Ducks fire Coach Dana Altman for #blacklivesmatter comments

8/16/2017: 

Just kidding, Altman got a fat raise and contract extension, despite telling his players to stop protesting racism during the national anthem. However Duck radio station KXTG has now fired DJ Dino Costa for telling people to run over anti-racist protestors, according to today’s WWeek report.

8/15/2017: Duck’s KXTG DJ called for running over #blacklivesmatter protesters

The Eugene Weekly has the story here:

According to a UO website, KXTG — 750 AM/102.9 FM — is a “flagship” station for the UO Ducks, and on its site, 102.9 says it is a “broadcast partner” of Oregon IMG Sports Marketing, which “provides sponsorship opportunities with Oregon Athletics.”

Presumably Duck AD Rob Mullens will react a little more forcefully this time than he did in response to Coach Dana Altman’s efforts to keep his basketball players from supporting the movement:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

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Bring back Sharon Rudnick, Mike Gottfredson, and the goat!

UO’s labor relations AVP Bill Brady is leaving UO, apparently for a better job back east, just as the faculty union and the administration are negotiating an extension of the second contract, as explained in this post from July.

Extrapolating from the salary data meticulously documented on UO’s IR website here, that contract extension will likely lead to further erosion of UO faculty pay relative to the rest of the AAU public universities. For example, to pick one department at random from the full list here, last year UO assistant economics professors earned 87% of the AAU average, associate profs 83%, and full prof’s got just 71%:

While any extension will likely include some small change for external equity improvements, there’s only one thing that can really fix this: convince the administration to bring back HLGR’s Sharon Rudnick for a third round of bargaining.

The unique bargaining strategies of Ms Rudnick and her team were instrumental in successfully leading “The University” to accept a sweet first contract that established important job security for (some) NTTF’s and produced the first and only increases in UO faculty pay relative to the AAU in recent memory. And we got the goat. Since then it’s all been downhill.

Peaceful Eugene Anti-Hate march from EMU to downtown

8/14/2016 update: Great rally at UO, passionate and short speeches from the organizers, maybe 800 people counting children in strollers. Peaceful march downtown. A particular shout-out to the chant leaders, who were stationed along the route and mixed it up nicely. Good organizing! Only one dude who thought we needed to hear him beat his drum, and no Nazi’s. Ample presence from police, greeted happily by the people I saw including some high-fives. After Charlottesville I have no problem seeing a line of cars stopped behind an expensive UOPD black SUV, waiting for the crowd to pass.

Full disclosure: I went home before the politicians started their speeches at the Park Blocks.

You can pitch in towards the speakers’ expenses here: https://www.gofundme.com/hate-is-not-welcome-speaker-fund

8/13/2016: More info from the organizers on Facebook here:

Lane County is paying attention to the events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will be sending a message that hate is not welcome in our community. What we have seen in Virginia will not be tolerated. Join us in solidarity so that we can prevent these ideas from becoming normalized in any way, shape, or form. Spread the word! All are welcome- families, friends, kids! This affects us all. We’re calling on everyone to come together to say that white supremacy has no place in Lane County.

We will be starting the march from the University of Oregon ‘Free Speech Amphitheater’ in front of the EMU (1228 University St, Eugene, OR 97403).

For those who cannot march because of accessibility/mobility issues: Please come meet at our march destination, Lane County courthouse (125 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401). The rally speakers will begin around 6:30pm. We will have dedicated space for people with disabilities.

Police institutions have historically and continue to this day to be a danger to marginalized communities. So for that reason we will absolutely NOT be working with any police institution for this action. …

FWIW I disagree with the last bit, about the organizers’ decision not to work with the EPD and UOPD on coordinating this march. All of the police I have met – including the ones in Charlottesville where I grew up – passionately believe that their job includes protecting the peace and people’s right to protest. Frankly it seems a bit hateful to tar them all for the evils done by a few. And yes, I say that despite not understanding why they didn’t do more to stop the violence in C’ville.

In other news, the free-market has spoken, and they’re betting against the Nazis:

Which is good, because they obviously don’t keep insects away.

I’m not sure why Amazon doesn’t have a rainbow colored set available already, but the Nerds are on it:

8/12/2016: President condemns Nazis, calls for minute of silence for the dead

That would be President Vladimir Putin:

“It was the Nazis who unleashed this war,” Putin told lawmakers, after asking them to stand for a minute’s silence in honour of the dead. “Their ideology of hatred, blind faith in their own exceptional nature and infallibility, and desire for world domination led to the 20th century’s greatest tragedy.”

Meanwhile President Donald Trump is still playing both sides, waiting to see how it shakes out this time.

Pres Schill: Denouncing hate and violence following Charlottesville terror

Dear University of Oregon Community,

Over this past weekend we witnessed a tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists and neo-Nazis, many of whom were armed and dressed in military uniforms, marched on the University of Virginia’s campus and took to the streets to spew venomous hatred. When they were confronted by counter-protesters, violence ensued. Dozens of people were injured and one young woman and two police officers were killed.

On behalf of the leadership of the University of Oregon, I unequivocally condemn the hatred, ignorance, and violence expressed by these white supremacist and white nationalist groups. Our university community rejects any ideologies or groups that embrace racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or anti-Semitic views.

Under the guise of patriotism, too many people in our nation are betraying our common understanding that we are all “created equal.” I am appalled by the voices of hate who feel empowered in our nation. All of us must stand against this scourge of ignorance and intolerance. The tragedy in Charlottesville is a reminder of the critical importance of the work we are currently undertaking at the UO to build a truly inclusive community of academic excellence.

When students and faculty members return to campus in late September, we will continue, with renewed vigor and commitment, our efforts to make this university more respectful, more inclusive, and more welcoming to people of all races and ethnicities; all nationalities and religions; all sexual orientations and gender identities; and all abilities. I hope you will join with me in this important work.

Thank you.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Athletic Director to pay University $5M for academic scholarships

That would be Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst at the University of Nebraska:

Nebraska Athletics will provide $5 million in scholarships to nonathletes, potentially providing additional aid to hundreds of students each year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

… “We’ve worked very hard and very strategically over the course of the last few years to build upon our great history and tradition and to strengthen our foundation for success — particularly as it relates to our collaborations across the academic spectrum,” Eichorst said. “It’s been an important initiative for me from day one to ground and base everything we do in athletics in academics.”

Here at UO the cash flows in the opposite direction, thanks to Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his ilk.

Oregon Law School Deans failed to convince Supreme Court to increase Bar exam pass rate from 58% to 78%.

For years the cut score has been 284, and in 2016 that produced a pass rate of 58% – the same as the national average.

The Oregon Deans wanted a cut score of 266, which would have produced a pass rate of about 78%. The Oregon Supreme Court gave the Deans a cut score of 274, which should increase the pass rate for the students who just took the July exam to about 68%, making Oregon one of the easier states in which to get a law license. This in turn will boost the law schools’ US News rankings a bit, bring in more law students, and perhaps mean that UO won’t have to spend quite so much undergrad tuition subsidizing our law school. Just kidding, that last part will never happen.

This post was updated on 8/7/2017, 8/8/2017 and 8/10/2017 below, with info on my efforts to get public records on this order from the Oregon Supreme Court. Given that the Court is ultimately responsible for enforcing Oregon’s public records law you’d think they’d work a little harder on their own compliance, if only to set a good example.

Instead, as explained below their website lists a defunct email address for public records requests, they have a pdf form with a submit button that doesn’t work, their email responses are incomplete and uncommunicative, and they are either unaware of the law on fee waivers or they hope those asking for public records are. I’m still waiting on them, apparently the only person at the Oregon Supreme Court with the authority to waive a $3 public records fee is out of the office.

So I also asked the Oregon Bar Examiners Board for their public records. In contrast to the Oregon Supreme Court, their response was very professional (although they could use a new scanner). They provided their public records in less than a week, at no charge. Click the link for the full pdfs, I’ve only posted snippets:

1. Supportive letters to the Court on lowering the cut score from Jeff Howes of the Board of Bar Examiners (274), from Law Deans at UO and Lewis & Clark, and Willamette (266), and from the Oregon Student Bar Associations: http://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Official-letters-to-Court-BBX-PubRcrdsReq-Aug-17.pdf:

2. Emails between the bar examiners and the various helper deans: http://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Bar-examiner-and-Dean-emails-BBX-Records-JH-Aug-17.pdf:

I have no idea why they went into executive session for a vote on something like this. Is that legal?

And while I do not have an informed opinion on what the cut score should be, I was surprised at how superficial the discussion in these documents is, given the obvious disagreement between the Board Examiners and the Deans. Maybe they saved the substance for the executive session? Why did the Deans lose in court?

8/3/2017: Oregon Supreme Court quietly dumbs down Oregon Bar exam requirement:

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2.5 months after public records request, UO gives Emerald faculty hiring proposals

Thanks to the Emerald for sharing this with UOM.

So far as I am aware previous UO administrations have never been willing to share this sort of information with the Senate – but maybe that will change, and the day will come when shared governance will no longer have to rely on the kindness and curiosity of UO’s student journalists, or the whims of Jim Bean’s 4.25 big ideas and their ilk.

Or maybe the PRO is just trying to clear up their backlog before Oregon’s new PR laws make them improve their response times. 207 pages worth with some light and appropriate redactions, and all provided to the Emerald by UO at no charge – remarkable.

You can find the Provost’s Institutional Hiring Plan, i.e. the outcome of these proposals, here.

The full pdf of the proposals is here: http://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/2017-Hiring-proposals_Redacted.pdf

I haven’t had time to read through these, I’m hoping others will and leave comments. Page 1:

 

UO commemorates 3rd annual Gottfredson Day by not suing him for legal fees

8/9/2017:  Three years ago yesterday the UO Board of Trustees paid President Mike Gottfredson $940K to leave town immediately. Half up front, the rest within two weeks. In exchange, Gottfredson released UO from all liability related to his brief and disastrous employment as UO President and agreed to pay his own attorney costs, etc:

I’m no Harvard law professor, but I think it’s the $940K that makes that a legally enforceable contract, not just a promise:

 

But will UO enforce it?

As reported in this Jack Moran story in the RegisterGuard last month, after winning dismissal of the federal court case by the three former Dana Altman basketball players and alleged rapists who had argued that UO and Gottfredson had illegally ruined their basketball careers by kicking them off the team and campus without due process, the UO General Counsel’s office announced that they would sue the players for legal costs:

The University of Oregon is seeking reimbursement of nearly $53,000 in attorney fees and court costs from three former Ducks basketball players who sued the UO after being kicked out of school following a rape investigation in 2014.

The university on Friday filed a motion for fees and costs in U.S. District Court. The move comes nearly two months after a federal judge dismissed civil lawsuits brought by the players, who were banned from campus for up to 10 years but did not face criminal charges after a female student accused them of sexual assault.

In the request for reimbursement, lawyers for the UO characterize the lawsuits — filed by Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson — as frivolous and unreasonable.

“The university rarely seeks prevailing party fees,” the motion states. “But in this case, plaintiffs pursued claims that lacked any reasonable basis in law or fact, which forced the university to waste considerable public resources.” …

Seems iffy, unless of course you’re one of the Miller Nash Graham & Dunn attorneys that UO is paying by the hour at $350 per. In contrast the contract with Gottfredson is pretty clear cut. So why won’t the UO General Counsel’s office unleash Miller Nash et al to take Mike Gottfredson to court over his share of the Austin et al legal fees?

I don’t know, but there are many more details in the court docket here, including plenty of expensive conversations with “Dr. Gottfredson” in the detailed billing records:

8/8/2016: UO to mark 2nd Gottfredson Day with traditional appearance in Federal Court

[Remember the Hat Day is November 21].

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Duck fans won’t pay to watch concussions or listen to control-freak coach

Ryan Thorburn has the data on pathetic Duck ticket sales in the RG here;

According to data provided by the athletic department, the average renewal price of a season ticket is down by 3.9 percent, with 65 percent of seats decreasing in price and the other 35 percent remaining flat at 2015 rates.

As of Monday, Oregon had sold 36,840 season tickets, which is down from last year’s total of 37,404. The program’s record was 43,295 in 2011, the season after Chip Kelly’s Ducks played for a BCS national title.

Apparently Eric Roedl is having a hard time finding people who want to watch Willie Taggart get paid $3.5M to churn his players brains to mush, or listen to Dana Altman berate his players for supporting #BlackLivesMatters during his national anthem. Roedl has already put the screws to UO students for another $10K, but that’s petty change across the river. Looks like these coaches and Rob Mullens locked in their fat long-term contracts with UO just in time.

Meanwhile there’s a great interview with UCLA QB and Econ major Josh Rosen, here. Rosen puts the lie to all the crap we’ve heard from the Duck athletic department and its “Faculty Athletics Representatives” over the years about how its OK we don’t pay the players, because they’re getting such a great education:

Rosen: “Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t.”

Rosen: Don’t get me started. I love school, but it’s hard. It’s cool because we’re learning more applicable stuff in my major (Economics)—not just the prerequisite stuff that’s designed to filter out people. But football really dents my ability to take some classes that I need. There are a bunch of classes that are only offered one time. There was a class this spring I had to take, but there was a conflict with spring football, so…

B/R: So football wins out?

Rosen: Well, you can say that.

B/R: So that’s reality for student-athletes playing at a major university?

Rosen: I didn’t say that, you did. (Laughs.) Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they’re here because this is the path to the NFL. There’s no other way. Then there’s the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers.

Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. — Josh Rosen

B/R: Wait, some players shouldn’t be in school?

Rosen: It’s not that they shouldn’t be in school. Human beings don’t belong in school with our schedules. No one in their right mind should have a football player’s schedule, and go to school. It’s not that some players shouldn’t be in school; it’s just that universities should help them more—instead of just finding ways to keep them eligible.

Any time any player puts into school will take away from the time they could put into football. They don’t realize that they’re getting screwed until it’s too late. You have a bunch of people at the universities who are supposed to help you out, and they’re more interested in helping you stay eligible. At some point, universities have to do more to prepare players for university life and help them succeed beyond football. There’s so much money being made in this sport. It’s a crime to not do everything you can to help the people who are making it for those who are spending it.

B/R: But those same players go make money in the NFL after being prepared by their college programs.

Rosen: Some do, absolutely. What about those who don’t? What did they get for laying their body on the line play after play while universities make millions upon millions? People criticize when guys leave early for the NFL draft, and then rip them when some guys who leave early don’t get drafted. [They say,] “Why did you leave school if you weren’t going to get drafted?” I’ll tell you why: Because for a lot of guys, there is no other option. They were either leaving early (for the NFL) or flunking out. To me, that’s a problem within the system and the way we’re preparing student-athletes for the future away from football. Everyone has to be part of the process.

B/R: How is it, then, that some guys graduate in three years? Deshaun Watson graduated in three years from Clemson. So did his roommate, Artavis Scott.

Rosen: I’m not knocking what those guys accomplished. They should be applauded for that. But certain schools are easier than others.

B/R: It can’t be that simple.

Rosen: If I wanted to graduate in three years, I’d just get a sociology degree.

Of course football and school go together real well for Willie Taggart and Rob Mullens. If it weren’t for the school part, they have to pay their players.