Incoming University of Oregon Senate president Robert Kyr has new vision for campus

Next year the University will face some of the most important issues it has in decades, and incoming senate president Robert Kyr hopes University Senate will play an instrumental role in the decision-making under his leadership.

“I felt that I could make a difference at this very important time in the history of the University,” Kyr said, noting among other things the proposed changes to the University’s shared governance and funding models under the New Partnership. “I believe that the Senate has a very important voice in the process of decision-making at the University, and it has a major role in determining the future.”

Among several plans for next year, Kyr noted that he has two primary goals.

The first is to create a more inclusive vision plan for the future of the University that accounts for all constituencies — Non-Tenured Faculty, Students, Officers of Research, Officers of Administration and Classified Staff — included in University Senate.

“We will do something that the Senate has never attempted before,” Kyr said to Senate last Wednesday. Kyr hopes the plan will address concerns of all constituencies together. “As a unity of many constituencies, the Senate will be envisioning the future of the University.”

Kyr also plans to foster the collaborative relationship between senate and administration created under former Senate President Nathan Tublitz.

“There is a need for greater communication between the central administration and all of the constituencies,” Kyr said, which he hopes to achieve by hosting quarterly forums with University President Richard Lariviere and University Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean.

Together, he hopes these changes “will enhance the vision and connectivity of all constituencies of the University.”

Senate Executive Coordinator Chris Prosser said he is optimistic that Kyr’s plans will be realized, in part because of the transitions he’s already seen in Senate in the past year.

“The administration is a lot more open now,” Prosser said. “They are having good dialogue with the Senate. That hadn’t happened so much in the past.”

Kyr, a professor of composition and music theory, said that although he expects a heavy workload as Senate president, it did not discourage him from running last October.

“I wanted to make a difference,” Kyr said. “I love the University of Oregon and believe in its educational mission.”

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