Today: CAS holds student town hall on “Diversity Action Plans”


Dear Faculty and Department Managers,

The CAS Dean’s Office is hosting the third and final DAP Town Hall next week for students on Oct 17th. Can you please pass on the information below to your class lists/student workers to get the word out? Please let us know if you have any questions or need further information. All students are welcome to attend, including graduate and undergraduate students.

Join a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is hosting a series of town hall meetings this term to discuss the college’s Diversity Action Plans (DAPs). The next meeting will be an opportunity specifically for students to provide input on the DAPs. (There are separate meetings for students, staff and faculty.) Please join us on Tuesday, October 17th, from 3:00-5:00 pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room. Snacks will be provided.

The town halls are an occasion for the CAS deans to discuss the plans with you, so we can respond to your questions and ideas and revise our plans with broad college participation. The more involvement we have in refining our plans, the stronger they will be, and we are eager to hear your ideas for setting diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities in CAS.

The action plans that we created are and will be living documents.  We will continue to provide opportunities in the future for everyone to offer improvements, and faculty, staff, and students are welcome to communicate their thoughts and suggest ideas at any time to  We ask you to be familiar with the all-CAS Diversity Action Plan draft, which you can access on the CAS diversity page:

We look forward to hearing your ideas on October 17th.


The CAS Dean’s Office

10/10/2017: VPEI Alex-Assensoh skips CAS Diversity Action Plan town hall meeting

CAS is having a town hall meeting from 3-5 today in the library reading room, on the latest draft of the CAS “Diversity Action Plan”. The order to do this came down from President Schill and VPEI Alex-Assensoh in the wake of the Halloween blackface incident. The initial draft of the CAS plan was done without much if any input from the faculty, given the initial timeline. This town hall is part of Dean Andrew Marcus’s effort to clean up this steaming pile of crap.

After complaints from the Senate about the narrow focus on race/ethnicity and gender, the May 2016 version of the VPEI’s “IDEAL” Plan now includes a more inclusive definition:

The term “diversity” can be defined in a number of different ways. The UO looks at it broadly and inclusively, encompassing race, ethnicity, disability, thought, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and economics. The UO seeks to promote further diversity among its faculty, staff, and student body through active recruitment and intentional retention.

For something called “The IDEAL Plan” there sure are a lot of different versions floating around. VPEI Alex-Assensoh never bothered to return to the Senate with the revisions, nor was she at this meeting. Word down at the faculty club is she’s still out looking for another job, after the University of Louisiana turned her down.

The current draft CAS DAP plan is here. It still uses the narrow definition of diversity. There are pages and pages of administrative speak like this:

Marcus starts off by noting that the CAS Diversity statement says:

Tolerance, inclusion, curiosity and openness are essential to advancing human understanding—and thus essential to the intellectual and academic mission of the College of Arts and SciencesWe welcome a diversity of cultures, histories, languages; different types of knowledge; different talents, abilities, training; a range of experiences, affiliations, alliances and perspectives—all are necessary for creativity, invention, collaboration and problem solving. There is no meaningful learning without challenge and difference.

He then introduces the latest interim CoDaC, Director Vickey DeRose, appointed by Alex-Assensoh without consultation with the Senate, to help manage these DAPs. Marcus then notes that much of the plan was mandated by the President and cannot be changed.

The VPEI’s office has never conducted a “diversity climate” survey, despite its enormous budget, years of talk, and planeloads of consultants:

Meanwhile, volunteers from the Business School prepared and distributed a “campus climate” survey to undergraduates, as a first step in a rational way, without support from VPEI.

Their results, from their undergraduates, show that the diversity problem (at least at LCB) goes well beyond the narrow focus on race and gender that we see emphasized in the CAS plan:

These results are similar to those from the SERU survey, which UO participates in. No one in the VPEI’s office had ever heard of it:

Lots of discussion about faculty hiring. UO’s TTF faculty is already broadly representative of the available pool of PhD’s with respect to gender and race:

Someone brings up the natural question: Why not spend more resources on building the pipeline, by recruiting more under-represented undergraduates? And, at UO, the least well represented group is now low-income students.

UO is ranked #328 out of 377  selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

Our economic diversity has been getting worse over time (except perhaps for a small recent blip):

Despite this poor performance and the bad trends, UO’s long debates about diversity have generally ignored economic diversity, and this new DAP seems to be doing the same.


Oregon soccer takes a knee – what will Altman and Wiltshire do?


Shawn Medow has the report in the Emerald here:

“Taking the knee before the game means just to raise awareness for the social injustices and inequalities that are happening in our nation,” defender Jazmin Jackmon said after the Ducks’ 1-0 loss to Washington on Oct. 8. “That’s what my teammates and I knelt for, and we’re really hoping to raise awareness for that and to force people to really have those conversations because I think as a nation, if we learn how to have those tough conversations that’s where we’ll grow, as well as our team.”

It’s impressive how well our students understand and can express this, especially in comparison to people like Coach Dana Altman:

Three years ago two of Dana Altman’s Duck basketball players  tried a Black Lives Matter protest during his national anthem. Altman chewed out his players and wouldn’t let them talk to the press afterwards. They never tried *that* again.

At UO a Duck coach can suspend a player for just about anything, by making up a “team rule” against it. The players have no freedom:

10/5/2017: Marching Band Director Eric Wiltshire orders his students not to take a knee

while in uniform or on the field. That’s the rumor from down at the faculty club tonight.

Presidents and provosts gather in their safe-space to talk free speech

Apparently the organizer of the event, Chicago Provost Daniel Diermeier, thought the administrators wouldn’t come or wouldn’t speak freely if they thought their comments would be public. Insider Higher Ed has the report here:

… Just last week, students shouted down talks at Columbia University and the University of Michigan. Those doing the shouting down were generally students aligned with the political left, but supporters of President Trump also shut down a talk at Whittier College by California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, shouting “America First” and “build that wall” to prevent him from answering questions. And those events followed the interruption of speakers (sometimes preventing events from taking place at all) at the College of William & Mary, Texas Southern University, the University of Oregon and Virginia Tech.

With these events becoming increasingly common, the University of Chicago invited presidents and provosts from a range of institutions to come to campus this weekend for a closed-door discussion of how higher education should respond. The University of Chicago has stated in a series of statements from its leaders and monographs on its history that free expression must be respected on campuses, no matter how controversial the idea being expressed. …

Meanwhile Daily Emerald has an op-ed here, from journalism student Chayne Thomas, arguing for the free speech rights of the students who disrupted President Schill’s State of the University speech:

University of Oregon President Michael Schill was quick to dismiss the protesters of his Oct. 6 State of the University Address on the grounds that “they don’t understand the value of free speech.” While I believe he may be well-meaning in his desire to “teach all of our students and members of the community the value of free speech and tolerance,” Schill fails to acknowledge the defect in his fundamental misunderstanding regarding freedom of speech. Namely, he ignores the fact that speech is tied to access. It is strange that Schill, who has the loudest voice on campus and multiple platforms at his disposal, can claim that his rights and freedoms are being infringed upon, while other’s voices are being silenced.

Marginalized students don’t have a voice on campus, but Schill was able to post a statement on the school website, release a video and directly email all students regarding his speech. He also swung private conversations where $50 million suddenly appeared out of mid-air — conversations that didn’t include student voices. Students don’t typically have access to platforms and forums for speech sanctioned by the university, and this needs to change. …

This is a counter to the Emerald editorial arguing against the protesters:

… Friday’s protest painted the UO student body as unwilling to listen to the viewpoints of others. College students around the country have been criticized recently for shutting down the speeches of controversial right-wing figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro.

What happened Friday was worse. Schill wasn’t there to spew hate-filled rhetoric – he was a university president doing his job.

The organizers, whose gripes include Schill’s “acceptance of fascism and neo-Nazis,” “insurmountable increases to student tuition,” and “ignorantly happy-go-lucky attitude” wrote in their Facebook group for the event that “radical change requires radical action.”

We got the radical action. Still waiting on the radical change.

The organizers failed to suppress anything, as UO released a pre-recorded version of the speech minutes after its cancellation. Instead, the event made headlines for its spectacle and painted the student body as rude, unfocused and angry about … just about everything.

Students who are unhappy with school administration should absolutely protest and make their concerns heard.  The repeated tuition increases are a legitimate gripe, and Schill comes across as tone deaf when he tells students to ask their parents for money or take on more debt. But shouting him off the stage isn’t the way to address those concerns.

The Black Student Task Force has shown that respectful protest can effect change on this campus. Not all of their demands have been met, but they got things done by showing a willingness to work with administration rather than drown it out.

[UOM: After Missouri the administration was terrified by the potential impact of a black student protest that included Black student-athletes. The administration was desperate to work with them.]

For change to happen, there must be dialogue with those in charge of making the changes. Suppressing the speech of others is not how to move forward.

For on the protest and the prejudicial response from UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger see the “free speech” tag.


Duck AD Rob Mullens fails to show UO the money, gets 71% pay cut

7/25/2017 (Reposted on 10/15/2017 for no particular reason):

Just kidding. As explained below, the UO administration has rewarded Rob Mullen’s consistent failure to produce any profits for UO with a big raise and a porkalicious contract which they kept secret for 8 months, after using a loophole to avoid public review by the Board of Trustees.

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Former interim UO Provost Frances Bronet gets her dream job at Pratt Or maybe her dream job is RISD president. I forget. Tip to Pratt readers: Bronet is not a French name, it’s pronounced like it’s spelled with a hard t. Not that she cares. If I remember the history right, when Gottfredson got fired Provost Coltrane got promoted to Interim President, and Bronet got promoted to Interim Provost from Dean of the College of Design, formerly known as AAA. She was OK. Better than Coltrane.

Mandatory Implicit Bias Training starts by noting IBT doesn’t change behavior

The UO administration is now requiring all search committee members to take a two-hour training on implicit bias. I did an abbreviated version at a BOT meeting last year, and I’m at one of the three long versions right now, with about 60 other faculty and administrators. The presenter, Erik Girvan (Law), who gives these talks often, starts this one off by acknowledging that there is lots of empirical evidence showing that these trainings do not affect implicit bias, or actual behavior. So I guess we’re just here to check a box – or for the talk, which is an interesting mix of advocacy and science.

More (from my comment), responding to a comment saying Erik did a good job:

I agree. It’s tough to mix science and advocacy without going off the rails in one direction or another – particularly when you’re being paid to present a particular argument, and the audience has been ordered to attend and pay with their time. (I’ll guess that, including the opportunity cost of attendee time, these trainings cost UO about $75,000.) Erik did a good job despite this.

There was plenty I’d argue about – i.e. the casual use of “bias” when talking about conditional means which are by definition unbiased estimates, the general over-emphasis on the implicit association test, and starting with the shades-of-gray visual illusion, which is too obvious an attempt to manipulate people into agreeing they must be biased about race too. But it did grab people’s attention.

I thought the most powerful part was the behavioral results from the randomized resume and email response surveys, which show pervasive racist behavior in decisions that are clearly related to actual mentoring and employment situations.

My understanding is that people’s racist employment decisions are generally not correlated with their IAT results. That said I think Erik successfully used the IAT as a useful teaching tool, in part because it opens people up to thinking about their own biases, and maybe about their own behavior, in a safe, non-threatening way. I can see why administrators love it, regardless of the validity of the science.

Sanjay Srivastava (Psych) posted my “check a box” comment on his @hardsci twitter, and there are a bunch of comments, including some arguing that mandatory diversity training of this sort actually harms diversity, because of a reactivity effect. Check it out at

And, for the record, I am now officially certified by the University of Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion as being allowed to participate in faculty hiring. Please don’t tell my chair!

Hello William,

You are now enrolled in the following session: “Understanding Implicit Bias”.

Below are the date(s)/time(s) of the session: Oct 12th, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

*** Course Description ***

How can someone’s race, sex, age, and other characteristics influence the way we see and treat them even when we are genuinely trying to be unbiased? What concrete steps can we take to help prevent this from happening? To help answer these questions, this workshop introduces the concept of implicit bias. Through a mix of short presentations, lively activities, and discussions, we will explore some harmful side effects of how our brains naturally perceive, categorize, and draw inferences about the world, including other people. We will also examine when this kind of bias is most likely to occur. And we will talk about what practical steps we can all take to try to reduce or eliminate it as well as what has been shown not to work. This workshop may be of particular interest to those serving on search committees and hiring managers.

*** Session Information ***
Description:  For more information, please contact: Rafael Lopez –

Location:  EMU: 231 & 232, Cedar & Spruce Rooms

Instructor:  Dr. Erik Girvan

Please do not reply to this email as it is automatically generated.

Thank you for using Making Tracks: A Registration and Tracking System for the University of Oregon brought to you by Professional Development.

Student Conduct Judge Tobin Klinger finds protest violated conduct code

10/12/2017 update:

Just kidding. Tobin Klinger is UO’s chief PR flack, not a Student Conduct Judge. He is not responsible for enforcing the student conduct code, nor has anyone at UO conducted any sort of investigation as to whether or not the student conduct code was violated, or whether any such violation was significant enough to supersede the UO policies on freedom of speech and academic freedom.

So what in the world was Klinger doing, in his official capacity as UO spokesperson, telling an Oregonian reporter 5 minutes after the administration suspended President Schill’s speech, that

“.. the demonstration actually violated university policy…”

Speaking in my private capacity as a blogger, I think the administration can make a plausible case that it did violate the code (and the Freedom of Inquiry and Speech policy). If that case succeeds they can then discipline the students accordingly.

But that case is going to be harder to make given this official statement from Klinger, which the students can argue is prejudicial.

10/9/2017 update: Small, ineffective, and reflects poorly on the student body

The Oregon Daily Emerald editorial board rarely posts editorials. They have written a good one on Friday’s protest:

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LA Times wants a copy of any FBI subpoenas of Dana Altman’s Ducks

10/9/2017 update:

In what may be it’s fastest turnaround time since I asked Dave Hubin for a copy of Jim Bean’s sabbatical contract, UO’s Public Records Office says today that “there are no responsive records” to the LA Times request for federal subpoenas or search warrants involving Altman or his coaches. For comparison, here are the last 3 or so months of the public records log.

Still no Tim Gleason rhabdo docs for HBO, no new Bach docs, etc:

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UO Public Records Office doing its best to hide Tim Gleason’s docs


According to the date stamp, this report on some of Tim Gleason’s spending as the NCAA’s Faculty Athletics Representative was pulled on Sept 25th – and that was only after they’d claimed they didn’t have any BANNER records, and made me file another request. But Kevin Reed’s Public Records Office didn’t send this to me until Oct 6th:

And now they want $84.92 to explain how much more the academic side is paying to help do the NCAA cartel’s job:


Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “This is a public records request for records showing the expenditures of the Faculty Athletics Representative and his office, from July 1 2010 to the present” on 09/22/2017, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. With this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

Some records have been provided to you in response to your public records request 2018-PRR-072 for “…a BANNER reports showing the expenditures of the Faculty Athletic Representative and his office, from July 1 2010 to [9/13/2017]”. However, the University possesses additional records that are responsive to your current, more general, request

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to this request to be $84.92. 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.

The university has received your request for a fee waiver for these records. The decision to waive or reduce fees is discretionary with the public body. After considering your request, the office does not consider that the totality of the circumstances you presented meets the standard for a fee waiver.

… Thank you for contacting us with your request.



Office of Public Records

6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207

(541) 346-6823 |

Meanwhile, it’s not clear where the HBO request for Gleason’s rhabdo docs is at. The PR office is way behind. Perhaps they’re busy with FBI search warrants?

9/22/2017: Apparently HBO has paid UO the $754.28 Tim Gleason wanted for the rhabdo docs, and presumably he’s now compiling them. I’m not sure if Gleason gets the money, or if it will go to his office and offset some of the cost to the academic budget of his FAR salary, and I’m still waiting for the docs showing just how much his FAR office is costing UO.

9/21/2017:  On Sept 13th I made a simple public records request (at bottom of post) for an accounting report that would show how much money it’s costing the academic side for UO Journalism Prof Tim Gleason’s NCAA “Faculty Athletics Representative” office. Today I got a response denying my request on the grounds that there is no such record.

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Editor withdraws pro-colonialism paper after credible threats of violence

Inside Higher Ed:

[Portland State University professor] Bruce Gilley’s eyebrow-raising essay in favor of colonialism has been scrubbed from the scholarly record, but not for any of the reasons cited by its critics. (Among them: that it was historically inaccurate, that it ignored the vast literature on colonialism and colonial-era atrocities, that it was rejected by three peer reviewers, and that Gilley himself requested it be pulled.)

Rather, the article has been withdrawn because the editor of Third World Quarterly, the journal in which it appeared, has received credible threats of violence. That’s according to a note posted online by journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis.

Full text of Pres Mike Schill’s 2017 State of the University speech

Posted for those who, like me, would have liked to have been able to hear it delivered in person. Pre-recorded video here. The comments are open. The elevator version:

Someone made $50M, Mike Schill got them to give it to UO, and now he’s going to spend it to make the university better.

It would have been a long speech. Here are some highlights:

This fall, we welcomed the most diverse class of incoming students in our history. These amazing students from every county in Oregon, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries cannot be defined in simple terms. Many of them are the first in their families to attend college, as was I.

We are taking steps toward helping our students be successful and graduate on-time through investments in advising and progress tracking, by working with the University Senate to revise curriculum and programing, and by enhancing student engagement opportunities through under-graduate research, academic residential communities, and freshman interest groups.

In other instances and at other universities, students seek to disinvite or shout down speakers they don’t agree with. Faculty who ask probing questions are sometimes vilified as sexist or racist creating a chilling effect on campus speech and robust discussion. As part of our commitment to excellence and to producing research and students who will make an impact I want to strongly reiterate the University of Oregon’s core values of protecting freedom of speech, academic freedom, and the virtues of robust discussion and debate. If someone says something we don’t like, we should not try to shut them down. That is not what we do in an open democracy. Instead—to paraphrase one of our most monumental Supreme Court justices, Louis D. Brandeis—the antidote to speech we don’t like is MORE SPEECH.

Today I am delighted and humbled to announce that this summer the University of Oregon received a $50 million gift to further excellence at the university over the next five years. … Today, I would like to announce the first five allocations from the Presidential Fund for Excellence.

First, … Like all good academic ideas, the Initiative in Data Sciences bubbled up from the faculty.  I have repeatedly heard that we need to develop greater capacity to support our teaching and research in fields as disparate as literature, economics, geography, biology, business, computer science, and design. With the growth of big data comes the need for sophisticated applications and techniques to understand underlying trends and scientific, literary, economic, and social phenomena. And our students need to learn how to apply these methods. Data Science will help connect our disciplines and increase our capacity for discovery.

Second, I will further invest in faculty, because an excellent university is only as good as its faculty. … , I am earmarking funds from the Presidential Fund for Excellence to match gifts to create nine new faculty chairs.

For my third allocation, I will dedicate money from the Presidents Fund for Excellence to support student success programming at the Black Cultural Center. I am extremely excited about this project and can’t wait to break ground sometime in the summer of 2018.

My fourth investment … to support the School of Journalism and Communication’s plan to create a new Media Center for Science and Technology.

For my fifth allocation, I am awarding the College of Education funds to seed a new and exciting initiative that holds the promise of improving the quality of schools in our state and increasing the number of college-ready students they graduate. This program—the Oregon Research Schools Network—will place faculty members in up to 10 high schools across the state. Each faculty member will train high school teachers in the newest innovations of pedagogical practice and also teach students. The cost for each placement in this five-year pilot program will be shared jointly with local school districts. We hope that the initial set of placements will occur in schools with high proportions of first-generation and under-represented students. We will explore the feasibility of dual credit offerings. We also hope our presence in these schools will increase the pool of high school graduates qualified to come and study here in Eugene. We will also examine providing additional institutional support to some of our most successful pipeline programs at the university including the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning and the Oregon Young Scholars program as part of this initiative.

2017 State of the University Address:

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