University of Oregon interim President Scott Coltrane and ASUO President Beatriz Gutierrez signed the Clark Document for the 2015-2016 school year on May 8. Also present were members of the Division of Student Life, Vice President Robin Holmes and Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff Kathie Stanley.
The document was written during the ’80s by former president Dave Frohnmayer while he was a law professor at the UO. The document recognizes the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, as the official student government of the university, with a responsibility of determining the levels and allocation of the incidental fee — a fee that every student pays for through their tuition — and goes toward funding for programs that develop students.
The signing is considered to be a demonstration of the cooperative relationship between the administration and the student body.
“I am amazed with what the ASUO does in terms of budgetarian fee settings, how much responsibility they have and how well they do it,” Coltrane said.
Several changes had been made to the document. The Diversity Plan Committee was removed from the document, which involved appointing a group of students to review the Diversity Plan — a plan that is involved with improving access, success and retention for students of diverse backgrounds. The Resolution for Adoption and Fee Processes was referenced in how the incidental fee recommendation is transmitted from the university president to the board of trustees for approval. Also, an appeals section was included, mentioning that the University Hearings Board may be called upon by the ASUO president or university president before it is sent to the board of trustees. The University Hearings Board is largely responsible for judging over student conduct cases and determining whether or not the Student Conduct Code has been violated.
The Clark document also contained a reference to ORS 352.105, which mentioned that nothing in the agreement “is intended to affect the ASUO’s right to appeal to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.” The HECC has the responsibility as an advisor to the Oregon Education Investment Board, the Legislature and the Governor on policies concerning higher education.
According to Holmes, Gutierrez was able to help those in the administration behind the document’s development understand that students feel that it is important to refer to such laws, along with other suggestions of what in the document was important for students.