Interim and incoming presidents address UO Senate meeting

Incoming UO President Michael Schill

Incoming UO President Michael Schill paid a visit to the University Senate during his visit to campus this week, and he told senators he is eager to learn from them and work with the campus to move the university forward.

“We are beginning a new chapter in the history of the University of Oregon,” Schill said. “This is an extraordinary university. The research and teaching that takes place within our walls are inspiring. We are a great institution of higher education, and we can be even better. I’m looking forward to a partnership with each of you to make that happen.”

Schill praised the work of interim President Scott Coltrane and acting Provost Frances Bronet, calling it a “solid foundation.” He also vowed to listen to the Senate’s suggestions with an open mind.

“I believe in shared governance. I don’t have a monopoly on wisdom. I will need your help; I will need your advice on all sorts of academic matters as we strive together to strengthen our university’s standing among the great research institutions of this country,” Schill said.

Earlier in the Senate meeting during his university update, Coltrane said he’s excited about  Schill’s arrival and called him a great choice for the university.

The interim president also provided an update on the university’s progress on sexual assault prevention, including efforts to hire a new campus leader for the effort, increase investigations and implement expanded prevention programs in fall.

“As we work to establish a new leadership structure, we are focused on ’Now to WOW.’  Student Life and others are working to put all the new programs and enhanced prevention and education efforts into place from now until Week of Welcome — a critical time in ensuring our students are safe, informed, empowered to stand up for each other and know where to turn for support,” Coltrane said.

Coltrane also talked about his response to 10 Senate motions.  The issues were related to athletics budgeting, special admissions, selection of the faculty representative to the board of trustees, student athletics tickets and sexual assault. Coltrane asked the Senate to withdraw several of the motions, a request the body  will now decide whether to accept.

Finally, the Senate approved several policy adoptions and repeals related to the policy review work from the governance transition. The Senate also approved a new location for the Historic Preservation master’s degree program.

Following the meeting, the Senate hosted a reception for Schill, who spoke with faculty, students and staff members of the Senate.

—By Jennifer Winters, Public Affairs Communications