Psychologist Examiners: Shelly Kerr unethical. Doug Park merely clueless?

The Final Order in regard to the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners investigation of Counseling Center Director Shelly Kerr’s decision to comply with UO Deputy General Counsel Doug Park’s request for alleged basketball gang-rape survivor Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records was made today. You can download the thorough report from Oregon Administrative Law Judge Alison Green Webster and the ruling of the OBPE here. Kerr was represented by C. Robert Steringer of HLGR. He lost:

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In contrast whistleblowers Karen Stokes and Jennifer Morlok, whose retaliation lawsuit UO just settled for $425K, come off as total professionals.

According to the timeline in Webster’s report, Jane Doe’s attorney John Clune sent Park a “litigation hold” on Aug 5th 2014 to ensure that the records were not destroyed. But Park’s office didn’t ask the Counseling Center for the documents until December 8th, *after* mediation failed. Despite this 4 month gap, and despite the fact that he knew Clune already had a copy of the file (Clune had shown him some excerpts during mediation) Mr. Park maintained that the only reason his office asked for the counseling records was to comply with Clune’s litigation hold and keep the records safe. Some excerpts from Judge Webster (Licensee & Respondent refer to Kerr):

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CORRECTION: IDs to feature sports egofices, AND SAFE reporting website

7/22/2016 CORRECTION: I emailed VPSA Robin Holmes about this, relaying the suggestion for stickers in the comments. She quickly replied that the info *will* be on the cards. Good news:

Bill,

I checked with the Director of the EMU and the card office to confirm that we will indeed be placing the emergency numbers on the card as we planned and as was advised and advocated for by students.  I am not sure where the information came that we were not planning on doing that—I am sure it was just some sort of miscommunication.  As you can see from the email below, not all of the numbers could be placed on the card so the idea was to have the card in a sleeve (to keep it from becoming de-magnified) and that that sleeve would have the additional numbers. 

Robin H. Holmes Ph.D., Vice President
Division of Student Life

7/20/2016: New UO IDs feature sports egofices, but not SAFE reporting website

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The Daily Emerald reports that a UO student group has been lobbying for the latter since 2014:

In 2014, UO Active Minds launched a campaign to persuade the university to include university resources numbers – Health Center, Safe Ride, Sexual Assault Prevention, Non Emergency Public Safety – on the back of the card.

“A lot of the time (these are) resources that students forget,” Active Minds member Juan Rivera said. “In my case, as a first year student you know about them, and you learn about them. As you progress throughout the years, you start forgetting what was originally there.”

Those numbers didn’t make it on the new design, though students will find their student ID number and barcode on the back of their new cards.

The SAFE website is here. It’s the best antidote to the confusing, outdated, and wrong information that has been posted on UO’s Affirmative Action and Police websites about reporting sexual harassment and assault. Putting the URL and 24-hour hotline number on ID’s was also very exciting to Mike Gottfredson and Robin Holmes’ hand picked $80K “External Review Committee”, as explained here. Bob Berdahl was enthusiastic. I wonder why the new UO administration wouldn’t do it, and who made the decision?

Comedy Central on college sports-revenue v. rapes & new UO Shushy mascot

This Comedy Central show starts with some statistics on college sexual violence, including the finding in a recent NBER working paper that reported rapes of college age women increase 41% on football home-game weekends.

Brenda Tracy then recounts the story of her 1998 gang-rape by Oregon State football players, explaining the pressure brought on her to drop charges, given that OSU was trying to raise money for a new football stadium. Tracy then introduces a campaign to try and get the NCAA to ban violent athletes, and the emcees explain the expected value calculation that has led so many colleges to hide rapes by revenue-sport athletes, and then introduce UO’s putative new mascot, Shushy the rape-ignoring ostrich:

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This is arguably unfair, given that Tracy was raped by student-athletes from Oregon State, not UO. But then Duck fans can hardly complain, given that President Gottfredson’s administration did its best to keep the March 2014 gang-rape allegations against three of coach Dana Altman’s basketball players secret until the players could be quietly transferred away to other unsuspecting campuses, as the documents in their lawsuit against UO demonstrate. (Docket here, correspondence between Altman’s recruit’s attorney and current UO Deputy General Counsel Doug Park, showing the agreement to keep the nature of the accusations against the player off his transcripts, here.)

I have a few issues with the expected value comparison of the costs of rapes and the benefits of football revenue that the show presents. Setting aside the issue of the non-pecuniary costs, the emceee’s state “If [the expected value of legal settlements for rape victims] is less money than the money generated by your football program then it’s more cost-efficient for you to just convince these co-eds that they were never raped.”

However, this math ignores the fact that the profits from big-time sports goes to the coaches, athletic directors and NCAA leaders like Mark Emmert, while the costs of the legal settlements are typically paid by the universities. The downside risk to coaches who tolerate rapists and alleged rapists seems to be small. For example, Mike Riley, who was OSU football coach when Tracy was raped, gave the two players one-game suspensions and appears to have lost nothing by that decision, being hired by OSU for a second stretch in 2003. The Duck’s Dana Altman will presumably receive a fat raise when his current contract expires, despite his decision to not ask any questions about why one of the alleged rapists, whom he recruited to UO as a transfer, had been suspended by his previous university for an entire year.

Diane Dietz has more on Shushy here, including the inevitable quote from self-described Duck advocate and PR flack Tobin Klinger.

Faculty delight as “inane and insulting” 160over90 branders chased off campus

7/20/2016 update: “What If” President Schill carried through on his promise to redirect 160over90’s branding bucks to new faculty hires? He has, as “Around the O” reports here.

1/20/2015: Faculty delight as “inane and insulting” 160over90 branders chased off campus

Kellie Woodhouse of InsideHigherEd has a report with many interesting quotes, here:

The University of Oregon’s decision to cut back its multimillion-dollar branding campaign has many faculty at the institution cheering. …

The change of course appears to have built good will among faculty members, many of whom complained the “If” campaign is too generic. A video for the campaign, for example, shows vague scenes and programs from Oregon’s campus, and doesn’t highlight with any detail the specific academic programs at the university.

“The original campaign was inane and insulting, and we were really disappointed that the Board of Trustees and our former president decided to spend that much money on advertising instead of addressing the university’s real problems,” said Bill Harbaugh, an economics professor and president-elect of the Oregon’s University Senate.

The quotes from President Schill’s new VP for Communications Kyle Henley are circumspect about the quality of 160over90’s work and the financial gains from ending the contract, as should be expected given the Chair of UO’s Board of Trustees past support for the branding:

Chuck Lillis, president of the UO Board of Trustees, built a $60-billion-plus empire on his background in marketing. Lillis earned a doctorate in marketing at the UO in 1972. …

Lillis, the inaugural chairman of the UO board — and $14 million donor to the UO business college — is squarely behind the 160over90 campaign.

“We can’t spend $3 million more intelligently than this,” he said recently.

That’s OK, Kenley deserves plenty of respect for doing the deed.

1/17/2016: UO Pres Mike Schill uses 160over90 ad firm to establish his “academic brand”

By firing their useless asses and putting the money to hiring new faculty for UO.

Schill is getting a lot of positive press for this. Diane Dietz’s report in the RG on Thursday now has 3.6K Facebook likes, including plenty of faculty nationwide:

The University of Oregon has pulled out of its high-profile three-year, $3.4 million contract with Philadelphia branding and advertising firm 160over90, and is redirecting money toward university academic and research goals, the UO said Wednesday.

… UO administrators negotiated a Jan. 1 end to the contract, which cost the UO about $40,000 in penalties but saved $400,000 to $500,000 in further spending, [VP for Communications Kyle Henley] said in an e-mail. The UO has paid 160over90 about $3 million in all. [And had planned to spend $20M over 5 years.]

InsideHigherEd and the Chronicle of Higher Ed are both doing stories on this. Perhaps the Chronicle story will be a bit more positive than Jack Stripling’s September report on UO. (Still gated, extracts here.)

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And the Register Guard’s Editorial Board notes that Schill has picked up “Oregon values” pretty quickly, for a New Yorker:

Any rancher could have told the University of Oregon that a brand isn’t worth much without a steer to put it on. UO President Michael Schill has reached that understanding, and now intends to spend less on hype and more on the university’s product: academics and research. Bully for him. …

So now that the branders are gone, let’s get to work on ending Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick’s contract with UO for legal work. The City of Eugene did that years ago, and has apparently saved millions:

UO’s HLGR contract is here. We pay them by the hour, which creates an obvious moral hazard. So who did former Interim General Counsel Doug Park put in charge of it? Harrang’s noted big-tobacco attorney Sharon Rudnick:

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No written report from Pepper Hamilton lawyers on Baylor football rapes

The NYT has the story here:

The former Baylor president Kenneth W. Starr complained that he had never seen it. Baylor’s alumni association called for its release. The Big 12 Conference has asked for it — twice.

But there is one problem. It — a written report of an investigation conducted by an outside law firm in the wake of several sexual assault allegations and convictions involving Baylor football players — does not exist.

“Various voices have called for the release of the ‘full report,’” the university’s interim president, David Garland, wrote in June after the Board of Regents demoted Mr. Starr and fired the football coach Art Briles. The lawyers’ report, however, “was delivered in the form of an oral presentation that fully and comprehensively presented the individual and aggregated findings and the evidence supporting the findings,” Mr. Garland said.

Baylor’s decision to forgo a comprehensive report — after an investigation that granted the lawyers what the university called “unfettered access,” more than 65 interviews and one million pieces of information including emails and personnel files — has frustrated not only the supporters of the punished administrators but transparency advocates, who wonder about the impartiality of the lawyers the university hired to investigate itself and whether Baylor is withholding information publicly to protect itself from criticism, lawsuits or both. …

Say what you will about Mike Gottfredson but he went the extra mile on this particular idea, by refusing to conduct any investigation whatsoever of the UO Basketball rape allegations.

President Schill deluged by academic donations

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG:

… The nearly $202 million received in the past 12 months fell short of the $215 million received in 2014-15, but exceeds the amount raised in previous years.

In the year since Schill took the helm, the giving has shifted in favor of academics, with 80 percent of donations earmarked for learning and research vs. athletic giving — while the mix in the previous year was 62 percent academics and 38 percent athletics. …

Deputy GC Doug Park’s lack of foresight costs UO another $425K

Rich Read of the Oregonian had a long series of stories on former Interim GC Doug Park’s decision to get a copy of Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records while Doe was suing UO over the alleged basketball gang rape. Park’s decision was the basis for changes in state and federal law and UO policy, prompted by, among others, UO professor Jennifer Freyd, and it was the primary reason UO paid $800K  to settle Doe’s case against UO. Josephine Woolington had this quote from Park in the RG, here:

“If I could go back in retrospect, I would have sent (the student’s attorneys) a letter or email back, asking, ‘Is this really what you mean?’ ” Park said.

That $800K wasn’t the end of it. Today, Tran Nguyen reports in the Daily Emerald that UO has settled with the two counseling center employees who blew the whistle on Park and the counseling center’s director Shelly Kerr:

The University of Oregon settled a lawsuit with two former health center whistleblowers for the amount of $425,000 in total Sunday. The whistleblowers, two employees at the University Counseling and Testing Center, claimed the university accessed the counseling records of “Jane Doe”—a student allegedly raped by UO basketball players—without her consent in 2014.

Jennifer Morlok and Karen Stokes filed their lawsuit in November 2015 against four administrators at the U.S. District Court in Eugene. Stokes was executive assistant in the Counseling Center; Morlok was Jane Doe’s therapist after the alleged assault. When they spoke out against the university, Stokes claimed she was being “forced to leave her position” by UO administration in March 2015, and Morlok faced a “hostile working environment” that made her resign October 2015, according to the lawsuit.

UO denied any wrongdoing in retrieving the counseling records. In a statement to the Oregonian, UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said the settlement “does allow all parties to move forward and avoid years of expensive litigation.” …

Andrew Theen has more in the Oregonian here.

The Oregon State Bar declined to go after Park for an ethics violation, and an admission of wrongdoing would presumably reopen that. Park is still employed by UO, as “Deputy General Counsel”, a job that was created for him after he did not get the permanent GC job. He’s paid the same GC’s salary of ~205K$ that he got before the demotion, however.

Meanwhile the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners has not yet posted their final decision about their ethics investigation of Shelly Kerr. They initially proposed a $5K fine and some re-education.

Mike Gottfredson 2nd highest paid public Univ administrator for 2015

So he should be able to pay UO back for his legal defense, right? Andrew Theen has the report in the Oregonian, based on the latest Chronicle data:

Michael Gottfredson, a former University of Oregon president, received more than $1.2 million in compensation during the 2014-15 school year, making him the second-highest paid administrator in the country. …

10/31/2015: Will UO make Gottfredson pay lawyers for Austin v. UO et al.?

His separation agreement says that we paid him $940K in return for him releasing UO

“from any liability for any claims, losses, damages, liabilities, or other obligations (including attorneys’ fees and costs actually incurred) of whatever kind, in law or in equity, statutory or at common law, known or unknown, arising out of or in any way connected to his employment with or separation from employment with the university.”

Seems pretty bullet-proof to me. Good for Chuck Lillis for putting it in there. But I wonder if UO will enforce it? The danger to UO would be that independent Gott lawyers might prefer to try to stick the blame for any errors in how Austin was treated on, say, previous UO General Counsel Randy Geller, or previous interim GC Doug Park, or VPSA Robin Holmes, or AD Rob Mullens, etc. In any case discovery is certainly going to be interesting.

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Mayor Piercy links high-speed rail $ and 2021 IAAF track championships

Complementary money pits – every politician’s dream. From Diane Dietz in the RG:

The 2021 IAAF World Championships track meet in Eugene presents an opportunity to move teams by rail to Eugene from training sites up and down the Willamette Valley. “It could prove to ourselves and to the ­Legislature what potential (rail) could really have,” Piercy said.

The cost estimate for the cheap rail plan is ~$700M, the expensive plan is $4B. Those are the liar’s budget numbers of course, and are for construction alone. For a comparison, state support for UO is about $60M a year.

UO Police say regular faculty are not required to report sexual assaults

Follow the menu from police.uoregon.edu to http://police.uoregon.edu/content/campus-security-authorities then check the links at the bottom for a variety of wrong, misleading, and outdated information about reporting sexual assaults.

For example, our Police Department’s Quick Reference Guide, written after Mike Gottfredson declared that faculty were mandatory reporters of sexual assault and harassment (and then tried to hide the basketball gang-rape allegations from the campus community) includes this:

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University presidents hire Courtney aide to run new ‘council of presidents’

and lobby the legislature. Is the lobbying going to focus on more state funding, or on even less state control? It’s unlikely it will be about how to rationalize the system for redistributing what little state funding there is, given the competing interests of the universities. Andrew Theen has the story in the Oregonian here. A snippet:

But Les Ruark, a Gilliam County farmer, asked a state lawmaker to look into whether the council is subject to meeting and records laws. Rep. John Huffman, (R-The Dalles), asked the state’s Legislative Counsel to offer its nonbinding opinion on whether the council is exempt from the laws.

In an opinion authored July 1, the state lawyers said the council is “probably subject to disclosure under the public records law,” but likely does not meet public meetings law because it was “created informally” and not through a government action.

But it’s no secret that the presidents aren’t happy with the HECC. Here is Theen reporting on that in May:

Not everything, though, is hunky dory in the new world order.

Wiewel, Ray and others said they’re concerned the statewide HECC board is being too aggressive in trying to regulate and oversee the universities.

“We’re already being monitored six ways from Sunday,” Wiewel said of national accrediting bodies. He said HECC’s university surveys released this year went too far.

Ray said he’s been “the biggest mouth” worrying that HECC is morphing into a new version of the university systems.

Cannon said he would “push back very, very hard against that perception.”

The old system had a staff of 200 at its peak, Cannon said, while HECC has six full-time staffers focused on the public universities.

Around the O publishes insightful piece on Dean Andrew Marcus & CAS troubles

I’m particularly impressed by the quotes from Provost Coltrane, who finally apologizes for how he dug CAS a budget hole while he was dean and then when he became provost and president, ignored Marcus’s attempts to fix things until the inevitable crisis occurred. And, in a first, Around the O actually links to a public record – Marcus’s Jan 2014 letter to Gottfredson, Coltrane, Moffitt, Shelton, and Taylor laying out the problems Coltrane had left for him, here.

There are also some good quotes from VPFA Jamie Moffitt, explaining why CAS is still bailing out Michael Moffitt’s law school, and detailing the $6.1M that will be used this year alone to give free tuition to roughly half the law school students. That’s followed up by some tough talk from Marcus about the ruination that Brad Shelton’s budget model has brought CAS, and asking some pointed questions about why Shelton has been left in charge of writing a new one.

Nah, just kidding, it’s a pointless puff piece. Too bad – Marcus deserves better.

Affirmative Action finally tells students where they can report sexual harassment

7/13/2016 update: Reporter Max Thornberry has the report in the Daily Emerald here. A snippet:

Concerns about the timeliness and effectiveness of the AAEO office [aren’t] new. A 2014 report from the ombuds office found that, “classified staff report high levels of distrust…in the fairness, competence and responsiveness of the University’s AA/EO function.”

The ombuds office did not investigate the office itself and only makes notes of patterns of perception, according to the report. Former ombudsman Bruce McAllister did note however that, “perception does not necessarily equate to fact, but patterns are important to the acceptance and long-term efficacy of any particular program.”

Until site reconstruction this week, there was no mention at all of the ombuds office, an integral piece in the murky mandatory reporting debate on college campuses. The ombuds office is one of the few truly confidential outlets for survivors of sexual assault, which is a key part of the debate surrounding mandatory reporting.

6/29/2016 update: Penny Daugherty’s AAEO website finally has been updated with a link to the correct administrator for reporting child abuse. But the link for reporting discrimination and sexual harassment still takes you to a pdf (below) that is years out of date and does not mention the new Title IX Coordinator, Office of Crisis Intervention, etc. Other AAEO pages and links also still describe procedures that are years out of date, and policies that are no longer in effect.

That’s right, the UO office that is responsible for complying with federal laws on discrimination and harassment can’t even point UO students, faculty, and staff to the current UO procedures and policies for complying with those laws. Does anyone except Johnson Hall still have confidence in AAEO Director Penny Daugherty?

6/23/2016 update: Four weeks after I emailed her about it Affirmative Action Director Penny Daugherty’s website still has incorrect info about reporting sexual assault and harassment. Need to report child abuse? Her office will refer you to someone who no longer works at UO.

5/26/2016: AAEO website rife with errors & outdated info for reporting sexual abuse, harassment, assaults

At this point no one should be surprised by the continued incompetence of AAEO Director Penny Daugherty. President Schill’s emergency policy requiring mandatory reporting has been in effect since February 18th. Full policy here. The gist:

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The UO Senate’s SGBV committee has worked for 6 months to develop a permanent version of this policy. The Senate has had three very public debates on the question of mandatory reporting to Ms Daugherty’s  office. It’s been all over the papers. And yet Ms Daugherty’s AAEO website still manages to get the basics all wrong:

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Ms Daugherty’s AAEO office says:

Consistent with its commitment to provide a safe environment for students, faculty and staff, University policy requires that employees who have credible evidence that prohibited discrimination is occurring have a duty to report that information to their supervisor or to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

That’s not true.  Since February, UO policy has said that students should go to the Title IX coordinator or the Office of Crisis Intervention, and not to Ms Daugherty.  Why was this job taken away from her? I don’t know. There have been two external reviews of AAEO in the past year, but UO’s General Counsel will not make them public.

AAEO’s website also says:

Confidentiality for all parties is respected to the extent possible.

That’s deceptive. AAEO’s ability to respect confidentiality is quite limited, and in fact AAEO’s responsibility is to protect the university, not the victims. Here’s the language from the proposed new policy, which was approved by the General Counsel’s office:

Employees should be aware that AAEO is tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy and state and federal law. Therefore, while AAEO will work with employees, students and campus community members to ensure that they understand their complaint options, are protected from retaliation and are provided with interim measures as appropriate, AAEO employees are not advocates for individuals participating in the process.

The UO Ombuds Office is one place that can really guarantee confidentiality. AAEO doesn’t even mention them. And if you follow the prominent links on the AAEO website, the incorrect information just gets worse:

For more information regarding university employee required reporting obligations, including those related to the reporting of child abuse and crimes under the Clery Campus Security Act, please see Summary of Required UO Employee Reporting Responsibilities.

Really. That link starts with this:

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That information is obsolete, wrong, and dangerous. The document is from January 2014, two years before the current emergency policy was put in place. It’s incorrect about where to report sexual harassment directed at students. Do you need to report child abuse? Our Office of AAEO will send you to the email address of someone who no longer works at UO.

OK, maybe the prominent link on the AAEO homepage to this glossy brochure will lead to better information? No, that brochure is also years out of date. As in five:

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OK, try AAEO’s tab for Sexual Harassment and Assault. This will take you to a different version of the AAEO brochure, with different information. Different, but also wrong. As one example, AAEO says that if you have a “facilitated conversation” with them, “the participants retain control over the outcome”:

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No they don’t. AAEO employees are mandatory reporters. So suppose two faculty come to AAEO for a facilitated conversation to talk about some issues in their department. During the conversation, the AAEO facilitator decides that these issues include credible evidence of sexual harassment. Under current UO policy the facilitator would be obligated to report, and perhaps initiate a formal grievance process. This process could easily lead to the alleged harasser learning the identity of the people who had come to AAEO, to have what they had thought would be a conversation in which they could “retain control over the outcome.”

This isn’t just my interpretation, it’s the interpretation of one of AAEO’s own facilitators, who agreed that in this sort of situation it would be better to go to the Ombuds office. So why won’t AAEO say that publicly? I don’t think it’s a conspiracy. It’s just incompetence. Many long years of it.