University Senate approves new degree, questions committee on student-athletes

University of Oregon students will soon see a new major in the geography department called Spatial Data Science and Technology, and review will continue on the effectiveness of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee’s charge over student-athlete academic performance and well-being. It’s all thanks to the University Senate meeting that occurred in the Gerlinger Lounge on Wednesday.

The Senate approved a motion to create the Spatial Data Science and Technology bachelor’s degree. The proposal will be forwarded to the UO Board of Trustees, the Provost’s Council and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for approval, according to the motion.

Another motion to change the charge, or purpose, of the IAC was the most discussed item on the agenda. It proposed the new name to be the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee.

Human Physiology professor Andy Karduna, also the former chair of the IAC and sponsor of the motion, expressed discontent with the IAC at the meeting, noting its ineffectiveness on adhering to former motions passed by the senate.

“In a lot of ways, the IAC as it’s written right now sounds good but it’s not been implemented. I would also argue that it really hasn’t effected any change, at least since I’ve been on the committee,” Karduna said.

The current IAC charge is about 11 years old but its scope has changed; UO Athletics has grown drastically with new athletic buildings and a budget that has more than tripled, according to Karduna.

The meeting also included a discussion on sexual assault reporting policy. Senate members will vote on a permanent responsible reporting policy proposal during their next meeting.

Some of the UO Board of Trustees members gave an update. Two of the members’ terms expire in June of next year. Board member Kurt Wilcox told the Senate he wants the board to hear from the UO community on general matters and aims to make the board more transparent.

The Senate also unanimously voted to pass a proposal to reform the Committee on Committees, which will allow classified UO employees to serve. Classified staff are union represented.

The next Senate meeting is marked for Nov. 16 in the Redwood Auditorium, EMU 214.

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Will Campbell

Will Campbell

I'm the Senior News Editor at the Emerald. I was born and raised in Vancouver, WA.