepared for a wide range of employment opportunities, such as working in human services, government agencies, health services, international commerce, and travel and tourism. Those students pursuing the Spanish concentration will be well-positioned to respond to the needs of Oregon's growing Hispanic population by working in any number of agencies or businesses. The degree will also prepare students for entry into teacher education programs to help fill the projected need for secondary-level foreign language teachers in Oregon.
A survey of students in foreign language courses at SOU revealed that 34 percent had a "very strong interest" if such a degree were offered at SOU. Currently, SOU students who want to pursue a degree in French or German are forced to relocate to finish their studies, and Spanish majors must follow the traditional literary track. This proposed program will broaden the choices available to SOU students.
3. Quality of the Proposed Program
Core Courses. Students will be required to complete 20 credits in their major language, including a 12-credit sequence in culture, composition, and conversation. Eight credits each in history, and language and culture (specifically, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Intercultural Communication) round out the core requirements.
Foreign Language Electives. Students will complete 12 elective credits in the language of their concentration. A new 400-level Topics in Culture class has been added for the French and Spanish concentrations. These classes will be taught regularly, may be repeated for credit as the topic changes, and will focus on various issues related to contemporary culture in the various countries of focus. Students with a German concentration can take advantage of PSU's Deutshe Sommerschule am Pazifik -- a five-week program that offers intensive instruction in German language and literature.
Electives in Related Fields. Students will complete 12 upper-division credits in related areas. This requirement is designed to connect students with other disciplines, to integrate and synthesize knowledge gained in language and culture courses, and to expose students to different values and methods of inquiry. The group of courses selected for this requirement should form a cohesive body of knowledge corresponding to the student's professional or career goals, thereby complementing the student's study of language and culture. Approved courses must have a component demonstrating international or multicultural perspectives and/or applications of material studied in an international or multicultural context.
Capstone. In consultation with a faculty member, students will design a capstone research project, the results of which will be presented in both written and oral forms. Capstones may be in the area of language, literature, or culture, and will reflect the student's personal interests and career goals. The capstone may be linked to the internship (with advisor approval).
International Experience. Every student in the program must complete a minimum of three months in an approved international work or study program in a country where the language of specialization is spoken. Previous international experience prior to entering the program may fulfill this requirement, upon approval of the advisor. Coursework completed in a study-abroad program may be applied to the course requirements for the degree (again, upon approval of the advisor). Students who have financial or other hardships that would prevent them from completing this requirement may petition for a waiver.
Internship/Practicum. Internships consist of a minimum of ten weeks of full-time work experience or the equivalent, and must be either an overseas internship or, if done locally, have an international scope. Internships in a foreign country may also be used to fulfill the international experience requirement. Internship opportunities are possible through three avenues: 1) the OSSHE Global Graduates program; 2) the International Cooperative Education program (based out of Menlo Park, California); or 3) departmental internships arranged by individual faculty members.
Senior Interview. Students completing this program will be expected to achieve fluency in their language of concentration that is the equivalent of the Advanced rating on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Each student will be required to complete a formal exit OPI to determine level of fluency. (Earlier periodic test runs of the OPI will provide students ample opportunity to measure their progress.) In the senior interview, students will also demonstrate cultural competency based on recently developed ACTFL Standards for Foreign Language Learning. Students will be expected to achieve a similar level of competence in written expression, which will be tested in upper-division language courses and will figure prominently in the portfolios of specific projects and samples of written work from a selection of their upper-division coursework for the degree.
4. Adequacy of Resources to Offer the Program
Faculty. No new faculty are required to implement the proposed program. Although the Spanish section has lost one instructorship position due to budget reductions, that loss has been offset by reducing first-year offerings. The Rogue Community College (RCC) annexation of Jackson County is expected to draw some of those students who would have taken first-year courses. If Spanish enrollments increase, however, a new faculty member will need to be added to the Spanish staff in order to meet the needs of both majors. Although corresponding staff reductions have not occurred for French and German, the impacts of RCC coupled with actual student demand in the proposed program raise the potential for additional course sections to be added. In that event, they would be staffed with part-time instructors.
Faculty research interests and areas of expertise provide a broad base from which to offer this program, and include translation; film studies; computer applications in foreign language acquisition; and international, civic, and regional service. Faculty in the proposed program also have a history of establishing and maintaining effective international internship and exchange programs.
Library. Grant money already received should raise library resources to an appropriate level. The additional recommended $2,500 per year will be met within the department by redirecting current allocation toward materials specifically needed for the program.
Facilities, Equipment, and Technology. The program will utilize existing facilities and equipment on campus. The current computer software, Internet access, and video and audio programs available in the Language Learning Center are sufficient to run the program. However, since the Center is staffed almost entirely by work-study students, funds have been requested from the campus technology fee to assist with staffing and additional acquisitions.
The proposed program has been reviewed positively by all appropriate institutional committees and the Academic Council.
Staff Recommendation to the Board
Staff recommended the Board authorize Southern Oregon University to establish a program leading to the B.A. in Language and Culture with Concentrations in French, German, and Spanish, effective fall term 1998, with a follow-up review of the program to be conducted by the OSSHE Office of Academic Affairs in the 2003-04 academic year. The proposal would be placed on the consent agenda for final action at the January 1998 Board meeting.
Board Discussion and Action (November 21, 1997)
Vice Chancellor Clark introduced Provost Hopkins-Powell who highlighted aspects of the new program. She pointed out that there is a real focus on employability. "We had a recent meeting with Bear Creek Corporation who is interested in working with students. Local agencies, in particular Hispanic agencies in the Rogue Valley, see a real benefit to the program."
Ms. Puentes asked if SOU currently has any degree programs in Spanish and whether the program before the Board would be in addition to or a replacement for them. Provost Hopkins-Powell indicated that it is the intent of the University to phase those programs out.
Mr. Willis moved and Mr. Imeson seconded the motion to approve the staff recommendation. Those voting in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
Board Discussion and Action (December 19, 1997)
Mr. Whittaker moved and Ms. McAllister seconded the motion to approve the staff recommendation. The following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, Imeson, Lussier, McAllister, Puentes, Van Patten, Whittaker, Willis, Wustenberg, Wykoff, and Aschkenasy. Those voting no: none.
Joint Boards Working Group
Dr. Thompson reported that the Joint Boards Working Group would be meeting in mid-January.
Provost Hallick reported that the OHSU Board had met in November. All of the budgets were approved at that time.
EOU Presidential Search
Ms. McAllister reported that the search at EOU was going well. She indicated that she would like the Board's approval, if required, for a slight deviation in its policy on Presidential Searches. "Specifically, the Committee has requested that one additional person be added to the Screening Committee from the regional centers. These centers are a unique aspect of EOU in fulfilling its mission."
Ms. Grier indicated that this deviation in the Board policy did not require any action on the part of the Board. Board members concurred that it was an appropriate action and supported Ms. McAllister's recommendation for the addition of a representative from the regional centers to the Screening Committee.
Ms. Wustenberg reported that the Agricultural Research Committee would be dissolved in January because it was not funded by the past Legislature.
Governor Kitzhaber addressed the Board, sharing his thoughts on how he envisions the direction of the State Board of Higher Education. His comments were based on the recently released Task Force Report on Higher Education and the Economy. Following is the text of his remarks, in its entirety:
I appreciate this opportunity to provide you with my thoughts on the report on Higher Education and the Economy, as well as the other valuable report on postsecondary education issues submitted by the College Access Task Force.
As I begin, let me first reaffirm my commitment to our System of Higher Education in Oregon. Both my parents are retired faculty from the University of Oregon and I myself am a product of the public school system and the University of Oregon Medical School. I know the value of the System.
Throughout my comments today, I will be talking about the student marketplace and about the economic marketplace and the customers of the System, if you will. And certainly the students and employers are customers of the product that the higher education system develops.
But a higher education is much more than that. It becomes the personal possession of each man and woman who achieves one, and it bears both tangible and intangible fruit. It prepares us not only to make a living but to live, in the best possible sense. It provides economic security as it opens the gates of vision.
Let me be clear. Our efforts to bring education into line with economic and technological realities of today does not mean that our postsecondary schools are merely job training centers and employment agencies. In addition to being members of the workforce, we are also parents and citizens of a free society, with an obligation to preserve and transmit the perspective, the judgment, and the values that flow from a liberal education.
I assure you that I have not, and will not, lose sight of the intrinsic value of a liberal arts education. Indeed, it is one of the values that I am committed to preserving in this System as we try to move it forward.
Let me also ask you to keep two additional points in mind to provide some policy context as I make my comments today.
First, I remain committed to full access to our postsecondary System for any qualified Oregon student. Whatever changes may be needed in the System must be consistent with my commitment to achieve full coverage. I remain committed to Principle 3 of the College Access Task Force: (Full Coverage)--No one is left out by reason of geography, economic, racial or ethnic background, time constraints, or avoidable logistical problems. I recognize that this may mean that certain programs or even institutions will require some degree of subsidy. Second, I have no intention of closing any school nor of letting any institution fail. Certainly the actions I believe we must take will, in some cases, require changes in institutions, both at the community college and university levels, as well as possible partnerships with other postsecondary entities. But this is not about the closure or failure of institutions. In fact, that is the very reason that I am asking you to make these changes today--to avoid such an outcome.
I firmly believe that the most vital challenges to our System of higher education today is the ability of our colleges and universities to survive in a rapidly changing education market. I am convinced that unless we meet those challenges, some of our institutions will fail--not because of the recommendations I am making today, but because we failed to master the change which is all around us.
I want to make it clear that I am not criticizing the current System. We have a good System that has served the needs of Oregonians well. But the world in which that System operates is changing rapidly and we must change it accordingly to accommodate it if we hope to preserve our System and the important values it embodies. I would remind you that our primary and secondary education system is going through a similar transformation initiated by the 1991 Education Act for the 21st century.
As Herb Aschkenasy commented at the July 18 Board meeting: "...it should be understood that this isn't criticism of the past, it's not that we did something wrong yesterday. The world changes and we've got to change with it and what worked yesterday isn't good enough for tomorrow."
Let me share some examples of some changes which are driving us.
1. Changes in State Government Finance and Priority
Property tax limitations--With the passage of Ballot Measures 5, 47, and 50, the state has become the principle funder of primary and secondary education, an appropriation that now represents nearly half of the general fund. This has both increased our dependence on the income tax and increased competition for income tax dollars within the general fund. Higher education has not done well in that new competitive environment. In 1990, 15 percent of the general fund was committed to higher education; 30 percent went to primary and secondary education. Today only seven percent of the general fund goes to higher education and 47 percent to K-12.
Public safety mandates--The passage of Ballot Measures 11 and 17 have imposed large unfunded mandates to build more prisons and establish an inmate work program. Since 1994, public safety spending has increased by 60 percent. This has forced us to move income tax dollars out of education at all levels and into the construction and operation of prisons. More ballot measures of this kind--unfunded mandates for new crimes and new prisons--are expected next fall.
2. Changes in the "Marketplace"
I have an aversion to using the word "marketplace" in conjunction with higher education because it is not, in my view, just another commodity. But I also recognize there are consumers of the product offered by postsecondary institutions and we need a way to talk about them.
The education marketplace--By this I mean the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) as well as community colleges, private institutions, and other entities that also deliver postsecondary educational opportunities in the state.
The student marketplace--By this I mean not just the young person who graduates from South Eugene High School and wants to go to Oregon State University, but any Oregonian who needs a postsecondary experience--from the displaced rnillworker to the engineer who needs additional training because of the changing world of high technology. More and more people in Oregon are recognizing the importance (and, indeed, the economic value) of a postsecondary education, so there is a growing demand for these services. Many of them can pay and there is a market for them.
The economic marketplace--By this I mean the business community; those who hire the graduates of our postsecondary institutions. Today we know that many Oregon employers are having difficulty filling skilled high-wage positions with Oregonians. lnstead, highly educated newcomers are taking these jobs hoe we have been unable to produce an adequate supply of Oregon graduates for these markets.
3. Changes in how higher education is delivered
There has been a significant increase in new entities--like the University of Phoenix, the Western Governor's University, and the Internet--which are, in a real sense, competing for students. If our own postsecondary systems do not focus on becoming more customer-centered and competitive, some time in the not too distant future we will be greatly displaced by these other entities that are focused on the needs of students and of employers and can accommodate those needs in a short period of time.
I believe that these two Task Force reports--Higher Education and the Economy and College Access--provide an excellent framework to begin a dialogue on how to provide more Oregonians, and indeed all Oregonians, greater access to an enriching postsecondary education, and how to meet the challenges of the sweeping changes that confront us.
When I spoke to this Board last July, I noted that by reversing the trend of higher education budget cuts that has marked the 1990's, we had turned the corner and set a new direction. I still believe that is true. But we all need to recognize that this increase in funding was only incremental and occurred in a period of exceptional economic growth. We still have a long way to go in the area of capitalizing the System.
For that reason, I emphasized three areas where I believe we need to change our focus of the Chancellor's office and the Board of Higher Education: agenda, budget and management. The two Task Force reports--Higher Education and the Economy, and College Access--provide many excellent and provocative ideas and recommendations, some of which advance the policy direction I described to the Board last July. I wish to submit those particular ideas and recommendations to you today for action.
AGENDA--shift the agenda focus from the needs of the System institutions to the needs and opportunities in the broader economic and educational marketplace. Currently, the Board spends an inordinate amount of time micro managing course offerings at various institutions; assigning to certain schools "rights" to particular geographic areas or course offerings. This is a cumbersome process which does not allow either individual schools or the overall System to respond in a timely fashion to changes in student or employer needs.
Recommendation: provide greater flexibility for individual institutions to offer new programs to meet the demand in both the student and economic marketplace. The Chancellor should operate more as an "opportunity broker" than a "paper checker."
BUDGET--shift the budgetary focus from System discipline and an effort to equitably allocate resources among the institutions to targeted investments and institutional allocations that reflect the student and economic marketplace. The existing budget process is ponderous and favors funding existing programs rather than providing incentives to develop programs that may better meet market need. In addition, the budget process is not explicit. It is difficult to tell what specific programs are being purchased and how much the same program may cost at different institutions. Subsidies are also implicit and hidden, which prevents a debate over the reasons for and merits of the subsidies.
Recommendation: allow tuition and public dollars to follow the student.
Recommendation: establish a budget process with an explicit allocation of resources, with subsidies made openly and based on clear policy decisions, and with specific strategic allocations for the outcomes that the Board decides the System should produce. I think it is difficult to accomplish this with a zero sum base. I believe in order to do this, we need to bring additional resources to the table. I wouldn't suggest that we need as many as we went through with the school equalization debate, where the definition of equity was simply per pupil expenditure, not necessarily related to outcome. I would publicly call on the members of the Task Force on Higher Education and the Economy, who have brought many of these recommendations to us, and their constituencies, to step up to the plate next Session and support the resources that I believe are adequate to make these recommendations a reality.
Recommendation: the budget process should strive to comply with Principle 1 of the College Access Task Force: (Leverage) --The state should, whenever possible, invest in postsecondary education in a way that elicits other sources of funds as well.
MANAGEMENT--shift the management focus from the needs of the institutions and the presidents to the needs of the public and economic marketplace as espoused by the Board of Higher Education.
Indeed, this direction is consistent with Principle 4 of the College Access Task Force: (Public Confidence)--public higher education is provided in a way that merits and receives the full confidence of Oregonians.
Recommendation: the Board should strategically determine the specific outcomes that the System should produce (to meet the needs of the state as a whole), and explicitly allocate resources to support those outcomes in the budget and enter into performance contracts with institutions to deliver those outcomes.
The issue of "Institutional Autonomy" (changing the rules)--I am not suggesting that we discard the rules which govern the System, but rather that the rules be changed to reflect the realities of the late 20th century. I believe we must retain the central authority of the State Board of Higher Education--I believe in a "System" but, at the same time, the individual institutions must be given greater autonomy in at least three areas (there may be more down the road):1. The exemption from various state agency rules, such as procurement. Some of this was addressed by SB 271 of the 1995 session, but additional steps should be explored.
2. More autonomy for institutions in determining which programs they wish to offer--as long as those programs meet certification standards for quality.
3. Autonomy in competing for and executing performance contracts with the Board for delivering specific outcomes.
One of the findings of the Task Force was that our governance structure has become "compartmentalized." We currently govern our universities and community colleges separately, and rarely recognize the resources represented by private schools. We need to begin to view the OSSHE institutions, and our community colleges, and our private schools as part of a common postsecondary capacity that we need to engage to serve the needs of Oregonians.
This finding is consistent with Principle 6 of the College Access Task Force: (Seamlessness)--There are no unnecessary obstacles either to student entrance to the postsecondary Systems or to their progress through it, even though this complex System is made up of several kinds of Oregon institutions and, increasingly, out-of state and foreign institutions as well.
To move in this direction, I support the following:
Recommendation: achieve complete program transferability among community colleges and universities, as well as facilitating transferability issues with private and out-of-state schools.
Recommendation: establish one entity that is responsible for overall program certification (this is an essential prerequisite to increasing competition within the System). I'm particularly interested in the prerequisite courses that one needs for a four-year degree, so that we don't have separate Systems.
Recommendation: be willing think through the concept of a single budgetary and governance structure, at least for public postsecondary education, to better target scarce public resources.
The above three recommendations can and should be applied to the public System. To apply them to the private system (which I believe has merit) raises a series of thorny questions concerning tuition policy and competition. I am not suggesting that we rush to a conclusion on this matter, but I am strongly urging that we put it on the table for a serious examination and discussion.
I realize that these proposals are causing considerable anxiety --particularly the recommendation that we create a separate entity to oversee implementation. Let me put those fears to rest, at least today. There are issues here clearly exclusive to the business of the state System of Higher Education that you are in the best position to address and for which you are directly responsible.
However, there are also issues which involve community colleges and private institutions. These issues are extremely important and we need to discuss how that coordination should take place. I have not yet determined how best to achieve this objective and would ask the Board, the community colleges, and the private institutions to work with me to coordinate those elements.
In the meantime, I ask that this Board immediately begin work on the two challenges they can most effectively address: (1) providing greater flexibility for individual institutions to offer new programs to meet the demand in the student and economic marketplace; and (2) creating a new budget model in which public dollars follow the student and which makes our subsidy decisions explicit instead of implicit. Furthermore, I want to understand the effects of this model on the System because we cannot make these changes in a vacuum, divorced from their real consequences.
Let me close by saying that I know these changes will not happen without the full engagement of this Board and our other partners. I have not put the System under receivership, but I'm going to look over your shoulder. You have the authority, and I expect you to exercise it. I don't think we should go to a transition board, but I'm not opposed to revisiting that if nothing happens. Last session we worked together to improve the financial condition of our higher education institutions. We reversed a decade of disinvestment.
But we all know that achieving the changes we are now contemplating will require continued investments--that's a given. And I believe these investments can best be secured by ensuring the delivery of a high quality postsecondary educational experience in an environment were the forces of change dictate the need for flexibility.
We would not be here today if our State System of Higher Education was operating in a stable environment. The long-term financial health of the entire System is jeopardized by these forces of change. Unless we work together to change the rules our state System operates under, the System itself will be a victim of our inability to innovate in a world that's innovating rapidly around us. We know the status quo is not the answer. The conditions we face today are fundamentally different than the ones we faced 20 years ago, or even ten years ago. It's not my intention to pit my will against the will of the Board or the System, but I wouldn't shrink from doing it if it became unavoidable.
I support the System. I want the System to endure into the future, so this Board is going to have to have the courage and the strength of will to make it so and face some very real challenges that are ahead of us. The recommendations that I've proposed today have got to be tested against the ramifications that they're going to have. They are not perfected ready-to-implement ideas, but in my experience it's been the willingness to engage new ideas, rather than shrink from them, that has been the basis for our best policy innovations. That is what the System of Higher Education teaches us all to do. If we believe that we must innovate or fail, I believe that we must innovate. Not recklessly, but through deliberation and determination. We've got to do so with the commitment that OSSHE, the community colleges, the private institutions, and most importantly, the students that we all strive to serve, work together. Change is not comfortable, not easy, but is necessary. I believe it is necessary now.
President Aschkenasy thanked the Governor for his comments and indicated that "the comment about courage resonates with me. You've given us a lot of good direction today. My courage is proportionate to your direction. We are here because we think higher education is an important activity and we think we can help bring it to whatever the next level ought to be."
Mr. Imeson indicated that President Aschkenasy had created two committees that fit well with the Governor's flexibility and budget recommendations. "If the Budget Committee were to come back with at least the principles of a funding model in three-four months, would that timeframe work for you?"
Governor Kitzhaber responded that it would--he would anticipate receiving something by May.
Dr. Aschkenasy indicated to the Governor that the Board was developing performance objectives for the individual institutions. "We will probably review or revise the budget to reflect the performance on those objectives. If I heard you right," President Aschkenasy continued, "you mentioned something similar to this as an idea that you would favor. Some of the things that we do are legislatively opposed. I'm assuming you want to help us if some of these things need to be changed in view of the current circumstances."
The Governor responded that his answer was yes, "but my batting average is not perfect. A lot of this needs to be done by the Board. I have not had an opportunity to talk to the Speaker of the House, but I did speak with the Senate President yesterday. I forwarded a copy of my speech to him."
Many Board members indicated they wanted to know more about transferability and articulation with the community colleges. Vice Chancellor Clark responded that there were already agreements with the community colleges and that in many instances it worked well. "Some states incorporate block transfer programs as part of the four-year program. In Wisconsin, for example, the two-year academic centers, as they are called, are part of the University of Wisconsin. The technical institutes are not. Another thing states are doing is making more automatic the tables of transfer so that things are worked out in advance. Most of our institutions have transfer guides that are already electronically available. I don't want to leave the impression that we are lagging way behind."
Mr. Lussier shared a few observations about the Governor's comments. "I was on the Access Task Force," he said. "The emphasis was more on building a system of higher education that really reflects the needs of the students now and in the future. My concern is when you evolve and look at the Governor's comments, you develop a to-do list and then go about picking the items off instead of looking at a system that might be redesigned in a way that embellishes the power of this Board, of individual institutions, and ultimately reflects the needs of the students that are aligned to get that work done over a period of time. I think we can look above that at a system that really does accomplish the ends.
"I'm a little surprised that, for example, we don't have a statement that reflects what it is higher education is trying to produce that we can measure; perhaps that is a place where we can start. I'm enthused
about the opportunities that we have to take on the challenge of the Governor and these Task Forces to fundamentally design a System that embellishes the strengths we have, but fills in the blanks as well."
President Aschkenasy concluded the conversation by adding, "One of the frustrations, I suppose, is how much of what the Governor said we've been working on and how long it takes to get it finished."
The Board meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.
Virginia L. Thompson
Secretary of the Board
President of the Board