Provost drops $100K subscription to faulty Academic Analytics faculty data

10/27/2016: This is great news. The $100K that Provost Coltrane just saved will allow UO to hire a tenure track humanities professor.

Oh wait, sorry. This comes from the Provost of Georgetown University, Robert Groves. Read his full blog post (yes, their provost has real blog, with comments) here:

With the rise of the Internet and digital records of publications, comparisons of quality of universities are increasingly utilizing statistics based on this documentation (e.g., the Times Higher Education university rankings). Many academic fields themselves are comparing the product of scholars by using counts of citations to work (through h-indexes and other statistics). Journals are routinely compared on their impact partially through such citation evidence. Some academic fields have rated their journals into tiers of “quality” based on these numbers. Platforms like Google Scholar and ResearchGate are building repositories of documentation of the work of scholars. …

In short, the quality of AA coverage of the scholarly products of those faculty studied are far from perfect. Even with perfect coverage, the data have differential value across fields that vary in book versus article production and in their cultural supports for citations of others’ work. With inadequate coverage, it seems best for us to seek other ways of comparing Georgetown to other universities. For that reason, we will be dropping our subscription to Academic Analytics.

12/11/2015: Faculty object to use of secret Academic Analytics data in tenure decisions

This is at Rutgers, InsideHigherEd has the report by Colleen Flaherty here. UO has had a contract with AA for several years, at about $100K.

The data available includes reports on individual faculty, such as this, from their website:

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.47.16 PM

Obviously more information is good, but the administration holds these reports pretty tight to the vest – even the departmental level ones. Maybe our Senate will need to look into how these data are being used.

Public info session on Knight Campus: Wed 10/26, 10-11AM EMU

From Around the O:

A team of University of Oregon leaders will host two public sessions this fall for faculty, staff and students to learn more about the planning and vision for the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

President Michael Schill announced Oct. 17 the $500 million gift by Penny and Phil Knight that will launch the new science campus.

The Knight Campus is a $1 billion initiative to fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations that improve people’s quality of life. The campus within a campus will work to reshape the state’s public higher education landscape by training new generations of scientists, engaging in new interdisciplinary research, forging tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs, and creating new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

Two public sessions are currently scheduled and will be hosted by professor Patrick Phillips, acting executive director of the Knight Campus; Scott Coltrane, provost and senior vice president; and David Conover, vice president for research and innovation.

The public sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 11a.m.-noon in the EMU Swindell Room
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 9-10 a.m. in the EMU Diamond Lake Room

Additional information about the campus will continue to be shared on the Knight Campus website:

Rep. Peter DeFazio, Today 3-4PM in EMU

Oct. 24, 3-4pm EMU, Crater Lake Rm


Join Congressman Peter DeFazio, Representative Phil Barnhart, and Representative Val Hoyle for a rally focused on issues impacting students and the higher education community. Join us after the rally to take direct action by calling students to GET OUT THE VOTE!  this coming Monday, October 24, 3-4pm at the EMU Crater Lake rooms.

U.S. House Rep. Peter DeFazio has been a longtime advocate for increasing access to higher education and has fought for federal programs such as Pell grants, federal work study, and student loan forgiveness, which helps make college more affordable. Peter DeFazio will lead this event, explaining how his bill, the HIGHER ED Act, will make college more affordable for students nationwide. A central focus of the legislation would help borrowers repay their student loans by raising the minimum salary requirement before they have to begin to pay back loans under income-driven repayment plans.

DeFazio’s HIGHER ED Act would also:

· Raise the maximum Pell Grant and re-institute year-round Pell Grants, enabling students to complete their degrees faster.

· Re-institute graduate student access to federal subsidized loans, which was removed during the Republican budget cuts of 2013.  

* Allow former students to refinance their loans at current historic low interest rates and eliminate student loan debt in bankruptcy. Currently, student loan debt is the only debt that is unable to be discharged during bankruptcy.

Historic gift will transform our state, University of Oregon (Opinion)

And keep us in the AAU. Rumor down at the faculty club is that this gift came just in the nick of time for the annual AAU meeting. (Update: Noah McGraw has more in the Emerald here.) President Schill in the Oregonian:

Michael H. Schill:

This week I had the pleasure of announcing that two extraordinary members of our university family, Phil and Penny Knight, made a jaw-dropping $500 million gift to the University of Oregon.

Their amazing generosity will launch the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a 10-year, $1 billion quantum leap forward in the way Oregon approaches scientific research.

Both the amount of money and the vision for the Knight Campus are staggering. The first questions from everyone I talk to are “What is it?” and “What kinds of discoveries will it make?”

The beauty of scientific research is that we cannot predict the discoveries that may be revealed or the impacts those discoveries will generate. The possibilities are limitless. As my colleague, President Joe Robertson of Oregon Health & Science University, said, “Science by its very nature is unpredictable, which is what makes it so exciting.”

But there is much we do know.

The Knight Campus is a radical idea, but it’s built on the university’s well-established history of interdisciplinary collaboration. The vision came directly from the faculty and will focus on accelerating the cycle of inquiry, discovery, innovation and impact.

The Knight Campus will allow us to recruit the world’s best researchers to Oregon — engineers, data scientists, robotics experts, entrepreneurs and clinicians — and to pair them with our exceptional faculty. Scientific discoveries will be more quickly refined, tested — leaping traditional hurdles — to become life-changing medicines, products or solutions. When fully implemented, it will comprise three 70,000-square-foot buildings outfitted with labs, prototyping facilities and clinical space.

The vision came directly from the faculty and will focus on accelerating the cycle of inquiry, discovery, innovation and impact.

During peak construction, the Knight Campus will directly contribute $99.7 million in annual economic activity to Oregon’s economy, which will support more than 1,300 jobs. This 21st-century science hub will be home to 30 research teams and support 250 graduate students, 150 post-doctoral researchers, and 150 undergraduate researchers, offering these students new research, educational, and career-preparatory opportunities.

The impact of this unprecedented gift will ripple far beyond the sciences and the campus in Eugene. This research environment will offer new collaborative opportunities with the university’s public research counterparts of OHSU, Oregon State University, and Portland State University.

The Knight Campus also will help Oregon enhance and expand its innovation economy. When fully operational, the Knight Campus will drive nearly $80 million in annual economic activity statewide and support more than 750 jobs. It will enhance the state’s workforce, incubate new Oregon-based companies and train a new generation of scientific entrepreneurs.

Its broad economic benefit and possibility for collaboration are just some of many reasons we want to partner with the State of Oregon. During the 2017 legislative session, the university will seek an investment of $100 million in bonds to support the Knight Campus. The investment would be immediately deployed to construct one of the three research facilities, allowing the UO to drive other funds into endowing faculty positions and ensuring those professors have the resources needed to research, discover and produce new innovations that can be brought to market and help change the world.

While this project does not reduce the need for more classroom space for students, the public investment would be matched ten-to-one by private philanthropy — an exceptional public-private partnership and a solid investment in our state’s prosperity. We fully intend that this structure will ensure that the Knight Campus remains financially sustainable without drawing from other campus resources or student tuition.

This monumental act of philanthropy provides a ray of hope to public universities throughout the nation that, according to a recent speech by AAU president Mary Sue Coleman, are at “a tipping point.” The Knights’ gift is a perfect example of how a pub- lic university — even in a state that has struggled to invest in higher education — can still hope to achieve eminence in the 21st century.

This extraordinary gift was given out of the Knight’s deep love for our university and our state. It was given out of an abiding belief that with the right resources, the right strategy, and the right leadership, the University of Oregon can achieve a level of excellence and create a type of scientific innovation that had previously been out of reach. We are profoundly grateful to Phil and Penny.

This is a defining moment for the UO and the state of Oregon, one that will push the bounds of discovery and the limits of our imagination. We are eager to seize this moment — to partner with the state, public universities, industry, alumni, donors and the community — to make our world a better place. The possibilities are limitless.

Michael H. Schill is president of the University of Oregon and a professor of law.

President criticizes leaders of applied science initiative

That would be President Obama, speaking to a delegation from Girl Scout Troop 401:

President: “It needs an adjustment.”

Scouts: “It’s a prototype. Have you ever had a brainstorming session yourself?”

President: “Group Hug!”

Say what you will about our President, at least he doesn’t waste time whining about the parking problem and skybridges. I’m going to miss that guy.

Is the NCAA a cartel? Yes.

This question came up in the Senate today, when someone criticized me for saying “the NCAA cartel” in my remarks introducing President Schill at the previous Senate meeting.

I was floored by the idea that it’s controversial to call the NCAA a cartel. Of course the NCAA is a cartel. The NCAA has been a stock example of a monopsonistic hiring cartel in microeconomic principles and industrial organization classes for years. I was taught it as an undergraduate. I teach it every year.

I’m not going to go through the whole lecture, but basically you invert the standard monopoly diagram, so it’s best to go through a few monopoly examples first. Supply slopes up, so the marginal cost of athletic labor to the cartel is above the supply curve. The NCAA maximizes the profits of its members by helping them collude to keep athlete’s wages low.

As with any cartel, the members have an incentive to “cheat”, in this case when coaches and boosters offer good players slightly better deals than the NCAA wage ceiling for revenue athletes – room and board plus free tuition for any classes that don’t interfere with games or practice time or weight training, plus $0 an hour. Remember the Prisoner’s Dilemma lecture? So the cartel can only hold together if it can punish these cheaters, which is the job of the infamous NCAA Committee on Infractions, etc.

A quick google search for ncaa cartel economics syllabus site:edu yields hundreds of results. Here’s one rather dated syllabus from the University of Chicago:


I don’t always have time to go into it in depth, but I try to also get across the point that, in the case of a labor monopsony or cartel – and did I mention that the NCAA is a cartel? – a labor union can actually move the market towards efficiency, instead of away from it. A nice demonstration of the Theory of the Second Best at work.

FIRE gets $2.5M Templeton grant for free speech and academic freedom

“FIRE is grateful to the Templeton Foundation for its generous investment in the fight to defeat censorship and preserve academic freedom on campus,” said FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff. “The grant will give FIRE tremendous resources to engage a wider audience and better understand the current attitudes and arguments about campus rights. FIRE has been eager to pursue a project like this since our founding in 1999. The Templeton Foundation has now made it a reality.”

Phil and Penny Knight come through for UO, when & where it matters

Colleagues and Students,

I have the immense pleasure of announcing that our dear friends Penny and Phil Knight have made an extraordinarily generous $500 million gift—the largest ever to a public flagship university—that will launch an initiative to rethink and reshape research at the University of Oregon. The Phil and Penny Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations, products, and cures that solve problems and improve our quality of life.

This is a defining moment for the University of Oregon that builds upon our rich history of interdisciplinary scientific research and the deep talents of our faculty members. I encourage you to learn about the new Knight Campus by visiting

We will also share more details about this exciting new initiative tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m. in the Giustina Ballroom of the Ford Alumni Center. You can watch the event live on the UO Channel and UO Facebook page.

The Knight Campus will work to transform the University of Oregon and the state’s public higher-education landscape by training the next generation of scientists, forging tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs, and creating new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. The campus will also generate tremendous economic benefit for our community, state, and region.

This gift will allow us to strive for a level of excellence and national prominence that had previously been out of reach. The greatest beneficiaries of this monumental change will be the people of Oregon and our future students. Please join me in thanking Penny and Phil Knight for this incredible investment in our future.


Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

Watch the announcement live at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday on the UO Channel and Facebook

The RG:


The WSJ:


And, courtesy of UO communications, more links:

The Wall Street Journal Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Gives $500 Million for University of Oregon Science Center

Washington Post With the largest gift ever to a public university, the University of Oregon has big plans

Inside Higher Ed Nike Co-Founder Gives U of Oregon $500 Million

Forbes Billionaire Nike Founder Phil Knight Announces $500 Million Gift To His Alma Mater For New Science Campus

Oregon Live Phil and Penny Knight will give $500 million to University of Oregon for science complex

Phil and Penny Knight’s charitable contributions top $2 billion

Register Guard Knights pledge $500 million to University of Oregon for academics, science construction 

Oregon Public Broadcasting UO Gets $500M Gift From Phil And Penny Knight

Portland Business Journal Phil and Penny Knight give $500 million to University of Oregon

Around the O This changes everything: President announces historic Knight gift 

Chronicle of Philanthropy Daily News Roundup: Phil and Penny Knight Pledge $500 Million More to U. of Oregon

KGW Phil Knight gives $500 million to University of Oregon for science campus

KEZI UO Receives Generous Donation

 KATU University of Oregon announces $500M gift from Phil Knight for science center

KVAL Phil and Penny Knight donate $500M to new UO science campus

KOIN Phil Knight donates $500m for UO science center 

Oregon Daily Emerald

UO receives $500 million donation from Knight family for three-building research campus

UO President Michael Schill officially announces Knight Campus

Footwear News Nike’s Phil Knight Donates $500 Million to University of Oregon

The Comeback Phil Knight Donates $500 Million To Oregon So It Can ‘Change The World’

Beaverton Patch Nike Founder Phil Knight Donates $500 Million to University of Oregon for Science Complex

The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA) Nike co-founder pledges $500 million to University of Oregon

American School and University Nike co-founder pledges $500 million to University of Oregon for new science complex

University Herald Nike Co-Founder Donates $500 Million To University Of Oregon

247 Sports Phil Knight donates $500 million to Oregon

Big-time college football games result in ~500 rapes. One survivor’s story.

The empirical support for the link between big-time college football, drinking, and rape is documented by Lindo, Siminski, and Swensen (2016), College Party Culture and Sexual Assault:

This paper considers the degree to which events that intensify partying increase sexual assault. Estimates are based on panel data from campus and local law-enforcement agencies and an identification strategy that exploits plausibly random variation in the timing of Division 1 football games. The estimates indicate that these events increase daily reports of rape with 17-24 year old victims by 28 percent. The effects are driven largely by 17-24 year old offenders and by offenders unknown to the victim, but we also find significant effects on incidents involving offenders of other ages and on incidents involving offenders known to the victim.

… A back of the envelope calculation based on our estimates implies that the effects of Division 1A football games explain 5 percent of fall semester (September through December) reports of rape involving 17–24 year old victims to law enforcement agencies serving students attending these schools. Moreover, based on an estimated 12 percent of student victims reporting to the police (Kilpatrick, 2007) and 6 percent of police reports involving false allegations (Lisak et al. 2010), our estimates indicate that the activities surrounding Division 1A football games cause as many as 724 additional rapes of college-aged victims per year across 128 universities. That said, if one is inclined to believe that spatial displacement is the sole reason why away games have smaller effects than home games, the estimate is instead 238.




Today the Eugene Weekly has an op-ed from former UO undergrad Laura Hanson, regarding her alleged rape at a frat party, after the Ducks 2013 Rose Bowl game:


Read the rest here.

How to respond to biased and offensive speech

Some useful information for students, and everyone, in the NYT here:

Lessons in the Delicate Art of Confronting Offensive Speech

… A body of psychological research shows that even mild pushback against offensive remarks can have an instant effect — as difficult as that can be, especially with a boss, a friend or a celebrity.

It is research worth considering in a political season when ethnic, racist and sexual slurs, not to mention general insults, seem to have become part of everyday chatter. Polls show that people are increasingly unhappy with the tenor of the national debate but unsure what to do about the decline in civility.

Researchers have detailed the difficulty of confronting prejudice, but they have also found that even the politest of objections — or subtle corrections to loaded words — can almost instantly curb a speaker’s behavior. With a clearer understanding of the dynamics of such confrontation, psychologists say, people can develop tactics that can shut down the unsavory talk without ruining relationships, even when the offender has more status or power: a fraternity president, say, or a team captain or employer.

The alternative is passive complicity, psychologists say. “When we hear this egregious, uncomfortable talk and we don’t speak up, what’s actually happening is that the person speaking is getting a green light,” said Sharyn J. Potter, co-director of the Prevention Innovations Research Center, at the University of New Hampshire. “It encourages them.” …

And don’t forget that voting can also be an effective response for dealing with some particularly egregious perpetrators.

Board adds more public comment opportunities, invites public to their retreat

That would be the Oregon State University Board:

Public Meetings Notice

October 13, 2016

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will hold a retreat on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to discuss the university’s student success goals, current cost structure, and revenue generating opportunities. The retreat is open to the public and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 204 of Tykeson Hall, located on the OSU-Cascades campus, 1500 SW Chandler Ave, Bend, OR.

Each of the board’s three standing committees will meet on Thursday, Oct. 20, in Tykeson Hall, Room 204. These meetings are open to the public:

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Executive & Audit Committee will meet from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. to review the Board Officers’ final report on the FY2016 comprehensive presidential assessment, proposed presidential search and selection guidelines, the committee’s 2017 work plan, and the Office of Audit Services progress report. The committee will also receive an annual update from the Office of General Counsel.

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Finance & Administration Committee will meet from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. to consider the committee’s 2017 work plan, changes to the FY2017 capital plan, and amendments to two investment policies. The committee will also discuss the outreach and engagement plan for FY2018 tuition-setting process, athletics financial sustainability, and the ten-year capital forecast.

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The Academic Strategies Committee will meet from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. to consider an amendment to the committee charter and the committee’s proposed work plan for 2017. The committee will review and discuss the provost’s annual year in review report, a status report on new and existing academic program reviews in progress, and a presentation by the OSU Extension Service.

Following the committee meetings, the board will meet at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, to hear a presentation on OSU-Cascades by Vice President Johnson and then participate in a tour of the campus. 

The board will meet again on Friday, Oct. 21, in Tykeson Hall, Room 204. The meeting is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public. The board will consider the 2016 comprehensive presidential assessment, presidential search and selection guidelines, its 2017 work plan, and the closure of a master of agriculture program. The board will also consider amendments to two investment policies, the FY2017 capital plan, and the Academic Strategies Committee charter. In addition, the board will hear presentations on the OSU Foundation strategic plan and on the fundamentals of board governance.

A public comment section of the meeting is scheduled for approximately 10:15 a.m. Commenters are allowed up to five minutes and may register by e-mail before the meeting by contacting Marcia Stuart at or may register at the meeting itself. Commenters must sign up prior to the public comment period of the meeting. There is also a public comment opportunity before the board votes on each action item listed on the board agenda.

More information on the meetings is available online at: The public can listen to the meeting by calling the toll-free number listed on the agenda. If special accommodation is required, please contact Marcia Stuart at (541) 737-3449 or at least 72 hours in advance.

Office of Civil Rights defends rights of accused, in sex assault case

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has the story, here:

In an apparent first, federal officials have found a college in violation of Title IX, the gender-equity law, for infringing on the rights of students accused of sexual violence.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights had opened an investigation of Wesley College, in Delaware, in July 2015. That investigation was one of more than 300 the office, known as OCR, has conducted into colleges for possibly mishandling reports of sexual violence.

In the past, OCR’s findings about colleges have occasionally alluded to the rights of accused students. But experts say the findings in the Wesley case,released Wednesday, seem to mark the first time that the office has cited unfair treatment of an accused student as the primary Title IX violation. …