UO Board meets Sept 10-11 on big Duck gifts, tuition guarantee, extending Chuck Lillis’s term, warnings on Trustee behavior and speech

I haven’t had time to dig through all the dockets, links below. If you see anything interesting please post a comment.

Executive and Audit Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Finance and Facilities Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Academic and Student Affairs Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Meeting of the Board — September 10-11, 2015 [Materials]

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UO Board to approve Knight funded Marcus Mariota Complex

Ryan Thorburn has the story in the RG, here. No word on how much the gift letter requirements will cost UO’s academic side.

The last time this happened the OUS Board demanded considerable documentation from UO and UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold, which they then made public. Bill Graves wrote an excellent story for the Oregonian about it, here. Read it all. One snippet:

But Phit’s gift does not come without costs. The license agreement requires the university to employ a facilities manager, museum curator, museum receptionist, food service administrator and a senior administrative assistant for football operations — all full time for at least six years.

The new UO Board of Trustees will take up this newest gift at their Sept 10-11 meetings. Their docket is considerably less transparent than what the old OUS Board made public.

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UO Board of Trustees to approve glitzy Hayward Field makeover

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Christian Hill has the story in the RG here:

The University of Oregon is continuing to get all its Ducks in a row as it prepares for a major expansion and renovation of iconic Hayward Field.

The next step comes next Thursday, Sept. 10, when the UO Board’s Facilities and Finance Committee will be asked to give its blessing to an update of the historic stadium with flexibility to seat up to 30,000 fans.

More specifically, the committee will be asked to approve a resolution allowing UO President Michael Schill to enter into a lease with Hayward Field Enhancement LLC, a corporation created by the UO Foundation, for the duration of the renovation.

The corporation’s single person is not identified in a statement released by the foundation. A foundation spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking additional details. …

The renovation project is widely viewed as being put on a fast track — no pun intended — to prepare for the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which Hayward will host in 2021. It’s the first time that the world championships have ever been awarded to a venue in the United States. …

More on UO’s negotiations with the famously corrupt IAAF here – including current Oregon Governor Kate Brown on video, delivering Kitzhaber’s promise of $30M in state tax money. Phil Knight had given Kitz’s campaign $250K. Not a bad ROI.

Today’s NYT has a report on the IAAF’s new chairman Sebastian Coe, here. Coe is a Nike consultant, and people are already raising questions about that dual role:

“He is definitely the man for the job,” said Mary Wittenberg, the former chief of the New York City Marathon. “It’s really important that he seizes the moment to lead, to step above all potential conflict. Ditch the Nike and any other consulting arrangements.”

At a moment of such clear importance for his sport, the last thing Coe and track and field need is for his own message to get clouded.

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhems kicked me and the RG’s Diane Dietz out of the Board meeting on UO’s bid to host the IAAF championships, and UO’s public records office is still hiding the documents from the Register Guard:

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To add to the secrecy, the UO Foundation is hiring Hoffman Construction to build this grandstand. The UO is currently suing Hoffman for $8.5M, alleging they did shoddy work on UO’s newest dorm, the Global Scholars Hall. UO Daily Emerald reporter Gordon Friedman, now at the Statesman Journal, reported on this back in May. UO has said the building is safe, but won’t release the inspection reports. (Thanks to a commenter for this reminder.)

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UOPD Bowl of Dicks case goes to trial in Portland on Tuesday

My original post about the complaint by former UOPD officer James Cleavenger against UO’s newly sworn, armed, and increasingly expensive police department is here. The federal court docket is available free from RecapTheLaw here. It’s full of interesting, mostly unredacted information from both sides, though not the bowl itself, that’s here (NSFW).

In a nutshell, an arbitrator has already awarded Cleavenger damages in a labor complaint. In the past year the federal judge dismissed part of the federal case against UO on jurisdictional grounds, but let stand the case against the UOPD chief and officers alleging that they violated Cleavenger’s First Amendment right to free speech by retaliating against him for speaking up.

The federal trial starts Tuesday:

“the estimated 8-day Jury Trial which is set to begin on 9/8/2015 at 9:00AM will be held in Portland Courtroom 13A (rather than in Eugene) before Judge David O. Carter.”

Cleavenger’s attorneys are Jason Kafoury and Mark McDougal of the well known Portland law firm Kafoury and McDougal.

Since they were acting in their official capacity, UO will pay to defend the police chief and other employees, and pay any damages. UO et al. are represented by Andrea Coit, from UO’s favorite firm of Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick. At ~$300 a billable hour, HLGR is the only sure winner here. The rapidly shrinking HLGR firm really needs the money, as their bread-and -butter work defending big-tobacco companies from dying customers and representing UO in labor negotiations is not long for this world.

Kafoury and McDougal have refiled the rest of the case against UO in Lane County Circuit Court, full complaint here. The allegations against UO include:

WHISTLEBLOWING (ORS 659A.203); RETALIATION (ORS 659A.199); WRONGFUL DISCHARGE (ORS 236.360, et al) ; and BLACKLISTING (ORS 659.805)

Blacklisting? I’d love to know the history on how this became part of state law:

659.805 Blacklisting and blackmailing prohibited

(1)No corporation, company or individual shall blacklist or publish, or cause to be blacklisted or published, any employee, mechanic or laborer discharged by such corporation, company or individual, with intent and for the purpose of preventing such employee, mechanic or laborer from engaging in or securing similar or other employment from any other corporation, company or individual.

(2)No officer or agent of any corporation or any other person shall, in any manner, conspire or contrive by correspondence or otherwise to prevent an employee discharged by such corporation or such person from securing employment.

The most recent UO whistleblowing lawsuit I know of was brought by Professor Jean Stockard against AAA Dean Frances Bronet. UO Student reporter Ryan Knutson – now a reporter for the WSJ – had the report in the Daily Emerald here. UO paid Stockhard and her attorney Craig Crispin $500K, plus interest.

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Register Guard editors interview UO President Mike Schill

9/2/2015: Register Guard editors interview UO President Mike Schill

Presumably the editorial will come out in a few days. Their 2013 editorial on Mike Gottfredson and the UO board is here:

Gov. John Kitzhaber’s nominations to the University of Oregon’s governing board provide a glimpse of what institutional autonomy can mean. The board will have authority over such matters as issuing bonds and hiring a president — but its real value will lie in its ability to provide leadership and support. President Michael Gottfredson, who has kept a low profile since arriving at the UO a year ago, will soon be guided and empowered by the new board.

Collectively, the nominees are a dynamo. Among them are top-tier business people such as Peter Bragdon of Columbia Sportswear and Ross Kari, chief financial officer of Freddie Mac. Major donors to the UO were nominated, including Allyn Ford of Roseburg Forest Products and Chuck Lillis of Lone Tree Partners. Several have strong connections to Eugene, including Ginerva Ralph of the Shedd Institute and the members chosen to represent students, faculty and staff. For star power, there’s Ann Curry of NBC.

These people won’t be content to be figureheads. They will expect the UO to perform as the state’s leading institution of learning and research, and as a primary engine for Oregon’s civic, cultural and economic development. All of them have achieved their various types of success through careful investments of their money, time and energy. Now they’re investing a part of their lives in the UO, demonstrating a commitment to the university and a faith in its potential.

A university president can benefit greatly by being able to turn to such a board for counsel. The board will also provide a layer of political insulation, protecting the president against pressure from the Legislature, the governor’s office and the state’s education bureaucracy. The board can provide vision for the UO, reinforce the president’s vision for the university, or both. And if a president proves lacking in either vision of his own or the ability to execute the vision of others, the board can replace him. …

“Lacking in vision and the ability to execute” is a pretty good description of Mike Gottfredson. And the RG editors were prescient about his future – eleven months and an athletic scandal later Chuck Lillis bought him off with $940K. Not how you’d like to see our students’ tuition money spent, but well worth it for UO – especially after the board followed up by hiring Mike Schill, who has the potential to be a turnaround president for UO.

And I say that despite hating the closed search process and agreeing with the Oregonian’s take on the need for an investigation into how UO and Gottfredson handled the basketball rape allegations, below. UO needs to move on, but that’s not going to happen while the truth is hidden.

8/31/2015: Oregonian editors compare UO President Mike Schill with Ken Starr

Continue reading

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UO to study external equity, market compensation comparisons

This is for the OA’s. Great idea. Details here:

OA Classification and Compensation Project

The purpose of this project is to establish a classification and compensation system for OAs enabling UO to be competitive in the market, to attract and retain talent, and to be able to reward top performers.

University leadership initiated this project to develop a job classification and salary structure that would achieve retention and talent acquisition goals. This project is supported by the OA Council which expressed interest in a formal compensation study to define OA compensation philosophy, strategy and provide better clarity for career progression.

Project Overview

Human Resources is in the process of designing a compensation and classification system for Officers of Administration (OAs).  A cross functional Project Team representing academic, administrative, and research units, OA Council and Human Resources is actively engaged in the project providing guidance and offering diverse perspectives. University leadership hired Aon Hewitt Consulting firm to provide technical assistance.

Project Goals

  1. Define a compensation philosophy.
    Guide how pay for OAs is determined and managed at UO.
  2. Create a job framework.
    Recognize job value and clarify career advancement.
  3. Create a compensation system.
    Retain and attract employees using a competitive, fair, equitable and sustainable market driven system.

All of which makes the administration’s strange aversion to a similar process for faculty even stranger. The faculty union’s first offer proposed a pool of money for external equity:

External Equity Raises – Tenure-Track and Tenured Classification

i. On July 1, 2015, the University will establish a pool for external equity raises for all faculty members in the Tenure-Track and Tenured classification equal to 1.5% of the total base salary paid to all faculty members employed in FY15 in the Tenure-Track and Tenured Professor and Acting Assistant Professor classifications.

The administration took it out. The union put it back in. The administration took it out. In. Out. In. Out. The union then asked for a joint committee to study equity. The administration took that out. The union said how about just saying we’ll meet and do a study, it doesn’t have to be a formal joint committee. The administration said no. Eventually, they agreed we could “examine” it. Something about the word “study” was unacceptable to our administration. Bizarre:

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Open U of Iowa presidential search gets a bit contentious

Parker Executive Search, the same firm that ran UO’s search, is in charge. In comparison to UO, the Iowa search team had a full complement of faculty, selected by the faculty senate and not by the administration. And they’re bringing 4 candidates to campus, including the sitting president of Oberlin and the provosts of Ohio State and Tulane. The 4th is a former VP for IBM with no academic experience, and apparently that and the fact that Parker dissolved the committee before the campus visits, apparently to limit faculty input to the board, has some faculty upset. Story here, links to Parker’s work at UO here.

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President Schill meets with Sexual Assault Advisory Council

From what I can tell this “advisory council” was appointed without consultation with the UO Senate:

Caitlin Corona, recent UO grad
Col. Lance Englet, Professor of Military Sciences
Sheryl Eyster, Assoc Dean of Students
Susie “Dee Dee” Kintz, Classified staff, Human Physiology
Andrea Herrera, GTF in Sociology and WGS
Jocelyn Hollander, Department Head, Sociology
Katie Green, Lane County DA’s office
Ibrahim Gassama, Professor, Law School
Sandra Martinez-Modesto, Undergraduate student
Robert McCullum, Asst Director Basketball Operations
Victoria Ryan, UO Law student
Jane Ward, Community member and sex offender counselor
Juwaan Williams, UO student-athlete
Mike Schill, UO President
Jamie Moffitt, VPFA
Robin Holmes, VP for Student Life
AVP for Sexual Assault Prevention and Title IX Coordinator (hire in process)
Darci Heroy, consultant (until AVP is hired)

Their charge apparently comes from Mike Gottfredson’s $10K a head Independent Review Panel and VPSL Robin Holmes:

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UO Prof Jennifer Freyd works to provide open-source sex assault info

University administrators are panicking about the fact that it has become more difficult to hide information about campus sexual assaults. And the second thing a panicked administrator does – after firing whoever leaked the public records – is look for a consultant to paper things over.

Sure enough, the market for Title IX and sexual assault prevention consultants is booming. As in any boom, the credentials of these new entrants can be astonishingly thin and their motives suspect.

The Huffington Post has a report from Tyler Kingkade on what UO Professor Jennifer Freyd and a group of other researchers are doing to try and keep things honest – starting with a free and open-source alternative to AAU President Hunter Rawlings III’s expensive and intentionally crippled “Campus Climate” survey.

This is what universities are supposed to be about – creating knowledge, and making it freely available.

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UO hires Darci Heroy to help Penny Daugherty with her Title IX issues

That’s got to be a tough job, given Ms Daugherty’s famous incompetence. I wonder how much experience Heroy has, and how much we’re paying her. Here’s the blurb from the Amitrius Coaching and Consulting website:

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Here’s Ms Heroy’s report on what UO is doing to reduce sexual assaults. Accomplishment #1? Hire Ms Heroy to consult:

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Deficient former UO GC Melinda Grier pulling down +$250K at NACUA

After the public records about her dealings with former Duck football coach and Athletic Director Mike Bellotti became public, the Oregon DOJ’s David Leith and Keith Dubanevich investigated and found that UO General Counsel Melinda Grier had provided “deficient legal representation” to UO. The investigation cost UO about $50K. President Lariviere immediately fired Grier as GC, and made her work off the rest of her contract as an adjunct law professor. Jeff Manning had the story:

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Grier later had a very short stint at Hirschfeld Kraemer, as a Title IX consultant.

But no bad deed goes unrewarded. Now Grier is pulling down +$250K (a guess based on previous IRS 990 reports) at the National Association of College and University Attorneys, “here to serve you and assist you in your daily practice”:

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New UO public records boss Greg Stripp tightens transparency lockdown

$1600 for the names of who is on the UOPD’s oversight committee? More than 2 weeks delay for hiring documents on the new VP for Communications Kyle Henley?

One of President Schill’s first acts was to shift reporting of UO’s public records office from Dave Hubin to Greg Stripp, when Stripp was promoted from Jamie Moffitt’s office to the President’s Chief of Staff. Moffitt’s office has been a sinkhole of trust and transparency for many years:

In July the faculty union filed an unfair labor practice against Moffitt’s office, over excessive fees and long delays – as in 6 months – for basic UO financial information. UO’s transparency problem has not improved under Stripp. New UO VPGC Kevin Reed will take charge when he arrives.

The full log of public records requests is here. Two recent requests:

On Wednesday Aug 5, 2015, at 4:28 PM, Thornton, Lisa <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:

08/05/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:  

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “copies of any ‘minutes, agendas, reports, and correspondence’ involving ‘boards and councils that function in an advisory capacity, standing and ad hoc committees and councils’ that primarily involve the UOPD. This request covers the period from 1/1/2011 to the present” on 06/24/2015, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.  

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $1,660.68. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207. 

I note you requested a waiver based on an assertion that release of these documents is in the public interest.  The office has performed the three-part analysis of your request, has determined that your request does not meet the public interest test, and has exercised its discretion to deny your request for a fee waiver.  Upon receipt of payment outlined above, the office will begin to prepare your requested documents.

No public interest in police oversight? Sure. I followed up on this with an email to PR Officer Lisa Thornton asking how much it would cost for just the names. She never answered.

Hiring documents for new VP for Communications – more than 2 weeks, no response:

On Wednesday Aug 12, 2015, at 10:53 AM

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for the following documents relevant to the recent hire of a new VP for Communications

1) Job announcement
2) resumes and cover letters for finalists
3) Search committee members

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I’m ccing Greg Stripp as he should have these document easily at hand.

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Huskies boast their subsidies are smaller than Rob Mullens’s

But Mullens claims the Ducks get no subsidies. At least they’re arguing over the right thing. Someday the PAC-12 ADs may even start doing something to help out their universities with that new TV revenue.

Just kidding, we know they’ll spend it all on raises for themselves. Adam Jude has the story in the Seattle Times, here.

Speaking of subsidies, rumor has it that I finally raised enough stink about Rob Mullens hijacking the $5M Robin Jaqua gift. He’s returned it to the academic side, which means we save $200,000 a year on the $2.2M cost of subsidizing the Jock Box athlete-only tutoring. Baby steps, but I hope this is true. We’ll know more when the UO Senate revisits the anti-subsidy motions this fall.

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President commissions investigation of athletic recruiting scandal

It’s the usual big-time college sports scandal: athletic department recruits transfer player with history of sexual assault without doing due diligence, player assaults another student, university keeps it secret, victim hires Attorney John Clune to sue the university.

A few twists: at Baylor University the second assault ended in a trial and conviction, and Baylor’s President Ken Starr (yes, of Monica Lewinsky investigation fame) has asked Baylor’s Faculty Athletics Representative to lead the investigation of what went wrong.

Now why didn’t President Gottfredson ask UO FAR Jim O’Fallon to lead the investigation of the gang rape allegations against Dana Altman’s basketball players? Maybe because it would have been hard to find anyone with less credibility than an administratively appointed Faculty Athletics Representative to do an independent investigation of anything having to do with athletics. (Although Baylor FAR Jeremy Counseller seems more credible than most.)

Actually, I should give President Starr credit. At least he’s commissioning an investigation. President Gottfredson explicitly told his “Independent Review Panel” that they were not to investigate how Dana Altman recruited Brandon Austin. And so UO still knows almost nothing about Altman’s decision to pursue Austin and how it was that UO admitted him. What was Lorraine Davis’s role? Did Roger Thompson’s Special Committee on Special Athletic Admits raise any questions?

Here’s the latest, from ESPN:

The woman who accused former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu of raping her in 2013 has hired a law firm experienced in Title IX litigation to represent her in potential civil litigation.

On Friday, the woman, a former Baylor soccer player, hired John Clune and Chris Ford of Hutchinson Black and Cook of Denver. The firm also represents Erica Kinsman, the woman who accused former Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston of sexually assaulting her in 2012.

Ukwuachu, who transferred from Boise State to Baylor in 2013, was convicted of sexual assault on Aug. 21 by a jury at Texas District 54 Court in Waco. Judge Matt Johnson sentenced him to 180 days in county jail, 10 years of felony probation and 400 hours of community service.

“At the request of the victim and her parents, our firm has been retained to investigate a number of issues surrounding this case,” Clune said in a statement. “We are glad to see that President [Ken] Starr and Baylor have chosen to conduct their own investigation and look forward to learning the outcome of that process. Regardless of what facts these investigations may bare, there is a significant teachable moment here for all in higher education and we are hopeful that Baylor University embraces that great opportunity.”

After Ukuachu’s conviction, Starr, Baylor’s president, called for a “comprehensive internal inquiry into the circumstances associated with the case and the conduct of the offices involved.” The review will be led by Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller, who is a faculty athletic representative to the Big 12 and NCAA and a former assistant criminal district attorney. …

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