Academic Senate links campus

The Academic Senate has voted onresolutions and policies that will potentiallyaffect the manner in whichthe U is governed.The Senate’s August meeting,which took place Monday afternoon,included a resolution regarding thepreservation of academic freedomand an interdisciplinary minor inpeace and conflict studies.The Preservation of AcademicFreedom Resolution is a new policy,created by Professor Daniel Greenwoodof the College of Law, and isaimed at restricting the amount ofInternet information that the U retainsas an institution.A draft of the resolution explainedthe details of the efforts, which inlarge part responds to the reach ofthe USA Patriot Act.”Investigative power is easily misused…Professors, students and citizensshould be entitled to study eventhe ideas of our enemies…withoutworrying that they will be classifiedas enemies themselves,” it states.The draft proceeds to explain thedangers of new technology, warningit has vastly increased the number ofrecords in existence and the ease tobrowse them.”Apparently, current technologyas used at the U records everytransmission over the U’s Internetgateway and maintains it in a centrallocation for a fixed period of time(several months) in a searchable andidentifiable form,” the draft states.The actual Preservation of AcademicFreedom Resolution addsthat it is the special responsibility ofuniversities to preserve and advancefreedom of debate and the libertiesof thought.The resolution, which was passedunanimously by the faculty, calls forthe administration to minimize thenumber and type of U records thatcould be used to limit freedoms, toconduct an audit of current library,e-mail and Internet record-keepingpractices and to conduct similar auditsat least once every five years.U administrators will considerGreenwood’s proposal now that theSenate has accepted it.Larry DeVries, president of theSenate, explained the process inwhich the senate assists in governingthe U and said the senate’s role isanalogous to the Legislature in passingvarious rules and regulations.”Almost any matter that goes intopolicy and procedures has to passthrough Senate for their advisoryvote,” DeVries said. After policiespass the senate, they eventually endup at the Board of Trustees for approval.U President Michael Youngtook questions during the meetingregarding other recent issues includingthe Axson-Flynn settlement,the subsequent formation of the religiousaccommodation policy committeeand the gun debate.”I am excited about Flynn,” Youngsaid. “We’ve been working over thepast four decades [as a country] tocreate an intellectually, psychologicallyand physically safe environment.The last uncharted territory isreligion.”Young pointed out that the settlementis actually rather complimentaryto the U, praising the school’s pastefforts to bolster academic freedomand diversity in its many forms.The meeting took place just fourhours after the gun hearings occurred,meaning the Senate was eagerto hear Young’s sentiments regardingthe issue.”I’ve been assured we’ll either winthe case 3-2 or lose 3-2,” Young said.”It’s a case we need to keep takingto the Legislature…To us, this reallyisn’t about control, but safety.”The U’s General Counsel, JohnMorris, added, “We argued the stateconstitutional claims, and they werereceived with respect. It’s a loser’sgame to make predictions based onthe past, but we expect a decisionin anywhere from six weeks to sixmonths.”Prior to Young’s question-and-answersession, football head coachUrban Meyer commented on theimpact of the football team’s accomplishmentsand complimented thestate of the U’s academics by praisinghis players.”The football team plays a majorrole in enhancing the college experience,”Meyer said. “And contrary topopular belief, they’re not all dumbjocks.”Meyer proceeded to praise playerssuch as quarterback Alex Smith,who entered the U as a junior and isnow studying economics in the U’sgrad school and two others who areworking toward MBAs.The Senate is comprised of 80 facultymembers who give input towardthe governance of the U.The purpose of the Senate is tobring members of the administration,faculty and student populationstogether to discuss issues and passresolutions concerning the U, accordingto DeVries.The faculty members of the Senateare elected by their respectivecolleges. Eighteen students alsomeet with the senate once a monthto discuss issues facing the [email protected]