Workers file complaints about Phildo construction during coronavirus

While UO faculty and staff need a hall pass from the dean to visit their office for 30 minutes, egofice construction continues. Nigel Jaquiss in WWeek, here:

Oregon’s Construction Industry Is Chugging Along Like It’s Still 2019. Some Workers Say That’s Dangerous.

Gov. Kate Brown’s March 23 order did not restrict construction sites. An avalanche of workplace complaints ensued.

… On big jobs like the Intel and University of Oregon projects (which include both the Hayward Field renovation and construction of the new Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact), there are also steelworkers, carpenters, pipefitters, electricians and concrete workers laboring at the same time on the same site.

“We call it ‘trade stacking,’ where one trade is getting on top of another,” says a veteran worker on the Hayward Field project, who requested anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak to the press. “And you’ve got guys who chew tobacco and spit everywhere or blow their noses with their thumbs because they are outside.”

The Hayward Field worker says the project’s general contractor, Portland-based Hoffman Construction, has issued strict instructions on social distancing—rules that, in practice, are not obeyed. …

Pres Schill & BoT Chair Lillis let Ducks skim $5.5M off top of new IMG deal

For as far back as I can tell UO and the Duck Athletic Department have split licensing revenues down the middle. It’s *college athletics*. No college, no money for the coaches, and vice versa.

So it’s 50/50. (Nothing for the athletes of course, it’s an NCAA rule). This is why when your department wants to sell $5 t-shirts with the “O” on them, you have to get permission and pay a fee. These licensing deals are increasingly lucrative, as our IMG licensing partner churns out more and more deals for Duck crap.

How lucrative? So lucrative that UO GC Kevin Reed’s Public Records’s office doesn’t want you to know how lucrative. They’ve been stonewalling my public records request for 3 weeks now. What they have released is this:

That’s right, President Schill and our Trustees have agreed to a deal that will take $5.5M off the top for the Ducks, before the university’s academic side gets anything. That’s a lot of Jumbotrons, or a lot of career faculty.

Faculty tracking software vendor explains time-suck & “thought leadership programming” junket

4/1/2020 update: Rumor has it that after wasting hundreds of hours on this dim-witted scheme, Johnson Hall is finally abandoning it. But AVP Ellen Herman won’t say, so let’s make a public records request:

From: Bill Harbaugh <>
Subject: Re: Faculty tracking / Insights
Date: April 1, 2020 at 12:23:49 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <>
Cc: Ellen Herman <>

Dear Ms Thornton.-

This is a public records request for a public record showing the current status of the Faculty tracking / Insights project that has been coordinated by AVP Ellen Hermann.

Specifically, I am requesting a document showing whether the plans to submit this for an RFP have been postponed, canceled, or are still being planned.

I’m ccing AVP Ellen Herman, as she has been in charge of this effort and should be able to provide such a document without your office’s usual charges and delays.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest in the expenditure of public funds.


Bill Harbaugh

On Mar 25, 2020, at 9:49 PM, William Harbaugh <> wrote:

Hi Ellen,

I’m heard a rumor that the administration has abandoned or perhaps just delayed this effort. I’m hoping that you can provide some details on where this proposal currently stands. Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
UO Economics

5/8/2019 update: 

With the budget crisis, you’d think this proposal would be in the trash can. Apparently not.

3/18/2019 update:

So why isn’t the provost’s office being clear about what this will cost?

From the Digital Measures website here. On top of the ~$100K per year in fees, they suggest we hire or reallocate an Insight Administrator, a project manager, a technical representative, have a champion provost who “is committed to the success of the implementation and ensures the rest of the project has the time, resources and buy-in they need for the project to be successful”.

I’m hoping Provost Banavar has better uses for his time. But wait, there’s more!

Some PR flack time, a technical representative, a trainer, pilot groups, and unit representatives  who “coordinate and voices the needs of their individual units to the general project team and encourages the use of the system …”. This is starting to make Concur look user friendly:

And, if that’s not enough, their website includes this helpful template to use to convince your boss to send you to their annual conference in New Orleans, with a conference fee of just $825 & 189 per night! For “thought leadership programming”. Their words, not mine:

Need to justify your attendance?
Use our custom letter to help convince your boss, request funds for travel or just let everyone know the amazing benefits of attending Engage!

Why do we have unlimited money and time for this expensive online c.v. software, but not for raises for the GTFF or for hiring OA’s and staff?

2/11/2019: Admins to combine Faculty Tracking Software with metrics scheme

Continue reading

What sorts of MOUs and dollars have our Deans extracted from the budget?

No one takes the job of Dean without getting some promises from the Provost about money and hiring, in writing. What sort of deals? Let’s find out:

From: Bill Harbaugh <>
Subject: Public records request, MOU’s with Deans
Date: April 1, 2020 at 12:43:49 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <>
Cc: Provost Patrick Phillips <>, Patrick Phillips <>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for copies of any MOU’s or similar agreements currently in effect between UO Deans and Colleges (and the Knight Campus) and UO’s central administration, regarding the distribution of University funds, the forgiving of past internal debts, or the allocation of faculty or OA positions.

As an example of the sort of document I am requesting, I attach this 2014 agreement between former Provost Coltrane and former Law Dean Michale Moffitt.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest in the expenditure of public funds.

I am ccing Provost Phillips, as his office should have these agreements at hand, and should be able to provide them without your office’s usual fees and delays.


Bill Harbaugh

CAS AAA Law off budget transfers

Pres Schill, Prov Phillips, VPFA Moffitt to speak to fac & staff Th 4PM

I notice they are not bringing out the people who actually make the decisions: BoT Secretary Angela Wilhelms and VPBRP Brad Shelton. Yesterday’s version for the parents and students was heavily scripted and managed by PR flack Jennifer Williams, who ignored some students pointed online questions about tuition refunds. I’m hoping this session will be a little less DPRK.

Dear colleagues,

As spring term gets underway, we want you to know how much we appreciate everything you are doing to support our students and the campus community during this unprecedented time of disruption. We have heard so many positive and inspiring stories about the important work you are doing as we continue to deliver on our teaching and research mission. We are proud, heartened, and deeply grateful.

Modifying University of Oregon operations in response to COVID-19 is not without challenges, but we are confident that, together, our resiliency and fortitude will see us through. Many of you may have questions about the university’s response and the move to remote education and operations for the spring term. The rapid and dramatic changes may create uncertainty and stress for some. We want to make a concerted effort to be responsive to faculty and staff as key contributors to the university’s success. Given the pace of change, we don’t have all the answers, but we want to take your questions and share as much as we can.

On Thursday, April 2, at 4:00 p.m., the university will hold a virtual town hall for all faculty and staff. You can watch the livestream on this webpage. Submit questions ahead of time using this web form or ask questions during the town hall by emailing It will be recorded and posted on the town hall website for those who cannot join the live event.

The town hall panel will include university leaders who will address key components of our operational response, such as employee relations and benefits, academic support services, and technology and information services, to name a few.

As always, you can find the latest information about the UO’s response to COVID-19 at and on the FAQ page. Information for faculty on remote teaching is available on the provost’s website and human resources information for faculty and staff is available on the HR website.

Take care of yourselves, be healthy, and we hope you can join us Thursday.


Michael H. Schill, President and Professor of Law
Patrick Phillips, Provost and Senior Vice President Professor of Biology,
Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer

Pres Schill to deliver remote State of UO & coronavirus town hall

Today at 2:30:

Submit your questions for UO leadership now using an anonymous webform or emailing You can also submit questions during the live event by emailing

Expectations are high:

Meanwhile in bathrooms across Eugene, faculty begin their remote lectures with the tools they have on hand:

UO Foundation’s Paul Weinhold and Jay Namyet each get $500K+

From the UO Foundation’s IRS 990 form, here:

Where does their pay come from? When you give to UO to support our students, the money goes through the Foundation. They take 5% off the top.

Do they charge Phil Knight the same percentage for the ~$250M Hayward Field? For the $12M Jumbotron? For the 2021 2022 Track & Field Championships? Good questions.

The PAC-12 paid UO $29M last year. The academic bucket got $0

John Canzano has another story about the failure of their Board (consisting of the president’s of the 12 universities) to control the PAC-12’s spending on itself.

[CEO Larry Scott, ~$5M a year] directed Gary Stevenson to negotiate an 11-year lease with Kilroy Realty Corporation to secure two floors and 113,000 square feet of prime office space in downtown San Francisco. The deal cost the conference $6.9 million in rent last year and another $11.7 million in deferred rent.

Here’s what was left over for the universities last year:

And after Duck AD Rob Mullens took his cut of UO’s $29M. there was $0 left over for the university’s academic mission.

OA Council message on coronavirus efforts and planning

An announcement from the OA Council. In case you’re new, the OAs are the people who keep the University from collapsing into chaos:

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:27 PM
Subject: oanews: OA Council COVID-19 updates & outreach

Good afternoon,

The members of the Officer of Administration Council are reaching out to share resources with you during this unprecedented disruption to University of Oregon operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, we truly are all in this together—whether you are essential staff still at work on an eerily quiet campus, working from home while juggling child care and other family obligations, or simply struggling with the ways our work lives have shifted so dramatically, the OA Council is here to listen to your concerns and share them with leadership. If you have questions or thoughts that you want to share with us, please reach out to us at

OA Council leadership met last Friday with President Schill, Provost Phillips, VPFA Jamie Moffitt, CHRO Mark Schmelz, and Senior Director of ELR Missy Matella. We asked them how the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial impact to the university will affect OAs, shared with them concerns about supervision of remote workers, and asked how the OA Council can help with response and recovery efforts.

Because of the fast-moving changes to operations as we define and adjust to a new normal, some of our questions did not yet have answers; since the university does not yet know what relief will be coming from the federal or state governments, they do not know whether or how OAs will be affected. But one message was clear: all efforts, including the hiring freeze enacted Thursday March 19, have been and will be aimed at keeping current University of Oregon workers employed.

We have to be realistic about the financial and operational picture:
This will be difficult. This pandemic is changing not only how our university operates now, but how all universities will fare in the future. Changes will be felt not just in higher education, but in all sectors—technology, healthcare, K-12 education, food and beverage, transportation, and on and on. We say this not to be pessimistic, but to encourage OAs to do what we’re best at—thinking creatively in response to challenges, keeping the UO running in the face of uncertainty, and being in community when the chips are down.

To that end, we are planning a virtual OA Council Open Session in spring term. The topic is TBD depending on how things evolve, and we’ll announce the date once we’ve decided which virtual platform can host a gathering of our size.

Additionally, we have compiled some OA-specific resources to help you through these unusual circumstances below.

Supervisor resources from UO Human Resources:
Supervisor FAQ:

Flexible Work Guidance:
Flexible Work Procedure:
Flexible Work Agreement Forms:
Employee Leave Options (scroll down to see links for each employee

Leave options:
Officers of Administration Leave Options:

Professional development resources:
MyTrack Learning Module Resources:
Learning and Development Online Resources:

Students can choose optional post-hoc pass-fail grading

Dear University of Oregon faculty,

I wanted to update you with the very latest information about some changes to the grading options for undergraduate courses for spring term 2020, given that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our university to a system of remote learning.
These are unprecedented times for our faculty, given the myriad issues caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). As many of you know, our students are experiencing a level of social and economic instability because the university has shifted to remote learning. This modality is also new for many faculty members.

Based on the principle that the change in course modality due to exogenous challenges should not harm students’ progress toward an undergraduate degree, the Academic Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to make the following modifications to grading options for undergraduate courses for spring 2020:

The deadline to change grade-optional courses from graded to P/NP (pass/no pass) will be extended 30 days after the date that spring 2020 final grades are posted. That means all students will have until July 16, 2020, to decide whether to change to P/NP once they see their final grades. (REMINDER FOR WINTER TERM 2020 GRADES: We are extending the deadline to change courses from graded to P/NP until April 24, 2020.)

The option to change from graded to P/NP will also be available for all courses that are currently designated as graded only.

Courses that are designated as P/NP only will remain as they are. There will be no additional options for these courses.

Any spring 2020 course grade of P will be counted as a P* grade for the purposes of the policy that states: “Students must earn 168 transfer or University of Oregon credits with grades of A, B, C, D, or P*.” This means that spring 2020 classes taken as P/NP can count toward graduation requirements. Credits earned in courses offered only as P/NP will use the P* designation.

Instructors of record shall maintain letter grades throughout the term and record final course grades for students in all spring 2020 courses (and only assign P/NP grades for courses that are designated as P/NP only).

If a student chooses P/NP by the new deadline of July 16, 2020, a P grade will be recorded for a C- or above, and an NP grade will be recorded for a D+ or below.

Departments are asked to waive any requirements that (a) limit how P/NP courses count toward the major; that (b) require specific grades for courses that count toward the major; or that (c) serve as prerequisites for other courses. This is especially important for cases where the lack of such a waiver will require students to enroll in an additional term or delay graduation for students.

This is a difficult time for all of us, but our students’ continued education remains an extremely high priority for the University of Oregon community. I appreciate all the work faculty members are doing to help us move forward as the spring term starts next week. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at if you have any questions or concerns about the grading policy change.

Take care.

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Provost responds to union, will grant 1-year tenure clock extensions

3/25/2020 update:

Dear Colleagues,

In recognition of the extraordinary disruption in both professional and personal lives caused by COVID-19, all currently untenured faculty may request a one-year extension by simply communicating their preference to add an additional year to their tenure clocks. All requests will be honored.

Faculty should forward requests to their dean’s office so that the new date will be recorded in Banner. Faculty scheduled for tenure reviews in 2020-21 must do so by May 1, 2020. All others must do so by January 1, 2021. These extensions will be documented by Human Resources. Faculty who elect to keep their existing tenure decision date may also do so.

We hope that the ability to request an extension alleviates some of the stress associated with remote instruction for our tenure-track faculty this term and recognize United Academics partnership in these efforts. If you have any concerns, please send me an email at

Best wishes,
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

3/21/2020: Faculty Union calls for 1-year tenure clock extension

At Harvard and many other universities have already done this.

Tenure Clock Extension

On at least four occasions last week, President Sinclair and Executive Director Cecil encouraged the Provost’s Office to allow non-tenured faculty in the tenure-track to extend their tenure clock for one year at their discretion. These requests were the result of several emails and conversations from faculty requesting this extension. On each occasion, the Provost’s Office responded positively to this request and indicated that the opportunity for extension would be given soon. Unfortunately, the week ended with no such extension granted.

We are seeing that clock extensions are widespread in the academy as a response to the uncertainties all faculty face regarding their research projects right now. With travel suspended and libraries closed, conducting research is impossible for many. Of course, we’re all rising to the challenge of retooling our classes to remotely provide the quality instruction our students deserve. And many of our faculty are dealing with the sudden challenge of caring for and educating their children at home for an indefinite period.

The leadership of United Academics will continue to call for the opportunity to extend the tenure clock every chance we get until the request is granted.

Coronavirus restaurant shutdowns interrupt VP for Equity & Inclusion’s attempt to blow excess cash on “Jeffersonian Dinners”

The email invite to a series of dinners on Love, etc.:

From: VP for Equity and Inclusion <>
Date: January 17, 2020
Cc: VP for Equity and Inclusion <>
Subject: Would you like to have a conversation over dinner?: Response Requested by January 31, 2020

~Message sent on behalf of Vice President Yvette Alex-Assensoh~

Dear [redacted]:

On behalf of the Division of Equity and Inclusion, I am writing to invite you to join me and about 10 other guests at our LACE Dinners, which are one-topic conversations that ignite deep conversation and connection.

LACE Dinners will be held monthly and will focus conversation deeply around the topic of Love in February, Authenticity in March, Courage in April and Empathy in May. Our goal is to convene an intimate group of faculty, staff and students who don’t normally work together.

Since very few of us are able to accept all of the good invitations that come our way, we are asking you to kindly complete the Qualtrics by January 31, 2020 so that you can let us know of your availability and preferences.

Based on your feedback, we will be in touch with next steps.

Thank you most sincerely, and best wishes to you for a wonderful and joy-filled New Year,


Her Authentic, Courageous and Empathic website:

The budget: If redirected, enough to keep ~80 NTTF’s employed, teaching, and fed though probably not in the back room at Marche:

The Ducks have $63M in cash. Will Pres Schill let them keep spending it on their raises and bonuses?

VPFA Jamie Moffitt has noted that UO’s operating reserves are about $60M, for a general fund budget of about $650M. After it’s gone, it’s not clear how UO will meet payroll.

Meanwhile the Ducks are sitting on $63M in their “Legacy Fund”, for an annual budget of about $125M. This was set up at the insistence of the Legislature to ensure that they had enough money to pay off the $230M in Arena bonds. (The academic budget pays about $450K a year to help them out). Phil Knight has donated about $145M to this so far, and the Ducks have used it as a slush fund, raiding it whenever they want more money to pay themselves higher salaries or bigger bonuses.

The most recent report is here, and the gist is below: