Altman skips meeting with Wyden, Schill, Tracy on sex assaults

He was coaching a basketball game instead. Michael Tobin has more on the meeting in the Emerald:

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden met with University of Oregon President Michael Schill to discuss the school’s handling of sexual violence and misconduct.

The meeting was prompted by November’s exchange of letters between the university and Wyden in which the senior senator and UO alumnus expressed concern over the university’s handling of the Kavell Bigby-Williams sexual assault investigation.

Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault prevention activist, was also at the meeting.

In a statement released on AroundtheO, President Schill called Friday’s meeting “a productive dialogue,” despite what he referred to as “tough questions.” …

Update Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.: Brenda Tracy responded to The Emerald’s request for comment Sunday afternoon about the meeting. She said the meeting was “not as productive as I would have hoped.”

“They’re standing firm that they did nothing wrong. I left there feeling like this could happen again and probably will,” she said.

The Around the O report has not yet been updated:

President Michael H. Schill has released a statement on a recent meeting regarding the University of Oregon’s approach to dealing with incidents of sexual violence and misconduct.

“Friday afternoon, key members of our leadership team and I had an opportunity to meet with Sen. Ron Wyden, members of his staff, Brenda Tracy and attorney Jacqueline Swanson about the university’s approach to dealing with incidents of sexual violence and misconduct. The university is grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to the senator and discuss in detail the complexities that surround these kinds of issues.

While there were certainly some tough questions, it was a productive dialog, and I greatly appreciate the senator and Ms. Tracy’s commitment to fighting sexual assault on campus. We share that commitment and strive everyday to meet the needs of survivors and reporters.

I came to the University of Oregon immediately after a well-publicized incident involving the alleged sexual assault of one of our students. I pledged to our community that I would do everything in my power to combat sexual violence at our school. Over the past three years – with the support and hard work of the University Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence and a cadre of committed administrators, faculty and students – the University of Oregon has created innovative prevention programs and an effective Title IX enforcement mechanism that is best-in-class. 

I am proud of our achievements in this area but I am far from satisfied. Our procedures and our programs can always get better. We look forward to working with Sen. Wyden, Ms. Tracy and others to do just that.

Undergraduate Studies reorganization: Town halls Jan 12th and 19th, 5:00

Update from Banavar:

Colleagues,

There is no question that we all share a common goal—supporting our students and ensuring that they have the resources to be successful during their time at the University of Oregon and beyond. This week Dennis Galvan, interim vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies, announced some changes to the UGS team that are aimed squarely at improving and enhancing the way we support student success initiatives at the UO. These changes include a new arrangement in which our highly successful programs such as PathwayOregon, Teaching and Learning Center tutoring and academic support, and our first-year enrichment programs are all better connected and are all ultimately managed by Doneka Scott, associate vice provost for student success. Dennis has detailed those changes in a memorandum to the UGS staff.

The reorganization that Dennis has embarked upon does not eliminate any programs. It simply consolidates administrative oversight of our student success programs within UGS to increase collaboration and coordination. Dennis has been working closely with me and leaders within the provost’s office and UGS to develop a plan that will ultimately strengthen and improve alignment among various student success programs. While we have many fantastic programs—and many talented and dedicated people who support those programs—in some instances our siloed and decentralized structure meant that those programs were not achieving their full potential. 

I understand that change can sometimes be unsettling, but change is necessary if we are to better support our students. I thank everyone within UGS for their patience and understanding. Though some positions may change slightly, this is not an effort to reduce FTE within UGS. Some of you may have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Dennis.

Thank you,

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

Update from Galvan:

Short overview of UGS reorganization

Dear Colleagues: 

The Division of Undergraduate Studied is undertaking a reorganization to expand on our best programs and maximize student success. 

In particular, we are changing reporting lines and eventually relocating some of our best programs, now in the Teaching and Learning Center, by making them the center of our reorganized division. We will build on and expand Pathway, Trio SSS, Learning Specialists, Class Encore, McNair, Health Professions Program, among other marvelous endeavors. 

The new division of UGS involves a new, more integrated organizational structure. Reporting lines and locations will change gradually in the coming months. There will be no reduction in positions. While change of this kind is often challenging, we’re convinced we will come out of it better equipped to advance the university’s student success goals. 

Please do be in touch with me or Doneka Scott if you have any questions or concerns. 

Very best,

Dennis …

1/12/2018: I’m just posting what people have sent me. I don’t have any inside info on UGS. As noted below Interim Dean Dennis Galvan has set up a survey and two forums to provide more info and answer questions:

The first will be especially for TLC staff members (though all are welcome) and will be tomorrow, Friday (1/12) from 5-6:30pm in the Swindells room in the EMU
The second will be for all UGS staff on Friday, January 19th, 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (room 101) in Jacqua.

While UO Matters welcomes comments with actual facts, unsubstantiated rumors, prophecies of doom, or inspiring messages from PR flacks such as Tobin Klinger about how the light of the world will move forward into broad sunlit uplands, I encourage people to fill out the anonymous survey below (which helpfully asks for questions for the forums) and then to go to the forums if they can. Reports from the forums would be very welcome.

1)  A letter from Galvan, forwarded to me by “Anonymous”:

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share some important changes coming to Undergraduate Studies. Over the last several months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about what UGS does, the many strengths that each unit brings to the division, and opportunities for efficiency and alignment. As you all know, Undergraduate Studies has been tasked by the president with the significant task of enhancing student success at UO. Retention and graduation rates are of course key metrics. Student success also depends on our ability to offer a meaningful, comprehensive, and rigorous education to all our students, while giving them the support they need to make the most of that education.

After many meetings and conversations with leaders in UGS, I’ve decided that, to maximize student success, we need to place programs that have been highly successful in impacting students (from retention and graduation rates to holistic student support services ) within a new arrangement for our division, enabling us to expand synergetic relationships that will make our efforts even more robust.

To that end:

Pathway, Trio SSS, and the Health Professions Program will become part of the Office of Academic Advising (OAA), with OAA reporting to Doneka Scott;
TLC tutoring and academic support programs will remain under Amy Neutzman’s supervision, with Amy reporting to Doneka Scott;
FIGs, ARCs and Common Reading will also become part of Doneka’s portfolio, which will weave academic support and first-year enrichment into a wrap-around system for student success, especially in the first two years;
McNair will move under Josh Snodgrass in a team focused on undergraduate research and experiential learning;
Ron Bramhall will continue working on core ed and curriculum reform, but he will be formally “detailed” from OPAA into a 0.5 role as AVP for Undergraduate Academic Excellence, with reporting line to the UGS Dean and Vice Provost;
TLC administrative support staff will be reassigned to central UGS duties, with appropriate consultation and evaluation;
Teaching Engagement Program will have a new relationship with both the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Studies, with further details to follow.

I also want to take advantage of Susan Lesyk’s experience and success in developing programs that enhance the student experience. She will be joining a team that will be charged with implementing an advising and support program for students during their first two years on campus, and leading a series of critical assignments at the heart of student success. In assuming this new role, she is being promoted to Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Academic Initiatives.

While the effective date for change in reporting lines is 1 February 2018, we will work out detailed and tailored transition plans for each unit and individual experiencing a change. Consultations will begin immediately to work out ways to minimize disruption of student services and help units and individuals shift to the new organizational structure along timelines and following processes that make sense for our operations, services, and staff.

As reporting lines and some positions may change, everyone in UGS will continue to have a place within the division. This reorganization is not designed to reduce our FTE or eliminate positions, but instead to maximize integration and build a unified team to advance the university’s student success agenda.

The issue of space allocations continues to evolve, but over time, all UGS units will be located in the Knight Library, Oregon Hall, or the new Tykeson Building. A number of these moves will take place during winter and spring terms 2018. Timing of moves will be a part of the individualized transition plans mentioned above.

Excellent work has been done on student success within every UGS unit. These changes will present the opportunity to continue this work in a more streamlined and efficient way, while taking advantage of the experience and expertise that exists within UGS

That said, change is always hard, and I am committed to providing, open, public space to share our perspectives on major changes. I want to hear from you and answer your questions as best I can. To that end, I have scheduled two open forum meetings:

The first will be especially for TLC staff members (though all are welcome) and will be tomorrow, Friday (1/12) from 5-6:30pm in the Swindells room in the EMU
The second will be for all UGS staff on Friday, January 19th, 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (room 101) in Jacqua.

I realize that, given the short notice, many of you will not be able to attend at either of these times. Maeve Anderson will be in touch to schedule other meetings either by unit, or in open forum format, beginning next week.

If you would like to submit questions or comments anonymously in advance, please do so through this qualtrics survey [https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50dFDVfGDS91PlX] for anonymous feedback and comments.And of course, please do feel free to reach out to me directly at any time.

With thanks for your understanding and collaboration,

Dennis

Dennis Galvan
Interim Vice Provost and Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Professor of Political Science & International Studies
University of Oregon

2) A response to the above, emailed to uomatters and about 65 others including reporters from “A concerned University of Oregon member”:

Dear President Schill,

I am dismayed to learn that the Division of Undergraduate Studies intends to eliminate the Teaching and Learning Center; home to programs such as Health Professions, Class Encore, Student Support Services, Pathway Oregon, and the Teaching Effectiveness Program. The elimination of the Teaching and Learning Center is part of a reorganization of the Division of Undergraduate Studies lead by the current Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and current Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dennis Galvan. Through my years at the University of Oregon, I have work directly with the Teaching and Learning Center on countless student engagement and student success initiatives which is why I find this news so shocking and troubling. If you, President Schill, truly feel as strongly about student success as you have stated on multiple occasions, including your 2017 State of the University address, you will feel equally as shocked and troubled by this news.

The Teaching and Learning Center has a storied history within the University of Oregon as a leader in student support and a home to students which is why this is so stunning as to be inconceivable. Furthermore, I was shocked an appalled to discover that this decision was made without consultation of the committed and hard-working directors within the Teaching and Learning Center or the executive counsel of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. With an effective date of February 1st, the campus community and the students we support are left with no time to plan, much less prepare for such a monumental upheaval of an integral pillar to student success on campus. Such a rash and rushed initiative can only serve to harm the very students we are here to support.

It is a thinly veiled secret that there have been significant issues in undergraduate advising at the University of Oregon. Through the hard-work of dedicated advisors and faculty across campus we have seen progress; although not as fast as we had hoped and certainly not as rapidly as you have wished. But the response to slow progress should be seen through support and recognition of programs that work, not their destruction. There is more than the constituent programs that make the Teaching and Learning Center so effective in its mission of student success. That magic cannot be simply transplanted from one office to another, but must be grown at its core.

I cannot begin to understand how Susan Lesyk and the wonderful team she has assembled must feel, but I am left in shock and grief that the University of Oregon may lose yet another institution to student success and we as a community may lose these wonderful people. While Mr. Galvan may herald this as the beginning to a new era of student success I fear this is the end to these critical programs and the philosophy of student success  at the University of Oregon.

President Schill, there is still time to rectify this ill-advised and ill-conceived proposal, but I beseech you to act promptly less an integral home to student success is lost forever.

Sincerely,

A concerned University of Oregon member.

 

To my colleagues,

The shocking nature of this calamity has lead me to write this letter, an act I would have found unthinkable mere hours ago. I write this letter of my volition and without awareness from those involved. I could not sleep without taking some small action.  

Please do not let the Teaching and Learning Center go quietly into the pages of history. Please share your wonderful experiences with the Teaching and Learning Center and your sentiment on the importance of student success with the leadership and Mr. Galvan. Please pass this message along to all those who will care deeply about this troubling news. I have also learned of two open forums at which Mr. Galvan will be taking questions.

Forums:

Friday (January 12th) from 5-6:30pm in the EMU Swindells Room

Friday (January 19th) from 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (Room 101) in Jacqua

Mr Galvan has also created a survey (https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50dFDVfGDS91PlX) for anonymous feedback and comments.

Thank you!

Campus Update from President Schill

Dear colleagues and friends,

As I write this Open Mike, I feel the earth move under my feet. Before you get concerned that I am singing Carole King songs (she is one of my favorites) or having a nightmare about the Cascadia Subduction Zone, you should understand that just outside my office massive trucks and bulldozers are busy breaking ground for the new Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, the college and careers building. Since the start of the term, construction crews have been diligently digging, hammering, and preparing the site for a stunning new building that will open in fall 2019. It is noisy; it is loud; and sometimes it feels like the earth really is moving, but it is all for a great and important cause.

The Tykeson building will not only be placed at a central location on our beautiful campus; in many ways it will serve as a new center of gravity for our efforts connected to the single most important objective we all share—helping our students succeed. It will provide us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to refocus and rethink how we deliver academic and career advising to our students, all under one roof. In addition to adding much-needed office and classroom space to campus, the new building will house College of Arts and Sciences advising services and the UO Career Center. It will provide an integrated approach to advising that will help students consider their career options and then work to devise an academic plan for getting there.

The construction of Tykeson Hall is the latest chapter of the conversation we started three months after I took office about the importance of doing everything we can to enable our students to succeed. So much has happened since I stood in front of campus at the EMU and made the case that on-time graduation promotes a student’s likelihood of earning a diploma and substantially reduces the cost of college. We have already seen modest increases in carrying loads, retention, and graduation rates. While I am pleased that we have made progress, there is much, much more to accomplish.

Over the next year we will work with academic advisors in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence, PathwayOregon, and all the schools and colleges to improve and enhance coordination through creation of a unified academic advising action plan. The important work of improving our student success efforts is being led by Provost Jayanth Banavar and Dennis Galvan, the interim vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies. You can expect to see changes throughout the university to support these efforts in the coming year. We cannot let our decentralized administrative structure stand in the way of our students’ success—and we won’t.

Today’s students need more than just a degree: they need assistance and guidance in landing jobs that meet their needs and aspirations. We owe it to future generations of students and to those who gave to this endeavor to get this right. We must break down silos between administrative divisions and schools to devise the sort of comprehensive resources and advising that will prepare our students for fulfilling careers in a fast-moving and increasingly global economy. In addition, we must create more high-impact opportunities for students to work with the faculty and more avenues for them to gain experiential education, such as internships and study abroad.

While the construction crews are building a strong foundation for the Tykeson building, we must start now to lay the programmatic foundation for long-term success. This is one of my top priorities for 2018.

Speaking of construction projects and laying a foundation for the future, moving the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact closer to its launch will occupy a good deal of my time in 2018. Luckily, I will be working with a terrific team, including interim director Patrick Phillips; our newly hired executive director, Bob Guldberg, who will be joining us this summer; Mike Harwood from our planning and development office; and scores of others. You may have noticed crews clearing the land on the corner of Agate and Franklin, and we anticipate breaking ground for the first two buildings in March.

Prior to the time those Knight Campus buildings are ready for occupancy in 2020, we need to do a lot of planning. Among the most important tasks will be for us to work with our faculty here at the UO and potential partners such as Oregon Health and Science University to determine the areas of applied science on which to focus. Our challenge is to pick areas that are not just hot today but that will be at the forefront of scientific advancement in 10 years. We will then need to identify, recruit, and hire world-class researchers and postdocs to come to Eugene.

Part of the promise of the Knight Campus is the advancement of science with a tangible, beneficial impact on society. We hope that the discoveries and innovations will make the world better and, at the same time, drive economic activity in the region. One way this will occur is through the creation of companies that will bring new products and therapeutic treatments to market. We will need to work with faculty members, alumni, and community members to create an ecosystem in Eugene to promote this kind of activity. That work begins now.

While the creation of the Knight Campus is the most dramatic academic undertaking at the UO, it is certainly not the only one. Provost Banavar and I are working with faculty members and deans to support existing areas of excellence and seed new and exciting ones that will strengthen our university’s academic profile and meet our students’ needs. We have already provided seed funding for the School of Journalism and Communication’s Media Center for Science and Technology, the College of Education’s Oregon Research Schools Network, and faculty lines for the College of Arts and Science’s emerging Black studies program. We are also working with faculty members to conceptualize and fund new and exciting programs in data science, neuroscience, and the microbiome.

We have asked deans to work with their faculties to think about new and innovative interdisciplinary programs. It is my hope that great ideas in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and professional schools will outstrip available resources. That is the sign of a healthy, striving institution. The provost and I will work with deans to find new resources through philanthropy, an increase in revenue, and the reallocation of existing resources. The new institutional hiring plan will be one way we can achieve this.

I am also eager to move forward with online education. The UO has been slow to move into this realm and, frankly, it is hurting us. Students today demand online options. If we do not provide them, they will go (and are going) elsewhere. More robust online offerings could generate revenue to moderate future tuition increases and help fund our march toward excellence. What is more important, the creation of online course options would help our students graduate on time—saving them time and money and accelerating their move into the workforce. I have asked the provost to move quickly and to work with our faculty and administrators to explore and implement models of online education that simultaneously maintain high levels of quality and achieve these objectives.

A new year is about resolutions. Before winter break I attended a Quack Chat talk by Elliot Berkman, associate professor of psychology, who presented research that shows much of the motivation to hold to our resolutions is driven by social connections and our own self-image. I couldn’t help thinking as I listened to Elliot that if we all work together toward excellence, expect and encourage each other to be great, and see ourselves as a world-class public research university, we will continue to enhance and increase excellence at the UO. We have much work to do. I hope you’ll join me in the effort to stay focused on the things that matter most—moving heaven and earth to help our students succeed and building an academic program of distinction.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

President Schill denounces hate speech, racism

In “Around the O“:

“I strongly condemn all forms of hate speech and racism,” said Michael H. Schill, UO president and professor of law. “I am troubled by the recent reports of an uptick in both subtle and overt acts of racism on campus and in the surrounding community. I have asked our law enforcement team to work with partners both here on campus and throughout Eugene to do everything they can within the law to provide a safe learning environment for our students that is free from threats and intimidation. The language of white supremacy has no place in our community.”

Madison-Cannon from UM-KC to lead School of Music and Dance

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that we have selected Sabrina Madison-Cannon as the next dean of the School of Music and Dance. 

Sabrina will be an outstanding addition to the university and you can read full details in the Around the O story [here].

Please join me in welcoming Sabrina to the University of Oregon.

Sincerely,

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

 

From the link:

Madison-Cannon spent her international performing career as a soloist with the Philadelphia Dance Company, known as Philadanco. After earning her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 1998, Madison-Cannon has gone on to positions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In 2016, she was promoted to professor of dance, focusing on composition and advanced choreographic design, while also serving in her associate dean role.
An associate dean since 2012, Madison-Cannon has focused on faculty issues, curricular development, assessment and credentialing. Additionally, she has had oversight of academic advising and student affairs in the conservatory.
Madison-Cannon has served on the boards and friends organizations of many of Kansas City’s arts organizations and brings with her a passion for partnerships and community engagement.
In addition to her teaching and administrative work, Madison-Cannon has been a featured presenter and performer at numerous scholarly events around the globe, including the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Midwest Clinic–International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, the International Choreographer’s Showcase in Barcelona and Madrid and several International Association of Blacks in Dance conferences.

Willie Taggart’s Professor of Strength leaves UO to return to FSU

1/1/2018:

Andrew Greif has the news here. Oderinde put 3 UO students in the hospital and kept his job for a year anyway. I’m not sure if Duck FAR Tim Gleason ever gave up the public records on his “investigation” of Oderinde. Say, I wonder if Dr. Skaggs ever got his Sports Medicine Board Certification?

3/10/2017:

More national publicity for UO, from CBS Sports: UO claims the Duck coach who put 3 students in hospital is “faculty”

The unregulated world of strength coaches and college football’s killing season

When three Oregon football players were hospitalized in January following a strenuous workout, they were being led by a strength coach certified from a track and field coaches association.

For a $245 fee, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) offers a 21-hour strength training course to become a certified NCAA strength coach in any sport. By comparison, the widely-used Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) requires 30 times as much training — a 640-hour certification process.

According to the NCAA, that track certification was all that was needed by Oregon football strength coach Irele Oderinde, who was suspended for one month due to the January workout.

… Oregon declined to provide a copy of Oderinde’s resume to CBS Sports since it is part of his faculty record. Oregon said faculty records cannot be released without an employee’s written permission, and Oderinde did not grant permission.

You can’t make this shit up.

Shocking NSFW photo shows depravity behind OBF’s firing of Matthew Halls

Bob Keefer has the latest on the deBachle in the Eugene Weekly, from another drip of UO public records. Apparently OBF Exec Director Janelle McCoy was keeping a dossier on Halls’ various infractions, “small and smaller”, including photos of the depraved acts that took place at the house the festival rented for him in Eugene:

Actually, that’s a photo of Who drummer Keith Moon’s hotel room after a concert back in the 70’s. The photo below shows what happened at the house the OBF rented for Halls – courtesy of the UO Public Records Office:

Yes, that’s a dryer filter, with lint in it. I’m no Maytag repairman, but the family lint is pretty personal stuff for a university that claims it can’t release personnel records. While the EW choose not to publish this photo, UOM’s editorial board is far more progressive, and as Keefer reports this is not exactly Harvey Weinstein material:

… OBF executive director Janelle McCoy apparently kept a laundry list of Halls’ sins, small and smaller, nearly from the moment she began work at the festival on Jan. 28, 2016. … No transgression seems too petty for McCoy’s list, which contains a photo of excessive lint in the clothes dryer at the house where Halls stayed during the 2015 festival.

Perhaps the biggest item on the laundry list was that Halls was “abusive” toward McCoy at an OBF Friends of the Festival board retreat on Oct. 30, 2016. Whatever abuse Halls may have committed, though, doesn’t appear anywhere in the official minutes of that retreat, which EW obtained from the university.

… Board member and OBF co-founder Royce Saltzman said, “OBF is in great hands. Openness has given each of us an insight into what has to happen to make OBF successful.” He’s also quoted saying, “The openness Janelle and Matthew demonstrated to the board of their working relationship is important.”

And Doug Blandy, the UO’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, says in the minutes that “such honest discussion leads to a stellar festival.”

No one, according to the minutes, felt the need to comment on or even hint at Halls’ supposed abusiveness.

In early December, though, more than a month after the retreat, Blandy — who would later sign off on Halls’ firing — wrote to Halls that his “treatment of Ms. McCoy [during the retreat] was unacceptable” and threatened to terminate his contract.

And then Blandy – not known for his decision-making ability – gave Halls a raise and a new contract. Then someone fired Halls. Then UO’s PR flacks cooked up a story for Around the O and the smear campaign started. I wonder when UO will give Keefer the records showing who started it?

Meanwhile I’m going to go check our dryer, just in case. For the nostalgic, here’s a link to the smear campaign against me from Doug Blandy, Tim Gleason, Sharon Rudnick et al. during the first round of union bargaining.

How to give money to SAIL, the University of Oregon, & state & local causes

12/20/2017 update: 

In response to my note the UO Development Office has now added SAIL to the list of “other” funds. Just go to the secure UO giving page at https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1540/foundation/2col.aspx?sid=1540&gid=1&pgid=408&cid=1095, click the “I want to view additional options” box, and you’ll get this pop-up:

Click Summer Academy to Inspire Learning, then you’ll be asked how much, contact, info, ccard info. Thank you!

12/19/2017 update: 

With only 12 days left before President Grinch’s tax “reform” increases the after-tax cost of giving – drastically for most of us – now is the time to give on the cheap. Even the Duck coaches, or at least one person working for athletics, have now got into the act with a pledge to the State Employee’s Charitable Fund Drive:

If you give this way and don’t have a lot of deductions (i.e. a big mortgage) you should consider switching from a monthly payroll donation to making a one-time gift before Jan 1. The phone number is on their website here. You can pick which of a list social welfare and other charities you want to send the money too. Very easy.

That’s for UO employees giving to state and local causes. As Honest Uncle Bernie reports, giving to UO is a bit harder. I like the Duckfunder website: https://duckfunder.uoregon.edu/ It has a few active campaigns at the moment, but it’s not very good crowdfunding because it doesn’t connect donors with related causes or vice versa. Meanwhile the main UO giving site, https://giving.uoregon.edu is not even secure:

Which sort of puts you off leaving a ccard number. However, if your browser lets you get past this, you’ll eventually find the UO Foundation’s secure giving webpage at https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1540/foundation/2col.aspx?sid=1540&gid=1&pgid=408&cid=1095:

If you click on “other” you get a poorly formatted list of other funds. If you want to give to, say, SAIL, sorry, it’s not on the list. So go back and type it in yourself. The UO Foundation will mail you a nice letter on O letterhead suitable for showing to the IRS, or what’s left of it now that Trump is in charge, confirming your money will indeed go to SAIL.

12/3/2017: UO librarians crush Duck coaches $6K to $0 in Charitable Fund Drive giving

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“I’m calling from Google to tell you that your computer has been hacked”

We’ve been getting a lot of these call this week. Usually I just hang up, but this time I thought I’d see if I could get them to stop calling:

Me: “You’re calling from Google?”

Him: “Yes. Our logs show that your computer has been hacked from a foreign country.”

Me: “That sounds very serious.”

Him: “Indeed. I will walk you through the steps to download a program that will secure it.”

Me: “OK, but first, can you tell me what IP address my computer is using?”

Him: Click. Tial tone.

No calls since. So if these scammers are hassling you too, try asking the same question. You don’t need to know what your IP address is, or even what an IP address is – they’ll move on to easier prey.

NCAA cartel goes after Duck coaches and UO professor for petty “infractions”

What a load of crap. The NCAA is making UO waste time and money on this trivia while their leaders and coaches pocket hundred of millions of dollars from the sweat and concussions of their unpaid student-athletes. The NCAA won’t even penalize UNC for years of sham courses for athletes, but they’re going after one UO professor for changing one student’s grade. That’s up to UO’s faculty – not the hypocrites at the NCAA.

Here’s first of the seven infractions, followed by UO’s official and more politic response which includes a link to the redacted NCAA notice:

University of Oregon receives notice of potential NCAA infractions

UO acknowledges the self-reported infractions, will contest the level of charges

The University of Oregon this week received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA relating to infractions that took place in the track and field, and men’s and women’s basketball programs.

After careful review of the notice, the UO acknowledges that infractions occurred and takes responsibility for the actions of the involved staff members. The university, however, disagrees with the level of infraction that NCAA enforcement staff has assigned to some of the charges as well as with the decision to level charges against two of our head coaches. In those instances, the facts do not support the enforcement staff’s position nor does NCAA case precedent, and we plan to defend the university, our faculty and our head coaches.

The university has taken steps to address the issues and has confidence that such errors will not take place in the future. We have imposed discipline on involved personnel and enhanced our compliance education for all staff and coaches.

As noted by the NCAA, the UO detected and self-reported all infractions contained in the notice and imposed “meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties.” The NCAA also stated that the UO has an established history of self-reporting violations and that the institution “exhausted significant resources and spent countless hours reviewing surveillance footage” in the identification of the alleged infractions in men’s and women’s basketball.

The UO will provide detailed evidence in each of the cases in our response to the notice, which must be filed with the Committee on Infractions within 90 days. A summary of the charges includes:

  • Allegation 1 charges academic misconduct involving a former track and field student-athlete and a faculty member. The faculty member changed a grade from failing to passing for a student-athlete, contingent on that student completing coursework at a later date. The university’s faculty athletics representative discovered the grade change, the university determined it was a violation of the UO’s grading policy, the student was immediately removed from competition and it was reported to the NCAA. As recent Committee on Infractions rulings have made clear, the NCAA gives sole power to the university in determining what constitutes academic misconduct. In this case, the university’s internal controls worked; there was no academic misconduct. The violation should be charged as an impermissible academic benefit.

“It is the role of the University Senate, the administration and other campus stakeholders to define and assess academic standards at the University of Oregon. Our faculty take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that no student is unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged as it relates to academic opportunity,” said Chris Sinclair, president of the University Senate and professor of mathematics. “While we acknowledge this was a violation of grading policy, this incident does not rise to our community standards for academic fraud or misconduct.”

  • Allegation 6 charges that head men’s basketball coach Dana Altman failed to properly monitor his program when it was discovered that noncoaching staff members had conducted prohibited workouts with a handful of student-athletes and improperly participated in on-court activities (outlined in allegations 2 and 3). While we acknowledge the impermissible workout violation — one of the noncoaching staff members was suspended — the charge of head coach responsibility is not justified.  We believe such a charge was intended for coaches who do not demonstrate a strong commitment to compliance and ethical stands, and this instance falls considerably short of the legislative intent and case precedent. The violation should be charged as an impermissible coaching activities infraction.

“I fully acknowledge that some members of our staff made mistakes when it comes to refereeing practice games and working out some players,” Altman said. “We have taken steps to correct these issues with our staff, and we are committed to complying with NCAA rules.”

  • Allegation  7 charges that head women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves failed to properly promote an atmosphere of compliance under the head coach responsibility bylaw. The charge stems from strength and conditioning staff members participating in on-court drills and assisting in voluntary workouts outside the presence of the coaching staff (outlined in allegation 4). The charge of head coach responsibility is, again, not justified and falls short of the legislation’s intent and case precedent. The violation also should be charged as an impermissible coaching activities infraction.

“I regret that some members of my staff made errors of judgment, and I have taken actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Graves said. “I am steadfastly committed to building a winning program at the UO that operates in full compliance with NCAA bylaws and is committed to the highest levels of integrity.”

“Coach Altman and coach Graves are committed to compliance with NCAA bylaws, they have the highest ethical standards on and off the court, and each acknowledges the infractions that took place within their programs,” said UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens. “In both cases, our monitoring program identified the issues and they were reported to the NCAA. We have addressed the matters with the responsible employees and enhanced compliance training within the department. These cases do not merit the level of charges against the coaches sought by the NCAA.”

In an unrelated matter, in fall 2016, as a result of a misinterpretation by the UO compliance staff in advising then-football staff members, the UO football program improperly utilized an electronic reader board in the Casanova Center for recruiting purposes. The UO will not contest the charge.

The UO will continue to work in good faith with the NCAA staff as we defend our head coaches and institutional right to make academic misconduct decisions on these charges. We are appreciative of the NCAA staff’s professionalism and cooperation, and we look forward to filing our response and concluding this process.

Dana Altman wants jail time for student-athletes who protest during anthem

Just kidding. Coach Altman’s efforts to shut-up his players are constrained by the First Amendment and the long and honorable tradition of American athletes using the Star-Spangled Banner and its words about “Land of the Free and the home of the Brave” as the right time, place and manner for protest.  If he were free to let his preferences run wild, I have no idea if the Duck’s Altman would do more than threaten to bench his unpaid student-athletes, much less jail them as Turkey’s Erdogan is trying to do:

Turkish Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from ESPN:

Duck Basketball Coach Dana Altman, from the Oregonian:

 

Was Chuck Lillis right & Mike Schill wrong about the deadwood cost of tenure?

UO Board of Trustees Chair Chuck Lillis is a former marketing professor and dean, and the only regular UO trustee with a PhD. (Academic publications and citations here, ERISA lawsuit settlements here.) He started off a Board meeting a few years back with a brief rant about deadwood tenured faculty. Newly appointed President Mike Schill responded with a vigorous defense of UO’s faculty, and since then Lillis and the rest of the board has switched to saluting Schill for his very successful efforts to maintain UO as a viable research university, with all the respect to the faculty that this requires – such as tenure.

But was Lillis right? A soon to be published paper looks at the publishing patterns of pre- and post-tenure faculty at top Economics departments (top 50 as of 1995, which sadly excludes UO Econ) and concludes he was. Here’s the report from InsideHigherEd:

Malaise, slump, deadwood — there are lots of words for what supposedly happens to professors’ research outputs after tenure. A forthcoming study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives doesn’t use any of those terms and explicitly says it must not be read as an “indictment” of tenure. But it suggests that research quality and quantity decline in the decade after tenure, at least in economics.

The authors of the paper — Jonathan Brogaard, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Washington at Seattle; Joseph Engelberg, professor of finance and accounting the University of California, San Diego; and Edward Van Wesep, associate professor of finance at the University of Colorado at Boulder — started with a question: “Do academics respond to receiving tenure by being more likely to attempt ground-breaking ‘homerun’ research and in this way ‘swinging for the fences?’”

After all, they wrote, “the incentives provided by the threat of termination are perhaps the starkest incentives faced by most employees, and tenure removes those incentives.” (The question is sure to annoy academic freedom watchdogs. In the authors’ defense, they do cite the benefits of tenure, including job stability’s potential to encourage risk taking.) …

The paper is here. The gist:

The paper of course includes all the expected qualifications against using these figures or the statistical analysis to conclude that tenure is a bad thing.

FWIW Chuck, my own publishing and citation record is here. I was tenured in 2001. Of my top 5 publications in terms of citations, 3 were published after tenure.