University Senate talks presidential search, sexual assault and gender inclusivity

The University Senate represents 30,000 people at UO—students, faculty, staff and others. In their meeting on Wednesday topics were as diverse as hiring a president, fighting sexual assault and gender-inclusive bathrooms.

Here are some highlights:

Wanted: New UO President

Since Michael Gottfredson resigned in August, the university has been working under an interim president, Scott Coltrane. Now, UO is advertising all over the country for a new one.

Everything in hiring will be entirely confidential, because candidates could face scrutiny at their home universities if their names came out in a job search, according to Laurie Wilder, president of the search firm looking for UO’s next president.

Coltrane promises the UO is deciding how to fight sexual assault

Interim President Scott Coltrane addressed the senate recommendations on fighting sexual assault given to his office in fall term. Many have said the university is moving too slowly to answer the recommendations, but Coltrane said the university has reviewed the recommendations and are going into the process of deciding what to do.

“I received communication this week saying ‘move faster, move faster, you’re not doing anything,’” Coltrane said. “But we are.”

These recommendations were made in September 2014.

Gender-inclusive bathrooms resolution

Student advocates for transgender rights on campus have been working for months on putting more gender-inclusive bathrooms on-campus. They’re asking for 15 to 17 new gender-inclusive bathrooms and they wanted the support of the University Senate.

UO is currently one of the top 10 trans-friendly universities in the nation, but in order to remain there, we need to make these changes, according to Maure Smith-Benanti, assistant director of the LGBT Education and Support Services Program.

The University Senate passed the resolution with no opposition. That means they’ll present the resolution to President Coltrane and wait for his response.

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